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Old 07-12-2010, 02:13 PM   #1
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Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Which would YOU choose, and why?

I'll be going to see two buses this week that will be auctioned off locally later in the week.

One is a 1991 Thomas Saf-T-Liner high top, 38 ft RE with 139K miles, Cat 3116TA engine, Allison MT643 transmission, sanders and two pass through belly bins. Bidding ends this Thursday.

The other is a 1990 Crown Super Coach II, 36 Ft RE with 112K miles, Cat 3208T engine, Allison MT643 transmission, and two pass through belly bins. Live auction this Saturday.

I've thought I might do a roof raise, but not sure it will be necessary with the Thomas, and not sure it will be possible with the Crown. The biggest difference to me as they are is the 2 ft difference in length. Might want to do one or two slideouts in either case.

What do you all think?
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:29 PM   #2
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John
Oh screw it, just buy them both . . .

Ahh, if only I had room...

Thanks for the rest of the advice, John.
Just finished my parking stall except for the electrical hookup, which I hope to have in by next week.
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


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Old 07-13-2010, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

The 3116 has a poor reputation in government surplus circles. The 3208 is highly sought after by the same people. For my next bus I'll have either the 3208 or the 7.3L, whichever is available at the time. I love my 6.6L but desire a bit more torque. Personally, I find the 3208 easier to work on. Both are based on the same design, but the 3208 has (IMO) better quality. Remember, you asked.....
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

well that tells you what the best eng,,the 3116 motor is a jap one and the 3208 is all USA. ..the the crown is the best the bus,i have seen 1960' models still running,,,
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:13 PM   #5
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Keith and M1031, thanks for the feedback.

M1031,
What, specifically, does the 3116 have a bad reputation for? Supposedly the 3116 has about the same horsepower as the 3208, but I don't know about the torque. Isn't it a newer design? I've read that 3208s have a habit of smoking until warmed up.

Keith,
I didn't know the 3116 was foreign-built. I'm surprised to see you imply that a Japanese-built 3116 engine would, by the fact of its origin, be inferior to the USA-built 3208. Car engines from Japan seem to be pretty good if you look at Toyota, Honda, Mazda etc. but I have no idea if that quality rubs off onto Japan's big block truck and tractor engines.

But I'm hip to the overall quality of Crowns. Just don't know if this particular one will fit my needs. I'll take a tape measure with me when I go to see it.
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Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


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Old 07-13-2010, 02:45 PM   #6
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locutus
Keith and M1031, thanks for the feedback.

M1031,
What, specifically, does the 3116 have a bad reputation for? Supposedly the 3116 has about the same horsepower as the 3208, but I don't know about the torque. Isn't it a newer design? I've read that 3208s have a habit of smoking until warmed up.
Locutus;

The military uses the 3116 because they are cheaper to build. I don't know about a newer design. However, the 3208 is considerably more reliable in the long run. I've seen 3208s dropped into M35 Deuces and perform well. I've worked with city maintenance departments and they tell me the 3208 is a lower maintenance engine. The 3116 has block issues and usually needs to be resleaved. This is what I've seen and heard.
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Thanks, M. I'll take this info to heart. Good to know.
*Sigh* --If only the Crown was the same length as the Thomas (and if a Crown roof raise was practical) the decision would be easy.
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


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Old 07-13-2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

you see,it like cummins they have 4, 5.9 eng's 160 hp 190 hp 230 hp 250 hp in the 5.9 when you add a blower to the eng,it helps.like mine i have the 160 hp but added the blower its now about 225 hp good on fuel less to rebuild if have too,but all USA build..


this is how the bus's line up
1- crown,,,,,best-----there own frame
2-blue bird,,,#2 best-----the same
3-thomas,,,,good-----what ever the chepest chassis maker at the time
mostly IH,,,,but i see they have used frightshakers & pete's if orded
4-ward's,,,,,, being the worst bus------WHAT EVER THEY CAN GET...just to stay in busseness
5- there was one other the groverment made them close down

the thomas saf-t-liner is like the blue bird all amercan and the IH genissess bus ,,take them right to the junk yard
i have worked all of them... for the past 35 yrs
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:25 PM   #9
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

there about the same as a ward,,they good if you got it in a little bus,they use a Rv frame ...chevy 3500

wish we can see more of the crown's over here on the east cost,there a calf bus,
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:09 PM   #10
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Re: Thomas Saf-T-Liner, or Crown Super Coach II. Which one?

Every conventional (nose-in-front) bus built up through the 90s was available on a variety of truck-based chassis - customers could order nearly any combination. Conventional builders were Blue Bird, Thomas, Ward (renamed AmTran in the 90s, now IC Corp), all of which are still building, and Carpenter, Wayne, and Superior (all out of business). In Canada, you also had Corbeil, which recently went out of business. There were others going back to the 60s and before.

Crown and Gillig, 2 CA-based builders, used their own frame for flat-nose buses.

Up through the 80s, the other companies used modified truck chassis, such as the International or GM, or a less-popular truck chassis like Oshkosh (used by Thomas in the late 80s) or Asia Smith (used by Wayne and the short-lived "New Bus Company"). Some continued this practice into the 90s, such as the Wayne/Crane Carrier and the Carpenter/Spartan designs.

Thomas and Blue Bird switched to building their own chassis in the late 80s/early 90s, although Blue Bird's TC/2000 used some similar components with the GM truck line after they signed an exclusive agreement for conventional chassis. Thomas is now using some Freightliner components, as they were bought out by Freightliner.

International owned controlling interest in AmTran through the 90s, and AmTran's Genesis (and later 90s FE/RE line) were only built on International chassis (now, all AmTran products have evolved into the IC line, which is wholly owned by International). They also sold flat-nose chassis to other companies in the early 90s, and the rear-engine chassis to Corbeil in the late 90s.

I can't offer an unbiased opinion in this case, because the Crown is a very rare vehicle compared to the Thomas. If you're going to do a full conversion with a roof raise, I'd rather see the Thomas get cut up and the Crown go to a bus nut's collection.
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