Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-03-2017, 06:45 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Middle of Nowhere, Wyoming
Posts: 31
Which body company has the best access to the drivetrain in a RE model?

I see Bluebird, Thomas, IHC, and Amtrans all have RE models for school buses. Of course motor coaches have them too. Regarding school buses which of them offer the most access to work on their engines? I know different engines will pose different issues in the same body.

From observing in pictures on the auction sites it seems the BB have the radiator on the drivers side which means there is no fan and junk behind the engine in the way. However, that does block the left side of the engine for easy access. The Thomas MVP seems to have the radiator behind the engine on one that I saw but I don't know if that is typical. I haven't seen the IHC or Amtrans under the "hood".

Is there a good way to get yourself in there to work on these fairly easily? What are the pro's and con's to each brand as far as access to the drivetrain?

Thanks,
Jeff
bearhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2017, 09:01 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,801
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
My Bluebird has amazing access to the rear and curb side. Most of what you may need to get to can be reached from those two sides.

The radiator & fan are on the street side and still leave decent room for access on that side.

There is also a small access cover inside that will let you get to the top of the forward end of the engine.

The two reasons that I was set on a RE bus were engine access and noise/heat while traveling. I dislike the idea of an 8.3 Cummins (or DT466) two feet from my right leg while driving.

My previous bus was an Eagle 10 and it was similar. It had a Detroit 8v71 (9.3 liter V- that was much wider than the the 8.3 Cummins (inline 6) and used a belt drive fan instead of hydraulic so access was not quite as nice.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2017, 09:17 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,268
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Which one has the best COOLING is the big question.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2017, 09:33 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Middle of Nowhere, Wyoming
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Which one has the best COOLING is the big question.
I'm all ears.
bearhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2017, 09:58 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,268
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
RE aren't my thing. But from what I understand the IC's have the best cooling arrangement. Others will chime in who know better than me, though.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 06:39 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
superdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 889
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
re cool just as well as fe, unless something is broke. I don't think they would design a bus that overheats.
__________________
living in a bus down by the river.
my build pics
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/membe...albums942.html
superdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 07:46 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Scooternj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 1,134
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
"What coach builder has the best..." is a lot like asking what pickup truck is the best; they're all subject to personal interpretation. That being said, IMHO IC/Amtran has the best cooling package. It has a full-size radiator, with two YUUGE fresh air scoops on either side of the of the body at window height. It also has equally amazing access to both sides of the block, without contortions.


Radiator


Road-side air scoop and engine access (curbside identical)
__________________
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
Well thank you for noticing, Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious on deviantArt
Scooternj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 07:51 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,268
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
No they design them to run at the determined temperature.
but being that they cant have a radiator facing into thr wind like CE and FE, and they're back in the dusty rear, They can have overheating problems if not maintained. Almost all of the RE bus fires are from the engine overheating.
Its just something to watch, and keep maintenance of.
The RE has many advantages, but there are a few things that they have to compromise on ANY design.



__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 08:11 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Middle of Nowhere, Wyoming
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooternj View Post
"What coach builder has the best..." is a lot like asking what pickup truck is the best
I didn't ask a broad nor vague question of what coach builder is the best; I asked what one has the best access to the engine/transmission ie drivetrain. This is nothing like asking which pickup is the best.

It did take a little turn to talk about cooling, which is OK, but the real question is which one let's you work on the engine the easiest, giving you some room to work in there? I know a 5.9 is going to have more room than an 8.3 but if the radiator is blocking the back of the engine you know it's hard to reach in through there. Good to know IC has good access to both sides of the engine as from pictures I wouldn't have guessed that, and that is why I asked the original question. I really do appreciate that kind of information.

I do appreciate the information and photos but please don't re-write my question as vague one as mine was pretty specific.
bearhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 10:29 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,801
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I am getting the idea that you may think that the radiator faces the rear in some RE buses.

As far as I know, none of the RE we see here are configured that way. Generally the radiator is in the side of the bus. All of the ones that I have worked on have had the radiator on the street side except MCI's which have two radiators. One on each side.

They pull the cooling air in through the grille on the side and exhaust it out the rear. Not an ideal situation for cooling. IMHO: Cooling is the RE's "Achilles heal".

If you were looking for the most rugged, ultimately reliable and easy to service I would suggest an IC bus.

Myself, I love my RE.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.