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Old 03-18-2017, 11:14 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Fresno, CA
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1997 AmTran Vs 1995 Thomas -Help!

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/6044950279.html

Hey there everybody, I found this thing 4 hours north of me. It uses the Cat 3116 and I assume the MD3060 tranny. Already titled as an RV, which might be a deal breaker for me. I know Cat 3208 is considered a throw away motor, but should I be steering clear of the 3116 too?


I'm also looking at this bus today located close to the other one.
https://goldcountry.craigslist.org/cto/6023324584.html

Just looking for y'alls opinions.

Thanks,
John
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:48 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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Year: 2001
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Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blkjacksabbath View Post
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/6044950279.html

Hey there everybody, I found this thing 4 hours north of me. It uses the Cat 3116 and I assume the MD3060 tranny. Already titled as an RV, which might be a deal breaker for me. I know Cat 3208 is considered a throw away motor, but should I be steering clear of the 3116 too?


I'm also looking at this bus today located close to the other one.
https://goldcountry.craigslist.org/cto/6023324584.html

Just looking for y'alls opinions.

Thanks,
John
CAT motors don't have a very good rep on here due to the stupid high cost of parts (everything is proprieatary and can only be purchased at CAT service centers). Expect to pay 50% - 200% more than equivalent International or Cummins parts. I don't know much about the 3116, it's an older mechanical version of the 3126 and the newer C7. The 3208 I would avoid at all costs.

As for the second bus, it appears that it only has the smaller T444 motor. While it's a great powerplant, it's simply too small to power a 40' rear engine bus with all the added weight a skoolie conversion brings.
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:10 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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https://reno.craigslist.org/hvo/5991838674.html


I just talked to this guy too. This is about 6 hours north of me, I got him down to $4000 cash over the phone. It's higher mileage though, 260K. I think I may go check her out. I'm apprehensive about mileage that high.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Blkjacksabbath View Post
https://reno.craigslist.org/hvo/5991838674.html


I just talked to this guy too. This is about 6 hours north of me, I got him down to $4000 cash over the phone. It's higher mileage though, 260K. I think I may go check her out. I'm apprehensive about mileage that high.
that mileage is too high to consider, unless you plan on staying local.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:54 PM   #5
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Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: GMC G3500 Vandura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blkjacksabbath View Post
https://reno.craigslist.org/hvo/5991838674.html


I just talked to this guy too. This is about 6 hours north of me, I got him down to $4000 cash over the phone. It's higher mileage though, 260K. I think I may go check her out. I'm apprehensive about mileage that high.
I would purchase that at $4000. That's a large workhorse and you should at least get 500,000 out of it. Because of the year it has to be a mechanical as well. Highly sought after. The overhead luggage racks and outside storage tell me it was an activity bus so most likely is already geared for the highway.

- Thomas
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:44 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Oberlin, Kansas
Posts: 1,390
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
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Seems like everyone here hates Cat, but I ADORE them. The 3208 is NOT a throw-away engine. Treat her well and she'll outlive you. Either Thomas buses are good buys. The International has the electronic 444e engine. You'll have to have patience in order to get up steep hills with the International. Either Thomas will out-run it. The 3208 is a Billie goat engine. LOTS of torque and actually competitive with fuel consumption. My 3208 ran up the Grapevine like it wasn't even there. The engine has a thermostat that usually opens up at *170 or *175, so they tend to run cool. As far as parts go IF you're maintaining the engine and know a good supplier, cost is not outrageous. My Cat dealer in Houston has competitive prices on the parts I need. A little planning ahead with some TLC and a Cat engine will last forever and be just as cost efficient as any other engine.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by M1031A1 View Post
Seems like everyone here hates Cat, but I ADORE them. The 3208 is NOT a throw-away engine. Treat her well and she'll outlive you. Either Thomas buses are good buys. The International has the electronic 444e engine. You'll have to have patience in order to get up steep hills with the International. Either Thomas will out-run it. The 3208 is a Billie goat engine. LOTS of torque and actually competitive with fuel consumption. My 3208 ran up the Grapevine like it wasn't even there. The engine has a thermostat that usually opens up at *170 or *175, so they tend to run cool. As far as parts go IF you're maintaining the engine and know a good supplier, cost is not outrageous. My Cat dealer in Houston has competitive prices on the parts I need. A little planning ahead with some TLC and a Cat engine will last forever and be just as cost efficient as any other engine.
Im with you friend....I am a big fan of CAT motors. They are well built and last forever if treated right. It should be pointed out that maintenance parts for the motors are no different in price than other manufacturers. Repair parts are when it can get a little expensive.
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