Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-09-2019, 12:12 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Decent bus? Seems decent to a newb.

Heck of a first post.

been lurking a while, watching videos for over a year, and finally making moves to living out a dream and need some advice.

I live in VA and found a bus nearby. It is a 2004 Thomas rear engine safetyliner school bus. It has just over 100k miles. Condition decent. Has a Mercedes 906 201 engine and a MD3060 Allison.

I was in the military for 20 years. My job was a Diesel mechanic but I only worked on them a few years and as I stayed in the military I ended up doing other things outside of that job field. That said, I feel fine doing any maintenance it may need, as long as I am not buying a combination that is known to be a lemon.

Please offer any advice you may have. Thank you and I look forward to many more posts here as I find and build.
okinawascuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 12:36 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 125
Do you mean the 3 from Manassas, VA on publicsurplus? They are 4-5 hours from me, so I'd be interested in what you find out. I've seen some say they wouldn't own a MBE 906 and others say they are fine if you stay out of the shop(expensive). I also remember seeing a member purchase a similar model(different engine) from around the same area. They ran into some surprising rust problems in a few areas once torn down.
Kinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 12:41 AM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 125
They list it as 906210 so probably set at 210HP. Does this mean it is the 6.4L or 7.2L?
Kinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 12:51 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinson View Post
Do you mean the 3 from Manassas, VA on publicsurplus? They are 4-5 hours from me, so I'd be interested in what you find out. I've seen some say they wouldn't own a MBE 906 and others say they are fine if you stay out of the shop(expensive). I also remember seeing a member purchase a similar model(different engine) from around the same area. They ran into some surprising rust problems in a few areas once torn down.
If I was interested in making it known where it was for sale I would have posted that. Not trying to be rude, but it seems kinda irrelevant to the question I asked. May not make any difference in this case but if it was a perfect find that only you and I knew about it might drive a price sky high.

That said, thank you for your other input. The buses I looked at had a decent amount of rust but I have access to welding facilities and welders that I can make the requisite repairs.
okinawascuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 12:53 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinson View Post
They list it as 906210 so probably set at 210HP. Does this mean it is the 6.4L or 7.2L?
I think the one I was looking at was a 4.8 but not sure.
okinawascuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 03:46 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by okinawascuba View Post
If I was interested in making it known where it was for sale I would have posted that. Not trying to be rude, but it seems kinda irrelevant to the question I asked. May not make any difference in this case but if it was a perfect find that only you and I knew about it might drive a price sky high.

That said, thank you for your other input. The buses I looked at had a decent amount of rust but I have access to welding facilities and welders that I can make the requisite repairs.
People here check those public auction sites daily and post any good candidates. Don't think you won't have competition. If you let others know which you are interested in, you will have less. Intention has no bearing on result as far as being rude. If you don't want to share what you find out about them, why should anyone want to share their knowledge with you?
Kinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 08:17 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 13
Good point. I may have been a little more tired and cranky. I wasn't trying to be a jerk about it. I guess I was just trying to be a little guarded about a potential find but I see people are pretty open about what they are looking at here.

Yes, those are the ones I was referring to.

https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/al...ew?auc=2282548

https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/al...ew?auc=2282555

https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/al...ew?auc=2282567
okinawascuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 10:37 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,419
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
An '04 is probably going to have the first year EPA garbage on the motor. In general...they were nightmares.


And being an MB...as noted...they are fine as long as they are running...but crazy expensive on parts & service when they quit running. And with all the environmental crap involved...they have lots of reasons to go wonky.



Personally, I wouldn't touch it. It is part of a group of buses that are being dumped long before their (mechanical) time should be up due to the outrageous costs to try and maintain.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 11:28 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 10,929
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
An '04 is probably going to have the first year EPA garbage on the motor. In general...they were nightmares.


And being an MB...as noted...they are fine as long as they are running...but crazy expensive on parts & service when they quit running. And with all the environmental crap involved...they have lots of reasons to go wonky.



Personally, I wouldn't touch it. It is part of a group of buses that are being dumped long before their (mechanical) time should be up due to the outrageous costs to try and maintain.

many schools have a 15 year rule.. so 04's would be right in that range.. I would take each one on a case by case basis.. the mercedes engines have a good rep.. some used oil at times but as long as you didnt run em out you were fine.. merc has been making trucks and truck engines a long time.. the 906 has been around a good while. expensive to fix? sure any dieselk is if you send it to a shop and say :"it broke".. but oftentimes unless you have a major internal failure someone mechanical like yourself can fix it..



Rust... if there is a lot of it visible. then there is twice as much you cant see.. that said.. check it closely.. we have had a couplke forum members who's busses looked "reasonable" only to find out all the floor ribs and alot of the body ribs were rusted behind the panels.. one was a total scrap.. i think he turned it into a flatbed.. if the cross ribs and frame are good and its just the floor then yeah its pretty straight-forward to replace and move on... but structurals are tough to get right...

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2019, 05:37 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 125
From what I've seen, a couple fleets had constant issues with EGR coolers. I think 04 is when they started with the EGR's on this engine. It may have an 2003 engine though.. I think you can tell by inspecting the engine for the EGR valve, but someone would have to enlighten me. Some also have oil consumption issues as others have mentioned. That may only apply to certain years, though. The member's bus I'm speaking of was from the same area and of same chassis make if I recall correctly. I seem to remember him stating that it barely had any visible rust, but he ran into some severe rust under the dash and somewhere else. I cannot find the thread again. Anyone recall? Have you spoken to the auction contact or mechanics there? I had planned on it, but it slipped my mind. Any preference or are they all of pretty equal condition? Sometimes the mechanics are pretty respectful and pass along what problems they've had with them.
Kinson 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 12:27 PM.


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