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Old 06-28-2014, 07:15 AM   #1
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Washington state

I am bidding on a Thomas in Washington and can't get up there to inspect before close. Is anyone in the tumwater area. The have video of them running so it's not the engine I need an undercarriage rust inspector. It would have to be arranged for and done by or on the first. Contact me on a price for a check out or let me know your favorite restaurant I'll send a gift card for a good steak. This is one of those 50 bucks could either let me know to spend or save me from a 20 hour train ride and a nightmare.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:33 PM   #2
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Re: Washington state

I live in WA and have bought a couple busses here before. I have never seen any with a lot of rust, so I would not be worried about that. We don't use salt on our roads during winter (it hardly ever even snows on the westside). I wish the GA office/yard was open on Sunday so I could stop by for you and take a look at them, I saw they had 2 Thomas buses and a Carpenter... Good luck
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:54 PM   #3
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Re: Washington state

Thomas West Coast ER One of the best buses Thomas ever made, they also made one with 3 axles...........looks like a pretty solid Bus and I wouldn't expect the bidding to go to high, with the mileage...............Let's put it this way: I have bought 4 vehicles from those folks all from washington state.........they've always been excellent: I would also use the ask questions feature with regard any and all of your concerns............they'll give you the straight scoop..........I can tell, by doing my forensics that that will be a Sound Bus.

I recently bought this out of Washington........and it's spectacular..........Cummins L10 270HP with a Zf Ecomat HP590 transmission, a true five speed with overdrive with 95K actual miles..........spectacular buy.............
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:40 AM   #4
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Re: Washington state

Thanks for the response. They have pictures of the bottom and it looks coated. No rust and video of the motor running. I am probably going to try to get one of the thomas busses. Washington not using salt is a big relief. that kills vehicles bus, or car. The scary part is getting it back. I am looking at a train ride up and driving it 755 miles back.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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Re: Washington state

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh2901
Thanks for the response. They have pictures of the bottom and it looks coated. No rust and video of the motor running. I am probably going to try to get one of the thomas busses. Washington not using salt is a big relief. that kills vehicles bus, or car. The scary part is getting it back. I am looking at a train ride up and driving it 755 miles back.
That's no biggy as long as it runs well, you learn your bus that way. I drove up in Maine with SWMBO, and drove my bus back down to NJ, in the space of 24 hours. And that was after it was ferried by the bus company from New Foundland
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: Washington state

Yeah I am going to bid. The only real question is transport. I do not have a commercial license so, do I send up a bored school bus driver on amtrak from Craigslist, or do it myself and pray for 755 miles of no cops. It's that catch 22 we all deal with it's not a registered rev till it's actually a registered rv. I started bidding on us hip and dam that's expensive.
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:00 PM   #7
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Re: Washington state

That should be taken care of by either a "move" permit or by a "one way trip" permit............I've had great success transporting buses............block out the crossing lights and the school bus signs, likely will be done to the bus prior to arrival.......My only concerns as with most schoolies, is they have typically a fairly high axle ration.......4.44 or 5.54 and of course the final drive ratio of the transmission is 1:1..........and the Cat, though it can be likely revved even if governed to 3000 is not a good place for that engine to be.............I personally would like to keep the engine around 2700 RPM max. The reason being that one of the sureway of premature wear or even bearing failure on these engines, or throwing a rod or sucking a valve is over revving them: Nice that it's the 3208Turbo........so you should be at 250HP......and nice that it is one of the the sturdiest Thomas ever built, the west coaster...........This would be extremely desireable if it had one of the Allison World transmission 5 or 6 speeds with overdrive. Some people are on the fence with very high mileage vehicles and there are a couple of ways to look at it:

It's either been well maintained, driven correctly, and is proven and reliable............or it's on it's way out and exceeded its lifespan and doesn't have many miles left without expensive repairs...........I look at this bus in the light of the former. A couple questons I would ask.....all instruments working, governed speed at what RPM........maintenance records available.........how long since in service and any info with regard inframe or out of frame overhaul or engine replacement........ant that HP the transmission is pretty much bullet proof.........however should you get it, I would invest in a laser heat gun, and after your first 80 miles or so, pull over, check heat temps at the hubs and spindles, as well as the radiator and each cylinder of the engine............see how that squares with temp readings at the instrument pane........I'd also ask if it has air ride: That becomes another consideration, or system to fail. though not expensive to repair, it can let you down through a failed modulator or bellows itself...............ask a lot of questions, get the answers............it's always risk reward at these auctions........I feel pretty good about this bus: Not much of a CAT guy, but this at least as the turbo.........and there are guys out there, who can dial these up a bit............
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:42 PM   #8
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Re: Washington state

If I were looking at any of that group of buses...........I believe I would go the Carpenter over the drive train............Only edge I see going to the Thomas is the fact that it has some basement storage...........always nice to have: However the Carpenter by far has the better engine, and 94 was a great year for the 8.3 truly that mill and that build is a million mile engine, Also the instrument set up is more thorough and user friendly...........and lastly you will realize better fuel efficiency with the Cummins...............
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:49 PM   #9
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Re: Washington state

I am going for the carpenter, so if you go for it there is going to be a bidding war
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:41 AM   #10
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Re: Washington state

I am leaning towards one of the thomas built The under storage is nice. The instrument cluster is not a big deal, I may rebuild any how in order to mount a backup camera and or a nav system. Moki I will look at a move permit thats a great idea. I was going to amtrak it up rent a car to do pickup and drive the thing down. Its looking like I might be able to fly into Seattle for the same cost so It will just be logistics, if I win at auction. I hate to admit it but I am going to have to risk it on the engine life. Its coming direct from the school district which normally means better maintaining and less abuse than with a contracting company. I am going to hedge bets and get that magic oil stuff to dump in with the fuel.

If I win and wind up there the star bucks is on me if anyone wants to talk projects.
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