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Old 01-29-2015, 06:18 AM   #11
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I normally agree with Cowlitzcoach, but I wouldn't even dream of buying another gas bus. NO WAY NO HOW.
Unless you like getting 3-5 mpg and lower power. A gas engine still has to warm up. True it doesn't take as long, but if you're driving a bus, you obviously shouldn't be in a big hurry anyhow.
That's just my 2 cents, no one is forced to agree!
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:33 PM   #12
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My first skoolie was an E350 with Thomas body. I can't open the craigslist link at work to get a look at it, but I will say that mine came with 126 000 KILOMETRES on it. It was a day camp bus for it's whole life, only being driven two-three months out of the year. So low mileage on an 80's bus is possible (pretty sure mine was an '8. In any case, I loved it and it served me well. Parts were easy and cheap to get, though it was a PITA to work on (hard to get under the hood). I got it for free from the camp, put a couple hundred in it to make it a basic (but so cute) camper, and sold it for $3500 a couple years later
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:59 PM   #13
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I'd hold out for something like this in your neck of the woods.
http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa...ctid=685#media
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:44 AM   #14
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Diesel all the way... it takes only ten minutes for my engine to reach operating temperature. Not to mention their overall reliability. My 1989 Chevy loves that stop and go driving, topping out at 24 mpg in town and 15 on the freeway.
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:04 PM   #15
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I'd be a bit cautious with that E-350. I've seen that ad off and on for several months now and usually when ads are up that long, it means it isn't a good bus, but that's just my two cents.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:41 PM   #16
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Year: 1987
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Engine: V8 Gas
I can't speak to your specific bus, but I purchased an '87 E350 recently, and it runs great. Granted, the gentleman I purchased it from was the retired mechanic from the local school district it came from, so he essentially worked on it and knew it's entire history (hence why he bought it). While I would agree, if you can afford it, go diesel, but mine was only $1,500 and the service history was known. So, it'll do 65-70 on the highway, and gets 10mpg at best (probably more like 8 or less on the highway). It's a much happier shorty at 55, however.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdbus View Post
Hmm.... Good point, i hadn't thought about the diesel having to warm up.
How the hell long does it take any motor to warm up? Must be very little!
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:29 PM   #18
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The problem with warming up a diesel engine is they are more thermodynamically efficient than a gas engine.

In other words, more heat goes into work than into waste heat.

In a school bus with a big diesel engine that is not working very hard it will never get to full operating temperature before it reaches the end of the route and is shut off. Which is why so many schools pay extra to have fuel fired heaters (Webasto) to keep the water hot enough to put heat into the passenger compartment.

180* in a gas engine is a lot more heat than 180* is a diesel engine. I know that may sound dumb but every cycle of the engine a gas engine will put 10-20% more waste heat into the 180* water than a diesel engine will. When you start bleeding heat off into the heater cores and defrosters it will take a lot of waste heat to keep that 180* water at 180*.

Back in the day we never had to have weather fronts or heater booster pumps on our gas engine buses, either front or rear engine buses. The gas engines always had plenty of heat to keep things warm.

My brand new 1990 Blue Bird TC2000 with a 5.9L Cummins would scoot up the hills a gear higher than I could ever go up in my Loadstar chassis bus with an MV404 or my GMC/Wayne with an OEM RE chassis with a 401 V-6.

On the way down the hill before I got half way down the 5.9L would have the temp gauge on the bottom peg and I was blowing cold air out of the heaters. The only way I could get any heat out of it when the ambient temp was below 50* was to cover the radiator with a weather front. With the gas buses I never noticed a difference in heat coming out of the heaters or defrosters going up hill or down.

In other words, depending on conditions it is possible for a diesel engine to never warm up enough to get into the proper operating temperature range.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:42 AM   #19
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I agree with cowlitzcoach...It is one reason you see so many big rigs with thermo-controlled "shutters" over the rad. I know several people with Cummins 4BT transplants who have dropped the mechanical fan for electric and swear it never comes on unless towing a load up a long, steep hill.

Diesels typically run cooler because they convert more heat into toque & HP per CI.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:22 AM   #20
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I got lucky- mine came with radiator shutters.
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