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Old 05-07-2018, 06:08 PM   #1
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2004 Freightliner with MBE 906 engine

Does anyone know anything about this bus model? There is one available for sale at a decent price, but I'm a bit hesitant because of the engine. Obviously even with a good price I'm going to be sinking money into the conversion, so I'd like to make sure I buy the right bus.

Is the MBE 906 engine decent or should I shop around more? Did the emissions controls come in 2004, and is that a good or bad thing?

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Old 05-07-2018, 06:13 PM   #2
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Does anyone know anything about this bus model? There is one available for sale at a decent price, but I'm a bit hesitant because of the engine. Obviously even with a good price I'm going to be sinking money into the conversion, so I'd like to make sure I buy the right bus.

Is the MBE 906 engine decent or should I shop around more? Did the emissions controls come in 2004, and is that a good or bad thing?

It's not emissions controls you have to think about here.

That is a very good engine, generally favored by Thomas, and Daimler owns both Thomas Built Buses and Mercedes Benz.

Mercedes have been building diesel engines since God was a boy.

The problem is what you do when they break, and it's an engine so breaking is always a possibility.

Parts, and the mechanics to fit them, are priced very high. With a Navistar or Cummins engine, there is a mechanic at every truck stop and diesel shop that can fix it.
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Old 05-08-2018, 02:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply! I read Mercedes has special diagnostic software etc. But the bus is such a good price - I haven't been able to find another for nearly close to the same price - so I'm leaning toward it. Obviously my biggest concern is if we get stuck somewhere and have to go to a mercedes dealership specifically. Eek.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:12 AM   #4
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Personally...I would not own one. When I was shopping engines I spoke with a whole bunch of OTR engine techs and they were pretty much in 100% agreement that the MB's were great while they were running but just "too damned complicated and difficult to service".

I wound up going with an all mechanical Cummins based on my personal needs and vehicle considerations.
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:49 PM   #5
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I own one, 2004 pre EGR, love it. Do some research , the expensive stories are most hear say . If it runs, does not make bad noises, does not show leaks, or smokes then it is all good. It is a mercedes engine supported by detroit.
If it brakes like bearings camshafts, pistons and so on then any repair on any engine is going to be more expensive then buying a whole bus and tearing an engine out.

Good luck, later J
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:09 PM   #6
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I looked into Mercedes service in my area. There is one shop 70 miles away from me. It is the only one I could find within 100+ miles.

There are at least a dozen shops that will work on Cummins and Navistar in the same area. Two of them within 3 miles of me.

That discouraged me from pursuing Mercedes powered buses.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:32 PM   #7
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Not a bad engine. If you can fix it yourself and find parts, then you are good. If now got for a Cummins or International pre emissions.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:51 PM   #8
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I've had to tow a bus to a Navistar dealer. The repair price sent me packing. I couldn't imagine the sticker shock at a Benz service center.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:24 AM   #9
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Exactly EastCoast. If any engine gets anything serious this bus stuff is to expensive for normal working people. The Dt466 have these known problems, The cummins 5.9, the death pin and cracks in castings, he list goes on, all engines have something, the shop repair would be more then you paid for the whole bus. This forum is full of engines that are to expensive to fix by a real shop not even counting the ripoffs you will experience doing it the shop way.
The fear for suffering is more then the suffering itself.

Later J
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Exactly EastCoast. If any engine gets anything serious this bus stuff is to expensive for normal working people. The Dt466 have these known problems, The cummins 5.9, the death pin and cracks in castings, he list goes on, all engines have something, the shop repair would be more then you paid for the whole bus. This forum is full of engines that are to expensive to fix by a real shop not even counting the ripoffs you will experience doing it the shop way.
The fear for suffering is more then the suffering itself.

Later J
**THIS**

ALL engines have some achille;s heal..

some are not worth pursuing.. ie 53 block cummins or a MaxxForce 7.
maybe a CAT-C7 is on this list.. but even those dont break as much as perceived...

others like the VT-365 end up going cheap enough that the parts to make it SOLID are still cheaper than going for a different "supposed better" bus..

sometimes the bad reputation works in your favor.. everyone and their brother bids the $$$ way up on the DT466 and cummins 8.3 busses.

the MBE and the CATs have a good solid reputation for running well when you get Pre-EGR / Pre-Emissions.. they are more expensive to repair **IF** they break...

and really here on this forum. id say for the age of the busses being bought that the percentage of people actually having to take their busses to a manufacturer shop to repair is quite small..

-Christopher
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