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Old 06-28-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: alabama
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Year: 1994
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 2000
Engine: 5.9
8.3 vs 3126??

Okay, we are comparing the a bb 8.3 with 205k miles on it to a thomas 3126 with 65k miles. Both are in the same price range, quality, etc. BUT the 8.3 is 31 hrs drive and the cat is 10hrs away. I was hoping someone could give a comparison on the two. I've done research and know that the 8.3 is great but don't know how many miles is too many for it. Guy says it does not have an hour meter... Don't know anything about the 3126 except a couple people saying it didn't have a good reputation. Thanks!
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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Re: 8.3 vs 3126??

Wait, it is a 3208 not a 3126. Still don't know much about that engine.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:17 PM   #3
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Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
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Re: 8.3 vs 3126??

A turbo'd 3208? Much, much better than a naturally aspirated 3208. Cat made a million 3208's of various ratings. I'd prefer a Cummins 8.3, but my (non-turbo'd) 3208 hasn't given me any problems.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:20 AM   #4
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Re: 8.3 vs 3126??

Pick the 8.3. It is a wet sleeve engine.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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Re: 8.3 vs 3126??

either one would be fine for how much a skoolie conversion is normally driven. you should find out the hours of operation as that is a much more important number than the miles driven. I would prefer the cummings over the cat in most cases, but it doesnt matter much., and parts are not cheap for either of them. (have to put a starter back in a cummings today or tomorrow, depending on when the customer is gonna show up)

i have a turbo 3208 cat which is considered a throw away engine like the 3126, and they are great engines as well. Many of the cummings are junked after they get old around here also.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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Re: 8.3 vs 3126??

For sure the 8.3 over a 3208 or 3126. The turbo 3208 is decent, and dont run too terribly loud. They arent quite as efficient as the 8.3 is. If the one with the 3208 is dirt cheap, then it may be worth looking at.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:34 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: alabama
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Year: 1994
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 2000
Engine: 5.9
Re: 8.3 vs 3126??

Well, the 3208 is 4900. Not sure about the turbo. We like it but it's a 14 hr drive and the way craigslist is it won't look anything like it does in the pic when we show up. Plus it doesn't have enough bay storage i think. The 8.3 is 4300 but it's in Cal. and both say there is no hour meter. Doubt they even checked. Went to look at a 3116 today.. this guy said there was no hr meter too. Got there and it had 11k hrs on it. I thought that was a bunch, but I'm no expert. We decided against that bus. They only came down to 4500 and i think it has a lot of rust. What should we be able to get a decent rear engine 8.3 maybe with belly boxes for? I'm only finding them in the outrageous range, our for us it seems outrageous. We are really looking for a bus and hope to find one in the south around here. Things that are important for us I think would be.. mpg, rear engine, bay storage, and BIG, (i also like the non green interior but that's not a big deal i guess). Thanks for all your posts!!
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:09 AM   #8
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Re: 8.3 vs 3126??

Don't buy rust.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: 8.3 vs 3126??

11k hours isnt too bad for a bus. i think my cat has 15k hrs on it and bearings are supposed to be checked at 25k hrs. if you get a rear engine bus, you can easily add compartment space by using angle or c channel iron to box more of the center section in. Most busses come standard with allthread and bolts to hold up the compartment floors, so making additional flooring and adding a couple of rv doors that size wouldnt be a lot of work.
since you havent bought a bus yet, dont get one with a allison 545, get one with at least a 643 or the newer one for the school busses.

surface rust may be fine, but rust undernieth the bus makes it much harder to free up bolts, brake stuff, etc... better to get one with no rust
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