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Old 01-29-2016, 01:05 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 61
MBE 900 Question

I see numerous listing of Thomas built safety liner bus with MBE 900 engine (Detroit Diesel) , yet I can't find any posting related to this engine. Is this engine not wildly used in bus built?
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:48 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
The Mercedes-Benz engine had some teething problems that were corrected. But the problems left a bad taste in the mouth of the operators. As a consequence, when the upgraded emissions levels were going to kick in M-B decided it wasn't worth the effort to make the engine compliant and stopped offering the engine as an option in Thomas buses.

Since no one else could purchase the M-B engine you will only find them in Thomas buses.

Would I purchase a used bus with an M-B engine? It sort of depends on how many miles are on the engine and how much they want for the bus.

It is a better engine and parts are easier to find for them than for the Brazilian Ford diesel engines. But that isn't saying much.

There is a reason why the vast majority of school buses have Cummins engines now.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:06 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Thank you for your clarification.

I’ve been looking to school bus listings for some time now, and I notice the abundance of Thomas built bus powered by MBE 900 Engine. I have no financial resources to buy a new bus, but I dread greasing my hands. I can do my own mechanics work, but I still have an option to eliminate such prospectus, learning as much as possible before committing myself to predatory sales people.

Is it then reasonable for me to assume maintaining this vehicle would be more difficult/expensive compare to Cummins or International built engines? How expensive or readily available to acquire seat gaskets, valves, piston rings, etc. to overhaul this engine myself? I’m targeting on one specific bus with faulty ABS sensor/system, and is it common problem with this bus?
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:11 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
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Location: Winlcok, WA
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If you are looking at a bus with an M-B engine and it also has some electronic issues in the ABS system I would say that unless you got the bus for free it isn't worth purchasing.

Supposedly you should be able to get all the parts and pieces you need to work on an M-B engine from a Freightliner dealer. That may or may not be true. You may even be able to get some of the parts and pieces from NAPA or CARQUEST. What I do know for sure is parts for IHC and Cummins engines are easy to find and very affordable just about anywhere in the country.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:13 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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cowlitzcoach,

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with me. I'm glad I joined this forum.
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