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Old 06-24-2015, 09:31 AM   #1
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1992 thomas vista shortie

I am new to site and was looking for some feedback found a 1992 Thomas vista shortie 140k with the 7.3 non turbo motor w/ ac and hyd. Brakes bus doesn't appear to have any rust and is roughly a 20+ passenger so I was wondering would this make a good cruiser or are there any upgrades that are definitely needed on these motors?
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:06 PM   #2
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What do you want it to do?
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:12 PM   #3
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Just need a decent cruiser to transport about 18-20 adults to and from a commuter parking lot to work about 50 mile+ round trip each day currently using a passenger van with less ppl. Would like to be able to cruise hwy if possible just don't know a awful a lot about this particular style of older bus I'm use to the newer stuff lol
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:05 PM   #4
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The is an IDI engine. Not exactly a rocket ship. I have only driven one in a Ford pickup. There are mods that can be made to bump HP. There is someone that builds an injection pump and injectors for this engine.

Conestoga Diesel
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:10 PM   #5
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Yeah I do know that they aren't the winner on take off but considering the round trip isn't too long I'm just hoping for reliability and durability may possibly straight pipe it and do a few minor improvements will definitely be looking to upgrade to something heavier duty within a few years all that's left now is for the diesel mechanic to do a full once over and if all is well I should pick it up by the weekend so we'll see how it goes I just hope I can at least get 65mph out of it some way some how
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:49 AM   #6
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There are upgrades out there. Conestoga is the main player for upgrades. There was a lot of aftermarket support for them 10 years ago, but now they are pretty much old tech and a lot of the distributors disappeared. You can still get a few different turbo kits, larger injection pumps, better injectors, etc. Google the oilburners forum. There's guys over there that eat, sleep, and breathe these old engines.

My bus has a 6.9 IDI. It's slow to get going. Not sure the power level(it's slightly over stock) but it still runs good. It will eventually get up to 70, however it will be at red line when it finally gets there. Your cruising speed will depend on what your bus is geared at.

There's only a few things you need to watch out for. Coolant condition is one of the major ones because these engines seem to suffer badly from cavitation. So make sure the additive and ph levels are correct. You also might run into bad glow plugs/module too, they're not too hard to replace. Only use Beru/motorcraft plugs. For the module you can use a toggle switch and bypass it altogether. Other than that, just perform routine maintenance and it should last pretty long.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:52 PM   #7
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Those Thomas Vistas are so strange looking.. but in an intriguing sort of way.

I've not actually seen one other than on the internet, but I'd be concerned about engine access if there is a lot to do under the hood.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction for some good info its much appreciated
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:38 PM   #9
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Yes the Vista is a odd looking bus but this was strictly because of the deal that made me consider it we have a few of them as activity and special needs buses at my pt job so I'm somewhat familiar with them however they are way newer thanwith different motors and transmissions than the one I'm posting about. 1 thing is for sure they have great maneuverability!
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:56 AM   #10
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Year: 1992
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No experience with them personally but I have heard they ride like crap.
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