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Old 05-18-2017, 01:15 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Irvine, CA
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Coachwork: Lookin for sub30' dognose
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
Thank you! As the forum grows it becomes harder and harder to respond to all the newbies who ask "I don't know what I want. What do I want?" in some form or other. This is a great resource to point them to, although the advice to spend 100 hours reading all the back stacks is as applicable as ever.

One nit to pick; I'm not aware of any difference in (vertical) c of g between a FE and a RE class d bus. Can you cite a source for that?

Again, thanks!
Unfortunately I don't keep track of sources (if I did they would probably number in the low hundreds by now). These notes (and the rest which I haven't yet posted anywhere) are primarily for personal use not exactly intended for 'public use'. Because I wrote it for myself I didn't see much benefit from doing all the extra work to keep track of sources and citing all the information.

I do try to keep false information out to the best of my ability. I don't add things (or I add them including a statement of uncertainty) unless the information meets my personal threshold for factual correctness, and at the very least I usually need to see some bit of information in multiple places or from someone I recognize as particularly knowledgeable on the subject.

I'm happy to share what I have as I believe people can benefit from it/save time, but I'm probably not going to put any additional effort into it than what satisfies me personally.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:19 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Irvine, CA
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Coachwork: Lookin for sub30' dognose
Although as my build progresses I intend to set up a website which will have my full notes uploaded in a wiki style format (although only editable by myself and a couple close friends. Sorry I just don't want to open the floodgates with public editing). When that time comes I will probably post a link to it around here somewhere and it might be worthy of a sticky for additional newcomers.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:06 AM   #13
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JSTriton...
That was so thoughtful of you!!

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oh yes she did!
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/to...-it-16557.html
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:30 PM   #14
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Great post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSTriton View Post
I'm also new (haven't purchased a bus yet) but I have done a bit of research and have a working set of notes. I'll copy-paste some of it below to save you some time in researching these things yourself:

Summary
Chassis Types
Type A - Short style cutaway. Based on a commercial van cab with a bus body attached. ~15-20 feet
Type B - Medium integrated/conventional, dog nosed. Basically a shorter type C. Engine is mounted in front under a hood. Easiest maintenance access. ~20-35 feet
Type C - Conventional, dog nosed. Engine is mounted in front under a hood. Easiest maintenance access. ~35-40 feet (40' uncommon)
Type D - Transit style, flat faced. Can be front (FE), mid, or rear (RE) engined. FE has greatest usable interior space for a given overall bus length but is worst for NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) on the driver . RE has the smoothest ride quality but a relatively high center of gravity and is the hardest to work on. All flat faced types have considerably more difficult maintenance access (Read: $$). ~35-40 feet (some mid length versions exist)

Busses commonly come in 3 different ceiling heights: 5'7'', 6'0'', and 6'3'' (Not sure if I have the exact numbers right). They can be distinguished in photos by looking at the top of the passenger windows compared to the driver side windows. The top of the passenger windows will either be below, level with, or above the top of the driver side windows, corresponding to low, medium, and high ceiling heights.

Diesel Engines
7.3L Ford/T444E (pre-2004) - Reliable, powerful, recommended
6.0L Ford (2004-2007) - Tempermental, however "Bulletproofing" upgrades exist which turn it into a reliable and strong performer. Do not buy unless you are extremely mechanically inclined and willing to get hands dirty. Non-bulletproofed (aka factory original) engines are prone to premature failure and expensive to fix.
6.4L Ford (2007-2010) - idk at this time
6.7L Ford (2010-current) - idk at this time

Cummins 5.9 - Reliable, sometimes underpowered for full length busses, recommended
Cummins 6.7 - idk at this time
Cummins 8.3 - Reliable, powerful, frequently recommended

DT466 - Reliable, powerful, frequently recommended

CAT engines - expensive to maintain and fix, not recommended

Gasoline Engines
idk at this time

Alternative Fuel Engines
CNG - while CNG is a very cheap fuel there are lots of considerations that come into play to really make it work (beyond the availability of CNG pump stations). Without going into too much detail I would say CNG is best left to municipal fleets with central fueling stations and maintenance and parts infrastructure. Not ideal for a single user that wants to be relatively independent from society.
BioDiesel - idk much at this time
Propane - idk much at this time
Full Solar/EV - potentially workable but extremely ambitious. While you might get enough battery capacity for 100-200 mile ranges, solar energy alone will not propel you much more than 50 miles per day (highly variable, extremely sensitive to weather)

In general I would shy away from alternative fuels unless you are particularly knowledgeable about the specific tech and are ambitious enough to put the effort in to make it work. There's a reason that these are alternative fuels - because they all have enough quirks and caveats in their current forms that if you just want something that runs (which is most people) diesel/gasoline is a much easier choice.

Transmissions
Allison MD3060 - reliable, frequently recommended
idk others at this time
Thank you for the thorough post. It should be required newbie {like me}reading.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:03 PM   #15
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+1 on schoolbusfleet those are the guys running school busses for school in real life so you can see which drivetrains they complain about the most and also get great repair and preventative ideas too..
-Christopher
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:30 AM   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSTriton View Post
Unfortunately I don't keep track of sources (if I did they would probably number in the low hundreds by now). These notes (and the rest which I haven't yet posted anywhere) are primarily for personal use not exactly intended for 'public use'. Because I wrote it for myself I didn't see much benefit from doing all the extra work to keep track of sources and citing all the information.

I do try to keep false information out to the best of my ability. I don't add things (or I add them including a statement of uncertainty) unless the information meets my personal threshold for factual correctness, and at the very least I usually need to see some bit of information in multiple places or from someone I recognize as particularly knowledgeable on the subject.

I'm happy to share what I have as I believe people can benefit from it/save time, but I'm probably not going to put any additional effort into it than what satisfies me personally.
No worries; nobody is expecting peer-reviewed research papers here. It's just a factoid that I hadn't heard before and since I'm a fan of RE buses I thought I'd try to track it down. If it's true it'll wash up on the beach here again sometime. Again, thanks for your work.
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:51 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Irvine, CA
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Coachwork: Lookin for sub30' dognose
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
No worries; nobody is expecting peer-reviewed research papers here. It's just a factoid that I hadn't heard before and since I'm a fan of RE buses I thought I'd try to track it down. If it's true it'll wash up on the beach here again sometime. Again, thanks for your work.
The more common ways I've heard it phrased were something like 'dog nosed/FE buses have a lower center of gravity'. It's essentially the same statement just worded differently, so keep in mind that the factoid might show up looking like that instead of the way I wrote it.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:35 AM   #18
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Engine: CAT3116TA250
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Everyone discounts CAT engines, but don't pass up your perfect bus just because it has a CAT engine. We have one and it carried 42,000+ lbs about 1300 miles, which included a loaded 18' trailer with no issues whatsoever. It is expensive to maintain, but that's because you can't do any of the work yourself (requires thousands of dollars of specialty tools, so you really have to take it to a CAT dealer/mechanic). If you're not going to work on the engine yourself anyway, there's not really an issue.
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