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Old 11-09-2016, 12:40 PM   #11
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 2,594
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Hey Petrifried!

I to am surprised at how many Skoolie folks we have here in WA.

PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2016, 01:28 PM   #12
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Columbia River Gorge
Posts: 14
Thanks for the welcomes! I want to get a bus so I can stay in the PACNW. I'm officially camping out of the Subaru tell I find the right bus
Petrifried is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2016, 01:35 PM   #13
Bus Nut
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pensacola and Crystal River, FL
Posts: 553
Year: 1998
Coachwork: AmTran International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar 7.6L
I would run away as fast as possible from a propane bus.

Unless your only going to drive it 10 miles per month in warm weather.
DoubleO7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2016, 02:24 PM   #14
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,862
The problem with propane powered vehicles prior to about 2014 is they are for the most part conversions of either a gas or diesel engine to run on propane.

Because they are conversions they have had some real teething problems.

In the Blue Bird buses part of the problem is the engines run at such high RPM's the standard Allison transmission can't be used. As a consequence, even in their full size Type 'C' and 'D' propane powered buses they are using a variation on the Ford 4R55 automatic transmission. It isn't exactly what I would call a medium duty truck transmission.

In the Thomas buses the engine of choice is a version of the GM 8.1L hooked to a specialized Allison that is a little bit better in regards to durability but is still not much more than a conversion not unlike what we were doing 40 years ago.

In the IC buses, IC is using a newly developed engine built by Power Solutions International. The engine was purpose built to run on propane/multi-fuel systems. Part of the design parameter was it had to perform as well or better than the Cummins ISB. Which it does. Because of the design features it utilizes a standard Allison transmission.

Another part of the design process is the bus had to not take any longer to fill the fuel tank than a diesel bus and it had to have enough fuel to go at least as far as an equivalent bus on diesel. Which it does.

For whatever reason, I can't access the CL listings you posted. At a guess I would say the power package is some sort of gas engine, most likely the Ford V-10, that has been converted over to run on propane. It might actually be a pretty good bus for a route bus. But as a conversion candidate it is a really bad choice.

One of the problems of propane conversions is lack of enough fuel tanks to go very far. Most conversions have a limit of less than 200 miles on a full tank of fuel. Which brings up the problem of refueling. At almost every freeway interchange and small town you can find at least one gas or diesel pump. Finding a propane fueling station for a vehicle can be problematic. It becomes a very difficult problem at dark thirty in the morning since I know of no propane filling station that is unattended.

Another problem, most propane conversions really lack in power due to the decreased amount of BTU's per unit of fuel measured against gas or diesel fuel. Again, it isn't a real problem for route buses but for someone who has a fully loaded bus conversion and wants to go over the mountains it becomes a really big deal.

There are a lot of buses for sale out there. Even on dealer lots here in the NW. But there are some that are a lot better for your purposes than others.

Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2016, 04:28 PM   #15
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Columbia River Gorge
Posts: 14
I just learned a lot about buses thanks to cowlitz coach! I have a much better idea I'm looking for now.
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