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Old 02-01-2007, 08:09 PM   #1
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The 8.2L is different than the Cat 3208. I've read a lot about the 8.2L and there are some pretty mixed reviews. For $2K, I don't think you could go wrong though! I like those flat front buses. I've also read that the 8.2L engine is great for converting to run off of veggie oil as it has no injector pump! I'm pretty sure the 8.2L is the one I'm thinking about. What kind of things does it need to be road worthy? Tires can set you back a LOT of money if that's what you need. Other than that, I'd make sure it runs good, shifts smooth and isn't a rust bucket and I'd buy it. I'd low ball them too. Offer like $1,200 cash. You never know what they might be willing to do!
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:18 PM   #2
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Oh yeah, look at Eric Von Slatt's website. He converted a bus very similar to that one. His has the CAt motor I think.
http://www.vonslatt.com
It's a great website and I've drawn a lot of inspiration from it!
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:41 PM   #3
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I have basically the exact same bus...mine is listed as a 89 Sat-T-liner, but otherwise same unit. Mine also has the 3208 Caterpillar motor in it. When I was doing my shopping, I looked at a GMC bus at City of Chesapeake School bus yard, the shop foreman there told me that the 8.2L (Detroit Diesel) is a good motor, but there is one serious flaw that you need to watch out for. Apparently the air compressor bolts up to the side of the cylinder head, and the vibration of the motor causes the bolts to come loose, and eventually it damages the head to the point that you MUST replace the head.

He indicated that as long as the head is in good condition on purchase, and you keep a close check on the compressor mounting bolts, then you would be just fine with it.

I'm curious, I'm from Virginia...who/where/what is selling these buses?? Inquiring minds want to know!!

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Old 02-01-2007, 10:51 PM   #4
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In addendum.... I don't think these things came with the 8.2L motor, but I could be wrong... the only thing I've seen in them so far is the 3208 cat in the older ones, and Cummins motors in the newer ones...

Like I said, I may be wrong on this (I'm an expert on being wrong)....
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You just might be a Redneck if...
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...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:55 PM   #5
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True. I've looked at a lot of those buses and have yet to see one with the 8.2L. I think the Cat 3208 means that it is an 8 cyl motor and 32 cubic inches per cylinder. But that can't be right since that would make it a 256 or something like that. But the numbers mean something. Anyways, I've only seen those buses with the Cat motors and the 5.9L Cummins in them.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:10 AM   #6
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I know some of the Cat motors use a numbering system where the first number is the series or family or something, the second two are the displacement in liters per cylinder, and the last number is the number of cylinders.

This works on the 3126 in that it is a 7.2 liter I-6, but it doesn't make much sense for a 10.2 liter 3208. If anyone else knows the story on the 3208, lay it on us.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:32 AM   #7
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The only other thing I'd add is that like Cliff's (GoneCamping) bus and my bus, the Thomas in the photo has a low roof. Inside floor-to-ceiling headroom in the center of the isle is 6-foot even.

Ask them to photograph the placards above the driver's seat and take a photo of the engine bay. The placards list the engine, transmission, tires, and more and you'll know how the bus was originally put together (doesn't mean it's the same now!). The photo of the engine bay should help with indentification and give you a sense of it's condition.
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:22 AM   #8
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Cat used to use an engine numbering system where the first 2 digits were the engine series that identified the cylinder configuration and the last 2 digits identified the number of cylinders, the letter suffix identified the version.The 3208 is a series 32 cylinder configuration with 8 cylinders, if my memory isn't completely gone it was available anywhere from 115 to 300 HP from the factory and was discontinued when they started to clean engines up to meet emission standards, it was replaced by the 3116,3126 series engines with electronic management / controll systems. They have changed their ID system several times and now use a C__ designator that identifies displacement in liters, and then an identifier such as ACERT that identifies the current version that meets 2007 emission regulations.
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:30 PM   #9
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Hmmm, Sonny Merriman has a location here in Chesapeake also.... I'll have to see if anything local is on the auction block... Thanks for the heads up!!
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You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:46 PM   #10
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Those Thomas buses came with all sorts of engines. Some did have Detroit 8.2s though most had 3208s in them. Some also had Cummins 555s in them and a few had 2 stroke detroits.

As mentioned earlier if the tires are shot forget it. Tires are not cheap. How about rust around the wheel wells.
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