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Old 08-11-2017, 10:36 PM   #1
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1998 Thomas Saf-T Liner MVP??

Been thinking about it for a while, might be ready to take a plunge.

There is an auction for 1998 Thomas Saf-T Liner MVP tomorrow.
Limited information unfortunately - anyone have any opinions about this bus?

91k miles.

Any helpful information would be appreciated.
Haven't seen a bus with windows like these before - upside / downside?
Same goes for the seats.
Wasn't able to find out what engine it has. Any ideas?
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:45 PM   #2
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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I'd avoid it if its a Cat.
Those windows are superior to school bus windows, IMO.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:53 AM   #3
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The way it is sitting it appears to have a full air ride suspension.

That vintage is going to have engines made by one of three OEM vendor suppliers.

First, which would be ideal would be a Cummins. In an MVP RE it is possible it has an ISC but most likely an ISB.

Second, which would be so, so would be a Cat. That vintage it could be either a 3116 or a 3126. Both had issues with the electronic controls. By the time the 3126 arrived the 3116's issues were pretty much taken care of so it would be my choice of the two engines.

Last, which would be a really bad choice would be a Mercedes-Benz. I don't recall which model engines were used but there were at least a couple. Parts and service for an M-B make the Cat look cheap and easy. Some people had relatively good service out of the M-B engines. Most didn't which is why M-B has gotten out of the medium duty truck and bus engine market in the US--it just wasn't worth the effort to develop an engine to meet the new stricter air pollution standards that went into effect in 2007.

Regardless of who made the engine the most likely HP rating would be 250 HP.

The vintage suggests the transmission it might be a mechanically controlled automatic transmission. If it has the ISB it might at the AT540. Any other engine it will most likely have the MT640. Or it might surprise you and have a MD2000/3000 with OD in it. Regardless of which transmission it has the spe'c's suggest it was purchased as a trip bus and it will have highway gears that will allow it to cruise at the speed limit very easily.

The windows make some of the conversion process simpler. They are nice and big and give a good view outside. But the coach style windows also suggests it has coach A/C in it.

The seats are fixed/non-reclining adult seating with high backs. The seats are attached to the bus exactly the same as if they were school bus seats. The only real difference is those seats are much more comfy than any school bus seat.

The MVP model was sort of a loss leader for Thomas much in the same way the TC1000/2000 was sort of a loss leader for Blue Bird. While both looked like their more expensive stable mates there were a lot of cost cutting measures used to bring them in at a price point that was "affordable". The biggest difference was usually the MVP had much lighter duty axles and brakes than the Westcoaster. But sometimes the original purchaser upgraded components to the point that there is virtually no difference between the two models. The only way to know what the bus has is to look at the data plates and determine what the axle ratings and GVWR is for the bus. Anything over 26,000 GVWR will suggest it has heavier axles which will also mean it will have bigger brakes.

The pictures are not clear so it is hard to tell if it has under floor luggage compartments. Until one of them is opened it will be next to impossible to tell if the luggage compartments are pass through under the floor design.

Other than that, I can't tell much about the bus.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:10 PM   #4
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Thank you

Thank you so much for your help. Very educational. Based on the lack of facts given by the listing (and the lack of help on the phone), i decided not to drive 2 hours to find out.

Not sure if it was the right call..but i'm going to keep looking.

Thanks again,
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I'd avoid it if its a Cat.
Those windows are superior to school bus windows, IMO.
I have cat in my bus... is great engine and i am not scared to death of what the parts may cost. It has been totally reliable.
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:22 AM   #6
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49 View Post
I have cat in my bus... is great engine and i am not scared to death of what the parts may cost. It has been totally reliable.
They're great till you have to go to Ring Power for parts or service.
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