Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-30-2009, 08:43 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Upstate NY (Mohawk Valley)
Posts: 1,096
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Question

Stand up height, diesel pusher with air brakes, medium length, nice colors . . . . . I'm drooling on the keyboard!

Nice bus!
__________________
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
Redbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2009, 10:23 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
I'm officially jealous now.

I don't know what is under your bus that requires a breathable panel on both sides as well as what looks like a fuel fill port, but I would love to know. Look amidships, beneath the side door on one side, and what appears to be straight across to the other side.

If you ever decide to part with some of those pull-down seats, I'd love to get one. I think that'd make an ok seat for putting over the steps when driving.

Also, you have something attached to the engine block in the middle of the triangle formed by the belts that I don't have. Could you ask your mechanic what that is? I'm going to guess that it might be an automatic air baffle switch for the radiator grill, but I just don't know.

It sounds like y'all have a great set of plans for the use of your new bus. I look forward to reading about your conversion when you get to it.

jim


Jim, Well we just got back from the mechanic & learned quite a bit! These guys definately know what they are doing. The bus has dual fuel ports, one on each side & they both go to the same tank. The grill underneath/midship on both sides is for the A/C system. It takes up alot of space both underneath & it looks like a alot of ductwork in the ceiling - lengthwise where all the little round black vent are...

I added a photo of one of the fold down single seats to give you a better look at it to help see if it will work for you. Let me know!

As far as the unit attached inside the triangle, it is the air throttle! They said it is much simpler than a cable setup & much less maintenance.

Jim, What style bus is your Thomas? Any photos??

The list that they have from us consists of the following work:
- oil & filter change (5 gallons of oil??? Holy crap!)
- all belts - they are a bit shiney & chunky
- the fan universal is shot
- the fan blade actually has holes worn thru the blades. They say it is from all the sand that blows around in the engine compartment, so a new fan blade.
- rear drivers side air bag
- stainless air line that runs from the compressor (someone actually patched it with rubber & hose clamps - not good)
- they are going to do a full DOT commercial vehicle check on the whole bus to let us know where we are at


I would have taken more photos but ran out of time as my wife is now 9 months & 1 week pregnant & we had to go to her Labor of Love appointment & she was just dragging from the heat. HOPEFULLY she goes into labor this weekend, shes overdone & ready to pop!
Jonathan

We are up for any information anyone can share about our new bus, we wanna learn!

Windows all seem to stick when trying to open... what helps them work/slide better??



















Anyone know anything about the light up destination sign/system like the one pictured below??








Air throttle...



It was funny as we walked out to the bus at the shop & the owner of the business hopped into the drivers seat to fire it up & it wouldn't turn over... He yelled for his #1 mechanic to come out to tell him what he did... They looked it over again & again & couldn't figure it out. They then realized that it has a safety switch that won't let you fire it up from the drivers seat with the engine cover open as you might chop somebody up if they were working on it when trying to start it! OUCH! SO, there is a starter button in the engine compartment to fire it up from the back! How cool, this may be old news to you guys but I have never seen an extra starter button like that.

Frank, I would love to see photos of your bus! I am having a hard time finding any smooth body busses online! Driving me nuts...

I think I have babbled enough... A big thanks to all the input so far!!! Great start to learning about our new bus!
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2009, 11:32 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
Send a message via AIM to baadpuppy Send a message via MSN to baadpuppy Send a message via Yahoo to baadpuppy
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Wow, that's awesome that you found a great mechanic. That's one thing I dislike about living in the middle of nowhere.

Basement (under the floor) A/C built in already? That's awesome! I wonder what powers it. Oh, I see it now in the engine compartment. sweet!

Having dual side fuel fill is also great. Maybe I can modify mine to do the same... I recommend you use the street side for fuel fill after you finish your conversion. Diesel likes to splash and spill while you fill, and you want the stink on the side you don't use as your "yard".

I think those fold down seats would be perfect. When you get around to removing one, let me know so we can work out details.

I can't believe your air throttle is mounted there. On my engine, it is attached to the top of the block, and there are 2 cables attached to it. The linkage is poorly done, so maybe it got relocated for some unknown reason. My engine was allegedly rebuilt at one point, so that might've been when it happened. I'll have to dig into that more. Thanks for the info!

My bus is called a Saf-T-Liner. It is 39 or 40 feet long, rear engine, yada yada. There are a lot of pictures of it at http://gallery.giffords.net/v/thomas/.

5 gallons of oil sounds right. You have a 10.4 liter engine. Takes a LOT of oil to keep that going smoothly.

New belts is a good idea. I should do that.

Thomas uses that funky drive system to run their fan. I sometimes wonder if that doesn't steal a lot of power vs an electric fan or 2.

Getting a full DOT workup done every year or 2 is probably a good idea in any case. That way you *know* you have a solid system.

Congrats on the kid-to-be. I know you must be excited.

I don't know how to fix sticky windows, sorry. I plan to remove mine as they're all schoolbus style.

I see a switch labeled mirror, sounds like you also might have heated mirrors. Nice. Also, one labelled lift. Is that a wheelchair lift? Is it still installed?

That big red thing is interesting. Is it just a light, or is it something like an emergency cutoff for something?

My shifter is located where your switch panel is, but I'd like to relocate it to where yours is, and put my switch panel where yours is. I'm working on that. My dash appears to be basically the same. I plan to rebuild my dash completely though.

The MT643 is the 4 speed automatic allison transmission with the lockup torque converter. This is a great transmission to have. I see your bus is already running the 22.5" tires. I'm having to convert mine. The engine number, 3208T215 seems to imply a turbo. Mine is the 3208-210, which is non-turbo, 210 HP. I'd bet yours is turbo (or was at one point) with 215 HP.

Actually, I'm almost positive yours is a turbo. Mine has a huge (4 or 6 inch) black pipe coming from the air cleaner (the big canister on the right side behind the controls) to the top of the engine. Yours does not. A turbo I'm told isn't all that large on these engines. Zooming in, it looks like it might be straight back from the main alternator on the top of the engine.

Your weight rating is the same as mine. That's a great rating for a conversion as it'll legally hold almost anything you throw at it.

I have no idea how those signs work. Best guess is the messages are pre-programmed and you select which one with those number dials. Might need a special programmer.

In your engine compartment, the belt that runs up to the stuff underneath the control panel on the right hand side appears to be the A/C compressor and a second alternator! Wow, I'd almost kill for those! And, it let's me know where I could install some of my own if I wanted.

I really have to look at why my air throttle isn't in the "normal" place. On the side of the block where yours is would be a LOT safer for goosing the engine than reaching thru the belts to the top of the engine. I use a long stick when I have to do that to unstick the throttle, and it scares me that I will break something bad every time.

Funny story about that safety switch. Recently an organization I know got a brand new Thomas bus (not transit and not school). Brand spanking new bus, a 2007 model I think. This has the C7 engine in it, which is all electronic.

The maintenance guy for the organization shows the driver where to check all the fluids, and leaves her to it.

Not long after, a tow truck shows up and tows the bus to a truck shop to be repaired. Seems the engine wouldn't start and nobody could figure it out.

Turns out the engine compartment door was open, and the safety switch wasn't pressed. Expensive lesson to learn.

Every Thomas I've seen has that same control panel in the rear. So far, I've seen mine, your's, Jake Von Slatt's (via video from his site), and that bus with the C7 in it. Speaking of Jake, you really have to check his conversion site: http://vonslatt.com/bus-main.shtml

If you need pictures of anything specific from my bus feel free to ask. I enjoy taking pictures of the old girl.

Ack, now I'm the one babbling.

jim
baadpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 12:11 AM   #14
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

I figure our first road trip will be to our new cabin & full time residence in rural New Mexico (from Florida) & with wife & newborn baby, border collie Lucy & 2 cats traveling in the Nissan Frontier pulling a trailer, me driving the bus. It will be about a 2000 mile trek. Once we are there I would imagine a good mechanic might be hard to find! We want to get all we can done to the bus beforehand so we have no surprises on our trip & we can take our time & get there in one piece. Another thing my mechanic is checking into is what the RPM's are at top speed to see if they can get another 5 MPH or better out of her on the freeways by adjusting the govenor (I believe thats what they talked about)...

Where are you located Jim? We will have her here in about 1-2 weeks, depending on any additional repairs that need to be done & of course the baby! I can figure out what it would cost to ship the seat to you if possible once the bus is here. I am looking for some top of the window fans for my bus to cool me off - kinda like the metal grill schoolie style.
Thanks for the congrats on the baby! (insert smiley smoking cigar here). OH- which seat are you interested in? There are 2 different singles if you look at the interior photos.

I like your bus Jim! How long have you had it? Looks like you are picking up goodies by the look of the one interior photo! Its nice you have some helpers to work on it which is great! (or just talkers What were you pulling out with the chain??

Vanguy says: "To keep your windows sliding freely:

Use spray silicone in the tracks. My driver's side slider was a pain to open and close. When I got some of the grime cleaned off of the panel around the window I found a sticker that said to lubricate the tracks with silicone once monthly.

I did it. She slides like butter now!"

Thanks for all the info... gotta attend to the wife!
Will read over the rest of your "babbling" in the morning (keep it coming)!
Jonathan
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 07:40 AM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Upstate NY (Mohawk Valley)
Posts: 1,096
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

I did a quick search on Vultron - It seems the US company and the "reflective disk" technology have disappeared. Vultron International in the UK still makes LED displays, and the current model controller has letter keys that let you spell out your message, and even has a display on the keypad to see what you are writing.

I'd agree with baadpuppy, I think the text in your model is pre-loaded. When the driver finishes Route 66 and is ready to start Route 281, I suspect that he/she dials it on the thumbwheels, and then presses "Reset" to send the text to the display.

The text might be pre-loaded at the garage, if so probably by an RS-232 or RS-485 serial link. It may take custom software to load new messages, which maybe someone at a city garage would be willing to share a copy. It would be a real bummer if all the messages are stored on custom memory PROMs supplied by the factory.
__________________
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
Redbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 09:08 AM   #16
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbear
I did a quick search on Vultron - It seems the US company and the "reflective disk" technology have disappeared. Vultron International in the UK still makes LED displays, and the current model controller has letter keys that let you spell out your message, and even has a display on the keypad to see what you are writing.

I'd agree with baadpuppy, I think the text in your model is pre-loaded. When the driver finishes Route 66 and is ready to start Route 281, I suspect that he/she dials it on the thumbwheels, and then presses "Reset" to send the text to the display.

The text might be pre-loaded at the garage, if so probably by an RS-232 or RS-485 serial link. It may take custom software to load new messages, which maybe someone at a city garage would be willing to share a copy. It would be a real bummer if all the messages are stored on custom memory PROMs supplied by the factory.
I was hoping that there was a way to program this baby to make a statement but if this is the case....hmmm. Thanks for doing the quick research Redbear! I will have to look into this further. I know I can call the Sarasota transit authority & ask if they can help me out but then again they might think I am nuts & laugh at me!
I need to see if they still have maintanance records for the bus also so who knows what they can do for me...

Does anyone know of any conversions using the same smooth style Thomas & if so got any links to them? Also, what is the body skin made of on these busses?
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #17
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
Send a message via AIM to baadpuppy Send a message via MSN to baadpuppy Send a message via Yahoo to baadpuppy
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Oh... what is the body of this bus made of? Steel or aluminum?
The frame is most likely tubular steel. The skin will be either galvanized steel or aluminum. To tell which you have, take a magnet and see if it sticks to the outside. If so, you have a steel skin. If not, it is aluminum.

My money is on it being galanized steel. Simply because it would make it easier on the assembly line to only have one set of materials.

jim
baadpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 02:10 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
Send a message via AIM to baadpuppy Send a message via MSN to baadpuppy Send a message via Yahoo to baadpuppy
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
I figure our first road trip will be to our new cabin & full time residence in rural New Mexico (from Florida) & with wife & newborn baby, border collie Lucy & 2 cats traveling in the Nissan Frontier pulling a trailer, me driving the bus. It will be about a 2000 mile trek. Once we are there I would imagine a good mechanic might be hard to find! We want to get all we can done to the bus beforehand so we have no surprises on our trip & we can take our time & get there in one piece. Another thing my mechanic is checking into is what the RPM's are at top speed to see if they can get another 5 MPH or better out of her on the freeways by adjusting the govenor (I believe thats what they talked about)...
It is not unusual for skoolies and transit busses to be geared more for low speeds. It might be more of a rear end gearing issue than a governer issue. My bus has that engine spinning really fast at 60mph. The gearing is rather steep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Where are you located Jim? We will have her here in about 1-2 weeks, depending on any additional repairs that need to be done & of course the baby! I can figure out what it would cost to ship the seat to you if possible once the bus is here. I am looking for some top of the window fans for my bus to cool me off - kinda like the metal grill schoolie style.
Thanks for the congrats on the baby! (insert smiley smoking cigar here). OH- which seat are you interested in? There are 2 different singles if you look at the interior photos.
I've sent you a PM. I live on the eastern shore of VA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
I like your bus Jim! How long have you had it? Looks like you are picking up goodies by the look of the one interior photo! Its nice you have some helpers to work on it which is great! (or just talkers What were you pulling out with the chain??
I got my bus in June of 2008, and have done very little to or with it since, until the last few weeks. I'm finally getting re-motivated to do stuff. I want to be finished with my conversion already, and I've finally taken the first few steps.

I have pulled bushes and stumps. I think in the one set of photos I was removing mobile home anchors from the ground. These are about 36" with a screw-blade on one end, and are used with metal strapping to help tie the frame of a house trailer to the ground to help prevent them from blowing away. Usually doesn't help much in the case of a hurricane or tornado.

Anyway, we tried using farm jacks and reversing the turns, and everything else we could think of. Using some chains and the bus, it was like pulling a toothpick out of butter. Piece of cake.

The anchors are badly bent as you can see: and

jim
baadpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 04:46 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

hey Jim,
I just read your schoolie project link in your signature. Great start to a conversion & good reading! Still have your tenants? I think you got a nice bus for the money & it made its first voyage with no problems - thats a bonus... Ours on the other hand - well I am not sure why I haven't shared this...

We bought the bus last thursday in Tampa, about 2 hours from our house in Sebring & we started our trek home & about 35 miles into the trip I pull up to a red light in Bartow - behind my wife in the Nissan, light turns green & bus stalls... I am in the left lane on 4 lane RT60 at the light & yes it is about 5pm - rush hour. The bus will not start but seems to be trying. Well of course I panick as there are horns blowing, people yelling & I am now sweating! Nothing happens after trying & trying to start it. By now my wife had done 2 u-turns & pulled up behind Blue (need to name the bus) & put her hazards on. She climbs in the bus with a smile on her face & starts to comfort me. What the h*ll are we gonna do I was thinking? I know nothing about the bus, have no tools to do anything & the people driving by are just beyond rude. After a while we felt the smartest thing to do was to get out of the bus & go hang out in the grass in case the Nissan gets hit from behind (my wife is 9 months & due to have our baby). We call the car lot we bought the bus from Bella Auto Sales (stay away from this place - typical car shiesters) & the first thing they say is "sorry, as-is, can't help you"... Great! In the mean time a local Detective pulls up behind the Nissan which is behind the bus & puts his lights on. We filled him in on the problem & says no prob & "will stay here for a while if you need me to". Little did he know what he was getting into! Well we talked Bella Auto into sending their "mechanic" to help us & after 1 hour he shows up with a fuel filter, puts it in & procedes to tell us that it is the fuel delivery system & leaves us sitting (keep in mind it is about 90 degrees outside & we have our dog & my wife's due date was the next day). Well by now over 3.5 hours have passed, the detective is still patient & very funny actually. We call our car insurance - USAA & proceed to use our towing service to get the bus moved (for free). The ower of the towing company recommends Mid Florida Diesel Service so we have it towed to their shop (write that name down if ever in FL-they are great!- owner Al McCoy, 863-698-1267). This story was shortened up alot!) It is now 12:15AM & driver is unhooking the bus & we are now heading home... To sum it up, I have driven her about 40 miles, she hasn't been home yet & I still haven't had the chance to play with the bus yet & it is driving me nuts - addicted?? We are going to get her completely road worthy so we can take her for occasional cruises till we make the move to NM! The first bus trip was a nightmare BUT after the feedback from our mechanic I feel better about our purchase. I HIGHLY recommend if anyone wants to buy a bus have it inspected by a certified mechanic... OH YEA, the bus breaking down... It turns out the air filter was so gobbed up it would not run, & the fuel shutoff solenoid had come loose. They had it fixed the next day in about 1 hour!
So that sums up my first experience buying a bus! I can't wait to get more than 1 hour driving under my belt!
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 05:19 PM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
Send a message via AIM to baadpuppy Send a message via MSN to baadpuppy Send a message via Yahoo to baadpuppy
Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

wow, what an adventure.

On the one hand, you might think that was a lot of misfortune on your part. On the other hand, it ended up with you having a great diesel mechanic, so it isn't all bad.

I wasn't as lucky with my RV purchase. You can read about that little adventure here: http://rvproject.baadpuppy.net/2007/...e-from-ny.html. You might enjoy reading the whole blog if you're bored. That episode was interesting to say the least.

Hopefully all your future adventures will be more positive.

jim
baadpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2000 Thomas Saf-t Liner steve.c Skoolie Conversion Projects 52 10-29-2014 05:26 PM
New member - New owner SlowMotion Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 4 05-03-2009 10:29 PM
89 Thomas Saf-T-liner Skoolie.... GoneCamping Skoolie Conversion Projects 2 09-08-2006 10:28 PM
1989 Thomas Saf-T-Liner vonslatt Skoolie Conversion Projects 49 10-25-2005 10:02 PM
Thomas Type D Saf-T-Liner Steve Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 3 12-15-2003 10:47 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.