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Old 06-08-2016, 01:12 PM   #61
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sure looks like a real decent bus!
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:35 PM   #62
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Yeah, it's such a dice roll with these auction buses. All you can do is scrutinize the locations, info given, etc. On this one, my perception in person was this school district may have used this bus as an event/team bus. The belly storage is heavily used and the hours/mileage indicate the bus likely spent its time at speed. Underneath the bus is spotless, shy of typical road dirt. Everything looks very well kept, lubricated, etc. Tires are in great shape, which was pretty important for obvious reasons.

Overall I feel pretty good about it. For the money, it's really hard to see a machine that significant as anything but a bargain really. Plus, who doesn't love the phillips head screws everywhere versus rivets.

I'll have it at my shop within 3 weeks. Not sure it's going to fit inside unfortunately, but all my equipment, even welders, I have capable extensions. The conversion has to happen very efficiently/quickly for reasons that are our own. So...it's going to move forward pretty quick.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:17 PM   #63
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Did you get anyone to buy your used slicks? ( I grumble every time i throw them out. )

Big Datsun fan here. Had many until they all returned to their natural element.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:39 PM   #64
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Buy it. Realistically it's as nice of a bus as you're going to find. And does it really show 2200 hours? Good grief, you've hit the jackpot- you will never find a bus that old with that few of hours. And spotless underneath with no rust??

Honestly, the only disadvantage is it's not the high roof with the taller windows. Not a huge deal unless you're really tall.

I hope you put down a really good deposit!!

I've been told the only things you need to do to get 6th unlocked is to get a letter from Thomas to give Allison the authorization to unlock it. My mechanic told me that it has to do with spinning the drive shaft too fast and I'm sure liability plays into it also.

Unlocking 6th for mpg is on my agenda but mine does pretty well without it. It hits 70 showing close to 2400 rpm (if I remember right) It'll do 65 all day long on the interstate. It's very comfortable at that speed- no squirrelly feel at all.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:33 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36 View Post
Did you get anyone to buy your used slicks? ( I grumble every time i throw them out. )
Yeah...I sold plenty of road racing slicks that day to people who couldn't wait to go to the drag strip. Hey, if they're happy, I'm happy...lol
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:36 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by boojiewoojie View Post
Buy it. Realistically it's as nice of a bus as you're going to find. And does it really show 2200 hours? Good grief, you've hit the jackpot- you will never find a bus that old with that few of hours. And spotless underneath with no rust??

Honestly, the only disadvantage is it's not the high roof with the taller windows. Not a huge deal unless you're really tall.

I hope you put down a really good deposit!!

I've been told the only things you need to do to get 6th unlocked is to get a letter from Thomas to give Allison the authorization to unlock it. My mechanic told me that it has to do with spinning the drive shaft too fast and I'm sure liability plays into it also.

Unlocking 6th for mpg is on my agenda but mine does pretty well without it. It hits 70 showing close to 2400 rpm (if I remember right) It'll do 65 all day long on the interstate. It's very comfortable at that speed- no squirrelly feel at all.
Yeah, bus is locked in on a written contract, so it's all good. I've read the claims of needing a written authorization from Thomas, but the Allison corporate service guy I talked to said no, so...I suppose we'll see. In the end I'm going to have to drive it and find out what it feels like, etc. If the district bought this as a travel bus, maybe it's not too bad.

On the hours...yeah...all three of them were similar in mileage and hours so, reason enough for me to believe no issue. Sure would be nice to get a decent deal on this one. It's definitely super clean underneath, no question.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:13 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojiewoojie View Post
I've been told the only things you need to do to get 6th unlocked is to get a letter from Thomas to give Allison the authorization to unlock it. My mechanic told me that it has to do with spinning the drive shaft too fast and I'm sure liability plays into it also.
I've also been told that and it sounds like a cop out to me. If that transmission goes into motorhomes and other types of trucks that can all do 65+ then the only other explanation for that reasoning is the manufacturer's admission that they're installing a sub-standard driveshaft in these buses.
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:47 PM   #68
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Look for posts from 'porkchopsandwiches'. Maybe 2 years back. He went thru the process + posted good info on how to get them to give you 6th.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:03 PM   #69
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^Thanks for that....here's the info transferred here for searchers or interested parties:

Unlock procedure for Allison MD3060 transmission, unlock 6th gear

(Per porkchopsandwiches) The steps I had to go through to get this done:

1. Contact Thomas Built Buses about getting a certificate saying they approve the move to make the additional gear happen. You will need your VIN and trans serial. They analyze the gear ratios in the trans, the diff ratio, tire size, and trans / engine combo. The reason is, theoretically, I should have a higher top speed when all is said and done (more about that later) so they want to make sure nothing will be spinning too fast, that the tires on it are rated for the new theoretical top speed (about 75). I have a contact at Thomas for anyone with a Boos-T-Liner trying to do this exact thing.

The thing about the top speed is, at least in my experience, the bus doesn't actually go any faster. The way it comes from the factory, the bus' speed is limited by gearing - i.e. at the top of 5th gear (about 65 mph) you are hitting the engine's rev limiter (about 2400 rpm). When the 6th gear is enabled, the ECU (or whatever CAT calls it) is programmed to not let the ground speed get over 65. So it just reduces the rev limiter in that gear to whatever keeps it at 65, which I think is about 2000. My tach doesn't work so I am getting all these numbers from calculations.

2. Wait for them to approve this, and send you a PDF of it, and make sure they list the correct tire size and type. If what they send you is different than the tires on it, send them documentation telling that the tires on it are rated for 75+ mph. I had goodyears on it, 75R22.5 / 295, but they listed 275s as being the stock size. Since this did not match perfectly (just different tread width) one shop I took it to wouldn't do it. The second shop I went to didn't seem to care that much but it is still a good idea to have them match.

3. Find a truck shop that works on Allison transmissions. Their stuff is very proprietary, so not every "regular Joe" can just program stuff. Tell them what you are doing, with emphasis that you will not be increasing the top speed, as they may get a bit uneasy if they think that is your end game.

4. Print the PDF, make sure the VIN and trans serial are correct, as well as the tire size. You will also need the CIN from the TCM. The CIN is a long letter / number combo on a sticker on the TCM. The TCM is underneath the bus on the drivers side, towards the outside of the bus. The sticker on my bus was missing, so I had to drive to the shop and get them to scan the TCM to get the number.

5. The shop then gets that number, sends it into Allison to see what the current programming is like, then they design a new one, sent it to the shop who then uploaded it onto my bus after I signed a set of waivers. Then you are good to go.

The shop I went to only charged me 2 hours labor to do it, because they were nice, when in reality it was probably more like 6. I had 2 separate trips; one to go there to get them to scan it to get the old CIN, where we thought the communications port on the bus was bad, but it turned out the laptop we were using had issues. We ended up pulling the TCM (they let me use their tools!) and scanning it. Then putting it back, going home, and coming back a week later to put the new one on, waiting for the tech to reset his passwords, and doing a test run.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:18 PM   #70
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Decided to implement a credit boosting strategy here. May pull a personal loan from the bank to pay for the bus, so we can direct funds for the buildout to that, instead of the purchase price. I'm in the credit union and have boosted my credit score over 120 points in the past 8 months. I'm antsy to get this beast into my possession though.

Strange how adults are...school buses are just a means to get to the daily grind as a child...here as an adult you're like "a big machine!!!"...at least that's me anyway..lol.

Figure we can defer the purchase cost, pay it off quickly with no early penalties, and get a great credit score boost while we're there for minimal cost/interest. Anytime I make a purchase over 500.00 I try to figure out how to spin it toward my credit rating. Though, admittedly, the past few years and past few businesses I owned took their toll.

The bus is a means to reduce my day to day living costs, so I can focus on commercial real estate development more closely. We'll see how it pans out. I never took the path frequently traveled, why start now?
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