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Old 02-22-2021, 03:54 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 55
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466 / MD3060
2006 / 2007 Thomas Saf-T-Liner HDX Cat C7?

Skoolie Fam!
We've been searching for our bus going on a month now - we're trying to hold out for the 'right' bus (DT466E, 6-7 window (under 28ft)) but we don't want to wait forever!
There are several '06 / '07 Thomas Saf-T-Liners at our local bus yard, all RE pushers with Cat c7 engines - all around 200k miles (some under, some over).

I'm going to take a look in person tomorrow but wanted to get the up-to-date opinion on the C7?

I've read almost all of the threads here, and other forums - read all about the HUEI filter and expensive parts - but no solid "yes it's worth it" or "No stay away" answers.

Question: What do you all think? Cat C7 pusher for a 30' bus, 180k miles. Would you buys it?

Follow up question: how long would you wait, and how far would you drive, for your bus? (I've found viable options in Texas, but that is 1,500 miles away from me)

I really appreciate everyone on this thread's input - an invaluable resource so far!
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:34 PM   #2
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I'm kinda looking at the same as far as cat c7
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:24 PM   #3
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas x2
Chassis: HDX/MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3126 x2
If you're dead set on a bus newer than 2003, then I would rather have the C7. To my best understanding of the engine, it has no significant emissions controls unlike other engines until 2007. Most importantly there is no Exhaust Gas Recirculation system, a common source of problems in other engines.

After 2007, it's an engine to stay far away from, just like the Navistar Maxxforces. Cat changed the fuel system over to Common Rail and somehow managed to do it so badly that random injector failures are very common. Injectors have been redesigned many times. The aftertreatment system is very problematic (especially the ARD heads for the regeneration of the DPF) and when it fails, it requires a password from the dealer to get the engine out of limp mode. There's some ways around it, but it's still annoying. Ironically the only part of the aftertreatment system that works beautifully is Cat's own version of EGR, Clean Gas Induction, which pulls exhaust gases from the back of the DPF instead of the exhaust manifold.

As long as it does not have a DPF I would buy a C7. Adept Ape on Youtube is a wonderful source of information on Caterpillar engines.
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Old 03-10-2021, 05:12 PM   #4
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So truthseeker..2007 is still ok? It's a 2006 looking at.. but they have some 2007 also.. thanks a bunch
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brads56chevy View Post
So truthseeker..2007 is still ok? It's a 2006 looking at.. but they have some 2007 also.. thanks a bunch
They can be, 2007 and I believe even some 2008 may have the older engines. The vehicle year refers to the chassis, not the powerplant and the powerplant doesn't always match the vehicle's model year. Consider it like using leftover stock.

I'm pretty sure the ambulance bus in my county is one of these cases, but I'm waiting for it to come back in for service to confirm. It may not come in for another month or two.

The key to quickly identify the later C7S is to look for a DPF and the second exhaust pipe coming out of the DPF which is the CGI pipe. If you've never seen a DPF before, it will look somewhat like a muffler, with much more complex construction and a number of wires attached to it.

If you see it, walk away and go find another bus. Don't feel pressured to buy one of the buses from this dealer either, analyze their condition carefully.
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Old 03-11-2021, 06:42 PM   #6
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So truthseeker..2007 is still ok? It's a 2006 looking at.. but they have some 2007 also.. thanks a bunch
@Brads56chevy are you in Vegas? All of the '06 / '07 Thomas Saf-T-Liners I saw at LV Bus Sales were beautiful - just a big big / heavy for what we're after. All around $7500, some seemed to have already had the HEUI pumps replaced (not sure how long ago).
They can also help you register as RV and even offered to take it next-door to the trailer manufacturers to get a trailer hitch put on for me before delivery.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:15 AM   #7
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You can get those same buses at auction for 4-5k fyi. If these are the Clark County buses that LV bus sales get so much of then they're just low roof Thomas' with no understorage, nothing particularly special.

I realize the wheelbases on them at 30' are a tad shorter than most pushers which could appeal to the right buyer but not at that price imo.
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Old 03-19-2021, 03:27 PM   #8
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Thanks... very helpful
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Old 03-19-2021, 03:34 PM   #9
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I'm not in Las Vegas actually..I live in Missouri..the plusses to those busses are way way cleaner and don't mean just cleaned up..a lot of busses I see have rust issues (yes cheaper) and haven't seen a bus around here with air...they just look like nice busses out that way to start with..I like a good base to start with even if costs more... getting to old for a total rebuilt..and don't have quite the skills for that....I have a 56 Chevy that needs all that attention lol
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Old 03-19-2021, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truthseeker4449 View Post
They can be, 2007 and I believe even some 2008 may have the older engines. The vehicle year refers to the chassis, not the powerplant and the powerplant doesn't always match the vehicle's model year. Consider it like using leftover stock.
Just to note:
My 1999 bus has a Cummins motor that is found in a 2000 year Dodge Ram. I'm happy, as that is a small improvement - don't have to remove the alternator and its bracket to get to the thermostat housing. I'm guessing that this is not leftover stock, but rather the upgrade being tested in small batches before being released into a bigger market. Still, the point is the years don't necessarily match perfect.
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:07 AM   #11
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Location: Ventura, CA
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Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas MVP ER
Engine: Cat C7 7.3L
Rated Cap: 90 Passenger
As previously stated a C7 before 07 especially married to a Allison MD3060 is a great choice. The HEUI pump has some bolt on parts that will bring peace of mind to potential HEUI oil blow by problems. Adept Ape YouTube channel covers these and and the C7 engine in human speak and is easy to understand.

I myself have a 40ft Thomas RE from Clark county and can attest they are truly rust free. Mine even has an intact undercoat and pass thru lockable storage built in.
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Old 04-11-2021, 12:41 PM   #12
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Year: 2007
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I just bought one of those 2007 Thomas HDX with lift, from LV Bus Sales. But I picked one with the Mercedes 962. I thought $7500 was a deal. One flipper near me is getting $7900 for them with the Cat C7...and LVBS cherry picks the good ones before they go to auction.
I'm picking it up tomorrow...I'll let you know how it works out.
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVEHOLMAN View Post
I just bought one of those 2007 Thomas HDX with lift, from LV Bus Sales. But I picked one with the Mercedes 962. I thought $7500 was a deal. One flipper near me is getting $7900 for them with the Cat C7...and LVBS cherry picks the good ones before they go to auction.
I'm picking it up tomorrow...I'll let you know how it works out.
That is awesome! All of LVBS' buses looked really great - no rust, all very clean, new batteries + they have an on-site mechanic. We were really thinking about one of the HDX, but they were just too big for our needs.
Also - If you're interested, they'll help title it as an RV for an extra fee! Kind of expensive - but definitely a time / headache saver if you're looking to get plates on it ASAP.

Are you in the LV area, or driving it back home out of state?
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:26 AM   #14
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I'm in the High Desert in CA. 200 miles from LV.
Picked it up yesterday. Started a thread to document the conversion.

I opted to not pay them to remove the seats, because basically I'm an idiot who lives for the pain. Lol
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:29 AM   #15
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Btw...if it's too big for you, cool...but I can't tell you how much nicer this bus is than some of the dogs I've looked at at auctions and ebay and whatnot. And LVBS did an oil change and what not before I picked it up.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:56 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by DAVEHOLMAN View Post
Btw...if it's too big for you, cool...but I can't tell you how much nicer this bus is than some of the dogs I've looked at at auctions and ebay and whatnot. And LVBS did an oil change and what not before I picked it up.
Those buses were beautiful, and it seems LVBS does take care of their inventory before going to sale
Definitely too big for our dream, but super happy to hear someone on here picked one up!
We got lucky and found a 7 window that is perfect for us - hope to see you out on the road some day so we can swap some stories!
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:51 PM   #17
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Sounds good. Glad you found your bus!
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Old Yesterday, 08:08 AM   #18
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What is your too speed with that HDX?
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Old Yesterday, 10:42 AM   #19
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I got mine up to 80mph on the flat, briefly. That's with the Mercedes 260hp. TBH, 70mph is as fast as I care to go.
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