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Old 06-09-2017, 07:04 PM   #1
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Not a skoolie

Well, wise or not, I needed something. not cheap either..but i bought it.

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...24&acctid=1889
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:37 PM   #2
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Very interesting!

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Old 06-09-2017, 08:05 PM   #3
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thanks yeah. it is along way home. Will see how this goes without a class B license. it is over 26000 lbs. Never have driven a vehicle this size. Going to take a couple of city bus rides and see if i can glean some knowledge.

How is your trip going?

later J
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:37 PM   #4
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7 hours til we'e leaving. Just got off the bus. Everything packed. Just need to load coolers and tooth brushes.

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Old 06-09-2017, 09:08 PM   #5
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I doubt I'll be up in seven hours, so have a safe trip. Sounds like a bit of an adventure.
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:19 PM   #6
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Cup Holder

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Well, wise or not, I needed something. not cheap either..but i bought it.

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...24&acctid=1889

It's got a cup holder. That's perfect.

I think those are under rated buses. Considering the mileage those things hold up very well. The Merced would put me off, but that's because all I hear is they're expensive to repair. Otherwise I think those are nice looking buses. They couldn't make it in my driveway with that suspension, but I think they're appealing with the slider windows. Looks more like an RV.

Isn't someone else building a city bus too?

I'm really liking most any bus that isn't yellow and needing to be painted right about now. I've been interested in seeing the construction differences between school and city buses for a long time.

Good luck with it.
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:44 PM   #7
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Well, wise or not, I needed something. not cheap either..but i bought it.
Well, that doesn't sound too remorseful !

I think it's a good-looking bus and has some nice wheels. It will be an interesting build once you get her home. Be safe and just remember everything takes longer when driving a big vehicle- acceleration, stopping, turning and of course... refueling.

What are your plans for your motorcoach?
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:56 PM   #8
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Well, wise or not, I needed something. not cheap either..but i bought it.

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...24&acctid=1889

I was just there on Wednesday picking up a couple bike racks like the one on your bus. I'm going to mount one on the front of my bus and see if I can sell the other one.

There's a local guy that's bought a couple of their buses they've already sold and he's trying to resell them on craigslist for about $18,500 if I remember right.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:57 AM   #9
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Wow thanks. That makes me feel better. You never know with auctions. Probably could have waited for one of the later auctions and saved a $1000.

Will see how fat it can go. The mechanic said 75 but maybe he meant downhill, haha. I hope I can get 22.5 wheels on this and gain 2" of ground clearance at the same time.

Later j
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:30 AM   #10
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I don't think I'd put any bigger tires and wheels on it.

With the air dumped on the suspension, there appears to be almost no extra room in the wheel wells. You'd need to make substantial modifications to clear bigger tires.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:02 AM   #11
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You are probably right. I will measure and see. They told me it has a 6 speed allison 300. In case it is a 5 speed I would like to gain some more speed. To early to make a decision, first see how it runs. Are you going to be in that area next week?

Would not mind having someone with actual big rig experience sooth my mind a little.

Not sure if this air suspension is the same as the bags I have seen under tractor trailers.Wonder if air suspension has a range where it can be operated in and how big that range is.

Can you add spacers plates under or above the air bags to static raise the vehicle 2".

Lots of questions from a newby again.

Later J
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:34 AM   #12
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Don't drive it too far, looks like a 9.5 wide city bus. Can't usually drive something that wide out of city limits where a width exception exsists, even rvs.
https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com/rv_size/
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:52 AM   #13
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I'll be up that way again sometime in the next week to pick up my transmission computer, but I'm not yet sure exactly when.

Raising the ride height by adding air to the bags is going to make it ride rough. Plus, when the air is dumped, it's still going to return to the same place and make contact with larger tires.

Adding lift blocks would prevent contact between the wheel wells and the tops of the tires, but you might still have contact at the front and back of the wheel wells.



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Don't drive it too far, looks like a 9.5 wide city bus. Can't usually drive something that wide out of city limits where a width exception exsists, even rvs.
https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com/rv_size/
No, it's 8'6". He's fine.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:27 AM   #14
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You are probably right. I will measure and see. They told me it has a 6 speed allison 300. In case it is a 5 speed I would like to gain some more speed. To early to make a decision, first see how it runs. Are you going to be in that area next week?

Would not mind having someone with actual big rig experience sooth my mind a little.

Not sure if this air suspension is the same as the bags I have seen under tractor trailers.Wonder if air suspension has a range where it can be operated in and how big that range is.

Can you add spacers plates under or above the air bags to static raise the vehicle 2".

Lots of questions from a newby again.

Later J
Professional driver here, 20+ years experience.

Not a bad looking bus. Listing says "Bus in good working order", but has an inop digital dash display? I'm going to assume that's the only known problem and is otherwise driveable.

I see it has 8 lug wheels (I could not read the tire size in the photos). 22.5" wheels for this bolt pattern can be found, they are *NOT* the same as 1-ton wheels. I would *NOT* recommend adapters, either. These are heavy duty wheels on a heavy duty bus, speaking of which, when you do your pre-trip check, you'll want to make sure the tires have *AT LEAST* 90 PSI of air in them. (One company I worked for had a written policy that tires were considered flat at 85).

I also would not recommend altering the factory height or suspension. Companies and engineers spend millions of dollars making sure it's safe and will last a long time. It is for this exact reason that some insurance companies will ask if the factory suspension has been altered in any way (and usually deny coverage if it has). Replacing parts with identical parts is not altering the suspension, it is considered normal maintenance and is fine. Aside from that, the air-ride is likely to be similar to that found under many road tractors and trailers. Ride height is usually factory set and is not supposed to be adjustable. Many of these buses have a "kneeling" front suspension which simply deflates the front air bags - this is *NOT* a ride height! It is intended for use only when stationary, and to that end many will automatically air back up when you resume motion. Some have an interlock system which will not deflate the bags unless the brake is set/transmission in neutral.

Adding spacer plates for additional height is a tricky question at best. On an old leaf spring system (assuming the springs are above the axles) it is at least technically possible; it would alter the suspension geometry as many suspensions have links that prevent the axles from twisting out from under the springs when the brakes are applied hard. The drive axle air ride suspension is different and increasing air bag inflation not only gives a stiffer ride, but also alters all the suspension geometry and driveshaft angles. (I had a Volvo road tractor on which the driveshaft would make odd noises if the suspension was not at its properly inflated position). I am unsure if a spacer plate can be added under these systems for additional height (I would not tell my insurance company about this if they asked). With a wheel size difference of 3", you would be looking at a 1.5" spacer thickness (since the rest of the difference is "under the bus", so to speak).

You will also need to check and see if you have additional front/rear wheelwell clearance, this includes inside for the steering axle.

The Mercedes engine in this bus would have made me nervous, and not necessarily because it's a bad engine, but because I am not familiar with them, their reputation, parts availability, finding mechanics/service locations familiar with working on them, etc. (For all I know, these may be outstanding engines, or they may be lemons). The thing I like about school buses is their very widespread distribution. Virtually every city, county, parish, commonwealth, and district has at least several. There's many thousands, if not millions of them on the roads. It's pretty easy to find places just about anywhere that can work on and find parts at least for the more common setups. Even in the absolute middle of nowhere, it's not hard to call up the closest school district and go "Hey, where do you get your buses worked on or get parts?" And usually they have a place where they can get good prices too, as they do have budgets to adhere to.
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:00 PM   #15
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thanks guys.
I needed a his kneeling low floor bus for my wheelchair 95yr mom.

The wheels / suspension is only a thought and depending on max speed.

I inspected a same Thomas brand bus length bus with a 5.9 It came out of MD and was rusty. It seemed to have a 4 spd automatic. But the dealer did not know what tranny adn I could not get under it to find a name plate. There was also something wrong with the ride height. The aluminum floor strips were so corroded that they peeled of the floor. They wanted $5900 for it.
So I passed it and got this.

The mercedes engine has an injector / pump for each piston. It being an European engine i would expect it to be slightly more fuel efficient.

Thanks for the head up about 8ft.6" I thought it was 102" bus , never even new that there were even wider ones. That would have been a bummer.

Later J
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:04 PM   #16
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looks like a nice rig!.. the Mercedes engine is a good engine. pricey to work on and MB keeps their documentation close to their chest but they do run well and with great longeivity.. CHECK OIL ALL THE TIME!!.. the 906 is Notorious for using oil... they diont typically Leak alot but oil level is known to drop fairly quickly.. so I would be checking it at every fuel stop if not more often till you learn it..

unlike a school bus, this bus may very well have all 6 gears open on the allison 3XXX transmission. I know the City Busses here in Columbus are capable of freeway speeds.. they are run 65-70 all the time.. Columbus rotates different busses between local and express routes.. im thinking most cities would want their busses to be capable of express and local routes..

-Christopher
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:55 PM   #17
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Thanks Christopher,

I indeed have the feeling ,.. what did I do... Fortunately I am with my back against the wall , it would have been worse if I would not have done it. A couple of stiff drinks and a s***t amount of luck this will all work out well and just another adventure.

This is a short version. still a gvwr of 28000. Are most buses that heavy? It should be 32 feet with another 4 feet bike rack.

Ii have not been able to find a drawing with dimension of this slf bus.
A little hard to start planning the conversion.

I tried to get in contact with Lostranger who converted a Gillig slf but sofar no luck. Well this is a Thomas anyhow.

Not sure what to do about the title transfer... or better do I drive back to PA without registration?? I think I can get a commercial insurance for a week or so but what to do about a plate?

Later J
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:15 PM   #18
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Usually, the lot selling it will have a drive-off permit available. I got one from Midwest Transit when I bought mine. It was enough to get Brunhilde from Kankakee to Billings without attracting TOO much attention. Of course, a yellow bus driving across the bleak North Dakota plains does tend to stand out a bit.

Once you get all the seats and pipes removed, you'll have a lot of open space to plan your new movable building. A note of caution = install the plumbing and wiring before anything else. Then, the insulation - LOTS of insulation - as well as window coverings.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:59 PM   #19
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how does a drive off permit looks, does it include some ind of license plate?

later j
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:14 PM   #20
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Usually, a drive-off permit is taped into the rear window by the seller. It may be issued by the state, i.e., North Carolina. You might be able to get one from your own state's DMV, but it's usually issued by the seller's DMV. You'll have a few days to get it from NC to home.

South Carolina used (back in the day) a plastic plate just showing the dealer's information. Montana faxed the temp plate to the dealer and he put the paper in a plastic wrap and attached it to the vehicle. Each state is different.

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Temporary Tags
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Each temporary license plate is valid for up to 30 days and can be extended if necessary.
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