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Old 03-04-2021, 11:41 AM   #1
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Advise Please on This Engine

I really appreciate the advise & knowledge in this group.
What do you guys think of a 2008 Thomas Freightliner, Mercedes 926 engine w/ Allison 3000, 6 speed trans & 125K miles?

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Old 03-04-2021, 07:15 PM   #2
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Reliable engine and tranny combo with plenty of power. Mercedes engines are more expensive to service/repair, but still decent.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:24 PM   #3
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Location: New Hampshire
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Hopefully the Merc. truck line that Daimler is looking to unload gets a quality buyer that produces replacement parts for years to come.

Knowing that they are trying to divest themselves from that market segment would give me pause in considering a bus with their powerplant in it.

Something to ponder, even though they are deemed fairly reliable by owners...
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:43 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Northern Virginia
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas x2
Chassis: HDX/MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3126 x2
Quote:
Originally Posted by AskTammie View Post
I really appreciate the advise & knowledge in this group.
What do you guys think of a 2008 Thomas Freightliner, Mercedes 926 engine w/ Allison 3000, 6 speed trans & 125K miles?
2008 means it may have a Diesel exhaust Particulate Filter (DPF). If so, steer clear, early DPF engines tended to very problematic. It will have Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) regardless if it has a DPF, the system is known to have a variety of expensive issues. It's generally recommended that prospective buyers avoid buses with emissions controls due to poor reliability and cost of repairs. This largely means buses built after 2003, and especially after 2007 when DPFs started appearing.

Otherwise the Mercedes engines appear reasonable, but parts availability is becoming uncertain due to a brand handover. The mileage feels reasonable for a bus used in a decent length route over 12 years.

The transmission is one of the best ones to find in a bus, very reliable with good maintenance. Most bus versions of the 3000 are electronically limited to 5 gears, but this can be rectified for not terribly much through reprogramming. There's a few ways to go about this, the most reliable seems to be going through a third party to reflash the TCM instead of haggling the builder and Allison.

If you're still serious about this bus despite the warnings about emissions equipment, tell us more about the model. "Freightliner" is a very vague descriptor for a Thomas, as Thomas itself falls under the Freightliner brand. Pictures would give much better advice.
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:06 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 619
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
I like the bus. I drive Thomas at work.

I like the tranny and all six of those lovely gears!

I know nothing about the engine, but I do agree with anything using early and changing technology is a red flag.

Even if the DPF and EGR systems were not problematic, it's still more to take care of and costly when something does go wrong.

The school mechanics are chasing their tails assuring the DEF additive levels are good.

Look at what happened to the Ford PowerStroke 7.3 (International T444E) when they decided it would be better to stop producing the 7.3 and build the 6.0 when they needed to add EGRs. Then to add insult to injury, they tried to fix the 6.0 issues by making an even worse 6.4 version. Ford finally told International to jump in a lake, built the 6.7, yet even it had a few issues in it's first couple of years. And if you look under the hoods of the same model Ford with a 7.3, 6.0, 6.4 and 6.7, you'll see less and less daylight. Hell, the 6.7 doesn't even have fluid change schedules. The computer analyzes the fluids and tells you when you need to have it serviced.

I think the last 7.3 was built in 2002?

Good luck!
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