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Old 06-27-2022, 02:18 PM   #1
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Location: Upstate New York
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Year: 2009
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: MBE900
Freightliner/Thomas Saf-T-Liner questions

My wife and I just bought our first bus to convert to a skoolie a couple weeks ago; and last friday I just joined Skoolie.net. I've been trolling around here for a couple weeks reading the stickys and searching around the search bar. So as this is our first bus, I know absolutely nothing about anything. I work at a Honda dealership so "Regen" was a completely foreign concept to me; for example. I have tons of questions about our bus, but I don't want to waste everyone's time in a general thread. Does any one have a 2009 (-ish) Freightline/Thomas Saf-T-Liner dog nose with the MBE900, and would be willing to email/pm? They don't seem to be too common on here and it seems like its because of the Multiplex wiring, which I actually know what that is because of my Honda background (a little). Thanks for anyone's help

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Old 06-27-2022, 02:41 PM   #2
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Location: Illinois outside st louis Missouri
Posts: 47
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 85505
Engine: Cat 3126B 210 hp Allison mt643 transmission
Rated Cap: 78 passengers
Quote:
Originally Posted by jby5010 View Post
My wife and I just bought our first bus to convert to a skoolie a couple weeks ago; and last friday I just joined Skoolie.net. I've been trolling around here for a couple weeks reading the stickys and searching around the search bar. So as this is our first bus, I know absolutely nothing about anything. I work at a Honda dealership so "Regen" was a completely foreign concept to me; for example. I have tons of questions about our bus, but I don't want to waste everyone's time in a general thread. Does any one have a 2009 (-ish) Freightline/Thomas Saf-T-Liner dog nose with the MBE900, and would be willing to email/pm? They don't seem to be too common on here and it seems like its because of the Multiplex wiring, which I actually know what that is because of my Honda background (a little). Thanks for anyone's help
I have a 2000 Thomas saf t liner mvp er (pusher/ engine in the rear/ flat nose). I'm not too familiar with your situation, but I'm willing to help out where I can with general information if you need it. I know right off hand from my own experiences with my Thomas nothing beats contacting them on at least getting pointed in the right direction for parts and etc. Google Thomas built bus and their site should come up. They're pretty quick to respond and can refer you to a Thomas dealer that is close to you. Their dealers are really good at figuring out what you need. Good luck with your build.
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Old 06-27-2022, 03:03 PM   #3
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the multiplex systems have the most trouble when they get wet.. unfortunately most school busses have the switch panels under the driver window which gets run open in the rain or left open quite often..



the MBE is a solid engine people shouyld realize in europe Mercedes Trucks are and have been very common for decades and known for reliability and longevity.. the MBE is a truck engine... the biggest issue here in the states is that parts for as Merc can be pricey... fortunately freightliner shops will work on the busses most generally.
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Old 06-27-2022, 04:04 PM   #4
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Well so far I found a Thomas dealer in Liverpool NY not too far away from me. The parts manager seems helpful so far. I'm still trying to connect via phone to actually order some parts. I like to use the same people and develop a relationship with suppliers/customers. I had the same thoughts regarding the MBE900, our Fed-Ex guy here at work swears by the Mercedes diesels.

I'll ask two basic questions I guess:

1. On our trip home from Charleston WV we had to stop to "regen" 4 times (8 hr trip), Is this normal?

2. there were some hills we could only do 25 mph up, is this normal? I have no expectation of the bus being a race horse, but felt weird being past by a bicyclist
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Old 06-27-2022, 04:29 PM   #5
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Location: Illinois outside st louis Missouri
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: 85505
Engine: Cat 3126B 210 hp Allison mt643 transmission
Rated Cap: 78 passengers
Yeah those are some valid questions so with driving buses up hill there are some basic bus operating things to consider with steep of long grade hills l/ mountains like you would see in West Virginia you would need to know how to shift your bus to handle it especially when going down hill so that your not putting too much strain on the engine even with the automatic transmissions knowing when to use the 3rd 2nd or 1st speeds on your shifter....that being said though also you have to consider the temps your driving in and watching your coolant temp like with my thomas the manufacturer recommends operating with the coolant temp never below 160 f and never above 220 once coolant/water temp gets above 220 the ecm engine control module tells the fuel delivery system to send less fuel and the engine to slow down until it cools off and also you can't with that on the other end if you drive off before your engine and coolant and oil pressure gets to within recomended operating the ecm will tell the engine to reduce operation and basically keep you at a slow moving speed because with diesel engines in general and by especially there is no crank and go like a regular car you have to wait for the engine to be ready to go im not sure what your model gauges have to be at but for mine oil pressure has to be around 30 to 60 engine temp/ coolant temp/ at least 160 but not over 220/ air pressure for brakes at around 170psi.....another thing is watch your tachometer alot of schools have thomas program into them a max speed or electronic governor amd if you go over or get within 2.5 mph of that limit the ecm will tell the engine to reduce performance until you get below this speed one way to know you're getting close if you dont know what the max is is that your tachometer will be about redlining you can have the electronic governor removed or adjusted you have to take it to a thomas dealer for it though so thatbthey cam basically do a software update....what helped me find this out was finding an operating manual for my bus and reading it....also general adivce of you have air brakes drain the resivoir of oil/ water from condensation...as for finding the manual online for myself i got lucky to come across a pdf that was online
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Old 06-27-2022, 07:34 PM   #6
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does you 2009 merc have a dpf or egr?

2009 dpf & egr?

Maybe I'm off track.

You complain of having to perform 6 regens a day. This occurs when soot inside of the engine is high enough that a manual or forced regen is needed. Usually, a “check engine light” is illuminated on the dashboard, and the bus must be parked, and the driver must tell the bus to manually regenerate. Fuel is then injected into the exhaust line, and engine RPMs increase. A manual or forced regen takes about 30 minutes to complete.

If the engine becomes too overloaded with soot, or approximately 85% full of soot, the DPF filter must be removed and cleaned out or replaced. It's recommended that the ash from regens are cleaned out of DPF filters during maintenance.
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Old 06-27-2022, 08:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Justinb.jackson903 View Post
mountains like you would see in West Virginia

I-64 Sandstone Mountain grade of 5 curvy miles of 7% . . .
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Old 06-27-2022, 08:26 PM   #8
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Location: Illinois outside st louis Missouri
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: 85505
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Originally Posted by TaliaDPerkins View Post
I-64 Sandstone Mountain grade of 5 curvy miles of 7% . . .
Yeah doesn't sound much until you realize that it's the 7% grade for 5 miles with curves that's putting a hurting on your engine and transmission let alone fuel lol.....yeah I've driven over the infamous Appalachian mountains in a regular car and that was a strain at times but if you know how to shift and drive within the limits of what you shift to the less strain on the system
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Old 06-28-2022, 06:22 AM   #9
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Location: Upstate New York
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Year: 2009
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: MBE900
Yes DeMac, my bus has the DPF filter. The first time that light came on on the way home I had no idea what it meant. We stopped in a Arby's and fortunately the school we got the bus from left all the manuals in it. After some reading and Googleing we got it to force regen. So is 4 forced regens in a 8 hour trip normal or is the filter do be replaced? Can running some Sea Foam or Diesel Power service through the bus correct this?
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Old 07-04-2022, 02:30 AM   #10
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My suggestions:
* acquire a likely candidate -- ✓.
* toss in some car-camping gear
* go have fun.
Allow the conversion to evolve organically.
.
My other suggestion:
* with a blank slate, free your imagination.
I see no reason to duplicate a stand-still house inside a vehicle.
.
My other suggestion:
* No! Holes! In! The! Roof!
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:44 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Van Nuys, CA
Posts: 4
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2
Chassis: Freightliner B2
Engine: Mercedes I-6 MBE900 7.2L
Rated Cap: 12 passenger +2 WCs
Also have 2008 Thomas saf-t-liner C2 with Mercedes MBE900, Freightliner chassis!! We should be friends. We drove our bus from WA to CA and had all the same things...bus does not go faster than 25mph on uphills. or 65mph on flats (I know it has a governer on the engine.)

We initially mistook a symbol that came up on the dash as to do the regen thing but we called the dealership and they said it was just that our exhaust was hot, and it was fine...goes away in a little bit. the hot exhuast symbol alwasy came on when we stopped highway driving and was pulling into local roads for a pit stop.

We have also done quite a bit of research and could would love to bounce around ideas/share resources/etc. Send me a PM if you want to exchange contact info

Best of luck!
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