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Old 09-08-2020, 06:03 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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How are you experienced sorts struck by a Thomas, 2001 with...

a CAT3126 and MD3060. It has 123k miles and 8333hours. 13 windows, rear engine.


https://imgur.com/nv79AeQ
https://imgur.com/f5wGglx
https://imgur.com/HLplQns
https://imgur.com/fbyG5rW
https://imgur.com/F8Pagse
https://imgur.com/6vzIy2N


Would you guess it is governed to 45mph? The dash odometer and axle odometer do not match. Described as being in use in VA?


I believe it will have 28 to 31 feet from back wall to back of driver's seat?



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Old 09-08-2020, 07:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TomDPerkins View Post
a CAT3126 and MD3060. It has 123k miles and 8333hours. 13 windows, rear engine.


https://imgur.com/nv79AeQ
https://imgur.com/f5wGglx
https://imgur.com/HLplQns
https://imgur.com/fbyG5rW
https://imgur.com/F8Pagse
https://imgur.com/6vzIy2N


Would you guess it is governed to 45mph? The dash odometer and axle odometer do not match.

What makes you suspect it is governed at 45?
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:44 PM   #3
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Did you drive it?
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:53 PM   #4
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EDIT I'll figure this comment system out yet.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:54 PM   #5
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Did you drive it?

Not yet. I have a mechanic looking at it Friday.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:55 PM   #6
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What makes you suspect it is governed at 45?

Read in a school bus manual from VA they were governed to 45mph. I don't think that's still true.


But I dunno.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:06 PM   #7
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13 window should be about 36 feet, bumper to bumper.

What county is it from? VA counties rarely actually remove the names off the sides of the buses, just paint over them. Some of these pictures look familiar too, there's a dealer in Ruckersville that sells VA buses.

45 mph doesn't sound right for a VA bus, they were generally governed to 55 mph with low gearing (in the neighborhood of 6.25). This was to state law allowing a school bus to travel no faster than 55, recently 60 or 65 mph, on the highway.

Pictures seem to suggest this is a low roof MVP, potentially a ex-Loudoun County bus if its from M&M salvage. A ex-Loudoun bus can generally be identified by the warning lights and stop sign already removed, presence of a hubmeter, and the district name and bus number being heavily spray painted out in black.

How bad of a mismatch in mileage? If it is a Loudoun County bus, they were not fitted from new with hubmeters, those were added within the last 7 or so years of the bus's service life. Many buses were retired with around 123k, but not because of old age. Many were retired because of rust damage or a mechanical failure that doesn't stop the bus from running and driving.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TomDPerkins View Post
Read in a school bus manual from VA they were governed to 45mph. I don't think that's still true.


But I dunno.
Never heard that about VA and I have skoolie friends up there. NC limits bus speed to 45.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:29 AM   #9
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Would you generally regard the rust damage as being prohibitive for a skoolie? And what kind of mechanical failure? AC?
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:22 AM   #10
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Many counties here in Virginia retire the buses based simply on age. Manassas city schools retire them at 15 years. The shorties are governed about 55, and the rest are governed at 62.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomDPerkins View Post
Read in a school bus manual from VA they were governed to 45mph. I don't think that's still true.


But I dunno.
Hah! If this was ever true, I'm sure bus barns defeated that mess quickly.

All my life, school busses around here have gone 60MPH, and are frequently driven that fast. Keep in mind, there's no road in the county with a speed limit higher than 55MPH, so why they drive 60MPH full of kids boggles my mind.

I'd expect to find busses capable of 55-60MPH, depending on location. A bus governed to 45MPH would be a serious impedance to the smooth flow of traffic.

Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:12 AM   #12
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Would you generally regard the rust damage as being prohibitive for a skoolie? And what kind of mechanical failure? AC?
It's not clear how much rust damage the bus you posted has. There is clearly some in the step well, but that's fairly normal. Do you have any additional pics?
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:24 AM   #13
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With that transmission it is highly unlikely to be governed that slow. Likely a much higher top speed IMHO.
The worst rust issues will be hidden under the plywood floor, no way of "knowing" how bad it is until you look. But rust in other areas pretty much tell you the floor will be worse.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:23 PM   #14
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It's not clear how much rust damage the bus you posted has. There is clearly some in the step well, but that's fairly normal. Do you have any additional pics?
I have no further pictures showing rust. If the mechanics' report comes back otherwise OK I will go see the sucker. Then I will have lots of pictures.

Anything I can do short of tearing up the floor to get a look at the middle of the floor? For example from under the bus?
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:21 PM   #15
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So never have seen it myself yet...

...but I got the mechanic's report early.


He described the rust as light and patchy.



I think I'll get it. It drove ok. No plates, so he only drove it around the (large) lot, but he said it shifted ok.


Plunge. Taken.


(well, pretty much)
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:41 AM   #16
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...but I got the mechanic's report early.


He described the rust as light and patchy.



I think I'll get it. It drove ok. No plates, so he only drove it around the (large) lot, but he said it shifted ok.


Plunge. Taken.


(well, pretty much)
Congrats on getting the bus! We are also in VA and I lurk on here dreaming of getting a bus. So far we have refurbished a TT and want to work our way up to a skoolie as soon as we have a good understanding of VA registration and can find a place to insure it FULL COVERAGE. So far I think Allstate and National are the only options there. If you are close to Norfolk and want some help or advice on rust removal / replacement panels I can assist.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:16 AM   #17
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It's a simple matter for a Cat dealer to change the setting in the bus's computer. They changed mine from 60 to 99 and charged me about $50.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:04 AM   #18
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I live in VA and I can tell you there largely seems to be no rhyme or reason to governed speeds here, more than likely there is no state reg or rule and each county or municipality makes their own determination. Not that it matters, most are geared fairly low unless it's a rural area with a bit of cruising between stops. The route I was on for most of my middle/high-school years wasn't one of them though, so I really don't know what the governed speed was back then. I know the bus would do 55 on the main highway... I don't recall being in one on the interstate.

However, as I recall, Chevrolet / GMC chassis were the same from about 69-82, and we pretty much had those until I graduated school. These were 366 gassers with 4-speed Spicers and hydraulic brakes. Our county's fleet bought its first new bus in years around 1990 or so, which was also its first diesel, its first auto, and its first air-brake.

My guess would be that cities likely govern their route buses at 45, activity buses at 60-62, and rural counties probably govern theirs at 60-62, because they usually don't have the budget for activity buses. Just my $0.02.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:05 PM   #19
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Congrats on getting the bus! We are also in VA and I lurk on here dreaming of getting a bus. So far we have refurbished a TT and want to work our way up to a skoolie as soon as we have a good understanding of VA registration and can find a place to insure it FULL COVERAGE. So far I think Allstate and National are the only options there. If you are close to Norfolk and want some help or advice on rust removal / replacement panels I can assist.
State Farm was willing to insure my bus as long as all the seats were removed from the bus, decals and lights covered or removed, and stop sign was removed. But they will require a very clean driving record, my policy was denied because there was a claim on my record that ultimately shouldn't have been there.
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:07 PM   #20
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I've started a project thread here.
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