Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON
Well, it wasn't really engine trouble until I trusted someone who didn't really know what they were doing to fix a simple problem. A simple cracked exhaust manifold turned into a head removal and machining, and when the intake leaked like a sieve after reassembly, they refused to make it right, so I had to have it towed off.
I want to be a little more selective in my choice of bus this time, however. I don't want another Ford, unless it has air brakes. I am not interested in the lost art of maintaining and repairing a Lucas-Girling brake system.
Other than that, I am open, though I am thinking I would like a diesel. I'm with you on the Detroit 2-stroke... love the sound of those engines.... I hear the 92-series have issues with cylinder liners though. Is there any truth to that?
I have also considered something a little different -- a 48 or 53-foot semi trailer, pulled by a converted short bus... any thoughts?
Having done it, I would not do another conventional. A pusher might be a bit better on the highway, but I LOVE my FE Genesis. Also: a bus with road A/C is worth hunting for. A bus with DUAL road A/C is well worth the price premium. I decided early on (pretty much, the day I decided to sell my B700) that I was not compromising. I wanted A/C, air brakes, standard shift or lockup Allison, factory high-roof, and diesel power. I wanted rear air-ride, though that wasn't a requirement. I did NOT want front air-ride. Had to have 22.5" wheels, run common-sized truck tires (11R22.5 or 295/75R22.5), Budds were much preferred but not required, highway gears a huge plus. I was open to a pusher, but most in this area are either older buses with huge miles (or worse: years of sitting) and considerable rust, or newer Laidlaws (I think Saf-T-Liners) with AT545's behind de-rated T444E's...they also tend to be pretty worn out when sold.
There are a few older pushers (Saf-T-Liner ER's) that I looked at...they are built well, ThomasBuilt's galvanized bodies are pretty rustproof, but the prices reflact that. I found only one with A/C, and it had two issues: the first, an eye-popping 540,000 miles
, wasn't a deal-breaker, especially since it had (documented) a Caterpillar-rebuilt turbo 3208 and MT643. The killers were twofold: it had rear A/C, and dash A/C that hadn't worked in years...workable, at the right price, but potentially a nightmare. It also, unfortunately, had a massive sideswipe right across the bays.
Took four months, but I found my Genesis. It was a WC bus with midship lift and has a DT466, MT643, front and rear road A/C, full air brakes, rear air ride, front leaf springs, 11R22.5 tires, I think 4.10 gears (65MPH is 2000RPM), factory high roof, and even new (still had "hair" on them) steer tires. The only thing I compromised a bit on is the Dayton wheels. The rear bumper was badly bent (my uncle built a new one, with entry steps, integrated reciever, dump hose storage, and even air fittings), the entry door had a broken window (I filled it in), and it had 307,000 miles (over 312K now), but the engine was in good shape, trans works fine (probably been rebuilt), and it even had new rear brakes.
I think it, having a side (wheelchair) door and a large open area in the middle as well as bays, along with the A/C, cruise control, highway gearing, and even a nice stereo, was used as the sports-team bus for road games. That would explain the mileage, the cleat marks on a couple of the seats, the Gatorade stains, and the approximately one gajillion gum wrappers I found in and under the seats.