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Old 02-13-2017, 06:07 PM   #1
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Question Opinions on Bus Type

I have found 2 buses, for a price that is amazing. Are either of them good for a conversion that we will be living in full time?

1. 2002 Thomas Built, 110,888, mileage, 84 passenger Metro style, Caterpillar 3126 diesel engine, allusion transmission.

2. 2000 Amtran, 125,454 mileage, 71 passenger, Metro style, International DT466 diesel engine, Allusion transmission.

According to seller, they run good with good tires.

TIA!
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:55 PM   #2
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being out west.. which allison transmissions are they?

id choose the DT466 over the Cat-3126 esp if its an MT643 transmission
you also want to know which gears in the rear so you can determine the bus top speed
-Christopher
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:08 PM   #3
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I have found 2 buses, for a price that is amazing. Are either of them good for a conversion that we will be living in full time?

1. 2002 Thomas Built, 110,888, mileage, 84 passenger Metro style, Caterpillar 3126 diesel engine, allusion transmission.

2. 2000 Amtran, 125,454 mileage, 71 passenger, Metro style, International DT466 diesel engine, Allusion transmission.

According to seller, they run good with good tires.

TIA!
Are these front engined or rear?
#1 will be bigger. 84pax is probably 40'
#2 will be around 35'
Somebody correct me if I am wrong.
Without seeing them that's all I can tell you.
The Allison transmission: it depends on the trans model, the 545 is a 4 speed auto. The 2000/3000 is a 5 speed.
If you don't plan on hitting a top speed over 60-62 the 545 is pretty solid. The 2000/3000 are 5 speed auto and get a bit higher theoretical top speed and will get better fuel mileage with an overdrive (depending on rear gears).
Both have decent milage. Both motors are pretty solid and have thier fan clubs (I like the 466 because that's what I have had experience with in the past)
Once again I am sure if I got anything wrong someone will be able to correct me.
I am within a month of buying a bus. I spent days and weeks trying to find out which one was better... The answer is the one that works for you.

Hope that helps.
Good luck!



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Old 02-13-2017, 07:13 PM   #4
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I wonder what that transmission is an allusion of.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:16 PM   #5
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I wonder what that transmission is an allusion of.
If it's a 546 it alludes to a slow bus? Lol

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Old 02-13-2017, 07:29 PM   #6
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I think the AT535 i saw somewhere is an allusion
-Christopher
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:30 PM   #7
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I think the AT535 i saw somewhere is an allusion
-Christopher
Sure it isn't an illusion? 😂

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Old 02-13-2017, 07:33 PM   #8
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no.. if it was an illusion it would be an IT535
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:41 PM   #9
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Sorry, we totally hijacked this thread... I had good intentions though.

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Old 02-14-2017, 03:27 AM   #10
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I assume by Metro style you mean they are a Type 'D' transit bus with the service door in front of the front axle.

Type 'D' buses come in either front, midships, or rear engine. Each has pros and cons.

For your discussion, if the price is over $3,500.00 on either bus I would pass on them.

The Thomas is a well built bus but the Cat 3126 is not the first choice, second choice, or even third choice for most people.

The AmTrans of that vintage is a well built bus as well. But some of the smaller ones were put together really on the cheap, particularly if it is a front engine (FE) bus. I have seen them built with really small brakes, small transmission, and inadequate cooling systems--all perfectly acceptable for a route bus that never went over 35 MPH but not really adequate for going across the country.

I would hold out for a 40' bus with big HP and highway gearing. But that is just me.

Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:27 PM   #11
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Transmission

I'm still waiting for a reply on what type of transmissions the other buses have but I came across another one 2000 Thomas with a cat 3126 and 3060 Allison transmission for $4995 thanks for all the responses
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:56 PM   #12
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Sorry, we totally hijacked this thread... I had good intentions though.

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I was wondering why everyone was saying allusion/ illusion lol I read the original post my wife posted it but she copied and pasted the description from the add😂
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:35 AM   #13
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A class D bus is going to cost more, period. If it has underbelly storage even more unless it's a trash bus. Someone my stumble on something cheaper from time to time but that is a rare exception. Personally, if it doesn't have a 6 speed (MD3060) I would keep looking. Also finding a Thomas Class D with anything but a cat is a rare find indeed. I bought an 2000 Amtran RE with a 466 250 HT And MD3060. Redoing the rear end cost about $1.6K but it was so worth it. Being able to cruse 65 at about 1400rpm is nice. Being able to go 80+ if I chose to burn the fuel, is icing. While I haven't converted yet, I think I'm finally going to start this spring.

What ever you buy avoid anything with emissions control if at all possible.

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Old 02-15-2017, 07:51 AM   #14
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A class D bus is going to cost more, period. If it has underbelly storage even more unless it's a trash bus. Someone my stumble on something cheaper from time to time but that is a rare exception. Personally, if it doesn't have a 6 speed (MD3060) I would keep looking. Also finding a Thomas Class D with anything but a cat is a rare find indeed. I bought an 2000 Amtran RE with a 466 250 HT And MD3060. Redoing the rear end cost about $1.6K but it was so worth it. Being able to cruse 65 at about 1400rpm is nice. Being able to go 80+ if I chose to burn the fuel, is icing. While I haven't converted yet, I think I'm finally going to start this spring.

What ever you buy avoid anything with emissions control if at all possible.

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Yes, unless you have deep pockets and are mechanically inclined, emissions control seems to be a PITA. I have seen a few "perfect" busses that had "regeneration issues" meaning the emissions control system was screwed up... And just changing the element is cost prohibitive.

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Old 02-15-2017, 08:00 AM   #15
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Our school district has had nothing but problems with the 466 Emission engines, which is why you can now buy a International bus with a Cummins engine. The truck I drive now is a 2015 with a Cummins IXL with 285K miles, and over $30K in fuel/emissions work done to it. Thankfully it's a Ryder lease truck so they have to eat it all. This is an interstate truck also.

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Old 02-15-2017, 08:19 AM   #16
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busted emissions can destroy the engine too...

the 'DT-466' underwent alot of changes throughout the years... so even though the 'MaxxForce DT' was a DT-466 in its roots, there wasnt much 'DT-466' left in it.. people bought it for a few years because of the coat-tails of the nameplate but emissions ruined it..

International stopped making engines due to emissions, and CAT has decided that on-road is just to tough with emissions..

im not sure if CAT still makes a class-8 engine or not..

but CUmmins seems to be the only one willing to do medium duty these days...

im seeing quite a few Low-miles low Hours Busses come up for low cost lately with 'regen' issues.. and the real issue could be that the engine has a burnt piston. from a failed regen system..

-Christopher
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:50 AM   #17
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Agreed, when the DT Maxforce would Regen some of the busses would get a gallon of fuel dumped in the oil.

Cat did exit the Class 8 market. They even sold their class 8 block to someone who put there own head on it and killed the engine performance.

The new CAT trucks running around are really Cat in name only.

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Old 02-16-2017, 10:48 PM   #18
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So I came across another bus 1992 bluebird 5.9L allison mt643 Trans with 176k what are your thoughts? so many different opinions lol
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:08 PM   #19
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I bought an 2000 Amtran RE with a 466 250 HT And MD3060. Redoing the rear end cost about $1.6K but it was so worth it
When you say "redoing," what are you describing? Changing the gears somehow? I don't fully understand what that entails.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:18 PM   #20
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Yes, unless you have deep pockets and are mechanically inclined, emissions control seems to be a PITA. I have seen a few "perfect" busses that had "regeneration issues" meaning the emissions control system was screwed up... And just changing the element is cost prohibitive.
Any advice on what to look out for in terms of this? As in, how would I know a bus had a problematic emissions control system?

I've had my eye on a couple potential buses with DT466E's in them. I'd rather not buy a problem if I can help it, but I don't really know what I'd be looking for in terms of a whacked out emissions system.
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