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Old 11-24-2017, 09:34 AM   #1
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Too low of an oil pan?

I have a 2000 Thomas 9 row bus. It has a 3126B engine. My concern is the oil pan. It has a low ground clearance of maybe a foot or so. Is that normal or is there anyway to increase the ground clearance. I didn't know about it until the mechanic who checked it out pointed it out to me. That didn't happen until I got home with it. Long story.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytz View Post
I have a 2000 Thomas 9 row bus. It has a 3126B engine. My concern is the oil pan. It has a low ground clearance of maybe a foot or so. Is that normal or is there anyway to increase the ground clearance. I didn't know about it until the mechanic who checked it out pointed it out to me. That didn't happen until I got home with it. Long story.
My 3208 Cat has the same clearance. Due to being so close to the rear axle (diesel pusher) I'm not worried. My cargo bays have 11 inches of clearance, so that is my first concern.

Hope this helps.

M
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:49 AM   #3
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Only real concern would probably be "off road", aka: unpaved situations. For those conditions, a simple steel skidplate can save your bacon. I built one to protect my 44gal. aluminum fuel tank and may well add another to the oil pan just to be on the safe side.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:04 AM   #4
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my 466 was only around a foot off the ground.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:55 PM   #5
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I don't understand this concern about ground clearance unless you're driving over stumps or something. I have no trouble on backroads, however I do drag both my front and rear bumpers in my own driveway. I'm glad this rig is only 26'.

I have got to be curious about what kind of personal vehicle you drive and how much groud clearance that vehicle has.

With all the backroad driving I do there are no signs of scraping on my oilpan.

You should accept your bus the way it was made and drive it accordingly rather than attempting major modifications. Stay off the beach and you should be fine.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:26 PM   #6
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When it comes to oil pans, the only ones I'm familiar with are on cars which hangs pretty high on the undercarriage and motorcycles. I thought the same thing applied to buses as well. Was surprised when I realized it sat pretty low, at least in my eyes. I would like to get off the blacktop sometimes, but not if it will mess up the oil pan, which would really suck.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:11 AM   #7
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my red shorty has maybe a foot if im lucky.. the front axle cross member is in front of the pan so I figure that will field anything I would hit before the pan.

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Old 11-25-2017, 06:54 PM   #8
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I'm still questioning why one foot off the ground isn't high enough.

For me, at least, the oilpan is the least of my worries as the front axle would be wiped out before the oilpan became any concern.

Is OP driving a 4x4 bus?

These rigs are heavy and can literally get stuck on wet grass. They

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Old 11-25-2017, 07:26 PM   #9
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As compared to most of you, I am very much a newbie in this scenario. Whenever I come across something that I am not familiar with, I have to question its validity until I can get information that will hopefully negate my doubts from people who are more knowledge. These are pictures I took of my bus, hopefully you can give me the answers I'm looking for. The engine is in the front.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:49 PM   #10
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I'm sure there were oil pans available with shorter sumps. Cat used this engine in many applications. But being an obsolete engine, parts may no longer be available for it.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:03 PM   #11
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That's a lowrider!
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:18 PM   #12
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The tires look so tiny on that bus for some reason.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:09 PM   #13
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That is a low oil pan for sure.. That would make me uncomfortable.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:13 PM   #14
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I see your point- it looks vulnerable. A road-debris magnet.

How about a skid plate?
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:16 PM   #15
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The bottom of the stairwell is the lowest part. Then the front axle beam. Those would bottom out long before the oil pan would be jeopardy.

My latest bus is lower bus, but only due to the wheel/tire size. My last shorty was also a low bus but the school had swapped on some 22.5's and 10R's. I don't think the op's bus will be that simple, though.
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:23 PM   #16
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if thats the first time the mech seen a pan like that he is a bit short of experience which should be a warning to you and 3126 or 3116 cat motors are not obsolete or even hard to get parts for as they were used on boats , punps, generators, and glider kits. the guys that build gliders rebuild these motors as cat is the common one to use in a glider
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:30 PM   #17
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My red bus sits low and I've never smashed anything .. it's on 225/70r19.5 tires. The front axle sits a few inches lower than that and lower than the pan and as EC mentioned the door step is low too
Crappy pic from here In Starbucks. But it seems to do fine ..




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Old 11-26-2017, 04:53 PM   #18
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I'm looking at it now, but based on what I can see I don't see the oil pan. But pictures can be deceiving.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:55 PM   #19
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mmoore6856
The mechanic didn't say whether or not it's the first time he's seen how the pan is situated. He just pointed it out to me.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytz View Post
I'm looking at it now, but based on what I can see I don't see the oil pan. But pictures can be deceiving.
Because like your bus, the oil pan isn't as low as the body.
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