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Old 02-28-2017, 02:41 PM   #1
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Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Found a "lcoal" bus to me...

I called the guy and says everything works, tires are good etc.

2005 Thomas FE - Front Engine Transit School Bus
82 pax
Caterpillar Engine, 7.2 L Diesel Engine
Allison 2000 tranny
Bus runs, condition is operable
Removed from service just this month.
79,065 Miles

Hydraulic brakes which the guy was sure to point out. Any issues with that on a bus this big? I don't know that I have a preference; I've just never heard of hydraulics on a vehicle this big before. It's higher than I was planning on going but I do have the money to cover it. It's newer and that mileage!!

Current bid is $4600... if I could get it for under $5500. Auction closes 3/3/17 which doesn't give me a lot of time to get down there for an in-person inspection but I could make it happen.
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
I called the guy and says everything works, tires are good etc.

2005 Thomas FE - Front Engine Transit School Bus
82 pax
Caterpillar Engine, 7.2 L Diesel Engine
Allison 2000 tranny
Bus runs, condition is operable
Removed from service just this month.
79,065 Miles

Hydraulic brakes which the guy was sure to point out. Any issues with that on a bus this big? I don't know that I have a preference; I've just never heard of hydraulics on a vehicle this big before. It's higher than I was planning on going but I do have the money to cover it. It's newer and that mileage!!

Current bid is $4600... if I could get it for under $5500. Auction closes 3/3/17 which doesn't give me a lot of time to get down there for an in-person inspection but I could make it happen.
Hey BrewerBob,

I think that part of your question falls into the personal preference arena. Ford vs Chevy kind of thing.

IMHO:

79k miles - Awesome

Allison 2000 - Very good (5/6 speed OD)

CAT 7.2 - Deal killer for me.

$5k - There is definitely value in the low miles. If it has good tires and needs no further service/repair to be completely roadable I would happily spend $5k on a good low miles bus(if it had an 8.3 or DT466)

Hydraulic brakes - I would be reluctant on a bus that size. Air brakes would give you more braking "power" and reduced maintenance.

I think that CAT has built some very good and some not so great engines. One thing that they all have in common is the pain you will experience if you have to go to the CAT house for $ervice. I always felt like I was getting screwed.....


Good luck!!

S.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Hey BrewerBob,

I think that part of your question falls into the personal preference arena. Ford vs Chevy kind of thing.

$5k - There is definitely value in the low miles. If it has good tires and needs no further service/repair to be completely roadable I would happily spend $5k on a good low miles bus(if it had an 8.3 or DT466)

Hydraulic brakes - I would be reluctant on a bus that size. Air brakes would give you more braking "power" and reduced maintenance.

I think that CAT has built some very good and some not so great engines. One thing that they all have in common is the pain you will experience if you have to go to the CAT house for $ervice. I always felt like I was getting screwed.....
So Chevy vs Ford... I don't know Cats but I've heard repeatedly about cost even from you before I think.

So some questions for you...

1) What is the service interval for a bus? Different for a Cat?
2) What services are you having done that you have to go to a Cat house?
3) Are you going to Cat for SERVICES or PARTS or BOTH?

I'm pretty handy with a wrench. I don't have a bus lift and I'm not comfortable tearing down an engine and rebuilding from the get go. But with 80k miles, what am I tearing down? I expect 200k out of my TDI wagon before it needs anything besides brakes, alt, filters, etc. Are buses any different? This was a field trip bus so I suspect most of its few miles were highway and not rural routes over pot holed dirt roads (excessive vibrations even).

On brakes I'm completely clueless. I tried googling earlier to see if there were pages and pages from drivers and/or maintenance shops having a hissy over them but wasn't able to find much of anything, good or bad.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:30 PM   #4
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05 is new enough that it will be going for a lot of $$ to an exporter or BGA, or some other dealer.
Bartow don't take very good care of their buses, from what I've seen.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
05 is new enough that it will be going for a lot of $$ to an exporter or BGA, or some other dealer.
Bartow don't take very good care of their buses, from what I've seen.
It's a St. Mary's county, Maryland bus. Close enough to the Bay that it should have seen any snow. It's now at $5100 which is getting steep.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:41 PM   #6
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It's a St. Mary's county, Maryland bus. Close enough to the Bay that it should have seen any snow. It's now at $5100 which is getting steep.
I'd definitely pay more for a MD bus than a FL bus.
I still would pass.
If I didn't already have two buses I'd definitely be jumping on one of these in AZ-
Public Surplus: Auction #1775367

I know- its not local.
Seems the further away from where I am, the nicer the buses get.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:43 PM   #7
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
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I'd definitely pay more for a MD bus than a FL bus.
I still would pass.
If I didn't already have two buses I'd definitely be jumping on one of these in AZ-
Public Surplus: Auction #1775367

I know- its not local.
Seems the further away from where I am, the nicer the buses get.
My AZ buddy can't get time off to inspect one of those . I'm assuming those are the Gilbert buses.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:10 PM   #8
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My AZ buddy can't get time off to inspect one of those . I'm assuming those are the Gilbert buses.
Roll the dice?
For the current price difference you could buy a LOT of stuff.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
So Chevy vs Ford... I don't know Cats but I've heard repeatedly about cost even from you before I think.

So some questions for you...

1) What is the service interval for a bus? Different for a Cat?
2) What services are you having done that you have to go to a Cat house?
3) Are you going to Cat for SERVICES or PARTS or BOTH?

I'm pretty handy with a wrench. I don't have a bus lift and I'm not comfortable tearing down an engine and rebuilding from the get go. But with 80k miles, what am I tearing down? I expect 200k out of my TDI wagon before it needs anything besides brakes, alt, filters, etc. Are buses any different? This was a field trip bus so I suspect most of its few miles were highway and not rural routes over pot holed dirt roads (excessive vibrations even).

On brakes I'm completely clueless. I tried googling earlier to see if there were pages and pages from drivers and/or maintenance shops having a hissy over them but wasn't able to find much of anything, good or bad.
The CAT powered rigs that I was around went to the CAT shop for most of their maintenance. I agree with you regarding handling as much of the service labor myself as I am able. You are still stuck going to CAT for any parts (engine) and anything computer related.

I am not sure about the service interval.

Personally, I too would get more excited about a 170k miles Cummins 8.3 bus like the ones in AZ than an 80k CAT powered bus. Personal preference.

There are folks here that know the 7.2 CAT far better than I do. Maybe one of them will chime in with particulars on that one.

If you don't mind the higher parts cost etc then you may be golden.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Roll the dice?
For the current price difference you could buy a LOT of stuff.
(*$%&*(&$#^*^&$$ exporters!!! Same dude has bids on half the buses. The one that was $1400 is more than $3000. The other 2 buses that don't have broken ACs are at $3500 already.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:27 PM   #11
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He's not getting ANY of them for less than $3000 now!!
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:35 PM   #12
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https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...30&acctid=8504

8.3 Cummins (mechanical)
5/6 speed OD transmission
155k miles

May warrant a look?

Being that it is a Thomas you have a good shot as far as unlocking the 6th gear (.65 OD).

Damn....

I want that bus.....
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:53 PM   #13
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...30&acctid=8504

8.3 Cummins (mechanical)
5/6 speed OD transmission
155k miles

May warrant a look?

Being that it is a Thomas you have a good shot as far as unlocking the 6th gear (.65 OD).

Damn....

I want that bus.....
I get the govdeals homepage not the listing. City?
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:09 PM   #14
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Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
ID 8504 doesn't get me anything either.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:36 PM   #15
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Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Found it I think...

1998 Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER 1T75U2B29W1161036 155,215

1998 Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER TRANSIT BUS, 6.6L L6 DIESEL.
This is one of our six activity buses. We don't use it as much as we have in the past. There is nothing wrong with it. Everything works. It has 155,215 miles on it. 44 seats plus the driver. Tires are in good shape. This bus is located at our Utica MS campus. the air works.

It's already $3800.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:18 PM   #16
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Found it I think...

1998 Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER 1T75U2B29W1161036 155,215

1998 Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER TRANSIT BUS, 6.6L L6 DIESEL.
This is one of our six activity buses. We don't use it as much as we have in the past. There is nothing wrong with it. Everything works. It has 155,215 miles on it. 44 seats plus the driver. Tires are in good shape. This bus is located at our Utica MS campus. the air works.

It's already $3800.
That is the one.

Not sure why the link does not play.

It has the transit style windows as well. That is looking like a pretty nice bus.

BTW: The ad says "6.6 diesel". That is incorrect. Look at the data plates and the engine pic. It is a 250HP Cummins 6CTA.

If that were my bus it would be a 280HP motor in about an hour.....

Hmmm... 280HP and a double OD 6 speed.....

Never mind... It is an awful bus. Don't bid on it... You might outbid me......
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:39 PM   #17
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
That is the one.

Not sure why the link does not play.

It has the transit style windows as well. That is looking like a pretty nice bus.

BTW: The ad says "6.6 diesel". That is incorrect. Look at the data plates and the engine pic. It is a 250HP Cummins 6CTA.

If that were my bus it would be a 280HP motor in about an hour.....

Hmmm... 280HP and a double OD 6 speed.....

Never mind... It is an awful bus. Don't bid on it... You might outbid me......
Those windows and seats messed me up. I'm used to the school configuration. I saw in the questions it's a 35' bus. I guess that's the same as a 72 or 78 pax?
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:07 PM   #18
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those gilbert busses would be worth bidding up... the one I picked.. 4.63 gears, 8.3, and MT-643.. on 11R22.5 tires.. theres a 65-70 MPH Cruiser right there.... and the body looks damn near like a new bus...

some of them even have air-conditioning

-Christopher
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:36 PM   #19
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
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those gilbert busses would be worth bidding up... the one I picked.. 4.63 gears, 8.3, and MT-643.. on 11R22.5 tires.. theres a 65-70 MPH Cruiser right there.... and the body looks damn near like a new bus...

some of them even have air-conditioning

-Christopher
You have some luck there. That is the ONLY bus with the 4.63 gears. Every single bus after that has 4.78. And of course, the 4.63 bus has a dead A/C.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:06 PM   #20
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I rode bus 79, a conventional I cant tell you what brand, one of Gilberts finest buses from 1st grade until 8th grade. I remember it was only out of service a few times. It had beige paint on the inside and brown seats. I remember on those few days that it was in the shop, we got a transit style with green paint on the inside and green seats. I had always thought the green on green was ugly lol. I live a half mile away from the Tempe Unified bus depot and my aunt drives for them. A lot of districts here are ordering new buses, ALL new buses will have AC according to my aunt, who drives a brand spankin new Blue Bird Hightop conventional with 3 roof ACs from the factory. She loves it. They look really nice actually. There will be some very nice buses hitting the auction in the future.
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