Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-04-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
1995 Thomas Vista 3600 - ok or junk?

Iím looking at a 1995 Thomas Vista 3600 with 7.3L V8 and AT545 with around 110k miles. Thoughts on reliability? Ability to travel highway and mountains?

adventure8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 12:01 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,400
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Brokedown traveled all over the country in a 7.3/545 equipped Vista with good success.

However, he is much more patient than I am......

Your rear end gears will play a big part in highway performance.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 12:44 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Thanks for your reply! What would you ay top speed is in general?
adventure8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 12:50 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure8 View Post
Thanks for your reply! What would you ay top speed is in general?
It's not possible to tell from the decription.

School Districts specified any number of final drive ratios, and that has the most effect on top speed (well that and potential governing).
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:13 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Ok thanks for the info. Really appreciate it!
adventure8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 01:49 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,690
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Vista would be pretty much my last choice.
They suffered from quality control problems and aren't the best to work on. Also a harsh, jarring ride.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 06:56 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,032
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
My bus rides smooth as glass!

Well not really but its fine if you're not in Louisiana.

I have heard bad things about the full size Vista. Mine is 5 window and while the ride isn't particularly soft it feels like a heavy duty truck not a device of torture.

Gearing must be known to predict speeds. Mine cruises at a smooth 58mph and is electronically limited to 65. It's revving much to high to hit that limiter anywhere but down a mountain.

I've found that my bus is easy enough to work on, the chassis is well made and solid, and the engine is reliable as gravity. The weak spot is the transmission, I have the AT542 which is the AT545 with a smaller fluid capacity.

Check out my thread if you're interested in my build and travels.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/sp...bus-17338.html
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 07:59 PM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Thanks Brokedown. I enjoyed your thread, subscribed to it. I agree in keeping it simple and plan to do the same. This is encouraging to me, I’ve got my eye on one on ebay so we will see
adventure8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 08:26 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure8 View Post
Thanks Brokedown. I enjoyed your thread, subscribed to it. I agree in keeping it simple and plan to do the same. This is encouraging to me, Iíve got my eye on one on ebay so we will see
Just say NO to bus shopping on fleabay.

Does somebody need to take you bus shopping, in the virtual world? I have no idea what you're planning on buying, and it's always your choice, but it's time for some of us to influence you if you'll let us. Would you like to buy a bus for a price somewhere between half and one third the price you'll pay on ebay?

If you found a special bus, by all means go with the urge. If it's just a bus, let us help you find a better bus if you've got a little time. What do you say? I don't want to be preaching to the quire.
__________________
Robin
Nobody's Business
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 11:52 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,233
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure8 View Post
Iím looking at a 1995 Thomas Vista 3600 with 7.3L V8 and AT545 with around 110k miles. Thoughts on reliability? Ability to travel highway and mountains?
A Vista has some good points and some not so good points.

The good points would encompass shorter overall length for the same amount of interior space compared to a Type 'C' bus. With a 7.3L it means it has an IHC chassis which are about the best in the business. Parts and service are available just about anywhere at reasonable prices. If it has the hydraulic disc brakes those are some of the best hydraulic brakes ever put on a school bus.

The not so good points would include working on the engine. Everything is either too far forward to reach easily from the dog house or too far back to reach from outside under the hood. The AT545 is not the best transmission but if you take care of it the transmission should go at least 250K miles before major problems arise.

A Thomas Vista is a much better bus in ever respect than the Ward/AmTran version of this style of bus.

It is a good bus if the asking price is under $3,500.00. Anything more than that and I would look elsewhere.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2020, 07:03 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Just say NO to bus shopping on fleabay.

Does somebody need to take you bus shopping, in the virtual world? I have no idea what you're planning on buying, and it's always your choice, but it's time for some of us to influence you if you'll let us. Would you like to buy a bus for a price somewhere between half and one third the price you'll pay on ebay?

If you found a special bus, by all means go with the urge. If it's just a bus, let us help you find a better bus if you've got a little time. What do you say? I don't want to be preaching to the quire.

**I would love the help. I've been looking for a TC1000 and just found these Vistas. I want a flat floor bus with the wheelchair access that they usually have on the side towards the rear.
Any help would be appreciated!!
And I'm in Oregon - thanks!!
BlackHeart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2020, 06:24 AM   #12
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,690
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackHeart View Post
**I would love the help. I've been looking for a TC1000 and just found these Vistas. I want a flat floor bus with the wheelchair access that they usually have on the side towards the rear.
Any help would be appreciated!!
And I'm in Oregon - thanks!!
he hasn't been on here in a while and ended up just being a troll when it was all said and done.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2020, 06:40 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
he hasn't been on here in a while and ended up just being a troll when it was all said and done.
Still, if anyone has a great source for a flat floor bus... I'm all ears.
I'm looking into these Vistas now...
BlackHeart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2020, 09:23 AM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Wake Forest NC
Posts: 501
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Vista 3600
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 24000 lbs
We have a 1998 Vista bus.

I specifically sought one out myself. And yes I had the crap AT545 transmission.

It gets a bit of negativity for sure from the bus forums. And I think that Eastcoast is right about the ride unless you find one with Air ride like I did.

I have a 7 window shorty, and I use the lift to tote a full sized motorcycle in the rear

I knew the AT545 was crap, and so I made sure to do a lot of research, and I have bought an additional IH bus with the same chassis and motor (its a long bus) and I swapped the transmissions..

It is a nice bus, the flat floor and the location of the lift were some of the key selling points for us. We tow a sailboat, so the pug nose is ideal for boat launches.

but a 1995 will likely not have the connections for an A-2000 that my later 1998 does. You can still do it, its both difficult and not, but it is do-able.

I have the entire PDF of the Thomas Vista body wiring now, so anyone with a vista wants it let me know. I talked the guy at Thomas into sending it to me

good luck in your bus hunt
RolesvilleMarina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 01:14 PM   #15
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 1
I just bought a 3600 Vista. I would love a copy of that wiring diagram. Please.
braynor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 01:35 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Wake Forest NC
Posts: 501
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Vista 3600
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 24000 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by braynor View Post
I just bought a 3600 Vista. I would love a copy of that wiring diagram. Please.

Awesome..
post a pic of it.. what year?

We love ours

My email address is the same as my screen name here... just add G and then mail and then the dotcom lol

I will shoot it back to you... I also have a entire electric schematic to the 2002 year model IH chassis... not Vista specific but a lot is the same and helped me a lot when I did my Vista's Transmission upgrade

cheery day
dave
RolesvilleMarina is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
7.3l, vista

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.