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Old 01-14-2018, 12:58 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Diesel vs. Gas

Seen another thread here where people were strongly advising getting a diesel. I was set on that, mostly because I read that they're a lot more durable. Got this comment on another forum asking for opinions. This person recommends Gas due to lower maintenance cost.
What do you guys think?

ĄAny vehicle improperly maintained is going to be a headache. I worked for a guy that had box trucks custom built for his business. They used Chevy cutaway van chassis with 6.0l gas v8. They lengthened the chassis and installed the largest boxes legally allowed in the state of Kansas. Those trucks drove way better than my short bus ever did with the same gas mileage, without buying fuel filters and diesel additive and no $100+ oil changes. My boss claimed that what he saved on maintaining his trucks more than paid for his custom built chassis. When I left that job he had built 6 of those same trucks, 4 of them were over 200k on the original motor and transmission. Low miles is always awesome, but proper maintenance goes a long ways."

Made me think, but I have no idea, so...

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Old 01-14-2018, 01:01 PM   #2
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Ask yourself why it is so rare to find a medium or heavy-duty truck with a gas engine.

If there were a market for them, they would be plentiful.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:04 PM   #3
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I agree. But then again, I found a lot of short school busses (what I'm looking for) with a gas engine. Hence the confusion.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:08 PM   #4
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I agree. But then again, I found a lot of short school busses (what I'm looking for) with a gas engine. Hence the confusion.
Those were probably built on Van platforms that were already gas engine equipped. Once they go bigger and are purpose built the diesel is a better option for high mileage/low maintenance. There are literally 1000's of diesel engined vehicles with over a 1,000,000 miles on them. How many gas engine vehicles fit that description?
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChrisHieronimus View Post
I agree. But then again, I found a lot of short school busses (what I'm looking for) with a gas engine. Hence the confusion.
Many of the shorties are built around cutaway van chassis. Hence they are light-duty. Some of them have gas engines, many have diesel.

Others have full school-bus chassis, but are just shorter, they tend to have diesel engines.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:28 PM   #6
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Others have full school-bus chassis, but are just shorter, they tend to have diesel engines.
Thanks for the Info!

And I'm guessing these would be the better option? Which models should I be looking for then, how do I tell if it's a van cutaway or full school bus?
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the Info!

And I'm guessing these would be the better option? Which models should I be looking for then, how do I tell if it's a van cutaway or full school bus?
A Van cutaway will have a Van cab on it.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:36 PM   #8
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A Van cutaway will have a Van cab on it.
Ah, I see. These are most of the four-window busses I've seen. So the five/six window busses seem to be full size bus chassis.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:42 PM   #9
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Diesel engines don't have valve trains that wear out, less moving parts. So longevity is better than a gas engine.
Diesel engine valve trains donít wear out?
Less moving parts?
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:46 PM   #10
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Diesel engine valve trains donít wear out?
Less moving parts?
Sorry, I had 2stroke engine on my mind.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:52 PM   #11
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So o1marc, did you delete your post?

Nevermind just saw the reply.
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:27 PM   #12
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As someone earlier noted...there are plenty of good reasons why virtually every over the road, large commercial vehicle runs a diesel engine. It comes down to pretty simple and historical based accounting.

They last longer, require less maintenance and use less fuel.

Ka-Ching $$$
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:51 PM   #13
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As someone earlier noted...there are plenty of good reasons why virtually every over the road, large commercial vehicle runs a diesel engine. It comes down to pretty simple and historical based accounting.

They last longer, require less maintenance and use less fuel.

Ka-Ching $$$
Less fuel could be negligible depending on fuel prices. There's a 20% difference in prices in my area, am I getting 20% better mileage?
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Less fuel could be negligible depending on fuel prices. There's a 20% difference in prices in my area, am I getting 20% better mileage?
If you're only getting 20% better economy with a diesel engine, there's something wrong with your diesel engine! At least with the 90s buses that are preferred you should be getting at least 50% farther on a gallon.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:14 PM   #15
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Diesel was half the price of gas while many of us were growing up. It used to be more economical.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:18 PM   #16
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Sorry, I had 2stroke engine on my mind.
I have a 2-stroke diesel, and it has four exhaust valves per cylinder (but no intake valves)!

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Old 01-14-2018, 07:24 PM   #17
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If you're only getting 20% better economy with a diesel engine, there's something wrong with your diesel engine! At least with the 90s buses that are preferred you should be getting at least 50% farther on a gallon.
When Crown used big Hall-Scott gasoline engines in their buses they used to get about 3, maybe 4, MPG. When those same buses were repowered with Cummins or Detroit diesels they got 8 to 10 MPG. 'Nuff said.

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Old 01-14-2018, 07:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
When Crown used big Hall-Scott gasoline engines in their buses they used to get about 3, maybe 4, MPG. When those same buses were repowered with Cummins or Detroit diesels they got 8 to 10 MPG. 'Nuff said.

John
The same is true with the ol' cornbinders (Internationals). I would expect any of the Y-block engines (262, 304, 345, 392) to get in the 3-5 MPG range on the road, and a T444 or DT466 to get between 8-11, assuming similar cruising speeds and driving styles.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:46 AM   #19
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I'm still confused. I want a 4 window. Will take a 5 window if my hunt leads me there.
I heard that a gas 4 window drives peppy.
What engine am I looking for if I see a gas for sale.

Is the 7.3 diesel realy what is best?

Is 170k, 225k miles on a maintained diesel bus a good deal foe $4600- 5000?
Thanks. Want a bus tomorrow!
Trying to take my time looking for the best deal, but I can't wait for months.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:13 AM   #20
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I'm still confused. I want a 4 window. Will take a 5 window if my hunt leads me there.
I heard that a gas 4 window drives peppy.
What engine am I looking for if I see a gas for sale.

Is the 7.3 diesel realy what is best?

Is 170k, 225k miles on a maintained diesel bus a good deal foe $4600- 5000?
Thanks. Want a bus tomorrow!
Trying to take my time looking for the best deal, but I can't wait for months.
Your profile indicates Vermont. The biggest thing you will want to avoid is rust. Check any prospective bus thoroughly and carefully. Look underneath, around the wheel-wells, around the back door and bumper ... everywhere.

Check things like tire tread and condition, brakes, and any work that will be needed soon (or was recently done).

The 7.3 engine has an excellent reputation and parts availability (IH built this engine and used it's own "T444" version in their own offerings). The injectors will be wearing out at around the 200-250K mark and the electronic engine versions will set you back around $200 each (plus labor), but the engine itself will go a lot further if taken care of. Use this as a negotiation point and bear this in mind if the injectors were recently replaced.

That price range is a little high, you can get one about half that price through one of the auction sites, but wouldn't be out of line for a private seller or dealer.
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