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Old 01-10-2021, 08:13 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 54
Year: 2003
Chassis: Thomas
Maintenance/ things to check before hitting the road.

We are finishing up on our conversion and looking for any normal maintenance that our bus may need that would be different from a normal vehicle.
Its a 2003 Thomas front engine. 5.9 cummins md3060 allison.
I plan to change oil and oil filter
fuel filter and water seperator
transmission filters and fluid
air filter
new tires.

The coolant looks bright green so I dont think I want to mess with that.
Anything else I need to look at? Is there some sort of filter dryer thing for the air brakes?
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aridgedell View Post
The coolant looks bright green so I dont think I want to mess with that.
I've not personally owned that particular engine, but I seem to remember the prescribed coolant being pink or red? Let's see what an actual owner says, though. For lots of buses, the proper coolant is not green.


And...congratulations on nearing completion!
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:42 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,578
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
The air dryer has a replaceable filter cartridge (as least mine does). I had mine replaced, I think it was a few hundred bucks but I don't recall. They showed me the old one which was in pretty nasty shape. One bus mechanic I spoke to (who maintains a fleet of Thomases) says they replace these cartridges once a year, but nobody here on skoolie.net ever seems to mention them so I dunno.
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:33 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 54
Year: 2003
Chassis: Thomas
I was reading about testing the coolant for sca levels and saw something about a coolant filter. Is there typically a coolant filter on these buses? where would I look for it at?
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:08 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 721
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
I think the DT466 motor I saw had a coolant filter. But my 1999 5.9L Cummins does not, and I doubt that yours does.


Now-A-Days, they make "universal" coolant that will work with red or green. Maybe you have that. It may look greenish-yellow, if I remember correctly. They make "coolant test tools" that are cheap that you can buy at any auto parts store. Little weighted balls in a tube that you fill with your coolant. If it passes the test, and the coolant is clear, not cloudy, and you see no rusty-looking or oily muck inside near/around the radiator cap, then your coolant will likely be fine.


If you see oily muck, beware. But with any muck, there may be more in the bottom of the radiator, and at that point, you will want to remove the radiator, turn it upside down, and flush it out; and also clean out the lower radiator hose; and perhaps flush the whole motor also, with the radiator and thermostat removed. Big job for some. Another day for others.



A bit of rust discoloration on the inner radiator cap can mean your heading to needing a flush sooner than later, or, not.




WAIT!----

For some reason, I was thinking van cut-out. Likely your coolant "cap" is on a bottle above the motor. Look for muck or rust-silt in the bottom of the bottle, also - it will be less likely to be on the cap.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:46 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 54
Year: 2003
Chassis: Thomas
Thanks, I ordered a whole new air dryer and the coolant test strips from NAPA. My local tire shop had some good prices on Firestone fs560plus tires so I plan on going with those instead of a foreign brand.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:12 PM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,928
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by aridgedell View Post
We are finishing up on our conversion and looking for any normal maintenance that our bus may need that would be different from a normal vehicle.
Its a 2003 Thomas front engine. 5.9 cummins md3060 allison.
I plan to change oil and oil filter
fuel filter and water seperator
transmission filters and fluid
air filter
new tires.

The coolant looks bright green so I dont think I want to mess with that.
Anything else I need to look at? Is there some sort of filter dryer thing for the air brakes?
Get test strips an check the condition of the coolant.
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:17 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 89
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 8.3
I've got a 2003 bluebird that has the Cummins 8.3, so there's a chance you're coolant MIGHT be different than mine but here's the stuff i used.

https://www.valvoline.com/our-produc...freeze-coolant

And i had a coolant filter on my engine. Our engine is in the rear and it's bigger so there's no way the filters are in the same spot but I'll share a picture of mine so you know what to look for. It's the smaller one in back and it's Napa filter 407120200910_192621.jpg20200910_192711.jpg
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