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Old 02-11-2020, 02:42 PM   #1
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Rear Engines-Are they really that bad?

So, having been outbid on the last few online auctions I've decided to search around my local school district bus garages for a bus...with mixed results. The theme so far seems to be broken down buses that they've already stripped for parts. Nothing that will drive off the lot...

Anyway, I've had quite a few conversations with mechanics who all HATE rear engine buses! Are they really that difficult to work on, or are there just a lot of lazy mechanics out there?
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:52 PM   #2
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In my experience, rear engines are easier to work on and in many cases RE's are more desirable than an FE.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:04 PM   #3
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The absolute hardest buses on which to work are the FE buses followed by van cut-away chassis buses. RE and Type 'C' buses generally have very good access to all areas of the engine. Regardless of the type and location of the engine it is sometimes difficult to reach some of the parts and pieces. No matter how tall or short you are it will be a long reach to be able to get to some of the parts and pieces.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:16 PM   #4
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Makes sense to me.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:24 PM   #5
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I have driven and turned wrenches on CE, FE and RE buses. I very much prefer the RE. That may be why I bought another one
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:19 AM   #6
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Sounds like lazy mechanics
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:34 AM   #7
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CE>RE>FE

that's how I'd put them in order of easiest to hardest for access.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:25 AM   #8
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CE>RE>FE

that's how I'd put them in order of easiest to hardest for access.
With CEs though you are constantly balancing on the front tires which I find awkward.

Also V8 diesels in general are harder to work on than straight six motors. On my old 7.3 Powerstroke (same as T444E) I found it a pain in the ass to do anything on the top end of the motor (good luck getting at stuff in the valley!!)

I never get mechanics that complain about working on RE buses. FE buses are way harder to work on, especially the ones with bigger motors such as the DT466 or the CAT motors which are shoehorned in there with inches to spare. Don't get me started on the FE 8.3 Cummins that Bluebird used to offer in the 90s-early 2000s.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:29 AM   #9
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With CEs though you are constantly balancing on the front tires which I find awkward.

Also V8 diesels in general are harder to work on than straight six motors. On my old 7.3 Powerstroke (same as T444E) I found it a pain in the ass to do anything on the top end of the motor (good luck getting at stuff in the valley!!)

I never get mechanics that complain about working on RE buses. FE buses are way harder to work on, especially the ones with bigger motors such as the DT466 or the CAT motors which are shoehorned in there with inches to spare. Don't get me started on the FE 8.3 Cummins that Bluebird used to offer in the 90s-early 2000s.
With RE you're bending into a box that contains the engine. I can stand next to the tires and service most of my engine. For the top, yeah its easiest to stand on the tires or frame rails. Its the most open, most accessible a bus engine can be.

Looking into the engine bay of Kubla's MCI that series 60 sure looks like a lot of work to service in there. I guess for the big jobs you just pull the engine out on big rails like a drawer sort of.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:35 AM   #10
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With RE you're bending into a box that contains the engine. I can stand next to the tires and service most of my engine. For the top, yeah its easiest to stand on the tires or frame rails. Its the most open, most accessible a bus engine can be.

Looking into the engine bay of Kubla's MCI that series 60 sure looks like a lot of work to service in there. I guess for the big jobs you just pull the engine out on big rails like a drawer sort of.
Yeah, my company runs lots of older Prevosts/MCIs with the Detroit S60. They are substantially bigger engines plus you also have massive HVAC systems and on the MCIs at least the bathroom tank cuts into engine bay space a lot.

Prevost mounts a lot of the compressor hardware in the basement of the bus which helps to a degree.

The Detroit Series 60 is by far my first choice in a coach build if I ever did that route eventually.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:40 AM   #11
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Man, riding in Kublas MCI sure made me want one.
The torque is incredible.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:43 AM   #12
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Man, riding in Kublas MCI sure made me want one.
The torque is incredible.
Yeah, 12.7 liters makes for a lot of power.

I've driven a few of the newer Van Hool/Temsa coaches with the Cummins ISX and was not particularly impressed. Build quality on them is atrocious as well.

We have multiple Prevost's with over a million miles on them. They are beat pretty bad body-wise but the motors just keep on ticking. I think the transmissions on them are Allison HT740.
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:16 PM   #13
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If you’re east of the Mississippi then check out www. Wesellschoolbuses.com
They are reasonable, fair, and some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to deal with!
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:26 PM   #14
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I'm sure they're really nice folks. But they sell $1500 buses for well beyond maximum retail price. Their prices are the highest around and a good amount of what they sell are rusty buses off Public Surplus and GovDeals.
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:49 PM   #15
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I'm sure they're really nice folks. But they sell $1500 buses for well beyond maximum retail price. Their prices are the highest around and a good amount of what they sell are rusty buses off Public Surplus and GovDeals.
I beg to differ with you! They sold us our bus 3k below asking price. NO rust anywhere. No wheel wells to deal with. And when we wanted it painted we got exactly what what we wanted and more for 5K less than anyone else.
I don’t know where you got your information but personally I think you’re WAY off the mark!
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:16 PM   #16
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We're all familiar with BGA, and most of us get our buses from the same places they get theirs for a fraction of the price they resell them for. The fact that they could drop 3k off the price of the bus you bought should be a clue, they surely still more than doubled their money.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:26 PM   #17
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I beg to differ with you! They sold us our bus 3k below asking price. NO rust anywhere. No wheel wells to deal with. And when we wanted it painted we got exactly what what we wanted and more for 5K less than anyone else.
I don’t know where you got your information but personally I think you’re WAY off the mark!
They put this on layaway for some fool- for $8500!

https://www.wesellschoolbuses.com/2424/5.html
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:47 PM   #18
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We're all familiar with BGA, and most of us get our buses from the same places they get theirs for a fraction of the price they resell them for. The fact that they could drop 3k off the price of the bus you bought should be a clue, they surely still more than doubled their money.
Ok that’s fine. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But for those that aren’t diesel mechanics or have 30 years experience buying buses, or even want to fly 1,000 to pick up a bus that they haven’t even driven, it’s good to know that there’s a reputable firm that can handle all the unknowns and stand behind their product. Nuff said.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:06 PM   #19
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FYI - BGA literally has an 'early bird special' where they'll sell you a bus they just won at auction for a $1000 discount of their retail price if you drive or fly to wherever they bought it from to pick it up. literally they never lay eyes on the bus, they win an auction and list it for sale where it sits. if that's the mark of a reputable dealer with fair prices and honest practices, we have different definitions of those terms.

Quote:
"** Early bird prices are the price of the bus before it gets to FL. You have to pick the bus up at it's current location for that price."
With all that said, I'm curious to know which of their buses you bought and for what final price. They have very few under the $10k mark on their site right now. I'm not opposed to them making a buck after moving a bus across the country but I can't go along with a 3x markup especially on their common inventory of undesirable buses.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:36 PM   #20
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FYI - BGA literally has an 'early bird special' where they'll sell you a bus they just won at auction for a $1000 discount of their retail price if you drive or fly to wherever they bought it from to pick it up. literally they never lay eyes on the bus, they win an auction and list it for sale where it sits.
That's disgraceful. I'm glad you guys rip on them so relentlessly - keep at it.
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