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Old 02-23-2020, 06:14 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 183
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 0908S
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 28' 9 window
Tank has a minor leak

New to me 2008 Thomas. I noticed my fuel tank is wet with fuel. And left a spot on my driveway about 12 inches around while it was parked today. Didn't notice if itís wet on the the top but the sides are pretty wet. Any common leak areas near the top of the tank on these Thomas buses? I'm thinking one of the fuel lines are leaking and fuel flowing back down from motor after I shut it off?

I haven't had the chance to get under and investigate thoroughly yet and I was hoping to get a suggestion where to start. Bus has 3/4 tank right now.

I have not filled the bus since I've owned it and I do have some rust issues on this bus and maybe a steel line rusted?
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,614
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
I would not think that there are any unaddressed leaking tank issues with ANY school bus. Get under there ASAP and see what is going on.


P.S. Your local Freightliner dealer can tell you if there are any recalls for your bus.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:20 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
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Posts: 183
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 0908S
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 28' 9 window
Looks like the front tank straps are starting to cause issues. I'm going to need a a tank or a liner? I've heard of liners but never seen or used. seems to me if you have to remove the tank to install the liner you might as well replace the tank.

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:21 PM   #4
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,435
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
That sucks. My bus has some rust and I dread if the tank rots out because removing it can be a pain. If it does happen I will remove the tank and weld a patch in the problem areas. You can legally weld a fuel tank, but some precautions are needed when doing the job.
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:49 PM   #5
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Rated Cap: 28' 9 window
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Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
That sucks. My bus has some rust and I dread if the tank rots out because removing it can be a pain. If it does happen I will remove the tank and weld a patch in the problem areas. You can legally weld a fuel tank, but some precautions are needed when doing the job.
thanks for the tip. it does suck because initially I thought I had a rust bucket because the back side has some holes. But underneath its mostly surface rust. This looks to be where the straps are rubbing on the tank as rust formed there.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:08 PM   #6
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Location: mid Mo.
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Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
NO NO NO you won't get away with tightening a fuel line, that's blind optimism on your part, you have salt under a strap and it has rusted through to the fuel, I fix them all the time. Drain all the fuel, drop the tank (the bolts will be rusted also...more problems) and get it patched if only in a few spots, otherwise you will need a new tank. I checked a couple truck junk yards for one of my customers and they said if they had any good used tanks they could sell one a week, that is how much demand there is on used tanks BUT because it's a bus you might get lucky and find one. Be sure to purge tank with a running engine removing all oxygen before you weld, I got both my 60 gallon tanks powder coated so it wouldn't happen again. Asphalt impregnated cotton straps is what you put between your tank and straps to resist rusting. Check fuel lines while in there.
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:26 AM   #7
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Location: West Ohio
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Engine: 6.9 International
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I'm surprised you have a 2008 rusting out already. We have some that are 20+ years old and haven't rusted. Normally when they start getting near that point we get rid of them. I've only replaced one, and I can tell you the tank alone wasn't cheap, let alone all the fuel line fittings, straps, etc that were rusted and damaged as well.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:16 AM   #8
Skoolie
 
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Year: 2008
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Engine: Cummins 5.9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
I'm surprised you have a 2008 rusting out already. We have some that are 20+ years old and haven't rusted. Normally when they start getting near that point we get rid of them. I've only replaced one, and I can tell you the tank alone wasn't cheap, let alone all the fuel line fittings, straps, etc that were rusted and damaged as well.
Yes, I was kind of surprised. while this bus has some rust holes on the back and one or two small ones near the wheel wells overall its not too bad. The tank is covered in surface rust and it appears to be leaking about halfway up the front strap. Not sure if the strap had rubber or maybe incorrectly installed. The bus was not used much and I'm thinking it sat with rust on it never getting the chance to rinse off.

I found a new tank at cleveland tank for $650 with straps and rubber brings my total to $750. I currently have LQK searching for a used tank but will have to determine if a used tank is worth it once they get back to me with a price
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:38 AM   #9
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,500
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
I see you're in OH.
There's a couple bus specific salvage yards in OH. There's a "where are the good junkyards located?" thread on here somewhere...
I'll bet you get a better price from one of them or at least avoid shipping if you're near enough to pick it up yourself. Certainly worth a call or two...

If the strap was loose, the tank would bounce and rub...

One of my straps is broken -- seems no damage there but I'm afeared of what I'll see when I get the front strap off...
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:45 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 183
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Chassis: 0908S
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 28' 9 window
Thanks for the tip. Iíve contacted a few of them. One does not resell tanks and one that has them used wants $450. I have not given up yet but it looks like new at Cleveland tank is the best option
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Old 02-27-2020, 03:27 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
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Posts: 183
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 0908S
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 28' 9 window
I pulled the trigger and bought a tank at Cleveland Tank. I pick up next week and start the install soon.

There's no room at all above the tank when installed. Does anyone know if I be able to lower the tank a bit to disconnect everything?
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:50 PM   #12
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Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
A lot of bus builders have an access panel in the floor to get to the sender and lines.
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:15 AM   #13
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 183
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 0908S
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 28' 9 window
Got the old tank pulled and I was able to access all connections via the access panel in the floor. Glad I pulled it because it was a mess. The design of these Thomas tanks have a frame of thick metal at the front and rear. The problem is that frame allows crap to accumulate at each bottom end of the tank and rust builds up here. This tank was way more rusty than everything else around it. Not sure if the wet fuel inside attracts moisture or what. Got the area around the tank all wire brushed and applied Ospho as well. Hope to get the new tank installed ASAP.

For the 50 gallons of diesel in the tank I was able to score a 55 gallon drum that had Canola oil in it. This and a drill pump worked perfect to drain this old tank. I think I'll use it as a grey water tank when I'm finished
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Old 03-10-2020, 04:13 PM   #14
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
That sounds like a double-tank score to me!
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:53 PM   #15
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
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Year: 2008
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Chassis: 0908S
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 28' 9 window
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
That sounds like a double-tank score to me!


Yep. I bought two of these food grade tanks. One for fresh and the one I used for diesel transfer the grey tank
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