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Old 06-24-2015, 08:31 AM   #1
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1992 thomas vista shortie

I am new to site and was looking for some feedback found a 1992 Thomas vista shortie 140k with the 7.3 non turbo motor w/ ac and hyd. Brakes bus doesn't appear to have any rust and is roughly a 20+ passenger so I was wondering would this make a good cruiser or are there any upgrades that are definitely needed on these motors?
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:06 PM   #2
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What do you want it to do?
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:12 PM   #3
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Just need a decent cruiser to transport about 18-20 adults to and from a commuter parking lot to work about 50 mile+ round trip each day currently using a passenger van with less ppl. Would like to be able to cruise hwy if possible just don't know a awful a lot about this particular style of older bus I'm use to the newer stuff lol
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:05 PM   #4
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The is an IDI engine. Not exactly a rocket ship. I have only driven one in a Ford pickup. There are mods that can be made to bump HP. There is someone that builds an injection pump and injectors for this engine.

Conestoga Diesel
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:10 PM   #5
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Yeah I do know that they aren't the winner on take off but considering the round trip isn't too long I'm just hoping for reliability and durability may possibly straight pipe it and do a few minor improvements will definitely be looking to upgrade to something heavier duty within a few years all that's left now is for the diesel mechanic to do a full once over and if all is well I should pick it up by the weekend so we'll see how it goes I just hope I can at least get 65mph out of it some way some how
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:49 AM   #6
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There are upgrades out there. Conestoga is the main player for upgrades. There was a lot of aftermarket support for them 10 years ago, but now they are pretty much old tech and a lot of the distributors disappeared. You can still get a few different turbo kits, larger injection pumps, better injectors, etc. Google the oilburners forum. There's guys over there that eat, sleep, and breathe these old engines.

My bus has a 6.9 IDI. It's slow to get going. Not sure the power level(it's slightly over stock) but it still runs good. It will eventually get up to 70, however it will be at red line when it finally gets there. Your cruising speed will depend on what your bus is geared at.

There's only a few things you need to watch out for. Coolant condition is one of the major ones because these engines seem to suffer badly from cavitation. So make sure the additive and ph levels are correct. You also might run into bad glow plugs/module too, they're not too hard to replace. Only use Beru/motorcraft plugs. For the module you can use a toggle switch and bypass it altogether. Other than that, just perform routine maintenance and it should last pretty long.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:52 AM   #7
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Those Thomas Vistas are so strange looking.. but in an intriguing sort of way.

I've not actually seen one other than on the internet, but I'd be concerned about engine access if there is a lot to do under the hood.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction for some good info its much appreciated
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:38 PM   #9
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Yes the Vista is a odd looking bus but this was strictly because of the deal that made me consider it we have a few of them as activity and special needs buses at my pt job so I'm somewhat familiar with them however they are way newer thanwith different motors and transmissions than the one I'm posting about. 1 thing is for sure they have great maneuverability!
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:56 PM   #10
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No experience with them personally but I have heard they ride like crap.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:52 AM   #11
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Lol to be honest I don't think any 92 bus really rides all that great without a lil attention and improvements to the suspension
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:56 AM   #12
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Lol to be perfectly honest i don't think it's many 92 school or activity buses that ride all that great w/o a lil improvement being made to try them
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:04 AM   #13
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My 92 bus rides REALLY well.
Air ride out back helps that a lot. This bus rides like a dream compared to the Thomas I used to have.
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Old 06-27-2015, 11:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transportb28 View Post
Just need a decent cruiser to transport about 18-20 adults to and from a commuter parking lot to work about 50 mile+ round trip each day currently using a passenger van with less ppl. Would like to be able to cruise hwy if possible just don't know a awful a lot about this particular style of older bus I'm use to the newer stuff lol

I don't know how your state regulates it but I've been vanpooling for 27 yrs here in California with 13 other people, 140 mile round trip, They allow us to classify them as cummuter busses so we until last yr didn't have to pay bridge tolls but you go over 14 people then you have to get class B license & have DOT physical & be considered commercial vehical.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by allwthrrider View Post
I don't know how your state regulates it but I've been vanpooling for 27 yrs here in California with 13 other people, 140 mile round trip, They allow us to classify them as cummuter busses so we until last yr didn't have to pay bridge tolls but you go over 14 people then you have to get class B license & have DOT physical & be considered commercial vehical.
Actually, in California, a Class B is required for over 9 passengers. Do they have an exemption for vanpools?
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:08 PM   #16
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A large batch of them hit Govdeals awhile back, pretty sure there's at least a few still on there. They're somewhere in Florida I think.

The Vistas are really cheap, probably because they're so ugly.
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:26 PM   #17
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Actually,

in California, a Class B is required for over 9 passengers. Do they have an exemption for vanpools?
Yes they do because their not for profit, if you own them yourself & I had 6 at one time your allowed to make a few hundred extra for a maintance account but if you run them for profit then you need the Class B

My motivation for doing it was I got to write off allthe depreciation on taxes plus it paid for all my gas for my personal vehicals & covered allmy insurance & phonebills
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:32 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by allwthrrider View Post
Yes they do because their not for profit, if you own them yourself & I had 6 at one time your allowed to make a few hundred extra for a maintance account but if you run them for profit then you need the Class B

My motivation for doing it was I got to write off allthe depreciation on taxes plus it paid for all my gas for my personal vehicals & covered allmy insurance & phonebills

Good to know.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:11 PM   #19
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where the air bags stock or a post install?
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:28 PM   #20
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I have the 7.3 IDI in an e350 ambulance. Is a stout, simple motor. I'll 2nd the BERU/Motorcraft only glow plugs- under $100/set. Braided metric fuel return lines and o rings will cause lost prime, so may need those- ~50 on ebay. DIY in a weekend, even in a van. soak those plugs w/ pb blaster first, gentle.

Not fast, but will run a long life.

I need to get rid of that ambulance. Was a NASA vehicle.
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