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Old 09-29-2020, 02:06 PM   #1
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Exclamation 4-Cylinder Mercedes Advice

We are new to the skoolie world and looking to purchase our first bus. Locally we have found a fleet maintained 6-window 2007 4-Cylinder Mercedes with Allison transmission with 197k miles.

The fleet manager and I talked on the phone, seems like a very knowledgeable and trustworthy guy. They installed a new turbo last year, new fuel tank this year, and it is currently still running kids around until it gets sold. He said the engine “outruns the Mercedes 6-cylinder all day and gets better gas mileage” - he actually said they put some of these 4-cylinders in full size buses.

Any input you have on this bus/motor would be very helpful to us, who are very new to this! Do you have any experience with this? What should we look for? Does anyone have this engine in their skoolie? Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:05 PM   #2
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I don't have much info for you, but I can say anything that new will have a lot of emissions problem creating stuff on it. Also, the only thing I have heard about Mercedes and skoolie is Mercedes skoolie = bad news. I have no idea why, just what I have read.
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:29 PM   #3
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Biggest problem is getting parts if it breaks. Emissions control is another problem. Most any diesel 2007+ has been known to stay in the shop.
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:11 PM   #4
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look up a member here named joeblack i believe he has something similar.
you may be able to reach out to him for information on that one.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:05 PM   #5
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I know older Mercedes diesels are great. Very durable, and plenty of parts available at a reasonable cost.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:40 PM   #6
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yes sir i do as well and will run on almost any type of oil as fuel.
i referenced joe black because if i remember correctly he has something like the OP is asking about.
i have a friend with a sprinter van with the mercedes in it and it lives in the shop and no local show can figure it out?
i would be scared of it myself and i do my own mechaniching with a ford mechanic son that has and is earning all the tools i have ever dreamed of and would still be scared of it because i dont know it.
joe black could maybe share his advice and experience with his to help expell the myth or hebee jebees or?
OP joe black might be on the road right now but PM him and he will get back to you when he gets time.
hope i have the correct member?
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:13 PM   #7
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Hello OP. There are a couple of people here with Mercedes diesels. We have a 2003 6 cylinder version with 420000 Miles.. no smoke, no leaks, no oil consumption. This was a transit bus and so had a hard working life.


It is electronic controlled so it would be good if you know how to use a multimeter. Any kind of trouble shooting by professionals get expensive real quick.


If this is a local bus then they, or their diesel mechanic, might be willing to help you out if you have trouble later in life.


Not sure where you are but rust would be more of a concern to me then what engine assuming it is running good now. The 4 cylinder indeed might give you good MPG with a 6 window bus. Our 6 has 300 HP so your 4 should be in the 200HP range.


The only part I needed was a fuel pump and that was just available on ebay. Not expensive either.


A used engine runs between 1000 if you are not in a hurry and 3000 if you are not looking around so in case you have real problems like valves , camshafts then price or availability does not matter because you would better get a whole engine.


Whatever engine, buying it from the fleet directly and locally would be a big plus for me.


I have been told by our citie transportation manager that their Gillig had 4 cylinder 4bt engines in city buses but they were for city use. The 6 cylinders were for longer distances. He felt that the 4 cyl were a mistake.


This being computer controlled saved my but when we developed a coolant leak in a hose and the alarm went of when the expansion tank got low. No harm done but it is mind boggling that not all vehicles have that feature.



If you are planning on driving short distances all the time with out having the engine heat up fully then pay more attention to the emission stuff.
Our bus does not have it and had a diesel coolant heater in it. We bought ours directly from the fleet and they told me that they always used it. I took it out because I needed the space and never had a problem but that is just one data point.



Doxylover has a Mercedes engine as well. You see these engines everywhere so parts must be available or may be they are so good that they do not break . Ask the bus barn why they are selling it.


What are they asking?







My 0.02
Good luck
Johan















If you buying it directly from the fleet and still can see it in action
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:16 PM   #8
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thank you.
thats what this post was missing and needed.
hope you have a good night sir.
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:20 PM   #9
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All! Thanks so much for your replies, this was my first post and I’m sure I’ll be here more frequently after all this support!

Joe, great info!! Thanks so much!

I am an electrical engineer, so a multimeter is my first tool for basically everything at work!

The fleet manager said they acquired the bus when they won a bid from a local school district and bought all their buses a few years ago. They’re only selling the bus to standardize the fleet and make it easier on the mechanics and save some money to stock less parts. They’re asking $6k, which from my searching seems on-par with the current used bus market.

We’re in western PA, but the fleet manager challenged me to find rust on it. Pics look very clean, I was actually surprised with how little I saw.
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Old 09-30-2020, 08:40 PM   #10
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You are welcome, if this is the only mercedes bus they have then my argument that they can help you out with their expertise might not hold water. rust is about the worst there is. Tech / mechanical problem are annoying but you fix them and they are done. Rust is as a bad disease .. it always comes back.. for sure in PA. There are plenty buses for sale on CL and FB in that price range.
If you are close to State College then stop by for a beer,


Johan
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Old 09-30-2020, 08:54 PM   #11
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Ha! I’ll be close - bus is near Bedford. If we come out near Happy Valley with (hopefully) the new skoolie we’ll do that!
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesantoros View Post
Ha! I’ll be close - bus is near Bedford. If we come out near Happy Valley with (hopefully) the new skoolie we’ll do that!
If that's the only one they have and are trying to standardize the fleet don't forget to ask for all the spare parts that are specific to that bus. Bargaining chip for you!
Good luck
Cheers
Oscar
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
If that's the only one they have and are trying to standardize the fleet don't forget to ask for all the spare parts that are specific to that bus. Bargaining chip for you!
Good luck
Cheers
Oscar
Great idea Oscar! Wouldn’t have thought to ask!
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:09 AM   #14
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Turns out it IS their last Mercedes and the only parts they have in the storeroom are some fuel filters - they’re gonna throw them in for free though!
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:40 PM   #15
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Im Running 2006 mbe 6.4l 6cylinder. 190hp. It's a 29ft Handi bus thomas built. It has an EGR. I get 11-12mpg at 60-65 mpg. I would rather have the 4cyl to get better gas mileage. Had for about a year. 5000milws. Bus has 235k. I changed oil and filters and the spinoff on the allison 2500. 2350rpm max speed 67mph. No oil leaks I can see. It may be burning oil, but less than 3quarts. I like my newer because it puts out less harmful emissions. Awesome find!!
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Old 10-07-2020, 06:58 PM   #16
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https://youtu.be/K6SIqdpi4gA
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:49 PM   #17
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I'd steer clear of it. there was a time not all that long ago when the Mercedes diesel 6 cyl diesel was std equipment in full size buses. Schools gladly paid Extra money for CATS and Cummins diesels so they would not get one of those silver lead bullets. NOW Thomas is offering a NEW DD5 compound turbo Detroit diesel (5.0L 4cyl) with all these nice claims of 45K miles oil changes and ...... Everyone knows Detroit diesel is owned by Daimler Just as Thomas is.
I predict people are going to shy away from this DD5 .

The bus mechanic at my school and I were discussing a new item that can be installed under the hood to put out a fire. He liked the idea on all the buses but #19, #22
He said just make sure the kids of off those buses and let them burn. You can guess whichof our buses have the mercades engine.
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Old 10-07-2020, 09:59 PM   #18
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I have a 2005 Thomas/Freightliner 28 ft. dog nose with the MBE 906 6.4 liter engine. I've driven it about 4000 miles, and it currently has 190k on it. Running fine, and getting 13-14 mpg. I've changed the oil, coolant, and fuel filters, and am about to change the trans fluid. No leaks or smoke, no problems at all.
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Old 10-07-2020, 11:37 PM   #19
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I have a Motorhome on a Isuzu NPR chassis with a 4BD1-t engine. It’s a 4 banger. I like it except I don’t think it has power for towing a trailer. Don’t know much about the Mercedes.
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