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Old 12-27-2019, 01:59 PM   #1
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Advice on 2008 C2 thomas

Has a C7 turbo with Alison 2000(finally found one) with 175k on it. Asking 6500.00 for it. Seen others like this fir 11 and 12k.hearing a bit of negativity about the C7 engine and debating should I buy this or continue to hunt fir maybe a Cummins 5.9 or DT466 with at least a 2000 tranny and not the AT545.?
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:18 PM   #2
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Other people will chime in too, but I would stay away from a 2008, regardless of the engine. Too many emissions stuff to go wrong...

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Old 12-27-2019, 02:22 PM   #3
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Has a C7 turbo with Alison 2000(finally found one) with 175k on it. Asking 6500.00 for it. Seen others like this fir 11 and 12k.hearing a bit of negativity about the C7 engine and debating should I buy this or continue to hunt fir maybe a Cummins 5.9 or DT466 with at least a 2000 tranny and not the AT545.?
$6500 is an awful lot to pay for a "bus", granted this one is newer which you would assume would be worth more, but in fact here due to EPA regulations that bus is worth less than an earlier model. 5.9 is an option depending on the size of bus and tranny mated to it. The DT466 is hard to go wrong with.
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Old 12-27-2019, 03:57 PM   #4
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Looking at 9 to 11 window which puts around 28 to 34 feet max. Really don’t want to push past 30 footer. I see plenty out there in this range with AT545 trannies and plan to do long highway trips so a little concerned about the longevity of this model.? Am I being too dramatical??
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:33 PM   #5
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Looking at 9 to 11 window which puts around 28 to 34 feet max. Really dont want to push past 30 footer. I see plenty out there in this range with AT545 trannies and plan to do long highway trips so a little concerned about the longevity of this model.? Am I being too dramatical??
Not at all. If you plan on any long trips on the highway or travels through mountainous regions, you'll want to avoid the AT545, it was designed for slow stop and go function. You should start with a base that suits the intended use. To me, a bus with a 545 is worth $1000 less than would I would normally offer, if you get an offer at all out of me for it.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:10 PM   #6
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Thank you!

Thanks for the valued advice here. I am new to this forum and see there is a ton of knowledge and experience with the Skoolie world.it is good that you share this with others so that we make as wise a choice as possible.
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Old 12-27-2019, 11:11 PM   #7
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Also the C2 Safetliners have a multiplexed wiring harness which makes integrating stuff into the factory electrical system very difficult.

Not sure how hard removing unneeded stuff (school bus lights, stop sign, etc) is with a multiplexed wiring bus however.

Also the newer Safetliners all have excellent headroom so that is one small benefit to converting one. And they're new enough that whatever transmission it has (2000 or 3060) will be more than aquedate.

Honestly I would consider taking a flier on one with a 6.7 Cummins assuming I could find a shop to do the delete at a decent price.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:43 AM   #8
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Also the C2 Safetliners have a multiplexed wiring harness which makes integrating stuff into the factory electrical system very difficult.

Not sure how hard removing unneeded stuff (school bus lights, stop sign, etc) is with a multiplexed wiring bus however.
I don't think it's that hard with the C2, my county is getting to ready to put a dozen or so buses up for auction with a couple of C2s in the mix. As a matter of standard procedure, all buses are sold without warning lights, stop signs, and crossing gates. The C2s in the lot, visible from a road running behind the jail and garage, have plastic sheeting where the front warning lights were.

Thinking of buying a bus or two if they run cheap enough and flip them in the spring or summer. Just checked and the auction starts the 6th of January but I'm not sure if the buses will be in it or not.

As for this bus the OP mentioned, I would take a hard pass on a late C7 as it will most likely have a Diesel Particulate Filter. From what I understand from my schooling and a little work experience, the engine manufacturers went kicking and screaming to emissions equipment and basically developed it in the field at the end user's expense. I might bite at an earlier C7 without a DPF, but it definitely wouldn't be the first couple choices and not at that price tag.
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:31 AM   #9
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At a 6 foot tall man, I am looking at Thomas and international buses 2003 and newer because I understand the interior headroom increases about 5 inches to 6.5 ft. I could find something older but the AT545 tranny seems to be the most widely used for the time period due to living in mountain free Florida.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:04 PM   #10
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At a 6 foot tall man, I am looking at Thomas and international buses 2003 and newer because I understand the interior headroom increases about 5 inches to 6.5 ft. I could find something older but the AT545 tranny seems to be the most widely used for the time period due to living in mountain free Florida.
You are aware of the EPA issues installed in all buses after 2003. These can be problematic, hard to diagnose, and expensive to repair at a dealer. It's because of this most of would not touch a bus newer than a 2003. IINM, the height difference between low and high ceiling is only 3". While the 545 was widely used, there were several other trans during that period that are far superior. You will not likely find a decent bus from Fla. They are usually rode hard, put up wet , and cannibalized low spec buses.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:41 PM   #11
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Wow. My eyes are opening wider as each day passes. You should see the inflated prices on some buses down here. So I should consider a2002 bus or older with lower ceiling height if engine, tranny, and body meet good condition??
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Old 12-28-2019, 01:00 PM   #12
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Wow. My eyes are opening wider as each day passes. You should see the inflated prices on some buses down here. So I should consider a2002 bus or older with lower ceiling height if engine, tranny, and body meet good condition??
Where is down here? Go to the UserCP and fill out your profile with your location, it makes it easier to answer your questions, add your bus info later. 2003 and before are the safe years. Why are you looking for a low roof specifically? They made tall roof buses before 03.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:31 PM   #13
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At a 6 foot tall man, I am looking at Thomas and international buses 2003 and newer because I understand the interior headroom increases about 5 inches to 6.5 ft. I could find something older but the AT545 tranny seems to be the most widely used for the time period due to living in mountain free Florida.
You've been misinformed.
My 99 Thomas has 6'7" interior height.
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:30 PM   #14
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I bought two 2008 Thomas saf-t-liner HDX buses not too long ago. They have the infamous C7 engine. I have all the service records from the school district.. It seems that in 220,000 miles the only thing they had to do to them, aside from regular maintenance, was replace one injector on one of the buses. I'm sure they are ready to blow up any day now, but I was able to drive them 1000 miles each, to bring them back home, without a catastrophic engine failure. In fact I was able to attain just under 80 mph for some extended periods. Having 300 hp and a six level engine brake, thanks to the variable Venturi turbocharger, was quite enjoyable. Having the engine start almost effortlessly at 28 F was also a plus. After that cold start I hopped out of the truck and ran around to the tailpipe to see what kind of emissions I could detect. There was no smoke of any kind in fact the exhaust was nearly odorless just 30 seconds after starting.

Some negatives that I am aware of about this engine is that everything about caterpillar is very proprietary and there is not much of a community of hackers who have found their way into the electronic controls. This means that you're kind of stuck with what caterpillar has given you. Deleting things like catalytic converter's, diesel particulate filter's, exhaust gas recirculators, if you even live in an area where could get away with that, is near to impossible because the engine computer will go berserk and there's nobody to reprogram it, unlike say in the Cummins world, where there is a hacker in nearly every city, town and small village, who is intimately familiar with all of the electronic secrets of those engines.
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:36 PM   #15
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3126 is the sweet spot for medium duty cats.
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:54 PM   #16
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Some people might not be aware that caterpillar did away with the HEUI injection system and went to common rail in the last year or two of production. Although the HEUI injection system served well when maintained properly, I have to believe that common rail is an improvement.
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