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Old 07-29-2019, 04:21 PM   #1
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Buses

So Iíve got a question about what kind of bus I should buy, I know I want it to be a 90 passenger, front engine bus. I also want it to be able to drive on the freeway and a bit in the mountains. What type of engine and transmission should I look for?
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:59 PM   #2
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I'd be interested in hearing your reasons for a front engine?
Rear engine is quieter, easier to work on, and puts less heat inside while you're driving.
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Old 07-29-2019, 05:19 PM   #3
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I'd be interested in hearing your reasons for a front engine?
Rear engine is quieter, easier to work on, and puts less heat inside while you're driving.
note when shopping that a 90 pass and an 84 are the same length. I prefer a front engine because it can be cheaper to repair.. cools more efficiently while driving... and leaves the noise and exhaust out of the back of the bus where most put beds. Also, I wanted to use the back emergency door of a FE for access to a equipment room I built in the very rear. Most on here would say the DT466 engine with an Allison transmission is the best setup.

Hope this helps. You'll find lots of differing opinions on these topics.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:20 PM   #4
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Hey Happy,

Could you let us know why an FE would be cheaper to repair?

I have had occasion to get my hands into CE, FE and RE buses. Parts are very similar. Labor is another story. RE's have much better/easier access to the engine compared to FE.

I have to go along with Justkip. In you want less noise, less heat and ease of service take a look at some RE's.

Another benefit is all of the usable space under an RE. Space that is not available on an FE as that space is occupied by the drive shaft.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:35 PM   #5
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If you are going automatic, then make sure it's an Allison MD3060, walk away from the AT545 they are pretty weak.
The 3060 is also a 6 speed, though 6th is prob locked out.
DT466 is a good engine, I've had a truck with one and wouldn't talk bad about it at all.
8.3 Cummins is a good engine as well.

I'd say stay away from CATs, expensive to fool with and don't last anymore.
Also don't go with the 5.9 Cummins, it's to small for a large bus and will be overworked.

I agree with the other guy though, I'd go for a flat nose RE any day, BUT to each his own.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:40 PM   #6
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If you are going automatic, then make sure it's an Allison MD3060, walk away from the AT545 they are pretty weak.
The 3060 is also a 6 speed, though 6th is prob locked out.
DT466 is a good engine, I've had a truck with one and wouldn't talk bad about it at all.
8.3 Cummins is a good engine as well.

I'd say stay away from CATs, expensive to fool with and don't last anymore.
Also don't go with the 5.9 Cummins, it's to small for a large bus and will be overworked.

I agree with the other guy though, I'd go for a flat nose RE any day, BUT to each his own.
Are there any RE's that are not flat nose?
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:43 PM   #7
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Are there any RE's that are not flat nose?
I don't believe so, the only reason for the nose on them is for the engine...

Also with the REs you get more room for the step well, mine is straight while those with a doghouse the steps curve and you lose width. Atleast on the ones I've ever seen.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:48 PM   #8
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I wanted to use the back emergency door of a FE for access to a equipment room I built in the very rear.
Nearly all buses built in the last 50 years have some kind of full door emergency exit near the rear, but yeah, there's going to be a big shelf over the engine compartment at the back. Good place for a bed, but if you want a garage, the middle of the bus is definitely less convenient!
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:26 PM   #9
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I'd be interested in hearing your reasons for a front engine?
Rear engine is quieter, easier to work on, and puts less heat inside while you're driving.
My reasoning for a front engine is so that I can have a back door to a storage compartment for some bikes and gear
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:32 PM   #10
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note when shopping that a 90 pass and an 84 are the same length. I prefer a front engine because it can be cheaper to repair.. cools more efficiently while driving... and leaves the noise and exhaust out of the back of the bus where most put beds. Also, I wanted to use the back emergency door of a FE for access to a equipment room I built in the very rear. Most on here would say the DT466 engine with an Allison transmission is the best setup.

Hope this helps. You'll find lots of differing opinions on these topics.
I did not know 90 and 84 pass were the same length, thanks for that knowledge!
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:44 PM   #11
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Maker

Also any suggestions on maker, model (if that plays a role in it), and year?
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:10 PM   #12
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Hey Happy,

Could you let us know why an FE would be cheaper to repair?

I have had occasion to get my hands into CE, FE and RE buses. Parts are very similar. Labor is another story. RE's have much better/easier access to the engine compared to FE.

I have to go along with Justkip. In you want less noise, less heat and ease of service take a look at some RE's.

Another benefit is all of the usable space under an RE. Space that is not available on an FE as that space is occupied by the drive shaft.
I will try and get an answer on this for you. My neighbor is the fleet manager for our city schools itís a decent size fleet. When I was looking to buy a Bus encourage me to buy an FE. He stated they cost the city less to repair. At the time I took him at his word and now Iím kind of curious the reasoning myself.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:16 PM   #13
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Allison 3060 is good. Just be mindful that the push button selector is expensive to replace and some report paying up to 3K for parts and labor if it goes bad. Supposedly, there is a place in TX that repairs them for around $700. I found this out while researching Buses last year before I purchased my Crown. My Crown has the MT647 so not an issue for me.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:02 AM   #14
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Allison 3060 is good. Just be mindful that the push button selector is expensive to replace and some report paying up to 3K for parts and labor if it goes bad. Supposedly, there is a place in TX that repairs them for around $700. I found this out while researching Buses last year before I purchased my Crown. My Crown has the MT647 so not an issue for me.
Depends on what year one is looking at.
I'd take electronic problems like that over toasting a weak slush box any day, they aren't cheap to rebuild and most of us wouldn't do it ourself. I hate auto personally.
The elctronics can be had on ebay cheaper BTW and there is junk yards one doesn't have to just find the selector in buses, they are in LOTs of stuff.
My bus is a 04 year so there was no option for a MT647
ALSO Allison is making those older units obsolete while the WTEC3 and higher trans are not.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:07 AM   #15
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I love the "Cat is crap" myth. Keep it up, internet! This may be why I got my bus so cheap.
I'd take a 3126 over a 5.9 Cummins or 444E any day.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:14 AM   #16
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I love the "Cat is crap" myth. Keep it up, internet! This may be why I got my bus so cheap.
I'd take a 3126 over a 5.9 Cummins or 444E any day.
Good thing we aren't all the same at all.
I'm a roadside tech, there is a reason I wouldn't own one.
Good for you though. Sorry if I offended you because I stated I wouldn't have one because they are costly to repair and dollar to the mile aren't worth it in my eyes.
Feel free to despise the T444e or 5.9, why would that bother me? It doesn't have any effect on me earning a living in life and they were not designed by me.
Fact is the 7.3 or 5.9 is cheaper to work on and keep on the road than a CAT is, you pay ALOT for the name.

Don't take it personal friend.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:40 AM   #17
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Good thing we aren't all the same at all.
I'm a roadside tech, there is a reason I wouldn't own one.
Good for you though. Sorry if I offended you because I stated I wouldn't have one because they are costly to repair and dollar to the mile aren't worth it in my eyes.
Feel free to despise the T444e or 5.9, why would that bother me? It doesn't have any effect on me earning a living in life and they were not designed by me.
Fact is the 7.3 or 5.9 is cheaper to work on and keep on the road than a CAT is, you pay ALOT for the name.

Don't take it personal friend.
I don't take it personally at all.
I don't despise either of those engines, but the fact is the Cat is the best engine I've had in 5 buses.
What kind of Cat 3126 failures have you seen that you wouldn't own one?
The DT466E I had a major failure with sure opened my eyes. My wife and I know the foreman at the Navistar shop now and conversations with him have me not wanting to own any more Navistar stuff made after about 2000.

I paid a lot less for the Cat than any other bus except the free gasser I started with so many years ago. And when I check parts prices they're the same as the other medium duty engines so I'm not seeing where the "paying for a name" comes from.


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Old 08-02-2019, 08:34 PM   #18
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Keep in mind that Adept Ape is a professional Cat mechanic and a Cat cheerleader. It's what he knows, it's what he's good at, it's who signs his paycheck. Not knocking the guy; a lot of good stuff is there to be learned off his channel. Just sayin' that he's not who I would look to for a dispassionate analysis.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:54 PM   #19
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I was looking at a CAT 3126 bus a while back and did a fair bit of research on the 3126.

As best I understand it, the early 3126's had some issues but the later ones appear to be a good solid engine.

What troubled me was the availability of service shops. I have three Cummins shops within 2 miles of home. The nearest CAT shop is 67 miles away. As CAT no longer produces engines for road use I don't expect the service options to improve.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:52 PM   #20
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Keep in mind that Adept Ape is a professional Cat mechanic and a Cat cheerleader. It's what he knows, it's what he's good at, it's who signs his paycheck. Not knocking the guy; a lot of good stuff is there to be learned off his channel. Just sayin' that he's not who I would look to for a dispassionate analysis.
Yeah I get ya. I'm a roadside tech for both light and heavy duty work.
I base my bias off experience in the field anymore, I use to be a ferd fan boy but it's been along time since I'd buy their product anymore as far as trucks go.
In my little area I'm the guy people hollar at for the 7.3s and 6OHs, I hate a 6OH BTW and I'm not knocking anyones ride. I'm just the sole provider for my Wife and 4 kids so whatever I own has to be cost effective.

I'm just not going to get in a brand war pissing match, there isn't anything to profit from it and I'm not a vehicle dealer of any kind, I prefer parting them out and scrapping and in that case I only care what it's worth on the market.

I use to watch A.A.'s channel, I didn't realize that he is on here as well. Yeah he has some good videos and like I said nothing I say I want to be taken personally or any of that stuff. That's a big reason I don't even bother with the other diesel forums, far too many kids on there that want to play high school brand bias blabbing that wastes time. With all that said I'm done taking up whom ever is reading time.
Take care all and have a great weekend.
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