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Old 03-31-2016, 11:00 PM   #1
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Question looking for feedback on a bus

Hello Kind and BrightSkoolie folk,

We know this isn't much but it is the info we have. The bus we are looking at is a 71 pax 2002 freightliner with a Thomas built body, a Caterpillar 3126 diesel engine, Allison automatic transmission, and air brakes. Is this a reliable engine? Any insight based on experience with this model? Thanx sooooo much in advance.

Akasha and Ally
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:14 AM   #2
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The F-liner chassis is a nice driving chassis and isn't known for having any real issues.

The Thomas body is a good body as long as there is no rust.

The Allison is most likely a 3000 series and is one of the best transmissions out there.

The Cat 3126 is a so-so engine. It isn't big on power, the parts to maintain and repair it are expensive (it isn't known as Caterpillar gold for nothing), and they have had some issues in regards to the electronics. Having said that, if it starts and runs it will most probably go quite a few more miles without any problems.

A much better choice in engine would be the Cummins ISC or ISB.

A more problematic choice in engine would be one of the Mercedes-Benz engines.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thank you cowlitz. That was definitely helpful.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:13 PM   #4
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Do you have a URL to a Craigslist ad or an auction for us to look at?
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:00 PM   #5
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We are reluctant to just post that as we don't want it bought out from under us. Is that silly?
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:24 AM   #6
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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Originally Posted by Ally420/Akasha099 View Post
Hello Kind and BrightSkoolie folk,

We know this isn't much but it is the info we have. The bus we are looking at is a 71 pax 2002 freightliner with a Thomas built body, a Caterpillar 3126 diesel engine, Allison automatic transmission, and air brakes. Is this a reliable engine? Any insight based on experience with this model? Thanx sooooo much in advance.

Akasha and Ally
What's the price?
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:41 AM   #7
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Its going for 3000.
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:05 AM   #8
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Its going for 3000.
midwest transit by chance?
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:28 AM   #9
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Do not think so.... why?
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
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Ally, pretty much everyone here already has a skoolie. I don't think any of us would buy an auction vehicle out from under you.
That doesn't sound like a bad price, depending on mileage and condition. These people here want to see the photos so they can point out faults or features. That's what this site is about.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:39 AM   #11
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I'd be out, just cause its a Cat. I just don't wanna get into owning one, personally.
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:53 PM   #12
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Ok.

2002 Freightliner Thomas School Bus Caterpillar Diesel Allison Auto 71 Passenger | eBay
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:58 PM   #13
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I asked the guy for the mileage on all five buses. Have you looked at these buses in person at all, or are they too far away?
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:02 PM   #14
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Honestly by now aren't you shying away from the cat engine? It's reportedly just adequate while being expensive to maintain. There are better choices that you'll appreciate later if you let people here help you with what your decision about what you need. No body will push you to do anything, except following logic and safety.
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:02 PM   #15
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I'd be out, just cause its a Cat. I just don't wanna get into owning one, personally.
Why not? Too high maintenance or?
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:06 PM   #16
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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I don't have Cat tools or much knowledge of their systems, or enough money to pay a Ring Power service center to work on one for me. They're just not as easy and universal as a Cummins or International. Much more limited and expensive when time to repair something.
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:08 PM   #17
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Ok.... Damn. Any suggestions with similar length and price that are currently available? Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:10 PM   #18
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Look at the 92's on GovDeals. In Ky. Mechanical engines and not from the rust belt.
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:17 PM   #19
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And being almost 20yrs old isn't something to worry about?
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:18 PM   #20
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Mines a 92. I'm not worried. Turned 24 yesterday.
Shes of legal drinking age. So is my bus.
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