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Old 02-01-2020, 11:52 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Location: Sanford Florida
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Year: 2000
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Engine: Cat3126B 230hp
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Thomas Bus HELP

I am looking at a 2000 Thomas bus with cat3126B 230 hp and MD3060 tranny. 79k Miles 11 window RE church bus. No rust and good tires. Only problem is vandalism with broken gauges and rear view mirror. Donít have bus experience to know ballpark costs to replace gauges? Can anyone shed light on this and they are asking 7900.00. Was going to offer 6k but not sure about cost on gauges??
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:57 AM   #2
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: MVP/ER
Engine: Cat3126B 230hp
Rated Cap: 48
Thomas gauges

Only speedometer is good. All other gauges have broken glass or missing altogether. Donít want to open a can of worms unless I am going fishing😄. are the bezels replaceable or does entire gauge needs to be replaced??
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:05 PM   #3
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Sounds like a decent ride, aside from the broken gauges. You might be able to abandon all of the gauges and use one of those Bluefire adapter thingamahoogies like CadillacKid uses, where it displays all of the instrumentation on a tablet. Someone more knowledgeable on that might be able to shed some light.
You could always use the instrument clusterf**k situation to bargain them down on the price.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:06 PM   #4
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Year: 1999
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That's full on retail unicorn price for that kinda bus.
The gauges could probably be found cheap used.

The pics have me curious though. my 99 Thomas has much more modern looking guages by vdo. Those look a bit more old school.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:06 PM   #5
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX/MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3126
Replacing the gauges could get a little expensive but do some measurements, you may be able to buy some automotive aftermarket gauges It looks like the most critical gauges (MPH, Fuel Level, Air Pressure) survived or still work. The ones with blue inside were most likely just blanks. If memory survives me right those style gauges were not very good to start with.

I'd initially be a bit hesitant to offer 6 for it, but if it's really a 230 HP CAT with cruise it should be a nice highway machine. High roof (roof line slopes up above the door)? Air Conditioning?
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:26 PM   #6
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: MVP/ER
Engine: Cat3126B 230hp
Rated Cap: 48
Ceiling height is 77inches and has ac units which I would probably take out because they are very bulky? Itís a nice condition bus. I crawled under the whole thing and has pass thru belly storage.the gauges are conflicting me.
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:03 PM   #7
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You have enough on your plate with a skoolie as it is - no need to add replacing busted gauges to the list, especially when the bus is extremely overpriced as this one is. I'd pass on it completely.
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:24 PM   #8
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i know the price sounds high but to me?
if someone needed to rep power there bus that is a good powertrain and you cant get that set up used for less than that plus the labor to install it.
i would almost pay that price for it just for the powertrain to re power mine but by the time i got it here from florida and do the swap myself i could get the motor tranny combo already out of the vehicle for a little less than that total cost.
save the effort of one engine and tranny removal but lose the benefits of having the donor vehicle setting right there for all the extra parts.
if it runs good looks goods i wouldnt let the guages scare me but instead as mentioned its a bargaining chip.
i would want to verify the mileage especially sinc the dash is already messed up but if its a church bus and the church can give you there paperwork from date of purchase and maitenance records since they have had it then it might be believable.
let me know if you dont get it i might be interested cause i am already knee deep in planning an upgraded repower for mine
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:32 PM   #9
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Engine: Cat3126B 230hp
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You guys ready fir this info??

EastCoastCB brought up an interesting point about the gauges not looking right. So I did some internet research( google is just awesome, isnít it) and found dashboard images of Thomas buses and this one that posted is actually a 1998 dash in a 2000 bus. So the speedometer and all could be from another bus which means mileage is bullshit. I am feeling a scam here.wsnted to share with you guys since you all are very kind to share info with us newbies.🤔🤔🤔👎
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat7783 View Post
EastCoastCB brought up an interesting point about the gauges not looking right. So I did some internet research( google is just awesome, isn’t it) and found dashboard images of Thomas buses and this one that posted is actually a 1998 dash in a 2000 bus. So the speedometer and all could be from another bus which means mileage is bullshit. I am feeling a scam here.wsnted to share with you guys since you all are very kind to share info with us newbies.��������
It's not a scam, dashboards go out and get replaced all the time. But yes, the odometer is often bullshit. If it's an electronic engine, you can usually read the true mileage from that.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:53 PM   #11
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You WILL need an air gage if you have air brakes.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat7783 View Post
EastCoastCB brought up an interesting point about the gauges not looking right. So I did some internet research( google is just awesome, isnít it) and found dashboard images of Thomas buses and this one that posted is actually a 1998 dash in a 2000 bus. So the speedometer and all could be from another bus which means mileage is bullshit. I am feeling a scam here.wsnted to share with you guys since you all are very kind to share info with us newbies.🤔🤔🤔👎
Bus mileage is almost always bullshit. Glad we can call bullshit bullshit finally! woohoo!!

I'd pass on this bus and start watching the auction sites.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:45 AM   #13
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Year: 2001
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Chassis: HDX/MVP ER
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If it's a Thomas MVP then the dashboard is absolutely correct or at least it matches all the ones I've riden as a student and poked around in for sale. They were phased out by the HDX which had a completely different dashboard, but were still sold up till about 2001 or 2002. The HDX and the MVP share the same rear body panels until about 2003. I'm not fully positive but that dashboard may have survived even longer in the EF transit buses until that they got replaced by the EFX.

A 230HP CAT in my opinion is a great thing to find in a school bus as they are much more reratable (make more power on a factory tune) by the CAT Dealer than the 210HP models. According to a diagram shared by Adept Ape on a recent video by Deboss Garage, very few power making parts in a 210HP can be reused in a "rerate", not even the turbo.

AC, High roof, and underbody luggage bays are options I would consider paying more for. If you were further north I would be happy to come down and read the mileage out of the computer.

I was able to find a source of gauges at work today on my lunch break but neglected to write down the name of the site.... I'm trying to find it again, they had all sorts of parts for buses, trucks, and heavy equipment. I did find an analog tach of similar styling for about $120.

At the end of the day, it's your money, your peace of mind. There will be more buses out there if you want to turn your nose up at this one.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:17 AM   #14
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Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
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There have been a couple of bus salvage yards mentioned here. I imagine that you could find a complete dash panel from one of them.

A "glass" dash would be an option as well. Take a look at Silver Leaf and Bluefire. They plug into the J-1708 diagnostic port under the dash. Then you can customize a dash displayed on an Android or Windows tablet.

There is quite a bit of discussion here on Skoolie as well as over on IRV2 of both products.

Lastly, there is a gent here that documented building a complete new dash from scratch. I expect that he could be a good resource for you. If anyone remembers who posted that thread please share?
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:41 PM   #15
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We bought about the same bus, 2000 Thomas re cat with 3060 and under storage with factory tint all around and a factory white paint. But we paid 3k

Also the three gauges in a row on the right the top three are gauges the bottom three are blanks with tinted glass in my bus
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:22 PM   #16
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Chassis: Allison MD 3060
Engine: Catepillar 3126B 210hp/605 ft lb
my 2001 dash is the exact as your picture, Gauges seem cheap to replace, plus you have the 3060 which is a 6 speed with unlocking. I am not a bus expert just own one.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:53 PM   #17
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Chassis: GM CV 6600 I think lol
Engine: 3126 A Caterpillar AT2400
Rated Cap: 54 ps
Call Tony at AAA bus LLC in AZ he has a wealth of knowledge and used parts at reasonable prices! Let him know Tee from NJ sent ya!
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:18 AM   #18
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Year: 2001
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Also when you say tires are good, did you check the date code or just look at the treads? Iíve learned that tires often time out before they wear out.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:21 AM   #19
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My 2001 MVP also has the same dash so it's not a scam and likely not a replaced dash.

The broken gauges are (if they're the same as my bus) under the speedometer is blank nothing in it, beside the tach is the air pressure, you'll need to replace that if it isn't functioning. The 2 rows of three are the same as mine on top and on the bottom row from left to right is
1. 4 lights that show water in fuel, warning, stop, and wait to start.
2. is something to do with the battery (mine doesn't work anyway)
3. is the transmission temp gauge.

The broken switches under the speedometer is the windshield wipers and if the switch for that is the same cost as the cruise switches I bought then they're $15 from Vintage Parts. The round one looks like it is the speed of the intermittent wipers.

You can get a gauge set up through the obd2 port but that's not what it's called in the buses... its J something J9 maybe... anyway it's nice to have those systems where you can look at it electronically. You can get some cheap like <$100 and some can be $1000+ with tuners and code readers.

If you're still interested in this bus just use it to get the price down because it seems overpriced I paid $3500 for mine a year and a half ago but it has twice the miles.
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