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Old 05-30-2020, 06:56 PM   #1
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What's so bad about the Vista?

I hear a lot of talk about the Vistas being bottom of the barrel on this site. And after viewing yet another thread slamming the Vista and talking a newbie down from buying one, I got to thinking. I don't even know what it is about the Vistas that everyone hates.

I get that the stubby nose is terrible for aesthetics, but what is the big issue with the Vista?
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:59 PM   #2
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I've driven a couple and ridden in a couple more. The ride is harsh. most have a list to port from the factory. engine heat and noise are harsh.
They're just shite buses. That's MY opinion. Not crapping on anyone... just talking about vistas and being honest.
Most of them are poorly outfitted. They don't really have any advantages to speak of and have a lot of shortcomings and compromises.
They're still school buses and they can definitely get a job done as Brokedown and OneNationUnderGoat have shown us. Me- I'm not masochistic enough to wana drive one far.
I think the stubby nose/aesthetic is funky and one of the only things I like about it.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
They're still school buses and they can definitely get a job done as Brokedown and OneNationUnderGoat have shown us. Me- I'm not masochistic enough to wana drive one far.
Oh, come now...
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:33 PM   #4
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They are the "economy" buses. Built for districts that can't or won't spend the $$ on higher end buses.

Like CB said, Brokedown and others have toured the country successfully in Vista's.

But...... Brokedown sports a Bluebird RE now
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
They are the "economy" buses. Built for districts that can't or won't spend the $$ on higher end buses.

Like CB said, Brokedown and others have toured the country successfully in Vista's.

But...... Brokedown sports a Bluebird RE now
What did Vistas cost new? What did/does any bus cost new? The cost of new buses never seems to be revealed anywhere. I'm guessing they're well over a hundred grand these days but I dunno.
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Old 05-30-2020, 10:44 PM   #6
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Vistas were just budget stripped down buses for poor districts in Florida and other areas of the south that couldn't afford anything else. I think just about their only selling points were the low sticker price and the 1-(2?) additional rows of seats vs the conventional Thomas buses.



It was a poorly-designed compromise between a conventional and a flatnose bus that failed to retain the advantages of either body type. They were only made for a short period of time (mid 90s - early 2000s?) In the automotive industry they would be politely known as the answer to the question nobody asked.


The guy that actually spend the time to swap a 2000s series Allison into one is just absolutely nuts but I guess everyone has a fetish.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:13 AM   #7
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It’s a cowled bus like a cutaway. WTF
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:24 AM   #8
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Until this thread, I had no idea that Vistas existed. I had to Google pics to see what they looked like. Funny bus, but I think I like the front end. It looks like a muscled little bull dog. Or maybe a pug, but I always thought pugs were kind of ugly. Looks are a small part of the equation.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:19 AM   #9
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I totally Love the vista..



EXCEPT


well until I had to help change injecotrs on one.. cant reach half the stiuff from the doghouse, cant reach half the stuff from the short hood..



if your vista has fasctory A/C, you'll do nicely on those summer drives.. otherwise you'll cook in that greenhouse of a driver compartment. you can grill your steaks in a skillet and still drive!



Most were T444E with the Lowest HP rating and AT545's even the full size ones..



if you get a shorty the ride is well.. like any short bus.. they bounce around like a school bus.. doesnt really bother me but apparently does others..



ive never seen one with air ride.. maybe they were made but ive not found one..



in a shorty I think they are pretty cool.. I'd probably snag a vista shorty with dual A/C's and a T444E if I could find one.. just because they are quirky and i dig that kinda stuff..
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:50 AM   #10
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They were available with air ride. It just means your stuff behind the rear axle only jumps two feet in the air when you hit bumps instead of the requisite 4 feet.
The front suspension is the worst. It rides like it doesn't have any.
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
Vistas were just budget stripped down buses for poor districts in Florida and other areas of the south that couldn't afford anything else. I think just about their only selling points were the low sticker price and the 1-(2?) additional rows of seats vs the conventional Thomas buses.



It was a poorly-designed compromise between a conventional and a flatnose bus that failed to retain the advantages of either body type. They were only made for a short period of time (mid 90s - early 2000s?) In the automotive industry they would be politely known as the answer to the question nobody asked.


The guy that actually spend the time to swap a 2000s series Allison into one is just absolutely nuts but I guess everyone has a fetish.
Going to assume you are talking about me?


We love our 7 window vista... with the proper drivetrain (the A-2000) she is not loud, and she's not a harsh jarring ride. We have air ride, and the missus has bad back (L4/L5) and so i couldn't have a trouncy bus.

It seems a lot of these people that like to talk the shite are just plonkers never owned one, went and looked at a ragged out stripped down cheaper version of one and just assumed to be knowledgeable about all. If you get the right one they are lovely bus, and like all it would depend on what you wish to do with yours.

The Vista was made from 89-98. Thomas built the body, and IH built the Chassis..
IH used:

same T444E's or DT466
same AT545 (or seems some DT have the MT643)

same shocks and wheels (lower profile tires on the short buses agree there)

again I don't see anything "cheaper" here... just different. Did they break out cheaper metal? I have air brakes too, are they inferior chinese knockoffs?

I mean you might could explain how the bus is "poorly made" as is claimed?
If you are not a fan of the design is one thing, but there is nothing I can find that is "cheaper" about the chassis nor the body.


Some of the DT466 models came with MT643 we are now finding out. I started a group on FB for Vista owners.. and they are coming out of the woodwork now They are an unusual little bus, but they are certainly no more garbage than any other style. It is simply a preference and I fail to see how a T444E/AT545 combo in a dog nose is much different when it comes to the ride (a bus is a bus, unless you have air ride)



As for the ease/difficulty of working on the engine I find it to be no problem.. I can easily reach anything, and I did a lot of my trans swap work inside the bus even when the weather was bad.

I also hear this a lot " if your vista has factory A/C, you'll do nicely on those summer drives.. otherwise you'll cook in that greenhouse of a driver compartment. you can grill your steaks in a skillet and still drive!"

we have found this to be untrue... due to the amount of space under the doghouse we did not find the doghouse to be unusually hot, nor able to "cook" anything on it. I added extra insulation on the cover, and all is well. Unlike say our old ford van the doghouse cover is not slam up on the motor... there is a LOT of air gap between. Again sitting in deadlock traffic with no AC any bus would heat up... and again everyone seems to slam the vista, but FE flatnose buses seem to make more heat and they are desirable.

There is no more heat coming from my dog hose than a flat nose FE (likely less) and it is not an intolerable loud sweatbox as I was lead to believe by you plonkers when I bought mine. I also was told this hogwash about them, and chose to ignore it, and glad I did.

The front suspension is kingpins and shocks and an Ibeam axle... how is this different than a dog nose IH?

none I can see, but your "jarring ride" is likely just you are sitting more on top of the wheel is all... to be expected of the design and not an indication of a **** design chassis. and We've never bounced out of our seats ever.

We've hit some mad bumps at speed, and are amazed how much smoother it is than when I had the long donor bus and drove it over the same test run over the same RR tracks. It to me feels like a caddy with the air ride... coupled with cruise control and tilt wheel its right comfy. The wife can not ride in the lorry, it is a Hino... the front axle looks roughly the same as the bus, and no air ride in the rear... and she went with me once and it threw out her back and she's nae been in it ever again.



and as for engine access... I guess you've never owned chevy or E-150 vans and had to do a motor swap? Vista doghouse is not even close to as tight

and interesting to see some of the UK swearing seems to be rubbing off lol
good show

rant over.. but egads they are nowhere near as bad as the **** talk about them is

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Old 10-22-2020, 06:44 PM   #12
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I like the vista, never owned or even driven one. For me dog nose is a waste of space. 5 ft of the length not usable at all. I can agree that a van style bus is harder to work on...but how often do you have to change injectors...ones every 150000 miles...

I would have a vista over a dog nose. Since it looks cool maybe over an RE. That is not true...I hate these long drive shafts..waste of space also .

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Old 10-22-2020, 07:05 PM   #13
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For us what we liked was the
1. pug nose is cute M said
2. It is indeed useful as field of view is amazing, and it turns on a dime... We launch a boat with ours, few do this with a school bus so there is that
3. the flat floor, no humps made our choice of floor plan the best as well
4. The stairwell design made putting in a co-pilot seat right up next to me like a car do-able, but still use the stairs was awesome.. (pics on FB )
5. the rear handicap lift and door now loads and unloads a full sized 2002 V star classic motorbike


so yes

love our vista

if you are reading this, and have one then join us on "The Pug Nosed Vista" group on FB

cheery bye
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:52 PM   #14
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I like the big windows in a vista.. but no way i would own one without air conditioning.. woweee that was about the hottest damn bus I ever drove and it had one working A/C...



working on em seems like a pain.. but i like the quirky look.. its just cool..



im not about being so ubder practical that i cant waste space so dognpse and me being able to crawl on top of the engine and sit down or stand between the tire and frame is a huge deal to me.. im also a little guy..



RE is prob my favorite from a driver standpoint.. quiet and the extra weight i nthe rear is nice for traction and ride quality.. they are pretty easy to work on too.. except for the IC RE where you have to do everything from the sides..
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RolesvilleMarina View Post
Going to assume you are talking about me?


We love our 7 window vista... with the proper drivetrain (the A-2000) she is not loud, and she's not a harsh jarring ride. We have air ride, and the missus has bad back (L4/L5) and so i couldn't have a trouncy bus.

It seems a lot of these people that like to talk the shite are just plonkers never owned one, went and looked at a ragged out stripped down cheaper version of one and just assumed to be knowledgeable about all. If you get the right one they are lovely bus, and like all it would depend on what you wish to do with yours.

The Vista was made from 89-98. Thomas built the body, and IH built the Chassis..
IH used:

same T444E's or DT466
same AT545 (or seems some DT have the MT643)

same shocks and wheels (lower profile tires on the short buses agree there)

again I don't see anything "cheaper" here... just different. Did they break out cheaper metal? I have air brakes too, are they inferior chinese knockoffs?

I mean you might could explain how the bus is "poorly made" as is claimed?
If you are not a fan of the design is one thing, but there is nothing I can find that is "cheaper" about the chassis nor the body.


Some of the DT466 models came with MT643 we are now finding out. I started a group on FB for Vista owners.. and they are coming out of the woodwork now They are an unusual little bus, but they are certainly no more garbage than any other style. It is simply a preference and I fail to see how a T444E/AT545 combo in a dog nose is much different when it comes to the ride (a bus is a bus, unless you have air ride)



As for the ease/difficulty of working on the engine I find it to be no problem.. I can easily reach anything, and I did a lot of my trans swap work inside the bus even when the weather was bad.

I also hear this a lot " if your vista has factory A/C, you'll do nicely on those summer drives.. otherwise you'll cook in that greenhouse of a driver compartment. you can grill your steaks in a skillet and still drive!"

we have found this to be untrue... due to the amount of space under the doghouse we did not find the doghouse to be unusually hot, nor able to "cook" anything on it. I added extra insulation on the cover, and all is well. Unlike say our old ford van the doghouse cover is not slam up on the motor... there is a LOT of air gap between. Again sitting in deadlock traffic with no AC any bus would heat up... and again everyone seems to slam the vista, but FE flatnose buses seem to make more heat and they are desirable.

There is no more heat coming from my dog hose than a flat nose FE (likely less) and it is not an intolerable loud sweatbox as I was lead to believe by you plonkers when I bought mine. I also was told this hogwash about them, and chose to ignore it, and glad I did.

The front suspension is kingpins and shocks and an Ibeam axle... how is this different than a dog nose IH?

none I can see, but your "jarring ride" is likely just you are sitting more on top of the wheel is all... to be expected of the design and not an indication of a **** design chassis. and We've never bounced out of our seats ever.

We've hit some mad bumps at speed, and are amazed how much smoother it is than when I had the long donor bus and drove it over the same test run over the same RR tracks. It to me feels like a caddy with the air ride... coupled with cruise control and tilt wheel its right comfy. The wife can not ride in the lorry, it is a Hino... the front axle looks roughly the same as the bus, and no air ride in the rear... and she went with me once and it threw out her back and she's nae been in it ever again.



and as for engine access... I guess you've never owned chevy or E-150 vans and had to do a motor swap? Vista doghouse is not even close to as tight

and interesting to see some of the UK swearing seems to be rubbing off lol
good show

rant over.. but egads they are nowhere near as bad as the **** talk about them is


Speaking of not being bounced out of your seat made me think of a full size RE I drove with an air ride seat. I think it was intended to be an ejection seat, sure launched me. Otherwise a great riding bus, but need to put shocks on the seat....
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:16 AM   #16
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Speaking of ejection seats, does anybody know how the controls on a Bostrum air ride seat work? My seat has one little switch thing that goes up or down and it moves the seat up or down, respectively; the other control is a three-position switch that the label has completely worn off of. I'm guessing that this controls the "bounciness" of the seat but it doesn't seem to have any effect. Is it like a "low-medium-high" kind of thing, or does it increase/decrease the bounciness like the height switch does? (I imagine not, since it's a different kind of switch)
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:15 AM   #17
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a lot of times the extras switch is the lumbar.. you hold it in at top and it pumps the lumbar up while holding, then you hold the lower part and it slowly lets air out..



some seats have an adjustable shock to control how much bounce you get..



if you are a little guy you turn the bounce down so you dont get ejected

if you are a fat you turn the bounce up so not to bottom out..
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Old 10-23-2020, 11:03 AM   #18
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I do not refer to the Air Ride as being the seat.

I am referring to my suspension... it sits on air bags, and is not bumpy at all compared to ANY other bus without...

the big long donor bus was a trouncy thing for sure..

I DID steal the air ride seat from donor during the transmission swap, but in this respect I am referring to my suspension

it rides like a Lincoln of buses... very smooth
new shocks (just replacing due to age/miles) will make it even more so
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Old 10-23-2020, 11:34 AM   #19
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You could get a vista with most of the options available as any other bus. It's just most of them weren't ordered that way.

I don't mean to insult you veruca. Your vista seems to be the exception, and you've done a wonderful job with your conversion.

But in my experience, most vistas were bought by poorer districts wanting the capacity of a transit bus at the cost of a conventional. Conventional buses are cheaper then a transit, but don't offer the 84 person capacity that a transit does. And capacity is a big thing that bean counters look at. The vista gave the bean counters the best of both worlds. Doesn't matter to them if they are a maintenance nightmare compared to a transit or a conventional. And you can argue against that, but having the engine halfway under the windshield is worse then all the way with a transit or not at all in a conventional.
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