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busman01
Active Member

15 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  04:41:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit busman01's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey guys-Our school district is planning to purchase some brand new or newer(2010-2012)used buses.I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on their experiences with the Internationals & Cummins equipped Bluebird & Thomas buses(2010-2012).The last new purchase they made here were 08-09 Bluebirds w/Cats & those have had many issues,so many that they want to trade them off.I'm new to the forum & just wanted to get some real world advice..I've noticed there's a lot of very knowledgable mechanics here & I'm hoping with the input I receive,we can make the best choice...plus I'm the one that has to work on them lol.Thanks for any info.

bwest
Administrator

United States
2319 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  05:37:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have had decent luck with the 2010 ICs with 6 cylinder in them. I have two and there have been no major problems. I do not like that the oil filter costs $52 and it holds 30 quarts of oil. The oil filter is so large & heavy that it is hard to handle when pulling it down with oil running down to your elbow. The dash on these rattle and break so if you are running on rough roads you might want to keep that in mind. The other buses I have are all older than your 10-12 requirements. If you have been reading this forum you know I'm sold on the propane so if I have my way I will not have any experience with the new diesels. Good Luck

Bryan
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tigger2
Advanced Member

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  07:30:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our 2010-2012 Thomas units with the Cummins engines have been dooing very well. We have had only minor problems with the units since delivery.Cost per mile for oil, fuel, scr, and repairs hase been well below the units with out scr (.28-.36) versus (.57-.65) The after combustion dosing for the older catalytic style emmissions must use a lot of fuel. We had one unit run almost two years without a regen because of a programing error from the factory, it was set for manual regen not automatic. We use about 55 galons of scr juice every 45 to 50 school days for seven units, about 7.5 gallons of scr when only one of four lights on the gauge is lit.
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Fastback
Top Member

985 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  07:40:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bwest

The oil filter is so large & heavy that it is hard to handle when pulling it down with oil running down to your elbow.



I use a hammer and nail to poke a hole and completely drain my large spin on oil filters before removal, it saves the mess and the anxiety of how many turns will it be before this hot heavy filter comes off the threads

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback

Edited by - Fastback on 11/08/2012 07:41:33 AM
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Fastback
Top Member

985 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  07:44:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We like our ICs but you won't go wrong with the Cummins. Dealer support could be the deciding factor.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2319 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  07:45:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

quote:
Originally posted by bwest

The oil filter is so large & heavy that it is hard to handle when pulling it down with oil running down to your elbow.



I use a hammer and nail to poke a hole and completely drain my large spin on oil filters before removal, it saves the mess and the anxiety of how many turns will it be before this hot heavy filter comes off the threads



Good tip, thanks.

Bryan
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partsman_ba
Administrator

United States
286 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  2:40:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have a Bluebird fleet. Have to agree with you on the Cat C7's - our 2006's (the one year you couldn't get an ISB) sound like they are going to rattle themselves to death.

Here's been our experience - the 2008 ISBs had some growing pains with the first year of DPFs being installed. Same with the 2012s with the first year of SCR. Still working through some issues there - part of the system is Cummins, part is Bluebird, but fortunately our BB dealer tech is certified for Cummins now. Have had horrible luck with our 2012 Visions' Actia dash panels frying, but no problems with our 2013s. Other than those, no real big problems to report. We have D3s (FE and RE) as well as Visions.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  2:46:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Get everything in writing and get the salesman's home phone number. Stay away from CAT 2007 emissions. Get service records on used buses to see how well it was taken care of.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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IBTMech
Top Member

USA
973 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  6:45:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit IBTMech's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ditto that plus I loosen it first. I use a 24p nail and a 3 lb short handle hammer. Two whacks. NAPA has that filter for $15 less. #7708
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

quote:
Originally posted by bwest

The oil filter is so large & heavy that it is hard to handle when pulling it down with oil running down to your elbow.



I use a hammer and nail to poke a hole and completely drain my large spin on oil filters before removal, it saves the mess and the anxiety of how many turns will it be before this hot heavy filter comes off the threads


If it doesn't fit, FORCE it.
If it breaks, well, it needed replacing anyway.
Pullin' wrenches for 45 years.

Edited by - IBTMech on 11/09/2012 12:12:20 PM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2319 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2012 :  08:02:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is NAPA, IBT. I can get them for about half that price if I catch them on the filter sale. Will be doing that in February, I think.

Bryan
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C2FAN
Senior Member

United States
96 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2012 :  08:12:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would look at your local dealers. No matter what bus you buy, if your local dealer isn't providing good service a minor issue could turn into a major one. I have had good luck with Thomas, but my local dealer goes out of the way to take care of the issues I have. Every bus is going to have a problem from time to time.

Another piece of advice would be to buy your used buses local if possible. If you buy something from one of the companies who sell nation wide, who is going to step up and help you out with the bus if there is a problem after delivery? Not too mention the issue of the bus meeting your state specifications.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2012 :  06:59:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One important thing I forgot is to check the structure out. How strong is that aluminum or fiber/resin roof? Are the roof bows one piece or several pieces of tubing tacked together?

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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BJ Henderson
Advanced Member

USA
227 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2012 :  5:23:43 PM  Show Profile  Send BJ Henderson an AOL message  Reply with Quote
If you can find a local dealer that has or knows of a leasing operation, check with them on used buses, sometimes you can get well maintained buses used.

I would stay away from IC v-8 engines of any flavor.

CMTT,CMAT,CMBT
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partsman_ba
Administrator

United States
286 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2012 :  2:38:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IBTMech

Ditto that plus I loosen it first. I use a 24p nail and a 3 lb short handle hammer. Two whacks. NAPA has that filter for $15 less. #7708
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

quote:
Originally posted by bwest

The oil filter is so large & heavy that it is hard to handle when pulling it down with oil running down to your elbow.



I use a hammer and nail to poke a hole and completely drain my large spin on oil filters before removal, it saves the mess and the anxiety of how many turns will it be before this hot heavy filter comes off the threads





If you all have a Carquest store (and you are a school district,) ask your salesman about getting on the US Communities contract. For instance, that #7708 is a #84708, and the price is $20.24 versus $25.40 from my NAPA. Same Wix product.
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