SO whats it like maintaining a Thomas rear engine bus? We just got our first 2014's in and Im not sure what to make of them. And this may be a silly question but where is the BCM? Ive searched and found most of the modules ( engine ,abs,tranny) but have yet to find the Body Controller. The belt to driveshaft to 90 degree gearbox to viscous fan drive is something to behold but I heard its better than what they had before. How do you think one of these will hold up running down dirty roads in a heavy salt state? Id like your opinions and helpfull tips. Ive spent a good part of my life inside a Amtram re easy access engine bay .How would the thomas compare for ease of maintenence?
Our newest a 2013 still has a hydraulic fan/ steering system.The HDX never got around to being multiplexed the whole system is relay actuated. Make friends with someone in your Thomas dealers parts dept. and get thomasbusonline you can look up parts and get to wiring diagrams through the parts sections specific to your bus. If your transportation department has a large format printer for maps, ANSI "C" makes a wiring diagram large enough you won't need glasses to read it. As far as dirty roads washing out the radiator and interer cooler weekly will help out.Most basic maintenence is fairly easy.
Is there a better mirror bracket system for the hdx than the bug antennas? For one the wipers dont wipe the window high enough to clear the glass which I cant see how thats legal. We installed 32" blades instead of 28" and adjusted them so it wipes the the edge of the glass. I remounted the visor brackets up tight to the windshield so it can be folded up and out of the way clear of the huge overhead mirror. It helped a lot but I think a better mirror system is in order. The center fans also block some vision of the right mirror. Im not sure if there is a shorter fan to fix that.
The new wiring system should take care of the old circuit board problems. As for corrosion the only problem has been the radiator fin erosion and plugging. When we rebuild the radiator for this condition we use a thicker core with another row of tubes wider spaced and with heavier cooling fins. This helps with the cleaning issue as well. Now the mirrors are another story, we too have readjusted the wipers and tried to adjust the arm as best as possible to give unobstucted view and found the remote heads do the best job with what we are given.
I really don't get why Thomas covered up the engine in this new design. One of the great things about the older Thomas buses was the accessibility of the engine. Now you can barely see the red engine under all the steel. I think the mechanical fan drive is a great idea but overall in my eyes any benefit to be gained by the mechanical fan drive is killed by the way they have covered up the engine. Its going to take forever to take that thing apart to do any major engine maintenance or repairs.
Ive already had to deal with a zero access left side of the engine. As far as the rube goldberg fan drive thats going way beyond complex and expensive when a couple of simple electric fans and larger or separate altenator would have done the job. Or just mounting the radiator offset on the rear with just a belt for a fan drive.