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 Is it hard to work on the engine on a Thomas Vista
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asnowsquall
Senior Member

USA
172 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2007 :  3:25:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit asnowsquall's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just wondering how mechanics feel about working on the 7.3 in the Thomas Vista, is it hard to get to things? How bad is it?

AW
Senior Member

52 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2007 :  9:12:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not a mechanic but oh, where to begin.....
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4505 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2007 :  04:22:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Avoid this bus as all costs. I had three of them and that was three too many. There's a good reason why they only made them for a short period of time!
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asnowsquall
Senior Member

USA
172 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2007 :  08:27:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit asnowsquall's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Really, glad I posted. I mean its not like I was off to buy one, just getting ideas. I haven't popped the hood or the cover inside to see how accessable things are. Why are they so bad? Is it just the shorty vista's or the full size also?
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LBDboater
Advanced Member

USA
279 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2007 :  2:07:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BACK AWAY FROM THE THOMAS VISTA! This is by far the worst bus ever. I love Thomas, but man did they screw this bus up! It's horrible, horrible mechanicals, horrible maneuvering, horrible power, horrible ride, HORRIBLE!

Edited by - LBDboater on 03/05/2007 2:08:19 PM
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asnowsquall
Senior Member

USA
172 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2007 :  7:33:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit asnowsquall's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hear you loud and clear, I'll pass then.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2181 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2007 :  12:33:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What's brown and has 4 wheels? No not a turd, a Vista. One in the same! What did you expect me to say... It's not a bird. LOL

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4505 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2007 :  1:27:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Favorite Vista memory...the 1997 bus driving down the road...hits a bump...windshield falls out.
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Kodie
Top Member

United States
2028 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2007 :  4:28:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A windshield fell out?!!!! I realize the front end on this bus is way diffferent but I wouldn't think it would affect the rest of the design. Was the whole thing just not thought out before production?
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4177 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2007 :  7:15:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Any large, flat, roped in glass is at a greater risk of damage from the flexing of the front of the bus. In my home district, though Thomases do very well for our needs, the Saf-T-Liner EF windshields with flat glass had many cracking problems, and a few would fall out on dirt roads. I would think if the Vista had some unusual flexing forces (ie: from the modified suspensions people complain about) going on up front, the very same could happen.
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Bassman
Top Member

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  09:21:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our last 3 Vistas are going out of here in June and we're going to have a party. I tried to get the boss to lock the gate and let us play demolition derby with them and the last one moving wins but he wouldn't bite!
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dem84skeeprollinup
Top Member

USA
888 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  12:21:34 PM  Show Profile  Click to see dem84skeeprollinup's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
What was the whole point of the vista design anyway? was it for manuverabilty issues or built out of plian stupidity?

Do the world a favor and bring back GMC and Ford conventional chassis......

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bbird66
Top Member

USA
881 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  12:41:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it was visability, I never had one. Windsheild falling out! holy shnike's! I've had turkeys come throught them but not just fall out! L0L

Were gonna miss you "Brent"..Good luck in "Heidi land"

"I know you miss the Wainwrights Bobby, but they were weak and stupid people...and that's why we have wolves and other large predators" .. The Far Side

"On a two hour delay when will my child be picked up??"








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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4177 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  1:09:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dem84skeeprollinup

What was the whole point of the vista design anyway? was it for manuverabilty issues or built out of plian stupidity?


Definitely for visibility; you can't see the hood unless you lean over the steering wheel.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4505 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  3:00:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bassman

I tried to get the boss to lock the gate and let us play demolition derby with them and the last one moving wins but he wouldn't bite!



Heh, you'd have to get them to run and move first! Miserable bastards.
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busmaster
Senior Member

USA
80 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  3:10:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our school district bought over 800 (yes, not a typo, 800) of those things from 1994-1998! About half have been auctioned off already and the others will be meeting their fate too.

I guess I'm the only one who really liked them.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4505 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  5:32:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Curious, what engine and tranny did you have? I ran the T444E with the AT542 behind it (very short buses). It was an unpleasent experience.
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busmaster
Senior Member

USA
80 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  7:37:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We had the T444E with the AT545 for the 1994-1997, and 1998s had DT466E. All of them should have had the 466s. Almost all of ours were 71 pax, except for a few 65 and 29 pax.
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baptistbusman
Advanced Member

USA
301 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  8:27:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a 1993 with the DTA360 and AT545 and it was a dog, lucky to get it go 55 mph. The heaters all leaked and would never get the bus warm. Just terrible.

When they first came out, did everyone go nuts over them?


1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
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Bassman
Top Member

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2007 :  04:26:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We bought them because it was the only bus we could get with enough flat floor load space for forward facing wheelchairs (it was a raised floor that had an extra step in the aisle) and still go on a 218" wheelbase. This became necessary for us when the feds changed us over to forward facing wheelchairs back in 1994. When air ride suspension came out in 1997, we were able to configure a conventional bus with a flat floor on a 218 inch wheelbase and we have happily stayed with that design to this day.
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mlkdrives41
Top Member

USA
2055 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2007 :  3:36:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LOUD, HOT, the windshield leaked like a sieve, you needed a raincoat to drive one when it rained. Then they fogged up bad once the windshield got wet on the inside. They wouldn't start any day of the year if the block heaters weren't plugged in, they didn't like hills, no power, The one I had had like a luggage rack that ran down both sides. The "boys" took half the screws out of it on the way back from the Vo-Tech center. I was SO thrilled to see the last of that type bus. Then we had a short body Vista with a manual parking brake. It took all your weight to put the thing on.


Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm!
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CPCSC_TD
Top Member

USA
657 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2007 :  6:52:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I started out driving for National School Bus Service before they were bought out by Laidlaw. We ahd a ton of them and I loved them. They turned much better than our other buses and they were reliable.

One big issues we did have was the suspension in the front on the service door side. The shock absorbers kept going after a few thousand miles. Turned out to be a frame issues I believe.

We had units from 1992-96. Air brake, air doors, dt360's, 72 passenger bodies. The mechanics never really complained about them but we went to rear engine when Laidlaw came in. The rear engines were much easier
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