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rick lohrey
Active Member

27 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2011 :  11:12:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit rick lohrey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In my area diesel fuel is 40cents more than gas. Is there a point this savings makes up for the lack of longevity inherent in gas engines? Plus, less torque seems to mean more gas needed to attain same results of a diesel. It seems in the long run, diesel would win out over gas engine. Is this correct thinking?

mastertech
Advanced Member

274 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2011 :  1:51:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit mastertech's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thats a loaded question. When looking at gas verses diesel you have to include all aspects of owning both. Initial cost,repair cost ,maintenence costs,service tools ,overall miles driven in life cycle not just fuel.
Cold weather climates also play a part.
Are gas engines even available for medium duty anymore?
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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2011 :  6:14:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gasoline engines are not available but propane is. The questions that you guys have both adressed have been a driving factor with me wanting to replace my school's diesel buses with propane. From the oil changes right down to the replacment cost of the entire engine are all less exspensive than a diesel. For example; an oil change on my newest diesel (2010) cost us $140 for parts alone not counting any labor. With that I get about 5,000 miles between changes. By contrast the propane bus we own costs $40 for an oil change and will get me about 7,500 between changes. I could go on and on about the cost differences between parts and what parts are not even on a propane vs. a diesel but I think you are smart enough to get what I am driving at.

Your question about tourque is really not a factor any more. I can not remember off hand what the torque is but the horse power on my current propane is 325. It will really scoot a 71 passenger bus down the road!

As for the longevity of the propane; in my opinion it will probably outlast a diesel. I know the current warranty is 5 years or 100,000 miles on this engine.

Bryan

Edited by - bwest on 09/25/2011 6:20:20 PM
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bluebirdvision
Top Member

USA
1077 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2011 :  7:11:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not interested in rebuilding a gas engine at 150,000 miles. No thanks! It'll be interesting to see how it plays out!

Facebook Page: Blue Bird Corporation Fans
https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_212311114614&ap=1



Edited by - bluebirdvision on 09/25/2011 7:12:53 PM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  07:35:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Better than rebuilding a diesel at 150,000

Bryan
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

453 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  08:59:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Have a thread about this in general interest:

http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22666

Gas is definitely going to be an option, it will be very interesting to see if it takes off.

bwest, I was talking with a couple of districts that are having issues with the shift points on their propane Visions... did you get yours resolved yet?
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rick lohrey
Active Member

27 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  09:06:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit rick lohrey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wasn't intended as a loaded question just a question to mechs and techs that have done, or know what both entail. My wallet is WAY too thin to look at new buses. I had pretty much decided on diesel until I ran across an 83 GMC 57pass School bus with 396(40kmi on bus) and an 1985 GMC 72pass with a 454 (56kmi). The low miles seem appealing, but the short life span of the gas engines causes me to hesitate. I still lean heavily toward diesel..even with no experience in oil burners. The hp from propane surprised me. I'd always heard there is less power to be attained from LP.
I appreciate all responses and info shared by you all.

Thanks
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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  10:01:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With the information you provided above I would (if I were in your shoes) go with a diesel. The old 366 & 396s were good engines but with that carb on there they were a pain. One problem still remains with the diesel, they are really exspensive to work on. I don't know what you are going to do with your machine but you have to weigh the cost vs. use in my opinion. If you are going to use it heavy then it is a no brainer, go diesel. If, however, you are going to use it very little then it is harder to decide. You have to think about a gasoline engine sitting around, not good. So again it is not so easy to say which way to go.

As for the shifting on my propane, I have not gotten to the end of this issue. Been busy around here since school started and I have not gotten to make any phone calls beyond my dealer. Dealer says with this engine/ trans out of production it will be hard to get any fixes from the factory. One person suggested that I check to see if there was an aftermarket computer fix. Such as the companies that make chips for diesels. Might be an option but I would rather the company take care of this problem. (just getting them to see that it is a problem is a problem in itself!)

Bryan

Edited by - bwest on 09/26/2011 10:05:47 AM
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rick lohrey
Active Member

27 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  11:03:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit rick lohrey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I read a Texas city (Austin?) is going LP fleetwide. Just trivia. I plan to convert bus to rv/camper...should be easy miles. Well, there are the Rockies and Blue Ridge to contend with, but unless something really big comes up to convince me otherwise, diesel seems to be the way to go. I don'g see putting much over 100k miles on the vehicle. Like everyone, I'd prefer it to start when key is turned and run well and dependably. Waiting on side of road for tow truck is not my idea of a good trip. But, I know it happens with all. If it's man-made, it breaks.

Thanks for the input.

Rick
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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  12:04:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yep, diesel's the way to go then. Be sure to keep your fuel filters changed and things should be ok for you.

Bryan
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2181 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  12:20:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BWest, Call Clark-Detroit Allison 800-513-9593 and get Dan Loher (pronounced leer). He is a field tech that fixed a few transmision problems for us.

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

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  2:04:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
k, sounds like a plan! I'll let you know what happends.

Bryan
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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  2:07:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oops, I'll have to do it tomorrow. Forgot you guys are an hour ahead of me.

Bryan
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IBTMech
Top Member

USA
973 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2011 :  3:32:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit IBTMech's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Doug, do you run the 15W40 right through the winter? Here in Maine I switch to 10W30 during the colder months. At -30 15W40 may not flow creating a dry start situation.

If it doesn't fit, FORCE it.
If it breaks, well, it needed replacing anyway.
Pullin' wrenches for 45 years.
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emagee7132
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2021 :  10:59:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit emagee7132's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Last diesel leaves me in June cant wait all gas is only way love the cash I'm saving plus no more down time tow bills warm quiet and happy so if it goes at 200000 I can put 2 brand new engines in for one emissions rebuild
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