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CMSDKID
New Member

United States
3 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2021 :  06:03:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit CMSDKID's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We are looking at possibly getting some gas CE school buses in the near future. Does anyone have any in the fleet currently? What are the pros/cons? Any major issues? Thanks in advance for your opinion.

Bluenozer
Advanced Member

Canada
423 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2021 :  10:25:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our bus company will get what ever is the cheapest at the time of the tender , so we never know what we'll get until they show, I know we have for anything diesel has to be a Cummins no matter what chassis no mention for gas engines

OEM trained in wiring and all engine platforms for 20 years
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RonF
Top Member

862 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2021 :  11:09:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bluenozer

Our bus company will get what ever is the cheapest at the time of the tender , so we never know what we'll get until they show, I know we have for anything diesel has to be a Cummins no matter what chassis no mention for gas engines



That's the problem with most systems and companies. Thankfully ours listens to me and our director when we tell the board what we should buy.

It does help when you can show them dollars and cents as to why we should buy a more expensive bus.

US Army retired CMBT
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4505 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2021 :  11:28:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have two. In-service in August of 2020, 15,000 on one, 10,000 on the other, so not a lot of miles yet. One more ordered for July delivery.

The only issues directly related to the gasoline engine and it's related parts was a mass airflow sensor when one was brand new, both had an issue with fueling that ended up being a check valve omitted during production. Both did break down with a J1939 issue, but that was due to someone on the assembly line being sloppy...it would have done it if it was a Cummins engine.

I do admit that I wish I could get just a little more MPG from them. With the 6-speed Allison, 617 gears, and 11R22.5 tires, one is consistent high 4's and the other is low to mid 5's. I didn't quite believe the rep when he said to drive it like a diesel to make it happy, but Mr. Ramrod gets better MPG than Ms. Featherfoot! Counter intuitive for me...because if I run my pickup hard...look out.

I don't regret buying them at this time. Time will tell, I suppose. I do know I won't be buying OEM plugs, wires, coils, etc. WAY overpriced.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4505 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2021 :  11:29:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One more thought....they run well, but they are not speed demons nor are they mountain climbers. I have no mountains and I see no reason to have remarkable 0-60 times for a school bus, so....yeah.
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flint1
Senior Member

Canada
69 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2021 :  07:47:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have 2. 1 with 64000km, 1 with 25000. No real issues. Mileage is about the same or a mpg less then the dt466s they replaced. 7-8mpg. Dt's were 8-9. We have a cummins that averages 11+. Awesome starting in the cold and great heat. Only real complaint is lack of engine braking. About the same as sticking your hand out the window.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4505 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2021 :  08:27:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good point, the engine braking is missed by us as well. These things will coast on for a long time.
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dsalinas1939
Top Member

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2021 :  11:52:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
we have four we got in 2018 gas mileage not as good as cummins they dont have good power for hills but drivers seam to like them two of them had oil leaks which ended up being and intake manifold leak and two of them not engine related but they had ac compressor failure o and on twowe had shift cable issues it was so hard to put them in gear u had to use two hands finally after allison came out and told dealer its not a trans problem they changed the shift cables on both and no they are good uuummmm i think thats it. For Now
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Brook Peacock
Senior Member

103 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2021 :  02:39:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brook Peacock's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Company got 5 Blue Bird propane buses (2013) with the Ford propane engine and Ford transmission. The transmissions have been 100% trouble-free so far.
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flint1
Senior Member

Canada
69 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2021 :  05:29:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good thing the blue bird transmissions have been trouble free. Another contractor had a transmission fail in a 2017 gas bird. No dealer up here would touch it. No parts. Nobody would reprogram it. 5 months, some lawyers, it is now fixed.
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Brook Peacock
Senior Member

103 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2021 :  12:56:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brook Peacock's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ended up with lawyers? F*k those dealers.

Edited by - Brook Peacock on 04/20/2021 12:57:14 AM
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CMSDKID
New Member

United States
3 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2021 :  04:34:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit CMSDKID's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by flint1

Good thing the blue bird transmissions have been trouble free. Another contractor had a transmission fail in a 2017 gas bird. No dealer up here would touch it. No parts. Nobody would reprogram it. 5 months, some lawyers, it is now fixed.



We have 49 of the BB propane buses, its been a mixed bag. We lost 2 or 3 engines, 2 trans issues, and a rear end that exploded. A ton of parking brake issues. We also ran into warranty issues with our local Ford dealers. That being said they have been ok for the last 6 years. As a mechanic I would of ordered something with a Cummins in it.

Edited by - CMSDKID on 04/21/2021 04:45:29 AM
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CMSDKID
New Member

United States
3 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2021 :  04:40:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit CMSDKID's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the comeback everyone. I am looking forward to any new buses as our IC's are old enough to vote and drink. As cost is a big issue I am sure we are going to end up with gas buses. I got to dive a 70 some passenger one the other day. Its defiantly slower and our drivers will complain, but its a school bus not a sports car. Looking forward to not having to replace stringers and massive rust repair.

Edited by - CMSDKID on 04/21/2021 04:41:18 AM
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4505 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2021 :  04:35:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For those of you getting the higher MPGs from the gas IC buses....could you tell me what tire size, rear end gearing, and transmission configuration (programmed to run 5 or 6 gears, performance or economy programming)? Or the last 8 of the VIN and I'll look it up myself.
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Brook Peacock
Senior Member

103 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2021 :  05:23:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brook Peacock's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I'm curious about it too, thanks, Admin for bringing that up.
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flint1
Senior Member

Canada
69 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2021 :  06:42:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have a 2018. 5.57 rear axle, allison has economy shift program and set to 5 spds. It can be a lot doggy if your lazy with the throttle. It upshifts too early, lugs hard, and burns fuel.
Best strategy I've found for mileage is about 1/3 throttle untill 3rd gear, after 3rd, roll on the throttle to just over half to take advantage of the bigger gear spread, and to prevent holding up traffic. Light throttle it will upshft at 1450 rpm, need to get it up to 1800 or so.

Our 2020 has 6.17 rear axle, performance shift program and 6spds.
It flat out rips. It will not upshift before 1800, just like the 07 era dt466s.

We are finding drivers that are light on the throttles are getting worse mileage then those with a slightly heavier foot. Driving with your foot on the floor will cause a local fuel shortage.
We are a year away from replacing another bus. This particular route has a lot of Highway running. Undecided as of yet if it will be gas or cummins..
We are in northern Alberta, the cold weather performance, heat, ease of operation, and 48$ oil changes, we sure like the gassers.
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Pablosi
New Member

9 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2021 :  04:26:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Pablosi's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bluenozer

Our bus company will get what ever is the cheapest at the time of the tender , so we never know what we'll get until they show, I know we have for anything diesel has to be a Cummins no matter what chassis no mention for gas engines

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Pablosi
New Member

9 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2021 :  04:37:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Pablosi's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We have several of the IC buses with the Gas engines with more on the way. IC has turned the page and are making quality buses again. We have ran these for a couple of years now with only 2 issues since new. One issue was an oil line leaking we were able to tighten the other was a bad evap sensor. No wiring issues . We love them $78.00 year to date in parts costs with a couple of busted glasses in there. The average mileage is 21,000 miles. Still early but for 2 years we never see or need to depend on the dealer.
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