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Diesel vs gasoline school buses Cecilguitar 10-7-05  
I am interested in opinions on which is better and why: gasoline powered or diesel powered school buses? Thank you.
Re: diesel vs gasoline school buses Phil Feinstein 10-10-05  
Archer Daniels Midland has thrown it's rather large hat into the ring for producing Bio-Diesel. We may see a culture shift in the next few years, and diesel may become more popular and cheaper to run than Gasoline.

I don't agree with the need for a specialized mechanic for Diesel engines, but the skills (and rules) are very different for the diesel fuel system as opposed to a gasoline system. The mechanicals for the diesel engine itself aren't much different for a similar sized gasoline engine.

Hope that helps!
Re: diesel vs gasoline school buses Andy 10-8-05  
There are advantages to both.
Diesel generally will give much higher MPG of fuel.
Gas engines can be fixed by most mechanics but you'll probably have to go to a more expensive truck mechanic for diesel repairs.

Thoose are just a couple of the obvious ones.
Re: diesel vs gasoline school buses Rick Wells 10-14-05  
You can pay at the gas pumps or pay at the diesel mechanic shops but it isn't cheap to drive one. I opted for gas because the chevy truck engine has been used for 40 years, the parts are cheaper, and anyone can work on it. I can completely rebuild one for the price of just a FI pump on a diesel. Also a diesel requires expensive filters, pump, starters, batteries X 3 or 4, glow plugs, etc. and not just anyone can work on one. I have a gas motor (366) that will start at -25 at 8000 ft w/o heat, get a diesel to do that without plugging it in.
Re: diesel vs gasoline school buses ron 11-16-05  
Ya i would take a good ole gas 366 over the diesel's to
Re: diesel vs gasoline school buses Chad 2-14-06  
I agree Diesels can cost more in terms of maintenance (more filters, more oil) and parts are more too. With mine, an 8.2L, I have no glow plugs to worry about and a single battery starts it down to 30 degrees (People in northern Alaska might need 4). So far my costs have only been filters & oil. I went with a diesel for the extra torque to haul around my '73 IH Scout II and to be able to have it run of WVO (waste vegetable oil).

Re: diesel vs gasoline school buses Mark O. 2-1-06  

For all of the discussion, you have to kind in mind what exactly you are going to be doing with your bus.

If you are never going to go on the highway, if you are never going to go very far, if you never have to go up any steep hills, and if you never get into an accident that punctures the fuel tank, the gas engine has the diesel engine beat in every catagory.

On the other hand, if you ever expect to go cross country and go over the mountains and you want to cruise in excess of 50 MPH, the only way you are going to be able to do so is if you have lots of HP and torque. No matter what you do to a gas engine none of the gas engines on the market today can keep up with a good diesel engine (by good I am not talking about the GM 6.2/6.5/8.2 family of engines, the Cummins 555, the IHC 9.0 and other boat anchors).

In school service the real possiblity of an accident causing the fuel tank to rupture puts the diesel at the head of the line and the gas at the end.

Again, it all depends upon what you plan to do. If you are staying local and you don't care how long it takes to get there then the only answer is the gas engine. But if you are going to be going any long distances and you have the need for speed the only answer is the diesel engine.

Mark O.
Re: diesel vs gasoline school buses patrick young 3-3-06  
I’ve owned about 60 buses. Both gas and diesel, and diesel generators, diesel cars, pickups, you name it.

Diesel equipment is better, that is simple, but not all diesel stuff if usable in the real world. I had a wonderful Izuzu I-Mark with a great little 1.8 diesel. But it had glow plugs, and those in my opinion suck, a lot. I’ve had a lot of problems with the asinine circuitry and endless relays and switches they put to allow us “automatic” self timed glow plugs like in the Mercedes, the Nissans and the I-mark. Parts for the I-mark were hard to find also, and for the SD22 Nissan, non-existent.

I only have diesel buses, because almost all quality buses have diesels installed in the first place. Crown and Gillig buses were running diesel since the late 50's, as were almost all long lasting and quality coaches like GMC.

Any bus you will find with a gas engine will not only be a cheaper and noisier bus to begin with, it will have you sitting about 5 feet behind a screaming gas motor.
when the coach builders went to diesel, a lot of them started putting them in the rear, in the center, anywhere but directly in front of the driver. It is a whole different level of comfort and was only done on the more expensive buses with chassises specifically built for this purpose.

A front engine gas bus is not junk. They are Very Cheap to buy and maintain, and are great for occasional stuff, or for a kid who is getting his first bus and doesn’t travel too much, etc. Their fuel mileage will be at least 3 mpg less than if they had a diesel, but unleaded is a little cheaper, so……
It's simple you get what you pay for, and that’s the way God (or was it Alexander Hamilton) made it.

Patrick Young
Gillig and Crown fan
Fresno, CA
(559) 251-3814
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