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Optare - cx04axy - 19/08/2012 23:52

Out of curiousity!! Whether there are any mechanics who work with Optare Solo's over the last month ive noticed a lot of solo's where th turbo's all over a sudden just seem to have gone bang!

Was on Bangor's Solo 683! And the turbo just seemed to go? And one in Wrexham over a month or so didnt note which one it was??

I know all of the solo's seem to havea problem with the doors? But is the turbo's just a common fault or not?

RE: Optare - mbonwick - 20/08/2012 01:14

The thing with turbos is they fail very quickly when things go wrong in them.

They spin at upto 100,000 RPM and require a constant supply of high pressure oil for the bearings - all it takes to break a turbo is a microscopic particle in the oil to stop/reduce the flow and the bearing is siezed or more usually destroyed within seconds.

There's very little fitters can do to predict or prevent failures like that, beyond following industry best practice. It's often just a case of bad luck and timing.

RE: Optare - motormayhem - 20/08/2012 04:59

A common fault with the turbo which leads to lack of speed is the feed pipes tend to get cracks or fractures in them causing the turbo not to get the feed it requires to operate at its full potential as st helens found out on 676,677,678 and 680 when i questioned about the lack of speed the veichles had.

RE: Optare - Metroline1511 - 15/12/2012 19:42

I suddenly wonder when the new Olympus body is due. I thought Optare were working on an integral bus, originally the Rapta but then renamed the Olympus to match the recent bodywork. Despite the availability of MCV double-deck bodywork, virtually everything is now ADL Enviro400 or Wrightbus Gemini.

RE: Optare - gilesbus1 - 24/12/2012 19:47

(15/12/2012 19:42)Metroline1511 Wrote:  I suddenly wonder when the new Olympus body is due. I thought Optare were working on an integral bus, originally the Rapta but then renamed the Olympus to match the recent bodywork. Despite the availability of MCV double-deck bodywork, virtually everything is now ADL Enviro400 or Wrightbus Gemini.

Not sure, but had been given the impression that Optare where in no hurry because of the Recession and down turn in the number of buyers who would buy such a vehicle, eg the vanishing of large independents and Government cuts that may mean some Municipal Companies are no longer in a position to buy such vehicles regularly.

As I understand it, it is suspended pending a time when the market recovers, unless I suppose a worthwhile order came from one of the big Groups, but that seems unlikely as none have ever bought a significant number of new Double deck vehicles from Optare or East Lancs before with the exception of a few deliveries to Metrobus (GoAhead) and First Scotland East and First Dorset and Hampshire, all those that went to Stagecoach from new where owned by Councils and came with contracts (Corby and Barrow) indead the Barrow ones have since returned to Cumbria County Council.

Optare had reduced in anycase its building to what it termed as special orders, which I presume mean't Open Tops, Tri-Axles and OmniDekka's for Nottingham City Transport although none of the above have been built now for over twelve months and recent Open Top production has gone elsewhere (Big Bus and Golden Tours). Nottingham hasn't as yet indicated any future decker policy and probably has more than enough OmniDekka's that it doesn't need any sort of replacements for something like 5 years.

However interestingly Premiere of Nottingham have just ordered 10 Scania OmniCity Deckesr the first to be made again for over twelve months so I guess anythings possible.

RE: Optare - 126th street - 25/12/2012 11:45

Turbos on smaller Mercedes heavy-duty diesel engines appear to be regarded by the manufacturer almost as a consumable part in the same manner filters and oil are. They do not last very long at all when compared to other builders' engines such as Cummins.

RE: Optare - buses7675 - 25/12/2012 15:20

Another fault with certain batches of Solos (and quite likely other types too apparently) is the Allison gearbox.

At least some batches of those made this year have some sort of fault in them (I was told but can't remember the exact details) which has caused them to fail. Allison are however aware of this apparently and are sorting it out so it is more their fault than Optares.

On a different note, given as a passenger I was evidently a fan of Darts/Enviro200s, as a driver I have to say I love Optare Solos especially the M710SEs - Really easy to drive, heaters are great (as well as a skylight to let heat out when its warm!), no major faults (Optare EcoDrive doesn't always work but that doesn't really effect driving!) and even the small cab isn't a problem for me - I have to move the seat right forwards to drive it safely and from there I can set the destination display without even standing up!

RE: Optare - 126th street - 25/12/2012 15:33

You will tend to find the heating capabilities of more modern buses to be vastly superior to older kit such as Scanias, Atlanteans and so forth as the small engines they features are working very hard and generate plenty of waste heat just as a car engine would under such circumstances.

With the older kit something like an 11- or 12-litre motor, when they were fitted, were often designed for hauling around 40tonnes of articulated truck and were thus derated for bus use to improve engine life in a sector which by design features regular, brief periods of full power followed by similar times of idling. They thus generates little waste heat as in many cases it could take a number of hours for them to even reach operational temperature in the first place. In particular Gardner and bigger Scania engines take absolutely forever to reach the c80 degrees C temperature.

RE: Optare - james solomon - 12/03/2013 19:51

The First Slimline, Narrow Solo SR

Looks ugly and crap what a monstrosity

RE: Optare - buses7675 - 12/03/2013 20:03

Replacement for the Optare Solo M710SE by all accounts - Solo M720SE-SR perhaps?! 10cm longer anyway!