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Old 11-11-2019, 12:53 PM   #1
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Year: 1993
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GamblerBound - '93 IH/Ward Toyhauler Build

Hey alls...


Time to start a build thread for our big bus. Last weekend, a friend and I drove up to Burlington, IA to pick up the bus we had put a deposit on a month before.


I found the bus on facebook marketplace. It's pretty well exactly what I was looking for... all mechanical engine... decent mileage with no mechanical issues and decent maintenance records.


We loaded up my '90 f350 crew cab with tools and fuel and rolled out at 3am on Saturday.


After daylight broke.. was able to get a pic.



Miles and miles of flat ground...



Coming into Iowa



The bus is a '93 IH 3800 / Ward body. DTA360/545 w/ 270k on the clock. No leaks... decent records (fresh brakes, filters, etc). Decent steer tires but the drives are THIN. Cant complain... $1500 and a clean title. The pastor of the church we bought it from went over everything with us and then had me drive it around the town and up the interstate with him to make sure it was what we wanted. Drove like a champ... no shimmys.. smooth power... stopped great.. and would run 65mph. Pastor was nice enough to put $40 worth of fuel in the tank and fresh batteries. Only mechanical issue is the parking brake (which we were informed about before we went up there). Finished up the paperwork and pointed it towards home.





Since it was good and warm, we stopped and filled the tanks (on the bus and truck) and pinned it to the governor most of the way home.











Made a stop to stretch our legs and check things over... No leaks anywhere... 60psi oil pressure at anything off idle.. 180 coolant temp. after running for 4 hours on the governor.



Back on the road to discover the headlights SUCKED. Aimed in the trees off the road... good times.






Coming into my hometown by moonlight.



Long day but what an experience. I was pretty nervous on the way up as I've never driven a bus this size. Plenty of big trucks / box trucks.. but nothing quite this long before. It was a blast.


Drive home took a bit longer than the trip up.. just over 8 hours to get home with it pinned the whole way. SUCKED fuel... Likely because we are on winter blend and it was on the governor the whole way... but averaged 6.7mpg. No smoke.. no haze... ran amazing the whole time.


Got home in time to take a shower and crash... haven't slept that good in a long time.



More to come!
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:36 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,246
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
well.. lets try for a 3rd time... the ADS on this page cause spontaneous reloads... they are terrible.... reloads erase all you have typed..


anyway


I love my DTA360.. its a fantastic engine! when mine had its AT545 it DRANK the fuel... esp if I ran it Pinned to its 2800 RPM governor which kept me oscillating between 63-67. (damn 545).....


once I installed a MT643.. my RPMs at a steady 65 hold in 2500-2550 or so and that helped my MPGs go up by at least 1 1.5, drive it at 62 where the RPMs hang solid around 2300 RPM and im up close to that 10 MPG range



when my tires were shot I went up to 11R22.5 from the original 10R22.5. so that lowered my RPM a couple hundred..



the DTA360 is a shorter stroke than the DT466 so it doesnt mind revving a little more.. but get it over that 2300-2400 range and your MPGs go down very quickly..



these engines have no glowplugs or grid heaters.. so be mindfuk of that if you plan to traverse extremely cold climates and park... they will start with total ease down to 15-20f or so... at 0 they give you a good run for your batteries.. a bit of cranking and chugging to get them going..


plug in your block heater if you have one.. if you plan to hang out in below 0f climate off-grid much then install a diesel coolant heater..


-Christopher
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:49 PM   #3
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After the 400 mile cruise... checked things over. Only found one leak (rear wheel seal). It needs rubber on the back anyways so I'll address that when I put tires on it.


Pulled the driveline and the parking brake drum. Drum looked to be in good shape but the shoes were thin. Could have likely just adjusted it up a bit tighter and let it go but I found a NOS complete assembly (no drum) on ebay for 112 or best offer. Offered $90 and its on the way (heck of a deal considering new from meritor, the assembly with no drum is almost $500 and shoes are over $100 for the set.


Will probably just pull the trans output and replace the entire assembly since I have it. We'll see.


Will start pulling seats sometime this week.. get the floor up and start on rust repair. Already found a few holes (which I knew about... they are all in the rear which will likely get cut out or modified anyways so no worries).


Have a buddy with a few junk semis at his place. Gonna look at fuel tanks/mounts and see if he has any decent drive tires laying around. Hoping to get north of 200 gallons of fuel on board as we make our own fuel. 200+ gallons of waste oil and 50+ gallons of pump diesel.


Also working on some plans to get the top speed up a bit. We'll be stepping up from 10R22.5s to 11r22.5s (bus already has 11Rs on the front... figured I'll match the rear). Plans are to ditch the 545 trans when I can and go with a 643 or something with lockup/overdrive. We'll see what I can find.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:54 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Engine: 7.3 IDI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
well.. lets try for a 3rd time... the ADS on this page cause spontaneous reloads... they are terrible.... reloads erase all you have typed..


anyway


I love my DTA360.. its a fantastic engine! when mine had its AT545 it DRANK the fuel... esp if I ran it Pinned to its 2800 RPM governor which kept me oscillating between 63-67. (damn 545).....


once I installed a MT643.. my RPMs at a steady 65 hold in 2500-2550 or so and that helped my MPGs go up by at least 1 1.5, drive it at 62 where the RPMs hang solid around 2300 RPM and im up close to that 10 MPG range



when my tires were shot I went up to 11R22.5 from the original 10R22.5. so that lowered my RPM a couple hundred..



the DTA360 is a shorter stroke than the DT466 so it doesnt mind revving a little more.. but get it over that 2300-2400 range and your MPGs go down very quickly..



these engines have no glowplugs or grid heaters.. so be mindfuk of that if you plan to traverse extremely cold climates and park... they will start with total ease down to 15-20f or so... at 0 they give you a good run for your batteries.. a bit of cranking and chugging to get them going..


plug in your block heater if you have one.. if you plan to hang out in below 0f climate off-grid much then install a diesel coolant heater..


-Christopher

Sounds like our buses are geared very similarly. Mine pinned will run 63-65 on flat ground.. up to 70ish with a tail wind or down hill grade.


We'll have a generator on board for cold weather starts.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,246
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
mine has a 4.78 rear gear.. that was really common on these busses.. I got my MT643 from LKQ in marshfield missouri.. last I checked a couple months ago they still had a few.. they were international's official "renewed" program units so the yare remanufactured and shipped dry.. they were only charging around $650 a piece for them.. International obsoleted them from their program at 15 years past OEM manufacture.. sicne the last AT545 and MT643's were built in 2003, these were dumped from navistar inventory in 2018..


they will ship them, not sure on $$ I picked mine up... couldnt beat the price for a fully reman unit with torque converter.. I think im in around 5500-6000 miles so far with zero issues.. I finished my. install this summer and prompty took the bus on a massive roadtrip... then another hefty road trip right after.. even in 100 degree august heat of the south my engine fan was only on full speed occasionally.. whereas before it wouldve been running maxxed.
-Christopher
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
mine has a 4.78 rear gear.. that was really common on these busses.. I got my MT643 from LKQ in marshfield missouri.. last I checked a couple months ago they still had a few.. they were international's official "renewed" program units so the yare remanufactured and shipped dry.. they were only charging around $650 a piece for them.. International obsoleted them from their program at 15 years past OEM manufacture.. sicne the last AT545 and MT643's were built in 2003, these were dumped from navistar inventory in 2018..


they will ship them, not sure on $$ I picked mine up... couldnt beat the price for a fully reman unit with torque converter.. I think im in around 5500-6000 miles so far with zero issues.. I finished my. install this summer and prompty took the bus on a massive roadtrip... then another hefty road trip right after.. even in 100 degree august heat of the south my engine fan was only on full speed occasionally.. whereas before it wouldve been running maxxed.
-Christopher

I'll see if I can contact them and see what they've got.


Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:08 PM   #7
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Found a 466 8 hole flexplate for the 643 trans which showed up today...

Reman 643 trans will be on the way next week.

Trying to source some decent used drive tires as the rears on this thing are shot. We'll see what happens.

My order of cut-off wheels came in today also but not sure when I'll start cutting seat bolts. Did manage to settle on a layout for the time being. Will be simple with 2 twin bunks and a full size pull out couch bed.. small kitchen area and small bath with a full cockpit area for the four of us (possibly utilizing a partition wall.

More to come.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:15 AM   #8
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New parking brake assembly showed up...








Not bad at all for $90 to my door.


Debating on installing it now or just waiting until I swap the transmission. It'll likely just wait. Trans will be on the way next week.


Temps dropped from 65 Sunday to 12 yesterday and today. The rest of the week is supposed to be back up in the 40s so if weather cooperates, I may try and get the seats out this weekend.


More to come.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:36 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2009
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
dont install that unless you know it fits the new trans... I thought the 643 used a different one than the 545


mock it up to your new trans when it arrives
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
dont install that unless you know it fits the new trans... I thought the 643 used a different one than the 545


mock it up to your new trans when it arrives
Hmm.. I didn't see anything in your post about the swap needing a different parking brake assembly. Hopefully the mount pattern is the same.

Can't really send it back so it's whatever at this point.
What are you thinking is different?
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:02 PM   #11
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Join Date: May 2009
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I was told the bolt pattern is different on the tail shaft. My bus is air brake so that component was one I didn’t Have in my swap. To me the bolt patterns look the same from 545 to 643 but I never measured.
Christopher
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I was told the bolt pattern is different on the tail shaft. My bus is air brake so that component was one I didnít Have in my swap. To me the bolt patterns look the same from 545 to 643 but I never measured.
Christopher

Hmm.. I'll take a look. Apparently a 643 with a driveline brake is very rare although they were made. Can't find any info on the brake they used other than size (which is quite a bit bigger than the one on the 545 (10" diameter 3" wide vs 13" diameter 5" wide).


Gonna look into other options for a parking brake and see what others have done while I'm at it.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:30 PM   #13
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Join Date: May 2009
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Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Ive seen the driveline brake on a 643 on a chevy 8.2 diesel based 1 ton truck, actually more than one. the trucks were from the 80s... C60 if i remember right..


there were line lock type parking brakes on some trucks, I hate line lock brakes as a loss in hydraulic pressure is bad. I dont remember ever seeing mechanical (at the wheel) parking brakes on full-disc medium duty vehicles..
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Ive seen the driveline brake on a 643 on a chevy 8.2 diesel based 1 ton truck, actually more than one. the trucks were from the 80s... C60 if i remember right..


there were line lock type parking brakes on some trucks, I hate line lock brakes as a loss in hydraulic pressure is bad. I dont remember ever seeing mechanical (at the wheel) parking brakes on full-disc medium duty vehicles..

I've found a few 643s with parking brakes (apparently also common in motor homes)... but they want a small fortune for them.


I certainly wouldn't rely on line-lock brakes but would work to step out and chock the wheels. Something this big, probably wise to chock them every time anyways.


Other option is to swap to a different allison such as the 1000 or 2400 but that gets costly quick.
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:11 PM   #15
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Join Date: May 2009
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I did the allison 1000 swap and there are electronics to contend with.. on a mechanical engine you have to rig a TPS sensor as well as install all of the wiring harness and trans computer.. you'll still need a different driveline brake than your 545 uses.
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I did the allison 1000 swap and there are electronics to contend with.. on a mechanical engine you have to rig a TPS sensor as well as install all of the wiring harness and trans computer.. you'll still need a different driveline brake than your 545 uses.



I wonder how hard it would be to "make" the 545 brake fit the 643... I know that the 643 brake is larger (and for good reason since it was rated for much heavier vehicles).. but I dont NEED that extra holding power.


The drum mount is part of the yoke which IIRC, the yoke swaps over... so it would just be a matter of mounting the assembly to the rear of the case (either modifying the assembly mount holes or the case of the trans).


Thoughts?
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:23 AM   #17
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Decision has been made and going forward with the 643. I'll sort out parking brakes somehow either using line locks and chocks or modifying the 545 brake to fit the 643 case.

Also found carriers for the rear in my bus (N175 Spicer) in any gear ratio o could want for around $600.

Will swap in the 643 and then gear to get the speed we want.

Ordering the trans next week.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:34 AM   #18
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
if i remember right on the 545 the parking brake assemble sits flush on the tailshaft and there is 4 bolts holding it.. on the 643, the mounting holes arent fliush with the trans seal like on the 545... so the brake assembly had a different offset between its mounting plate and the drum. I can get under my 643 bus and snap a couple pics of the tailshaft area if you want.

-Christopher
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
if i remember right on the 545 the parking brake assemble sits flush on the tailshaft and there is 4 bolts holding it.. on the 643, the mounting holes arent fliush with the trans seal like on the 545... so the brake assembly had a different offset between its mounting plate and the drum. I can get under my 643 bus and snap a couple pics of the tailshaft area if you want.

-Christopher

If you get time, that'd be great. If the pattern is the same, I can build a spacer for it easy peasy. I figured it would be set back a bit as the oem drum for the 643 is 2" wider than the 545... so in theory, it should be set back roughly 2" to compensate for the wider drum and still have the yoke land in the same location.



Heck if you've got a tape on you, could you get a center line between the holes on it? That'll let me know if I'll have to change the bolt circle on it too.



I appreciate it!
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:48 PM   #20
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Random.. but stopped by the local school yard on the way home and measured one of the newer busses making some comparisons for my dove tail addition.

The newer busses they have are big boys.. 13.5' from rear axle centerline to the rear bumper.

Mine is 10'. So with my 3-4' dove tail addition on the rear, I'll have a very similar tail length, swings, and load as the newer busses do. Makes me feel better about drivability.

Anyways.. talked to the owner of the local fab shop and he's going to hook me up with the materials I need. 3/16 - 6" channel for the main runners/cross member and some 4" channel for the supports. Going to try and swing by there early next week.

Weather is supposed to be decent next week so hopefully I'll get the seats out and get started cutting on the rear. We'll see.

LKQ is holding a trans for me until I get it ordered. Great guys to deal with.

Anyways, more to come.
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