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Old 10-06-2016, 09:37 AM   #31
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
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the biggest thing I hear about the MBE engines is they use oil.. sometimes a LOT.. so people have tendency to always be running them over-full or Under-full on oil... which either condition isnt great on an engine.. and of course there are thse that run them out of oil which equals huge bucks...

I dont know nearly as much as cowlitz about them.. but I rearely see them in school busses.. even freight-breaker busses seem more often to have Cats than the MBE's..

-Christopher
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:59 AM   #32
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cowlitzcoach: This unit IS from Midwest (Whitestown location). I understand all the points you raised... however the deal was done when I wrote that post so the chips are just gonna have to fall where they will.

This bus will be used for fulltiming so it likely won't see a lot of road miles... the drive from Whitestown to here is probably the longest trip that will be taken, so if I keep a close eye on the fluids the engine should not give me any problems. I used to drive big rigs so I do know a thing or two about how to treat diesel engines and what to look for.

I will be repainting the bus at some point so any and all surface rust will be knocked down. I will most likely get and use one of those rust treatments I saw in another thread on both sides of panels that have been exposed to the elements to knock down any rust prior to painting. Will more rust show up? It's certainly possible, but with a thorough enough job hopefully not.

Once I'm living in it then there won't be any real hurry to get things done, I can take my time and do a thorough job... the only hurry is getting into one because I only have 13 days left here.

If nothing else I can live in this one until another suitable unit presents itself, then sell it on Craigslist or eBay to recover some of the costs.
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:08 AM   #33
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Following your thread and wishing you luck. Not trying to add to the negative energy here but FYI Midwest Transit burned me a few weeks ago on what looked to be a beautiful find on eBay. They deliberately misrepresented the condition and flat out lied about massive oil / coolant leaks. The colorscale in the photos was modified so that very visible rust showed up as gray ... all after telling me there was "no rust". The place even swapped the tires out for bald counterparts before I got there, and I dealt directly with the manager of one of the facilities. His name was Tom Buhle. He brushed all of this off as "no big deal", even trying to push the as is bs until I walked. This was after we drove thousands of miles to pick it up. Then I had to file a complaint before we got our deposit back.

I feel for your situation. It must be stressful having to move so fast. I wish I found a bus that looks as good as yours.

I only share this with you because I suggest you start with a full and VERY thorough inspection before you start anything. Get underneath it and visually inspect every single inch. It'll bring you a little comfort.

So what if she burns oil? The engine's a beast and there's not a single account here yet where anyone said it blew up ... you just have to check your oil frequently. Let the chips fall indeed. The bus looks great and I suspect you might've had a better experience, as well as a more reputable salesman. I am eager to see how you proceed.

Wishing you the best,
Tom and Em
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:59 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warewolff View Post
Following your thread and wishing you luck. Not trying to add to the negative energy here but FYI Midwest Transit burned me a few weeks ago on what looked to be a beautiful find on eBay. They deliberately misrepresented the condition and flat out lied about massive oil / coolant leaks. The colorscale in the photos was modified so that very visible rust showed up as gray ... all after telling me there was "no rust". The place even swapped the tires out for bald counterparts before I got there, and I dealt directly with the manager of one of the facilities. His name was Tom Buhle. He brushed all of this off as "no big deal", even trying to push the as is bs until I walked. This was after we drove thousands of miles to pick it up. Then I had to file a complaint before we got our deposit back.

I feel for your situation. It must be stressful having to move so fast. I wish I found a bus that looks as good as yours.

I only share this with you because I suggest you start with a full and VERY thorough inspection before you start anything. Get underneath it and visually inspect every single inch. It'll bring you a little comfort.

So what if she burns oil? The engine's a beast and there's not a single account here yet where anyone said it blew up ... you just have to check your oil frequently. Let the chips fall indeed. The bus looks great and I suspect you might've had a better experience, as well as a more reputable salesman. I am eager to see how you proceed.

Wishing you the best,
Tom and Em
I agree burning or leaking a little oil isnt a big deal as long as you stay on top of it... ive not heard anhyone i know of blowing up an MBE engine (exceot for one that they ran it out of oil out of stupidity.. but thats not the engine;s fault they didnt check the oil on a 2000 mile road trip)...

I used to freak out about little oil leaks on the busses.. until someone pointed out to me that next time i go to a truck stop or rest area to fill up that the spots designated for semi trucks are always covered in oil.. and those guys are running half a million miles on those engines before tearing them down...

Bus dealers want to sell busses like anyone else.. my carpenter came from a bus dealer.. and I probably paid more than I shouldve.. akthough i got a package deal with painting / body work / service, etc and so i ended up with an out-the-door that wasnt crazy cionsidering what I had done... i knew I needed to meet a schedule in my own mind to have a bus ready for my summer projects and trips.. and mission was accomplished..

the second bus i bought at an auction.. partly I wanted to learn how to do the auctions... and I was sort of halfway thinking about this second project... I had the advantage that a forum member works a ile from where the busses were being sold so he went and looked at them.. bioth for me and for himself.. and gave me a decent thumbs up on the bus i was considering.. so i put a bid in.. a rather low one.. and won the bus.. and think i got a good one.. being 1000 miles away it wouldve been a little riskier had a forum member not looked the bus over for me.. however the auctioneer had posted a video of the engine running so i knew it at least started and ran regardless...

and yeah i paid 25% of what im seeing the same year / type of bus listed for on dealer sites... did i get as good bus? no way t otruly know however it made the 1000+ mile trip pretty much flawlessy so i have to think so...

advantages to buying at a dealer are the fact you can crawl around in and drive multiple busses all in one place... and look them over in person.. it comes down to overall value at some point.. dealer vs auction.. esp if from out of town is it worth a gamble on an auction.. or a trip to a dealer where you can walk away if nothing suits..

every dealer will tell you "oh this bus is getting lots of attention.. it will be gone if you dont buy it now".. there will be another most likely nearly identical..

so ive got one of each now and im no regrets over my dealer bus.. it has done thus far exactly as ive needed in the timeframe I needed...
-Christopher
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:10 PM   #35
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Gosh the missing coolant cap is such a red flag for me.

To me it means someone has been trying to keep the coolant full so much that they lost the cap, and the old "it's only a cpuple bucks to replace" line worries me even more; why would someone not spend a couple dollars for such an important part? If they would neglect a crucial component to save $5 it only speaks to how little i can trust them with the rest of the machine.

fwiw
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:43 PM   #36
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un less someone just took it off and used it on another bus in the fleet knowing that one was going toi be sold..
-Christopher
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:29 PM   #37
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Run the MBE in confidence. If you can talk the Allison into letting it cruise at 1400RPM and lugging down to 1200RPM before downshifting, you will have the most efficient combo out there. A rear axle ratio change may be needed.

There are 2 challenges for MBE900s and oil consumption:
A. The Allison transmisions do not let the engine lug down low enough to seat the rings.
Peak torque is developed from 1200 through 1600 RPM.
MBE906 engines thinks that they are a 14L SRS60
B. Most districts never set the overhead at 75,000 miles like they were supposed to.

I have seen OTR MBE906 egines go >500,000 miles and only need a ReliaBuilt head because they overhead service was not performed.
I have seen OTR MBE906 engines go >900,000 miles when the overhead service was performed.
Both happened in the came RV hauler fleet - 2 on the deck and one pulled behind on Freightliner FL-70 trucks.

The rod and main bearing surface is larger than those on an L-10.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:35 PM   #38
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
if that bus is an allsion 2000 you can probably get 6th gear enabled by an allison dealer.. which would surely help the cruise RPM come down...

that 5th to 6th ratio is a decent drop... the only issue if the rear is really short would be drive-shaft spin speed.. but making sure the carrier bearing is good and the shaft set balanced would take care of that.. getting a shaft set balanced is a pretty easy task,
its a non issue if your rear is tall..

-Christopher
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:41 PM   #39
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Great points Caddillac.

5.29:1 is really comfortable with all 6 gears. Since this is a pusher, I would expect an Allison B3000 (MD3060). The MBE could benefit from the RPM drop from a 4.88:1 with 11R22.5 tires.

I If needed, it is good to find a friend (Freightliner Mechanic) with access to the Detroit Diesel G7 support page. Very complete information is available there.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:46 PM   #40
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wow that is low RPM... my DEV has an AT545 (1:1) No lockup so im against the Stall speed of the TQC.. 11R22.5 with 4.78's in it and I *CAN* cruise at about 65 running 2500-2600 RPM;s..

I think 6th gear is a .50 on a 3060? thatd make a nice cruiser..

-Christopher
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