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Old 07-31-2015, 01:51 AM   #1
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Location: South Carolina, but headed back to Michigan
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
The bus for us

We have been the proud owners of our 1991 International bus for 3 weeks now. We drove up to the NC/VA border to pick it up, a 4 hour drive up. Which is about 5-6 hours with the bus. I had driven a manual twice before, both little trucks down back roads. My wife had much more experience than I and she was originally going to take the drive back down. But, anxiety of driving a huge bus with no registration or insurance and me needing to learn lead me to take a half hour down a back road in an attempt to learn. The bus seemed an easy vehicle to learn on, the PO had mentioned he had some of his boy scouts try and learn on it (the bus was originally bought to serve the local troop, but some change in regulations caused him to have to sell it and get a van instead).

So, we got it home without any troubles. Besides, of course, me stalling out on hills as people in small towns stare at me. I tried to play it off and smile and wave and start it back up and be on my way.

It, reportedly, has 1,022,XXX miles on the DT466 w/ manual spicer 5-speed transmission. This had me apprehensive, but from previous experience, I have learned that mileage is only half of the story when it comes to the condition of the vehicle. I think an engine can only really last that long with proper service and maintenance. Hopefully, it serves us well. We don't foresee a whole lot of driving or cross-country trips. Other than getting us and our home to Michigan, it will likely stay within the state boundaries.

Which reminds me- can anyone chime in on what state may offer better retitling? SC or MI?

So far, we have removed all the seats and de-paneled just under half of the interior. This is going to be a permanent home for us as we transition back to Michigan, I go back to school, get a job and settle in on our own land. So, who knows how long that could take. So far, the bus has seemed maybe a little small, but we are making it work! It had 11 windows and seems internal usable square footage is about 190.

A roof raise is not planned, though tempting. We will be removing all the interior and insulating for Michigan winters. I'll be attempting to hire a contractor to do it. We are trying to source some windows now, and I'm about at the point of contacting glass shops in town to try and get some dual pane units to make my own awning windows (open outwards from the bottom). Any ideas?
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1991 International. DT360. Spicer 5-speed manual transmission. Work in progress; spray foam, wood stove, etc...
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:56 AM   #2
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1991 International. DT360. Spicer 5-speed manual transmission. Work in progress; spray foam, wood stove, etc...
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:28 AM   #3
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good score on the bus! I love the idea you have a manual and you are now able to drive it.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:45 AM   #4
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On your drive home, did you figure out that first gear can be skipped?
On the spicer five speeds first is almost 8:1 making it lower than reverse.
I find it easier to start in second than to try to get from first to second.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:05 AM   #5
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Engine: DT360
The first 3 gears do go very quick. The reverse is fairly high, yeah. It was a bit scary the first time backing up, because it jumps right off. If I could come off a dead stop into second like that, that would be great. I will have to give it a shot next time.

Driving through Appalachia fully loaded up to Michigan will be interesting.
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1991 International. DT360. Spicer 5-speed manual transmission. Work in progress; spray foam, wood stove, etc...
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:06 AM   #6
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Year: 1946
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5 speed Spicer?...sweet...but curious what your hi-way speeds work out to.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:12 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: South Carolina, but headed back to Michigan
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
Yea, highway speeds aren't so favorable. I was feeling maxed out at 60 down back roads. 50 felt more comfortable. Pushed the clutch down a big hill and got up to 65 and it felt real smooth, so that's good at least.
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1991 International. DT360. Spicer 5-speed manual transmission. Work in progress; spray foam, wood stove, etc...
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:28 AM   #8
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Only reason I asked is that I recall someone with what sounds like the same set up swapping their axle gearing to get comfortable at 65. Apparently was not that big a deal.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Only reason I asked is that I recall someone with what sounds like the same set up swapping their axle gearing to get comfortable at 65. Apparently was not that big a deal.
Not a big deal at all! Then you can use "granny-low" for an actual 1st gear... Mind you, reverse will be really QUICK!
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:34 PM   #10
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granny low is some times very nice!

I wonder if you could take the tranny apart, swap the 1st gear and reverse gears to get the slow reverse and an ok first?
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