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Old 01-16-2020, 09:21 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Can my bus pull a trailer?

1997 International 3800 36' DT466e (160hp?), Allison 545

I am considering getting a utility vehicle to pull on a trailer behind my bus.
Right now I live in a pretty hilly area and when I get to the top of a steep hill, I am usually going about 38mph, 2400RPM.

The bus seems to be running great, no overheating or anything, it is just slooow.

Trying to get an idea of how reasonable it would be to pull a trailer.
Appreciate your thoughts or experiences.

Thanks,
dave
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:25 AM   #2
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Depends on what kind of weight we're talking about here. But in general you will overwork the already-strained AT545.

The engine and chassis can handle it, no problem. Even big trailers are only something like 20 percent of the weight of the bus itself so the bus tends to not even notice anything back there.

Also 2400 RPM seems a bit high for a DT466!!! Yikes.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:35 AM   #3
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We live at 4000ft. We drive our bus up and down from 300ft to over 7000ft on regular basis. We have an AT545 in our bus with 210000 miles so far. We got the bus with 193000. 3:54 diff, 19.5 tires. 185 hp. Lowest speed on 6% 23mph with the big (steel) trailer shown. Combined wt. 25000 lbs. We pass semis sometimes (rarely).
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:54 AM   #4
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DT466 is governed at 2600 RPM and while its not ideal, its designed to do it all day..
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:39 AM   #5
Skoolie
 
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Cool, that was my impression also. I am pretty gentle with it, not really in a hurry to get anywhere, just don't have a lot of choice going up hills it seems like.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:41 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Oh thats awesome. I need to get some miles under my belt, but would love to take it out west on a road trip.

i was looking at probably a little smaller trailer.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:47 AM   #7
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Along the same lines as WIbluebird thinking that the AT545 is the least desirable transmission anyways but even more so climbing grades and/or pulling add'l heavy loads. So long as you don't push it too hard I suppose you could get some miles out of it as 2kool4skool has but my instinct is that you should start saving up for a time in the future when a transmission swap is inevitable.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
Along the same lines as WIbluebird thinking that the AT545 is the least desirable transmission anyways but even more so climbing grades and/or pulling add'l heavy loads. So long as you don't push it too hard I suppose you could get some miles out of it as 2kool4skool has but my instinct is that you should start saving up for a time in the future when a transmission swap is inevitable.
OP has a 1997 MY which is most likely a mechanical transmission. Swapping in an A2000 or an MD3060 would be a bit of work to say the least.

I'd suggest an MT643 swap or just get a different bus if it hasn't had a ton of conversion work done on it.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:03 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Thanks guys. To clarify, the motor is a DT466e, and the conversion is prob 90+%

I am probably at the point to just figure out a way to add a hitch and give it a try.

Also, is there a thread out there dedicated to those who have had a 545 fail? I understand that it isn't great, but its hard to discern between those who have actually had problems, and those who are just passing on the warning.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MambaJack View Post
Thanks guys. To clarify, the motor is a DT466e, and the conversion is prob 90+%

I am probably at the point to just figure out a way to add a hitch and give it a try.

Also, is there a thread out there dedicated to those who have had a 545 fail? I understand that it isn't great, but its hard to discern between those who have actually had problems, and those who are just passing on the warning.
Have seen multiple threads on here with people that burned up their AT545s.

The one nice thing with them is that they are so undesirable that rebuildable cores are cheap and easily found.
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