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Old 09-08-2016, 02:05 PM   #1
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Engine comparisons

Hi everyone. This weekend is the big auction. I am still thinking about the 2006 ford 6.0 due to size and I think I could get one relatively cheap.

But if a bigger 48-ish passenger bus was available for cheap I might consider it.

So...if these buses below are available in my price range, which engines should I stay away from? I have a very small amount of knowledge about diesels so my learning curve will be great. Any below stand out as a great engine? We won't be driving far or pulling big hills. Just need a small-ish RV. Thanks for any thoughts.

388 merc
C-7 Cat
T444E
M-F 7
DT466E
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:28 PM   #2
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there are a lot of fans on this forum of the dt466e. that's the only one on the list i would bid on. imo
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:42 PM   #3
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Good. Thank you. I had seen a lot of info pointing to that same conclusion. What I lack in engine knowledge, I make up in reading a bunch.

Thank you for putting in your two cents. Let's see what other guys are saying.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:34 PM   #4
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After a lot of reading, the dt466 and the Cummins 8.3l seem to get the most love here and elsewhere. Many say caterpillar engines are decent enough but expensive to maintain and repair.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zndrson View Post
After a lot of reading, the dt466 and the Cummins 8.3l seem to get the most love here and elsewhere. Many say caterpillar engines are decent enough but expensive to maintain and repair.
Can't you get 600hp out of the 8.3?
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:24 PM   #6
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Can't you get 600hp out of the 8.3?
Its certainly a big engine but that seems like a lot. Maybe in the marine version but 600hp in a bus seems...excessive to say the least.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:46 PM   #7
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Can't you get 600hp out of the 8.3?
You won't reliably get 600 hp out of any of the ones he listed. At least not for 500k miles.

If I had to choose. I'd go in this order.

Dt466
ISC
C7/Maxforce 7
T444E

and under no circumstance would I buy a Mercedes. From my experience, they're unreliable, finicky, and hard to get parts for/expensive when you do
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:57 PM   #8
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I would avoid Mercedes engines like a plague. The Ford 6.0 has earned a bad rep as well, but they can be improved upon. I personally wouldn't buy a Cat engine, but they're OK if you don't mind visiting a Cat dealer (not always easy to find in small towns) for parts (as mentioned, usually at a higher cost).

The Cummins engines, both the 8.3 and 5.9 are pretty solid engines, I wouldn't expect more than about 300 HP from the 8.3 and about 200 or so from the 5.9.

IH engines, the DT466 (very common) and T444 (also common) and Ford 7.3 (same guts at the T444) are also pretty solid. Their DT408 and DT360 cousins are good (The DT408 is almost the same as the DT466, just a smaller displacement internally).

Cap'nHooligan asked if one could get 600 HP from a Cummins 8.3. The short answer is "Sure, you can", but at what price? A couple days for a tractor pull setup. I've seen Dodge trucks build the 5.9 for insane HP, but they don't last long. For our purposes, you'll want to consider something considerably larger, like an ISX Cummins (Somewhere around 15-16 liter engine) but they can be factory spec'ed for up to about 600 and will last many, many miles at that rating. The Volvo I recently turned in had that engine and was showing close to 800K miles, and the engine still had a lot of life left in it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:02 PM   #9
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I would avoid Mercedes engines like a plague. The Ford 6.0 has earned a bad rep as well, but they can be improved upon. I personally wouldn't buy a Cat engine, but they're OK if you don't mind visiting a Cat dealer (not always easy to find in small towns) for parts (as mentioned, usually at a higher cost).

The Cummins engines, both the 8.3 and 5.9 are pretty solid engines, I wouldn't expect more than about 300 HP from the 8.3 and about 200 or so from the 5.9.

IH engines, the DT466 (very common) and T444 (also common) and Ford 7.3 (same guts at the T444) are also pretty solid. Their DT408 and DT360 cousins are good (The DT408 is almost the same as the DT466, just a smaller displacement internally).
Is it fair to say. The IH engines are fairly reliable if I have enough money at the auction block...if I don't I think the next best thing is the 6.0's. There are a bunch to auction so I might could get one for pennies. I'd rather just find a fairly reliable engine but my pennies are tight. Thank you for responding. I wasn't aware of the 7.3 and the Dt466 and the T444 being in the same family.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:42 PM   #10
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Is it fair to say. The IH engines are fairly reliable if I have enough money at the auction block...if I don't I think the next best thing is the 6.0's. There are a bunch to auction so I might could get one for pennies. I'd rather just find a fairly reliable engine but my pennies are tight. Thank you for responding. I wasn't aware of the 7.3 and the Dt466 and the T444 being in the same family.
Don't buy the 6.0 unless you have thousands of dollars reserved for repairs AND upgrades.
I'd take a cat any day over a 6.0.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:18 PM   #11
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You can get close to 1,000 hp out of a Cummins 4BT...but figure on it lasting maybe one or two "pulls".
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:29 AM   #12
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where are you located?
i'd personally recommend the 444, even though I have a 360. I'm officially a fan of IH.

Might be worth waiting for an auction with more to choose from.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:25 AM   #13
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Don't buy the 6.0 unless you have thousands of dollars reserved for repairs AND upgrades.
I'd take a cat any day over a 6.0.
...unless you get one that is has not yet failed and you wanna DIY. A good runner needs the EGR deleted, the oil cooler rebuilt, a stronger "blue" spring in the fuel pressure regulator, a new radiator cap, a strait thru muffler (like a Walker BTM) and a custom tune from Jodi at DP Tuner. Aforementioned parts can be had for less than $250 and the "daily driver" tune from Jodi is $450.

Installation is another story. I'm in the process of it now. My 6.0L bus is like 15 gallons of sh!t in a 5 gallon pail under the hood. Here is how my day ended this evening:



As an aside: I have an F350 w/ 7.3L. It has the aforementioned muffler, a paper coffee-can sized intake filter, and a 80hp tune from DP Tuner that Jodi made for me. I specified trans shift and converter lockup speeds and behavior. The difference after installing this tune was YUGE! Engine much smoother, almost too responsive, shifting is crisp but not harsh, the converter works the way it should, and it GOES. The truck is now optimized for driveability, rather than to satisfy the weasels at the EPA

If Jodi can make a similar improvement to the 6.0L in this bus, which he says he can...I'll be a happy camper.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:47 AM   #14
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Is it fair to say. The IH engines are fairly reliable if I have enough money at the auction block...if I don't I think the next best thing is the 6.0's. There are a bunch to auction so I might could get one for pennies. I'd rather just find a fairly reliable engine but my pennies are tight. Thank you for responding. I wasn't aware of the 7.3 and the Dt466 and the T444 being in the same family.
The DT360, DT408, DT466 and DT530 are all straight-6 design engines, usually generating more torque than their V-8 counterparts.

The 7.3 and T444 are V8's and are essentially the same engine, the former typically found in Fords, the latter in IH chassis.

Older IH buses ('80-'87) might have the IH 9 liter engine (as mine does) which was retired at the end of '87 when it could not meet emissions coming into effect for '88. The IH/Ford 6.9 couldn't do it either, when both were replaced by the 7.3
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:35 AM   #15
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I am so thankful for everyone's help and generosity with their information. I truly looks like it might be a complete toss up and a need for The LORD to step in and clue me to which direction I should go. That cluster that Goatherder is in right now does not look like anything I'm interested in getting into. Thank you for sharing.

One thing about the future 6.0's is it seems like you have to "love" on them to get any decent life out of them. I wonder if I can get one for less than $1,000 and just run it in the ground until I find something a little more manageable? I don't really think that is a great solution.
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by American View Post
I am so thankful for everyone's help and generosity with their information. I truly looks like it might be a complete toss up and a need for The LORD to step in and clue me to which direction I should go. That cluster that Goatherder is in right now does not look like anything I'm interested in getting into. Thank you for sharing.

One thing about the future 6.0's is it seems like you have to "love" on them to get any decent life out of them. I wonder if I can get one for less than $1,000 and just run it in the ground until I find something a little more manageable? I don't really think that is a great solution.
Seems like one only one in four I see at the auctions with 6.0's is running.

If you want something HOLY, well- Jesus is running a 6.9 with turbo and brownie box.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:23 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Goatherder View Post
...unless you get one that is has not yet failed and you wanna DIY. A good runner needs the EGR deleted, the oil cooler rebuilt, a stronger "blue" spring in the fuel pressure regulator, a new radiator cap, a strait thru muffler (like a Walker BTM) and a custom tune from Jodi at DP Tuner. Aforementioned parts can be had for less than $250 and the "daily driver" tune from Jodi is $450.

Installation is another story. I'm in the process of it now. My 6.0L bus is like 15 gallons of sh!t in a 5 gallon pail under the hood. Here is how my day ended this evening:



As an aside: I have an F350 w/ 7.3L. It has the aforementioned muffler, a paper coffee-can sized intake filter, and a 80hp tune from DP Tuner that Jodi made for me. I specified trans shift and converter lockup speeds and behavior. The difference after installing this tune was YUGE! Engine much smoother, almost too responsive, shifting is crisp but not harsh, the converter works the way it should, and it GOES. The truck is now optimized for driveability, rather than to satisfy the weasels at the EPA

If Jodi can make a similar improvement to the 6.0L in this bus, which he says he can...I'll be a happy camper.
and dont forget the head bolt studs...
-Christopher
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American View Post
I am so thankful for everyone's help and generosity with their information. I truly looks like it might be a complete toss up and a need for The LORD to step in and clue me to which direction I should go. That cluster that Goatherder is in right now does not look like anything I'm interested in getting into. Thank you for sharing.

One thing about the future 6.0's is it seems like you have to "love" on them to get any decent life out of them. I wonder if I can get one for less than $1,000 and just run it in the ground until I find something a little more manageable? I don't really think that is a great solution.
depending on what breaks on the 6.0 it very well might just leave you stopped rather than slowly die.. esp if you pop a head gasket which was one if its issues..

-Christopher
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:31 AM   #19
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Without a doubt the only way to truly "bulletproof" a 6.0...is to replace it with a 466 or Cummins.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:01 AM   #20
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ive seen some last a long time after the updates... my personal opinion though isnt to delete EGR but to put an updated system in so EGR works correctly... then again on all my old chevies the first thing i did was delete all the emissions BS...

I venture to say in a mini-bus its gonna be tough to shoehorn a 466 in there... a 4BT maybe? a 7.3 might be easier since the trucks at least came with those at one point..

-Christopher
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