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Old 02-11-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Backwoods of Pennsylvania
Posts: 34
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444
Rated Cap: 22
Going to look at a Navistar Vista, Advice

Tomorrow morning I'm going to look at what may be my first bus. It's a Navistar Vista with a T444e and I was wondering what I need to know or if anyone has an opinion on this vehicle. As a newbie I'm a bit worried that I don't know what I don't know. I spend a couple days a week out of town for work and thought it would be nice to be comfy. Any advice whould be appreciated before I took the plunge. Thanks
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Backwoods of Pennsylvania
Posts: 34
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444
Rated Cap: 22
Re: Going to look at a Navistar Vista, Advice

Well I haven't heard a word but I went for it and now am the proud owner of a 99 International Vista short bus rated cap 22 passengers powered by a T444 . I was very happy with how well it started and ran on the 260 mile drive home. Handling was excellent although the ride is a bit rough, it is a school bus after all. It maintains a steady 60 mph at 2700 rpm with the foot on the floor. I'd like to go to a bigger tire to reduce the rpms in an attempt to improve the fuel mileage. With my foot on the floor 100% it seemed to get 9 mpg and backing off just a bit turned up 10 mpg (I'm aware it's not enough miles for acurate numbers). The wheels will have to wait but has anyone done it and did it make a significant difference? Next step is getting it converted to a camper and getting it legal as far as registration is concerned. So I'd still be happy to hear any advice anyone would care to offer on getting the conversion started.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:06 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Elk Plain, WA.
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Re: Going to look at a Navistar Vista, Advice

Congrats on picking up the bus...

The same thing goes for all newbies... We want pics...
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:07 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
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Re: Going to look at a Navistar Vista, Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachhill
. . . Handling was excellent although the ride is a bit rough, it is a school bus after all. . . .
Congratulations!
If you are new to heavy vehicles, you will find that they ride rough when empty, because the springs/shocks are set up to handle the maximum weight. I remember a short Dodge rack truck I drove back in '74 would make you risk the fillings in your teeth when empty, but handled like a sports car with two tons on the bed.

A full conversion should smooth out the handling, but a minimalist approach might not. Once you add your conversion materials, house batteries, propane, and put water in the tanks, see how it handles then. There was mention in a thread a while ago about someone wanting to remove some leaves from the springs for a better ride, but that work is a safety item not to be taken lightly, or to be done "hillbilly style."
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:15 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Backwoods of Pennsylvania
Posts: 34
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444
Rated Cap: 22
Re: Going to look at a Navistar Vista, Advice

I would be happy to post pics if I can figure out how, I'm not much for computers. I'm not new to large vehicles, the bus is pretty small for me. I drove semi for 12 years then delivered large vehicles of all sorts for 4 years and now I drive tractor trailer water truck off road as well as charter bus part time. The bus has air bags on the rear axle so when the final weight is achieved the suspension can be fine tuned. Although I live on a little dirt road at the top of a hill in the woods so everything has a rough ride around here. So far I removed the seats, stop sign, and top blinking lights. Also I disconnected the wiring to the stop sign and blinking lights to avoid shorts and rewired the interior lights (for some reason they were wired to only work when the key was on) I'm still working on a floorplan but I'm attempting to add a rear full sized bed that can fold up out of the way to load my motorcycle from the wheelchair lift. At 22 feet it's a bit tight for full service camper plus bike hauler but I think I have the basics worked out. I have encountered one problem someone may have a suggestion for, The top school bus signs are removable signs in little windows so I just opened the door and removed the front one but it seems the rear air conditioner system was built over and into the rear access door making removal of the sign impossible. Can I in some way make the window non see though from the outside or do I need to remove the glass and paint over the sign itself. I hate to remove the window since this style of window is a real pain in the ---- to reinstall.
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File Type: jpg vista.jpg (110.4 KB, 245 views)
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