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Old 12-08-2019, 10:26 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Help!

We are driving to go look at a few buses
Bus one: 2002 international, Allison transmission, 198k miles
Bus two: 1995 genesis international, Allison transmission, 125k miles
What kinds of questions should I ask, which sounds better with the little bit of info I have? I like the dog nose better, but honestly I just want something reliable.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:27 AM   #2
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Bus 2 looks like it could be good with that DT466, but you want to stay away from an Allison AT545 transmission if you can, there is no converter lock up and no overdrive gear. They do fine pudding around the city but mountains or highway driving they don't do so well. They make plenty of heat without converter lockup.
If the transmission is a push button controlled rather than the shifter, odds are it isn't a 545, if the seller doesn't know, crawl under and find the info plate on the side of the transmission, model is stamped on it.

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Old 12-09-2019, 04:58 AM   #3
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The first one, I can't see what engine it has but being an '02 it'll likely have either the T444E/7.3 (decent reliable engine with excellent parts availability but woefully underpowered in a full size bus expected to negotiate any mountains) or the DT466/7.6 (*MUCH* better power for highway cruising, also has a good reputation and parts availability).


Personally I prefer a hood myself. Avoid the AT545 transmission as mentioned above (not likely to be paired with the DT466). Avoid buses above '04 with the 6.0/VT365 or "MaxxForce" engines (major emissions hardware issues). Also, for a '95 I'd be a bit skeptical of 125K miles; fairly good likelihood the dash was replaced at some point, it's a very common failure part on these IH buses but easily repaired by resoldering the plugs sockets on the circuit board. The engine computer tracks the miles too and if checked, I'd trust that number.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:27 AM   #4
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Engine: DT466e, at545
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I would say the 2002 will likely have an Allison 2000 transmission. That’s a big plus! 545 trans shifter will have RND321. Allison 2000 trans will have RND421. I think there is some other variations of shifters for the Allison 2000 but in a 2002 bus I’m thinking this is the one you’ll see. While I do prefer the 466 over the 444, the 444 is still a good engine. If the 95 bus with the 466 has an MT643 trans, then it would be a good purchase assuming no major mechanical issues or rust. Like the the others said, read the transmission tag. Bring a rag and maybe some acetone (nail polish remover) to wipe it off and take a pic. I’ve seen tags with a ton of gunk on them!
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:27 AM   #5
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Both good buses. Pick your favorite and go from there.

The mechanical 95 if well cared for is a really good engine. I'd probably go for the 95.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:39 AM   #6
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Thank you everyone!! This was a lot of help! I donno what Allison is in the 02 but the 95 has 545. I’ve been trying to do research on what’s good, but it’s hard to sort through all that information.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:44 AM   #7
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Thank you everyone!! This was a lot of help! I donno what Allison is in the 02 but the 95 has 545. Iíve been trying to do research on whatís good, but itís hard to sort through all that information.
Get more pics and info.
The 545 isn't really ideal for highway cruising. The heavier the bus the worse it slips. But if its a totally cherry bus with the 545 being the only downside it could be a decent deal if the price is cheap. If/when the 545 ever goes out you could get a 643 to swap. If you can't do that yourself be prepared to spend a few grand. Could be worth it, but that's a decision for you and your wallet.

My bus has a 545 but its a newly rebuilt one and my bus is only 5 windows long.

If I had a fullsize bus with a 545 I'd be saving up for a transmission upgrade eventually.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:47 AM   #8
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Also the DT466/AT545 combination seems to blow transmissions a lot faster than a AT545 paired with a 5.9 or T444E. Makes sense given the higher torque that the DT466 has.

Honestly don't know why Amtran/International even allowed customers to order the AT545 with the DT466 at all to begin with.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
Also the DT466/AT545 combination seems to blow transmissions a lot faster than a AT545 paired with a 5.9 or T444E. Makes sense given the higher torque that the DT466 has.

Honestly don't know why Amtran/International even allowed customers to order the AT545 with the DT466 at all to begin with.
the ones mated to 545's are de-rated to 175hp and 430 lbs of torque.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:58 AM   #10
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Other's here more bus knowledgeable than me will correct me if I'm wrong...

I think the "dog nosed" style are much easier to work on. Better access to the engine. If you're doing the work, that matters -- if you're paying someone else to do the work it really matter$$$$ 'cause labor is easily $100/$150/hr.

Your ratio of hwy driving to stationary living will determine the importance of having an o/d transmission, and which style bus can be made quieter on the inside while rolling 65mph.

I have a '54 Willys Wagon which I mostly love! When I'm getting on the hwy and drive above 60mph I put in ear plugs because the wind noise and howl from the gears is that loud -- Not ideal for long road-trips...
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
Also the DT466/AT545 combination seems to blow transmissions a lot faster than a AT545 paired with a 5.9 or T444E. Makes sense given the higher torque that the DT466 has.

Honestly don't know why Amtran/International even allowed customers to order the AT545 with the DT466 at all to begin with.
Because for the money they work perfectly for their intended application.

I would not trust the mileage on the 95 to be accurate.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:49 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Found out they both have the 545 transmission.. but thank you all for the input, I know that much more about what to look out for and ask questions about!!
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