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Old 09-30-2016, 03:32 PM   #11
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Looks like about a 35 footer?
Honestly I forgot to take the measurement outside...
Inside it's about 29 feet long.

Hope it won't be to hard to drive...
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:53 PM   #12
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Piece of cake, man.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:53 PM   #13
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I own a 97 T444e and am perfectly happy with it. It's no power house, but it brings me everywhere I ask of it. It seems that the modifications to the later years of the T444e were all improvements. Better up-pipes and turbos come to mind. While I can replace my up-pipes with the better version, I wish my engine just came with them stock.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:54 PM   #14
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I just bought a T-444E and drove it 1100 miles... thats how i feel about it.. ran like a champ...

there are some very good videos online about the common issues a T-444E can have.. and if you are willing to turn wrenches a little to replace a sensor or an injector here and there you can do it yourself pretty economically...

the T-444E is similar to the ford Powerstroke 7.3 so theres quite a bit online about it..

will it power that bus in the pic? see if you can get the seller to find the tag on the driver side valve cover.. wipe it off and see what horsepower / TQ rating it is... they came in a few variants..

what kind of travelling do you plan to do in it? rocky mountain tours? weekend at the lake? running mild hills like the smokies?

-Christopher
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:59 PM   #15
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by the way that looks like a nice well cared for bus...

couple things about your T-444E... KEEP YOUR OIL FRESH!!! they use engine oil to help drive the Fuel injection system... clean oil helps it stay happy..

DONT GET IT HOT!! they like to run cool... if your temp gauge starts creeping up to that 210-220-230 area slow it down.. But dont shut it off unless the temp goes quickly ballistic..

its not uncommon for a school bus to have a bad fan clutch or a radiator full of dirt.. so if you buy it and drive it far to get it home watch the temperature and check the oil often...

-Christopher
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:00 PM   #16
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Also, I noticed one of the early posters mentioning hard starts in the cold. I've never had a problem starting the engine when cold (down to -30C). That's without using the block heater (no grid-tied electricity in the forest), but with properly working glow plugs.
I had a hard time one winter. It turned out that the glow plug relay wasn't working. I was still able to start it by tying the house batteries to the starter battery to boost it. A glow plug relay costs $40. An affordable fix
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:11 PM   #17
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ASSUME you found a '96 T444E. What would you look for when checking out the last 9yr. service records?
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:18 PM   #18
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in a school bus, the T-444E is fairly easy to take apart... injectors and the IDM are probably the most expensive parts of it ..
injectors can go bad or be destroyed by bad oil... however most schools are pretty good about oil-changes as they want their busses to last and run well while they have them..

the year in question here should have already had the AE injector made standard in the #8 cylinder which was the source of a harmless but annoying "knocking noise"...

glow plugs are easily accessible under the valve covers, and the glow plug relay is pretty easy to get to also...

there are lots of T-444E's sill in service in IHC straight trucks and school busses.. I see them all over ..

the one to stay away from for the average non-mechanical joe is the IHC VT-365 aka the Maxxforce 7 aka the Ford Powerstroke 6.0. thats found on newer busses than most of us are looking at.. but they arecreeping up now and then as those busses begin to age out...

-Christopher
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1olfart View Post
ASSUME you found a '96 T444E. What would you look for when checking out the last 9yr. service records?
oil changes , coolant flushes would be the BIG one... any mention of over-heating issues.. as that can cause damage...

fuel filter, water seperator changes...

those normal items should be on a regular routine...

injectors, IDM's glow plugs, etc would be other things.. if they have been replaced you will have the updated units typically.. and also know thet theres likely longevity left...

also repeated items.. did a driver log report a bus was repeatedly brought in for something that doesnt ever get resolved.. or is something that kept happening indicating either the service dept ignored it or had big trouble resolving...

-Christopher
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:35 PM   #20
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ASSUME you found a '96 T444E. What would you look for when checking out the last 9yr. service records?
(1) Regular oil changes. Includes transmission fluid once every few years.
(2) Belts - replaced at any point?
(3) Filters - oil filters are typically replaced at every oil change. Same goes for fuel filters. Air filter - as needed.
(4) Brakes - last replacement and/or inspection.
(5) Tires - pressure and tread depth.
(6) Any major work done recently? Injectors replaced? Major problems diagnosed and fixed (or determined "Not worth repair"?)
(7) DVIR's (Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports), filled out by the drivers. Perhaps *THE BEST* indicator of not only vehicle maintenance, but also how well the driver cared for the equipment. DVIR's filled out daily (with issues documented) indicate a driver that had a tendency to take good care of their equipment, watched for problems, reported issues and saw to it they were fixed, also likely to watch the gauges and not allow it to run hot or low of oil.
( Follow up on DVIR's - how many different drivers drove this vehicle? One driver over the course of many years indicates it was very likely well maintained, the driver "learned" the bus and could sense when something wasn't right. Multiple drivers would not be a deal breaker for me, but it could indicate the vehicle might have been a spare, to be issued to whoever needed it that day.
(9) All this is in addition to an actual physical inspection of the bus with your own eyes. At the very least, you'll want to check the oil level, coolant level, transmission fluid level, steering fluid level, brake fluid level (if equipped with hydraulic brakes), belts, coolant hoses (both radiator and heater hoses), tire pressure, tread depth, and condition (full size tires may run 100 PSI, and even cutaway style buses may run 60 PSI or more), brake lining thickness (if visible), air pressure system (if equipped with air brakes), checking underneath the body for rust, check the suspension for loose, missing, broken items, check steering for "play" and ease of movement (it should not bind, or take much effort to turn). Air systems (if equipped) should run between 90-120 PSI, typically turning on around 90, and off around 120.
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