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Old 01-13-2010, 08:57 PM   #1
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How do we all feel about the T444E?

Ok, so I am getting pretty close to owning my forst bus. I have looked at a few in the past couple weeks and the most recent is a 1995 International 3800 series with a T444E 7.3 V8. It has an automatic tranny, though I dont know which one. All 6 tires are in good condition. Barely any smoke on startup or after it was warmed up. It has hydraulic brakes, which I think I prefer only because I am familiar with them. The bus company wannts 1800 including delivery. I figure this is pretty decent considering they were asking 3500. So what does everybody think about the whole deal?

Thanks in advance,
Eric
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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Re: How do we all feel about the T444E?

The T444E was a very popular engine in school buses and medium trucks for most of the 90s. If properly maintained, they'll run for a long time. Don't expect a lot of power, particularly with the Allison AT545 (a 1995 most likely has this transmission). I like the 444s, but I prefer the inline 6s in an International (DT466, DT408, DTA360). 444s aren't known for being the best to start in cold weather. If you need to take the bus out in the winter, make sure you plug in the block heater the night before. Sometimes it helps to cycle the glow plugs a few times (key on, wait for the "wait to start" light to go out, then turn the key off and repeat 2-3 times before finally starting) when it's really cold out. Always let it warm up for a couple minutes before driving, and it's usually best to let it idle for 3-5 minutes before shutting off (better for the turbo to slow down after being revved up).

That's a decent price, buses with that engine/tranny/brake combo go for about the same at auction in this area. Just be very careful about rust, road salt in this area is hell on any vehicle. You might be able to find some better choices at a bus auction, maybe even get a rear-engine with the same engine/tranny/brakes for the same price.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:53 PM   #3
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Re: How do we all feel about the T444E?

Well thanks for the info guys. I think Im going to bite the bullet and get the bus tomorow. All I wanted to hear is that that motor is not a total failure, which i guess its not. It did start right up in 15 degree weather which was nice. And it only has 120k miles on it. Ill update and start a new thread if i do end up getting it.

Thanks everyone!
-Eric
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:16 PM   #4
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Re: How do we all feel about the T444E?

The DT408 was very short-lived, right around the time they switched over to electronic controls. (94-95ish) I don't know much about them, but mechanics I've talked to say they're reliable like the other DTs. I've driven a couple, they had decent power. You should be able to get parts through any International truck dealer. The engines were rare, but there are enough of them out there.

So Eric, how's the bus? Let's see some pics! I wouldn't mind seeing it in person either. What part of CT are you in? I'm up in the northeast corner.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:33 AM   #5
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Re: How do we all feel about the T444E?

Well the money has been wired to First Student, and Im waiting on the bill of sale and for a call from the transport company. Its kind of a wierd feeling knowing that you sent money off only hoping you wont get ripped off, but their a huge corporation and Im confident that all big corporations in this wonderful country are completely honest...NOT. But anyway ill update when I take delivery of the bus. Phil, Im in higganum, you've probably never heard of it. Its about 10 minutes south of middletown. Ill let you know when I have made some progress so you can check it out if you want. I hope to move quickly on it, but im a full time college student finishing up my freshman year so I dont know how often Ill be able to work on it, at least every weekend though.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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Re: How do we all feel about the T444E?

First Student and "honest" don't belong in the same sentence...I should know, I drive for them. But they don't take your money and run, if they said they'll sell you a bus for a certain price they're good for it. And I also know about free time being a scarce resource, I'm a full-time college student and work 2 jobs, sometimes more than 50 hours a week. Fortunately, that all takes a break over the summer, which is conveniently when my partner and I are buying a bus
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:04 PM   #7
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2002 International AmTran T444E

Hi guys,
I read you opinion about the T444E but what about a recent motor like the 2002?
We'll buy our bus next week, 2002 International AmTran T444E, 130 000 miles.

Is that a good bus? What should I be careful to, what should I look before?

Thanks for your answers.

So Impatient to start the conversion project
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:27 PM   #8
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good engines. Best is smaller to midsize buses, but they will get you there even in a 40' bus.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:30 PM   #9
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Great! It's not the longer one, so it should not be so heavy.

I will try to be smart during the construction to be as light as possible with the material and equipment I'll chose.

Here is the beast:
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:31 PM   #10
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Looks like about a 35 footer? Looks like a nice bus in the pic.
You looking to drive it cross country, live in it, or just have a rad RV?
If you're gonna spend a ton of time on the interstate, then go for big engine.
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