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Old 02-21-2005, 04:51 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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International 7.3L Short Bus

Hi and thanks for all the good discussion.

I just bought a short bus and would like to hear if you think I should keep and convert it or sell it for another.

Here are the limited specs: (it's the one in my profile pic)

1991 - International model 3700
Wheel Base 152"
7.3 L Non Turbo Navistar/international Diesel
Indirect Injection
Carpenter Body
160 amp alt.
dual Batteries
New exhaust system
Tires are in good condition tire size is 8.25/20
spicer rear end, gear ratio 5.57
Automatic transmission 545 allison 4 speed
gvwr 23500
25,000 miles

It's got no rust and was only used one year for a special ed group. It was then garaged and sat until now.

I'm planning on converting not only to living space, but also to run on waste vegetable oil. (greasecar.com greasel.com etc) It only has 25K miles, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I paid $4000 and was this a good deal? What I wanted was something that would last.

I've been reading about the Carpenter bodies and how they aren't safe, or at least certain years from certain factories? Did I just get one of these? Plus, it seems the tranny is not favorable as well. If so, should I sell it and get another?

I don't want a big bus cause I'm a minimalist and don't have a wife and kids. Just need enough room for a girlfriend or two. ;)

Should I sell it now and go for another or will this serve my purpose?

Is it worth investing my time into?

Thanks for any quick thoughts you might have. I really appreciate all the information you've already shared. It's quite a nice resource.
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:58 PM   #2
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it seems that the 7.3 liter non turbo would have less power than the average skoolie. It's even pretty wimpy in a pickup chassis. But with only 25,000 miles, it's hard to go wrong!

It should run just fine for years and years.

I'm not sure if the injector pump on that engine would be happy on wvo.
Engines with bosch inline injector pumps are happiest on wvo. I'm not positive, but i think the 7.3 liter has a rotory pump??

Not trying to rain on your parade....just trying to give ya some info.
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:12 PM   #3
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injector pump etc

Hi and thanks for the reply !

I'm not sure if it an injector pump... But the guys at greasel.com said it was a nice engine and would work really well for wvo!

When you say it will run for years and years, what would you expect to break first? So that I can baby it where it needs love.

Is this one of those Carpenters with the bad roof/siding? Or are those only on the long buses?

Just want to know how to take care of this thing so it will live a long and happy life.
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:12 PM   #4
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Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
Hit http://www.thedieselstop.com forums for any info needed about the7.3 IDI engine. There are literally hundreds of thousands of posts in the 7.3 IDI forum.
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:45 PM   #5
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super thanks!

thanks jarlaxle - now it's time to get my hands even dirtier!
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:54 PM   #6
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for the benefit of all, here's the direct link to the 7.3L IDI engine (International and Ford?) forum at http://www.thedieselstop.com

http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthre ... oard=UBB28

good active discussion ---
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Old 02-22-2005, 12:46 AM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
I'm Jarlaxle there...please stop in the "Other" forum to say hello.
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:01 AM   #8
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Carpenter Bodies

I just bought a similar bus with the 7.3 diesel and Carpenter body. It came from a new/used dealer who inspected the welds and found no problems. It is recommended that all bodies from the Mitchell plant (it should say on the information plate near the front door where it was manufactured) be inspected - here's the link:

http://www.schoolbusinfo.org/carpbusfinal.html

but also that these buses are still safer than the alternatives (cars and vans) and should not be taken out of service. I guess I feel that the likelyhood of rolling the bus upside down is very minimal compared to the safety of driving my car. I don't think a deer is going to run the bus off the road ;-)

As for the engine, while it slows a bit on the uphill, I can cruise at 60-65 mph for the most part with a manual 5 speed; not sure what difference the automatic makes. The bus has 120,000 miles and still runs great. The lower horsepower of the older non-turbo actually makes it run with less stress and longer life. While I would prefer the DT466, the 7.3 should give you at least 200,000 miles.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:23 PM   #9
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If you plan to rip the interior out you can inspect the welds. You can also look in the mirrors down the sides of the bus for any sagging. With so few miles the body may not have any problems showing up yet. The engine and tranny are not my favorite. With so few miles it sounds like a good deal. If it was me l would keep it. You have good rubber, no rust and low miles.
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:36 PM   #10
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x_userx: thanks for the link!

busone: i'd rather not rip out the top, unless there's no insulation in there. from x_userx's link, i see a little insultation in the roof. would you believe this is the case for this model bus?
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