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Old 02-27-2017, 08:57 PM   #1
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Location: Northwest CT
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Year: 1997
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Just Got a Bus - Thoughts?

So my girlfriend and I are getting a bus and converting it, but pre conversion we're taking it out to Idaho, I just wanna get an idea of the quality, and if we got a good deal, we paid $2500

So it's a 1997 international 3800, with the T444E 7.3l v8, 49,000 miles 4 speed automatic transmission. The body is blue bird, it's 8 windows behind the driver's seat
It came from the regional high school my girlfriend went to and I have the service records dating back to 1997 all the way up to 3/15/16 when they sold it to the guy I bought it from.

There's some rust on the frame, but it isn't that bad, a bunch of it still has the original paint - what's the best thing to do about that (for the least money)

I'll take any advice or ideas or thoughts or anything
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broccoli_Bus View Post
So my girlfriend and I are getting a bus and converting it, but pre conversion we're taking it out to Idaho, I just wanna get an idea of the quality, and if we got a good deal, we paid $2500

So it's a 1997 international 3800, with the T444E 7.3l v8, 49,000 miles 4 speed automatic transmission. The body is blue bird, it's 8 windows behind the driver's seat
It came from the regional high school my girlfriend went to and I have the service records dating back to 1997 all the way up to 3/15/16 when they sold it to the guy I bought it from.

There's some rust on the frame, but it isn't that bad, a bunch of it still has the original paint - what's the best thing to do about that (for the least money)

I'll take any advice or ideas or thoughts or anything
Unless it was a spare bus, I'd highly doubt that mileage to be correct.
The gauge clusters are one of the most commonly swapped out parts on these buses.
Post up some pics when you can!
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:03 PM   #3
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Location: Northwest CT
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Year: 1997
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Engine: T444e 7.3l v8
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Unless it was a spare bus, I'd highly doubt that mileage to be correct.
The gauge clusters are one of the most commonly swapped out parts on these buses.
Post up some pics when you can!
It was their AG bus, for farm field trips, I checked with the school and the mileage is correct!!! (Plus, I have the service records from 1997 on to verify)

I'm picking it up tomorrow, I'll post pics in the afternoon or early Wednesday!
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Broccoli_Bus View Post
There's some rust on the frame, but it isn't that bad, a bunch of it still has the original paint - what's the best thing to do about that (for the least money)
Rustoleum makes a liquid rust converter / covering. Hit it with a wire brush to get any flaking paint/rust, then brush the converter on. Let it dry, and then I'd cover it with a quick coat of paint. (I don't think you need to, but it doesn't hurt.)

Use the liquid, not the spray can. The can's don't get great penetration.
Stops RustŪ Rust Reformer Product Page
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:43 AM   #5
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It sounds as if you have found a pretty nice bus for a very reasonable price.

Don't be surprised if it isn't very fast or climbs hills in the slow lane. If you are lucky the gearing is such that your top speed will be around 60 MPH. Don't be surprised if the top speed is 47 MPH. When lower HP ratings were spe'c'ed if you lowered the top speed you got better acceleration and hill climbing ability.

The T444E is a great engine that will run a very long time if it doesn't get hot. Most were set with HP ratings in the 180-220 HP range with the most common being either the 190 or 210 HP versions.

Many times the lower HP versions were ordered so they could put the less expensive AT540 transmission behind it. More than enough transmission for a bus of that size with that much HP. Moving the HP rating up to 210 HP usually meant they had to upgrade to the MT640 transmission. Between the two upgrades it would add well over $2K in price--more HP means more heat so more engine and transmission cooling capacity among the many other things that need upgrading if you get more HP.

I think you did well and it should work well for you. Just don't try to keep up with the big dogs or you will be dead by the road pretty quickly.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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