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Old 06-04-2015, 10:05 PM   #11
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Seems to be all automatics with T444E's here.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:30 PM   #12
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Most T444(E) engines were mated to the AT540 series transmission. For what it is, the AT540 is a pretty good transmission. It isn't nearly the transmission the MT640 is but it is head and shoulders above a Ford E4OD transmission. Given reasonable care, clean fluid with new filters on a regular basis, and if you don't get it hot the transmission should go 300,000+ miles without any problems.

Maybe one in ten thousand buses of any kind left the factory with a stick shift in the last twenty years.

Most buses with the T444(E) were not trip buses. The engine is a great engine but it isn't a big powerhouse. In school buses the HP was set around 190 HP--enough for to/from but not nearly enough for highway speeds in excess of 60 MPH.

To determine which buses may have been set up for trips you need to look at either the build sheet/line setting ticket or the data plates inside the bus. Many times the data plate will say which rear end ratio the bus has. If the number is 5 or larger it isn't going to go fast. 4.10 will be about 70 MPH at 2,500 RPM's. 4.90 will be about 60 MPH at 2,500 RPM's.

Another clue is if the bus has luggage compartments. Most school buses with luggage compartments tended to be spe'c'ed to do trips at least some of the time if not all of the time.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:59 PM   #13
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Wow, thanks alot man!
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Most T444(E) engines were mated to the AT540 series transmission. For what it is, the AT540 is a pretty good transmission. It isn't nearly the transmission the MT640 is but it is head and shoulders above a Ford E4OD transmission. Given reasonable care, clean fluid with new filters on a regular basis, and if you don't get it hot the transmission should go 300,000+ miles without any problems.

Maybe one in ten thousand buses of any kind left the factory with a stick shift in the last twenty years.

Most buses with the T444(E) were not trip buses. The engine is a great engine but it isn't a big powerhouse. In school buses the HP was set around 190 HP--enough for to/from but not nearly enough for highway speeds in excess of 60 MPH.

To determine which buses may have been set up for trips you need to look at either the build sheet/line setting ticket or the data plates inside the bus. Many times the data plate will say which rear end ratio the bus has. If the number is 5 or larger it isn't going to go fast. 4.10 will be about 70 MPH at 2,500 RPM's. 4.90 will be about 60 MPH at 2,500 RPM's.

Another clue is if the bus has luggage compartments. Most school buses with luggage compartments tended to be spe'c'ed to do trips at least some of the time if not all of the time.


Thanks for posting this!
The project I'm picking up at the end of this month[end of the school year] apparently spent most of its life as a charter bus, it's now a spare. It has a 5.9 cummins which I know nothing about, but my diesel mechanic kid does and will keep it runnin' for me. Hoping it'll do 65-70mph without a problem. Of course there's a trade off....he wants to use it and the ATV.
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Old 06-05-2015, 11:07 PM   #15
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I have to figure out what rear end i have in my BB its a T444E, with AT540, I have put over 25000kms on it over the past 5 years, and it will cruise 60-65-70 all day, but its no power house that's for sure.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:42 PM   #16
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If you get an international, make sure you do not get the split radiator, does not really have sufficient cooling capacity for running on the highway all day
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:52 PM   #17
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If you get an international, make sure you do not get the split radiator, does not really have sufficient cooling capacity for running on the highway all day
I second that! I have one.....wish I dident.

You really only need 2 of 3 things. 1) a good radiator. 2) a good fan. 3) a good temperature gauge.
Unfortunately internationals came with zero of the three.
I'm going to paint my front clip rustolium "Alumanum" to hopefully keep down on sun heat. I am also going to rig up a water sprayer for my radiator beceause I'm short on $$$

Trying to convert a bus with NO budget is something I'm doing poorly at.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:40 PM   #18
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I am also going to rig up a water sprayer for my radiator beceause I'm short on $$$
I've been thinking about that for my rear-engine rig. We've been having some overheat trouble, and although I think it might have been my fault for inadequate purging of air from the system, in case the problem continues I've thought about doing this also. Being an RV we'll have a big water tank and a pump on board anyway... Have you gotten very far into figuring out what to use for a valve and spray nozzle?
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:39 PM   #19
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If you do install a mister to cool your radiator down make sure you use distilled water in it.

Using anything except for distilled water runs the real risk of creating deposits on the radiator making it less efficient in cooling.

I have seen a radiator that was almost completely clogged by a covering of calcium that was left when the water evaporated on contact.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
I've been thinking about that for my rear-engine rig. We've been having some overheat trouble, and although I think it might have been my fault for inadequate purging of air from the system, in case the problem continues I've thought about doing this also. Being an RV we'll have a big water tank and a pump on board anyway... Have you gotten very far into figuring out what to use for a valve and spray nozzle?
I was planning on a garden type sprayer nosle with a small fountain pump I have. I actually got the idea form Mighty Car Mods on YouTube.
I don't want to plum this into my fresh tank, it's a contamination risk.
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