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Old 09-29-2016, 02:13 PM   #11
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Year: 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Toterhomes-

<snip>

These will go a million miles and will be much better suited to interstate hauling than a pickup.
I have no doubt about that at all.

I'd love to be able to afford one of them, but they are all way too far out of budget.


My desire to convert a bus as described has four main objectives:

1) Be able to haul the 5th wheel on a one way (pretty much one time) trip.

2) Provide an easier "RV like" environment for that long trip.

3) Have space to use as an office after we get to Alaska and before we settle down and build our container home.

4) Spend about as much for the bus (I'll do the conversion myself for the most part) as I would for a good used one ton truck capable of pulling it.



Charles
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CE42 View Post
I have no doubt about that at all.

I'd love to be able to afford one of them, but they are all way too far out of budget.


My desire to convert a bus as described has four main objectives:

1) Be able to haul the 5th wheel on a one way (pretty much one time) trip.

2) Provide an easier "RV like" environment for that long trip.

3) Have space to use as an office after we get to Alaska and before we settle down and build our container home.

4) Spend about as much for the bus (I'll do the conversion myself for the most part) as I would for a good used one ton truck capable of pulling it.



Charles
I can score a toter for like 10k all day here.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:42 PM   #13
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My opinion - the T444 engine is alright, not great, not bad. It's more powerful than the 9L IH engine it replaced but there's a reason you don't find them in many (if any) medium duty trucks. They're fine for puttering around town and school routes, but not so much for moving heavy loads at interstate speeds and up hills. The DT466 will serve your needs much better, the mechanical versions being easier to DIY work on, boost the power on; the electronic versions will get a little more (stock) power and better fuel mileage.
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:25 PM   #14
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Go for a mechanical (pre 1996) DT466. If you don't mind being slow, don't worry about the transmission so much. Although as far as I know you are unable to install any kind of exhaust brake. We have a DT360 (severely underpowered but it gets us anywhere... slowly) and wanted a jake brake but (someone correct me if I'm wrong) it won't work. Also gearing down does almost nothing downhill unless you're in first gear, and that only does a little bit. Careful braking and plenty of cool down stops on long grades is the way to do it.

But as far as ease of repairs, mechanical engines are so simple that we were able to rebuild our engine with no previous experience. Also, our bus is pug nose, which is nice alternative because we did our overhaul from INSIDE the cab of the bus.
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:37 PM   #15
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even the DT-466E can be rebuilt in-frame of need-be.. although the electronics make it trickier to troubleshoot issues

onenation is right though on fixing things, the mechanicals are much easier to work on.. I really dont hear of a lot of peoiple having issues other than the normal stuff that can happen to any engine, like oil leaks, and NEVER get ANY DT-360 or DT-466 over-heated.. things go bad really quick...

we do hear of issues on some of the electronic engines.. however all of these have been around a long time that theres a Ton of youtube videos, forum posts on other truck forums, etc.. chances are, any engine you get that is commonly used there will be help you can get online.. parts cost more for electronic engines..

mechanical engines *CAN* be 'cranked up' to make more power if need-be... even a DT-360 can easily be turned up to push 210 HP easily... (perhaps at the loss of longevity)....

I personally find in a short bus my DT-360 is plenty powerful... takes me a little time to get up to speed but it does run down the highway... my new bus is a lighter-duty unit and has the electronic T-444E and it feels like a power-house.. but that electronic T444E doesnt feel nearly as "brute and rugged" as that DT engine does..
-Christopher
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:14 PM   #16
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Year: 2002
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
My opinion - the T444 engine is alright, not great, not bad. It's more powerful than the 9L IH engine it replaced but there's a reason you don't find them in many (if any) medium duty trucks. They're fine for puttering around town and school routes, but not so much for moving heavy loads at interstate speeds and up hills. The DT466 will serve your needs much better, the mechanical versions being easier to DIY work on, boost the power on; the electronic versions will get a little more (stock) power and better fuel mileage.
Thanks for the info Brad!

Charles
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:30 PM   #17
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its interestiung .. DT vs V8...

i drove both busses today one right after the other... the T444E and then my DT-360..

what I noticed is the T444E likes its power more high end... and the DT-360 is a torque monster right off the line... granted the new bus is Much lighter than my 91..

it feels like my DT-360 at low RPM could easily beat the new bus.. but at high speed the new Bus would beat the DT... I dont know on hills... my guess is that T444E would run out of steam pretty quickly.. it just doesnt seem like the heavy duty Big-tough-man feel that a DT does...

for a light bus and what im planning to use it for.. (a bus...) it will be fine.. but in a heavy full size bus I definitely would want something with more brute...

plus from a repair standpiont.. when i look under the hood of the mechanical DT i can recognize everything and access everything... on the T444E theres not only wires and controllers like crazy.. theres a lot of things I just plain dont recognize.... would make fixing it harder..

on the UPside a computer CAN help you fix a broken engine.. running a full-time scanner on the engine you can learn how all the parameters look when its running right.. and then notice if soimething looks out of whack.. theres a lot of data... and thus you may be able to predict a failure or be more prepared for something and catch it early rather than just.. well.. kablooey.. and that wiould be the same for a DT-466E ..
-Christopher
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:39 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 34
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post
Go for a mechanical (pre 1996) DT466. If you don't mind being slow, don't worry about the transmission so much. Although as far as I know you are unable to install any kind of exhaust brake. We have a DT360 (severely underpowered but it gets us anywhere... slowly) and wanted a jake brake but (someone correct me if I'm wrong) it won't work. Also gearing down does almost nothing downhill unless you're in first gear, and that only does a little bit. Careful braking and plenty of cool down stops on long grades is the way to do it.

But as far as ease of repairs, mechanical engines are so simple that we were able to rebuild our engine with no previous experience. Also, our bus is pug nose, which is nice alternative because we did our overhaul from INSIDE the cab of the bus.
Thanks for your input (that is an interesting crew you have there - makes me feel better about our four dogs!).

I've seen a few pug nose buses so it is nice to talk to someone who has one.

From what I read here after a quick search:
Exhaust brake for a DT360 w/AT545 - TheDieselGarage.com

You do have options for a retarder for your DT360, so you might want to look into that.

Charles
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:50 PM   #19
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 34
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
even the DT-466E can be rebuilt in-frame of need-be.. although the electronics make it trickier to troubleshoot issues

onenation is right though on fixing things, the mechanicals are much easier to work on.. I really dont hear of a lot of peoiple having issues other than the normal stuff that can happen to any engine, like oil leaks, and NEVER get ANY DT-360 or DT-466 over-heated.. things go bad really quick...

we do hear of issues on some of the electronic engines.. however all of these have been around a long time that theres a Ton of youtube videos, forum posts on other truck forums, etc.. chances are, any engine you get that is commonly used there will be help you can get online.. parts cost more for electronic engines..

mechanical engines *CAN* be 'cranked up' to make more power if need-be... even a DT-360 can easily be turned up to push 210 HP easily... (perhaps at the loss of longevity)....

I personally find in a short bus my DT-360 is plenty powerful... takes me a little time to get up to speed but it does run down the highway... my new bus is a lighter-duty unit and has the electronic T-444E and it feels like a power-house.. but that electronic T444E doesnt feel nearly as "brute and rugged" as that DT engine does..
-Christopher
Thanks Christopher!

Today I visited the head of one of the local school bus garages and spent some time talking with him about the project.

He said that as far as International engines go, that I should try to avoid anything 2007 or newer if possible. He said that they seem to have gone overboard with the electronics to the point where there are a lot of problems and even troubleshooting costs a lot more since you have to swap things out to see if the fix is in (which is not always the case).

It was interesting that he said from their experience (and he has been head of the bus garage for something like 20 years) that the DT-466, T444E and Cumins were all roughly the same. No one was particularly better or worse as long as you understood the nuances of the engines.

He liked the DT-466's (especially the mechanical ones), but said that the drivers who took care of the T444Es and did not overheat them ended up having less problems than the 466's.

He said that these days they try to buy Cummins in most everything.

On the transmission side of things, he said I was going to have a really hard time finding a reasonably priced bus that did not have the 545 (at least in the Southern part of the country) since that was what most schools had been ordering down here for a long time.

Still it was a good conversation and he was good enough to put me onto another county (even providing a contact and phone number) that was about to retire some flat nosed buses.

I don't have any idea what they have yet, but I will be talking to them tomorrow.

It would be nice to cut the middleman out of the sales price!



Charles
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:04 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 34
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
its interestiung .. DT vs V8...

i drove both busses today one right after the other... the T444E and then my DT-360..

what I noticed is the T444E likes its power more high end... and the DT-360 is a torque monster right off the line... granted the new bus is Much lighter than my 91..

it feels like my DT-360 at low RPM could easily beat the new bus.. but at high speed the new Bus would beat the DT... I dont know on hills... my guess is that T444E would run out of steam pretty quickly.. it just doesnt seem like the heavy duty Big-tough-man feel that a DT does...

for a light bus and what im planning to use it for.. (a bus...) it will be fine.. but in a heavy full size bus I definitely would want something with more brute...

plus from a repair standpiont.. when i look under the hood of the mechanical DT i can recognize everything and access everything... on the T444E theres not only wires and controllers like crazy.. theres a lot of things I just plain dont recognize.... would make fixing it harder..

on the UPside a computer CAN help you fix a broken engine.. running a full-time scanner on the engine you can learn how all the parameters look when its running right.. and then notice if soimething looks out of whack.. theres a lot of data... and thus you may be able to predict a failure or be more prepared for something and catch it early rather than just.. well.. kablooey.. and that wiould be the same for a DT-466E ..
-Christopher
VERY interesting - thanks for the data.

One of the comments the bus garage head had to say about the mechanical DT-466's (or any older engine) is that the young mechanics fresh out of school are mostly totally lost on them.

They all can run the computers and do the diagnostics and repairs well enough, but most only scratched their heads otherwise.

Charles
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