A couple of days ago many of you weighed in and gave me advice on engines and transmissions for a project to convert a skoolie into a toterhome to haul a 16,000 lb (loaded) 5th wheel.
That thread is here:
Thank you to everyone who contributed there!
Since I am now looking at buses that don't have a Cummins 5.9 in them (and that engine seems to be all over the place, along with the small CAT engines), I am seeing a mix of older DT-466 engines and the newer DT-466E (as well as quite a few of the T444E engines).
I am finding buses that are just coming out of service, but are older buses in many cases (1992, 1996, 1997) that have these engines.
Assuming all are well maintained, would I be better off to go for one of the older "mechanical" versions of the DT-466?
Also I was reading threads here and elsewhere that seem to be about 50/50 for/against the T444E series. Most of the buses I have seen with them have upwards of 150K on them and some have said that is fairly the life of that engine.
Lastly on the transmission issue, everything I am running across seems to have the AT545 in it.
So it looks like I may have to go that route and put a transmission cooler and a separate gauge on it, then just take it easy with it.
I also do plan to put an exhaust brake or retarder on it.
As mentioned in the other thread, I am not going to be in a big hurry on this trip, so if it is a bit slower going up the mountains (and definitely so going downhill with a 16K 5th wheel!), that is fine by me. I don't need to set any land speed records.
I'm not desperate to buy one ASAP, but I'd like to be able to get my bus and get it shortened before the really cold/wet weather sets in. I can always put a heater inside and work on the inside over the winter months.
If I can't find a flat nosed (transit type front) bus with the larger engine, then I may just go with the standard nose (it does seem easier to work on the engine) despite that I would have liked to have had the extra space inside.
I'm not really wanting to take a chance on a remote auction somewhere, so I am trying to buy from some place where I can take a better look at it, drive it, etc.
Fortunately there are a fair amount of just out of services buses available right now around here (within a couple of hundred miles at best).
Keep in mind that I will probably never put more than 10K-20K max on this bus ever. In reality I should only pull the 5th wheel about 5K to 6K max.
As always - thanks in advance for your expertise, thoughts and opinions!