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Old 09-04-2019, 07:12 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 989
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
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Originally Posted by Massagestudent52 View Post
I'm thinking something the size of a sport truck. I'm concerned because my bus will be carrying a lot of weight before I add the vehicle. I'm looking to have a bus used as a home a few weeks at a time as well as a traveling business. That means carrying extra resources. I'm thinking at least 150 and 200 gallons of fresh water, 50 gallon grey water tank, washer dryer combo, possible dark water tank, wet bath or full shower, and room for two adults to sleep separately. Along with at least 1000 watts of solar, 600 amp hours of battery minimum, as well as the other amenities lol. Oh, and I plan on raising the roof of the bus. I'm just worried the bus won't have enough power with a stock engine
You're describing pretty much a standard skoolie build, no need to upgrade your engine. Remember, your bus won't be hauling the five- to ten-thousand pounds of children that it was built to carry.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:19 AM   #12
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
it sounds like what you need is a good solid drivetrain.. remember school busses( the big ones.. ie 37-40 ft) are often GVWR at 30,000 - 33,000 lbs.. which means the total of your bus BEFORE trailer can be close to that (depending on what your tongue weight will be)..



you will definitely want one of the solod diesrible drivetrains like the cummins 8.3 / MD3060 trans setup.. or a good high torque DT-466 and same trans..



im not sure what your floorplan is. or if you need back door access.. but we see busses like similar come along in rear-engine format.. you will typically have in the 240-275 HP range.. and good Low end torque with an inline 6 high displacement..



you figure a fully loaded 84 passenger school bus could be carrying 10,000 lbs or more of Kids.. will your convcersion and tongue weight for trailer add up to that?



obviously you have to look at the actual GVWR of a bus and the actual weight of the bus.. (preferrably after you take out the seats.. however you can guess that a seat usually weights in the 30-40 lb range on average).. a 15 row bus will have 30 seats..


like others mentrion do your research..



if you reallty need a 400+ horsepower bus then you are starting to get to the point where a coach vs a school bus may be more fitting.. coaches are often built with larger class-8 (semi) style engines and drivetrains with 350-450 Horsepower..



coaches of course have their completely own set of plusses and minuses ... some here are doing coach builds.. ill let them chime in on those..
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:49 AM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2019
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The research I'm doing is for a bus I'm hoping to buy when I finish school in about 18 months. That answered the question about is it a better to replace or rebuild an engine and transmission. As well as the fact that I now know I need less power than I thought. Now I just need to start the search for a bus with the motor i want. After watching several vids I think I'm leaning towards a retired activity school bus with the underbelly compartments. Next question is if I need to have the engine and transmission rebuilt how much will it cost?
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:34 AM   #14
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ohio
Posts: 49
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Quote:
Originally Posted by Massagestudent52 View Post
The research I'm doing is for a bus I'm hoping to buy when I finish school in about 18 months. That answered the question about is it a better to replace or rebuild an engine and transmission. As well as the fact that I now know I need less power than I thought. Now I just need to start the search for a bus with the motor i want. After watching several vids I think I'm leaning towards a retired activity school bus with the underbelly compartments. Next question is if I need to have the engine and transmission rebuilt how much will it cost?
An 8.x liter engine will easily be $10 to 15 grand to rebuild. Xmsn maybe $5k less...

What's a "sport truck"? Will you be flat-towing or trailering this truck?
(be realistic about how "loaded" the towed truck will be)

Have you ever driven a large truck with trailer to base your "need" on?

pic From my recent move to OH. The rental is a brand new (lucky!) 26' box truck. With the trailer I was almost as long as a semi-trailer! Same frontal area as a semi -- I'm parked next to a full size kenworth...
The '54 Willys Wagon only weighs around 5k pounds but I also had it filled with spare parts... so really between 6 & 7k pounds, and a trailer like that weighs 2500 pounds empty!
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:58 AM   #15
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A sport truck would be things like the ranger, Colorado, Dakota, Tacoma, and canyon. The step down from a half ton truck like the F-150. Estimated weight around 4500 pounds without any supplies inside. Haven't decided on the trailer type but rest assured I'll be finding a huge parking lot to practice in lol
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:11 AM   #16
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Year: 1989
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Engine: Dt 360/ spicer 5 speed
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Trying to get a transmission to survive at those power levels will likelly be a challenge.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:08 AM   #17
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Year: 1996
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Engine: DT466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massagestudent52 View Post
A sport truck would be things like the ranger, Colorado, Dakota, Tacoma, and canyon. The step down from a half ton truck like the F-150. Estimated weight around 4500 pounds without any supplies inside. Haven't decided on the trailer type but rest assured I'll be finding a huge parking lot to practice in lol

We've got a retired activity bus from Vail, Colorado. It's got a DT466 high torque 250hp engine and an Allison MT643 transmission. We flat tow our ~5,000LB Nissan Xterra behind it. It's slow going, but it gets the job done. We unhitch when towing in the mountain passes though, as the engine starts getting warm. I'm sure that could be addressed, though, with some mechanical knowhow. A buddy of mine with the same bus from the same school district just had his engine rebuilt at the International dealer and it ran him around $9K for the rebuild plus some misc. odds and ends. As I understand it, though, that's on the expensive side as that shop charges a higher shop rate.
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Old 09-04-2019, 01:51 PM   #18
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Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,011
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Over the last couple of days I have seen 45' MCI's with 350hp Series 60 in Houston and a Bruebird RE with an unidentified 12.7liter I6. I don't recall the location of the Bluebird.

The Bluebird surprised me. I had never seen that kind of powerplant in a Bluebird.
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Old 09-04-2019, 01:58 PM   #19
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Arkansas Ozark Foothills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
We've got a retired activity bus from Vail, Colorado. It's got a DT466 high torque 250hp engine and an Allison MT643 transmission. We flat tow our ~5,000LB Nissan Xterra behind it. It's slow going, but it gets the job done. We unhitch when towing in the mountain passes though, as the engine starts getting warm. I'm sure that could be addressed, though, with some mechanical knowhow. A buddy of mine with the same bus from the same school district just had his engine rebuilt at the International dealer and it ran him around $9K for the rebuild plus some misc. odds and ends. As I understand it, though, that's on the expensive side as that shop charges a higher shop rate.

Did they do an in-frame overhaul or pull the engine?
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:58 PM   #20
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Join Date: Sep 2019
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I saw a video where a guy cranked the heater to help with keeping the engine heat down. If you could instead rig the heater to pump the excess heat down in away from the engine it might help keeping the engine cool but that's just an idea
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