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Old 10-19-2016, 02:59 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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T444E w/ AT2000 vs. Cummins 24v Comparison, Economy, Durability

Hiyas,

I'm looking at a couple of buses and trying to find an engine that will get the best fuel economy and also last me more than 250k miles or so.

The first bus is a 2000 International with the T444E and a *manual* Allison AT2000 transmission

The second bus is a 2000 Flatnose Bluebird with a Cummins 24v engine (not sure of the transmission at the moment).

Both are mini-buses (not full size), and diesel (if that's not obvious).

I also see a lot of deals for Ford E450 buses (I think with the 7.3L diesel engine), if that is at all a competitor...

Would either of these definitely be preferable for fuel economy? I'm assuming the manual would get me a little more. Also, would either be more durable and longer lasting than the other? I've heard good things about both. Some say the Cummins can get 15-20mpg. Any truth to this in a school bus?

Thanks for any help!!
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:14 PM   #2
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Year: 1994
Coachwork: Genesis/Am-Tran Tall Roof
Chassis: International, 643 transmission
Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
Rated Cap: 86 screaming Monsters
My power stroke with a automatic in it pulling me 19ft boat always gets me 20 mpg. A buddy tells me in his dodge truck with a 24 valve he gets smidgen better. I'm not sure i want to drive a stick around since the get the same MPG now if there the same ratio. but if that stick has taller gear than the auto it may very well be a super MPG but i would still not want to drive a stick on my bus. I love me some power stroke! But that cummins is so much easier to service in my opinion. I don't think you can go wrong here. do you want to drive a stick or auto.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:22 PM   #3
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You will find fans of both those engines...it's kind of a "Ford v Chevy" thing here. But, the Allison 2000 series are all automatic transmissions. They may be referring to the shifter mechanism. There are a few out there with mechanical shifters (I just installed such on my 2200MH). Also be aware there are a number of different models within the 2000 designation. If you can find out exactly which one it is, you can look the specs up on the Allison website.

Hard to compare when we don't know what the other tranny is. If an older AT545, then I'd go with the unit with the 2000 in it. It will have 5 speeds vs four in a 545 and a sixth gear can often be unlocked. It will also feature "lock up" which will save a lot of fuel as well as brakes in hilly country.

Good luck with them and let us know what you discover.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:27 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks, I'll get back with more info on the other transmission.

Regarding the 2000, I've asked for more info, but can you possibly tell me what you mean by a 'manual shifter'? Does this mean I still shift going up/down hills and changing speeds? Or when is it employed? Does the automatic transmission + manual shifter still benefit from other manual transmission characteristics such as higher fuel economy?
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:27 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2016
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Chassis: International, 643 transmission
Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
Rated Cap: 86 screaming Monsters
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
You will find fans of both those engines...it's kind of a "Ford v Chevy" thing here. But, the Allison 2000 series are all automatic transmissions. They may be referring to the shifter mechanism. There are a few out there with mechanical shifters (I just installed such on my 2200MH). Also be aware there are a number of different models within the 2000 designation. If you can find out exactly which one it is, you can look the specs up on the Allison website.

Hard to compare when we don't know what the other tranny is. If an older AT545, then I'd go with the unit with the 2000 in it. It will have 5 speeds vs four in a 545 and a sixth gear can often be unlocked. It will also feature "lock up" which will save a lot of fuel as well as brakes in hilly country.

Good luck with them and let us know what you discover.
good call bus geek, get a 6 speed if you can. our motor home has it with a c7 cat and its a amazing transmission.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:45 PM   #6
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Most Allison installations feature an electronically controlled shifter...either with a T-handle or push buttons. But there is also an all mechanical (cable) shifter available for just about any Allie. The shifters are NOT made or speced by Allison. That is the call of the chassis manufacturer so there are any number of possible variations. With a mechanical, you can indeed select gears manually. But most folks just stick it in DRIVE and let the tranny itself pick the gears.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Most Allison installations feature an electronically controlled shifter...either with a T-handle or push buttons. But there is also an all mechanical (cable) shifter available for just about any Allie. The shifters are NOT made or speced by Allison. That is the call of the chassis manufacturer so there are any number of possible variations. With a mechanical, you can indeed select gears manually. But most folks just stick it in DRIVE and let the tranny itself pick the gears.
Ah, interesting, thanks Apparently the bus doesn't necessarily have an Allison 2000, but rather a "standard transmission". He can't find a specific model on it, so I'll probably just forego it for now. Will let you know if i find more out.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:11 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Well the guy isn't sure what kind of transmission is in the Cummins 24v, some kind of Allison... He was saying that possibly the year 2000 buses only came with the AT545. Anyone know if this is true? Here's the bus:
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/5781654070.html

He also says he has some 2003 International DT466 6-cylinder's coming in with 150k miles, 65 passenger, Allison transmission (not sure of model yet), air brakes and hydraulics, for $3500. Sounds like a good deal, I think!
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:46 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I'm curious if anyone knows of the typical MPG of the Cummins 24v buses with an Allison 545 or Allison 2000 transmission? I've heard some superior things like ~20mpg highway, just wondering if that's true.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:55 PM   #10
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So in a perfect world, what is the ideal engine tranny combo? Airbrakes vs hydraulic brakes?

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
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