Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-15-2016, 11:53 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
rjnye79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: GA, by way of NC and VA
Posts: 140
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 66
Talking This could be it!

So, I have a lead on a 1993 AmTran International 3700... she has less than 180k, 7.3 idi, non-turbo, Allison 545. I am hoping to go look at it in the next week. Exterior photos look promising, but if anyone could please share insights regarding this make/model, what to look for, what is appropriate value, etc. it would be greatly appreciated. I am anxious, nervous and even a little intimidated (especially since I have to drive about four hours to merely take a good look at her).

Just in case you care to know... we plan on converting her for full time use, traversing No. America with a healthy dose of boondocking from time to time.
rjnye79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 10:12 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,163
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Not a very desirable engine/tranny package at all. A less than stellar engine and without a turbo, pretty lame. And the old AT 545's are total dinosaurs. No OD, no lockup, parts are getting rare, no one wants to service them any more and a reputation for being huge fuel wasters. Me...I'd keep looking.

That said...if you go that route, I have a working spare AT545 you can have for free. Just pick it up. I haven't even been able to give it away in the past 3 years.
Tango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 10:15 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,153
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Go get a bus built for mountains if you plan on driving up many of them.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 05:22 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
rjnye79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: GA, by way of NC and VA
Posts: 140
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Not a very desirable engine/tranny package at all. A less than stellar engine and without a turbo, pretty lame. And the old AT 545's are total dinosaurs. No OD, no lockup, parts are getting rare, no one wants to service them any more and a reputation for being huge fuel wasters. Me...I'd keep looking.

That said...if you go that route, I have a working spare AT545 you can have for free. Just pick it up. I haven't even been able to give it away in the past 3 years.
Thanks! That's exactly the kinda stuff I needed to know... what engine/trans package do you think is desirable, yet relatively prominent (i.e. plentiful)? Does it make things harder that we're basically looking at just 6,7,8 window rigs?
rjnye79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 05:24 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
rjnye79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: GA, by way of NC and VA
Posts: 140
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Go get a bus built for mountains if you plan on driving up many of them.
We certainly plan on getting up in the mountains. How can I tell if a bus is built for, or at all able to handle, the climbing?
rjnye79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 06:01 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,153
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Get one from a district that has mountains. Colorado buses all come ready for the mountains. And their climate doesn't destroy buses.
Idaho, Utah, Washington, and Oregon can also have some great buses. Colorado buses have to come with a driveline retarder. Look up those if you're not familiar, there are some demo vids on youtube.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 08:29 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
Inline engines go up hills better than V-8's. I don't understand why that is true but I have seen buses with V-8's walk away from inline-6's on the flat and then get passed like they were stopped on even gentle grades.

Gearing is important to get right before you purchase. Retrofitting can be a problem and $$$$ after purchase. Some school buses are/have been geared for top speeds of 47 MPH. Others that were purchased specifically for trips had highway gearing and could go well in excess of what would be considered safe in an RV.

Since you plan to boondock I assume that means you not only are going to be off of the interstate but you also plan on going beyond the end of the paved road. A Type 'C' conventional will probably be a better choice for you than a Type 'D' RE. Not that the Type 'D' RE couldn't do it. It is just that most Type 'C' buses have shorter wheelbases and higher ground clearances.

If you are able to do so, get the line setting ticket for the bus or bus chassis. It will tell you which engine, which transmission, which brakes, and which rear end ratio the bus had when it left the factory.

Regardless of the brand of the engine, you want a minimum of 210 HP. Even at that HP rating you are going to be pokey on the hills. 250 HP is better. 285 HP is better still. For your purposes the bigger HP engine will most likely deliver better fuel mileage than the smaller HP engines.

Over the years brakes have evolved like everything else in the industry. Even still, some schools/companies will spe'c the absolute bare minimum to get by. As a consequence you can have two buses sitting next to each other that look identical and one bus will have 2x the amount of braking surface than the other one. It doesn't make either bus unsafe. But big brakes take a lot longer to wear out or get hot and will stop the bus much more quickly than the same bus with smaller brakes. I have seen an IC RE with 7" front brakes and 9" rear brakes. I have seen a virtual twin as far as options are concerned and model year and it had 9" front brakes and 11" rear brakes.

It may take a few trips and several hours of checking buses out but the bus that is right for you at a price you can afford is out there waiting for you.

The most important thing to keep in mind is what does YOUR bus have to have, what would be nice to have, what would not be nice to have, and what you will not have (rust would be in the last category).

Also know what your price range is and what is the most you would be willing to pay.

It never hurts to make a ridiculous offer.

Good luck on your search.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 10:52 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 47
RJNYE79, do you mind if I ask where in GA are you? If you are near, and it's a day off I could go with, maybe with our combined new found knowledge we could actually give a potential bus a decent walk thru.

Also, GREAT suggestion by some of the members here for when I want to finally make the $$$ plunge. Take a video of the bus, of everything, post it here. Members will see things you can't or don't know about.
BigPaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 10:55 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,163
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
EastCoast is spot on. If you are thinking about spending much time in the mountains...buy a mountain bus. Colorado buses are fully equipped to handle them and offer many advantages over flat-landers.
Tango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 11:48 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,153
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
a little about retarders
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1993, allison 545, amtran, international, shopping

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.