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Old 11-01-2016, 02:08 PM   #1
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What to look for and what to avoid?

My wife and I are beginning the process of converting a bus to our new home. I like the idea of the flat front bus, they seem like you get more room for the length and that they will be easier to drive.

Are there certain brands to avoid?
Are there certain engines to look for or to avoid?
Are there certain transmissions to look for or to avoid?

It seems like most of the busses that I see are 5.9L cummings with an Allison transmission, when I was researching buying a truck to haul an RV that would have been pretty ideal. Are those a pretty good way to go?

How can I tell what speed and MPG I should expect to be able to get?

Are there things that you wish you had done differently for your own bus?

I know these are a lot of questions, but I have a ton more... we are really excited to be doing this.

Also, first time post!
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:33 PM   #2
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I've just started building out a website as a resource for the skoolie world. It's only just started, but I do have a decent amount of info on choosing a bus, that answers some of those questions.

Choosing a bus

Might be helpful for you.
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy View Post
I've just started building out a website as a resource for the skoolie world. It's only just started, but I do have a decent amount of info on choosing a bus, that answers some of those questions.

Choosing a bus

Might be helpful for you.
I will check that out. Thank you!
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:56 PM   #4
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Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
I purchasing i always ask the Universe for guidance, in what ever form it comes; sometimes circumstance, sometimes a gut feeling, sometimes timing is off, sometimes miss the opportunity.

I try now to wait for what i call the "no brainer" ie; exactly what i want, runs great, good miles, great price, not too far, gut feels right, timing is perfect. lol
Sounds like a lot to ask but i am amazed at how if i wait the right thing comes along, and often the wrong thing becomes blatantly clear.

Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2016, 03:50 PM   #5
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that website is cool other than the misinformation...

the T-444E is in many of the busses here and not everyone says "id choose something else"... the AT545 is a fine transmission but more suited for flatter ground and perhaps smaller busses...

also in school busses the T-444E came in 165-215 HP....

anyway what we really need to do is talk drivetrains based on the use of the bus... one size does NOT fit all... theres no reason to pay for premium drivetrains if they arent needed...

as an example.. my little T-444E with an AT545 ran 65 UP the hills on I-75 going from florida to ohio... its a smaller / lighter bus and it wasnt the rockies... but thast little bus also didnt cost me much... and might suit many a traveller fine..

I think we need a 'BUS CHOOSER'.. type of resource.. and then we can suggest people spend more $$$ on drivetrains when justified.. and save when they can..

ie yeah you are not going to really want a T-444E and an AT545 in a 12 row running over the rockies..

so there would be questions about bus size, use, etc.. and then suggest best to worst ...

-Christopher
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:33 PM   #6
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I love my bus but wish I had a little different drive train. I have an 8.2 engine which is outdated and getting harder everyday to find mechanics for it. My drive train does everything it was designed to do with perfect maintenance records from the school district. My engine and tranny seem like they are made for each other cause the motor is set so as to not overpower the trannies potential which Meen's longevity for both and I want to leave them there. My options for more speed out of my bus is taller tire 9r20 to 9/10r22.5 tires and changing my rear gears from 6.50 to something in the 4-5 range to get me at least to 55-60?
That's where I am at with mine mostly because I didn't find this site and ask questions like you are doing. I can't say mine is a bad choice but I can say I wish I had more get up and go.
We see these beast on the road everyday and just assume they can get up and go like our car or truck but NO they were built for a specific purpose and from a school district they are maintained very well to perform there specific purpose .
I have an 8.2 a 545 with a 6.50 rear end and can only average 45-49mph. So ask the questions and find the drivetrain to fit your intended purpose from the start or plan on money to replace stuff to get you to your intended MPH. Not trying to scare you?
Good luck
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