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Old 08-17-2018, 11:27 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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How good is a shorty on the road?

Hello folks. After the research I did on my t444e and the loads of chronic problems of it I have decided to get rid of it and go short.
There is a short bus I am looking at is a 1999 ford 4 windows on each side. No side door. I know its a diesel for sure and assuming its the 7.3 ford powerstroke. Are those short busses good for long trips? Google is giving me weird answers about the MPG and dimensions.
Would this short bus be an upgrade from my 35 ft amtran powerwise
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:46 AM   #2
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The 444e and the 7.3 powerstroke are basically the same engine. What power level each is can be different depending on what was spec'ed when built. The powerstroke has more tuning options though. And a lot of after market support.

Basically same engine but smaller bus will feel more powerful.....

"is a short bus good for a long trip?" depends on what your level of comfort is. We have done three weeks in a pickup camper, two of us and been happy. So now that we have a full size bus, that is absolute luxury for us.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:50 PM   #3
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Also, that is probly the best engine ever installed in a van/short bus. Problems and all. Step van with a 4bt Cummins maybe?
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SolomonEagle View Post
Also, that is probly the best engine ever installed in a van/short bus. Problems and all. Step van with a 4bt Cummins maybe?
The best engines installed in shorties would be DT's, Cummins, and even Cats.
Any powerful straight six made before emissions killed the party will do.
With highway gearing and any transmission other than a 545 you get a killer shorty.
Both mine run like they want to go 80.
The DT466 is a great engine, as is its little brother the 360.
My 04 has a DT with a 215hp rating and an allison 2000. It pulls hard and has a gear for every occasion. I love this drivetrain.
My 99 Thomas has a Cat 3126 at 190hp which I've fallen in love with a bit. Its got a reman 545 in it but I plan to eventually swap it for a 643 or 2000 if I end up keeping it.
Both run great out on the interstate.
My last shorty had a 444e and 545 and it was adequate but not my cup of tea. Ran out of breath easily and temps went up at highway speeds. Nature of the beast. I'd hate a full size bus with that setup. Straight 6 engines are the way to go whether you want a big bus or a small one.
my 2 cents...
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:18 PM   #5
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I agree. I consider my 28' international dt360 spicer5 speed to be a shorty. Think these folks were referring to a "shorty" being a vanbus though..of which none of those engines were offered.had to get into full-size chassis for any of them other engines.in the van bus world there a lot Less options.as far as power and reliability and efficientcy,7.3 powerstroke/t444e is the only way to go in my book.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:25 PM   #6
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I agree. I consider my 28' international dt360 spicer5 speed to be a shorty. Think these folks were referring to a "shorty" being a vanbus though..of which none of those engines were offered.had to get into full-size chassis for any of them other engines.in the van bus world there a lot Less options.as far as power and reliability and efficientcy,7.3 powerstroke/t444e is the only way to go in my book.
AH, I see. I agree with that for sure.
For a van I'd either want a 7.3 or a GM gas 6.0.
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:35 PM   #7
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Cummins 4bt bread truck?
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Old 08-17-2018, 04:10 PM   #8
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My short bus is GREAT on the road and NOT GREAT off road!
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Old 08-17-2018, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhat View Post
Hello folks. After the research I did on my t444e and the loads of chronic problems of it I have decided to get rid of it and go short.
There is a short bus I am looking at is a 1999 ford 4 windows on each side. No side door. I know its a diesel for sure and assuming its the 7.3 ford powerstroke. Are those short busses good for long trips? Google is giving me weird answers about the MPG and dimensions.
Would this short bus be an upgrade from my 35 ft amtran powerwise

Is this a van type cutaway? I was assuming so but did not think to ask.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:01 PM   #10
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well, I sure as hell hope so

1954 ford short bus, 154" wheel base, 22' 9" long bumper to bumper. I am using cummins 5.9 12 valve for power, six speed manual transmission.

I have a lot vested in this project, I will be sorely disappointed if I don't like it.

also, the front suspension is coil springs and the rear is air bag suspension.

william
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:15 PM   #11
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Overall I am quite happy with my 22.5' shorty. It fits in my garage (I did have to surreptitiously have to lower the garage floor 8") --a major issue since the bus can't be left out here.

Even with removing a couple of rear spring leaves, I'd have to say that the thing rides like a buck board when on poorly maintained roads. On interstates it is awesome. I had a big 40' long MCI before and it rode as if I were on a cloud no matter what kind of road.

If you want ride quality go with a longer wheel base. If you want agility and reasonable fuel economy go with a shorty. Jack
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:56 PM   #12
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Our cutaway shuttle bus rides reasonably well, is easy to maneuver and park and with 4.11 rear gears it does highway speeds (~65mph) easily.
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:59 AM   #13
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My 28' (extra-medium sized) bus does great with the t444e 7.3L 210HP V8 Turbo diesel engine and the Allison 2000 transmission - it is most comfortable going about 58 MPH - but will go up to 80 MPH (I rarely go over 65MPH).

MPG:
I get about 11 MPG on cruising speed (staying about 58MPH)
Around town I get about 9MPH. It doesn't change much when towing my Subaru.
IMG_8763.jpg
I was able to get 13.59 MPG driving from Salt Lake City, UT to Missoula, MT. And 12.36 Driving from West Glacier to East Glacier. Stop and Go seems to eat my fuel a lot.
xJBhnJKMQtG2a9GRAyXRhQ.jpg

K90kpeguTaeS+FQ1Bz5y9Q.jpg

I can't speak for other engines (since I have only had this one) - but I have driven over 20,000 miles since October - and love it.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:08 PM   #14
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We got buyers for our bus. Now in the next couple of days we would be getting a short bus. The ones we found are early 2000's. Most of them are fords with the 7.3. What transmissions they put in the 4,5 and 6 window shorties and. There is one real cheap F450 with the 6.0 and a blown head gasket. Wonder how much it would cost me to replace it, because the bus is clean and super low miles.
And also wondering if all the shorties have the same interior dimensions.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhat View Post
We got buyers for our bus. Now in the next couple of days we would be getting a short bus. The ones we found are early 2000's. Most of them are fords with the 7.3. What transmissions they put in the 4,5 and 6 window shorties and. There is one real cheap F450 with the 6.0 and a blown head gasket. Wonder how much it would cost me to replace it, because the bus is clean and super low miles.
And also wondering if all the shorties have the same interior dimensions.
If you are going to consider the 6.0 look at a "bullet proof " kit for it.

Oil cooler and egr cooler problems are common on the 6.0 and the new pieces address the issues.

If any of the buses has the 7.3 I would give them a closer look.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhat View Post
We got buyers for our bus. Now in the next couple of days we would be getting a short bus. The ones we found are early 2000's. Most of them are fords with the 7.3. What transmissions they put in the 4,5 and 6 window shorties and. There is one real cheap F450 with the 6.0 and a blown head gasket. Wonder how much it would cost me to replace it, because the bus is clean and super low miles.
And also wondering if all the shorties have the same interior dimensions.
You'll find all sorts of "amazing" deals on ford 6.0's. There's a reason.
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:23 PM   #17
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6.0 is not their Proudest achievement.
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:44 PM   #18
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6.0 is not their Proudest achievement.
Not at all.

Still, I have seen many 6.0 exceed 300k miles and running good.

Cooling system maintenance is CRUCIAL.
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Old 08-20-2018, 04:08 PM   #19
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Not at all.

Still, I have seen many 6.0 exceed 300k miles and running good.

Cooling system maintenance is CRUCIAL.
Buying one that's already overheated is asking for TROUBLE.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:10 PM   #20
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Yea I agree an already overheated one may well be asking for trouble.
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