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Old 08-08-2018, 01:03 PM   #61
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
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Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 392 international V-8
Your overall ratio is what is important for cruising speed. There are a number of online gear ratio calculators, so if you know the rear end ratio and the final drive ratio of the trans you can find out what speed the engine will be doing for a given mph, or figure what speed the bus will do for a given engine speed. Need to know tire diameter too. Play with it and you will start to see how it all fits. Then you will become a more informed buyer.

Most Allison transmissions have a data tag on the drivers side of the transmission. might need to wipe of oil/dirt/crud to see it but worth knowing. Also rear ends should have a small tag usually on one of the bolts on the rear cover.

Find the data tag on the engine too. It usually does give the hp. even if it does not at least you can look it up.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:42 PM   #62
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2 buses to chose from

So my research has brought me to a magic circle. Keep going round and round between different opinions. I talked to a school bus specialist who built allison transmissions for 20 years and he said that I either have 4th gear locked out or my rear dif is geared low. The chronic problems with my bus will not go away unless I spend 10000 on it. It simply wasn't made for what I want it to do.

I found 2 buses so far that match my size preference. In order not to make the same mistake twice I am reaching out to see what you folks think about them, which one would be better suited to truly live on the road.

The following:

1999 GMC B7
Inventory: 10673
Year: 1999
Make/Model: Blue Bird Mfd on GMC B7 Chassis
Seating Capacity: 36 Passenger
Engine: 7.2L Caterpiller 3126 Diesel
Transmission: Allison Auto
Mileage: 87,460mi

I don't know how to post pictures on this forum but this is a 6 window conventional style bus. The owner said it has the 175hp version and a 4 spd allison.

VS

1994 BLUE BIRD TC2000
Inventory: 10674
Year: 1994
Make/Model: Blue Bird TC2000
Seating Capacity: 26 Passenger
Engine: 5.9L Cummins Diesel
Transmission: Allison Auto
Mileage: 239,530mi

This one is a flat nose front engine. Has 6 windows and a rear door on the one side and 8 window on the other side. Not sure about details on this one. Wonder what type of transmission it has.

I would buy one of those( or similar) and move my tiny home inside the smaller bus.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:46 PM   #63
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Both are almost certainly going to have the same 545 transmission.

Keep looking. We'll help look!

what about this-
https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2149448
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:04 PM   #64
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yopur current bus is an international.. take the VIN. number and call an international dealer... they can tell you what transmission it is, what rear end gear ratio it was built with and what HP variant your engine is.. then with your tire sizes we can calculate your max speed... if all the issue is that it needs a lower gear ration then why throw a bus away that just needs re-geared.. having to re-convert again.. also likely paying thousands for a bus that still is low horsepower.. if. was going to spend thousands, then id do the allison 6 speed swap like i did on my red one.. ultimately now i have a bus that will go anywhere at any reasonable speed... look at the possibilities of modding your current bus mid-conversion before you spend lots on another and start over..



-Christopher
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:18 PM   #65
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Impossible to know if those busses would be good without knowing transmission details.
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:12 PM   #66
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Google the 7.3L 10k mod?
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:31 PM   #67
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Year: 1971
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Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 392 international V-8
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
yopur current bus is an international.. take the VIN. number and call an international dealer... they can tell you what transmission it is, what rear end gear ratio it was built with and what HP variant your engine is.. then with your tire sizes we can calculate your max speed... if all the issue is that it needs a lower gear ration then why throw a bus away that just needs re-geared.. having to re-convert again.. also likely paying thousands for a bus that still is low horsepower.. if. was going to spend thousands, then id do the allison 6 speed swap like i did on my red one.. ultimately now i have a bus that will go anywhere at any reasonable speed... look at the possibilities of modding your current bus mid-conversion before you spend lots on another and start over..



-Christopher
I agree, you really need to get the info on your bus either this way(by vin number) or look at the tag on the tranny, and rear end.

Do you like the bus other then speed and power?

My wife's comment, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water"
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:54 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
I agree, you really need to get the info on your bus either this way(by vin number) or look at the tag on the tranny, and rear end.

Do you like the bus other then speed and power?

My wife's comment, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water"
When I bought my bus it was the only one that fit my budget so I didnt have much choice or maybe rushed the decision without researching the pros/cons of a cheap bus. We are young couple that do seasonal jobs and travel a bit. We are snowbirds in a way. I go to Alaska to work fishing in the summers and the big bus would cost way too much to drive there and plus it has to go on ferry because the town I work in is on an island. We are also planning a trip to south America so the smaller bus would be easier to drive and park.
Plus I need something reliable that is not going to drive on 3 legs all the time.
The build in my bus is not even finished so I wouldn't mind starting over since I can salvage almost everything.

What kind of shorter school bus would be able to take us to where we want to go. There are so many engine/trans combos and I am afraid to make the same mistake twice and get a big old turtle.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:00 PM   #69
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Year: 1971
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Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 392 international V-8
Thank you for taking the time to explain. So smaller bus would fit better. It is hard to say for sure what engine is "best" or what trans is "best". trust me you will get a lot of opinions....

So, I would stay away from the smaller buses that are on basically one ton chassis. The heavier truck based short buses are generally more durable in all regards. I personally like the 5.9 cummins, but would not want it in a big bus. 5.9 or the international 444 are likely to be in smaller buses. Trans best to get one with a lock up torque converter. I have to say I am an experianced mechanic, but not up on what modern buses are best. as you can see mine is 1971.

I would really say drive some, find one that feels right to you. In a test drive you will find out if it can do highway speeds or not. Without a test drive you are kind of shooting in the dark.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:05 PM   #70
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Find a pre-04 bus with a straight six and an allison 2000 or better.
Like that one I linked.
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