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Old 10-09-2019, 12:45 PM   #1
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What to look for in drivetrain

Okay, lurking for a while, reading what I can, but weekend auction coming up with two 2004 IC CE 200 buses with about 169k miles. What are the high points to look for or avoid, mostly concerned with engine, tranny, gear ratio ,etc. I am comfortable with the build out, just do not want to get the wrong drivetrain. These auctions can be pretty good bargains, so just need some guidance.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:22 PM   #2
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Okay, lurking for a while, reading what I can, but weekend auction coming up with two 2004 IC CE 200 buses with about 169k miles. What are the high points to look for or avoid, mostly concerned with engine, tranny, gear ratio ,etc. I am comfortable with the build out, just do not want to get the wrong drivetrain. These auctions can be pretty good bargains, so just need some guidance.
Thanks.
Run away if they're the 6.0 VT365 engines.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:27 PM   #3
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5.9/AT545 is the least desirable road going drivetrain.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:30 PM   #4
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5.9/AT545 is the least desirable road going drivetrain.
I've driven 5.9's and 7.3's and I'd have to pick the 7.3 as the lesser of the two.
A straight six just makes for a better diesel engine than a v8.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:40 PM   #5
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I've driven 5.9's and 7.3's and I'd have to pick the 7.3 as the lesser of the two.
A straight six just makes for a better diesel engine than a v8.
If you had a choice, would you pick a 5.9/AT545?
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:57 PM   #6
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If you had a choice, would you pick a 5.9/AT545?
Only if the other choices were an EPA bus or a 7.3.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:09 PM   #7
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You need to figure out what you're going to be using the bus for.

After that, we can help you select a bus that fits your needs.

Each use will vary on specific needs. A bus that is good for being used a few times a year as a steel tent is different then one that is parked and then lived in full time which is different then something that will be for snowbirds following good weather.

Like charlie said, I'd avoid the vt365/6.0, unless it's a good deal you're capable of bulletproofing it by yourself. So if the buses that you're looking at have that engine, I'd keep that in mind when bidding.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:12 PM   #8
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If you had a choice, would you pick a 5.9/AT545?
I wouldn't buy anything with an AT-545 but I would buy 5.9 Cummins in a heartbeat if it is in a smaller bus. I prefer it over the 7.3. I prefer I6's.

The least desirable in my book would be an 8.2 and AT-545. Or perhaps the VT365......

I think that the 5.9 Cummins is an excellent engine in appropriate applications.

If anyone runs across a 5 or 6 window with the 5.9 let me know. I want one to stuff an Allison 2000 into. I think that would be an awesome daily driver.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:46 PM   #9
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I wouldn't buy anything with an AT-545 but I would buy 5.9 Cummins in a heartbeat if it is in a smaller bus. I prefer it over the 7.3. I prefer I6's.

The least desirable in my book would be an 8.2 and AT-545. Or perhaps the VT365......

I think that the 5.9 Cummins is an excellent engine in appropriate applications.

If anyone runs across a 5 or 6 window with the 5.9 let me know. I want one to stuff an Allison 2000 into. I think that would be an awesome daily driver.
Add the 9.0 IH V8 to the list of undesirables. Good call on the 8.2.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:39 PM   #10
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Okay, to add detail. We are looking to build something good for month long trips, showing our grandkids the country. Some long some short, with possible week long stays at interesting sites along the way. As I said, I can do the interior stuff and a fair amount of mechanical, but I hope to be able to concentrate on driving and enjoying, not wrenching. Been there done that.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #11
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BTW these are long buses, 12 rows of windows.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:19 AM   #12
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There you go. For that usage, you'll want a 8.3 or dt530 in an RE configurtation coupled with an md3060 or a3000 transmission. Find those options with air ride in either the rear or both axles and you'll have a great traveler. Problem is those buses are a little more rare then a standard school bus and the high options mean it will also cost more up front.

But the better options also mean you won't be coming back here in a month complaining about how the cheap bus you bought wasn't as good of a deal that you thought it was.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:41 AM   #13
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There you go. For that usage, you'll want a 8.3 or dt530 in an RE configurtation coupled with an md3060 or a3000 transmission. Find those options with air ride in either the rear or both axles and you'll have a great traveler. Problem is those buses are a little more rare then a standard school bus and the high options mean it will also cost more up front.

But the better options also mean you won't be coming back here in a month complaining about how the cheap bus you bought wasn't as good of a deal that you thought it was.

Good advice.

A bonus: When you find 8.3 or DT-530 and the MD-3060 equipped bus it is much more likely to have nice features like storage bays and air ride.

Good luck with your quest.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:18 PM   #14
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5.9/AT545 is the least desirable road going drivetrain.

Why?.........................................
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Old Yesterday, 11:05 AM   #15
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Add the 9.0 IH V8 to the list of undesirables. Good call on the 8.2.
Forgot the 6.6 Brazilian Ford.

Did we mention the VT-365?

I love my 5.9.
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Old Yesterday, 11:23 AM   #16
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Forgot the 6.6 Brazilian Ford.

Did we mention the VT-365?

I love my 5.9.
We should probably add the old triple nickel to the list.
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Old Yesterday, 11:42 AM   #17
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I've never really had any issues with the ford 6.6 or 7.8

I'd add the 6.2 and 6.5 from gm. Those seemed to have a bunch of problems with head gaskets and cracked mains.

I'd also add the c7, though some of you on here have fallen in love with them for whatever reason I've seen nothing but trouble with all but a few of them, which is what led to cat's downfall

The 6.0 and 6.4 from international as well, unless you want to pour money into bulletproofing them.
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Old Yesterday, 12:23 PM   #18
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I've never really had any issues with the ford 6.6 or 7.8

I'd add the 6.2 and 6.5 from gm. Those seemed to have a bunch of problems with head gaskets and cracked mains.

I'd also add the c7, though some of you on here have fallen in love with them for whatever reason I've seen nothing but trouble with all but a few of them, which is what led to cat's downfall

The 6.0 and 6.4 from international as well, unless you want to pour money into bulletproofing them.
The 6.6/7.8 Ford New Holland diesels are great! Just look out for the Lucas gurling brakes that often came on Ford's in that era.
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Old Yesterday, 12:26 PM   #19
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5.9/AT545 is the least desirable road going drivetrain.
I would say the 6.9/7.3 idi with a 543 would be the least desirable drivetrain.5.9's are a little small but a pretty good engine overall, They just come coupled to crap transmisions usually and certainly arnt going to last a million miles in a bus.2
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Old Yesterday, 02:57 PM   #20
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The 6.6/7.8 Ford New Holland diesels are great! Just look out for the Lucas gurling brakes that often came on Ford's in that era.
I'll agree to that, if it has lucas/girling brakes, run away. I don't care if it's free. I'd probably avoid anything full sized with hydraulic brakes

Or wedge style air brakes for that matter as well.

Quote:
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I would say the 6.9/7.3 idi with a 543 would be the least desirable drivetrain.5.9's are a little small but a pretty good engine overall, They just come coupled to crap transmisions usually and certainly arnt going to last a million miles in a bus.2
Here, Here!

I'll have to disagree with that. Mine runs great, and the 545 is way better suited to the higher revving v8 diesels then any of the inline 6's. I'd have to choose one of the international idi's over the 5.9/at545, especially if the hp on both is the same.

But I digress, I'd take an isb with an allison 2000 over either. Transmissions and rear gearing are honestly just as important as the engine in my book.
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