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Old 09-25-2017, 05:08 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Which Motor & Trasmission to get???

Howdy folks:

Okay, I've been looking around at what's available and my choices at one particular place
would be:
  • Cat 3126 & 2500 Allison
  • T444E & 2500 Allison
  • Cat 3126 & Spicer 5 spd
  • T444E & Spicer 5 spd
I'm okay driving a standard, so I'm kind of leaning towards the Spicer 5 speeds as I think
it would make for a more reliable drivetrain. I must admit, however, that all my standard

experience is in cars and light trucks - 40+ years experience.


Love to hear your opinions on this matter.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernExposure View Post
Howdy folks:

Okay, I've been looking around at what's available and my choices at one particular place
would be:
  • Cat 3126 & 2500 Allison
  • T444E & 2500 Allison
  • Cat 3126 & Spicer 5 spd
  • T444E & Spicer 5 spd
I'm okay driving a standard, so I'm kind of leaning towards the Spicer 5 speeds as I think
it would make for a more reliable drivetrain. I must admit, however, that all my standard

experience is in cars and light trucks - 40+ years experience.


Love to hear your opinions on this matter.
Just based on whats there, I'd personally go for the 444E with Allison.

But I'd skip all those and look for a big engine unless they're short buses.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:14 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Just based on whats there, I'd personally go for the 444E with Allison.

But I'd skip all those and look for a big engine unless they're short buses.
What do you mean by a big engine, like a DT466?
Wouldn't the Cat 3126 fit that category?
I'm not arguing... just asking.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:16 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Sorry, bus size is 48 to 66 passengers.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernExposure View Post
What do you mean by a big engine, like a DT466?
Wouldn't the Cat 3126 fit that category?
I'm not arguing... just asking.
Its a Cat. I don't even bat an eye at those as I'm a blue collar guy and the cost of repairs would break me.
For me I only look for 444's and 5.9's in shorties and 466's and 8.3's in full size buses.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Its a Cat. I don't even bat an eye at those as I'm a blue collar guy and the cost of repairs would break me.
For me I only look for 444's and 5.9's in shorties and 466's and 8.3's in full size buses.
Good advice!

Also, the DT466 and the 8.3 engines can be rebuilt without pulling the engine out of the bus. The T444 and 5.9 have to come out of the bus to be rebuilt.

The DT466's big brother, the DT530, can be found in a few buses out there as well.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Its a Cat. I don't even bat an eye at those as I'm a blue collar guy and the cost of repairs would break me.
For me I only look for 444's and 5.9's in shorties and 466's and 8.3's in full size buses.
Duly noted my friend, I'm pretty blue around the collar as well. So where is the dividing
line between a "Shortie" and a "Full Sized"? I'd ask my girlfriend, but I'm afraid she might
get brutally honest with me.

I'm partial to the 54 passenger myself.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Good advice!

Also, the DT466 and the 8.3 engines can be rebuilt without pulling the engine out of the bus. The T444 and 5.9 have to come out of the bus to be rebuilt.

The DT466's big brother, the DT530, can be found in a few buses out there as well.
I've read about the inframe rebuilds, very enticing attribute. I've also heard lots about the
DT466 and DT360, but I can't say that I've heard about the DT530 before. I doubt I'll ever see
one up in this neck of the woods.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:25 PM   #9
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Decide on automatic or stick. Automatics are pretty stout at this level.

I like the 5-speed Cat, all else equal. Just pick up a parts motor for cheap if you are worried.

Go drive 'em all. Then decide.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:33 PM   #10
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ive only ever seen the DT530 in the large 14 row Rear engine busses.. the DT360 is an older mechanical engine.. not real powerful.. reliable and great for a short bus.. I think they discontinue around 92 or 93.. the DT466 has been around forever.. and was mechanical officially up until 1995. the became computer controlled as the DT-466E then.. (you'll see some busses up through 97 or 98 with mechanical 466.. but mist by then were 'e')..

T-444E's are very common.. they are the cousin to the ford 7.3 powerstroke.. in fact ford bought the engines (444E) from international. albeit with some special specs for them only..

444E's are lower cost engines so schools bought them... great in a short bus (6 or 7 rows{windows}). but not very powerful in the 65 passenger or RE busses.. some of the rear engine busses did get 230 or 250 HP variants of it which were nice.. but MOST conventional school busses got the 175 HP version, unless you got factory A/C. then you got the 190 or 195 HP (depending on year).
allison 2500s are 5 speed single overdrive transmissions with Lockup.. they will give you the same locked-capabilities as a stick will.. and you dont have to shift..

if you are going to use a 444E in the mountains with a stick, you will be shifting a LOT..

CAT engines are fine running engines.. they tend to last a long time, but as others have said parts are harder to get and more expensive... however peiople i know of running them dont have issues... not to say something wont break.. because after all we are buying well-used busses.. they can break.. and any breakage even on an international 444E is still more expensive than an older consumer car would be.. our busses are medium-duty "big rigs" for lack of better words..
-Christopher
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