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Old 07-03-2019, 03:10 PM   #1
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'01 Int 3800 T444E advice

Good afternoon all,

We've been watching for a bus for a while, but haven't found the right one yet. A 6 window, 24 passenger, 2001 International 3800 w/ a T444E and a 2000 series, 5 spd trans just popped up relatively local. It has 265k miles, but no service records. I got a fair amount of info from the seller--more than most I've dealt with so far, but I think we'll need to drive the 2 hours to sort everything else out.

My question is regarding the engine--I know I need to check the tag to see what it's got as far as horsepower, but is there anything specific I should be wary about?

I think I've got to assume the mileage is correct, and it hasn't been rebuilt. They're asking $3900, but from what I've seen around, I don't think I'd offer more than $3500.

Any thoughts or advice?

Thanks, Brad
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:19 PM   #2
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I'm thinking more like $2500. Maybe $2000, depending on condition. $2500 can often get you twice as much bus.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:23 PM   #3
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind--busses this size seem to get snapped up quick around here. If it were a full size bus, $2000-2500 is what they seem to go for.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brdfrd View Post
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind--busses this size seem to get snapped up quick around here. If it were a full size bus, $2000-2500 is what they seem to go for.
The engine is one of the least desirable and I would be more concerned with rust on a bus with that mileage from PA. $2k-$2500 is tops.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:34 PM   #5
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I know the engine isn't great, I was finally happy to find something without the 545 or 643. I'll have to look at it, it seems pretty clean, despite the paint being a little oxidized. But, I will poke around for rust issues.

Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2019, 04:01 PM   #6
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I know the engine isn't great, I was finally happy to find something without the 545 or 643. I'll have to look at it, it seems pretty clean, despite the paint being a little oxidized. But, I will poke around for rust issues.

Thanks.
There will be a massive amount of rust under the subfloor you won't be able to see. Take a screw driver and poke around the floor around the wheel wells from under it. If you can poke holes, you will have major rust to repair on the floor.
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Old 07-03-2019, 04:08 PM   #7
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Rust, I get it. I know rust, I know how to find it. I know how to repair it. I've dealt with plenty rust before. Rust mostly costs me time.

Where I'm not experienced is with these engines. How long should they last if properly maintained? What should I look for? Any warning signs that might be evident from a close visual inspection? Will they keep a bus this size cruising down the highway well enough with the 2000 trans? (assuming I've got 5th unlocked and/or road speed limiter reset)


Thanks, Brad
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Old 07-03-2019, 04:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brdfrd View Post
Rust, I get it. I know rust, I know how to find it. I know how to repair it. I've dealt with plenty rust before. Rust mostly costs me time.

Where I'm not experienced is with these engines. How long should they last if properly maintained? What should I look for? Any warning signs that might be evident from a close visual inspection? Will they keep a bus this size cruising down the highway well enough with the 2000 trans? (assuming I've got 5th unlocked and/or road speed limiter reset)


Thanks, Brad
I was not aware the 2000 had an unlockable gear like the 6th in a 3060?
Check all the fluids for contamination.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:33 AM   #9
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The engine is one of the least desirable


Based on what?

Everything I've read here and elsewhere from people with actual hands-on experience has suggested it's a solid engine with a proven track record, both in the International implementation as well as the 7.3 Ford.

Our bus is identical to what the OP describes excepting mileage, and with the 210HP tune, the governor removed, and highway gearing - all except for the governor the way it was spec'd by the school - I literally have to stay on top of myself to keep from exceeding the tire's 70mph speed rating.

Brad, assuming no mechanical problems, that engine/trans combo has the potential to move a bus that size down the road with vigor. And get reasonably good gas mileage in the process. I don't have the experience to comment on other factors (mileage, rust, etc).

But don't take my word for it. Browse around in the Navistar-specific drivetrain forum. I've never heard anyone who works on diesels for a living, or has extensive experience with them in small(er)-bus applications, label them as the 'least desirable'.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:14 AM   #10
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Personally I feel that 265k is a lot of miles for a t444e.. atleast to be starting out with..especially in something as big as a bus. If it were a dt series engine I wouldn't bat an eye. Also 5 speeds are awesom, But the Allison 643 is a damn fine tranny too(not like junk 545s) also, your 5 speed is likely a 5th direct with no overdrive and likelly to have the same top gear as an645 in lockup. from my experience, my friends 643 was mare drivable than my 5speed in many ways because with it's 4 gears and 2 lockups, the 643 performed more like a 6 speed where my 5 speed was limited in gearing once downshifting out of 4th was necessary on big hills. The 5 has no problems with heat like the autos do though
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