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Old 07-03-2019, 04:10 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, 04:19 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, 04:23 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, 04:29 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, 04:34 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, 05:01 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, 05:08 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, 05:15 PM   #8
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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
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, 10:33 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, 11:14 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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Old 07-04-2019, 11:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I was not aware the 2000 had an unlockable gear like the 6th in a 3060?
Check all the fluids for contamination.
I suspect that they could lock 5th if they wanted to. I have never seen it done.

As best as I understand, the 2000 was a 5 speed transmission until around 2006-2006 when they updated the valve body accommodating 6gears. 6speed 2000's installed in buses generally have 6th locked out.

Regarding the T444, I think that it is a great engine in the appropriate application.

In a short to mid sized bus with a 5 or 6 speed transmission I would be perfectly happy.

Unfortunately most of the ones I see are in full size buses with AT-545 transmission. Not so great.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:24 AM   #12
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I'm assuming yr 5speed is a manual. Apparently I'm wrong
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:34 AM   #13
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I'm assuming yr 5speed is a manual. Apparently I'm wrong
OP indicated that it has an Allison 2000 transmission. Definitely an automatic.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:51 PM   #14
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the T-444E Is a fine engine.. 265k is indeed a bit high.. esp if it still has its factory injectors.. id want to see it in person and watch it's oil pressure, do a blow-by test, smell the oil for signs of fuel(nad injector dumps fuel in the oil) and look for signs of coolant.. (bad ionjector cups or oil cooler seal leak coolant in the oil, and oil in the coolant)..



in a 6 window the 444E will pull it just fine.. i have a 6 window bluebird with a T-444E and a 6 speed allison 1000... (yes I built the drivetrain)... even before I turned the power up on the engine i easily and readily ran that bus at 65 on the highway and climbed mountains in the 50-60 MPH...



like others mentioned Rust would be my biggest concern with a PA bus..

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Old 07-04-2019, 12:57 PM   #15
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I suspect that they could lock 5th if they wanted to. I have never seen it down.

As best as I understand, the 2000 was a 5 speed transmission until around 2006-2006 when they updated the valve body accommodating 6gears. 6speed 2000's installed in buses generally have 6th locked out.

Regarding the T444, I think that it is a great engine in the appropriate application.

In a short to mid sized bus with a 5 or 6 speed transmission I would be perfectly happy.

Unfortunately most of the ones I see are in full size buses with AT-545 transmission. Not so great.

correct, in 06 the 1000/2000 series began to feature a 6th gear and went tot the 4th Gen TCM's.. there were no 4th Gen TCMs connected to the T-444E.. 6 gear allison 2000s were offered on the later VT-365s that have DLC-II computers and the later DT-466E's that also went to the DLC-II computers..



the OP;'s 2001 would require mechanical(new valve body), wiring(complete new trans and TCM harness), programming(6 speed CIN flash file), and new TCM to be modified into a 6 speed transmission.. in effect if you want a 6 speed allison 2000 equipped bus buy one or custom build(what I did) but not alter an existing trans
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SolomonEagle View Post
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
Thats a ton of miles in a school bus with a 444E.
I've seen em as high as 350k.
Its almost surely a 2000 series if its a 5 speed auto with a 444E.
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:15 PM   #17
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That mileage and any rust should help get it around the $2000 range. I have a similar bus with the same engine. Yours has a better transmission. That engine can go another 200000 miles if you keep up on the maintenance.
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