Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-29-2018, 03:44 PM   #1
New Member
 
John22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Southwest Kansas
Posts: 9
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E L6
Rated Cap: 71 passenger
2001 3800 T444E 135k reliable??

So I'm looking at buying another bus preferably one that won't break down two hours into my trip. I'm just curious as to what kind of issues I might run into with a T444E with 135k on it. It's about 7 hours away. I've spoken with the owner and he pointed me to this one out of 8 other buses. It's a good running bus. Last it was used was in May hauling students. So anyone out with some pointers or tips?
John22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2018, 04:12 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 2,292
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
What size bus is it? I have it in my short bus, I wouldn't want it in a full size bus. It is a good reliable motor, mine has about 213k on it now and is going strong. Just consider it to be more comparable to the Cummins 5.9 than to the DT644 you have now.
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2018, 04:20 PM   #3
New Member
 
John22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Southwest Kansas
Posts: 9
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E L6
Rated Cap: 71 passenger
It's a full size bus. I understand it'll be slow and maybe underpowered and that's something I'm okay with. I don't need fast. As long as it gets me around.
John22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2018, 04:32 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,797
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by John22 View Post
So I'm looking at buying another bus preferably one that won't break down two hours into my trip. I'm just curious as to what kind of issues I might run into with a T444E with 135k on it. It's about 7 hours away. I've spoken with the owner and he pointed me to this one out of 8 other buses. It's a good running bus. Last it was used was in May hauling students. So anyone out with some pointers or tips?
Does he have the software/hardware to verify the mileage and hours on the engine?
If not I'd be skeptical as the gauge clusters are changed out almost as often as the tires.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2018, 05:13 PM   #5
New Member
 
John22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Southwest Kansas
Posts: 9
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E L6
Rated Cap: 71 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Does he have the software/hardware to verify the mileage and hours on the engine?
If not I'd be skeptical as the gauge clusters are changed out almost as often as the tires.
I wouldn't know I'll have to check and see.
John22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 10:38 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 161
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by John22 View Post
So I'm looking at buying another bus preferably one that won't break down two hours into my trip. I'm just curious as to what kind of issues I might run into with a T444E with 135k on it. It's about 7 hours away. I've spoken with the owner and he pointed me to this one out of 8 other buses. It's a good running bus. Last it was used was in May hauling students. So anyone out with some pointers or tips?
One problem with the T444E is that it is typically bolted to a AT545 transmission. While this transmission is reliable, it is not very efficient due to lacking a torque converter locking clutch. The inevitable slip in the torque converter means that precious fuel is converted into heat instead of propulsion while cruising on the interstate. This drivetrain is a good short-haul combo but not that great of a choice if you plan to travel several ten-thousand miles.

In an International 'short nose' chassis you should check the cooling systems as soon as you get the bus. They use a split radiator where one side is for charge air cooling and the other side for the coolant. When clean and with a functional fan clutch, that systems is adequate. However, as the grime builds up and the fan clutch wears out you quickly get into a scenario where the engine overheats. The ECU will first reduce power and ultimately shut down (been there, done that).

The T444E is a great engine IMO, that deserves a better transmission and cooling system.
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 10:49 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,649
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
What happened to your original bus two hours into your trip?
Something overlooked in a pre-trip inspection?

Many folks here have that same engine so would be nice to share your experience.


Thanks,


John
__________________
Question everything!
BlackJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2018, 08:35 AM   #8
New Member
 
John22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Southwest Kansas
Posts: 9
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E L6
Rated Cap: 71 passenger
My 97 dt466e had quite a bit of blow by and the temp Guage doesn't work in the end it blew a head gasket. So it probably overheated.
John22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2018, 08:37 AM   #9
New Member
 
John22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Southwest Kansas
Posts: 9
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E L6
Rated Cap: 71 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine44 View Post
One problem with the T444E is that it is typically bolted to a AT545 transmission. While this transmission is reliable, it is not very efficient due to lacking a torque converter locking clutch. The inevitable slip in the torque converter means that precious fuel is converted into heat instead of propulsion while cruising on the interstate. This drivetrain is a good short-haul combo but not that great of a choice if you plan to travel several ten-thousand miles.




In an International 'short nose' chassis you should check the cooling systems as soon as you get the bus. They use a split radiator where one side is for charge air cooling and the other side for the coolant. When clean and with a functional fan clutch, that systems is adequate. However, as the grime builds up and the fan clutch wears out you quickly get into a scenario where the engine overheats. The ECU will first reduce power and ultimately shut down (been there, done that).

The T444E is a great engine IMO, that deserves a better transmission and cooling system.

Can you get a better torque converter to solve this issue?
John22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2018, 09:55 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 161
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by John22 View Post
Can you get a better torque converter to solve this issue?
AFAIK, the only way to fix this is to upgrade to an Allison MT643 or newer since the converter clutch gets the actuation pressure from the transmission.

Changing to a synthetic transmission fluid and going over the cooling system has improved the performance of the T444E/AT545 combo in our 26' box truck noticeably but if I have the choice again I will avoid this transmission.
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.