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Old 11-05-2018, 06:38 PM   #1
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7.3L or DT444E?

Hi all,

I'm stumped by a couple Craigslist ads for buses. I've puzzled through the forums and Google, but realized I should ask the experts here...

I'm considering two different 6x window International buses.

The CL ads list each bus's engine as an International 7.3, but I'm wondering if these are actually DT444Es based on the bus year?

Did International stop making the 7.3L IDI once the 444E went into buses in 1994?

Here are the specs:

Bus A -
1994 International 3700
175k miles
6x windows
7.3L V8 diesel engine (according to CL post)
auto Allison transmission (still trying to get the owner to pull the serial number)
hydraulic brakes
Amtran body

Bus B -
2000 International 3800
107k miles
6x miles
7.3L, 8-cylinder diesel engine (according to CL post)
auto Allison transmission (still trying to get the owner to pull the serial number)

Are these decent engines for these buses?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:41 PM   #2
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I am not sure when International stopped with the T444E - but the T444E I have in my 2000 International 3800 is a 7.3L V8 Turbo Diesel.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Rescuer View Post
I am not sure when International stopped with the T444E - but the T444E I have in my 2000 International 3800 is a 7.3L V8 Turbo Diesel.
Thanks! So a 7.3L and a T444E could be one and the same?

How do you like your 2000 International 3800? Any issues?
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:49 PM   #4
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The T444E is International's version of the Ford 7.3 Powerstroke V-8. Ford and International had a partnership building these engines. Anything in an International Medium-Duty Chassis (3600, 3700, 3800) would have had the T444 or T444E depending on the year. Anything that went on a Ford Chassis (van or Pickup Truck) would have the Ford badged Powerstroke 7.3

They both used the same block, but different peripherals/computers/injectors were used by Ford and International....

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Old 11-05-2018, 07:49 PM   #5
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Engine: T444E 7.3L
The T444E was manufactured from 1994 to 2004, replacing the 7.3 L IDI V8 designed by International Harvester. As a result of federal emission standards, the T444E was discontinued midway through the 2003 model year, replaced by the all-new 6.0 L VT365. The 7.3L T444E went through a few changes through the years, but basically the same engine.

Both busses have the same engine. The newer bus will probably have more HP, but that can be checked by the passenger side valve cover label with the HP rating stamped out. The older bus probably has the old AT545 Allison which is a good tranny, but not ideal for mountains and extended highway driving. The newer bus might have the same tranny or something better. I love my 7 window International bus......
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
The T444E was manufactured from 1994 to 2004, replacing the 7.3 L IDI V8 designed by International Harvester. As a result of federal emission standards, the T444E was discontinued midway through the 2003 model year, replaced by the all-new 6.0 L VT365. The 7.3L T444E went through a few changes through the years, but basically the same engine.

Both busses have the same engine. The newer bus will probably have more HP, but that can be checked by the passenger side valve cover label with the HP rating stamped out. The older bus probably has the old AT545 Allison which is a good tranny, but not ideal for mountains and extended highway driving. The newer bus might have the same tranny or something better. I love my 7 window International bus......
Thanks, Johnny, this is exactly the info I was looking for!

I'll look for the HP stamp on the label. I plan to do a lot of highway and mountain driving, so I want to avoid the AT545 if possible.

The guy I talked to with the 2000 bus mentioned it has a lockup and doesn't go above 55mph. Based on what I've read, the AT545 didn't come with a lockup converter, so I'm hoping it has a better tranny. Not sure what to do about only being able to drive 55 though...that feels really slow.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:16 PM   #7
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model year 2000 was the first year international offered the allison 2000 transmission withc Lockup. it was late availability.. iot could be an MT-643 which is non overdrive buit with lockup..



if the seller will get you the VIN you can call the international dealer adn ask them:


1. engine and power rating
2. what transmission
3. what rear gear ratio it has
4. tire size (seller can likely get you that)..



the dealer can tell yuo those answers from the VIN.. with those numbers we can tell you if the speed limit is mechanical (requiring parts changes) or if its simply the computer program( dealer / truck shop or anyone with the programmer can change).
-Christopher
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:31 PM   #8
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Only way to know the true miles is to look in the computer. I'd doubt any bus that's being sold as a 2000 with 6k miles.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:41 PM   #9
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A capable scan tool would be able to change a few settings including the road speed limiter and other tweaks. It is possible that bus is governed for road speed by the computer parameters.

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Old 11-05-2018, 08:57 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the helpful replies!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
model year 2000 was the first year international offered the allison 2000 transmission withc Lockup. it was late availability.. iot could be an MT-643 which is non overdrive buit with lockup..



if the seller will get you the VIN you can call the international dealer adn ask them:


1. engine and power rating
2. what transmission
3. what rear gear ratio it has
4. tire size (seller can likely get you that)..



the dealer can tell yuo those answers from the VIN.. with those numbers we can tell you if the speed limit is mechanical (requiring parts changes) or if its simply the computer program( dealer / truck shop or anyone with the programmer can change).
-Christopher
Christopher, that's a great idea. I just got the VIN from the seller and will call an International dealer in the morning. Thanks so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Only way to know the true miles is to look in the computer. I'd doubt any bus that's being sold as a 2000 with 6k miles.
EastCoast, the 6x "miles" was a typo on my end. I meant to say 6x windows. It has 107k miles. A 2000 with only 6,000 miles would definitely be suspicious!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
A capable scan tool would be able to change a few settings including the road speed limiter and other tweaks. It is possible that bus is governed for road speed by the computer parameters.

Johnny, I sure hope this bus is governed by computer parameters and it's as easy to change the road speed as in your video. What types of shops or mechanics typically have the computer and software shown in your video?
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:38 PM   #11
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You would have to call around and see. Any modern truck garage should have this equipment and the software for these engines is free from International. Any International dealer can do this depending on if they are allowed to or not. Some dealers are iffy about stuff like this. Regardless it's gonna cost you a bill easily.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:28 PM   #12
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Good to know. Thanks, Johnny!
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad1865 View Post
EastCoast, the 6x "miles" was a typo on my end. I meant to say 6x windows. It has 107k miles. A 2000 with only 6,000 miles would definitely be suspicious!
Wouldn't be surprising if it were a newer one with the 6.0L. From what I've seen, most spent more time in the shop than on the road.
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:51 PM   #14
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I spoke with an International dealer in Houston this morning. They were actually very helpful and shared the list of chassis components they can see in the system + the serial numbers for a few parts (attached).

The bummer is it looks like the tranny is, in fact, an AT545.

The engine is a T444E as we suspected. Good but not great.

The tire size appears to be 22.5 with 6.75 DC rim.

Neither of us could make sense of the rear axel info on this sheet to determine the ratio. Can any of y'all decipher it?

The engine notes a governor: "ELECTRONIC ROAD SPEED GOVERNOR Electronic Road Speed Type; for Electronic Engines and Bus Models; with 55 MPH Default". Is this something that can be changed with a computer?

I plan to live in my bus full-time and road trip for at least a year. A week or two of boondocking or visiting friends/family followed by a day or two of driving to get from place to place. All over the West, hopefully.

I started to really like this bus but it sounds like the AT545 isn't the right tranny for that job and replacing a transmission isn't worth it, right?
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File Type: pdf serial numbers.pdf (122.7 KB, 2 views)
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:54 PM   #15
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The AT545 is not a bad tranny. It just is not ideal for mountain climbing and high speed interstate driving. Some member here have done cross country trips with this trans though. That road speed limiter can be changed.
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad1865 View Post
I spoke with an International dealer in Houston this morning. They were actually very helpful and shared the list of chassis components they can see in the system + the serial numbers for a few parts (attached).

The bummer is it looks like the tranny is, in fact, an AT545.

The engine is a T444E as we suspected. Good but not great.

The tire size appears to be 22.5 with 6.75 DC rim.

Neither of us could make sense of the rear axel info on this sheet to determine the ratio. Can any of y'all decipher it?

The engine notes a governor: "ELECTRONIC ROAD SPEED GOVERNOR Electronic Road Speed Type; for Electronic Engines and Bus Models; with 55 MPH Default". Is this something that can be changed with a computer?

I plan to live in my bus full-time and road trip for at least a year. A week or two of boondocking or visiting friends/family followed by a day or two of driving to get from place to place. All over the West, hopefully.

I started to really like this bus but it sounds like the AT545 isn't the right tranny for that job and replacing a transmission isn't worth it, right?
Man it really just all depends.
I'd want more than a 444E and 545 for interstates or mountains. Especially since out west they have REAL mountains.
You can do it in pretty much any bus. But some are much better suited for the task.
Me, I'd be looking for a bus with a 7+ liter straight six and trans with lockup.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
The AT545 is not a bad tranny. It just is not ideal for mountain climbing and high speed interstate driving. Some member here have done cross country trips with this trans though. That road speed limiter can be changed.
True, it's not bad, just maybe not ideal for what I'm looking to do. Good to know that some members have done cross country trips with it. I'll do some more digging on the forums.

Would I need to plug the bus's numbers into one of those calculators online to determine what speed the bus can safely go? Or is it safe to assume 65-70mph is fine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Man it really just all depends.
I'd want more than a 444E and 545 for interstates or mountains. Especially since out west they have REAL mountains.
You can do it in pretty much any bus. But some are much better suited for the task.
Me, I'd be looking for a bus with a 7+ liter straight six and trans with lockup.
Agreed, I am a bit nervous about taking this combo up some of the big steep mountains in Colorado or Montana.

By "straight six", do you mean V6? 6 window? Still learning the lingo around here.

My understanding is pretty much all the other common Allison trannys have lockups - the MT 643/4, MD3000 series, and the 1000 and 2000 series. Is that correct?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:41 PM   #18
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the MT-643 is a 4 speed Lockup trans (final drive 1:1)
the MD3000 series are 6 speed (most school busses only have 5) speed lockup trans.. 5th gear is 0.75:1 overdrive and 6th is 0.65:1 overdrive.
the allison 1000 is a 5 speed (pre-2006) or 6 speed (2006+) lockup Overdrive trans. 5th is 0.71:1. and 6th is 0.61:1


the allison 2000 is a 5 speed(pre 2006) or 6 speed(2006+) lockup Overdrive trans. 5th is 0.75:1 and 6th is 0.65:1


the MT-643 is a fully mechanical transmission.. the others are electronically controlled to various degrees.. (the MD3000 series are pushbutton shift.. no linkage for RND) the 1000/2000 series are electronically controlled but have mechanical shift linkage for gear ranging (RND)...



-Christopher
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad1865 View Post
True, it's not bad, just maybe not ideal for what I'm looking to do. Good to know that some members have done cross country trips with it. I'll do some more digging on the forums.

Would I need to plug the bus's numbers into one of those calculators online to determine what speed the bus can safely go? Or is it safe to assume 65-70mph is fine?



Agreed, I am a bit nervous about taking this combo up some of the big steep mountains in Colorado or Montana.

By "straight six", do you mean V6? 6 window? Still learning the lingo around here.

My understanding is pretty much all the other common Allison trannys have lockups - the MT 643/4, MD3000 series, and the 1000 and 2000 series. Is that correct?

Thanks for the help!
Yeah all have lockup except the 545.
By "straight six" I am referring to inline six cylinder engines as opposed to the V-8's. Straight 6 > V8.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:45 PM   #20
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the straight 6 engines typically have more brute force low-end torque vs the V-8 diesels.. the V-8s tend to gain their power on the high end and in a much shorter range.. the inline 6 engines are good for towing / hill climbing and prefer lower RPMs.. the V-8 diesels do good for MPG on the highway at a bit higher RPM cruise.. however they arent nearly as good when it comes to needing to climb steep mountains and pull heavy loads..



the Cummins 8.3 and the DT-466 variants have the ability to be rebuilt without removing the engine block from the vehicle...



-Christopher
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