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Old 10-07-2016, 09:09 PM   #11
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,088
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
there were a few mechanicals after 1994.5 but few and far between.. his is 1985 so definitely mechanical..

if you sre going to build a bus like you want then id say who cares what drivetrain you buy.. get thecheapest rust free bus you an find and build away..

I did that wit ha Number of hotrods I built.. bought an old V-6 whatever that no one wanted and swapped in my own engine / trans /and rear .. I looked for the cheapest nost rust free body i could find , bought that car, and it was in pieces within days of my getting it..

a couple of times I built an engine and then sat and thought "ok what can I go buy to put it in?"

uf you buy a bus with a T-444E, you part the injectors, ECM's, etc out... theres still a fair amount of 7.3 power-strokers out there that would love to get decent injectors halfway cheap..

I know right now of a couple school busses that have bad injectorss or IDM's.. so you could recoup some cost by parting a motor out.. esp the electronics for other T-444E's and injectors..

the PSD folk have different ECM's.. but the IDM's are the same and the injectors on some of them..

the long block might be worth something...

probably not much for an AT545 but an allison 2000 would definitely bring a few bucks..

-Christopher
-Christopher
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:38 AM   #12
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there were a few mechanicals after 1994.5 but few and far between.. his is 1985 so definitely mechanical..

if you sre going to build a bus like you want then id say who cares what drivetrain you buy.. get thecheapest rust free bus you an find and build away..

I did that wit ha Number of hotrods I built.. bought an old V-6 whatever that no one wanted and swapped in my own engine / trans /and rear .. I looked for the cheapest nost rust free body i could find , bought that car, and it was in pieces within days of my getting it..

a couple of times I built an engine and then sat and thought "ok what can I go buy to put it in?"

uf you buy a bus with a T-444E, you part the injectors, ECM's, etc out... theres still a fair amount of 7.3 power-strokers out there that would love to get decent injectors halfway cheap..

I know right now of a couple school busses that have bad injectorss or IDM's.. so you could recoup some cost by parting a motor out.. esp the electronics for other T-444E's and injectors..

the PSD folk have different ECM's.. but the IDM's are the same and the injectors on some of them..

the long block might be worth something...

probably not much for an AT545 but an allison 2000 would definitely bring a few bucks..

-Christopher
-Christopher
The DT466 should be mechanical all the way up to 1998. 1998.5 was the start of the DT466E. I thought they only started using the DT466 in 1994 in the busses but yes, I know pretty much anything diesel and pre94 is mechanical.

As for why I'm making such a big stink out of this: I figure that the DT466 mechanical is the only engine with the reliability and power I would be satisfied with. If I can get a bus with that engine and I do like it, then I will only have to swap rear axle and transmission. If I don't like it, I can then swap the motor as well. If I get a bus with a T444E, then from the get go I will be planning a motor, transmission, and rear axle swap. I'm going to put money into this build but I'm not made of money 😀

The way I see it, factory specs say the DT466 mechanical will go up to ~240HP and 600 ft lb of torque. As others have proven, it wouldn't take much to go up to 400HP/1000ftlb if one wanted to, but that's not me. If i do like the DT466, Ill pair it up with a 7 speed Fuller (.75:1 OD) and 3.8x:1 rear axle. that should give me 65mph without wrapping the tach to red on that motor and it will still have the acceleration and hill climbing power with the motor at stock output.

If I don't like the DT466, I'll part the motor out or sell it outright and do the Series 60 Detroit / Eaton 10 speed (.074:1 OD) / and 3.55:1 air ride rear axle, all out of a donor class 8 truck. Honestly, for what I can get a totaled class 8 for, I could sell the DT466 and get the whole donor truck with everything I need in it all in one shot! It's kind of a good deal for me so that's the baseline I'm trying to stick with.

Sorry if I have not been very clear up until now. I drive big trucks for a living so I'm posting whenever I have time and trying to do it fast. I hope this helps!

Last ditch, I found a 84 pax international with a T444E and air brakes close to Austin, TX today. It's a southern bus in good shape, running well, 89k miles. The district it's at has pulled the outer duals off, I assume for other busses, but say that they can find me some to put on it and take it home if I want it.

Any of you guys that have read this far and are looking to buy a bus, do yourself a favor and check the local auctioneer service close to where you live. You can pick these busses up for $1500-$3000 in good condition. Most of the auctions are online and require a refundable $100 deposit. A short description on each unit is listed but you are able to swing by wherever the unit is physically located and inspect before bidding. It will keep you out of these money hungry "bus dealers" and you will have the same selection that they do. For 25% of the price!
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:48 AM   #13
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if you want h p , get an 8.3 cummins. 250+ and a great motor.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:45 AM   #14
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
+1 on the cummins but I never saw one in a dognose bus.. but yes Very buildable and mainly mechanical.. I think theres a few electronics but it has mechanical injectors rather than the electronic injectors that the DT-466E / T-444E have.. thats the part which fails the most is that HPOP / electronic injector system.. and thats what ruins engines by stuck injectors giving heavy fuel shots and the drivers not paying attention to skips / smoke, etc from their busses.. like i mentioned earlier.. washing out the rings..

I cant imagine putting a class 8 drivetrain in a medium duty chassis... i think about how much room my little DT-360, or a DT-466 takes in a bus, let alone a big motor from a semi...

I also question the ability of the rigidity of the frame in a bus to handle the torque of a class 8 drivetrain... and the suspension to handle the weight.. school busses are tough and heavy.. but to me they are tough and heavy to avoid deformation in a crash situation more than they are to handle huge rotational torque against the frame / body..

at some point a school bus just isnt the right tool for the job..

the DT-466E can be found in 1996 / 1996 and Up busses... technically IHC stopped making the mechanical after 1994 however there were some later that had mechanicals.. we see them here.. bus chassis were built often way ahead of time... my latest bus is a 2000 model year but the engine is a 99 model year as the chassis was buolt in springfield and then shipped to the bluebird facotry where it sat until it was made into a bus..

it seems like ive seen some AMTRAN flat nose busses with DT-466 mechanicals into the 97 / 98 model year.. potentially IHC had engines in the pipeline and chassis in the pipeline it built out before being sent to the body company..

-Christopher
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:23 PM   #15
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if you want h p , get an 8.3 cummins. 250+ and a great motor.
+1! I was actually looking before going to bed last night and I found a 94 blue bird with the 8.3! Current owner swapped in rears and trans and bus will cruise at 75 and pull 6% grade at 55! That's plenty fast enough for me. With the rear engine, I think I have room to go maybe to 8.9 cummins if I just had to swap for some reason and it looks super easy to work on. Also has auto tire chains, basement model bus with belly storage, high roof, air ride suspension, air brakes, 10 lug wheels. All the seats have already been removed!

Now to see if I can scoop it up. Will update you guys for sure. I'm ready to stop looking at busses! Lol
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:26 PM   #16
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,088
Year: 1991
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
that sounds like a great bus!!!! hopefully you can snag that one.. better to buy it ready to work than having to build it from scratch
-Christopher
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:46 PM   #17
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that sounds like a great bus!!!! hopefully you can snag that one.. better to buy it ready to work than having to build it from scratch
-Christopher
True. I am not a fan of cummins. The ISX in recent years has broke me of that. Being a ISC tho, it's pre EGR so it should be a good engine. At heart im all about DDEC IV Detroits but if I can get a good drivetrain from the get go it will save me ~$10k in the long run. I'm not unreasonable... I just have my dreams. 😉

By the way, the bus frames will handle the torque and weight of the bigger drivetrains. Obviously, you wouldnt want to be hot rodding as you'll for sure break stuff. I don't want big power to hot rod tho. I'll be flat towing my 8000 lb suburban via towbar and an enclosed trailer with ATVs and my bike hooked to the burb via receiver hitch for a total of around 13000 lb + the weight of the bus. Whatever trans is in this bus may not be rated for it but it would be nothing to swap in a good used ultrashift hv and scoot down the road.
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:08 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,088
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
my first bus had an AT545 and a chevy 454 that was highly de-tuned.. I built the %^$& out of that 454 and still never wasted the trans... I think allison highly underrates the tags on their trans o be very conservative.. sure you can hit limits.. but with good high flow coolers and common sense alot of these transmissions will take more than what they are plated for.. esp the lockup ones like the 643 and the allison 2000's / 3000's

and i agree everyone has their drivetrain of choice... when i was into street-rodding everything I built got a chevy drivetrain... preferece of course.. there was nothing wrong with the fords or Mopars I just always preferred chevy.. and I knew how to work on it easily if it broke... so i get it with the drivetrain.. you can probably work on a ddec in your sleep vs having to learn another one..
-Christopher
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