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Old 08-16-2017, 02:09 PM   #1
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International 9.0 Liter Diesel

Hey all, my wife and I recently purchased a 1987 35' International S1800 with a Blue Bird body for conversion. Admittedly, it was an impulse buy and not much research was done beforehand because the price was very right and manual buses are hard to come by. The drivetrain is the strangest part of this bus: it has a 9.0 liter naturally aspirated diesel v8 with a spicer five speed manual and 6.14 rear end gears. This engine is essentially a big brother to the 6.9 and 7.3 IDI engines available at the time (though absolutely no mechanical parts are shared given the displacement). The bus currently has 250,xxx on the odometer and has seen several 3-4 hour trips and a 10 hour trip since we bought it and we've had absolutely no issues yet aside from weeping valve cover gaskets (which are being replaced in two days). This is the last model year of production of this engine and the head gasket issues that plagued the earlier years was remedied for this final year.

Anyway...!

We're new to the forum and wondering if there are any other skoolies out there running this engine and/or transmission with any insights on maintenance! Things like warning signs, preventative maintainence to counter common mechanical issues, longevity, etc. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Our Instagram handle is also bartthebus for those who to check us out 😬
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:53 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Lake geneva Wisconsin
Posts: 199
Year: 93
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3 idi
I have the 7.3 idi with a spicer 5 speed. I love it. It's sliw due to the rear end, but I'm ok with that. I only heard of the 9.0 a few times. All were good things its a power house. Thats a pretty sweet score, if you ask me. Tho are parts very common?
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:29 PM   #3
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Ah you must have highway gears then! With the governor deleted I'm pinned against the fuel cutoff at 55 mph. I wish I could get a little more top speed. The 9.0 is definitely a powerhouse on flat ground but she doesn't pull hills well even with the 6.14 rear end
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:58 PM   #4
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Location: Pacific North Wet
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
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Originally Posted by Greatestrr View Post
I have the 7.3 idi with a spicer 5 speed. I love it. It's sliw due to the rear end, but I'm ok with that. I only heard of the 9.0 a few times. All were good things its a power house. Thats a pretty sweet score, if you ask me. Tho are parts very common?
I think he meant that it is "slow" not sliw. That would lead me to think that he does not have highway gears.


We look forward to seeing pics and more detail.

Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:11 PM   #5
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Yeah I assumed that he meant slow as in slow off the line with tall gearing but I guess either way we're all pretty slow one way or another �� Unless we have a Crown with a 10 spd RR of course.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:17 PM   #6
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Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
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Originally Posted by bartthebus View Post
\Unless we have a Crown with a 10 spd RR of course.
I keep waiting for the Bus Ferry to bring me my Crown with an N11 and 10spd.

My Wife advised me not to hold my breath while waiting......
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:22 PM   #7
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
6.13 gears.. wow im surprised it makes 55.
-Christopher
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:25 PM   #8
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
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Engine: dt466
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I've always heard the 9.0 was a gutless bastard of an engine.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I keep waiting for the Bus Ferry to bring me my Crown with an N11 and 10spd.

My Wife advised me not to hold my breath while waiting......
Funny, my wife tells me the same thing. Every now and then I see 10 spd Crown and Gilligs go for <6K on govdeals but I've yet to see one with a Cummins, they all have 2 stroke screamers.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:53 PM   #10
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I've always heard the 9.0 was a gutless bastard of an engine.
Gutless? Depends on the situation and the gearing. Mine is the lowest stock rated version at 165 hp and it pulls my 15,900# bus around great, just have to drop a gear or two up hills. Bastard? Absolutely! Couldn't find valvecover gaskets from any common auto parts stores, had to order online. I imagine this will be the case with all future repairs **pulls hair out**
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