Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-16-2017, 02:09 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 13
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 😬
bartthebus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 03:53 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
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?
Greatestrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 06:29 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 13
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
bartthebus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 06:58 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,763
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
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!
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 07:11 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 13
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.
bartthebus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 07:17 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,763
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
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......
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 07:22 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,230
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
6.13 gears.. wow im surprised it makes 55.
-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 07:25 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,367
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I've always heard the 9.0 was a gutless bastard of an engine.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 07:46 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 13
Quote:
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.
bartthebus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 07:53 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
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**
bartthebus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 07:55 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,710
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
I have one of the 9.0L engines. It was originally mated to a 5-speed, it was converted to an auto at some point (it was owned by a church).

My IH dealer/guru says "It'll go a million miles, as long as you *DON'T* let it overheat (*EVER*) and keep it serviced." The mechanic I bought it from said the only thing he'd ever done to one was replace a water pump.

From what I read online, most consider it a "boat anchor" but most of these are folks who bought an IH cheap at an auction intending to use it hauling heavy loads. The 9.0 was a "poor man's diesel" in the day but as long as it wasn't asked to move heavy loads up steep hills, it performed adequately. Most did fine in school bus service.

I would *NOT* turn up the RPM's above whatever it's set at. My IH guru said he had a customer who had several 9.0's that he drove for many years without a problem. He started taking a backseat in his business and began letting younger folk drive them (who monkeyed around with the fuel and throttle settings, presumably for more power and top speed). Very soon after that, the engines began blowing head gaskets and other problems (which were attributed to the turned-up RPM's).
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 08:04 PM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,710
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Since this engine is 30 years out of production and generally considered obsolete, most parts will *NOT* be at *ANY* chain parts stores. IH dealers, Amazon, and Ebay will become your friends. If you can, visit an IH dealer and see if you can get a "parts list" printed for the engine/chassis (my '01 came with one the school district had printed, so they could order parts without needing to look them up, it's like 10+ pages long.)

If you ever completely blow the engine necessitating a complete rebuild ... goooooood luck. I'm told that rods aren't available anywhere, new (I haven't checked this yet).
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 09:23 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the great info! I've yet to go searching for a IH dealer/guru in my area but my father in law is a machinist, welder and diesel mechanic so fortunately I've got some support lol. I definitely don't plan on adjusting the governor spring at all. I've read a few things about this 9.0 being used in marine applications with the governor spring set at 3200 rpm instead of stock 3000 rpm, but these could only handle the extra engine speed because they have an endless supply of cold water around them to keep cool. Jensales.com seems to be about the only place I can find parts for it, definitely worth a look if you're ever in need (prices are reasonable). They offer a full out of frame overhaul kit that I may splurge on in the next year or so just for peace of mind. I do plan on advancing the timing and turning the fuel rate up to get a little more power out of it. They were rated up to 180 hp from the factory so I'll probably adjust to those stock settings and not much more. Fortunately I've not had any issues with heat so far but I do watch the temp gauge like it's gonna run away if I don't keep an eye on it. Eventually we'd like to put a 2 speed rear on it so we can keep the cruising rpms down without having to go 45 mph. But as my wife says, "add it to the list"
bartthebus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 09:44 AM   #14
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Lake geneva Wisconsin
Posts: 199
Year: 93
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3 idi
I definitely don't have highway gears. Trans has granny low 1st gear. It runs about 55 at 2700 rpm. It even has built in snow chains on the rear axel. I never tried them but you just pull a lever on the dash and it deploys the chains, they spin under the tires. Should be interesting to see that in action
Greatestrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 09:49 AM   #15
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Lake geneva Wisconsin
Posts: 199
Year: 93
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3 idi
The way i see it, crusing at 50-55 on the backroads instead of the interstate will allow me to see more of the real america. Not to mention if you have no where to be why do you need to get there fast?.....
Greatestrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 12:34 PM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,710
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Honestly, if the 9.0 in mine had to be pulled and rebuilt, I could probably replace it with a 7.3/T444 just as cheaply and easily. At that point, parts would be widely available.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 04:55 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,367
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Honestly, if the 9.0 in mine had to be pulled and rebuilt, I could probably replace it with a 7.3/T444 just as cheaply and easily. At that point, parts would be widely available.
Agreed! IF it dies, upgrade it! Go DT466 or even DT360!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 05:10 PM   #18
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,710
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Agreed! IF it dies, upgrade it! Go DT466 or even DT360!
As nice as the DT466 would be, it would be a *MUCH* bigger job than swapping in a T444/7.3 The DT466 is a longer engine and would require cutting of the firewall and floor, addition of a "doghouse" and relocation of the transmission - possibly longer wiring or linkages, shortening of the driveshaft ... at what point is it simply cheaper buying another bus that had one in it to begin with?

If I'm going to do all that work to swap in a larger engine, I'm going to bypass a DT466 and consider maybe an M11 Cummins or an ISX. Maybe a 60-series Detroit (one of the older non-emissions engines).
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 10:22 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 877
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: TE 444
Rated Cap: 12
4.78 rear end would get you a 65 MPH cruise at about 2500 rpm depending on tire size
Kubla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2017, 08:21 AM   #20
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,230
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
in the Navistar books.. they rated the Lifetime of their engines by RPM... my books are slightly too new to show the 9.0 Litre in it.. but like my DT-360 they rated at a Maximum Safe RPM of 3200.. (wont slap the heads with the pistons or float the valves).

they then went onto state that the maximum RECOMMENDED RPM of that engine is 2700 under load and 2900 under no load. and that engine life could be reduced by as much as 50% by running it at its 3200 RPM max.. I dont know if the same is true of the 9.0 litre.. but ive heard other state similar things.. that there are RPMS you *CAN* run various diesel engines at without "blowing it up catastrophically". vs RPMS you *SHOULD* run for maximum engine longevity.. and also the fact that typically an engine built for a certain RPM range is going to make lots more heat and waste fuel at higher RPMs.. I understand people cranking up RPMs to gain MPH "cheaper".. but at what point do you wear out your engine running at faster than recommended RPMs..

later engines like the 7.3 , people will claim (well they run in the ford trucks at high RPM).. however there were differences in the design of the engines sold to ford vs the ones utilized by Navistar... head gaskets, cam profiles were different..

so I would look long and hard at regearing that 6.13 rear before I would cruise it for hundreds of miles at 3000+ RPM to get up to 57 MPH.. or you may find yourself spending a LOT more money to repair / replace the engine.. and then STILL have a 50 MPH bus... you COULD swap in an overdrive transmission.. but you still have a 6.xx rear end.. at 65-70 MPH driveshaft RPM and resonance can also become an issue...
-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
9.0 diesel, international drivetrain, spicer

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 01:25 AM.


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