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Old 12-12-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
NewSkewlHauler's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Goodland, KS
Posts: 233
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 8.2L Detroit N/A, Allison
Rated Cap: 65
motor swap suggestions for 7.3L IDI

I'm looking at a bus that has the 7.3L IDI diesel. I'm assuming it's the same one as was in my 92 F-250 I had a few years ago. I didn't mind the motor in a regular cab pickup but I think I'd like a little something more in a full size bus that I intend on hauling hay and pulling a horse trailer. What motors would "easily" swap over for more power? How much life would an ATS turbo or a Banks system breathe into this thing? Would there be other motors that would make good swaps with some mods? I guess I was thinking the all the 7.3L blocks were the would a T444 or a Ford Powerstroke just bolt in?

This would be a project tackled much later, but it's something on my mind. The bus is an 89 International Bluebird with air brakes and I'm assuming the AT Allison tranny.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
Posts: 806
7.3L IDI

Yep I have a BB bus made by Int. Theses engines are great, The Ford and Int. are the same 7.3 IDI. The engine is very reliable if services and a few changes are done. The newer engine from Ford/Int is the power stroke with some serious differences, but mostly being an engine computer. With the computer, some serious horsepower can be made. My 1990 Blue Bird bus will go down the hiway at about 70+ MPH at the maximine engine speed. My rear gears are 4:10 but I just bought a new set of 3:73 to increase road speed but cruise at a lower engine speed. Rear gears are a compromise between top speed or climbing hills without down shifting. There are lots of Ford/Int. diesels available. Frank in Idaho
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:48 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
Posts: 806
7.3L IDI

There are several 7.3 engines. First there was the 6.9 that became the 7.3. The early 7.3 is known as the IDI engine till about 1992. The next series is called the powerstroke. There are many engine changes. The IDI engines did not have a computer for the engine but had a computer for the trans an E4OD.
The factory trans are junk. An overhaul is expensive. The big buses began using a computer about 1995.
My BB bus has 540 rear gears and I got some 373 gears to install. Here in Idaho it is too cold for outside heavy work. An IDI 7.3 engine is a good worker engine.
A turbo is about 30% more work and power. Do not leave home without one. All the parts from a pickup will work on a BB/Int bus... Frank
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:07 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: near flint michigan
Posts: 2,653
Re: motor swap suggestions for 7.3L IDI

my suggestion is rather than swap the engine, is find a bus with a better engine already in it.

We saw two really nice rear engine cummings 5.9 mt643 buses go for under $2k each at auction.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who will watch the watchmen?)
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