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Old 11-11-2018, 03:13 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Rated Cap: 72
Opinions on this Bus?

Okay,

Itís a 2003 International 72cap Diesel Bus with a DT466 engine and hydraulic brakes.

The asking price is set at $4,000, but Iíd try to get it for $3200-$3600.

Iím told thereís not much rust and that itís overall condition is good. It runs but the owner isnít sure what it would need for a safety (if it needs anything).

Itís got 295km on it. (183k miles).

Iím not too thrilled about the hydraulic brakes but itís almost worth giving up for the DT466.

Iím currently trying to get more pictures, of the inside, rear, under the bus and hood, but what are your first impressions?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:08 PM   #2
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My short bus has hydraulic brakes and they're just peachy. I wouldn't want them on a bigger bus. but then, I travel quite a bit and have gone up and down mountains more than a few times. it's odd that this bus would have hydraulic brakes as the whack-lever on the front bumper tends to be an air powered device. Possibly still has a compressor.

At least one member here will tell you to avoid the DT466 after 1999 or so.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:33 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
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OP how tall are you?
If you're under 6 feet tall it looks like a decent bus.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:19 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
OP how tall are you?
If you're under 6 feet tall it looks like a decent bus.
Iím just shy of 5í5Ē, so Iíll have plenty of headspace even after building up the subfloor.

Iím getting more pictures of the bus tomorrow but Iíve beeb warned against hydraulic brakes in a full-sized Bus... at this point Iím on the fence about it.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:24 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
My short bus has hydraulic brakes and they're just peachy. I wouldn't want them on a bigger bus. but then, I travel quite a bit and have gone up and down mountains more than a few times. it's odd that this bus would have hydraulic brakes as the whack-lever on the front bumper tends to be an air powered device. Possibly still has a compressor.

At least one member here will tell you to avoid the DT466 after 1999 or so.
I asked about the brakes and they just said that they were ďstandard brakesĒ, so you could be right there. Iíll ask for further clarification.

If it turns out they are air brakes, Ií m thinking this bus might be a decent deal.

I donít know the specific transmission on it though, and Iím hoping itís not an Allison 545. I havenít heard anything good about that transmission.

Is it worth it if it has a 545?
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:55 AM   #6
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The only way it has a 545 is if it has the lowest tune spec of the dt466.. Which is possible, but less likely.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
The only way it has a 545 is if it has the lowest tune spec of the dt466.. Which is possible, but less likely.
I've seen plenty of low spec DT's with 545's in buses.
I'd wager that while the 545 was available in buses it was probably put into at least 90% of them.
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:20 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Rated Cap: 72
Well, the bus was a bust.

The left side had a large section of the body patched, the rear end had two rusted holes straight through to the insulation.

The engine looked clean and the exhaust was done, but there was some clear repairs underneath and it seemed extremely corroded.

Even the school bus seats themselves had rust halfway up the seats and the floor around where the seats were bolted were all orange and rust stained.

On top of that, the bus didnít start! He said it was because the batteries needed to be replaced and he couldnít have it done until Monday, but never even thought to mention it when we were talking before!

The search is starting to feel hopeless.. there are very little busses for sale in Canada and I canít buy one from the states as the currency conversion does not work in my favour, and the taxes Iíd have to pay to bring it over from the US puts a U.S. bus way out of my budget ):
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Old 11-17-2018, 05:50 PM   #9
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Year: 2001
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Engine: T444E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
My short bus has hydraulic brakes and they're just peachy. I wouldn't want them on a bigger bus. but then, I travel quite a bit and have gone up and down mountains more than a few times. it's odd that this bus would have hydraulic brakes as the whack-lever on the front bumper tends to be an air powered device. Possibly still has a compressor.

At least one member here will tell you to avoid the DT466 after 1999 or so.

I'm not aware of any DT466 issues after 1999 - until '05 when it became the MaxxForce engine. The emissions hardware on these MaxxForce engines is a nightmare.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:07 PM   #10
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For future reference
Count me as a vote for "NO hyd brakes"

and some call them Juice brakes just so you know.

And While I love my Ford's and Ford chassis vehicles

Especially don't buy a big Ford chassis Bus with hyd brakes
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I'm not aware of any DT466 issues after 1999 - until '05 when it became the MaxxForce engine. The emissions hardware on these MaxxForce engines is a nightmare.
The last few years of pre-EGR DT's can have some quality control issues. Like the timing covers. 2004 was a real bad year for those.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:00 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 11
Another Bus?

Okay, I know the specs of this bus aren't that great and there will be warnings to stay away from it but hear me out.

So it's a 2003 International 7.3 T444E Diesel with Hydraulic brakes.

It has 232,000 miles (which is a lot, but these engines are built to last).

It looks like it's in really good shape. Only one spot of rust I can see on the body other than the rear bumper, which can be replaced.

The asking price is $4100 but I'm going for about $3400-$3600

There ARE some advantages to this bus that are really making me consider it.

First of all, it's less than 15 minutes away from my house! And was only recently decommissioned so all the service records are provided with it.

Second, it has all new brakes and tires. That is a major expense to save on, and YES, I know hydraulic brakes are frowned upon but the advantage for me is that I would not need a special license to drive the bus. Not to mention, I am comfortable driving with these brakes. I've never used air brakes before.

Third, it already comes certified and e-tested, which means it's road ready and I won't have to do much (if any) work mechanically. This is a HUGE thing for me and it will save A LOT of money.

I need opinions because I know the bus isn't well-recommended but I think it could be okay for me. My plans are to go to every state, with both off-grid and shore capabilities. I'm not worried about speed because I want to take my time on this trip.

There really aren't much options anywhere near me. There's maybe 4 International buses listed in all of Ontario and travelling isn't an option for me right now. What do you guys think?
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:27 PM   #13
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Hi, welcome. Lots of savings to be had there imho and so close to home. Have you seen it up close, driven it and seen what works or might be a problem mechanically or electrically? Batteries and condition, pop the caps and check levels in the cells. check lighting, signals horn but if safetied they must be ok.

Find out what tranny is in it too but don't let that deter you much if it is a good runner. Hydraulic brakes are ok and since a new brake job should be good for a while. Check fluids of it when it's cold and see what they look like, at correct levels and colour? Sounds like it was well maintained.
What part of the country are you in?

I hope others chirp in too that have that engine and can inform you more.


All the best, it might not be your forever bus but you will get attached so enjoy and good luck.


John
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Hi, welcome. Lots of savings to be had there imho and so close to home. Have you seen it up close, driven it and seen what works or might be a problem mechanically or electrically? Batteries and condition, pop the caps and check levels in the cells. check lighting, signals horn but if safetied they must be ok.

Find out what tranny is in it too but don't let that deter you much if it is a good runner. Hydraulic brakes are ok and since a new brake job should be good for a while. Check fluids of it when it's cold and see what they look like, at correct levels and colour? Sounds like it was well maintained.
What part of the country are you in?

I hope others chirp in too that have that engine and can inform you more.


All the best, it might not be your forever bus but you will get attached so enjoy and good luck.


John
Thanks for this reply! I'm from Ontario, Canada around the Toronto Region. The Safety and E-Test certified is probably what's drawing me to the bus the most. Any old, used bus can cost a lot of money to make it road-safe, and since this one already is, I just can't walk away. I'd be saving a lot of money, as most buses I've already looked at have needed a lot of work.

I'm going to go see it and test drive it today at 3:45. I've heard decent reviews of the T444E and while I know it's not the most desirable, it is fairly common in the skoolie community.

Not sure about the tranny, I'll find that out when I go.

I'll keep my eye out on the tire age, battery age, how she sounds and runs, and will check whatever else inside and out necessary.

I hope she looks okay underneath. That will be my deciding factor.
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:49 PM   #15
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Sounds good but look the engine over with a lot of scrutiny. The 444E is usually pretty darn tired by the time they get that kind of mileage.
Good luck!
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:12 PM   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,677
Year: 1997
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Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Also take a good look at the underside. An older Ontario bus might be a rusted mess under there (believe me, I know ). Even better, post some pictures of the underside for us to comment on
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:12 PM   #17
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 229
Year: 2007
Coachwork: ICCORP
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I'm not aware of any DT466 issues after 1999 - until '05 when it became the MaxxForce engine. The emissions hardware on these MaxxForce engines is a nightmare.
I am not an expert, however, I was under the impression that the MaxxForce label started a few years later.

Emissions started in 2004, and renamed the Maxxforce 7 in 2007.

My 2006 DT466E doesn't say MaxxForce anywhere on it.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:05 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Rated Cap: 72
So I Looked at the Bus...

Alright, as it turns out, the bus in the pictures above was not the actual bus that I went to look at. They had 5 and used the same picture for all of them (lol). HOWEVER, I'm glad because the bus that I DID look at, was in way better shape than the one above!

So from a glance, here's what she looks like:

Photo 2018-11-21, 5 12 53 PM.jpg
Photo 2018-11-21, 4 43 25 PM.jpg
Photo 2018-11-21, 4 43 52 PM.jpg
Photo 2018-11-21, 5 11 57 PM.jpg

She's got a blue bird body.
Photo 2018-11-21, 5 12 31 PM.jpg
Photo 2018-11-21, 5 08 05 PM.jpg

The underneath looks pretty good considering it's lived through harsh winters and salty roads.
Photo 2018-11-21, 4 44 14 PM.jpg

I didn't get time to snap pictures of the engine but there is a little rust. Not much. No noticeable leaks of any kind either.
Photo 2018-11-21, 5 08 33 PM.jpg

The inside is pretty clean. No complaints. She started right up and purred like a beaut when we tested her. The hydraulic brakes were not a problem and I don't mind them.
Photo 2018-11-21, 5 09 26 PM.jpg
Photo 2018-11-21, 5 09 38 PM.jpg

And there was no body rust other than two, very small spots.
Photo 2018-11-21, 4 44 11 PM.jpg
Photo 2018-11-21, 5 11 30 PM.jpg

Overall, she looked VERY good.

Long story short, I made the decision to buy the bus for $3900. Already safetied, e-tested, new brakes and tires, and they are willing to deliver it right to my house so I don't even have to buy a temporary title. I couldn't say no!
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:17 PM   #19
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Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Congrats on your new bus, sounds pretty solid so good luck building her out.


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