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Old 01-08-2019, 04:24 PM   #1
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Cat 350?

Hi! Sooooo, if I’m looking at a bus with a CAT350 Allison transmission, what does that mean for a family looking to cruise the states for about a year, all over, including whatever mountain passes come our way? It is a 1994 MCI - 45ft. �� is this a desirable or less desirable drivetrain? Notorious for any issues? Easy or hard to find someone to work on? Parts readily avaialabke or no? Thanks!!
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:45 PM   #2
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While I know nothing about that motor, Allison makes most of the trannys in buses. They have many models, some desirable, some not. If you plan on traveling mountain ranges I would recommend staying away from the Allison 545.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CarreAnn View Post
Hi! Sooooo, if Iím looking at a bus with a CAT350 Allison transmission, what does that mean for a family looking to cruise the states for about a year, all over, including whatever mountain passes come our way? It is a 1994 MCI - 45ft. �� is this a desirable or less desirable drivetrain? Notorious for any issues? Easy or hard to find someone to work on? Parts readily avaialabke or no? Thanks!!
Coach buses have much more robust, more powerful engines than school buses. You won't find weaklings like the allison 545 in a coach.
1994 would be a good year for a big cat engine.
Those buses are real cruisers out on the interstate, especially compared to most school buses.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:05 PM   #4
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I don't know of any CAT that is called a "350" by CAT.

I have heard truckers and RVers refer to their engine based on the manufacturer and HP.

I ran an 8v71 for years. They were available in a range of HP from the factory. One of the most common was the 318HP version. I hear the 8v71 referred to as "Detroit 318" even though it may not be the 318HP version.....

That is my best guess.

Likely transmission behind that may be an HT-740 or HT-750. They are 4/5 speeds with a lockup converter. I have run the HT-740 and liked it fine. I have not driven the HT-750.

I did find the following:

"The HT740 is a 4 spd, the HT750DR is the same transmission with an extra deep 1st added (2nd through 5th are the same as 1-4 on the HT740)"
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:17 PM   #5
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So, can anyone tell me where to have this person locate the true drivetrain in this bus? He is selling for a friend and does t seem to know too much. The bathroom in it also looks to be the original bus bathroom ��
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:19 PM   #6
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If you can get the VIN you should be able to run it tell you exactly what came in it.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:20 PM   #7
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So, can anyone tell me where to have this person locate the true drivetrain in this bus? He is selling for a friend and does t seem to know too much. The bathroom in it also looks to be the original bus bathroom ��
There should be a data plate/sticker on the engine that gives model, horse power etc.

If you cannot find that take some pictures and post here.

Another possibility, you may be able to call MCI with the VIN# and ask them.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:26 PM   #8
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So, can anyone tell me where to have this person locate the true drivetrain in this bus? He is selling for a friend and does t seem to know too much. The bathroom in it also looks to be the original bus bathroom ��
Ask him/her for clear pics of the engine and transmission.
Post em here.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:43 PM   #9
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I would think it is a 350hp Cat, if anything in a vehicle that size. Not sure what model of CAT though.

Parts availablity not an issue in Canada, The US might differ but Cat has mobile repair trucks on the road in most places.


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Old 01-08-2019, 07:02 PM   #10
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Ya...no way to tell what model Cat from the "350" reference as there is technically no such engine. It's basically a nickname that could be applied to a number of actual models. And the actual model and year can be critical, especially on Cats. They had some really great engines in some years and some absolute crap to be avoided at all costs in others.


So get a serial number, VIN, find a spec/build plate, contact the maker, whatever it takes to verify exactly what they have there. Same for the trans.


This is a very common problem for many Skoolie buyers since many of the sellers are actually RE-sellers (flippers) and have no idea whatsoever what it is that they have to sell.

Caveat Emptor...big time.


Best of luck pardner!
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