Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-22-2018, 03:54 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Interior BC
Posts: 54
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Need drivetrain opinions: Cummins vs DT466e

Hey,

Myself and family have a couple of options of school bus to buy and keep flip flopping between the two so need some help!

We have the choice between a 2002 International with the traditional nose and a DT466e engine. Or a 1999 Thomas flat nose pusher with Cummins ISB 6.7 engine. We've heard the DT466e is a great, reliable engine - anyone with any experience of how the Cummins compares? Which would be more economical pushing/pulling a 40ft bus?

We are converting to a motorhome and plan on living in it full time for at least a year, driving from Canada down to South America. So plan on doing a fair few miles across lots of different terrain types. The Thomas is appealing due to the extra floorspace but primarily we want a reliable engine that isn't being pushed too hard with all the miles and possible hills etc.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Curious Slug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 05:08 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,783
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Well, to begin with if the Cummins is a 1999 then it is probably a 5.9. It is a great motor in a pickup, a short-mid sized bus or a full sized city route bus.

While there are folk that drive 5.9 equipped full size buses across the country it is not the ideal choice. I would lean towards the DT466 or a Cummins 8.3.

That said, transmission choice is quite important as well.

A good way to approach this is to decide how you are going to use the bus and then look for a drive trane that suits your needs. Short jaunts and flat roads a 5.9 and AT545 may be OK.

Edit: I reread your post and see that you are a traveler. My best recommendation, in a full size bus, would be the DT466 or Cummins 8.3 and an Allison MD3060 or 2000 transmission.

Myself, I want good highway and Mountain performance so I held out for the 8.3 and MD3060.

As far as fuel economy goes, regardless of whether you have a 5.9, 8.3 or DT466 you will likely get 8.5-10.5 mpg.

I drive a 5 window short bus with a 6.0 diesel that gets 9.8 to 11mpg. I also drive a 13 window full sized bus with an 8.3 and MD3060 that gets 9.5-10.5mpg. Not much difference.

Hope that helps.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 06:14 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Interior BC
Posts: 54
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Thanks for the reply. I found out the Cummins is a 6.7 engine with 240hp. So I'm really undecided as to whether it would be suitable as it's kind of not as bad as the 5.9 but not as good as the 8.3...Thinking about our route and the types of places we are interested in going, I think we will be driving through quite a lot of mountainous regions so I'm inclined to go for the DT instead and try to fit us plus 3 kids into the dog nose layout. The underbelly storage and extra 1.5m in the flat nose is tempting though!

Also found out that the engine was manufactured in 2014, but it's currently in a 1999 bus. No idea of the reason for this but probably a good thing as it won't have the milage that is actually showing on the bus (304000km)?? How does it work if engine is replaced - do the miles accumulated on the new engine get added to the miles of the old engine on the milometer? So the max km the body of the bus would have done is still 304,000km, but could have been say 200,000km on the old engine and only 100,000 on the new?
Curious Slug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 06:30 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,783
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Do you know what transmissions the buses have? That will make a big difference.

Also, horsepower is an important factor but torque is also.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 07:12 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Slug View Post
driving from Canada down to South America.
How are you going to manage the Darien Gap? Ferry? I wonder what it costs to have a skoolie shipped to Columbia from Panama.

There are places to go that I'd feel safer than northern Columbia too, but that's another story altogether.
rhbcub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 07:19 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 155
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International FE
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 84 passengers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Slug View Post
Thanks for the reply. I found out the Cummins is a 6.7 engine with 240hp. So I'm really undecided as to whether it would be suitable as it's kind of not as bad as the 5.9 but not as good as the 8.3...Thinking about our route and the types of places we are interested in going, I think we will be driving through quite a lot of mountainous regions so I'm inclined to go for the DT instead and try to fit us plus 3 kids into the dog nose layout. The underbelly storage and extra 1.5m in the flat nose is tempting though!

Also found out that the engine was manufactured in 2014, but it's currently in a 1999 bus. No idea of the reason for this but probably a good thing as it won't have the milage that is actually showing on the bus (304000km)?? How does it work if engine is replaced - do the miles accumulated on the new engine get added to the miles of the old engine on the milometer? So the max km the body of the bus would have done is still 304,000km, but could have been say 200,000km on the old engine and only 100,000 on the new?
This is very very strange to me. Is this from a school district? Why would they bother sinking $10k into putting a new motor in a 15-16 year old bus at the time? The mileage shown is how many miles are on the chassis. Tough to say how many miles are on the engine. 240hp rating is probably good for 650 lb-ft of torque or more. Find out what transmission is in it. As for DT vs Cummins, they are both excellent choices. I'd certainly be tempted by the bus with a 4 year old engine in it though.
rensch26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 07:38 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by rensch26 View Post
This is very very strange to me. Is this from a school district? Why would they bother sinking $10k into putting a new motor in a 15-16 year old bus at the time? The mileage shown is how many miles are on the chassis. Tough to say how many miles are on the engine. 240hp rating is probably good for 650 lb-ft of torque or more. Find out what transmission is in it. As for DT vs Cummins, they are both excellent choices. I'd certainly be tempted by the bus with a 4 year old engine in it though.
It can happen for any number of reasons.

If the bus is needed it gets repaired. If a Bond Issue passes a few months later it could easily be replaced.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2018, 12:21 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Interior BC
Posts: 54
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Yeah, it is strange about the engine but maybe the 2014 bus body was totalled or something but the engine still going strong. The 1999 Thomas body is in great condition and doesn't look nearly 20 years old (can't believer that 1999 was 20 years ago, sounds quite new to me, eek).

So have now found out the following:

Transmission is an MD3060
Rims are 8.25 x 22.5 and the tyres are 11R22.5H
Engine is a Cummins ISB 6.7 240hp
560lb torque

PNW_Steve: What are your thoughts on the 6.7 litre engine coupled with the MD3060 transmission, compared to the 8.3 litre? Obviously it won't be as powerful but will it be drivable, make it up hills etc?!

Rensch26: What are your views on 560lb torque instead of 650lb coupled with all the above?

Once again thank you so much everyone for your views. Have never bought a bus before and it's daunting, don't want to make a bad call
Curious Slug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2018, 12:54 AM   #9
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 155
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International FE
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 84 passengers
It's great that the bus has the MD3060 transmission. Very strong transmission. I'm a little surprised the 6.7L doesn't have more torque than that. My '99 DT466E is a 230hp/660lb-ft variant and it does pretty good. It does lose quite a bit of speed when hauling up mountain grades though. At my slowest it'll get down to around 45 mph so it could certainly be worse. I would expect similar performance from the Cummins 6.7L. I think it'd make you pretty happy. The extra floor space and visibility in flat nose buses is great.
rensch26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2018, 07:09 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 11,653
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
a 2014 engine in a 1999 bus? seems wierds that they would drop it with such a new engine.. id be concerned.. that is a full-on electronic emission-controlled engine... so either they are running computers designed for the old engine (whatever it wouldve been).. or they m,oved the new computers over.. are there wiring issues? are the mistaken on the engine? id want to see this thing in person and make sure it operates properly.. that the transmission / engine talk to each other correctly, shift points are good, etc..

im all about Custom builds, but if buying someone elses custom id want to make sure that its all good.. electrically especially.. pictures of everything(including engine serial plates, wiring, etc) if I couldnt see it in person

-Christopher
cadillackid is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 09:29 PM.


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