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Old 09-01-2017, 10:05 AM   #1
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Bus Find with 8.3 Cummins & MT647?????

Our family of 6 is searching for our bus to convert to RV. We have limited our search to a 40' high-top RE with DT466, DT530 or Cummins 8.3. We are looking for 5/6 speed with OD and lockout. We found one within 4 hours of our house which is somewhat of a miracle. It even has a couple of our dream features like tinted windows, underbelly storage, and air ride. It has an 8.3 Cummins but a MT647 tranny. 1992 Thomas with 141,000 miles. We kind of had our hearts set on a 3060. I have been searching for info on this transmission with little success. Would we regret having a 4 speed transmission? We won't be driving full time, but we do hope to explore the entire US over the next 5 years so we need it to be competent on the highways and over mountains. We MAY need to have a toad at times, too.

This bus is already converted, too, which is an unexpected find. The ceiling wasn't insulated, however, so likely we'd gut the whole thing anyway. The asking price is $7500 which is more than I'd spend on a bus right out of service but we'd be able to reuse a lot of the materials so maybe it would make up for the price.

Thoughts????? Too old? Keep looking for different transmission?? We have been researching this to death, but the thought of actually popping on something makes me sick to my stomach a bit. We made a bad purchase about 4 years ago of a vintage 1970 Dodge Travco money-pit and feel a bit gun-shy now.

Thank you for any input!
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:09 AM   #2
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Year: 2002
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That's a really good combo. That 643 is a very good transmission. It has a final of 1:1 and lock up torque converter. It should tow a vehicle well, and it is robust.

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Old 09-01-2017, 10:54 AM   #3
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That bus sounds like a great bus at a bargain price!

The MT643 is a great transmission that is more than up to the task at hand. Yes it doesn't have OD but it will most likely have rear gears that are geared for highway speeds. The 8.3L will have more than enough HP and torque to get things moving even though it won't be a sports car jack rabbit start.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:05 AM   #4
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This bus has the MT647. What is the difference between the MT643 & the MT647? Are they fairly comparable? I see the MT643 more commonly mentioned.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notseW View Post
This bus has the MT647. What is the difference between the MT643 & the MT647? Are they fairly comparable? I see the MT643 more commonly mentioned.
The 647 is an upgraded (from Allison) 643.
Same 4spd but it is a bit bigger (no issues since it's already in there). Not sure exactly what all is upgraded, I ended up with a 3060 so I didn't research much farther.

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