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Old 09-22-2016, 03:11 PM   #1
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Buying 1st bus, opinions wanted!

Hello all, we are a family of 4 (husband, 5 year old, 18 month old, and myself) looking for our first bus to purchase and convert. I've been reading through all the posts to help decide what bus we should get.

I have found what seems to be a perfect bus...

2001 International with DT466 FE, Allison2000, Hydraulic Brakes, 125,546miles, 71 passenger, and very little rust that we can see for only $1800.

Everyone on here seems to really love the MT643 trans and there isn't much talk of the 2000 series. Is it an okay transmission? Strong enough for the DT466? Does this bus seem too good to be true?

Also, I know all engines after 2004 are electronic without the E in the name. But is it safe to assume that this is actually a DT466E since the trans is electronic?

Thank you for any insight and I apologize if I use the wrong terminology in my post since we are still learning!
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:16 PM   #2
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Its an E, and the 2000 is a good tranny.
I'd be wary of mileage, since international gauge panels are regularly switched out. See if you can verify that mileage and ask about hours.
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:22 PM   #3
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the 2000 isnt talked about alot here as it wasnt used on a ton of school busses until 2002 and later, which many of the busses here are older..

I like the 2000, its specs should more than cover what a DT-466E puts out.. and I know allison also is really conservative on their specs so you should have no issues with that trans... it can also be unlocked to give you a 6th gear(most asll are shipped with only 5 geard enabled).. if you feel your RPM run too high for your speed..

-Christopher
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:37 PM   #4
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Its an E, and the 2000 is a good tranny.
I'd be wary of mileage, since international gauge panels are regularly switched out. See if you can verify that mileage and ask about hours.
I wouldn't have thought of that, thank you!
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:38 PM   #5
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the 2000 isnt talked about alot here as it wasnt used on a ton of school busses until 2002 and later, which many of the busses here are older..
Gotcha, glad to know it is a good model. Thank you for your help!
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:53 PM   #6
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if you are looking at Rear engine busses you'll see an MD3060 mentioned alot.. that one is fantastic.. its a 5 or 6 speed (see below)...

the AT545 was the go-to transmission for many years.. its solid as a rock but is only 4 speed (no overdrive) and doesnt have a lock-up cionverter.. so in highway (esp hilly) it doesnt do as well as others...

the MT-643 was basically a AT545 style (4 speed no OD).. but does have a locking torque converter so it runs cooler, does much better in the hills and robs less power.. those were being used along with AT545's depending on the bus.. it varied..

the allison 1000,2000 series are shipped as 5 speed single Overdrive With lockup.. so they give you an uograde over the MT-643... they are electronic and mechanically are 6 speed Double Overdrive transmissions.. but 6th geasr is electronically turned off.. allison can turn it on (for a fee usually)..

the 1000 is a bit lighter duty.. main place ive seen those was on the IC BE series busses which were a smaller lighter duty chassis

theres a few other variants of automatics out in the bus world but those are the main ones you find 99% of the time..

-Christopher
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:57 PM   #7
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That overdrive gear is rad when you're out on the freeway.
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:19 PM   #8
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I have the AT545 on my NO list after reading everyone on here talk about its downfalls. I am looking for either a DT466 or Cummins 8.3 engine with a MT643, MD3060, or (now I can add) an Allison2000. Still deciding between RE or FE. The RE busses seem so much harder to come by. Just waiting until the perfect bus comes along since we aren't on a time schedule.
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:41 PM   #9
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I have a DT-360 and an AT545 in my bus.. and ive driven it 8500 miles in 4 months on that combo...

then again i hasvent yet tried to cross the rockies...
-Christopher
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:36 PM   #10
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I'm sure we would do great with less power but we are currently around Chicago and once on the road are crossing the Rockies and headed up to Alaska! Plus we are thinking about bringing a toad... not sure about that yet. I figure the bigger the better since we will be dealing with some serious inclines.

Any advice on towing? I haven't even started to research that yet. So much to learn!
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:38 PM   #11
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As stated by others, the 2000 is a darned good transmission, and of course the DT466E is damn near bulletproof. However, check to see if you have the EGR-recirc DT. They tend to be fussier than the non-EGR motors. Prefer a non-EGR, but its not a show-stopper by any means.

The "actual mileage" question has been raised and its a valid point with an easy answer. The fuel injection computer keeps a mileage tally separately from the operators instrument panel. It can be checked in about 60 seconds with a scan tool. If the serial number in the computer matches the VIN, that mileage in the ECU can be taken as gospel. Any IH/Navistar dealer can read this data, and usually for free.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:39 PM   #12
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if you are going to alaska you will definitely want the primo drivetrain!! you have lots of hill climbing and descending to do.!

I would not only want a powerful engine but also at least a retarder on the trans for the downhills.. esp if you have a toad.

-Christopher
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:00 AM   #13
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if you are going to alaska you will definitely want the primo drivetrain!! you have lots of hill climbing and descending to do.!

I would not only want a powerful engine but also at least a retarder on the trans for the downhills.. esp if you have a toad.

-Christopher
Yep. THis is no job for an eastern bus.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:34 AM   #14
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for something like that you almost want a coach...

or maybe take a mechanical DT-530 and build it up for the job...

-Christopher
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:42 PM   #15
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So you don't think a skoolie can handle 6-8 weeks in Alaska? We aren't planning to stay there permanently. I just realized that I wasn't clear about that in my earlier post. We are planning to full time and see the entire country but since we do want to visit Alaska, I wanted a serious setup.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:55 PM   #16
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So you don't think a skoolie can handle 6-8 weeks in Alaska? We aren't planning to stay there permanently. I just realized that I wasn't clear about that in my earlier post. We are planning to full time and see the entire country but since we do want to visit Alaska, I wanted a serious setup.

im only thinking of the coaches that push out 400 horsepower+..

but I do totally believe a stout skoolie can survive alaska.. deopending on the time of year you go and how fast you want to run the mountains...
the DT-466 would be the engine of choice.. theres every debate in the world on here about the 'E' vs mechanical, but the 'E' variants.. from most things I read, the 'E' do produce more power in stock form.. though the mechanicals can be easily "cranked up" if you feel the need

if you are fulltiming in winter up north or summer down south you will just want to insulate well and have a block-heater on your diesel..

my older brother lives in fairbanks and says its really tough to start and drive anything in winter that isnt plugged in... and when they get the super cold with the wind insulation is key.

-Christopher
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:10 PM   #17
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for something like that you almost want a coach...

or maybe take a mechanical DT-530 and build it up for the job...

-Christopher
Did they make mechanical 530's?
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:23 PM   #18
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Did they make mechanical 530's?

for some reason I was thinkinfg the 530ST was mechanical but maybe they were all 'E's

-Christopher
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:07 PM   #19
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Sounds like a deal. But best to test drive and double check the miles like others have mentioned. Perhaps if you decide to pass it would be helpful to share the bus info here for others. That's a heck of a price for that. I hear the dt466 core is worth 2k. (anyone validate that info?)

I sure wouldn't pass on a great bus just for a perfect one for an Alaska trip. I might park the skoolie and fly to Alaska for a vacation instead, that way i wouldn't risk getting my Skoolie snowed upon

Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:27 PM   #20
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Well apparently the bus was a good deal because it was sold this afternoon to someone else.

We are just starting our search and I came to ask for opinions because it did seem waaaay too good to be true and I hadn't heard much about the Allison2000.

I really appreciate all of your input because next time I will feel more confident to snatch up a deal like this!
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