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Old 03-29-2017, 01:39 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,554
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Originally Posted by Njsurf73 View Post
My .02... Look for Allison "world" or "3000" "2000" or 643 .
These are the ones I know have OD or trans lock up. Still need to keep an eye on rear gears as well. All 5 gears won't help if you are geared so low your engine is screaming to do 55.
The best choice for engine is the dr466 or Cummins 8.3
Both are sleeved motors that can be rebuilt (hopefully never have to) in frame.
If you aren't a mechanic all motor work is going to be pricey but CAT seems to have a reputation of being the most expensive for parts.
Once again my opinion. I am about to buy a bus with a Cummins 5.9... Because it has everything I want and the price is right. I don't plan on full timing or traveling year round. So I am flexible.

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What he said.....

Big engine and a 5/6 speed transmission is my idea of "ideal". 8.3 or DT466 & an MD-3060. The MT-643/647 are 4 speed non-overdrive. The 2000 series will be more common in 2003 and later buses.

Avoid buses with serious emissions controls. Somebody correct me if I am off a bit but I think 2006 or 2007 is when things begin to get ugly.
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:44 AM   #12
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 484
Year: 1995
Engine: DT408
Lot's of good advice given. I have a FE model with a DTA408/MT643. While not so common as the 466 it's a great motor as well and mine has great fuel economy. In fact everything but the crankshaft is the same. It's a de-stroked 466. There are some things you can do about the noise to deaden the sound a good bit and like PNW Steve said, if your not going to be on the road that much (most think they will be traveling more than they actually do) it really doesn't matter that much and you do get more floor space (something that's at a premium in small living spaces). Another thing you might want to consider is the suspension. I have leaf springs and I can tell you, while empty on the drive home, it rides rough in the rear. Air ride, I would think, is preferable. If you're not much i the fabrication dept, look for an activity bus that will have storage bays already installed and , if fortunate, have highway gears (something in the 4.44-4.10 range). Mine has 4.78's and while a pulling beast, the mid 50's is cruising speed with the engine not laboring at all.
I totally agree with ohio buses are rust buckets. I'm currently located in Adams County and every one I've seen for sale has the classic "coffee stains". There's a reason it's called the rust belt . I've never seen so much salt applied to roads before (and I've lived in the PNW) than here!! Look for one from any of the southern states as a good base to build from.
I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

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