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Old 02-11-2018, 09:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post

Good luck with your choice. Be careful about listing to much information here before the auction closes.
"with my son and bought a 40' deisel"

Sounds like done-deal. Looks like a dealer bus- painted.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:51 PM   #22
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Oh, the auction is over but you haven't picked it up yet? I was confused. Nice looking bus. Cool project to do together. My son isn't interested in doing a bus at all, although he thinks they make a nice place to crash. How long do kids remain kids?

I'd say it's going to be an easy trip, especially because it sounds like you're a very prepared man. Keep the fluid levels up on a trip like that and you'll be fine. Common sense. Don't expect to pull the steep hills at normal speeds. And especially get used to people passing you.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:35 AM   #23
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
It's a 7 hour drive home!
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:40 AM   #24
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Well I'm a 5'3" 50 year old woman, so I guess I'm all set.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:50 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
Well I'm a 5'3" 50 year old woman, so I guess I'm all set.
50 is not old, I keep telling myself.

ProTip: below the message you are responding to, hit the quote button and we'll know which message you are replying to.

So, what is your comfort level driving big things? You sound a bit unsure?

You mentioned a son helping with this venture, can he drive a truck?

Maybe find a giant parking lot- stadium / convention center, etc lot. to practice.

Bus turns a bit different as front wheels are behind driver. Ass-end swings quite a bit.

https://www.wikihow.com/Drive-a-Bus

Try not to be as stoned as this guy, though.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 11.47.17 PM.png



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Old 02-12-2018, 01:51 AM   #26
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That wild ride home after buying the bus. Most times it works well. Check fluids, etc. No problem, usually, driving down the road, but maneuvering the thing can be a problem, like into and out of the fuel dock. Use your mirrors, and if in doubt: GOAL (get out and look).
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:07 AM   #27
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Driving a school bus is not rocket science. Driving a school bus with air brakes and a diesel engine is not neurosurgery.

For some reason there is a perceived mystery about driving a school bus. The hard part of driving a school bus is student management. Since your bus has so few seats the student management part of the equation should be a no brainer.

In regards to learning how to drive your bus. Go by your local driver's licensing office and get a copy of your state's Commercial Driver's License book. It will have all of the information you will ever need to know about driving a big rig, air brakes, and a lot of information you will never need to know for driving your bus once it is licensed as an RV. And the best part is it won't cost you anything.

The two areas you need to really know word perfect is the pre-trip inspection and the air brake test information. Needing to know the material not to pass a test but to know what it is you need to know to operate your bus. The pre-trip inspection goes over all of the parts of the bus you need to inspect prior to moving the bus. The pre-trip will also help to familiarize you with your bus. If you start with the assumption that everything on your bus is pretty much good to go, whenever you do another pre-trip the number one thing for which you will be looking is anything that is different looking, anything wet that didn't used to be wet, anything dry that didn't used to be dry, shiny metal, etc. As far as the air brake part goes, knowing what is meant by spring brake, compressor cut in, compressor cut out, air pressure limits for maximum pressure, air pressure limits for when low air lights and/or buzzers will start doing their thing, and at what pressure the automatic spring brakes will apply is about all you need to know. The actual use of the air brakes take a little getting accustomed to but once mastered you will wonder what the big mystery was all about.

Most automatic chains on school buses were made by OnSpot. To deploy them either an air can or an electric motor operates a rod to drop or lift the chain assembly. There might be some interlocks added, which I doubt. If the chains will not deploy or retract properly the problem is in either the air can or the electric motor is not working any longer. Or it may simply be that someone pulled the fuse so that the switch doesn't work to keep the chains for being inadvertenly deployed. https://www.onspot.com/en-US/

Most traction sanders were built by Elston. The system consists of a couple of hoppers into which you pour bags of traction sand. At the bottom of each hopper is an auger that will move the sand out of the hopper and down the tubes that drop the sand just in front of the drive tires. When they don't work it is usually one of three things. First, most of the ones I have seen the fuse was pulled out to keep the switch from being turned on inadvertently. I have seen several piles of sand under buses over the years where someone exiting the bus accidently hit the sander button which proceeded to dump the whole hopper on the ground and ran the battery deader than dead over night. The second most common reason for the sanders not working is the hoppers were empty. See reason one. And lastly what can happen over time if the sanders are not used or tested on a pretty regular basis is the sand can turn into a solid mass that when the auger starts it burns the electric motor out because it can't grind the sand apart. Traction Sanders for Buses - Elston Mfg

As far as driving from Grants Pass to Tahoe, that isn't a bad drive. The worst part of the drive is getting over the mountains. Personally, even though it is a bit longer, I would go across to Klamath Falls to 395. 140 between Medford and K-Falls is a good road that is kept open. It is more apt to be open than I-5 between Ashland and Yreka. And then once you get onto 395 you are in the high desert. Unless it is really inclement you shouldn't have any problem 395 is used as an alternative to I-5 by truckers so you won't be by yourself out there.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:24 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
1997 International model 3800 flat nose.
I haven't figured out what kind of transmission it has yet, nor verified whether or not the auto chains work. I live in the mountains so the chains and the auto sanders would be really awesome if they work or I can get them to work.
It appears as if you have found yourself a pretty nice bus.

The windows say to me it has the 12" windows and the high roof option.

The T444E came in a lot of different HP ratings from as low as 160 HP to a high of about 250 HP. If your bus has 210 HP or less you most likely have the AT540 transmission. If your bus has more than 210 HP you probably have the MT640 transmission. If your bus has an electronic key pad to select your transmission gears you most likely have the MD3060 transmission with the 6th gear locked out and 5th gear OD. With the MD3060 you will have reasonable get up and go with a top speed of around 65 MPH. With either of the other transmissions the top speed won't be much different unless the bus was ordered with low speed route gears. I have driven some buses with 250 HP engines with 5th OD that had top speeds of only 60 MPH with the engine up against the redline. Regardless of the transmission or gearing, the T444E is not a highway coach engine. It will not have the HP or torque to move a bus of your size much faster that about 65 MPH on the flat no matter what final gearing you have.

Before leaving where the bus is located I would make sure all of the tires are pumped up to the maximum air pressure, top off all of the fluids, and then head out. I would stop at the first auto parts store like NAPA or CARQUEST and get at least a couple of extra fuel filters, some jugs of fuel conditioner (if it is cold out get some winter fuel conditioner), extra engine oil (get the 15W-40 heavy duty oil that is NOT low emissions formula), extra coolant, and a replacement serpentine belt. You may want to get some new windshield wipers depending upon when the last time the bus was in service.

Good luck and keep us posted as to your progress.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:07 PM   #29
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Looks like you are doing just fine. Nice bus. Hope is wasn't you who backed-it into that overhang...

What is the plan for youse guys?
Plan, I'm supposed to have a plan? I am trying to verify whether or not I need a class b non commercial endorsement to drive the bus home from Oregon. I know someone that can train me on how to drive a bus, but she doesn't have a bus I can practice on. I could drive her to oregon and have HER drive it back maybe. Or i know someone else with a large bus who MIGHT let me practice with his with the trainer. She was the trainer for our school and he is a teacher at our school and the bus he owns is one of our school's old buses.

The rules are confusing. My son is only 18, so he does NOT have experience driving anything but our cars. He's also in school right now and needs to focus on that, not the bus. If he doesn't keep a 3.5+ he will lose his scholarship, which would cost a lot more than I might waste on a mistake on the bus.

I need to figure out how to get an owner's manual for this or for the major components if that's the way it works.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:11 PM   #30
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 513
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
This is fabulous info! Thank you so much!
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:13 PM   #31
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 513
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
50 is not old, I keep telling myself.

ProTip: below the message you are responding to, hit the quote button and we'll know which message you are replying to.

So, what is your comfort level driving big things? You sound a bit unsure?

You mentioned a son helping with this venture, can he drive a truck?

Maybe find a giant parking lot- stadium / convention center, etc lot. to practice.

Bus turns a bit different as front wheels are behind driver. Ass-end swings quite a bit.

https://www.wikihow.com/Drive-a-Bus

Try not to be as stoned as this guy, though.

Attachment 19063




Thanks for the links! I know what I'll be doing the next few days....
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:20 PM   #32
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 513
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
It appears as if you have found yourself a pretty nice bus.

The windows say to me it has the 12" windows and the high roof option.

The T444E came in a lot of different HP ratings from as low as 160 HP to a high of about 250 HP. If your bus has 210 HP or less you most likely have the AT540 transmission. If your bus has more than 210 HP you probably have the MT640 transmission. If your bus has an electronic key pad to select your transmission gears you most likely have the MD3060 transmission with the 6th gear locked out and 5th gear OD. With the MD3060 you will have reasonable get up and go with a top speed of around 65 MPH. With either of the other transmissions the top speed won't be much different unless the bus was ordered with low speed route gears. I have driven some buses with 250 HP engines with 5th OD that had top speeds of only 60 MPH with the engine up against the redline. Regardless of the transmission or gearing, the T444E is not a highway coach engine. It will not have the HP or torque to move a bus of your size much faster that about 65 MPH on the flat no matter what final gearing you have.

Before leaving where the bus is located I would make sure all of the tires are pumped up to the maximum air pressure, top off all of the fluids, and then head out. I would stop at the first auto parts store like NAPA or CARQUEST and get at least a couple of extra fuel filters, some jugs of fuel conditioner (if it is cold out get some winter fuel conditioner), extra engine oil (get the 15W-40 heavy duty oil that is NOT low emissions formula), extra coolant, and a replacement serpentine belt. You may want to get some new windshield wipers depending upon when the last time the bus was in service.

Good luck and keep us posted as to your progress.
Thanks very much for the info. Extremely helpful!!
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:27 PM   #33
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
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Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
Thanks for the links! I know what I'll be doing the next few days....
Yeah, once you start digging-in, it will seem less daunting. It's the fear of the unknown that you need to get past.

You are going to have a great time w/ your son on this project. Please keep posting and people will chime-in.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:13 PM   #34
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 513
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
The problem with fixing dents is that you then spend your life worrying about making new ones.
Yep. I buy distressed furniture and used cars because I don't want to stress over every little ding on anything. Life is too short! We won't ever get this conversion done if we try to make everything perfect either. I'm going to try to embrace the concept of "good enough" for anything that isn't safety related.
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