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Old 12-27-2015, 11:40 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1
new member from Oregon re question

Hi everyone,
My wife and I have been thinking about getting a school bus and converting it into a bus we can live in and travel in full time for some time now. Hoping to be able to afford it within a year or so. So since I have time on my side I want to make a wise purchase.we want to travel the 49 states and Canada. I do auto body work for a living and have done carpentry, electrical and plumbing as well, My concerns and fears are not in those areas.
from what I have learned on this website I really want the dt466 (non-electronic) in a rear engine model, but cant seem to find one (do they exist?).
I know very little about diesel engines and have fears of breaking down with a expensive repair in a remote location.
I would entertain a cummins or DD straight six as well.
so my questions are:
can you get a straight six diesel engine in a re?
what are the best gear ratios?
dnsjavadog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2015, 02:01 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 895
I have seen a lot of Cummins 5.9/ISB and 8.3/8.3L in buses and would not hesitate in getting a bus with one of those.

There are quite a few Cat 3116/3126's out there. They are good engines but tend to cost more to maintain than the others.

For most practical purposes you want to stay away from Detroit 2-cycle engines unless you or someone you know really "knows" a DD 2-cycle. They are good engines but they have quirks that will destroy them if you don't know how to care and repair them properly.

I have seen a few buses that have had DD Series 50/60 engines in them. Those are some of the best engines ever built but I have never seen one of them in a school bus.

As for the Cat, Detroit, Cummins, and IHC V-8's, I would pass on any of them. For the most part they are lower in performance in HP, torque, fuel mileage, and longevity than the I-6's from the same OEM.

You will be hard pressed to find a mechanical DT466 in any RE that came from the factory that way. IHC didn't have them available in OEM supplied chassis and didn't start to offer them in the Ward/Gensis/IC RE until the mid-90's which by that time had started to be electronically controlled.

As you go shopping be aware that all of the manufacturers prior to about 2003 had 9" windows and 72"-75" headroom as standard. 12" windows and high headroom options were available but were not very common. Those 3" come in really handy if you are not height challenged.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote

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