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Old 05-25-2015, 02:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2
Year: 1993
Chassis: IH3800, WB 218", 25500 GVW
Engine: International/Navistar DTA 360
Rated Cap: 53 passenger
Noobie...93AmTran,3800,DTA360,AT545,215000mi

Greetings to all,
I want to start off with a big thank you to the proprietors of Skoolie.net. What an awesome forum for souls that are first embarking upon such an enterprise.

The wife and I have recently purchased a 1993 AmTran. It is 30’ from stem to stern, with an interior space (from behind the drivers seat to rear doors) of 21’ L x 7.5’ W x 77.5” H. Motor is a DTA 360, with an Allison 545 transmission. Body and interior appear to be in good shape considering it's age, but does have a few small dents at the rear. At the surface level, it appears to be virtually rust free (Spent it's life in the mountains, garaged and away from salted roads or air).

Transmission is slipping, but with 215,000 miles on the drive train I would have had the tranny gone through anyway. Top end of the motor had just been gone through (Still retrieving repair records) and the bus was school owned (Inspections every 45 days).
We paid $1600.00 for the bus, so will be somewhere near a $4500.00 dollar investment for a reliable platform once the tranny is built.

I was in the drive train industry for many years (Automatic and standard transmissions), but all passenger vehicles. That said, I will be posting often in the future… hoping to gain insight into the process, products, and proper procedures involved with such an endeavor. It is our goal to build a skoolie that not only fulfills our dreams and desires regarding feel and function, but also one that is versatile and efficient in every way possible. I know, It’s a high bar to set right out of the gate… but I am betting that with the input and help from kind, experienced folks… That dream will be much easier to achieve.

Any and all input/recommendations, will be greatly appreciated.
I look forward to our interactions in the future, and thanks for being out there!

Dentz
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Old 05-25-2015, 07:25 PM   #2
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2
Year: 1993
Chassis: IH3800, WB 218", 25500 GVW
Engine: International/Navistar DTA 360
Rated Cap: 53 passenger
I am wondering if anyone has any experience with this type of bus and drive train? Perhaps advice on things to lookout for?
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:26 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Currently in Appalachia.
Posts: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dentz View Post
I am wondering if anyone has any experience with this type of bus and drive train? Perhaps advice on things to lookout for?
First, I have no personal experience, but a collection of research. Here are a couple things I have found re:the 545 that may save you time looking for things.

A spec sheet:
Allison AT 545 Transmission Specification | We carry Allison AT 545, Allison MT 643, Allison HT 740, Allison HT750, Allison MD 3560 Automatic Transmission and many more

This is a forum thread, but there are some (I think) excellent explanations about how it works.
Allison AT545 making noise, low torque. - School Bus Fleet Magazine Forums

Re:the 360, my understanding is that it's a good engine, but it may not have enough oomph to reach highway speeds and/or climb hills at speed in a bus. Knowing your gear ratios will help here.

Check the date code on your tires. The last 3-4 #'s in the DOT string is month and year. Over 8? years old could be sketchy even if they look good.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:13 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome.

You have a great engine. When your done swapping the transmission for a better unit, you can turn the power up for better speed, hill climbing, ect.

Don't pay money to have that AT545 repaired. You will be replacing a boat anchor.

If your going to spend money, find a MT643, or a M3060 to replace it with.

The MD3060 is the best of the auto transmissions.

Nat
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