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Old 05-03-2017, 09:49 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 11
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 22 +3 wheel chair
We Got A SKoolie

Well back in march on our trip to Florida from Massachusetts, we had been debating for quite some time on getting a bus. After stopping at a used bus lot and doing some test drives, which if you haven't driven a school bus yet, it's exhilarating. I drive box trucks for a living, nothing close to a monster as this bus, but I personally find it easy. We ended up buying a 32' 1998 International 3800 T444E with only 90k miles. A lot of people may consider that bad for the year of the bus, all considered the body was the most important. You can replace and engine, but replacing the body is a different story. Also after a 1400+ mile trip back home running straight for 25 hours, I'd say the engine is doing quite fine. Also to mention that we were towing our Subaru on a trailer behind us.
The plans are to gut, repair and convert, so far floors and seats are up and the ceiling panels and insulation has been removed. Before we start converting, the radiator for the passengers and the drivers cockpit needs to be gutted and the floors need to be sanded and sealed. Have to weld around the wheel wells, due to some windows with deteriorating seals letting leaks in. Thankfully the windows need to come out in order to take the side panels off, so resealing them in the process won't be out of the way at all. Of course we are saving the cockpit and controls for last, mainly because they are intimidating. I'm not a mechanic, electrician, plumber or a carpenter for that matter, so the comfort zone is being breached. Thankfully to the people on here and other networks, finding answers to my problems has been simple.
We will continue to take pictures and make videos showing the progress, in hopes that we help someone else decide what their options may be.









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Old 05-03-2017, 10:04 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,352
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
nice lookin bus!.. 90k miles is nothing for an engine, eso if you take good care of it.. I have a T-444E that runs like a champ with 151k on it, ECCB (another forum member ) has one with 212K or something like that and it runs like a champ..

they are very similar to the power-stroke 7.3 that was in the ford trucks.. and those go for 300K plus all the time..

I Totally dig driving a school bus around.. ive driven close to 22K in the last 12 months (between my 2 busses)..

have fun with this!!
-Christopher
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:28 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 11
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 22 +3 wheel chair
Thanks Cadillackid! That is some reassurance! I know diesel generally runs longer, I guess I'm concerned that it wasn't used enough in the 20 years. Coming from the south, especially from a somewhat flat region, then into the hills of the northeast. I doubt the engine has been worked that hard.
-Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:38 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,352
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
being from the south its probably better,(as long as it never over-temped).. in winter with the heaters on the 444-E can barelty stay warm enough.. or if run on short routes it would never warm up... whicb is hard on a diesel, down south that engine likely warmed up to full operating temp every time it was run.

-Christopher
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:45 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,466
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Its really common to have the gauges swapped, I'd wanna VERIFY that mileage.
That said, nice bus!
As Chris pointed out- mine has nearly 16,000 hours and 210,000 miles and runs like a BEAST!
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:23 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,410
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
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That is a nice looking bus. I'm especially jealous of the double doors on the chair lift. Looks like a quad could fit through those doors. Garage in the back?
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:48 PM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ridge Manor, FL
Posts: 107
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B600
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 20 person
odometer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Its really common to have the gauges swapped, I'd wanna VERIFY that mileage.
That said, nice bus!
As Chris pointed out- mine has nearly 16,000 hours and 210,000 miles and runs like a BEAST!
How do you verify the mileage if you don't trust the odometer?
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:57 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,466
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by BowserJournal View Post
How do you verify the mileage if you don't trust the odometer?
Get ahold of the school you got it from and ask about the mileage.
The IC/Navistar gauges are FAMOUS for breaking and the whole cluster gets replaced.
My 1992 has "127k" on the odo. The school were honest and told me it was actually at 237k.
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:04 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 11
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 22 +3 wheel chair
Thanks everyone, As for the back of the bus we intend on that being the bedroom, allowing for some nice scenic views from bed. We plan on a single axle trailer to tow, for the odds and ends. I'll have to make some calls, 4000 hours 90k miles sounds to good!
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:19 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 157
Year: 2000
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 24 + 3 wheel chairs.
That is a beauty of a bus - well done! I am in the process of getting a dolly to tote around my Subaru! I can't wait to get out on the road. We will be looking for you!
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