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Old 07-16-2016, 12:05 AM   #1
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Engine and Transmission combo for towing

After much research I have decided that a Skoolie is the way to go for me. I plan to travel the U.S. with my wife and 6 kids so I would like to tow a van on a flatbed trailer. I also prefer a flat nose 40'. Is there an engine/transmission combo that would be able to do it?

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Old 07-16-2016, 01:45 AM   #2
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A converted 40' skoolie, eight people (and their stuff) and 7500 lbs of trailer? I'd want nothing less than a DT466, 8.3L Cummins or one of later ISB (6.7L)or ISC (8.9 L) Cummins. Pretty much any tranny that is in the bus will handle the load. I would aim for one of Allison's 1000, 2000, 2500 or 3000 series trannies. I would avoid Allison's AT545 (no lockup torque converter).

This rig will not be a screamer and will be slow up steep grades.

Good luck!
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:03 AM   #3
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Are there any other Engine and Transmission combo's that will work or should I look until I find this one?
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:50 PM   #4
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There are several currently up for sale. Where are you looking?
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:36 PM   #5
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I am in Indiana.

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Old 07-28-2016, 03:59 PM   #6
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All the diesel pushers currently listed on govdeals by Walker County, GA (400mi from Indianapolis) seem to have the Cummins 8.3 and Allison AT. Give the number a call and see if they can't tell you the trannies. An MT643, 1000, 2000, 2500 or 3000 series tranny would be ideal. All are overdriven except the MT643.

Good luck!

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...timingWithin=1
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:54 PM   #7
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What is a C7 engine? Will it work for my needs?

Is a 466e the same as a DT466?

What is the difference between the 1000, 2000 and 3000?

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Old 08-08-2016, 11:46 PM   #8
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The C7 is Caterpillar's replacement for the 3126 (which was the replacement for the 3116). It's an electronically controlled 7.2L engine. It is not designed with wet sleeves. This means the engine can not be rebuilt in place. Caterpillar parts are proprietary, must be purchased from a Cat dealer and tend to be more expensive than other manufacturer's parts. It's a serviceable engine. Many here have Cat engines in their skoolies. You will read a few horror stories though.

The DT466e is the "upgrade" for the 7.6L (466 c.i.) DT466. It is electronically controlled, slightly more powerful & efficient and cleaner burning. The DT466 series is arguably one of the top two preferred engines generally installed in school buses in the last 30 years (along with Cummins' 8.3L C-Series). The DT466e has more moving parts than it's predecessors. Parts tend to be a bit pricier as well.

The Allison transmission series 1000, 2000 & 3000 are 5/6 speed automatics with overdrive. The differences of interest to skoolies are horsepower & torque limits. If it came in the bus with the engine, it's fine. These are generally the preferred automatics installed in school buses in the last 25 years.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:54 AM   #9
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I looked at a bus today with a DT466e and the MD3060 transmission. Can someone give me their thoughts on the transmission and the combo?

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Old 08-19-2016, 11:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Bolt View Post
I looked at a bus today with a DT466e and the MD3060 transmission. Can someone give me their thoughts on the transmission and the combo?
"Yes".

I'd buy it. Looks like you're from Indiana? Check thoroughly for rust. Pretty much any variant of the DT466 should serve you well. Check for coolant in the oil (usually indicates cylinder liner seals leaking, rebuild in order to fix) but aside from that, I believe these engines can go a million miles if properly cared for.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Bolt View Post
I looked at a bus today with a DT466e and the MD3060 transmission. Can someone give me their thoughts on the transmission and the combo?

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DT466 & MD3060.... RUN AWAY!!! But first tell me where it is?

Seriously, there are a number of folks that prefer the mechanical version of the DT466. Other than that it is near a dream drivetrain for me.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:27 AM   #12
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Do the MD3060'S come with 6th gear locked out like I've heard about on other models?

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Old 08-19-2016, 12:54 PM   #13
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usually 6t is locked out... at least I havent seen a bus that as 6th turned on... ive never known the reasons why but seems to be the case..

-Christopher
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:25 PM   #14
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Good to know about the 3126 Cat not being wet sleeved. Is it better to flat tow a vehicle (more wear and tear on tires and such) or tow on a trailer but have the extra weight of the trailer?. I want to tow my 5 speed diesel Beetle.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:34 PM   #15
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a lot has to do with the tow instructions for your vehicle too... some cannot be flat towed because of issues with parts of the drivetrain spinning and not being lubricated... I rarely see an RV towing a car on a trailer.. seems they almost always flat tow their cars... same with school bus drivers picking up new busses.. they tow their car flat behind...

ive never done it myself so I dont know how things like backing, turning etc are when a car is flat towed... with a trailer it can be a bit tough because the trailer wheel base is very short and the bus is very long... and with the bus over-hang it seems it would be easy to have the trailer turn way too much compared to the bus when backing... bt maybe theres rarely a reason to back a rig like that...

-Christopher
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:37 PM   #16
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RVs generally have very light frames at the back end. Buses like MCI's or the old GMs are unibody and don't have much to support a hitch.

My 97 international 3800 has a 10"x3", 1/4 wall channel frame clear to the bumper.
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