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Old 10-27-2005, 07:52 PM   #1
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Feedback on Ward's AmTran skoolies

I am comtemplating the purchase of an AmTran School Bus built on an International chassis. It has a DT 360, yeah, I know but where are all the 466's? If anyone has any experience with an AmTran and has knowledge of the quality level of these buses, I would appreciate it.
Thanks
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1993 Amtran (Ward) 77 Passenger body on an International frame. DT360, Allison 545 AT. The avatar is my first skoolie, "The Rocket" may it Rust In Peace. Follow the links at the bottom to see the horrible details at http://www.gentlekharma.com
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:22 PM   #2
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Here is a link to some good info on the history of Ward/AmTran/IC. You might also want to talk with Greg since he has been working with school buses for a long time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Body_Company
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Old 10-31-2005, 10:48 AM   #3
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Bought the AmTran

Well, I made the trip to Minnesota this weekend and took delivery of the AmTran bus. The International DT360 surprised me by providing 65 mph+ on the highway at between 2700 to 3000 rpm. Can anyone tell me if this is usual for a 360? The bus doesn't like big hills but nothing I can't deal with. The handling and road stability impressed me when we hit the twists and turns of the Ozarks plateau in south central Missouri. Good to know since that's where I live! The AmTran has lots of head room (which was one the the reasons I chose it), 6' 5" from ceiling to floor so even with the addition of roof air there shouldn't be any head wounds. Since the bus is from Minnesota there are some rust issues but there isn't that much and it is all cosmetic. All in all, not a bad $2600 investment since I saw another just like on eBay for $3900. This is going to be a fun conversion project. Thanks to Michael at The Mobile Homestead, I've learned a lot just by following his conversion exploits online. His site is worth a look.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:54 AM   #4
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The 466's i've seen in a couple of school buses here were only rated for 10 (or was is 20?) hp more than my Dt360.

They are virtually the same motor so the 360 is very reliable. Another little bit of trivia: I've been told that international measures the hp at the rear wheels. so my 170 hp Dt360 runs circles around my old 180 hp 6.6 litre/400 cu ford (which was measured at the crank)

The 360 is better on fuel than the 466. both are very inexpensive to rebuild if they ever get to that point.

The DT466 has huge horsepower potential.....in the neighborhood of 250 hp or so. I don't know what a 360 will produce if it's "turned up". With my stock non intercooled 360 i can pull away from cars at a stoplight if they are driving normal speed. Redline is about 3,100 rpm. I run mine at 2,700 rpm all day long when i can afford the fuel. 2,700 rpm = 65 mph. 2,500 rpm = 60 mph. The engine consumes 1 mpg more fuel at 65. Fuel economy runs between 6.5 and 7.5 mpg in my bus with a ~5.56:1 rear and allison at545 auto trans.
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Old 10-31-2005, 01:02 PM   #5
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Surprising DT360

Yes, I was very leary of the 360 having had friends complain that their skoolies were doomed to 55 mph. max. I had the seller assure me twice that the bus would do 65 no prob or I would even bother to make the trip to MN. I know that the 360 and the 466 have the potential for quite a variance in the power output depending on how they are set up, injectors, pump pressure, etc. Some buses are also governed to a slower speed, What a Drag! Thanks for the feedback and I've always dug the flame paint job on your bus.
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Old 11-01-2005, 10:22 AM   #6
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65 plenty fast

When I think about, 65 mph is really fast enough for anyone's living room!
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1993 Amtran (Ward) 77 Passenger body on an International frame. DT360, Allison 545 AT. The avatar is my first skoolie, "The Rocket" may it Rust In Peace. Follow the links at the bottom to see the horrible details at http://www.gentlekharma.com
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Old 11-01-2005, 03:20 PM   #7
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Where in Minnesota did you get it??
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:22 PM   #8
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Shakopee, Minnesota

I bought it in Shakopee, Minnesota from a nice guy named Dan.
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Old 11-03-2005, 05:09 PM   #9
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I'm a couple hours north of there. Our bus company up here (and also from the twin cities area where you got your bus) was selling a blat-nosed Blue Bird last fall for about $2k. I was seriously thinking about it. I even test drove it.
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