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Old 10-12-2017, 10:30 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Year: '91
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 71
Exclamation Prospect Checklist

I know this is ABC-123's for you old timers/been all around this worlders, but some of us less experienced guys and gals might benefit from a compiled list of quick checks when looking at possible new prospects.

Some things might seem like a given to most of the regulars but maybe some of us new birds don't know that the "gizmo knob" on the International is a lot harder to find and replace than expected. I know to check the headlight fluid but I'm looking for an obvious/not-so-obvious compilation of hints & tidbits.

Tomorrow I will be looking at a '90 International 7.3IDI-AT454 and could use all the help that I can get.

Example: how does one know if the 7.3 IDI has SCA/DCA in it to ease cavitation? Are records the only way to tell or is there another cheat code?

...things a newbie needs to keep an eye out for

in advance
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:03 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
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Originally Posted by Pygmy Yeti View Post
I know this is ABC-123's for you old timers/been all around this worlders, but some of us less experienced guys and gals might benefit from a compiled list of quick checks when looking at possible new prospects.

Some things might seem like a given to most of the regulars but maybe some of us new birds don't know that the "gizmo knob" on the International is a lot harder to find and replace than expected. I know to check the headlight fluid but I'm looking for an obvious/not-so-obvious compilation of hints & tidbits.

Tomorrow I will be looking at a '90 International 7.3IDI-AT454 and could use all the help that I can get.

Example: how does one know if the 7.3 IDI has SCA/DCA in it to ease cavitation? Are records the only way to tell or is there another cheat code?

...things a newbie needs to keep an eye out for

in advance
There are SCA test strips to test coolant., make sure they are fresh (really) can get from Napa.

7.3 idi is a reliable dog that will burn anything oily. AT454 is really a AT545.

The stuff you want to check will be obvious, but people are emotional creatures and fall in love with a vehicle despite that inner voice.

1) Don't try to save a rustbucket. Move along....many buses in the Sea.

2) Desirable drivetrain- sure you can swap-out that AT545 for a lockup trans, but it's mucho work- see turf's thread- That motor will always be a dog, but it is simple to work on- I have one in a ambulance RV. Your rig won't tow nor be a mountain goat.

3) Tires are expensive. Even with a lot of tread, age kills them- they have a DOT date code- read it and weep. Wheel types: Hub piloted or stud-piloted?

4) Stuff seller says is simple fix, usually isn't.

Welcome !! Pay-up initially for a good foundation bus and you will be happier in the long run. Many, many many buses out there with good life left in them.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:40 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 71
Thanks for your response, Rusty.

Another question: How long should one run a bus in order to get to a good hot operating temperature? I assume a normal gas car/truck is easier and quicker to get to operating temp/time to feel/hear any problems.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:08 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
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Engine: 5.9L Cummins
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Originally Posted by Pygmy Yeti View Post
Thanks for your response, Rusty.

Another question: How long should one run a bus in order to get to a good hot operating temperature? I assume a normal gas car/truck is easier and quicker to get to operating temp/time to feel/hear any problems.
Depends on air temperature how long to warm-up, but in my experience I like to hear a cold diesel start-up and can tell pretty quickly what she's got going-on. Diesels are rugged beast if you feed them clean fuel and air. Watch the exhaust to see the color/amount of smoke. Check oil for milkshake. Kick tires and mumble to yourself.

The IDI's have a few quirks- only use Motorcraft or Beru glow plugs or else WISH you did- $100 DIY job. Neglect the glow plugs and you get to buy a new glow plug controller/relay. The return lines have a braided hose that deteriorates and lets air into the system, loosing prime. The DIY kit to repair is $50 w/ O-rings & metric hose.

IDI isn't a fast engine, but immensely cheaper to repair than modern crap.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:08 PM   #5
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You can buy a good bus with new tires for the same money as a bus with worn tire.

Crawl under the bus and look around. Just because the rear exhaust pipe sticking out looks new doesn't meant it will be the same underneath. $ BIG BUCKS?

I think that most black shocks are the original factory shocks.$175.00 FOR 4 SHOCKS. Look for leaks. Check on how old batteries are if possible$350.00
Check air brake hoses for cracks.
Look under rear wheel wells for rust as well as rest of floor.
While on test drive if possible pull into parking lot with engine running get out and do a walk around and see if you are getting Drips.
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