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Old 07-25-2016, 09:20 AM   #1
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Taking the plunge into bus life this weekend! any inspection advice? DT466

Hey guys!

Beyond excited to have finally made my decision on what bus to get. After creeping on the forums I have decided to go with a 1993 Amtran Genesis DT466 MT643! It has all the goodies including air ride and driveline retarder. It has been partially "converted" by the previous owner and needs to be gutted, but comes with some good conversion items.

I am trading the bus owner my sportster for her, so I'll be driving that down to the border of Texas from the UP! 1223 miles each way.

A few questions for the pros, anything to look for when I'm inspecting the beast? Also, I am told the bus cruises at 2500 rpm at 65 mph. Is that spinning too fast for the DT466? I am reading conflicting info
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:23 AM   #2
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Bad ace! What an adventure, i am excited for you. I am a motorcycle rider too.

Reminds me of the time i drove a Mercedes out in the country to buy an old GMC truck. Came back and sold the Mercedes, never looked back.

Keep the rubber side up!
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:35 AM   #3
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Thanks CTC!

This will be my longest bike ride, I plan on splitting the ride into two 10 hour days. I will update as I go!
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:12 PM   #4
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Good luck, I'm in the lower peninsula. "Birch Run" You have quite a drive ahead of you. I hope you make it back without major difficulty.

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Old 07-25-2016, 10:44 PM   #5
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Sweet bus! I have the same thing only without the retarder.
If it's like mine it will do about 65 at 2500rpm but as I found out the sweet spot is 2400rpm at about 62mph
I had my bus up to 70mph at just over 2700rpm but did not like the sound and began to run a little to warm for my liking.

Sounds like you have the same rearend gearing as I do. 4.78

Things to check: fluids of course including proper SCA additives to coolant, tire date codes and tread wear, brakes including air test (you can google school bus air test), lights including stop, turn signals, and clearance lights.

I would get under the bus and look for any kind of leaks and while under there check the brake lining thickness and slack adjustment. Mine has automatic adjusters but you want to make sure they are functioning.

If you have never driven this kind of bus there is a little learning curve. Your steer tires being behind you requires turning a little bit later than seems natural at first.

Good luck on your trip!! It's kind of an addiction! Love driving my bus around even though all I've really used it for so far is as a big moving van.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:01 AM   #6
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Hey neighbour! I'm up near Soo, Ontario.
Doing it in two days may make it difficult to enjoy the ride at times, but do your best! I took a bike from Ottawa to New Orleans some years back and it was great fun. My friend and I took over a week to go south, stopped in small towns and kept off the Interstate most of the way.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:44 PM   #7
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Milltruckman and jazty, nice to meet you both neighbors. I will take three days if needed. But I need to get back home before too long.

Asetechrail, previous owner is a diesel mechanic and has replaced all fluids and filters. Radiator fluid has the additive. How do I locate the automatic adjusters, and is checking the lining on the pads similar to a car? What do you get for mpg at 62? Awesome to talk to someone with the same rig!
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:10 PM   #8
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Bread519, here is a bendix pdf that has some good information

http://www.drivetrainindustries.com/abtsschoolbus.pdf



Checking brake shoes is easy, just crawl under and take a look. You can use a finger to reach in and check hubs for scoring.



So far I am estimating my mileage at about 12mpg. I used about 25 gallons to go 300 miles. I held pretty steady at 2400rpm 62mph. Temp held well at that speed even up hills. Pushing it further resulted in higher coolant temps than I was comfortable with. I never did hear my fan kick in though so may have a problem with it.


Good luck with your trip! Yes it is good to see another "93" Genesis!
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:18 PM   #9
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Hey awesome info!

Are the brake on our buses made by bendix or is that just universal to all air brake systems?

I'm really excited to hear 12mpg, because that is what he said he got on his last 1200 mile run! That's only 3 less mpg that my 4cyl Toyota motorhomes I've owned!
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:37 PM   #10
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I don't yet have manuals on the Genesis to know all parts. That being said, my bus does have bendix parts.





This is the rear air brake can with the spring brake (for parking brake).

The shaft coming out of the can connects to the slack adjuster. Bendix is a major supplier of brake parts for all different kinds of busses, trucks, ect...

You can't really check the slack on the rear unless you have sufficient air in the system, block wheels, release brakes. Kind of sketchy by yourself! With no air in the system, or low air, the spring brakes automatically apply. Since you are buying from a mechanic he should be able to walk you through it without much trouble.

It's cool all the fluids and filters are new! The school district where I got mine had just done a complete service also. Nice for peace of mind on the drive home.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:18 AM   #11
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I would also recommend that you take more than two days to ride down there. I've done quite a few cross country trips on my bike over the years and while 600+ miles a day can be done I wouldn't recommend it. I'm reminded of a trip from KS to Los Angeles I did all in one go. Took me around 28 hours total and when I rode into my buddies driveway I literally fell over sideways and just laid there for a good half hour before I could get up... Don't worry the bike was fine... Crash bars and all that good stuff. Not a smart move, but I was much younger then...
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:29 AM   #12
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More power to ya man. That's a long ride on a Sportster.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:46 AM   #13
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Yea i am going to second concern to take it gently, especially in this heat. I just spent an entire day and night in bed with chills because i pushed my body too much in this heat. Actually i dont think it was the heat as much as it was the cold ac, then heat, then cold ac.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:20 PM   #14
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After all the votes to take it easy, I'm thinking about buying this small motorcycle trailer locally for $250 (same price as renting one) and then towing my Corolla back with the bus since part of our deal includes a hitch and wiring.

I was pretty excited to ride down, but my bike had 14inch apes (not very comfortable for long rides) and it's supposed to rain down south from Thursday to Monday <.<


So looks like I'll be doing my first "toad load". It will cost a little more in transportation, but the comfort level will be much higher especially if it's pouring rain

Hey you guys are all awesome! Thanks for the advice! I'll keep updating as we go!
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bread519 View Post
After all the votes to take it easy, I'm thinking about buying this small motorcycle trailer locally for $250 (same price as renting one) and then towing my Corolla back with the bus since part of our deal includes a hitch and wiring.

I was pretty excited to ride down, but my bike had 14inch apes (not very comfortable for long rides) and it's supposed to rain down south from Thursday to Monday <.<


So looks like I'll be doing my first "toad load". It will cost a little more in transportation, but the comfort level will be much higher especially if it's pouring rain

Hey you guys are all awesome! Thanks for the advice! I'll keep updating as we go!
You got a manual trans in the corolla?
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:44 PM   #16
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Yup, I used to pull a small molded fiberglass camper with it similar to the Scamp if you've seen those.

The Corolla is a amazing little car, I got 25-27 mpg towing the camper so im hoping I'll get that or better with this tiny one place trailer and my 500 pound sporty.

The Corolla actually has a tow capacity of 1500 pounds, rated from Toyota themselves.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:57 PM   #17
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Yup, I used to pull a small molded fiberglass camper with it similar to the Scamp if you've seen those.

The Corolla is a amazing little car, I got 25-27 mpg towing the camper so im hoping I'll get that or better with this tiny one place trailer and my 500 pound sporty.

The Corolla actually has a tow capacity of 1500 pounds, rated from Toyota themselves.
I know how that is. I tow with a Subaru.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:32 PM   #18
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You'd fit right in here in the UP. It's 80% subaru owners on the road
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:37 PM   #19
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You'd fit right in here in the UP. It's 80% subaru up here
Same way in VT and NH. Subaru seems to be the Official Car of the Great White North.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:39 PM   #20
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I would also recommend that you take more than two days to ride down there. I've done quite a few cross country trips on my bike over the years and while 600+ miles a day can be done I wouldn't recommend it. I'm reminded of a trip from KS to Los Angeles I did all in one go. Took me around 28 hours total and when I rode into my buddies driveway I literally fell over sideways and just laid there for a good half hour before I could get up... Don't worry the bike was fine... Crash bars and all that good stuff. Not a smart move, but I was much younger then...

Haha that's quite the ride! I've done a few 24 hour drives in my Toyota motorhome. But never on a motorcycle. Crazy!
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