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Old 11-23-2020, 07:22 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 33
Year: 2002
Coachwork: INTERNATIONAL
Engine: DT466
Can you find out engine from VIN?

I’m looking at a 91 international bluebird
The seller isn’t sure of the engine or transmission
It runs and drives but we’re planning on being in the mountains so we don’t want to end up with a bus that can’t handle it. I’ve heard of people finding out more info using the VIN is that true? If so I’m looking in the wrong places, is there a website for this? Do I need to call Bluebird? Would they even tell me?
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:24 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,379
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
online VIN decoders will tell you the engine but not the transmission. for International, an IH dealer (if they are nice) can tell you the engine, transmission, rear gears, and tire size that the bus was factory built with with the last 8 digits of the VIN
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:25 PM   #3
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Location: Virginia
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Dealer should be able to, but a 91 may be older than they can look up. Most Internationals will have a badge on the hood with the engine ID. DT360, DT466, T444, DT408, etc.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:34 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 33
Year: 2002
Coachwork: INTERNATIONAL
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
online VIN decoders will tell you the engine but not the transmission. for International, an IH dealer (if they are nice) can tell you the engine, transmission, rear gears, and tire size that the bus was factory built with with the last 8 digits of the VIN
Thank you I used the US Department of Transportation website to check the vin and it doesnít say an engine type. But it also says ďincomplete chassisĒ what would that mean?
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:36 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Indianapolis, IN
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: INTERNATIONAL
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Dealer should be able to, but a 91 may be older than they can look up. Most Internationals will have a badge on the hood with the engine ID. DT360, DT466, T444, DT408, etc.
This one doesnít unfortunately, Iíll try a dealer fingers crossed
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:40 PM   #6
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Location: Virginia
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Incomplete chassis is normal. That just means the bus was an incomplete truck chassis supplied by International for Blue Bird, Ward, Thomas, etc. There may also be a decal on the engine somewhere identifying the engine as well.
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:59 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,379
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
My 91 is on IH computers , the hood badges didn’t seem to start till like 93 or 94 with the engine ID.

A heavy duty vin decoder on line will show engine.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:07 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 33
Year: 2002
Coachwork: INTERNATIONAL
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
My 91 is on IH computers , the hood badges didnít seem to start till like 93 or 94 with the engine ID.

A heavy duty vin decoder on line will show engine.
Ok I typed in ďheavy duty vin deciderĒ and used Gates.com
It comes up as : ď2021 International 3700 DT444Ē
But we know itís a Ď91 so idk what to make of that?
Iíll try calling International tomorrow
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:14 PM   #9
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Location: Virginia
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Decoders can be wrong. One recently decoded a bus delivered new in 1982 as a 2012. A pic of the engine can help members here in ID'ing it.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:20 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
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Year: 2002
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Engine: DT466
Yeah thatís the second website Iíve had direct me to the 2021 with the DT444
The rest came up 1991 but didnít have the engine at all unfortunately, I also messaged the seller to ask if he could look under the hood for a decal on the engine, so hopefully he or the dealer can help more tomorrow
Thanks for the help to you both!
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:46 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Engine: DT466
Ok I did a little more digging and found one vin decoder that was able to tell me it’s a 7.3L v8 engine - looks like it would have to be the International Harvester IDI (I have not heard of) based on the year it was produced
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inte..._Harvester_IDI
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:50 PM   #12
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7.3 IDI is the stuff of legends. T444 by another name. Very good engine. Now to verify the transmission. If it's over 26,000 GVWR, seats over 16, and / or has air brakes, a CDL will technically be required to drive it home. Just giving you a heads up.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:54 PM   #13
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Engine: DT466
Yes!!! Woohoo! Just praying not the AT545 & that international will actually take my call lol, thank you I’m not confident in driving a bus anyway just yet but my dad has a cdl and will bring it home and teach me to drive it when we have it changed to a RV
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:18 PM   #14
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Join Date: May 2016
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Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
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I picked up a similar bus for another member, a '91 IH 7.3 IDI non-turbo engine with AT545. Reliable runner, but limited in highway power and top speed. Topped out at 60 - downhill, maintained 55 on flats, dropped to 45 up gentle inclines. He drove it back to Michigan, no idea what he did with it after that.
A turbo version of this engine will have considerably more highway power.
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:24 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 33
Year: 2002
Coachwork: INTERNATIONAL
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I picked up a similar bus for another member, a '91 IH 7.3 IDI non-turbo engine with AT545. Reliable runner, but limited in highway power and top speed. Topped out at 60 - downhill, maintained 55 on flats, dropped to 45 up gentle inclines. He drove it back to Michigan, no idea what he did with it after that.
A turbo version of this engine will have considerably more highway power.
Dang Iím hopeful itís not the same one! I am terrified of the AT545 from all the posts on here people seem to have lots of issues with those. But it is in Michigan currently, although the seller wasnít aware of the engine or transmission type & it sounds like the guy you sold it to would have know ... he said itís a Texas bus but he bought it off his brother in law? I guess itís possible
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:42 PM   #16
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Trans and rear gear ratio are both important, especially if you plan to drive it on the interstate. Typical skoolies have rear gears in the 4.88-5.29-6.13 range. Incapable of much over 50 mph with a diesel and a 4-speed without pushing the engine too hard.
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:40 AM   #17
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 2,081
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
You can use this for bluebirds. I've used it several times to look up bus specs like engine serial numbers, transmission serial numbers, axle ratios, etc.

Unit Dashboard | Portal

Not sure how far back it goes, it doesn't have mine and it's a 1984 model.
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:48 AM   #18
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 2,081
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
As said by others, the 7.3 idi is pretty reliable, I have a 6.9 in mine, which was the first series of the IDI engines made by international.

If you buy this, you better be handy, because most repairs are going to have to be performed by yourself, being that the engine is close to 30 years old. Most mechanics wouldn't have a clue about them.

There are turbo kits available. Hypermax makes one that is bolt on for the s-series internationals. Yours being a 3800, it will be very similar. Oilburners.net would have more info on this engine and turbokits.

This likely has an at545, and if so, it's not the end of the world. Mine has an at545 and shifts just fine. The IDI engines have a power band that is higher then most, which is beneficial to longevity of the at545. Just make sure the modulator cable by the gas pedal is adjusted correctly, most aren't which leads to an early death of any transmission.
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:11 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 33
Year: 2002
Coachwork: INTERNATIONAL
Engine: DT466
Thank you we were considering adding a turbo if price allows, but good to know about the transmission & modulator cable tip.

About the mechanics turning away from older models, do you think most of them would turn away from any bus pre-emissions? Or just one from 1991 rather than say 2001? I wouldn’t say we’re super handy but we can learn we’ve worked on & replaced car engines successfully a few times but I was planning on having any serious work we may need done by a professional to be safe.
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:21 PM   #20
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,379
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
alot of it is just experience.. if you find a shop with some old timers then they will easily work on older mechanical engines.. the newer younger guys learn the modern stuff and how to troubleshoot with computers and electronics vs troubleshooting a diesel at the mechanical level.. ie setting injector timing, and bleeding lines at the pump, etc..



the 7.3 IDI is a good runner but parts arent as common as they are for the 'powerstroke 7.3' which dominates about any search on the interwebds for "7.3 diesel"..



while theres likely still a few running around in service.. there are near as many as say the 2001 year range (which many trucks and busses from 01 are still on active service).. not as many from 93 and older..
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