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Old 06-30-2020, 03:19 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 4
Exclamation Engines and Transmissions?

I don't know squat about engines of transmissions.
Poking around here, I notice a communal distain for the vt365, and looks like people like the DT466 and T444E
Well, it's all greek to me.
I'm asking for an overview of engines and trannys and...possibly...the general price range of solid buses.
SO. MANY. OPTIONS. Dog-nose, Flat-nose, small-size, mid-size, long, auction, craigslist my goodness where to start!?
I decided I want a mid-size bus; maybe dog-nosed (does that make them easier to work on??) And are there different engines in a dog nose vs. flat nose? WHY do I want a DT466 Engine??? Do I need to learn all the engines before I find the right one for me??

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Old 06-30-2020, 03:59 PM   #2
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,619
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the biggest thing first is let us know your plans for the bus.. is it a tiny home parked for 98% of the time? a weekend warrior RV that goes a few miles to the lake every couple weeks? or a cross country cruiser traversing mountains, flatlands, all year round?

lots of good engines / transmissions (and some bad ones) but they are purpose built.. each has its high and low points for various use cases..
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:14 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Wild Wild West
Posts: 691
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
EDIT: ^^^^ - What Christopher just said, he just said it more efficiently than I did, and apparently he types faster than me too!

The first question to ask yourself is, Intended purpose.
For me, I plan on using it like its an RV. RV parks, plug in most nights, stop and stay in relatives driveway. Live in it when traveling, but not my fulltime residence.

How many people/animals will be living in here with me.
I will have myself, wife, and youngest son for a few more years. After that, just 2 of us.

Will you be mobile, lots of road time, or light driving and more stationary time.
I plan on about 50-50.

Will you be hanging out away from civilization, driving down forest service roads, and over the top of mountains?
Mine will be a pavement princess, very little dirt in her future.

Will you be staying to one area of the country, or traveling every road and highway you can?
We plan to be all over the North America map.

Towing anything behind?
We will be towing our car on a trailer, or flat towing the Escalade, depends on the purpose of each specific trip.

There are so many other things to consider before you decide which model bus is right to begin with.

If you're going to tow, bigger engine. If you plan on freeway speeds, trans with overdrive. If you plan on boondocking, more roof space for solar array. If you plan on forest service roads, shorter wheel base/more ground clearance is better. If you are hyper hygiene conscious, lots of water and plenty of floor space for a bathroom is a must. The more people and animals you have, the bigger the bus you will want. If you don't have access to a money tree, older mechanical engines are cheaper (not cheap) to fix vs newer computer controlled models.

I had no intention of building a bus, it just landed in my lap. But what landed in my lap is about 90% exactly what I would have been looking for. 40' rear engine 8.3L Cummins, MD3060 trans. The few things I am missing are more head room, an engine retarder, and road A/C. Each of those things are solvable issues with some $$$ and work.

Welcome to the most time consuming, chaotic, rewarding thing you will probably ever do in your life!
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:47 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
plfking's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: N.C.
Posts: 1,136
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 34
Originally Posted by JackE View Post
EDIT: ^^^^ - What Christopher just said, he just said it more efficiently than I did, and apparently he types faster than me too!
He's a codewright.......probably types faster than 99% of the human race.

The Busted Flush
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:36 PM   #5
Almost There
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Quaker Hill CT
Posts: 74
Year: 2004
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE200
Welcome to the rabbit hole!

The wealth of information and support here is mind boggling. Apparently some folks never let a keyboard out of their hands, they respond so promptly. Iíve learned a ton, created a yes/no bus/transmission chart, and been gently talked out of a few buses because I had to think hard about what I wanted to do with my bus. Read and listen carefully, and donít hesitate to ask questions.

I canít do links yet on my phone, but check my threads to compile the engine transmission list. I find Craigslist to be a pain, but better than Facebook Marketplace which I have no patience for. Tons of dealers and sales places. After you start to narrow down size, start Google searching.

Good luck!
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:07 AM   #6
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,619
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Ugh facebook market place.. !!
Been trying to buy 2 busses this year from there.. one a classsic id love to have but the sellers never respond.(Not that I need any more busses .).. Wierd when someone has cash in hand and wants to buy what you have for sale but they won’t even answer...
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