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Old 06-29-2021, 09:52 PM   #1
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Help!! Buying a 1999 International 3800 T444E

Hello! Me and my girlfriend are new to the site and we are college students that are trying to build a skoolie on a tight budget. We are trying to minimize risk, but I suppose that's every skoolie builder!

This 1999 International 3800 T444E 28' school bus is for sale in our area. The asking price is $4000 and the bus has 270,000 miles and 12,159 hours driven. We have heard that diesel buses can drive for a while but these numbers were definitely pushing our liking. Below are some images we took that had concerned us, like the windows and the tires. Tires are from 2008, and we saw some possible leaks on the windows. And a little leak under the bus which we were told was common on diesel engines.

Our lives rest in your hands, thank you ol wise ones.


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Old 06-29-2021, 10:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,103
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
270K miles might be a bit much. The T444E has a B50 of 350K, which means half of the engines will have required a rebuild by that milestone - 270K is getting kind of close to that. You'd need new tires as those look pretty rough, and even if they looked OK you wouldn't want to be running on ones 13 years old. All new tires will be a couple grand or more.

Most bus windows leak, par for the course.
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Old 06-29-2021, 10:29 PM   #3
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Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
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Year: 2007
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Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Exactly what he^said, high miles on that motor, unless they can show good service and recent repairs, and by the look of those tires service was not their first concern. That’s some of the worst looking tires I’ve seen in a long time. That first tire pic shows how bad the front end may be worn out. Those pics and that price don’t work for me.
Good luck with your search.
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Old 06-30-2021, 02:11 PM   #4
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Location: Houston, TX
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No. Cant swing that. Not to be a bummer.

You can get more for same price or less even. ie: better tires mostly, and lower miles.

Just dont get bus drunk and buy 1st thing you see, hard to do actually. But be ready to strike if somn good pops up as well. You'll know the difference after looking more.
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Old 06-30-2021, 02:27 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,419
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
My bus has 250k on it, but runs great. If it was well maintained I would not walk away due to mileage alone. $4k is a reasonable ask.
What area are you in? Go to the UserCP and fill out your profile with location, it'll help answer your concerns.
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:25 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 454
Year: 1996
Coachwork: AmTran (Now Navistar)
Engine: DT444E (7.3L) International
Rated Cap: 31,800 pounds
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
270K miles might be a bit much. The T444E has a B50 of 350K, which means half of the engines will have required a rebuild by that milestone -
CLOSE but not quite.
B10 and B50 refer to the percent of engines that require MAJOR REPAIR. This COULD be rebuild but is defined as any repair that requires dropping the oil pan or removing the cylinder heads. There are a lot of repairs that fall into that category besides a full rebuild. And the DT444E / 7.3 PowerStroke are considered million mile engines by many.


That said, ancient tires, needs a muffler for sure (that black crud is from holes in the muffler, and I'd think NOT MAINTAINED and probably not run consistently. Which says AVOID.



Lack of consistent maintenance is the DT444E's biggest downfall....... failure to maintain proper coolant "SCA" levels which then leads to expensive internal damage.

I have both the 7.3 Power Stroke (in my F350) and the same block but called the DT444E in my AmTran.
I'd say walk away from this one.
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:15 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,419
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
That guy got his answer the day he posted and hasn't been back since.
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:08 AM   #8
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 454
Year: 1996
Coachwork: AmTran (Now Navistar)
Engine: DT444E (7.3L) International
Rated Cap: 31,800 pounds
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
That guy got his answer the day he posted and hasn't been back since.
Interesting.
I'm in this and a forum for diesels. I'm also on a couple of gun related forums.

I am NOT on that facebook garbage though the GF has the skoolie brand on a bunch of social media including FB.
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Old 09-11-2021, 08:26 AM   #9
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,818
Year: 1991
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
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a lot of people are one-hit wonders.. I dropped several facebook groups and pretty much quit answering PMs on Facebook after the A/C debacle this spring..



as for that triple 4 with 12k hours and 270k, lots of life left in it.. But unless its had impeccable care they should plan on a set of sticks and a whirlygig before long.. maybe an HPOP
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