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Old 09-13-2020, 11:19 PM   #1
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Is this worth the time to build

I went and looked at this bus and am set to buy it tomorrow but am struggling to ID the transmission to make sure it's worth it. It's listed as a 2001 Blue Bird Thomas with a CAT 3126 and 210K miles, full size 37 feet long. Mechanically the bus is sound with all maintenance records and the body is solid as well with no rust except some scattered stuff on the inside floor. The seats and subfloor have been pulled and there are a couple scattered rust spots on the floor which measure less than 12" diameter, but from underneath the frame and all components look great. I tried to ID the transmission when I looked at it but was unable, and with the VIN was unable to do so as well. The guy accepted an offer of $4000 so I want to check with people that actually know their stuff before I take on the project. The VIN is 1GDL7T1C8YJ521407. My plan is to build it out to live aboard full-time and off-grid at times while possibly flat towing something small or hauling my motorcycle. I am super excited to start this project but want to start off on the right foot. Thank you in advance! Hopefully this was the right place to post this
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,364
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
It is most likely an Allison AT545, the least desirable trans for your application.
Do you remember if it had a stick shift on the dash, or a push button digital pad?
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:31 PM   #3
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It was a stick shifter, not sure if that helps.
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:33 PM   #4
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by HartelClan View Post
It was a stick shifter, not sure if that helps.
It does help, most likely the AT 545, Consider your options after reviewing more on this forum about that tranny.
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:50 PM   #5
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Damn! Thanks for the info, I had read about that tranny through numerous posts here and was hopeful it was something else but was struggling with getting the ID.
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:58 PM   #6
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Here is some basic info on trans ID that should apply to most... Don't guess yourself out of a good egg before you know for sure. Some of this can be done from inside, some of it requires crawling under. I've noticed some newer ones (Thomas, I believe) will have trans ID with other pertinent info on a decal on the interior front roof cap. I've personally seen some 3126 Cat engines with MD3060s, just not sure if an '01 would have such a trans. Those are a digital keypad, but a stick shifter does not GUARANTEE an AT545. Check first.

Allison Trans ID.png
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:36 AM   #7
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Thank you, I will have to get in there and take a closer look.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:19 AM   #8
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,797
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
a stick shifter does not GUARANTEE an AT545.
My 2000-series (on a 2002 IC) has a stick shifter.
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:00 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,088
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
Rated Cap: 75
MT643 and some 3060's have T handle shifters so that by itself is not a reliable indicator of transmission type.
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:24 PM   #10
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Location: Central Alabama
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC/2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12-valve
Rated Cap: 1
There should be a metal label on the right side (passenger side in a normal vehicle) of the transmission that will have the exact model and will include the serial number. Most of the time they are covered in some grime so a rag will be needed to clean it off. Also the form you posted and on the Blue Bird portal, says this is a hydraulic brake system. If you wanted an air brake system, keep looking.
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