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Old 05-03-2020, 06:01 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Need Opinion: Probably buying tomorrow Allison 2000 or MD

I am making a final decision between these two buses in the next few days. You all have been a lot of help in figuring out what to look for and look out for. For example, a bunch of my options were eliminated because I'll be mountain driving and the buses had 545s.

I'm looking for opinions on these two buses. They both seem fairly equal for my purposes (I'm doing a full build tiny home w/ 100 gallon fresh, etc) but I want to know if I'm missing anything.

They are:

Option #1: 2003 International 3800
Engine: DT466E
Transmission: Allison 2000
194,000 miles.

Pros: Professionally maintained until covid; was hauling kids until schools shut down. Passed inspection 2019. Service records. 6'6 ceiling (might not need a roof raise). A little less expensive.

Cons: No underbelly storage or side emergency door.

Option #2: 2004 International 3800
Engine: DT466E
Transmission: Allison MD3060.
200,000 miles.

Pros: Fleet maintained until early 2019, understorage, side emergency door, MD3060.

Cons: Owners possibly not actively maintaining them, though they drive them once a month, more expensive, 6'1 ceilings (might need a roof raise).
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:13 PM   #2
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I'd go for #1
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:15 PM   #3
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I'd go for #1
Thanks! Can you walk me through your thoughts? I'm still learning.
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:17 PM   #4
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less expensive. More headroom. no EGR leading the engine to an early death.
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:21 PM   #5
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Did EGR start in 2004 or something?
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:24 PM   #6
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yeah. I had an 04 with no egr but most have them.
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:31 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks! I went ahead and asked the seller.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:13 PM   #8
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ECCB is right - beyond the differences between these two options, the deciding factor I'd be looking at is whether either or both have EGR which adds ownership costs and reduces reliability. The turning point for school buses was around 2004 because the EPA encouraged schools to early adopt the upcoming EPA2007 diesel emissions standards. Things like undercarriage storage can be easily constructed and unless your floorplan specifically requires a side door many people find them a hindrance to the execution of their vision. The taller ceiling is also a very strong pro unless a roof raise was always going to be part of the plan.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:36 PM   #9
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US: Heavy-duty: Emissions | Transport Policy

The US has phased in progressively more stringent regulations for diesel engines since the 70s. The big one starting in 2004 was a significant reduction in the standard for NOx emissions (the stuff that causes smog), which led to the introduction of EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) which was the bane of many bus mechanics' existences (and of skooliers who buy buses from 2004 or later).

One article I read some time ago said companies generally phased in the changes on their assembly lines throughout the calendar year 2003, with some companies starting in late 2002 and some in early 2004. There's a lag of some time between when an engine is built and when it ends up in a bus, so with a 2003 or 2004 you probably can't tell if it has the EGR just from the year (although a 2003 probably doesn't and a 2004 probably does).

I thought the DT466 changed its name to the MaxxForce when the emissions controls were added (I don't know if that's the case) so perhaps the 2004 is an emissions-free engine, in which case I guess the 3060 tranny gives it the edge. I'd still go with #1 since it's fine and cheaper.
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:11 PM   #10
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Thank you all! I confirmed that the 2003 does not have EGR, but have not yet heard from the 2004 seller.
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
US: Heavy-duty: Emissions | Transport Policy

The US has phased in progressively more stringent regulations for diesel engines since the 70s. The big one starting in 2004 was a significant reduction in the standard for NOx emissions (the stuff that causes smog), which led to the introduction of EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) which was the bane of many bus mechanics' existences (and of skooliers who buy buses from 2004 or later).

One article I read some time ago said companies generally phased in the changes on their assembly lines throughout the calendar year 2003, with some companies starting in late 2002 and some in early 2004. There's a lag of some time between when an engine is built and when it ends up in a bus, so with a 2003 or 2004 you probably can't tell if it has the EGR just from the year (although a 2003 probably doesn't and a 2004 probably does).

I thought the DT466 changed its name to the MaxxForce when the emissions controls were added (I don't know if that's the case) so perhaps the 2004 is an emissions-free engine, in which case I guess the 3060 tranny gives it the edge. I'd still go with #1 since it's fine and cheaper.
No 04 is just a regular DT466E but with EGR. If THAT timing cover goes out its even more expensive than a non-egr one.
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:26 PM   #12
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Year: 2001
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Chassis: HDX/MVP ER
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I thought the DT466 changed its name to the MaxxForce when the emissions controls were added (I don't know if that's the case) so perhaps the 2004 is an emissions-free engine, in which case I guess the 3060 tranny gives it the edge. I'd still go with #1 since it's fine and cheaper.
The DT466 was not called the Maxxforce DT until 2007. 2004 saw the introduction of 4 valves per cylinder, EGR, and variable vane turbochargers similar to the 6.0's. The oldest buses still in the fleet I previously worked for ran like champions and had the emissions controls (minus DPFs), one bus had 430,000 miles on it. My boss said the change over to the Maxxforce DT saw a huge downturn in reliability and notably most of those are now retired while the several of the DT466s still roll on.

Personally I'd opt for Bus #1 for it's higher roof.
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