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Old 12-11-2020, 01:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Needing wisdom from the experts...

I dream of a skoolie all day long and I have finally convinced my husband its time to go for it. Were both very hands on people so I feel confident we can do the build, were just lacking expertise on bus mechanics and what bus would be best. Were intending on buying a large bus to also fit our two young children. We plan on driving the bus (while stopping along the way) from Ontario to British Columbia to re-locate. Right now were looking at a 2003 International with a t444e and Allison transmission. New brakes and tires. Safetied a couple months ago and has 394,403km. Would this be a good bus to consider for my family and our intended purpose?
Any wisdom is greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 300
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126b 210hp
Rated Cap: 48
Im a fan of the 444.

What transmission? The AT545 might not be a good one for those hills between you and BC.

Good busses can be had with less than 300,000km.

Also, do they use salt on the roads in the area that the bus comes from? You will need to check for rust if so.

2 cents!

Peace
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:24 AM   #3
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Your 2 cents is appreciated, thank-you!!
I’m trying to get more info on the transmission. I was just told an Allison. I’ve read some can be bad for hills/mountain driving, do you have any suggestions of transmission that would do well?
They use salt on the roads in Ontario. It’s seeming difficult to find a bus in Ontario without some rust underneath. Is there certain areas underneath I should really watch out for?
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:16 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 300
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126b 210hp
Rated Cap: 48
Around here I gather that the Allison MD3060 & MT643 are the best. An Allison 2000 series is also good. I have the 3060. It can be identified by a push button shifter on the dash. Others here can identify other shifters if you have a pic of the dashboard?

Im not a rust expert. Google:

Skoolie.net Too much rust

Skoolie.net look for rust

Etc.

The search function on this website sux so this is the way I search.

Good luck!
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Old 12-12-2020, 01:29 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 637
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
The 7.3 is a fine engine, I consider that to be high mileage and would be looking for something with less but if it’s been well serviced and can be documented it may fit your needs. Definitely confirm what transmission is in it, the mountains here can kill them and you fast. Many Ontario spec buses were lower spec with that motor, 2000 trans and hydraulic brakes, in my opinion lower spec Buses because of knowing they can rust out long before they wear out mechanically. Confirm hydraulic or air brakes! Ask lots of questions, get lots of pics and view in person, this bus will be rusty.
Good luck.
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