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Old 06-30-2019, 10:05 PM   #1
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Newbie question

Iím a total newb when it comes to conversions but Iíve been doing floor plans since I was a kid and was gifted my family 1969 station wagon.

Iím giving serious consideration to this beast.

I have a 2009 International school bus 74 passenger, was planning to do a camper conversion and just don't have the time. The bus is in nice mechanical condition, less than 70k miles, 4100 hrs. It has the MaxForce DT 7.6L diesel engine with an automatic Allison transmission. Air ride suspension, runs nice, only drove it home and never got new tags for it. Now my wife says it is time to go, just reduced the price.

Am I insane for considering it?
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:08 PM   #2
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Reduced to from what?
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:08 PM   #3
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Insane for considering... WHAT, exactly?
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:14 PM   #4
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My apologies, I guess anything in this ďhobbyĒ can be considered insane.
I was wondering if the information supplied was enough to tell if the engine/transmission was sufficient for an RV. Specifically, one that would be able to travel on the highway at least a minimum speed.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:22 PM   #5
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I'm not familiar with the 7.6L MaxxForce in particular, but I can tell you the Class 8 trucks that got the bigger MaxxForce engines (11L-13L) generally stayed in the shop. They were known for a plethora of sensor and other control system issues, mainly emission related.

The 7.6L may or may not have the same issues (not sure if the emission / aftertreatment system is the same), but I can tell you that as an OTR long-haul trucker, a carrier I drove for played musical trucks with me, shuffling me in and out of no less than seven of these atrocities in as many months, until I threatened to quit after the next breakdown.

Can't say for sure that the smaller variants are any better or worse though.

As to the transmission, most any Allison is decent, but a model number would be helpful. The AT545 is okay, the MT643 is better. Not sure an '09 would have either of these though.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:22 PM   #6
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Sorry, don’t know from what but the current asking price is $5600.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpantani View Post
Sorry, donít know from what but the current asking price is $5600.
Is the bus info in your OP a quote from a listing that you are considering? If so "quotes" would have made it more understandable.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:26 PM   #8
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Exactly the type of response I was looking for.
Thanks so much for your input.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Is the bus info in your OP a quote from a listing that you are considering? If so "quotes" would have made it more understandable.
Sorry for the misunderstanding. It was a post Iím considering.

ďI have a 2009 International school bus 74 passenger, was planning to do a camper conversion and just don't have the time. The bus is in nice mechanical condition, less than 70k miles, 4100 hrs. It has the MaxForce DT 7.6L diesel engine with an automatic Allison transmission. Air ride suspension, runs nice, only drove it home and never got new tags for it. Now my wife says it is time to go, just reduced the price.Ē

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:11 PM   #10
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Avoid the MaxxForce engines at all costs. The emissions hardware was just as troublesome as the larger counterparts. Look for something '04 or older.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Avoid the MaxxForce engines at all costs. The emissions hardware was just as troublesome as the larger counterparts. Look for something '04 or older.
Certainly not looking for a money pit.
Thanks for the heads up. I guess Iíll keep looking.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:54 AM   #12
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^ Agreed ^
FYI, OP: 2004 is when the EPA stuck their thumb in the pie. Emission controls...
Can make for an unholy headache. You can do better!
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpantani View Post
Iím a total newb when it comes to conversions but Iíve been doing floor plans since I was a kid and was gifted my family 1969 station wagon.

Iím giving serious consideration to this beast.

I have a 2009 International school bus 74 passenger, was planning to do a camper conversion and just don't have the time. The bus is in nice mechanical condition, less than 70k miles, 4100 hrs. It has the MaxForce DT 7.6L diesel engine with an automatic Allison transmission. Air ride suspension, runs nice, only drove it home and never got new tags for it. Now my wife says it is time to go, just reduced the price.

Am I insane for considering it?
I wouldn't consider a 2009 IC ever.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:36 PM   #14
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Ok guys, thanks for saving me from myself.
Is there a certain chassis, engine, transmission combo that I should be looking for?
For example in my area Iím currently seeing:
2003 bluebird with a Cummins, unknown size,unknown transmission, unknown mileage (iíd get details before looking at it)
2000 international re3000. No details but it probably has a Navistar. Not sure if thatís a deal breaker pre 2004.
Finally a 2002 freightliner/Thomas with a cat 3126 engine.!72k miles.

I appreciate any thoughts. Thanks again for your input.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpantani View Post
Ok guys, thanks for saving me from myself.
Is there a certain chassis, engine, transmission combo that I should be looking for?
For example in my area Iím currently seeing:
2003 bluebird with a Cummins, unknown size,unknown transmission, unknown mileage (iíd get details before looking at it)
2000 international re3000. No details but it probably has a Navistar. Not sure if thatís a deal breaker pre 2004.
Finally a 2002 freightliner/Thomas with a cat 3126 engine.!72k miles.

I appreciate any thoughts. Thanks again for your input.
The only deal breaker for on those is if any of them have an Allison AT545. Navistar makes the DT466E, one of the most desirable engines out there, why would that be a deal breaker? Nothing wrong with Cats, other than cost and availability of service. Don't get excited if you see a really low mileage for a bus that old, MANY have had their dashes replaced early in their life.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:16 PM   #16
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Thanks Marc.
Iím a totally in the weeds when it comes to diesels. I can share my opinions on muscle car motors forever but youíd have better luck explaining nuclear physics to a goat than to teach me about the lineage of diesels.
Folks here have nothing to gain or lose by steering me wrong and I appreciate it.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpantani View Post
Thanks Marc.
Iím a totally in the weeds when it comes to diesels. I can share my opinions on muscle car motors forever but youíd have better luck explaining nuclear physics to a goat than to teach me about the lineage of diesels.
Folks here have nothing to gain or lose by steering me wrong and I appreciate it.
Anything you want to know involving Skoolies is contained on this site. Post your question in the search box, it's a google search that shows results from this site. Read everything related to what you want to know, and then read everything else on this site.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:40 PM   #18
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Will do.
Thanks
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:43 PM   #19
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If I didnít post my original question iíd have a lemon of a school bus parked in my driveway by now.
Thanks everyone.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpantani View Post
Ok guys, thanks for saving me from myself.
Is there a certain chassis, engine, transmission combo that I should be looking for?
For example in my area Iím currently seeing:
2003 bluebird with a Cummins, unknown size,unknown transmission, unknown mileage (iíd get details before looking at it)
2000 international re3000. No details but it probably has a Navistar. Not sure if thatís a deal breaker pre 2004.
Finally a 2002 freightliner/Thomas with a cat 3126 engine.!72k miles.

I appreciate any thoughts. Thanks again for your input.
Best engines-
cummins 8.3
DT466/DT466E
Cat 3126
Cummins 5.9
T444/7.3

That's the order I'd put em in and I'd not own any of them made after 2003/2004.
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