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Old 08-21-2019, 10:12 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Exclamation Should I buy!?

Hi there,

My husband and I are are uncertain whether we should buy this bus any thoughts?

Our desires:
Pull a car (small to midsized)
Mid to full size bus
Cheaper Repairs
Low mileage

The school bus:
$4,500
5.9 Cummins
Owner is unsure on transmission
120k miles
blue bird
2001 make

My worries: Not enough horsepower to tow a car plus its a full size school bus....

Thoughts?
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:33 AM   #2
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Welcome,

You have a valid concern regarding power. The 5.9 is great in a shorty but not ideal in a full size bus.

Transmission is critical. If it has an AT-545 I would keep looking. If it has the MD-3060 it may be worth considering.

If I planned to tow a car, and do some serious traveling, I would hold out for a Cummins 8.3 or Navistar DT-466 and something other than the AT-545 transmission.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:36 AM   #3
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Is the bus a TC/2000? if so it will have the AT545. I have one and it's fine for me but I am not and would not tow a car with it.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:35 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Welcome,

You have a valid concern regarding power. The 5.9 is great in a shorty but not ideal in a full size bus.

Transmission is critical. If it has an AT-545 I would keep looking. If it has the MD-3060 it may be worth considering.

If I planned to tow a car, and do some serious traveling, I would hold out for a Cummins 8.3 or Navistar DT-466 and something other than the AT-545 transmission.
Great thanks for the advice. I keep reading on here that the ideal engine is DT466 however I have lots of options around me for DT466e or DT466 after 2004. Any thoughts on if its worth looking for an older bus (original DT644) or good to go with the electronic versions?
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Is the bus a TC/2000? if so it will have the AT545. I have one and it's fine for me but I am not and would not tow a car with it.
I'm not sure but based on what you guys said I don't think that this would be for me anyways! I'm going to look onto more horsepower.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:17 PM   #6
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DT466 after 2000 became a much more fragile engine than earlier years.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
DT466 after 2000 became a much more fragile engine than earlier years.
I'm feeling a little lost on the best choice. Do you have any suggestions?
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ejboyed View Post
Great thanks for the advice. I keep reading on here that the ideal engine is DT466 however I have lots of options around me for DT466e or DT466 after 2004. Any thoughts on if its worth looking for an older bus (original DT644) or good to go with the electronic versions?
I'd look for these engines, in this order-
8.3 cummins
DT466
Cat 3126
Cummins 5.9
T444E
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:39 PM   #9
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DT466 after 2000 became a much more fragile engine than earlier years.
Yes it did.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I'd look for these engines, in this order-
8.3 cummins
DT466
Cat 3126
Cummins 5.9
T444E

Okay love this thanks! Last question: if we did a motorcycle/moped instead of the car what would your order be?
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:26 PM   #11
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I carry a scooter on the back of mine, no worries there. But the engine order is more or less sorted by horsepower. There's a million TC2000s like mine with 5.9 and at545 rolling around the world... But some people are in a big hurry. I've toured the country in two buses, one with the T444E and now with the 5.9 Cummins.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:29 PM   #12
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Okay love this thanks! Last question: if we did a motorcycle/moped instead of the car what would your order be?
exact same.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I carry a scooter on the back of mine, no worries there. But the engine order is more or less sorted by horsepower. There's a million TC2000s like mine with 5.9 and at545 rolling around the world... But some people are in a big hurry. I've toured the country in two buses, one with the T444E and now with the 5.9 Cummins.
HP can vary between them all. They're listed in displacement, torque, and all around badassness.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I carry a scooter on the back of mine, no worries there. But the engine order is more or less sorted by horsepower. There's a million TC2000s like mine with 5.9 and at545 rolling around the world... But some people are in a big hurry. I've toured the country in two buses, one with the T444E and now with the 5.9 Cummins.
Do you prefer you 5.9 Cummins? I have quite a few options locallybetween the 2 within my price range so I'm mostly looking for the perfect fit. I feel as though i have seen better reviews for the Cummins? They are easily fixable and parts readily available correct?
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
HP can vary between them all. They're listed in displacement, torque, and all around badassness.
Haha thanks so much. I will keep that in mind. So The Dt466 you listed in your list is that just the pre electronic ones or would you also put the DT466e and DT466 after 2004 in that position?
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:40 PM   #16
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Haha thanks so much. I will keep that in mind. So The Dt466 you listed in your list is that just the pre electronic ones or would you also put the DT466e and DT466 after 2004 in that position?
The pre-97/98 mechanical DT's are awesome. The 97= "E" are good. The 2001-2003 are alright. The 2004- are getting into the "avoid this garbage" realm of diesel engines.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
The pre-97/98 mechanical DT's are awesome. The 97= "E" are good. The 2001-2003 are alright. The 2004- are getting into the "avoid this garbage" realm of diesel engines.
I'm going to scouring the web then. We will see what I find! Thank you for all of the help!
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:52 PM   #18
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If you find a nice bus with a Cat 3126 and a non-545 transmission I'd suggest taking a look.
The 3126 is a fine medium duty engine. I put the DT ahead of it due to displacement and wet sleeves but I've got a 3126 in my shorty and its a nice engine. Its smoother and quieter than the Navistars I've had.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:15 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
If you find a nice bus with a Cat 3126 and a non-545 transmission I'd suggest taking a look.
The 3126 is a fine medium duty engine. I put the DT ahead of it due to displacement and wet sleeves but I've got a 3126 in my shorty and its a nice engine. Its smoother and quieter than the Navistars I've had.
Good thoughts! I have a lot of well priced CAT3126 engine around me so that may be the way to go depending on my timeline. All of the DT466s I can find are newer and I now don't trust them thanks to your all's sage wisdom....
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:25 PM   #20
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I met a guy with a nice BBAA with the Cat 3116 that has treated him really well too.

Note that nobody has put the MBE904 or MBE906 on their engines to buy list though!
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