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Old 01-20-2021, 01:30 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Mad Magic - 1999 International shortie conversion

Found and purchased a 1999 International shortie in North Carolina being sold from the County. Motor runs and handles well, very little/no rust, and pretty clean interior. dt466e with AT545 transmission. Has a working AC unit in the rear, wheelchair lift back passenger side.Has 240k miles on it, so liking going to explore transmission options.

Drove it back from Newton, NC to Atlanta, GA with a 45 mph governor . Will be getting that cleared asap. For the most part it drive fine. However the last hour and a half or so of the drive, the lower gears started to hang before shifting, and it feels like there is a little less power getting to the wheels. Not sure if that's just me getting use to the no lock torque converter, or it didn't like being on the road at top speed for as long as it was.

Currently at the mechanic for a general inspection, as well as a closer look at the transmission. If it indeed needs some work, would like to just go ahead and swap in a MT643 to handle highway speeds better.

Looking forward to sharing the journey with y'all! My intent is to build it out over the next few months to be fully livable in by early summer.
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Old 01-20-2021, 02:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Alaska
Posts: 102
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: IH3800
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 77
Great looking bus and nice find! That's small enough you can probably use it for a while before a tranny swap becomes a priority!
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:07 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,233
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
If the 545 is toasted swap for a 643 and put 4.10 gears in the rear. that would make it one super highway skoolie.
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:10 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,660
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
before everything went all fancy electronics NC liked to gear there rearend gears around 6.50.
that change would help you alot and if you dont already have the 22.5 tires changing to them will help a little more.
and your motor is probably set between 175-190 HP and with the 466 you should be able to turn that up some.
good luck
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:11 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 778
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Is this air brake equipped?
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Old 01-20-2021, 04:05 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Thanks y'all for the insight and encouragement! It does have air brakes.

I feel like my concern for the transmission is a bit pre-emptive, as it moves pretty well, but there's a part of me that wants to get it swapped just to get it better for highway. I tried 45 on the interstate on the drive back due to the governor, but it felt unsafe so I took local highway and back roads. I'm hoping that with the governor off I'll be able to manage 55 easily.

Is it possible that has 'road speed limit' somewhere in the ecu at time of manufacture? wondering if there could be another type of limiter outside of what the school district may have put in place.
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Old 01-20-2021, 04:08 PM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 778
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
If it was mine I would install a super 10 road ranger. .74 od and 11 to 1 low gear. Easy to drive too.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:38 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Dallas suburbs
Posts: 65
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Shorty 6 window handicap
Engine: Int 444e
Rated Cap: 21
Looks a lot like mine did last year. Have you done anything on it lately? Interested to see which way you go with it. It took me 10 months to finish mine.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:29 AM   #9
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Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmagician View Post
Found and purchased a 1999 International shortie in North Carolina being sold from the County. Motor runs and handles well, very little/no rust, and pretty clean interior. dt466e with AT545 transmission. Has a working AC unit in the rear, wheelchair lift back passenger side.Has 240k miles on it, so liking going to explore transmission options.

Drove it back from Newton, NC to Atlanta, GA with a 45 mph governor . Will be getting that cleared asap. For the most part it drive fine. However the last hour and a half or so of the drive, the lower gears started to hang before shifting, and it feels like there is a little less power getting to the wheels. Not sure if that's just me getting use to the no lock torque converter, or it didn't like being on the road at top speed for as long as it was.

Currently at the mechanic for a general inspection, as well as a closer look at the transmission. If it indeed needs some work, would like to just go ahead and swap in a MT643 to handle highway speeds better.

Looking forward to sharing the journey with y'all! My intent is to build it out over the next few months to be fully livable in by early summer.
Love your bus. Congrats! It's almost exactly what I too am hoping to find. I'll follow your progress here.
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