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Old 03-08-2019, 05:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tawdbb View Post
When I say short bus, I think under 30 probably with a wheelchair lift. Is a 7.3 or a t444e enough for a full sized chassis around 25 long to feel reasonable up mountain grades? I understand that a full sized chassis will have a significantly larger payload for building out. I likely wont tow anything besides a small 3-4hundreds pound boat and trailer

alot has to do with the transmission you end up with.. towing and mountains and an AT-545 with a T-444E is going to be a lot tougher than if you have one of the Lock-up transmissions.. (ie a 2000 series)..



I have the software that can pump up the power on the 444E and then they move a shortie pretty well..



my own case is that I play with my 444E.. so ive got the power turned up to 250 and i have the allison 1000 trans.. I dont tow a car with it, I just returned from a 2700. mile road trip.. I was able to climb the mountains in tennesee in kentucky at pretty much full speed ahead.. I dropped it down to 4th gear and ran it 65 up the hills and kept my EGTs in check..



now lets go back to when that was a 190HP and an AT545.. I climbed those hills at 52 or 53. .. whcih really isnt bad but you wont fly.. now obviously in REAL mountains its not recommended to haul ass anyway..



V-8 diesels in their stock form just dont have much brute low end torque compared to the inline 6 counterparts like the DT-466 and CAT 3126. that you often find in full chassis short busses.. older full chassis short busses (87-93) you can find a DT-360. and thats a pretty torqwuey inline 6..



fairly often I see the 6 or 7 window thomas, amTran and bluebird full chassis shorties come up on the auctions.. the thomas will often be freightliners and have the inline 6 CAT-3126, the bluebird or amTran will be a mix typically of T-444E or the lower spec DT-466E. many of these shorties got the AT-545 trans.. which people can do their own research.. you will find debates of all kinds for and against that transmission.. if you are going to tow then look for a newer (usually 03-04) with an allison 2000, although you could order a 2000 since typically the 01 model year..



im a fan of AT545s for weekend warriors but not for cruisiong the country time and time again.. I put a lot of miles on my busses, most of it highway or back-roads 2 laning . I have 3 busses, at one time all 3 of them had AT-545.. now only 1 does... thats just MY experience with them..

that said both busses made multiple trips over mountains, through cities, and everything in between before the AT-545 called it quits...



your van cutaway busses will have that respective manufacturers Van transmission.. the chevy 6.0 / 5.3 / 4.8. depending on the year likely has the 4L80E (possible 4L60E) transmissions.. these are 4 speed lockup single Overdrive transmissions and in my opinion are good.. I put these transmissions in my hotrods over the years.. cars that I went out and lit the tires up on a regular basis.. the later model vans. got the 6L series transmissions which are 6 speed offerings similar to the above.. I cant remember what year they started those.



the fords typically got the 4R100 (I believe) in the 7.3s.. im not sure what trans were used in the 6.0s and after in the vans..



-Christopher

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Old 03-08-2019, 11:01 AM   #22
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the fords typically got the 4R100 (I believe) in the 7.3s.. im not sure what trans were used in the 6.0s and after in the vans..

-Christopher
My '04 6.0 Diesel Ford has a 5R110W
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:34 PM   #23
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Engines

If your not dead set on a diesel look at the Chevy and CMC cutaway buses. Can be had for cheap and are typically cheaper to own and operate. I picked up a shorty 2002 3500 Chevy with 65,000 miles and plenty of power. Gets about 14 mpg and gas is cheaper. Plus anywhere I take it I know parts and mechanics will and can work on it.

Ive also heard good things about the newer 6.0 Chevy gas engines and mpg
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:24 PM   #24
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Id find a 25 long bus with the DT466 and The 3036 Allison. (That transmission is a 6 speed and adjustable). The 17 passenger amtrans bus I picked up can flip a u turn easily- very maneuvereable in the city. Plus its a truck chassis, 25,800gvw. The smaller busses are practically at gvw as they are. Cheers
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:20 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dirtdoctor View Post
Id find a 25 long bus with the DT466 and The 3036 Allison. (That transmission is a 6 speed and adjustable). The 17 passenger amtrans bus I picked up can flip a u turn easily- very maneuvereable in the city. Plus its a truck chassis, 25,800gvw. The smaller busses are practically at gvw as they are. Cheers
I found a 6 window IC that was around 23' long. It had an Allison 2000 and DT466E rated at 215 hp. That's the most "hot rodded" shorty I've found.
I bought it and man its got POWER for being a school bus. Soon as I saw it I knew I was gonna buy it. Usually the short buses don't come with more than 170-190 hp ratings.
A real shorty with a 3060 is probably very rare. I'm sure there are some out there somewhere but I've never seen one.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:33 PM   #26
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Looking for bus

Have you looked at my
Bus Im selling? I posted it up here a couple weeks ago.
https://ventura.craigslist.org/cto/d/ventura-small-mid-size-bus-ready-for/6820881505.html
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:12 PM   #27
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I cruise my red shorty with the 'E' 7.3, aka powerstroke 7.3 cousin, T-444E, etc.. its a full chassis shorty.. I drive that thing all over the country(just finished a 2700 mile trip) despite people telling me its a "pickup truck engine".. im over 182K miles now and it still runas good and starts in the cold weather easily.. I cranked up the Juice on mine so it even climbs mountains pretty good now.. I like it well enough that if / when i ever blow it up i'd build / rebuild / or drop another T-444E right back in....



ive had a brand new set of stage 1 injectors to put ion it for a year.. the originals are still in it and one or 2 is a bit "lazy" when the engine is cold.. I can hear them they sound diferent.. injectors on the E powerstroke or T-444E are probably the single biggest expense people have to do to them seemingly somewhere in the 175-225k range... although there are plenty running fine on original injectors well past that..



totally agree with ECCB's post that most of the reliable solid diesels were built before the 04 / 05 first stage emissions went into effect.. where IH got EGR, and CAT went ACERT.. that started the downfall of many


-Christopher
What did you do to make it climb mountains better.... I have an 03 7.3 and it climbs NC mountains just fine but had a hard time on the big passes in Colorado at high elevation. Almost losing power at the tops of passes. Would love to know what you did to get better mountain climbing
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:02 AM   #28
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I have a 1999 Bluebird short bus with a DT466E. It is basically the same as a long bus, except only 42 passenger, 7 rows of seats, with air rear suspension, air brakes, and the slushbox 545. The best advantage it has over the longer buses is it turns very sharp if you need it, and parking isn't as tough to find. It only gets 7 - 7.5 mpg, which is about what a long bus gets. Pretty much every engine you will find in front of a 545 is detuned to 200 hp or less, my 466 is rated at only 190 hp. even though a laptop can set it a lot higher.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:45 PM   #29
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From what I've seen on the forums, the bigger engines aren't often found on the short(er) buses. I think I've seen some smaller cummins engines in some short buses, but not the larger ones with the greater reputation.

There are a couple people on here who have the T444e engines, who've re-programed them and boosted the power a little bit (10hp or so) and were very happy with the results. (Enough of a boost to make a difference, not enough to kill the engine reliability/longevity.)

Someone found a shortie Freightliner with Mercedes engine spec'd for a full-size bus a month or so ago, but that's the only one people have seen like it.

That was me: I have 2007 Freightliner Shortie Bus with a MB 900 engine and its powerful enough to do 65 down the road.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:33 PM   #30
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That was me: I have 2007 Freightliner Shortie Bus with a MB 900 engine and its powerful enough to do 65 down the road.
HP rating isn't the real determining factor for top speed. Gearing is.
My 5 window with a Cat 3126 will do 80+. Its got 3.42 in the rear and full size tires. 190 hp 7.2 liter.
What's the mercedes you have rated at? its a 7.2 liter.
Around here the full size buses have the same engines as the short buses that aren't van-based. Usually a 170-190hp rating.
Highest rated shorty I've seen is 215.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:57 PM   #31
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215 is likely all you will see in a shorty with an allison 2000. as I think thats the rating for that trans in stock form....



only reason i have mine Pumped way up(250HP.. my new ECM will allow 300. but im not that brave yet) from that is because my trans is "built" for performance applications.. otherwise you have to be careful... that said, allison tends to very conservatively rate transmissions so you can usually feed them much more power than the plate says and you wont trash them unless you do stupid stuff..
-Christopher
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:20 PM   #32
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I was told the same by the Allison folks. According to one tech, their trannies are de-rated as much as 20-25%! That is a crazy huge difference!


But be advised...they use the lower, posted rating for any "issues".
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:50 AM   #33
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I was told the same by the Allison folks. According to one tech, their trannies are de-rated as much as 20-25%! That is a crazy huge difference!


But be advised...they use the lower, posted rating for any "issues".

allison wouldnt likely want to see anything inside my trans.. since essentially the aftermarket builders (with good reputations).. have Bullet-proofed these things and updated any issues that they typically had... while I couldve saved a good bit of $$ by finding a used trans, I chose to go out and get a fresh built one that is built to handle much more than my T-444E even pumped up can throw at it.. thus far at somewhere close to 30K+ miles in it just works when I put it in D... albeit I still am learning about it's complex electronic controls.. but I definitely recommend purpose-building and paying some attention to the ratings on the labels..



the other reality is that allison has come up with their own updates over the years.. Tango's 2200 that he bought a few years ago is much different inside than when it first released as a 6 speed in 2006.. which is also much different than the 2200 that was released in 2001...



if you are mechanically Savvy, allison's arent really too hard to re-clutch should you need to.. and a lot of youtube videos and publications exist for anyone who wants to rebuild their own allison..



if you Nuke an AT545, its not bad at all to buy a rebuild kit and rebuild it.. esp if it is simply slipping or shifting wierd..

-Christopher
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:20 PM   #34
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I don't have a bus yet but have been doing my research before buying a 1/2 size full chassis (shortie). I wonder how feasible it would be to swap out to take larger (better) engine. First of all are the mounts in the same location for a DT466 as a T444? Of course I would think you would need to swap the transmission too or are they some what universal. I would be surprised if they were but I am new to diesel engines so forgive my ignorance.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:54 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorzie View Post
I don't have a bus yet but have been doing my research before buying a 1/2 size full chassis (shortie). I wonder how feasible it would be to swap out to take larger (better) engine. First of all are the mounts in the same location for a DT466 as a T444? Of course I would think you would need to swap the transmission too or are they some what universal. I would be surprised if they were but I am new to diesel engines so forgive my ignorance.
You can swap to a 466 from a 444.
But its WAY easier to just buy a bus with the engine you want.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:25 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
You can swap to a 466 from a 444.
But its WAY easier to just buy a bus with the engine you want.

The 466 is a longer engine and the firewall may have to be cut to allow room for it to fit. Many trucks and some buses have different firewalls to allow for this, some even have a small "doghouse" to allow access to the back of the engine for maintenance.


If I were to swap engines, I'd skip the 466 and install something even bigger, since I'm already going to all the trouble for an engine swap. Maybe an ISX Cummins (which can be had in versions up to 600 HP from the factory.)
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:56 PM   #37
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600hp now your talking.

Yea I did not think of the length difference between an inline 6 compared to a v8.

I plan on getting a bus with decent engine to start with, I hope. At least there are a couple of diesel mechanics in my sons scout if needed for the big jobs or questions.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:42 PM   #38
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Engine swaps are a real possibility BUT it takes time, money and especially if changing to something different a bit of skill fabbing stuff. It does help if you choose something that was a factory option.

Also think about where you would do an engine swap, a shop is always best, back yard not so good....

Yes a bus with the desired engine is always the best.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:35 PM   #39
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a friend of mine swapped a V8 7.3 IDI for a DTA360 in his S1700.. there are several considerations in going from a V-8 diesel to an inline 6.



1. mating up your transmission, your flexplate / and or flywheel on the new engine need to be the type that will fit your transmission.. unless you are moving the trans too.. the trans dipstick will be a different length as well.



2. driveshaft length will be different. as the trans sits firther back on the DT.


3. electronics.. they are very different on a DT-466E from the T-444E (my buddy went mewchanical to mechanical so fuel line routing was his only issue.. but on the 'E' series electronics are a real concern.. you'll need the computer from the new engine.. and the wiring harnesses are greatly different despite the ECM part numbers being the same..


4. Firewall will need to be cut.. its not a bad job as it is pretty easy marked once you take the factory insulation out, you can see where the lines are for a DT vs no cut (conventional bus)


5. remove the driver area flooring and pull the body to chassis floor adapter plate and replace with the one from the DT466's donor bus and then replace down the plywood and driver floor.. this gives your doghouse something to bolt to.


6. doghouse - easy snag the one from the donor bus.


7. fuel line routing and trans cooler lines will likely be different fro the DT vs the T-444E.



8. TCM - if your trans is electronic you may need a different TCM or Allison CIN file loaded to better match the torque and HP curve of a I-6 vs V-8


my buddy did it on his all mechanical bus. and swapped from an AT545 to a specier 5 speed with an aux 4 speed at the same time so he had a lot of mechanical work, but never looked back.. that bus runs fantastic... (txstreetman Dual stick thomas)
-Christopher
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:56 PM   #40
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Where I drive we have a spare bus. With 6 seats and a wheel chair lift .
( don’t you guys call this a 6 window bus?)
Anyway it has a full size Freightliner chassis 30K GVW. Air ride rear axle, air brakes,22.5. Wheels.
It even has a 3126 cat, And AT.
(I’ve never driven it but word has it that it will pull a even 80 MPH.)
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