Okay. I've read lots of discussions about lots of engines and transmissions that people favor or avoid. If you're not mechanically inclined, it's a lot to take in and try to absorb. So here is my post asking for people's opinions and advice on what kind I should shoot for. Sorry guys, I know it's all been said before...
I'm gonna start looking for a bus in EARNEST next month in March.
-$4000 is top budget to spend, obviously hoping to spend a bit less.
-I know I'd prefer air brakes.
-Tires under 5 years.
-Conventional dog nose bus. (Because they're easier to get to to work on and they don't run as hot as rear engines, right?)
-Min 10 windows, more is ok.
-Activity bus would be cool.
-Country route bus would be cool. (geared better right?)
-Minimal rust obviously.
-Full working mechanical order, obviously.
Highway gearing, locking torque converter, and a retarder would be cool...
So unless I'm missing something, that leaves the engine and transmission.
I know I want a diesel engine.
I NEED an automatic transmission.
going up to 70MPH would be super nice... without overheating...
So here's what I've been able to glean from my research:
-DT466 Navistar - common engine, parts handy
-DT466E - what's the difference between the E and the no E?
-DT360 - same question? different DT engines?
-CAT engines - good engines, but repairs are costly and hard to find, prefer to avoid.
-Cummins engines - heard good things for a while then started hearing bad things, 8.3L good?
what about B5.9L (mechanical) and ISB (5.9L + 4.6L electronic)? Mechanical easier to work on, yay oor nay?
Other good engines to grab?
-Allison AT 545 - no torque converter, locks up
-MD3000 series - locked up torque converters
-MD 3060 - common trans, easier to work on?
Other good trans? I heard MST643 is also good...
I know everything else I want in a bus for sure, but the engine and transmission has me in over my head. Everyone has different opinions and experiences with different engines and transmissions, on the forum, in FB groups, on RV forums, etc. It's hard to formulate a solid opinion when you barely know what people are talking about.
How I plan to use the bus: Once converted, I plan to live in it full time, move out of state, (possibly mountains or nothern states) find a lot to rent or place to long term camp, find a better paying job, pay off student loans, then... I don't know. I might figure out what I want to do after I pay off my student loans while I'm paying them off. Might travel. Might float. Might plant my bus on homebase.
Kind of hoping to take my 2000 Dodge Caravan with me, pull it behind the bus when traveling, kept for everyday commute to work, drive the bus every week.
So with all that, does anyone have suggestions on engines and trans I should hope for, or avoid?
MY THANKS IN ADVANCE TO YOU ALL!!! I stand on the shoulders of giants!