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Old 02-02-2024, 03:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 84
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Thomas (Thomas Vista)
Chassis: International 3600
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 60
Skoolie Engine Spreadsheet

I did not make this, it was sent to me from a friend, it originally came from FB, but it has some useful info. So I took the time trimming photos to post here

This is the text that got chopped up in the screenshots

KEY Ratings - The ratings are based on typical individual responses to the question "what engine/transmission is the best" in multiple Skoolie groups and forums. This is just a compilation of skoolie owners opinions.
Green Typically highly rated and recommended engines. With proper maintenance 300,000+ miles without major problems is common. Known issues should be looked into and properly addressed to ensure longevity.
Yellow CAUTION - Can be good engines with proper maintenance. Engines in this category are either expensive/hard to repair, have a lot of emissions that require extensive maintenace/repair or non turbo and underpowered.
Red AVOID - These engines have know documented major issues. These are mostly emission related problems but some are more than that.
Disclaimer This is just a quick reference guide based on Skoolie owners opinions. I did my best to confirm the information from manufacturers and reliable sources. Please do your own research.
Note Maxxforce engines are black in color, DT466Es are blue in color. These were carried over for the 2007-2008 model years in some buses. Checking color is quick indicator but use the engine vin to verify.
There have also been cases of 2003 non-emission engines being fitted into 2004+ model year buses.

Caution These transmissions are not inherently bad. They are designed more for, stop and go and lower top speeds. They do not have a lock-up torque converter which reduces engine braking and increases heat due to slippage.
They tend to run hot when operated at highway speeds or hills for extended periods of time. This design is not optimal for large "Skoolies" that are traveling the country, over mountains and or towing a car.
Remedies A commercial grade transmission cooler can be added to mitigate the heat build up. Increasing engine braking by adding a brake retarder can be done but will be costly. If you have air brakes swapping to an MT643 is possible and common.
A change to the rear axle ratio (lower numerically) will help with top speed, within reason. Taller rear tires can yield a few more mph too.

PM me your emails if you want and I will gladly send the full excel spreadsheet. Hope this is helps some of you guys out, happy building!
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Old 02-02-2024, 03:24 PM   #2
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Would love a copy of the spreadsheet. I just joined so i cant send pm but maybe you send it to me.
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Old 02-02-2024, 04:37 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 154
Year: 2008
Chassis: IC RE (PB30500)
Engine: Maxxforce DT
Unfortunately I also don't know the original poster of this spreadsheet so I can't give them credit. But here is a link to the copy I have:

Bus Engine/Trans
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Old 02-11-2024, 01:28 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 12
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: CAT 3126b with AT545
This is really informative. Thank you.
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Old 02-11-2024, 03:27 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,761
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
These seem a little biased toward Navistar products. I've never heard anyone say the 3126 has a "weak block".
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Old 02-12-2024, 09:15 AM   #6
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Posts: 3,645
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
These seem a little biased toward Navistar products. I've never heard anyone say the 3126 has a "weak block".
Biased towards navistar?

Did you see their cummins section?

And I don't mind cummins products, but to green the isb section with a little footnote saying "lift pump might fail, leading to injection pump failure" is borderline criminal.

Also, the IH idi's have issues with injection pumps, but the gm 6.2 doesn't? Guys they're both stanadyne db2 pumps.......

They also probably shouldn't trash cat's injectors, and then omit anything negative about Navistar's, when they were developed jointly.

They also never mentioned the 9.0L IH.

And don't get me started about their transmission thread. Biggest bullet point they should have put on there was about electronic modulators failing on the mechanical units. That is the #1 cause of failure of these units, right before neglect being #2.

I think this was put together by someone with a lot of time on their hands, and was fact checked by guys that aren't exactly what I'd call experts. Don't get me wrong, the info has some valid points, but a lot of it is somewhat opinionated.
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:16 AM   #7
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,761
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Biased towards navistar?

Did you see their cummins section?

And I don't mind cummins products, but to green the isb section with a little footnote saying "lift pump might fail, leading to injection pump failure" is borderline criminal.

Also, the IH idi's have issues with injection pumps, but the gm 6.2 doesn't? Guys they're both stanadyne db2 pumps.......

They also probably shouldn't trash cat's injectors, and then omit anything negative about Navistar's, when they were developed jointly.

They also never mentioned the 9.0L IH.

And don't get me started about their transmission thread. Biggest bullet point they should have put on there was about electronic modulators failing on the mechanical units. That is the #1 cause of failure of these units, right before neglect being #2.

I think this was put together by someone with a lot of time on their hands, and was fact checked by guys that aren't exactly what I'd call experts. Don't get me wrong, the info has some valid points, but a lot of it is somewhat opinionated.
100% agreed, well put pal.
Also those timing covers on some DT466E's. Having owned one with that failure I can say it was hard to part with my dream bus but it was going to cost me more than an in-frame and I definitely am not equipped or capable of that timing cover job.
Hats of to the hardy souls who have.
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:55 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 357
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Also, the IH idi's have issues with injection pumps, but the gm 6.2 doesn't? Guys they're both stanadyne db2 pumps.......

I know there was an issue with Chevy putting the control box on top of a hot spot with the 6.5L, but the 6.2L detroit-by-chevy engine was pretty foolproof.
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Old 02-12-2024, 04:17 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 3,645
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
Yeah, that'd be the ds4 by stanadyne that had the electronics, and yes the electronics would have issues with heat and be troublesome.

The db2 is similar between the 6.2 and 6.9/7.3, the only difference is because the 6.2 is reverse rotation due to the presence of a timing chain in the engine. That similarity is the reason for my comments, you can't fault the one for it, and call the other fool proof, when it's virtually the same thing.
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Old 02-12-2024, 07:03 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 357
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
That's right, because I remember awhile back I had the opportunity to get into a 6.5L, and I recall seeing a sort-of how-to on switching back to a Stanadyne DB2...


It didn't seem to make much sense, other than staying purely mechanical.
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Old 02-12-2024, 07:44 PM   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,341
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
Rated Cap: 2
i remember these spreadheets.

i seem to recall this forum has had a couple big splits. i recall this info was published back on fb when the skoolie groups started over there...10 years ago? it was info gleaned off the forum at the time. since a bunch moved over to fb, they made some neat sheets like that.

i think i recall a bus size sheet that went along with that, with peoples rigs tied to them....wes lewis was one of the rigs on the size sheet, but i dont remember the author. it was an active forum member at the time.
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