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Old 09-16-2014, 09:57 AM   #1
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How many miles is to much?

Hi, I'm Hernan and this is my first post. I'm looking for help. I have an idea to convert a school bus into an RV to travel with the family.
This particular bus has a Detroit engine 1996 with 200K miles. I think it's a lot of miles, but I've heard that diesel engines can go 500k miles easy ??? It may also be the engine is fine, but what about the transmission, how long it can be ok? The bus in the picture looks good, but I did not see him in person yet.
So my question is worth to buy a bus and with 200k miles for about $5K?
I would also like to know if I have reason to legally be a "mobile home" or RV must have a toilet, kitchen, sink and bed mounted permanently. I am right?

Thanks in advance for any contribution and very nice place and the community here.

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Old 09-17-2014, 08:07 AM   #2
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Re: How many miles is to much?

Are you sure it has a Detroit? That chassis is International, don't know that they put Detroit's in the small trucks.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:57 AM   #3
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Re: How many miles is to much?

I'd be surprised if it's a Detroit as well. That looks to be a mid 90's to early 2000's bus so the only Detroit engine options would be the series 50 and series 60, both of which would be huge for such a small bus. If I had to guess it's got a t444e but I could be wrong. We need to know the exact engine and trans in order to give you a guesstimate on it's longevity.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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Re: How many miles is to much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa
Are you sure it has a Detroit? That chassis is International, don't know that they put Detroit's in the small trucks.
Detroit engine said in the advertise and automatic transmission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828
I'd be surprised if it's a Detroit as well. That looks to be a mid 90's to early 2000's bus so the only Detroit engine options would be the series 50 and series 60, both of which would be huge for such a small bus. If I had to guess it's got a t444e but I could be wrong. We need to know the exact engine and trans in order to give you a guesstimate on it's longevity.
It's a 1996 International chassis with Detroit engine. Usually, how big this engine is?
I'm going to try to get more information on that bus.

Thank you all for the replies.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:10 AM   #5
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Re: How many miles is to much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa
Are you sure it has a Detroit? That chassis is International, don't know that they put Detroit's in the small trucks.
This. Who told you it has a Detroit? If it was the seller, they don't have a clue about buses. Anything they say should be taken with a block of salt.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: How many miles is to much?

Quote:
This particular bus has a Detroit engine 1996 with 200K miles
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:08 PM   #7
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Re: How many miles is to much?

That would be the first I've ever seen of that size with a DD.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:57 PM   #8
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Re: How many miles is to much?

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Originally Posted by opus
That would be the first I've ever seen of that size with a DD.
Ok, I did call and the guy don't know if the engine is a 366 or 466 but he is sure is a Detroit. He don't know what transmission the bus has. I'm going to go and check the bus this weekend.
I don't have knowledge on diesel engines. So, suppose that the assumption of Detroit engine is right... that means: is a good deal because the engine is strong or means: stay away from that bus??? Is 200K miles too much or not?
Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:29 PM   #9
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Re: How many miles is to much?

The guy is clueless. What color is the engine? Blue, right? Its more than likely a 360.
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:49 AM   #10
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Re: How many miles is to much?

Quote:
but I've heard that diesel engines can go 500k miles easy
.

I hear that all the time too...from some jerkoff trying to unload his P.O.S. MBZ 300D on craigslist with a broken odometer, broken sunroof, broken radio, windows that don't work and a salvage title. 500k over the road miles with meticulous maintanence.

Quote:
So, suppose that the assumption of Detroit engine is right
Your comprehension skills are poor. Start at the first post and read all the replies to your post.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
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Re: How many miles is to much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by opus
The guy is clueless. What color is the engine? Blue, right? Its more than likely a 360.
This here ^

What we're trying to tell you is that it's not a Detroit. Unless somebody went through a whole boat load of hassle to swap one in there. And even if they did, what the hell would their reasoning behind it be?
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:58 AM   #12
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Re: How many miles is to much?

That bus is a Thomas Vista, built on the International 3600 Chassis (says right on the side by the hood). According to wikipedia, they did have a Detroit Diesel engine in them, but only until 1991. If it is truly a 1996, then it either has an International DT466E or T444E.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Vista

Your seller doesn't know what he's talking about. Plus, the price is high. Run away... far away!
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:11 AM   #13
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Re: How many miles is to much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White99z
That bus is a Thomas Vista, built on the International 3600 Chassis (says right on the side by the hood). According to wikipedia, they did have a Detroit Diesel engine in them, but only until 1991. If it is truly a 1996, then it either has an International DT466E or T444E.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Vista

Your seller doesn't know what he's talking about. Plus, the price is high. Run away... far away!
You beat me to it!

If the picture posted in the first post is really the bus in question then the engine will either be an International DT360, 7.3l IDI, DT466E or T444E. The Detroit Diesel came on the GMC chassis. Now, to answer your question: I wouldn't shy away from any of those engines because they had 200K. Even the engines with a shorter life expectancy (the 7.3l IDI and T444E) should go for another 200K if they have been well maintained. In my opinion, the best of the batch would be the DT360. Great fuel economy and sufficient power for such a small bus.

The price, on the other hand, is definitely something to flee from. And, as mentioned, the fact that the seller knows nothing about the vehicle is a bit scary.

Cool looking bus, though!
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:12 AM   #14
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Re: How many miles is to much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White99z
That bus is a Thomas Vista, built on the International 3600 Chassis (says right on the side by the hood). According to wikipedia, they did have a Detroit Diesel engine in them, but only until 1991. If it is truly a 1996, then it either has an International DT466E or T444E.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Vista

Your seller doesn't know what he's talking about. Plus, the price is high. Run away... far away!
I really appreciate your informative feedback.
Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:22 AM   #15
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People who know nothing about diesel engines see the letters "dt" on the international engine and immediately think. ..."ahh.. dt short for de--troit"
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