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Old 03-21-2015, 05:29 PM   #1
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Where do I find info about my engine specs? Slow bus here.

I bought a bus last week straight off the school bus garage lot. It's a 1993 International Navistar DT466 with 190k miles. Great condition other than the clearcoat (I'm repainting anyway), with new retreads on the back and pretty good tires on the front, and even a full tank of diesel. I'm planning on converting it to run WVO and travel full-time. I'm learning about it and need to know the engine specs but don't know where to look. I have a couple maintenance records I'm going to check through. Through calculations I have a 6. something gear ratio and I can only cruise at around 47mpg with a top speed downhill of 52. I'm going to try to change the governor but I'm not sure if the bus can handle it since I don't know the HP or capabilities. I'd ideally like to cruise at 55 with a top speed of 60-65 (for safety on higher speed roads).

Any idea how to find out the info I need?
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:02 PM   #2
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There should be an engine tag somewhere on the block or valve covers.

Welcome to the forum, I like your screen name.
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:31 PM   #3
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There is usually a couple of tags inside the bus that list info like axle ratio and GVWR. I would really be surprised if you had a 6 something ratio with a DT466. That's the biggest International engine they put in a bus. I would bet your ratio is in the fours. You never mentioned rpms. How did you calculate the ratio?
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:30 PM   #4
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We took the revolutions per mile of the tire along with the average speed of 48 at 2800rpms and calculated it out.
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:34 PM   #5
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Thanks! It's actually the name of my blog, too. I just got back at Thanksgiving from a 25,000 mile trip around the country in an antique 1968 Cox Campsquire pop up camper with a friend, three cats, two dogs, and my pet goat. Towed the 900lb. dry-weight camper with my 4 cylinder Honda Element. So I'm pretty used to going slow!

We walked the goat in Union Square (Manhattan), on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, on the monorail in Seattle, on Rodeo Drive in Hollywood, and on the strip in Vegas. Surprisingly there aren't many places that you *can't* take a goat!
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:11 PM   #6
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We took the revolutions per mile of the tire along with the average speed of 48 at 2800rpms and calculated it out.
2800 rpms all day long on a trip is pretty high. I think you should find out if you are getting into 4th gear. If you are then maybe you are correct about your ratio. Time for a new bus. I'll be by in a couple of weeks to pick this one up.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:23 PM   #7
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Love it!
You should try and find out what transmission you have--most likely an MT643, but it might be an AT545, which is not quite as awesome. You can tell the two apart from looking at them.
I don't think you'll want to turn up your governor too high for more speed. Cruising at high rpm is gonna burn lots of fuel!
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:25 AM   #8
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I'd be tickled pink to get 55mph, so it's shouldn't be too big of a push from 47. On the drive home from the bus lot we did notice a rough shift between first and second gear (I think). I need to make sure the engine isn't getting choked on fuel. That might have something to do with the lack of power. Gonna check the selenoids and see if that has anything to do with the rough shift. Also the battery gauge indicates that the alternator isn't charging all the time. It'll work some and then drop down, so I'm not sure if it's the gauge itself or the alternator.

What should I look at to determine which transmission I have?

Just realized I wrote 47mpg instead of mph earlier. Ha, I wish!
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:31 AM   #9
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And lots of cowbell, I mean engine.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:34 AM   #10
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Courtesy of Elliott.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f33/ho...pecs-1641.html

If you don't post pics of your bus, it doesn't exist.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post
Also the battery gauge indicates that the alternator isn't charging all the time. It'll work some and then drop down, so I'm not sure if it's the gauge itself or the alternator.
Check the belt tension before doing any other diagnostic work with the alternator. If the tensioner isn't keeping the belt tight enough then all the engine driven accessories will suffer..
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Courtesy of Elliott.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f33/ho...pecs-1641.html

If you don't post pics of your bus, it doesn't exist.
I second this. Pics or it didn't happen.

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Old 03-22-2015, 10:39 PM   #13
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Workin' on pics... Smashed my camera into a boulder last fall so I'm working with a flip phone here...


Also I just looked at the maintenance records and discovered I have a DT360 instead of a DT466. What a sad revelation. But no worries! Guess I'll just be a slowpoke. =]

I was talking to the bus garage guy about the DT466 the whole time and he never gave any indication that it was different than the one I was buying. I should never assume things.
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:19 AM   #14
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Ok let's see if I can get this to work!





Bus vs. Pop-up camper


Here's a very rough mock up of what the conversion will look like. The will be a claw foot bathtub in the living room with a repurposed door sitting on top with cushions available to make a bed, couch, table, or bathtub! A gas log fireplace in the living room/kitchen area. The bedroom will have two bench couches with storage underneath and the storage doors will swing up and connect to make one large bed. The back mud room will store animal food containers, the dog crate, and a dryer to be run from a generator. It's somewhat of a necessity with our messy lifestyle. The whole back area is a grated washable floor for the goat, rabbits, and chickens.

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I second this. Pics or it didn't happen.

Nat
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:04 AM   #15
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O.k. If mine is a dog nose front, what is this called? A pug? I saw a few when I was looking for mine.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:04 AM   #16
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If you're running at 2800rpm, i wouldnt increase the governor, could damage the engine with such high RPM, not to mention your fuel economy would hurt.

You need an overdrive and/or taller rear gears. Identify your transmission and we can go from there.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:11 AM   #17
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Sustained RPM's in excess of 2,600 RPM's can cause some real damage to your DT466.

Regardless of which transmission you have you should be able to handle rear gearing in the high 4's.

If you send me a PM with your e-mail address and the VIN of your chassis I might be able to get the build sheet for your bus. It will tell you what was used to build your bus--which engine, which transmission, which axles and brakes, which rear end ratio, etc.

There should be a tag on the driver's side of the transmission that will tell you which transmission is in your bus.

Unfortunately a lot of the data plates for engines were not made of metal with stamped numbers but an electronically produced label printed on a plastic tag. Over time they tend to lose their legibility.

You may find the line setting ticket affixed to the under side of the hood just above the hinge on the curbside of the bus.

Good luck and happy trails!
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:14 PM   #18
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Dam that pug nose is fugly.

You have Dayton style wheels, how about taller tires?

I have swapped back and forth between 20 inch and 22.5 Dayton rims. Do 24.5 Dayton wheels fit also?

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Old 03-23-2015, 07:23 PM   #19
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If it's a DT360, there's a 90% chance it's an AT545 Allison.
I vote to change the rear gears, and put in a better trans.....and hike up the power.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:10 PM   #20
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The VIN# is 1HVBDPLN1PH485283

In the maintenance folder they gave me there is an outdated oil analysis record from 2011. The bus was running last fall, but apparently has only been 13,000 miles since this 2011 report. In the report it says that there were abnormal levels of copper and lead detected, and severe problem levels of sodium and potassium. It says "severe level of coolant glycol has been detected. check engine for over heating and coolant loss. monitor closely. corrective action should be taken as soon as possible." I called the bus garage about this and they said they might be able to find some more records, but that there's no way the bus could have run for another three years without them fixing it.

Today we checked the oil dipstick and there was plenty of creamy vapor deposit on the stick. We've had the bus less than a week and have only had it up to operating temp once, so it could be from that, but it also could indicate a coolant leak. We couldn't find out how to check the coolant level, but a finger in the well doesn't touch any liquid.

This isn't sounding very good. =[
I have room in the budget for maybe around $500 worth of repair work to get her in good running condition. As for the tire size suggestion, these tires are new retreads and very good tread on the front tires, so I wouldn't like to buy more. I'm considering putting in a new rear end for a better gear ratio. I see one on Craigslist nearby for $300. Any chance I'd find one cheaper?
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