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Old 01-19-2021, 12:05 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 5
Year: 05
Coachwork: Ic
Engine: DT466 2004 225hp 620 lb-ft torque
Rated Cap: 90 passenger
Ellis is coming.

Hey everyone! I’m new to the Skoolie World and wanted to say hi.

Before anything else, let me say thank you to everyone who posts and replies; what a valuable resource this forum is! I only wish I found it sooner! (More on this later) Also the only forum I actually am participating in...

So a little info:

Ellis is a 2006 titled(with a 2004 build tag) 40’ IC RE300 former school bus (hoping for good maintenance)With about 235k miles and if I remember correctly, somewhere in the low-teens-k hours on the clock. (Not sure how to feel about the hours, is that high?).

Impulsively almost, we bought it without knowing about this resource. (Skokie.net)Lol. Didn’t really do my due diligence tbh. To be fair though, I went and looked at it with my father, career semi-truck driver, who has repaired big truck engines before. (I also know my way around cars, doing most all my own vehicles maintenance etc. Not ASE certified but I’m a real good parts swapper. Haha.) No smoke, sounds good, engine bay looked the right amount of clean and dirty, rides great, smooth shifts etc etc. Got a good deal, everything was great as far as I was concerned. Doesn’t stop the haunting words of EastCoastcb “Would never buy a Navistar” now lol. (Is the blue motor bad?) What I ACTUALLY DID read online though was that the dt466 was a highly sought after Diesel engine and Alison. Enough said. So we bought it and took it home after some negotiations.....At all of 58 mph😒😡 (CHECK YOUR TIRES WHEN YOU BUY YOUR SKOOLIE) at some point in time someone put some low pro tires I now know... I really hope the right size makes a difference in top speed🤞🏼 Besides the speed “issue”, Ellis drove like a dream! Drove for a couple hours to my Dads house and it was actually pretty un-intimidating and easy to drive. I really like the view in the pusher and the rear air-ride almost made it feel floaty, but not in a bad way like an 80’s Lincoln

So far, these past two months we have demoed the floor to the metal, which had some surface rust but nothing too bad. No holes or soft spots. One angle grinder and the twisted metal 4” wire cup and Two coats of corroseal later and it looks good. Went up to the rail with the corroseal just for that extra protection. We covered all the holes with aluminum duct tape, and we’re ready to paint the floor now. I was actually going to do it this past weekend, but the temp dropped too low.

I don’t seem to find too many RE300 videos on YouTube, so I’m recording little snippets and stuff to make one. So please feel free to skool me (had to do it) on anything that should be in it. Or any must-read threads. I’d like to make it as comprehensive as possible. I’ll post pictures when I can.

And finally I apologize if this hello was too long or out of place, I may need guidance from time to time in that dept.
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Old 01-19-2021, 01:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 164
Coachwork: IC Corp
Chassis: RE-300, 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Welcome, to the funhouse. From where and to, did you drive home? Any snow or mountains?
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Old 01-19-2021, 08:06 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Central PA
Posts: 153
Year: 2002
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International/IC Bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 78
Welcome. I'd fill out your profile in the User CP first and foremost. It will help when people are trying to answer your questions.

Sounds like a decent purchase. Sounds similar to our 2002 IC RE300. Ours has a T444 in it though.
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:49 PM   #4
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Engine: DT466 2004 225hp 620 lb-ft torque
Rated Cap: 90 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
Welcome, to the funhouse. From where and to, did you drive home? Any snow or mountains?
Thanks.

Nothing fun or special. Just regular ole Flat Florida.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:39 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: South west Ga. / mid west Tenn.
Posts: 63
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 8.3L / MD3060R
Rated Cap: 46
Howdy

Sounds like a nice rig! The hours are a little high, maybe a compression check, dunno.

DT466 is a great engine that can be put back to factory specs relativity inexpensively. Starting your travels with a fresh engine really wouldn't be that bad would it?


Welcome to the madness...
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Old 01-19-2021, 07:06 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 5
Year: 05
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Engine: DT466 2004 225hp 620 lb-ft torque
Rated Cap: 90 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by cntryby View Post
Sounds like a nice rig! The hours are a little high, maybe a compression check, dunno.

DT466 is a great engine that can be put back to factory specs relativity inexpensively. Starting your travels with a fresh engine really wouldn't be that bad would it?


Welcome to the madness...
A fresh engine would be great! But when you say back to factory specs do you mean a full overhaul? Any idea what that could cost??
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Old 01-19-2021, 08:27 PM   #7
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Location: South west Ga. / mid west Tenn.
Posts: 63
Year: 2000
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Chassis: AARE
Engine: 8.3L / MD3060R
Rated Cap: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javvgh View Post
A fresh engine would be great! But when you say back to factory specs do you mean a full overhaul? Any idea what that could cost??



If you do the work yourself, anywhere from $800 to $2K, depending on your serial number.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:22 AM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 5
Year: 05
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Engine: DT466 2004 225hp 620 lb-ft torque
Rated Cap: 90 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by cntryby View Post
If you do the work yourself, anywhere from $800 to $2K, depending on your serial number.
That’s not terrible. ESP reading what mechanics charge����. Do you know what the difference in serial no’s is/means? Why the cost difference?
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:59 AM   #9
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: South west Ga. / mid west Tenn.
Posts: 63
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 8.3L / MD3060R
Rated Cap: 46
I know there is different kits for different years, but they don't seem much different in what they provide.



Different gaskets, different part manufactures... etc.
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:13 AM   #10
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,435
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Welcome Aboard
I bought my bus after watching it for a year... owner finally got it down to where I was comfortable with the price, so I took my heavy equipment mechanic buddy to go look at it with me... after shakedown, he said "If you don't buy it, I'm going to". That was good enough for me, all that assessment cost me was a meatloaf dinner at our local diner

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Old 01-22-2021, 09:49 AM   #11
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: South west Ga. / mid west Tenn.
Posts: 63
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 8.3L / MD3060R
Rated Cap: 46
I re-read the original post... for some reason I thought it said 17K hours... low teens isn't to bad.


Assuming 55 mph:



55 miles x 14000 hours = 770,000 miles




That being said, most folks agree highway miles are easier than stop and go, and idle hours for a diesel should be even easier. The torque needed to start rolling the weight put's more force on the internals.

I would do a full service, brake inspection, fluids, air compressor brakes and suspension air systems, measure ball joint play... etc.

Find a service manual and work your way through the whole bus before you go any further with the build. Use the bus on short runs around locally to verify every things good.

Document all measurements and comment about what you find in a log book. You can use it for your mileage, oil consumption, parts replacement... anything. Just the date, what you did, any part numbers, oil brand and weight. You should have a pocket around the drivers area just for that log book and a pre trip check list which is another critical document. You'll be so grateful you did if you keep this bus for a while. It's amazing how many times you'll reference the log book.

I suggest detailed documentation for each built system, solar, plumbing, electrical...etc.

It may seem like a lot of effort, but once you start it's really not. It can save you so much time when trouble shooting. And generally when we need to trouble shoot... it's on the side of the road.

BTW, I'm in SW Ga, for the winter, how far are you from PCB?
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:37 PM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 5
Year: 05
Coachwork: Ic
Engine: DT466 2004 225hp 620 lb-ft torque
Rated Cap: 90 passenger
Wow! Thanks for all these ideas. Seems so obvious now that you’ve mentioned these things, but I will admit I hadn’t even thought about any of these things before. I’ll def look into getting a service manual. Pre-trip checklist is in my to-do list.

PCB is about 4.5 hours away (probably 5.5-6 hours in bus time) for me. I live in Jax.
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