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Old 05-28-2018, 07:33 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Talking Heading down the rabbit hole

Hello all,

Long time lurker & I just bought a bus sight unseen she's a 2000 international amtran RE with the DT530e paired with the md3060.

I'll be heading to pick it up next week and had a couple questions about immediate maintenance. I'll be attempting a 1600 mile drive back home and want to do the most I can to alleviate an avoidable breakdown. So what should I have done right away? Oil & filter change, fuel filter change, check all belts, check slack adjusters & brake pad depth, tires look to be new but will check date codes/depth. Any other advice?

Also anyone near the Phoenix area have a shop they recommend in the area?

Excited to finally join the skoolie family, and appreciate any advice!
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:13 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the bus ! I live in flagstaff and don't know any great diesel shops in phoenix but I would say that if I were picking up a bus in phoenix I would make the time I pick,it up and head out of town a priority . traffic is brutal in phoenix and its getting really hot there this time of year . last thing i would want would be to be stuck in 110 degree heat gridlocked in traffic for hours with a bus that i wasn't really familiar with .

The hill getting to flagstaff from phoenix is pretty big but it's much better camping weather up here if that's on your agenda
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Eclipse436 View Post
Hello all,

Long time lurker & I just bought a bus sight unseen she's a 2000 international amtran RE with the DT530e paired with the md3060.

I'll be heading to pick it up next week and had a couple questions about immediate maintenance. I'll be attempting a 1600 mile drive back home and want to do the most I can to alleviate an avoidable breakdown. So what should I have done right away? Oil & filter change, fuel filter change, check all belts, check slack adjusters & brake pad depth, tires look to be new but will check date codes/depth. Any other advice?

Also anyone near the Phoenix area have a shop they recommend in the area?

Excited to finally join the skoolie family, and appreciate any advice!
You STOLE that bus! Congrats!

Kudos to you for starting out with an awesome setup!
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:26 AM   #4
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Congratulations on the bus ! I live in flagstaff and don't know any great diesel shops in phoenix but I would say that if I were picking up a bus in phoenix I would make the time I pick,it up and head out of town a priority . traffic is brutal in phoenix and its getting really hot there this time of year . last thing i would want would be to be stuck in 110 degree heat gridlocked in traffic for hours with a bus that i wasn't really familiar with .

The hill getting to flagstaff from phoenix is pretty big but it's much better camping weather up here if that's on your agenda
Thanks for the kind words & info, I hadn't thought about the timing of traffic I'll definitely keep that in mind. I'll be taking that hill up to Flagstaff on my way out, do you happen to know the grade of it?
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the kind words & info, I hadn't thought about the timing of traffic I'll definitely keep that in mind. I'll be taking that hill up to Flagstaff on my way out, do you happen to know the grade of it?
With a 530 and 3060 grades won't be much of a problem.
That's the KING of modern buses.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:30 AM   #6
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You STOLE that bus! Congrats!

Kudos to you for starting out with an awesome setup!
Haha, it was tough keeping up with the whole lot of them with the 530/3060 combo, quite a rush in the final moments! I've been looking for a bus of this type for a few years and with the price as low as it was I figured it was worth the chance! Hopefully she runs great and its smooth sailing into the conversion!
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:33 AM   #7
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With a 530 and 3060 grades won't be much of a problem.
That's the KING of modern buses.
My only worry is the cooling system with the forecast of 110 degrees for the coming weeks & a steep grade straight out of the gates. I know my eyes will be glued to the gauges the whole drive
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:33 AM   #8
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Haha, it was tough keeping up with the whole lot of them with the 530/3060 combo, quite a rush in the final moments! I've been looking for a bus of this type for a few years and with the price as low as it was I figured it was worth the chance! Hopefully she runs great and its smooth sailing into the conversion!
At the prices they went for you cannot go wrong.
Those are BIG bucks at dealer lots.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:35 AM   #9
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My only worry is the cooling system with the forecast of 110 degrees for the coming weeks & a steep grade straight out of the gates. I know my eyes will be glued to the gauges the whole drive
I didn't get the ascent on vid, but here's me on a LOOOONG 6% grade in a totally untested bus I paid $2000 for sight unseen.

This was a 195hp DT466 with 643.

You'll be FINE.

Make sure coolant level and oil level are good and they don't look toasted and you should be fine.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:51 AM   #10
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I didn't get the ascent on vid, but here's me on a LOOOONG 6% grade in a totally untested bus I paid $2000 for sight unseen.

This was a 195hp DT466 with 643.

You'll be FINE.

Make sure coolant level and oil level are good and they don't look toasted and you should be fine.
I think I've seen this video before with a Johnny cash song posted with it! On the uphill grade did you keep it in a lower gear? I know on the downhill it's best to keep it low and use "stab" braking if needed. Is your bus a 6 speed? I thought the 643 had a push button shifter
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:24 AM   #11
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Little sigh of relief, in all the excitement I didn't think to look for a dealership in the area to do the fluid service/inspection. Just got off the phone with RWC group in phoenix who quoted me $150 for a PM service & inspection and they told me they would look into getting the line ticket for me as well! Super pleasant & helpful on the phone. My nerves are slowly calming
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:03 PM   #12
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Good to hear you found a good place to get the bus checked out before hitting the road. I think I remember seeing those bigger busses online. If I remember correctly they were from Peoria unified school district . i know someone who has worked for that district for over 30 years , and when i I was looking for buses I asked them to personally contact the maintenance department because they knew a bunch of people over there and get the down low on how well they maintain their Fleet. She called them and talk to him for a while and the end result was it sounded like they do a pretty Kick-Ass job of maintaining their buses so I bet you got a great one! It'll probably be good for peace of mind to get it checked out but you might not even need it. And I don't know the exact grade of the steepest part on the way up to Flagstaff for it's pretty steep sounds like you won't have any trouble though , which I have to say I'm extremely jealous of
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:38 PM   #13
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I think I've seen this video before with a Johnny cash song posted with it! On the uphill grade did you keep it in a lower gear? I know on the downhill it's best to keep it low and use "stab" braking if needed. Is your bus a 6 speed? I thought the 643 had a push button shifter
Yeah, whatever gear you go up in, you go down in.
643 is a 4 speed with no OD. I used 3rd.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:05 PM   #14
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Good to hear you found a good place to get the bus checked out before hitting the road. I think I remember seeing those bigger busses online. If I remember correctly they were from Peoria unified school district . i know someone who has worked for that district for over 30 years , and when i I was looking for buses I asked them to personally contact the maintenance department because they knew a bunch of people over there and get the down low on how well they maintain their Fleet. She called them and talk to him for a while and the end result was it sounded like they do a pretty Kick-Ass job of maintaining their buses so I bet you got a great one! It'll probably be good for peace of mind to get it checked out but you might not even need it. And I don't know the exact grade of the steepest part on the way up to Flagstaff for it's pretty steep sounds like you won't have any trouble though , which I have to say I'm extremely jealous of
You are correct, it is from the peoria unified school district, from what I've heard AZ busses are great for no rust & I had found another thread on here that linked to a news story that had all the az school districts annual inspections listed, most of the notes from the peoria district were for burnt out lights or missing first aid kits. Seems like they rarely got hit for a major item being wrong so I'm faithful she'll be a good bus. I don't think my nerves will calm down completely until I get through the inspection and out of the 100 degree weather though.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:09 PM   #15
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Yeah, whatever gear you go up in, you go down in.
643 is a 4 speed with no OD. I used 3rd.
Ah the are so many transmissions with 3's & 6's I must have mixed them up in my head, what rpm do you usually cruise at with the 466? I'm trying to figure out the sweet spot & max rpm for the 530 but can't seem to type the right words into google.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:25 PM   #16
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Ah the are so many transmissions with 3's & 6's I must have mixed them up in my head, what rpm do you usually cruise at with the 466? I'm trying to figure out the sweet spot & max rpm for the 530 but can't seem to type the right words into google.
Sweet spot is around 2000-2200 on a 530, I'd think. They redline at around 2400. The 466 standard torque redlines at 2600 but the high torque 466 and the 530 are both 2400. They make a lot more torque.
With the 466's I've had they're happiest a few hundred rpm below redline.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:34 PM   #17
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the DT's like to cruise best at 2200 and below... they will run higher but even navistar states in the service manuaks that the hiogher you run the RPM the life expectency is reduced on them. (at least on the mechanicals.. im assuming the 'E's are similar)

-Christopher
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:40 PM   #18
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the DT's like to cruise best at 2200 and below... they will run higher but even navistar states in the service manuaks that the hiogher you run the RPM the life expectency is reduced on them. (at least on the mechanicals.. im assuming the 'E's are similar)

-Christopher
What drivetrain is in Redbird?
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:42 PM   #19
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What drivetrain is in Redbird?
195hp 444E with a custom Allison 1000.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:24 PM   #20
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Awesome, 2000-2200 is about what I was expecting. Thanks for all info guys, I really do appreciate it. I got the pickup date set & bought the plane ticket for next Tuesday, I'll start a build thread then and post some pictures.
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