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Old 03-20-2021, 06:53 PM   #1
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Hello from Florida

So I have been doing research and tried my best to find the answer but wasn't successful. With that being said I'll ask, possibly again (sorry). I have been trying to figure out the best mini/short bus with motor transmission combo. I've come across the 8.3 Cummings paired with the MT643 or MD3060. I just can't figure out if that combo comes in the short buses. If it doesn't, I'm hoping someone can drop some well needed knowledge. Right now we are looking for a bus but trying to do the most research as possible.

Thank you in advance!
Hannah

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Old 03-20-2021, 09:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Many a members can answer your question with much more knowledge and reasoning than I can, but I'll throw what I think I know into the ring.

Engines and transmissions are sized according to the size of the bus they will be used in. An 8.3 is a damn big engine for a mini to mid size bus.

Per the transmissions, the two you mentioned are two pretty different animals. The MT643 (I have one) is a mechanical transmission. The only thing electrical about it would be the shift modulator, which is activated by an Engine Control Module (computer). If the engine doesn't have a computer, the modulator will be mechanical. The main issue with the MT643 (and AT545 found in smaller rigs) is that they only have four gears, and the aforementioned modulator is a known issue in those transmissions. With so few gears, it's got a big range between gears, so you have less performance and your tranny works harder.

The 3060 (3000 series) is a great transmission, but again, rated for larger vehicles. The 1000 and 2000 series are the little and baby brothers of the 3000. All three of these are computerized and electrical. They generally have 5, sometimes 6 gears giving you better mpg, tighter gearing and the tranny doesn't have to work so hard. Think of doing the same job with 4 people vs 5 or 6.

So, if you're looking at a smaller bus (not full size), you're likely to get a smaller engine 5.9, 6.7, 7.3L and transmission, MT545 (avoid), MT643 or maybe a 1000 or 2000 Allison series.

What's best for you really depends on what you are wanting to do with your bus. Are you going to live in it full time and travel a lot? Are you going to be venturing over long grades and at altitude? Or, is it more of a weekend use with short drives and relatively low engine loads (flat roads)? Speaking of roads, are they always going to be paved, maintained dirt or "Hold on Martha, it's going to get bumpy!"?

All this can make a real difference in what vehicle, engine and tranny you're going to try and find.

Sharing these details will help others give you better responses.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-20-2021, 10:00 PM   #3
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Location: Florida
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Year: 2006
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I have an 06Thomas Minotour 6L V8 Vortec engine with a four speed auto transmission. I haven’t had it long but I love it.
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Old 03-20-2021, 11:39 PM   #4
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Thank you Simplicity! That helps so much!!
Freebo does your bus do good in the mountains? Also how is the speed? I've come across several people saying their bus does not go over 45 or 50. We are wanting to go full-time living and traveling definitely want to be going to the mountains as well as some dirt roads.
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Old 03-22-2021, 12:47 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 2006
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Chassis: Minotour
Engine: V8 Vortex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyHan15 View Post
Thank you Simplicity! That helps so much!!
Freebo does your bus do good in the mountains? Also how is the speed? I've come across several people saying their bus does not go over 45 or 50. We are wanting to go full-time living and traveling definitely want to be going to the mountains as well as some dirt roads.
I just got mine. Havenít had it in the mountains yet. Plenty of power. Interstate speed no problem at 75 (except on gas consumption). I do go over a big causeway to work and no problem.
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Old 03-22-2021, 01:41 PM   #6
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Location: Miami, Fl.
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyHan15 View Post
So I have been doing research and tried my best to find the answer but wasn't successful. With that being said I'll ask, possibly again (sorry). I have been trying to figure out the best mini/short bus with motor transmission combo. I've come across the 8.3 Cummings paired with the MT643 or MD3060. I just can't figure out if that combo comes in the short buses. If it doesn't, I'm hoping someone can drop some well needed knowledge. Right now we are looking for a bus but trying to do the most research as possible.

Thank you in advance!
Hannah
If you can find a mini/short bus with an 8.3 an an MD3060 for a good price, jump on it!

I got a DT466e with an MD3060 on a full size, 40 footer and it does 70mph no problem!

Difference between the two motors, one is a wet sleeve design and the other I believe it is not.

Both are good engines but stay far away from any Maxxforce motors !!!
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