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Old 04-09-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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HI All!

Hi folks!
Im the proud new owner of an International Loadstar 1603 and Im pretty desperate to get some info on her. Looks like I found the right place! Im interested in bus hacks that incorporate new technology especially hybrid concepts. I look forward to meeting you all!
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:32 PM   #2
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Welcome retsofh
You'll be hounded for photos soon. Everybody wants to watch your build.
I did recently see a bunch of hybrid bus parts for sale at auction, but they're gone by now. You didn't happen to get them did you?
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:38 PM   #3
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no it wasn't me. photos are coming and Im excited to learn the scoop on my bus. its a treasure with 75k miles and I think its a 1969.
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:14 PM   #4
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Nice find. Is this a live in bus or a trip bus?

There were 10 sets of hybrid bus batteries, plus basically 10 sets of a lot of things related to hybrid buses in the sale several months ago. I'd like to have a partial set of those bus batteries for a backup power source. Should be pretty durable.
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:28 PM   #5
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Thanks!
Im so happy with it; I took it for a burn and it purrs like a kitten and roars like a lion. fantastic engine. I was thinking of running two separate 24 volt systems solar fed with 6 8v or 4 12v marine batteries in two series. one will act as a backup as they will be independent
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:34 PM   #6
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its full factory converted to a camper with range fridge tanks furnace and bathroom. just needs a better electrical system
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:32 PM   #7
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That makes you much further along than I am.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:27 PM   #8
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welcome , sounds like a nice bus
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:51 AM   #9
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A Loadstar 1603 is an older lighter duty bus chassis built from the early '60's to the late '70's.

The most common engine in the 1603 was the SV304 V-8 but there were quite a few built with the inline 6 that was less than 300 cubic inches.

That chassis was great for what it was. It was most comfortable going on route at speeds of less than 35 MPH. Some had 2-speed rear ends but most had single speed rear ends with the most common top speeds being 47 MPH and 57 MPH. Some of the heavier duty Loadstars had the SV345/392 or MV404/446 and they had gearing for better than 60 MPH.

I don't think any of the 1600's ever came with diesel engines unless it was the little Perkins. Most of the diesels were in the 1700 or 1800 series chassis. The ones that did have diesels had the 9.0L, the 6.9/7.3/T444, or the DT466.

Repair parts are still available for just about anything on a Loadstar. I have found most of the parts at my local NAPA, CARQUEST, or O'Reilly's. Brake parts can be a challenge but as a last resort you can try a Navistar truck or IC Bus dealer.

The line setting ticket should be available from www.binderbooks.com

Good luck.
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
A Loadstar 1603 is an older lighter duty bus chassis built from the early '60's to the late '70's.

The most common engine in the 1603 was the SV304 V-8 but there were quite a few built with the inline 6 that was less than 300 cubic inches.

That chassis was great for what it was. It was most comfortable going on route at speeds of less than 35 MPH. Some had 2-speed rear ends but most had single speed rear ends with the most common top speeds being 47 MPH and 57 MPH. Some of the heavier duty Loadstars had the SV345/392 or MV404/446 and they had gearing for better than 60 MPH.

I don't think any of the 1600's ever came with diesel engines unless it was the little Perkins. Most of the diesels were in the 1700 or 1800 series chassis. The ones that did have diesels had the 9.0L, the 6.9/7.3/T444, or the DT466.

Repair parts are still available for just about anything on a Loadstar. I have found most of the parts at my local NAPA, CARQUEST, or O'Reilly's. Brake parts can be a challenge but as a last resort you can try a Navistar truck or IC Bus dealer.

The line setting ticket should be available from www.binderbooks.com

Good luck.
While I absolutely LOVED my 73 Scout Terra pickup in high school, I couldn't imagine a bus with the LITTLE Scout engines being very fun to drive.
Remember the little four cylinder Nissan engines?
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:01 AM   #11
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While I absolutely LOVED my 73 Scout Terra pickup in high school, I couldn't imagine a bus with the LITTLE Scout engines being very fun to drive.
Remember the little four cylinder Nissan engines?

my dad bought 2 scout diesels in 1980.. little nissan 3.3 Litre engines and 4 speed sticks..

imagine a full size scout with 100 horsepower .. of coursae when I learned to drive in 1985 one of the scouts was what I drove.. and of course I insisted in always running the A/C.. I just remember ALWAYS feeling the compressor kick in and out and having to adjust my foot asccordingly..

but that scout got 27 MPG.. something that even the modern fancy SUV's cant do...

And.. he still has One of them at 375,000 miles...

one if the "subsitute" busses I rode to school on was a 1971 Thomas gasoiline sitting on a Loadstar with s stick shift..

that bus had a "3 speed" stick.. it had L-1-2-3 and of course R... that bus went at least 60... it didnt seems too much like it was dog slow.. the driver used to run it hard.. he said it had more power than the "route bus" which was a 1980 Carpenter on a ford chassis with automatic..

since the OP's bus is factory converted irt might have highway style power-train instead of in-town skoolie power train

-Christopher
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:24 AM   #12
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IDK, like I said I love old internationals.
But a 304 with a 3 speed in a bus sounds dreadful.

You're right though- old binders lived forever. My Terra with the 345 was tough as nails and someones out there still wheeling in it in Sumter County FL last I heard.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:40 AM   #13
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I dont know... Ive got a DT360 and an AT545 .. the little ive driven it that bus took off pretty good... that AT545 eats up a ton more power than a stick shift does...

-Christopher
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:42 AM   #14
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I dont know... Ive got a DT360 and an AT545 .. the little ive driven it that bus took off pretty good... that AT545 eats up a ton more power than a stick shift does...

-Christopher
at545 is nothing like a 643 man.
A bus with a proper auto will vastly out accelerate a manual bus.
come take mine for a spin when you come back to FL.

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Old 04-18-2016, 09:02 AM   #15
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at545 is nothing like a 643 man.
A bus with a proper auto will vastly out accelerate a manual bus.
come take mine for a spin when you come back to FL.


I 100% agree.. I was comparing my experience with the AT545 / DT360 combo to the OP's 304 / 3 speed manual...

a stick shift or a Locked and coupled Automatic(MT643).. will waste much less power than an unlocked automatic (AT545)..

my point was that my bus drives fine with a DT360 / AT545 so im guessing the OP's bus with a 304 / 3 speed manual will likely drive fine too..

yours and my bus are 2 different animals.. im DT360, you are DT466, im AT545 yours is MT643.. I dont doubt that even fully loaded you could smoke me...

for me drivetrains are easy.. if I need a different drivetrain I'll swap in a 2100 and turn up the DT360 and have a whole different bus..

-Christopher
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:41 AM   #16
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I 100% agree.. I was comparing my experience with the AT545 / DT360 combo to the OP's 304 / 3 speed manual...

a stick shift or a Locked and coupled Automatic(MT643).. will waste much less power than an unlocked automatic (AT545)..

my point was that my bus drives fine with a DT360 / AT545 so im guessing the OP's bus with a 304 / 3 speed manual will likely drive fine too..

yours and my bus are 2 different animals.. im DT360, you are DT466, im AT545 yours is MT643.. I dont doubt that even fully loaded you could smoke me...

for me drivetrains are easy.. if I need a different drivetrain I'll swap in a 2100 and turn up the DT360 and have a whole different bus..

-Christopher
Sorry, I hadn't had my second cup of coffee and I sorta misunderstood what you were getting at Chris. My bad.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:19 PM   #17
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Hi guys, while we are talking scouts, just got me a 1962 unmolested all original, I will get it running not sure if a complete restoration, but want to tow it with my bus. but enough of this, I'm dying to see pics of this bus.
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