I've been lurking for a few years - looking at pictures mostly, and finally after realizing there are less years ahead than behind and I'd better get off of my keester and either buy a bus - or resign myself to bus voyeurism and eventual regret, I'm definitely on my way to the former.
Sure a bit more money to save .. and to actually find a rig - but it's going to happen.
I suppose many start here with the big open ended question of "which bus?". And so I shall not disappoint. However, with a pretty clear idea of what i want and my skills, I've pared things down considerably - and so my question is a bit more specific.
Although (as they are the most common configuration here) a Bluebird IH 3800 conventional will likely be what I end up going for - and am quite comfortable with the DT466 as an engine choice, But I'm quite partial towards some of the flat nosed buses which I tend to see with either the 5.9 Cummins, of T444e Ford/Navistar.
At a glance I'd think both of those engines might be decent enough choices - especially the 5.9 now that they're common as heck in pickups and the coming years will see boneyards full of them - equals cheap and plentiful parts.
But.. man the 5.9 seems underpowered for pulling a bus. I mean they must be capable because they put them in, but are they being worked to death?
Then again, five and a half litre gas engines pulled them around in the 70's...
I'm partial to the DT466 because I'd likely as not do a piston and liner job (~$1000 in parts) straight away and put it out of my mind.
My dream is to actually put some miles on, and I'd rather not have the dream turn to nightmare 300 miles outside of Winnipeg with a powerstroke that has scattered itself all over the Trans Canada.
I obviously don't expect to win any quarter mile trophies - but I'd like a comfortable highway cruise without having to hug the right with hazards on.
Our 466 powered straight trucks will cruise nicely at the 110Km/h (68Mph) limiter, no problem powering up grades.
Anyone mind sharing drivability stories of their T444 / 5.9 powered rigs?
As well, data on exactly what some of these buses weight (curb weight) has been quite difficult to find. I figure a 38 foot bus has to be somewhere between 14 and 19,000 pounds, but no idea how much they varied between body manufacturer, year, configuration, etc. HAve any of you actually weighed your rigs?
Thanks to anyone for taking the time. I look forward to spelling out my whole master plan an how it came to this some time in the future should anyone care to read it.