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Old 06-25-2018, 08:44 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
Find out what the tranny is on this.
Pictures show AC.

In Nevada.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/19...tml#post277137
Hey Mark. I looked at it. I used to live in the Tahoe Reno area. Lots of weather. I think that one looks too rusty for me to begin with. You can see it dripping down and eating at the roofline in the picture of the back of the bus.
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:05 AM   #122
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I agree with the rust issue. Rust is like a roach, for every one you see there's a hundred yo don't see!

BTW, you should really update your profile and at least add your location.
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:27 AM   #123
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Thomas, Bluebird, Cummins, International, CAT-OH MY

Im getting ready to pull a trigger. I hope to have a bus by weeks end. Gotta get cracking on the project. Thanks to everyone for the input so far. A few more questions guys, before I go dropping coin.

I am going to see if I can work a deal with the guy on that one with the rear main seal. I really like it but with the issues, mileage and HOURS I dont know if he will come down from the clouds yet.

There seems to be a bunch of buses at several Arizona dealers. Gonna chat with them and line up a few candidates to go look at. Also got some local merch so we will see what is what.

Driving down to AZ is about 5 hours so I would like to get squared away before I go.

The big questions.
1. ENGINES - I know everyone has an opinion and not trying to go into a classic Ford/Chevy/Mopar thing. But, from what I have seen on multiple sites the preferred engine order is something like
DT-466 Mech
Cummins 5.9
Cummins 8.3

CAT (purposely double spaced because everyone seems to hate them)

I get that a mechanical older motor without emissions and electronic burden is "easier" to work on.
These are mostly PRE-2000 and earlier buses right?
Is that opinion based on DIY repairs?
Is it because of a lack of diagnostic tools available to the layman or independent shops?
If I was not planing to do any more than fluid changes/flushes and such on the engine/trans and have everything else mechanical handled by a mechanic, does that change the opinion of more modern electronic engines?

CAT? Are these engines really that bad? If we rate all the CAT engines are there any that are decent or should I just stay away? The 3126? C7 ACERT? Any years better, worse?

TRANS? I get the 545 is a mule driver, not really meant for long highway miles, cant handle the heat. How about the 643? MD 3060 is good? Whats the order of transmissions or is it safe to say just try to stay away from the 545 for a highway skoolie and the rest are pretty even?

I remember the late 70's-80's when Catalytic Converters and egr and fuel injection became common on cars. I remember the growing pains, the mavericks/pintos/gremlins but also the neutered camaros and mustangs. They were some dark times in Detroit history. I remember when even suggesting throttle body, TPI, crossfire injected anything would get you smacked across the face with a 4 barrel Holley double pumper. But then something happened. Maybe mid 80's. The sleeper Mustang LX 5.0, Camaro Z28 manual, Grand National turbo 6 suddenly woke up. Performance started not only to match but even eclipse the golden years of 60's American muscle. Fast forward to today. If you opened the hood of any modern car from the past 10 years, I would have trouble even finding the engine under all that plastic. But, funny thing is you never have to open the hood. No more tune ups, no more adjustments no way to impress the lady by banging on the solenoid or messing with battery cables. Cars now go essentially 100k miles with nothing but oil changes. They run better, cleaner and stronger then ever before.
So, the long winded question is this. Is there a point where the electronics in buses got past the bloated junk phase and actually made them better? What are the dark ages? 2000-? Are we still in those days? I have seen a lot of buses pre 2010 that arent terribly high priced so I am wondering. Again, no plans to do any heavy work on the motor myself.

Thanks again for all the input. Im getting the bus and I couldn't do it without you guys.
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:34 AM   #124
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I agree with the rust issue. Rust is like a roach, for every one you see there's a hundred yo don't see!

BTW, you should really update your profile and at least add your location.
Just updated the profile. Trying to figure out how to put a picture up. Thanks for the heads up on that.
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:52 AM   #125
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Go to AZ and pony up for one of the RE 8.3's or DT's.
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:21 AM   #126
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Late 2004 was when the electric egr stuff started showing up and causing potentially time consuming and expensive diagnostics. I don't think Cat's are bad, just a reputation for being expensive to fix IF a problem occurs.
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:54 AM   #127
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To hit the questions you put in your last post:

. Mechanical buses stopped being a thing in the mid 90s. My wiring diagram on my 12v 5.9 TC2000 is so crazy simple, the bus will run with a single wire connected. My T444E has wires everywhere, and it's the first generation of electronic controlled diesels. They're way worse now!

. EGR has contributed to the deaths of countless diesel engines. This is not a solved problem even today. Diesel exhaust is thick and it clogs things that must not be clogged, and poof. If you go too new, you have to start buying exhaust fluid, which is the sort of thing we used to use as a joke like muffler bearings and blinker fluid.

. AT545 can do the highway, it does it better if you add cooling. It's just not great. It's still a tough transmission that regularly goes half a million miles, it's not like its made from mayonnaise. But prefer the others if it's possible. You won't fine a TC2000 FE with anything other than an AT545, and that's one of the most popular buses in the US.


. 2004 emissions changes are harsh. Every diesel engine manufacturer had at least one class action suit against them for the first generation of 2004 compliant engines. Navistar VT365/Ford 6.0 is considered to be a grenade with a loose pin by most unless it was owned by a very careful and particular person or had some expensive modifications done to it very early in its life. It's not uncommon to hear a Ford F series owner who replaced their motor twice before reaching 100k miles.


. You didn't put the T444E in your engine list. It's comparable to the 24v 5.9 Cummins. They didn't make a mechanical version of this one, the motor it replaced (7.3 IDI) was 100% different. It's also a great motor and what I've been driving in my short bus.

. One nice thing about electronic motors if you can get a Scangage D and view a bunch of stats, read codes, etc. Mechanical engines you have to read things the old fashioned way! I think I prefer the old fashioned way but if you must have electronic then I feel like this is a no brainer to have.

. CAT engines can be great engines, until they aren't. You could say that about all brands, but if you have a CAT problem you're getting it fixed at a CAT dealer. With a Cummins or Navistar engine, you can usually get what you need at Autozone or NAPA and any mechanic that has ever seen a dodge or ford truck won't be lost looking at your bus.

If you're getting a 40 footer I'd say the 5.9 should be lower in your list than the 8.3. I don't feel like my 32 footer is overly slow with my 5.9 but I probably wouldn't go bigger unless I planned to be parked 99% of the year.

I should also mention that as soon as you buy a bus, the one you *really* wanted will show up for half the price. That's just how it goes.
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Old 06-25-2018, 03:50 PM   #128
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That isn't right. The 530 is a longer stroke. The top end is the same as a 466HT. The crank is not.
I'm not a mechanic but the shop that rebuilt my 466 told me I could turn it into the 530. It's been a couple of years but I remember him saying something about the stroke. I think it had something to do with my engine being 250hp which I'm pretty sure is the HT.

Like I said, I'm not a mechanic and it made me a little, "Hmm, I'm not too sure about this, let's just rebuild it the way it was."
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Old 06-25-2018, 03:57 PM   #129
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Sounds like you're really doing your homework. The only other thing that looks like wasn't mentioned is the early 2000s DT466E was messed up because of the antifreeze messing up the O rings in the wet sleeve and getting into the fuel. That's why my engine needed a rebuild. Thankfully it's not that expensive if you can find a decent mechanic. If you had the time it's actually something you could do yourself.
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:15 PM   #130
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The DT408 is
Bore: 4.301
Stroke: 4.680

The DT466 is
Bore: 4.301
Stroke: 5.350

The DT530 is
Bore: 4.590
Stroke: 5.350

So, the DT466 is a stroked DT408, and the DT530 is a bored DT466.

*There may be other differences, and this may have changed since the MECHANICAL service manual that I have.*
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:26 PM   #131
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I was stumped on how you could gain cubic inches by changing out the head?
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:51 PM   #132
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To hit the questions you put in your last post:

. You didn't put the T444E in your engine list. It's comparable to the 24v 5.9 Cummins. They didn't make a mechanical version of this one, the motor it replaced (7.3 IDI) was 100% different. It's also a great motor and what I've been driving in my short bus.


If you're getting a 40 footer I'd say the 5.9 should be lower in your list than the 8.3. I don't feel like my 32 footer is overly slow with my 5.9 but I probably wouldn't go bigger unless I planned to be parked 99% of the year.

I should also mention that as soon as you buy a bus, the one you *really* wanted will show up for half the price. That's just how it goes.
Thanks Brokedown. I thought the T444E was in the same family as the DT466 and 530 and 3??. I will keep the T444E on the list.
So the 8.3 cummins is also called the ISC right?
I think your right the 8.3. That bus with the DT530 seemed nice and powerful. I imagine 8.3 would be similar.

BTW. Saw another bus today local. Way too rusty, but all the seats out already. Seems to be a common story Im hearing of "intended to do a conversion but then blah blah blah happened". That always makes me suspicious. But heres the thing. The guy selling is a real nice guy and in the equipment biz (not bus but heavy equipment construction something like this). He wants $10k for bus (NO WAY). But he keeps pushing that the motor/trans is worth that much. Another guy out here had one and was saying he wanted to put it in his pickup. Anyway, is that 5.9 cummins actually the same as the 5.9 cummins that they put in the Dodge 3500? I mean year for year would it be essentially the same motor?

I didnt have the heart to tell the guy that if all he wanted was the motor he could definitely get a jacked up bus with a 5.9 for 1k or less at an auction.
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:52 PM   #133
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Go to AZ and pony up for one of the RE 8.3's or DT's.
This is looking like the plan. Anyone have experience with the Arizona dealers? Good or bad? What about A-Z in California?
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:56 PM   #134
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Apparently it's in the rebuild kit which contains new sleeves and pistons, etc. I'm assuming the sleeves are interchangeable between the 466 and 530 and the inner diameters are different to fit the pistons. Complete assumption on my part and I guess the HT stuff works for the 530. Don't know if you would need bigger injectors and tweaking the computer either.
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:07 PM   #135
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The mechanics in this neck of the woods don't like the 444E unless it's on a small bus. And even then they don't like working on it. The 444E is an 8 cylinder (used in Ford pickups) and the 466/530 is an inline 6 using the same block for both. So all 3 are Internationals but not the same family.

I would recommend the 466/530 or 8.3. Those are the big school bus engines.

And yes, the 5.9 is the same engine as used in Dodge trucks.
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:17 PM   #136
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I'm not a mechanic but the shop that rebuilt my 466 told me I could turn it into the 530. It's been a couple of years but I remember him saying something about the stroke. I think it had something to do with my engine being 250hp which I'm pretty sure is the HT.

Like I said, I'm not a mechanic and it made me a little, "Hmm, I'm not too sure about this, let's just rebuild it the way it was."
The bore on a 466 and 530 are the same. The bottom end of the 530 is what's different. Yeah you COULD turn a 466 into a 530 but it would be ridiculously expensive and time consuming. Could just buy a 530 for way less money and hassle. Unless you're a master diesel tech.

You've got a top of the line bus, so if its got the HT engine then yeah the ONLY difference between your 466 and a 530 is the bottom end.
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:18 PM   #137
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This is looking like the plan. Anyone have experience with the Arizona dealers? Good or bad? What about A-Z in California?
I think its AAA bus sales in AZ that a few folks on here have had good luck with.
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:20 PM   #138
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Thanks Brokedown. I thought the T444E was in the same family as the DT466 and 530 and 3??. I will keep the T444E on the list.
So the 8.3 cummins is also called the ISC right?
I think your right the 8.3. That bus with the DT530 seemed nice and powerful. I imagine 8.3 would be similar.

BTW. Saw another bus today local. Way too rusty, but all the seats out already. Seems to be a common story Im hearing of "intended to do a conversion but then blah blah blah happened". That always makes me suspicious. But heres the thing. The guy selling is a real nice guy and in the equipment biz (not bus but heavy equipment construction something like this). He wants $10k for bus (NO WAY). But he keeps pushing that the motor/trans is worth that much. Another guy out here had one and was saying he wanted to put it in his pickup. Anyway, is that 5.9 cummins actually the same as the 5.9 cummins that they put in the Dodge 3500? I mean year for year would it be essentially the same motor?

I didnt have the heart to tell the guy that if all he wanted was the motor he could definitely get a jacked up bus with a 5.9 for 1k or less at an auction.
IMO the 444E is maginal. I'd take a short bus with one, but no way I'd buy a full size bus with a 444E. Unless its to resell on CL.
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:28 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
The bore on a 466 and 530 are the same. The bottom end of the 530 is what's different. Yeah you COULD turn a 466 into a 530 but it would be ridiculously expensive and time consuming. Could just buy a 530 for way less money and hassle. Unless you're a master diesel tech.

You've got a top of the line bus, so if its got the HT engine then yeah the ONLY difference between your 466 and a 530 is the bottom end.
I checked and the numbers posted below are incorrect. The stroke is the difference, not the bore. This would have the most effect on torque production.
466- b4.59/s 4.88, 530-b4.59/s5.35
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:30 PM   #140
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The 5.9 in a bus is mostly the same as the 5.9 in a Dodge truck. There are tuning differences for sure, and Dodge trucks generally don't have air compressors. Dodge trucks will be tuned for much higher peak power, the engine in a bus is set up for a longer service life.

I really don't see the T444E as being any less capable than the 5.9, and I own one of each.
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