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Old 11-20-2018, 02:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 10
Need help with engine and transmission combinations.

Hello! I'm new here. I've been researching anything that has to do with a bus, for a few weeks, now. I'm now actively looking for a bus. So far, it's very annoying. I'm so focused on getting the right engine and transmission.
So many Allison 545s in Minnesota. I feel like that's all I can find, that's in my price range. (Under $8k)

The very first Allison 2000 series I've found has a T-444.
I've looked at peoples opinion on that, in the group, already. I didn't see any mixes with T-444 and the A-2000 series.
It's a 77 pass. bus.
Here is a link, actually:

I'm wanting to live in the bus, full-time, traveling, working, etc. Really want to be in the mountains.
I want to travel to all states, until I figure out where I actually want to live, permanently.
That's why I want a bus. I can't figure out where I want to live.

Anyway, if someone could help me out, I would be SO grateful!

I keep feeling like I'm getting no where, everytime I get more details on a bus.

Thank you!

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Old 11-22-2018, 12:54 PM   #2
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,401
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Looks like the address has expired.

The T444 has a very good reputation. As does the Allison 2500.

I would think that would be a good combination especially if it is one of the higher horsepower T444e's.

My own preferences run to the bigger I6's like the Cummins 8.3 or the International DT-466/530.

Good luck!
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:54 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Greater Boston
Posts: 504
The Allison 2000-series is good.

For a full-size bus, I think the T444 is a little small. A medium-sized bus, or a shortie, no problem - but I'd be a little wary of one on a 77 passenger, especially in the mountains. It will do it, it's just going to be slow.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:00 PM   #4
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,401
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
For perspective....

Brokedown toured the country in a T444e/AT545 equipped Vista bus with success.

I have to say that Josh is a much more patient man than I am.

If mountain taming is your goal, I would keep an eye out for DT-466/530 or Cummins 8.3 powered bus with the 2000/3000 series transmissions.

I used my Bluebird as a moving truck last year. Packed up to the ceiling.

95F outside going over Snoqualmie Pass. I chose to slow down to 60 on the summit as coolant temperature was up a bit.

Love my 8.3
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:54 PM   #5
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Claremont, NH
Posts: 470
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
The 6 cyl engines will be smoother. Also, widen your search with searchtempest or something similar. We are in NH but searched from VA south for our bus. Ended up finding it in NC.
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:24 PM   #6
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,714
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I rank the engines sort of like this-
But that's just sort of a rough guide I go by.
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Old 11-22-2018, 10:34 PM   #7
Almost There
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Watkins, Iowa
Posts: 83
Year: 2006
Coachwork: IH
Chassis: FE 300
Engine: DT 466
Rated Cap: 84
maybe try and stay older than egr engines also
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Old 11-23-2018, 09:14 AM   #8
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,326
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
ECCB has the rank about right.. all of the engines hementioned for the most part are reliable beasts.. there are certain serial numbers and years to avoid in the cummins 5.9. that others can comment on. but there are a lot ofgood cummins 5.9 as well..

if you are planning on running the mountains your preferred rig will be 8.3 or DT-466 based.. (and not the low Horsepower DT-466).. not that you cant run mountains with all of the above combos, its what will give you generally the best experience..

AND. I always say SLOW DOWN in the mountains.. regardless of whether have a 260 HP cummins 8.3. or a 175HP 444E. keep your speed down.. you will have s *LOT* of metal in your hands as you traverse the various ranges..

yes many ofthe truckers go slow up the hills. because the huge weight and lower HP keep them from flying, many of them go slow because they know that slow-speed is Necessary when you go down hill..

the main reasons for having bigger engines on the inclines is that you arent working them to death as you climb.. AND you have good compression capacity to help slow you on the way down the other side..

many of these engines are electronically controlled and come in various ratings.. so be sure to either see pictures of the tag on the engine that shows its horsepower or get the VIN.. if you buy a bus from a manufacturer still in business, you can call them with the VIN and they will tell you what the engine rating / trans / gear ratio etc is..

for instance the DT-466E came in variants from 175HP (often with AT545).. all the way up to the HO versions pumping out 250 HP. (often in rear engine Amtran).

while its theoretically possible to re-rate these engines through computer programming and some hardware changes, its MUCH easier to spend some time, find and buy a bus that has the drivetrain you desire..

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