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Old 03-24-2022, 01:51 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1
New to the community trying to learn

Hello everyone!

I'm looking to get a full size skoolie to live in full time. I bought land in New Hampshire that will be my home base. I plan on mostly keeping it there and doing short term short distance trips to camp in northern Maine and Vermont.

I've learned so much from the forums here already. About different engines and transmissions and what combinations are desirable.

I've mostly been searching from Virginia to Georgia. I've noticed a good amount of decent priced buses. This area is the furthest I'm comfortable driving home in a random bus I just picked up. The area is mostly rust free which rust is a big deal to me as I'm from New England. I'm looking for something late 80s to 2006(before the dreaded emissions electronics).

I'm mostly seeing buses with the Cat 3126 or T444e with Allison AT545. I know that there's a lot of negative feelings towards these drivetrains. I've worked on old jeeps for the last 7 years and am in the military so I know some things about mechanics and diesel preventative maintenance.

Tell me what you think! Am I looking in the right area? Is my fears about driving long distance unfounded? Are these drivetrains fine for my use case?

Also if you know of any good skoolies that you think would fit my needs please feel free to reach out.

I'm looking forward to learning more from this community!

Live Free or Die
Derek P

Dsproulx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2022, 03:25 PM   #2
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 17,856
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the 3126 and T444E are great engines.. if you arent trekking over the rocky mountains and all across the country or towing massive laods, the AT545 will likely be just fine for you.. sounds like your plans are shorter camping drives and mainly in a somewhat close area to home.. AT545 is just fine for that.

the AT545 sucks for towing heavy loads and trekking long mountain grades where you get it hot and have little to no engine braking on the other side (downhill).

the T444E is Aka the ford power stroke 7.3 (an engine many still think was the best)... the 3126 is pre emission and is also a good option.. its not super powerful, but again if you arent trekking 1000s of miles and want to do it at 75 MPH then you would be fine with it. the Cummins 5.9 is another really common school bus engine.. and its generally a great option as well
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote

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