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Old 02-22-2021, 10:34 PM   #1
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Hello everyone! I have wanted to do a skoolie conversion for years and now the time is finally right! I have been scouring the internet, auctions, Craigslist, Facebook market, everything trying to find the right bus. I need a DT466 with under 200,000 miles and between 25 and 30 feet long. Finally I found it! We are going tomorrow to check it out but I wanted some advice from yíall! Itís a 2002 AmTran 3000 flatnose front engine DT466 with 194k miles on it. Itís the perfect size and itís been demoed and subfloor installed. I just donít know much about the AmTran or what questions to ask, so anything you guys can give me will be appreciated!!
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:50 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 99
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000
Engine: IC T444E
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Originally Posted by Britt_Grey View Post
I need a DT466 with under 200,000 miles and between 25 and 30 feet long.

It’s a 2002 AmTran 3000 flatnose front engine DT466 with 194k miles on it.
My bus is a 2000 Amtran 3000 33' with a T444E engine and an MT643 tranny with 189k on it. So, pretty much the same bus.

Per any buyers remorse in relation to my bus, it's really all drivetrain related.

The DT466 is a great engine, as is my T444E. BUT, it's an International. International, as apparently are most of the manufacturers, are not very skoolie friendly. Their dealerships won't blow their nose without getting permission from International. I'm not sure what kind of aftermarket tuners and such are available for the DT466, but that's been a problem with my T444E. Fortunately, someone just started offering software to tune the T444E!!

My solution, as many others have, to addressing my engine was to buy the RP1210 interface and download the International software. The software for my engine was free to download. I'm not sure about the DT466.

My tranny is a mechanical 4 speed. I definitely would want at least a 5 gears if not 6. If the bus has an electronic tranny, then I'm sure it has at least 5 gears. The MT643 uses an electric modulator that is known to be a problem child. I'm awaiting the arrival of my new relay to see if that solves my modulator problem. Point is, researching your tranny for known issues is a good idea.

I'm not sure about the different trannys that can connect up to a DT466 easily, but if the tranny in the bus is not to your satisfaction, knowing what you can swap out is good to know before you buy, rather than finding out your choices are limited.

My other "mistake" was not test driving on the highway. I have a little shake in the front and my RPMs were 2400 at 60mph as I was driving her home. Because I have a RE and mechanical tranny, the cost of swapping out the transmission controls to electronic, running 30'+ of harness and a new adapter to fit in a different tranny was way to much. So, I ended up putting a rebuilt differential that changed my gearing from 5.11 to 4.10. Now, I do 60mph at 2050rpm. But, that affected my hill climbing ability a bit. In addition, I paid $2,300 for the bus and $2,500 for the tranny plus install. Ug!

Besides that, I love my bus for it's medium size. I'm a school bus driver and have driven 40' in downtown Seattle. My 33' is like a sports car in comparison.

The FE is going to be noisy, but you'll love that rear exit door for storage access!

Personally, I love my flat nose (officially a Type D). I use to own a VW Camper bus and always loved the feeling of being out in front of the wheels and that wide open view. I've get the same feeling in my skoolie, but higher up and I feel a lot more safe.

I hope this helps and best of luck to you.
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