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Old 04-14-2019, 08:10 PM   #1
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Newbie schoolie question

Been following the nomadic van/schoolie/conversion world for a while with envy and I'm finally (nervously) taking the plunge. I'm planning on purchasing (Tuesday) a '95 International Shorty with a 7.3 turbo diesel and 4 spd Allison automatic. It only has 60k miles and looks in great shape. I haven't actually seen it in person, but conversations with owner lead me to believe it's a great buy and that he's taken care of it. I talked him down to 3500 from 4900...ANyway...he DID mention that it's governed to 55 mph. I am very mechanically able , but this is my first venture into diesels...so I need people who know a LOT more than me as I get started. Two questions

1) Is this engine/trans a good combo..I have read very good things about both the 7.3 and also the Allison, but again...it's diesel. It's ALL new to me. If it were gas I could tell you every motor and every transmission and specs. Also, my opinion is 60k miles is not even broken in yet for a diesel.

2) Can the governor be adjusted? I would think so. Not looking for anything major...but WOULD like to be able to hit 65 for highway use.

I have to drive it 300 miles back home at 55 which will be torture, but that's all I'll be driving it until the conversion is done so I can deal.

Thanks for any info and I'm REALLY glad I found this very useful site...Pete
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:14 PM   #2
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That mileage seems fishy to me. Too little for an old vehicle...
School bus, church bus, what?
60K is nothing on any modern motor, gas or diesel, if oil is changed properly.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:18 PM   #3
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this is it

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...1959805819269/

he said the miles were low because the school system was required to retire them after s certain amount of miles.....
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:20 PM   #4
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didn't see quick reply button so, a picture of the ad should be posted in a bit. It's a school bus...he said the miles are so ow because the school board in La is required to retire the busses after so many miles. The post with the link is gonna say the same thing...still getting the hang of communicating on here.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:25 PM   #5
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https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...1959805819269/

this is it
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:27 PM   #6
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So then what, he bought the bus in 2000 and it sat there doing nothing for another 20 years? That can kill the seals in the motor if it doesn't see much use.
just trying to be real...
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:34 PM   #7
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Oh I appreciate your question! I don't take insult because I don't feel like getting ripped. 60k seemed awfully low to me as well
...To be honest I DON'T think he's the first owner..but I asked how long it's been sitting and he said a couple months but he starts it and moves it around...I asked him a few things but was waiting until I saw the thing in person before I got the in depth 411.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...1959805819269/

disregard any posts that appear after this. They're repeats! Will delete!
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:38 PM   #8
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Yup, his reasoning seems even fishier than the odometer reading. If you had researched here before looking at the bus you would have known that almost all the school buses in the 80-90's had weak circuit board quality on the dashes and they usually fail sometime during their run and get replaced. A normal school bus will get 10k miles a year put on it, some vary, but use that number and that bus should have 4x's the indicated mileage. The Louisiana story is BS or we would know about a source for low mileage buses. The trans is likely an AT545. I don't think La. has the kind of money needed to retire buses after 1/4 of their service expectancy. The shorty might have a different dash, but mileage is still suspect. And I'm not saying $3500 isn't a good deal.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:40 PM   #9
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Look for wear on the brake pedal rubber. at 60K there should be none.
A family member bought a 15-year old Toyota pickup with "60K" and the pedal rubber was almost gone. the rest of the truck mechanically worn. She got 40K out of it. The 22R motor in it is legendary. It made Toyoda's reputation in the modern vehicle market. I think that truck had 500K+ on it when we took it to the scrapyard. Easy peasy to disconnect the speedo cable and re-connect it later....
That 95 does not have a digital dash on it, does it?
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:46 PM   #10
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I appreciate all the info, and sadly I'm a trustworthy person! I don't rip people off in my business or personal life so I always assume people are honest but I DO know better! I don't put ANYTHING past La. If they can figure a way to divert money through excuses, they will find a way!! Still...things to look for like the brake pedal rubber etc are useful.
I'm trying to not let my enthusiasm make me make a big mistake
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:10 AM   #11
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I actually think I'm gonna pass. My main concern is actually the 55 mph tops speed limit. I have no doubt I could adjust the governor, but still would require re-gearing for extended highway use which is going to be it's main purpose and that's an expense I'd rather put somewhere else, even though it might be an issue i encounter with ANY school bus....i don't know as the bus world is all new to me. I also wanna find something closer that is easier for me to check out while being a sole proprietor /slave! Still a bit on the fence about gas/vs diesel and have weighed the pro's and cons of both....

This site is definitely NOT going to be good for going to bed early!
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:10 PM   #12
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I would not bother was a gas engine in a full size bus. You'll average much lower fuel economy than a diesel counterpart (4-5 MPG compared to 8-ish).


A gas "cutaway" style bus is a different matter and a gas engine will serve you well in one.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I would not bother was a gas engine in a full size bus. You'll average much lower fuel economy than a diesel counterpart (4-5 MPG compared to 8-ish).


A gas "cutaway" style bus is a different matter and a gas engine will serve you well in one.
according to what I've read, the General Motors 366 with 4 speed automaic with lock up transmission comes close to diesel motors - I'm looking at getting the 366 because of the cold winter temperatures I plan to see in my travels - I'll be parked for hours, perhaps over night, where there is no shore power for block heaters - I don't want a diesel jelling up on me
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:23 PM   #14
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My 0.02

0.01) People say the strangest things when they're selling stuff. I try not to hold it against them, but do everything I can to block out what they say and just talk to the machine itself.

0.02) Diesels don't mind running, but they hate being neglected. Miles are less of an issue than poor care.

0.03) We used to have a bus that only barely hit 60, and now that we have a bust that does 68mph, well, we like that a lot.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:06 AM   #15
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My 2000 International with the 7.3L Turbo diesel was governed at 55mph when I got it - but all it took was a really good guy with a computer to change it.
However, I rarely go much over 55mph on the highway. I am never in a hurry and I get better MPG at 55mph. (I average 10-14 MPG) But it is nice to be able to pass when needed.
I have the T444E engine - I am not sure if the 1995 T444 is electrical or all mechanical - or how hard it would be to change the governor.

My bus showed 8,000 miles on the odometer when I bought it - but was over 290K. The instrument cluster was replaced. The computer showed the actual mileage and hours. Right now, I am at 340K miles and the bus runs like a bus. It struggles up mountain passes - but always keeps moving.

I change the oil over 5,000 miles - and change the fuel filter every 10,000. It seems to like that.


fullsizeoutput_c16.jpg
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:03 AM   #16
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Roger, I really like that color of your bus. The black accent looks awesome Nice work!!

What color is that?
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:00 PM   #17
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Roger, I really like that color of your bus. The black accent looks awesome Nice work!!

What color is that?


Thanks! I used “Safety Green” from Ace Hardware (their rustoleum brand). If comes in spray paint form, too - which helps for touch ups.

Pre-black lines:
IMG_6679.jpg

After:
IMG_6719.jpg
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