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Old 02-06-2020, 08:19 AM   #1
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Picking a skoolie

My name is Mike and im from WV. I need some help from this amazing community in deciding which of 2 buses to buy! I am not very good with a 5 speed but can drive one, with that being said i am pretty nervous about driving a 5 speed bus. 1 of the busses is a 5 speed 1993 international DT 360 ward body, has some rusted floors and back door is rusted out at bottom, broken pane of glass on folding door, 2 leaky roof hatches, and old tires for $2500 (dont know what engine or trans,just know its diesel)...the 2nd bus is a 2004 international school bus with a T444E engine and allison 5 speed automatic (dont know which one) with 130k miles and no rust and new tires for $4,000! The extra money doesnt really matter especially with new tires...just want to make sure it doesnt have notorious problems (would feel much better with automatic)
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:36 AM   #2
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I'd go for the auto and new tires.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:00 AM   #3
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Do you have any info on that engine? Can you tell me best way to find out exactly what transmission is in it?
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:17 AM   #4
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444 with 5 speed auto in 2004 would be an allison 2000.
The engine is THE basic bus engine. Nothing special, nothing bad. Unremarkable but reliable enough.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:24 AM   #5
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444 with 5 speed auto in 2004 would be an allison 2000.
The engine is THE basic bus engine. Nothing special, nothing bad. Unremarkable but reliable enough.
Even still, in an 11 window bus? Could be underpowered, no? I really don't know as we've got a different engine in our 11 window bus. I guess it depends on how you'll be using it. Just my .02
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:42 AM   #6
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The bus with the T444e and Allison 2000 and NO RUST would be an easy choice for me.

The DT360 and 5 speed manual would be great in a 5-6 window but may be a bit underpowered in a larger bus.

Stay away from the rusty buses.

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:46 AM   #7
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Not a big fan of 444. It’s really just the ford power stroke pickup engine. Rather have the smaller dt 360. 5 speed ain’t any different than a four speed to drive. Hell of a lot cheaper to run that 360 manual! No computer, completely mechanical Don’t like either one! Keep looking
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:56 AM   #8
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Not a big fan of 444. Itís really just the ford power stroke pickup engine. Rather have the smaller dt 360. 5 speed ainít any different than a four speed to drive. Hell of a lot cheaper to run that 360 manual! No computer, completely mechanical Donít like either one! Keep looking
:r I think that you may have it a bit backwards. Navistar built and sold a version of the T444e to Ford to put in their pickups. Ford branded it as the Powerstroke.

If the bus in question has a DT-466 I could get a little more excited but given the rust described I would run away from it regardless.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:16 AM   #9
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I know the power stroke is an international engine. Just saying it’s a pickup motor. You can’t jam a DT360 into a truck! It’s a real bulletproof compression ignition motor. Cheap driving. I don’t like either one!
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:44 AM   #10
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T444e is one of the most common medium duty truck and bus engines you will find in the US up until it's replacement with the VT365. It is a good reliable engine.

There is a gent on either oilburners or 4btswaps that did in fact swap a DT-360 (5.9) in a Ford pickup. It looked like a sweet setup. I am a fan of the DT-360 and would love to have one in a shorty. Especially if mated with a manual transmission.



Add the new tires, relatively low miles and little or no rust I would be giving the T444e bus some serious consideration.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:51 AM   #11
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The bus with the T444e and Allison 2000 and NO RUST would be an easy choice for me.

The DT360 and 5 speed manual would be great in a 5-6 window but may be a bit underpowered in a larger bus.

Stay away from the rusty buses.

Good luck.
Is that an easy choice as in yes to the T444E? Im mostly looking to use it as a house extension that i can use for whatever reason (my own tiny house for personal space but also set up with solar to make its own power in case of a bad situation arrising)but to be able to just start it up and take my girlfriend and her kids on some trips...nothing too far and to take to festivals here or there
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:59 AM   #12
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Is that an easy choice as in yes to the T444E? Im mostly looking to use it as a house extension that i can use for whatever reason (my own tiny house for personal space but also set up with solar to make its own power in case of a bad situation arrising)but to be able to just start it up and take my girlfriend and her kids on some trips...nothing too far and to take to festivals here or there
Yes, of the buses you mentioned, the T444e/2000 equipped bus would be my first choice. I would still do my due diligence before putting my money down. Make sure that it is equipped and actually in the condition that the seller has advertised.

We recently had a to do here when a bus was purchased and driven a considerable distance before it was discovered that the bus had an AT-545 and not the 2000 series transmission.

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:07 AM   #13
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I dont know really anything about fixing cars but my lifelong best friend is a really good mechanic and he is going to go with me and check it all out...have never bought a vehicle without him ������ he is actually the one that found it and said i should prob buy it vs the other one.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:32 PM   #14
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Less rust is always better. Also, avoid anything with the old "split" rims. You'll have a hard time finding anybody willing to deal with them.
Be patient, there are plenty of full length (11 window) buses out there that can be had for reasonable $. And that's my .02.
Good luck.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:33 PM   #15
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Less rust is always better. Also, avoid anything with the old "split" rims. You'll have a hard time finding anybody willing to deal with them.
Be patient, there are plenty of full length (11 window) buses out there that can be had for reasonable $. And that's my .02.
Good luck.
Those are Dayton wheels which aren't split rim. They are still really old and obsolete.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:11 PM   #16
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Less rust is always better. Also, avoid anything with the old "split" rims. You'll have a hard time finding anybody willing to deal with them.
Be patient, there are plenty of full length (11 window) buses out there that can be had for reasonable $. And that's my .02.
Good luck.
Nothing made in the last few decades has split rims.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:12 PM   #17
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Those are Dayton wheels which aren't split rim. They are still really old and obsolete.
You can change daytons on the side of the road with no compressor or giant air tools.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:38 PM   #18
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Nothing made in the last few decades has split rims.
Yeah, not sure when they stopped being used...one of the buses being considered by WildWonderfulWV was from the early 90's.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:20 PM   #19
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Yeah, not sure when they stopped being used...one of the buses being considered by WildWonderfulWV was from the early 90's.
They may be Daytons, but not "widowmakers".
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Old 02-12-2020, 03:31 PM   #20
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I know itís a long way away from you and might cost just a tad more but please go to the the website ď wesellschoolbuses.com
That is were we got our bus.
# 727-457-3422 speak with Greg!
They will find you EXACTLY what you want and need!
They even saved us 5000$ having the bus painted.
Send me a contact number or email and Iíll show you some awesome pictures.
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