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Old 07-26-2021, 01:35 PM   #1
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1978 International Loadster

Hello all,

We’re totally new to school buses but have been wanting one to convert to take on shorter drives with our kids/dogs.
We recently found out our neighbor has a 1978 International Loadstar 1700 sitting on his property that he’s had for 20 years. We’re looking to buy it from him but we were curious if anyone knows anything about this style/year of bus or opinions are welcomed.
We’ve been doing the regular googling but we haven’t found too much. It has 70k miles and looks to be in overall good shape with no rust just dirty. He’s driven it once within the last 3 years but he hasn’t done much else with it since he his 85.
It also has Wayne lifeguard plaques on it.
One thing we’ve never seen before is the blue gear box/thing in the center by the shifter with the knob that says high speed control. It says Evinrude on it.

Thank you!

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Old 07-26-2021, 01:43 PM   #2
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That’s a cool looking old bus.
I’m pretty sure you’re looking at and old outboard motor just laying in there for storage.
Save that cool bus!
Cheers
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:48 PM   #3
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Year: 1991
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I thiought evinrude made old boat motors.. at least I thought thats what my buddie's old man has on his old boat.. same color anyway.. are you sure that thing is attached to the bus and not just laying on the floor?
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:53 PM   #4
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I think it's amphibious.
Jack
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:54 PM   #5
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Or a custom throttle control? Lol
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
I think it's amphibious.
Jack
You go first Jack!
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:00 PM   #7
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evinrude

just a outboard engine on the floor. I would guess a v8 gasoline engine, 345 cubic inch that is about 5.7 litre gasoline engine..... could be diesel, but not likely. If it has good bones to it.... yea it will do the job.


keep in mind i bought a 1954 with no engine or transmission, or brakes, or radiator.......
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:09 PM   #8
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If you're a mechanic, have at it. Some of those old buses have a cool factor to them. But if you have no mechanical ability, you better have a big pocket book, and if you have neither, you might just want to walk away.

Owning classics isn't for the faint of heart, or the mechanically uninclined. Some stuff is obsolete, and finding anybody who knows how to do diagnostics without a scan tool is getting tougher by the day.
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:20 PM   #9
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Expect fuel economy in the 4-5 MPG range if you proceed.
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:20 PM   #10
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
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1978.. my 392 is a 1600 series .. 1700 series are a little heavier weight.. classics are definitely a lot to own.. you'll have quite a bit of work to revive it but heck a loadstar is a fun bus to have.. not practical to drive across the country back a bunch but I keep mine as a classic to play with.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:09 AM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback! After looking up the the brand of outboard motor that’s exactly what it is. It was dark when the owner let us go through it. All I had was my phone as a light. The outboard looked like it went into the firewall. Makes for a good laugh now though. The owners are Really nice people. He was going to convert it himself years ago. Sounds like his wife turned it down. Or so they joke about it.

I’m a mechanic and my wife does woodworking. I got a look at the engine bay. The engine looks like it still has the fresh red paint after the rebuild. The owner said he parked it and just let it sit. I got inside and a good look underneath. No signs of rust or structural damage. I think it is the 345 but I’m no expert by any means. Just looks dirty from sitting. The tires would definitely need addressed though.

Anything in particular to look out for on the 345? Thank you
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Old 07-27-2021, 06:21 AM   #12
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Year: 1991
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the 345 and 392 look very similar. the 392 will have 3 bolt exhaust flanges and the 345 has 2.. 345's came in 2 or 4 barrell and the 392 was always 4 barrell. the original carbs are holley and have a built in governer.. if you changhe the carb out you'll lose the governer and theres no tach so unless you are good at judging engine speed, put in a tach. my Loadstar came with a replacement edelbrock 1405 already on it.



by 1978 even the 392 had overcome its cooling issues by then.. the 345 never had cooling issues. like any motor thats sat, flush the coolant, change the oil.. unless its been upgraded it will have breaker points.. DUI makes a drop in HEI distributor to fit the 345 / 392 that gives you a familiar coil in cap like the mid 70s through mid 80s GM's used.



I love my old gasoline bus.. many will say they arent trip worthy however they are simple like working on an old classic car engine. the 345 was used in scouts and still has a following so learning about it has a good online community and source of parts. again the 392 is similar..



many of the late 70s ended up with 392s.. not sure why bnut ive seen quite a few.


since you are planning on running shorter trips gas mileage isnt as big of concern. i drove mine 2700 miles across the country when I got it and enjoyed that trip.. now its in restoration and I plan to drive it a lot once its done.
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