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Old 05-07-2015, 01:19 PM   #21
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozthemost View Post
Does ANYONE know ANYONE that might have somewhere to take my bus to get it converted. I am open to paying and helping work on it, just need the right "partner" to work on it with that has a space to park it and the tools needed to custom fab some metalwork and woodwork needed to finish it out and in the NYC area so I could commute out there often enough to help work on it.
Drive on up here to Edmonton Alberta Canada and I would be glad to build it with you. I don't need your money, just a little help building mine.
Building two at a time is quicker, and cheaper.

Nat

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Old 06-12-2015, 01:31 PM   #22
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 27
Allison 545, Airbrakes vs Hydraulic

Ok so I found a couple DT466 buses I am interested in. They all have the Allison 545 transmission though, and one forum I read, said these cause problems with the DT466. I am going to be doing a lot of mountain/highway driving just want to make sure I don't make any grave mistakes with the drive-train. Am i going to be alright with this 545?

Also, I have heard both sides of the hydraulic vs. air brake argument and just dont know if its a "deal killer" to be hydraulic. Can anyone help me with that decision, the pros/cons or just some opinions from experienced drivers. Thanks guys.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:37 PM   #23
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: Genesis
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
If you are doing mountains, you don't want a 545. A bit underpowered and no lockup. My understanding is that it will cook and not give you any engine braking going downhill.

Hydraulic is not necessarily a deal killer, but I sure as heck would prefer air brakes. Mostly for the 'fail safe' nature of what happens if a line goes.
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Old 06-12-2015, 05:04 PM   #24
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There are no park pins in the older medium duty automatic transmissions.

When you park a bus with hydraulic brakes the only thing that keeps it from moving is the hand brake. Which is usually a driveline brake.

In my experience most driveline brakes as so-so in holding things back on a steep hill.

If you want a really solid parking brake the only one that will do the job is a spring brake that locks up both rear wheels.

Most DT's came with the MT600 series of transmissions. I would say that if the ones at which you are looking have the AT500 series they most likely have HP ratings of less than 200 HP.

Low HP and the AT540's lack of hold back on down grades in combination with hydraulic brakes would be a deal killer if I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time in the mountains.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:17 PM   #25
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
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Older tactical vehicles like the M99x series Humvee, Dueces and 5 Tons with auto transmissions didn't have a Park pin either. And no one trusts the handbrakes on them, nor is the park pin and brake trusted on later vehicles; which is why they always have chock blocks. And even though my bus is sitting in the driveway, in park with the brake on, I still have it chocked, just because I'd rather have that extra ounce of safety.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:37 PM   #26
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Year: 1995
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I've driven grossed out line trucks (33,000lbs) for the last 17 years. Everything form old under powered gasser's to the newer diesels. Air brakes are nice, but would not be a deal breaker for me either. In fact it wasn't, my bus has juice brakes and four wheel disc's all the way around. I actually like them. They stop well and don't have the brake fade like the air brakes. There is a long slow grade out of my town with a cross road at the bottom, that I have numerously smoked the drum/air brake line trucks, and the bus juice brakes take it in stride.
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:29 PM   #27
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Dowdy Lakes, Colorado
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Year: 1989
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Oz,

Just to give you an idea about how to look for a skoolie, my search took almost 5 years due to finances/wrong bus/etc. Now I'm flying to California to get it and drive home 1700 miles one way. It's so worth the effort.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:47 AM   #28
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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M1031 - i am starting to see understand all the stories ive read about people traveling far and wide for the right bus.

Seems like the ideal situation for what I want to do, which includes lots of long distance highway and steep grades through the mountainous west of the US, calls for at least the AT643 and the MD3060 would be preferred. Also if I want to go mechanical, at least, pre-1997, this gets my search smaller and smaller and more difficult to get all those check boxes.

So thats where I am right now, I think I am open to buying the E engine. If its in good shape, well maintained, im comfortable paying a little to have it serviced instead of always wrenching on it myself. Also opens up the selection a lot. So im thinking im looking for:

1. anything pre-2003ish,~
2. ~72 pax
3. dog nose
4. DT466(E or no E) or I have heard also the Cummins 8.3 is solid, but those are really rare from what ive seen
5. MD3060 preferred, but MT643,642 ok. Just not 545.(Also have been reading good things about the allison 2000 with the 466E? Would that be a good choice as well?)
6. NO RUST whatsoever and well maintained
7. Air brakes

Any feedback on this spec sheet?
and more importantly.....
Where do I find this thing? Any advice or help would be appreciated, I am willing to travel for it. I think its smarter to hold off and try to find these high-power specs so I don't have problems down the road or end up being a snail on the highways, especially the steep ones.

Thanks to everyone for the help, much appreciated.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:12 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozthemost View Post
Where do I find this thing?
Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Western Montana. As for the how? Check govedeals.com, publicsurplus.com. Or you you could see what's for sale through DRMO.

First things first- look for insurance. Avoid Progressive, unless you want it just for the transport, and avoid Foremost- they only insure professional conversions
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:33 PM   #30
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Year: 2000
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Engine: ISC 8.3
The Utah legislature recently approved a heap of funding for replacing "older" buses in the name of air pollution etc etc. The buses that are replaced with this funding are required to be destroyed or sold out-of-state. You might try calling the transportation department in various Utah school districts (especially in the northern part of the state) to inquire about their replacement plans, what kinds of units will come available and how they'll be disposed, etc.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:22 PM   #31
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If you want mechanical you will need to go pre-1995 or so. The electronics were phased in over a period of several years. As a consequence you will find a mishmash of non-E, partial-E, and total-E between 1995 and 2001.

You will not find an Allison 1000/2000/3000 series transmission in an non-E bus.

You will find an Allison AT540 or MT640 behind both non-E and partial-E engines.

Generally speaking you will not find an AT540 behind a Cummins 8.3 and rarely behind a DT466.

Generally speaking you find most Cummins 5.9L and IHC T444(E) mated to AT540 transmissions.

12- and 13-row Type 'C' conventional buses are the most common bus made. Finding a bus of this size with the spe'c's you want is going to be much easier than finding the same power package in a good Type 'D' RE bus.

WA, OR, CA, and CO have mandated air brakes on all large buses up until just recently. CO has mandated auxiliary braking systems as a standard for many years as well.

In other words, you will more likely find the big HP buses with air brakes and no rust in the far west.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:25 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post

You will not find an Allison 3000 series transmission in an non-E bus.
Are you sure?

I have a 1996 84 passenger, fully mechanical Cummins 8.3 engine, with a MD3060.

I was to the understanding that the MD3060 was a 3000 series transmission.

Thanks

Nat
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:33 PM   #33
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I'll bet you have some hen's teeth too, don't you Nat? You have a knack for finding things that others of us can only wish for.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:44 PM   #34
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
I'll bet you have some hen's teeth too, don't you Nat? You have a knack for finding things that others of us can only wish for.
Lol

It took a long time, and a lot of looking.

It also has sanders that dump sand in front of the rear tires at the push of a button for use on icy roads.



Down side Is I should have found this bus two years ago before I strted with a smaller one.

Nat
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Old 07-15-2015, 09:50 AM   #35
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Hey Guys, I just finally bought my bus, looking for advice/tips/tricks on WHERE/HOW to register it.

The bus is currently in Colorado, its a regular, full size, conventional, school bus. 2004 year built. I am going to get it professionally converted in the North East this winter. So will be driving it from Colorado to NY area and was thinking it might be the right time to get it registered along the way.

I will not be living in ANY particular state for more than 6 months in the next year. So I would be willing to look at changing states of residency to make things easy (and hopefully get rid of CA or NY state income tax). Which is another question, do I NEED to change residency to register in any particular state or can I just register it there?

My research says Texas or SD are best for full-timers in terms of taxes and ease of being a nomadic resident, but I dont know about the whole ease of registering and operating a house on wheels over time.

From what I read, SD doesnt allow yellow buses for private ownership, so I would need to paint it before I go there, which is a huge hassle because I wasnt gong to paint until later in the year and dont want to paint it twice. Texas doesn't care, but requires physical inspections periodically, which will be a hassle down the road.

Does anyone have any experience with this or these states? Or recommend any other states for their ease of registration, maintenance of that registration and any tax other benefits of being registered in that state?


Thanks everyone,
Jeff
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