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Old 10-27-2020, 05:07 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Should I buy this bus?

From AAA Bus Sales in AZ

Link: https://www.aaabussales.com/10925.html

Specs:
2008 INTERNATIONAL RE3000
Year: 2008
Make/Model: International RE3000
Seating Capacity: 32 Passenger
Engine: 7.6L MaxxForce DT466e Diesel
Transmission: Allison MD3060 Auto
Mileage: 91,725mi

A little background:

I'm currently outside the US, and I'm gonna be flying in to Phoenix late November especially to buy the bus and start living in it full time right away. Yes it's not the best choice but it's the best one for me right now. That's why I need to get a bus quickly and I don't have time to browse around and hit the market. Originally I thought I could allow for about 1-2 weeks of searches but now my schedule has tightened and the guy from AAA said they can reserve it for me if I put a 10% deposit. It's gonna be about 6.3k, and based on my research it seems like a pretty decent deal. Of course I'm gonna make sure I still check it with a mechanic before buying, even though based on what I heard AAA has some very good reputation all across the board, still better safe than sorry.

I mentioned to the guy from AAA that I want a strong durable engine, and based on what I read the DT466e is one of the most reliable in the market. He didn't deny but he said that there's a difference between the regular Navistar DT466e and the MaxxForce DT466e. He said "The Maxxforce motor added additional emissions systems that require more maintenance, the newer components such as the variable response turbo can be more costly to replace if they go bad. I just want to be as honest about what we are selling as possible."
Any of you here can shed some light on what he meant? How really important is it and can it cause me any trouble in the future? I just wanna make sure I'm not missing anything here.

So, is it a good option? Frankly even if I can maybe get a slightly better deal by digging through classifieds and making calls to school districts, I'd rather save that headache and get something from a dealership that already have a good reputation, and risk paying a little more for a durable workhorse that's gonna last me for years, and most importantly so I can start working as quickly as possible on this beast and make it into a beauty ;)

Thank you so much guys!!
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:06 AM   #2
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I don't know a lot about this stuff, but every single person has warned against the Maxxforce DT. I believe the issues were emissions related? I think there's different models of Maxxforce, so maybe one is more reliable than the other...I just don't know. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can guide you.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
I don't know a lot about this stuff, but every single person has warned against the Maxxforce DT. I believe the issues were emissions related? I think there's different models of Maxxforce, so maybe one is more reliable than the other...I just don't know. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can guide you.
Yeah I read a little more about it online. People actually used the phrase "Navistar's Maxxforce debacle" and apparently Navistar has paid drivers millions of dollars following many lawsuits... Man, that's a bit scary. On the other hand, how bad could it be? The bus has 90k miles on it, which is relatively low, is it really going to make it so much worse than any other engine?
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronigbzjr View Post
Yeah I read a little more about it online. People actually used the phrase "Navistar's Maxxforce debacle" and apparently Navistar has paid drivers millions of dollars following many lawsuits... Man, that's a bit scary. On the other hand, how bad could it be? The bus has 90k miles on it, which is relatively low, is it really going to make it so much worse than any other engine?
I mean, when even the seller is telling you to beware of the thing ...

The 90K miles is either inaccurate (dashboards fail and are frequently replaced without the odometer being reset properly) or it's accurate and there are other reasons why an expensive bus wasn't run very much (as in, lots of mechanical problems).
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I mean, when even the seller is telling you to beware of the thing ...

The 90K miles is either inaccurate (dashboards fail and are frequently replaced without the odometer being reset properly) or it's accurate and there are other reasons why an expensive bus wasn't run very much (as in, lots of mechanical problems).
I mean he said he wanted to be as honest as possible. Doesn't mean the bus is undriveable.. But I get your point. I should probably ask about the mileage thing as well. I read online that the MaxxForce has additional components the EGR and DPF) which make it more prone to damages and are more costly to repair... I plan to drive in it a lot, but I also plan to take really good care of it, clean it routinely, I don't mind even learning how to break it apart just so I can maybe fix some issues on the road. Maybe that will compensate for the potential for problems? I don't know..
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:26 AM   #6
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They can do a mileage reading by connecting their computer to the ECU to verify mileage. Personally, I wouldn't touch the bus. 90k miles if true, means that engine has really reached the end of its useful life. I looked at one (Maxxforce) with 42k miles for 9900 that still smelled new and had glossy paint. A competing dealer I went to who was selling it, told me to stay away from the bus due to its known history. Tony and Joe at AAA are honest guys. They present what they have for sale and let the consumer make the final choice after being made aware the faults of a particular unit. They will tell you that their units do come from auctions and that they don't go through the mechanicals on most of them until they have a buyer. Remember, it's not the initial purchase price, but rather the ongoing costs you will be married to.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bus'n it View Post
They can do a mileage reading by connecting their computer to the ECU to verify mileage. Personally, I wouldn't touch the bus. 90k miles if true, means that engine has really reached the end of its useful life. I looked at one (Maxxforce) with 42k miles for 9900 that still smelled new and had glossy paint. A competing dealer I went to who was selling it, told me to stay away from the bus due to its known history. Tony and Joe at AAA are honest guys. They present what they have for sale and let the consumer make the final choice after being made aware the faults of a particular unit. They will tell you that their units do come from auctions and that they don't go through the mechanicals on most of them until they have a buyer. Remember, it's not the initial purchase price, but rather the ongoing costs you will be married to.
Those are all great points. Thank you. What would you recommend though? I'm currently looking only at AAA's inventory. Since they have a good reputation, it's going to be convenient for me to buy from them, even if not this bus. Obviously I don't have to, and there are always other options if I really can't find anything, but those might include more headaches. Anyway in their inventory right now I like this:

https://www.aaabussales.com/11002.html

Which seems nice and I love the length but I've come to understand that Cat engines are less common as a whole so fixing them can also get expensive... As much as the MaxxForce DT? Less? More? I have no idea.

https://www.aaabussales.com/11043.html

This is also a nice one, but once again with the engine, it's a 6L VT365, so is that going to have enough power to really carry me around everywhere? I mean I'm not going to take it rock climbing or anything, but I do like to go a bit off road, go to the beach etc and maybe also drive to the mountains.

I guess I'm asking, how do both of these compare to the one in my original message in terms of engine?
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:45 AM   #8
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the Maxxforce 7 gives me a bit of pause, the Maxxforce DT surely is a bit different i nthat it has a DPF and of course EGR... however the 08 MaxxForce DT still retains the single Turbo and HEUI injection system of the DT466E.. there were major changes to the MFDT in 2010 and things went downhill..


I would definitely want to see a computer runout of that engine.. look for DPF and Temp / oil related tattletales (serious events are stored and not-deleteable).. and would want the engine to be in good workiong order including making sure it can succesfully complete a ReGen cycle before purchasing..
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
the Maxxforce 7 gives me a bit of pause, the Maxxforce DT surely is a bit different i nthat it has a DPF and of course EGR... however the 08 MaxxForce DT still retains the single Turbo and HEUI injection system of the DT466E.. there were major changes to the MFDT in 2010 and things went downhill..


I would definitely want to see a computer runout of that engine.. look for DPF and Temp / oil related tattletales (serious events are stored and not-deleteable).. and would want the engine to be in good workiong order including making sure it can succesfully complete a ReGen cycle before purchasing..
I can't understand from what you're saying if those are pros or cons... From what I read the DPF and EGR do lower emissions as intended but may bring a lot of soot into the system and fuel replacing oil. From what I understand the DEF sort of solves these problems but that was only introduced in 2010 (which is the year you're saying things started going downhill) so the bus wouldn't have a DEF right? Which is not a good thing..

Good points about the computer runout and regen cycle.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:04 PM   #10
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This is my opinion. Since you don't seem to know a lot about a bus and since you need housing "right now", don't buy a bus.

Completely useable RV's are cheap to buy and often have had low usage. Phoenix is a mecca for used RV's thanks to the retirees who go there to live out their days in the sun. Also, there are RV repair shops all over the country should you need service--not so much for buses.

Good luck with what ever route you choose but hedge your bet by having a qualified mechanic look over whatever you buy before you buy it.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
This is my opinion. Since you don't seem to know a lot about a bus and since you need housing "right now", don't buy a bus.

Completely useable RV's are cheap to buy and often have had low usage. Phoenix is a mecca for used RV's thanks to the retirees who go there to live out their days in the sun. Also, there are RV repair shops all over the country should you need service--not so much for buses.

Good luck with what ever route you choose but hedge your bet by having a qualified mechanic look over whatever you buy before you buy it.
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RV prices right now are wacky due to covid. Not to say bus prices aren't either, but if OP has the money it may make sense just to go the motorhome route.

RVs have the advantage of (usually) much lower miles and an already finished interior but many can suffer from water damage and overall neglect as well as dated interiors and obsolete appliances/house systems.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:15 PM   #12
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Thank you for the RV recommendations. However, I'm not going to get an RV. I'm set on getting a bus, for better or for worse. And if I have to later learn I've made a mistake the hard way, so be it I want nothing premade, I want to build it myself from the ground up, and know its engine by heart too. But anyway you're right that I should be more educated, which I admit I'm not. Please feel free to direct me to any good resources if you have any. One step at a time...
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronigbzjr View Post
I can't understand from what you're saying if those are pros or cons... From what I read the DPF and EGR do lower emissions as intended but may bring a lot of soot into the system and fuel replacing oil. From what I understand the DEF sort of solves these problems but that was only introduced in 2010 (which is the year you're saying things started going downhill) so the bus wouldn't have a DEF right? Which is not a good thing..

Good points about the computer runout and regen cycle.



yes the emissions are lower on the later versions but the costs and issues are generally higher.. if being green is the object here, a diesel school bus likely isnt going to fit..



Pre 2008 busses generally had less issues with emission equipment however they emit more soot / gasses into the atmosphere..



the one you are asking about is 2008 which has a DPF filter but NOT DEF. . navistar (and others) attempted to "burn off" the soot collected into the DPF filter at High temperature which theoretically is cleaner than just lettin g the engine burn it.. that is a Regen cycle.. failures in regen cycles ended up in clogged DPF filters and the expense of having them cleaned out.. (that generated tattletales in the computer)..



Yes generally I recommend changing the oil more often in these engines.. and running out on the road fully warming up and using them at highway speeds results in much better performance of the DPF than using it cold or running it around the city constantly..



as for pros and cons.. the BEST bus (reliability-wise) will be something pre 2008.. next would be the 2008-2010 and finally the 2010+. the 2010+ with DEF introduces yet more complexity.. which was new injection system , dual sequential turbos, and a DEF system..



the people running school busses on routes state that the 2010+ Maxxforcd DTs had many more expensive issues than the pre 2008 (DT466E) and the 2008-2010.. thats where I come up with a lot of my info..



I cant say whether the bus for sale is a good one or not (partly depends on price.. if its a nice rust free unit and is cheap then there is room to put some $$ into the engine if it requires repairs (EGR cooler, oil cooler, DPF service).. if the price is already way up there then there is less room to still be reasonable if you have to put a few grand into the engine..



your desires, requirements, and mechanical aptitude should also play into what bus you buy.. if you need to pay a shop to do most work on your bus then by all means look for something older and more simple.. as repairs generally cost less (takes mechanics less time and parts cost less).. ie pre-2004. if replacing parts is no issue then you can often score a newer bus for lower price (because no one else wants it) and things that break you fix and save $$ doing it..



this is obviously a balancing act.. between $$, reliability, time, and quality.. if money were no object everyone here could go buy a brand new bus with no rust, everything works, long warranty, and gobs of power...
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:57 PM   #14
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I'd pass on that.
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronigbzjr View Post
Thank you for the RV recommendations. However, I'm not going to get an RV. I'm set on getting a bus, for better or for worse. And if I have to later learn I've made a mistake the hard way, so be it I want nothing premade, I want to build it myself from the ground up, and know its engine by heart too. But anyway you're right that I should be more educated, which I admit I'm not. Please feel free to direct me to any good resources if you have any. One step at a time...
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:29 PM   #16
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my opinion of the Maxxforce DT 2008 might change if I blow the one up im taking on a 400 mile roadtrip tomorrow
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:34 PM   #17
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Don't listen to negative Nancy up there. If your choice is bus over RV, then more power to you! This site is here to ask for help. Ask away, the rest of us will help where we can.
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:56 PM   #18
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Folks above are giving good tips on what to look for when building out a skoolie.

There are engines and years to steer completely away from. The more research on what you are potentially buying is important, if money kept in your pocket is an object. Lots of info on engines and transmissions are discussed on the site.

Good luck, and post pics if you buy something...
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:46 PM   #19
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To clarify... DT466E is NOT technically a MaxxForce DT...

DT466E wears blue paint... The MaxxiPadd DT wears black. Visual cues on accessory drive and pulleys as well. According yo a dealer, MaxxiPadd DT has EGR, DPF, possibly DEF, the DT466E supposedly has EGR only.
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:56 PM   #20
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The general rule of thumb here is simply avoid emissions equipped engines altogether and a 2008 will be emissions equipped. If they have anything comparable pre-2004 that might be worth a look simply because it alleviates all that headache.
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