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Old 10-16-2017, 02:02 PM   #1
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Things I "learned" while talking with a dealer/reseller today

Hi friends,

I just had a lengthy conversation with a school bus dealer in the Southeast. I wanted to download for you everything I remember hearing him say for you to ponder, agree with, or counter as enthusiastically as you see fit.

Engines that he liked: Cummins 8.3, Cummins 5.9, T444E, Cat 3216. He had good things to say about all of these engines as a dealer/reseller. He was not a fan of the DT466! But he also doesn't avoid them, just that he's personally had more problems.

He said that the Cummins 5.9 gets better gas mileage than the 8.3 but will be significantly slower going up hill.

He told me that all buses 2006 and newer have 6'6" roofs, new mandatory law.

He told me that all NY buses are 6'6" from prior years as well.

He's not afraid of rust, and deals with it when he gets it, and notes that as an owner/driver he would recoat under the bus every 2 or 3 years to be safe.

He said avoid 2008 and newer buses at all costs because of EPA requirements. He said 2007 and older are not significantly affected by any EPA requirements.

He said don't buy the low mileage bus out of a fleet at an auction, probably the problem child.

He said do buy the old bus out of a fleet, that one is a trooper.

He said all NC buses are geared for no more than 45MPH (not electronically governed) per state law, good to know.

And I think that's it! Anybody agree or disagree with these statements? I feel as if I've learned a lot from speaking with him, but some things he said could be counter to how the skoolie community feels.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:06 PM   #2
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From my discussions with a dealer... The 466 is good so long as it is running. They tend to run into more problems when they sit for 6 months to a year then if they had been running the whole time. Sitting not running causes problems with the sleeves. Although that is purely speculation on his part nothing proven. He did however refuse to sell me a bus with a 466 because five out of the seven he had previously sold blew Motors within 6 months. One within 100 miles of his shop on the way to its new home.

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Old 10-16-2017, 02:35 PM   #3
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I live in farm country and they LOVE the DT466's and the 8.3's in Ag applications.

I would question the blanket: 5.9 will get better mileage than the 8.3.

I think that in some applications that may be true. However, I would strongly suspect that running a heavy rig in mountain country that you would find the 8.3 to be the economy winner.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:48 PM   #4
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Waaait for it.....



pee.jpg
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:50 PM   #5
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YEah, 466's suck... I'll take em off your hands free, folks.
LMAO sounds like a dealer... he's got rusty buses and the 466's are more expensive so he buys 444 and 5.9 buses from up north. Rust??? nah, ****'ll buff out.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:05 PM   #6
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How can you tell when a used car (bus) dealer is lying???


I'll give you a hint... Their lips move....
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:11 PM   #7
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I would concur that *ANY* wet sleeve motor is better when its run daily than when its sitting for long periods of time...

im going to take a wild guess and say that a high percentage of the "BLOWN" motors he sold in the last 6 months were ruined because the buyers over-temped them.. split-radiator / CAC cooler.. and a weak fan clutch.. and a buyer embraking on a long spring / summer road trip with the thing flat out to make 65 on the highway not paing attention to the dashboard.. or not knowing a diesel.. after-all 230 degrees in a gas car / truck is close to normal these days. thats death to a DT-466.. so id venture out and say that the buyers blew em up then said "no sir dealer.. nothing was wrong.. it just quit running!" ...

after all the dealer may have NO IDEA that said engine might over-heat.. as when they are in town running routes.. they wont... but MAY when taken to the highway foot to the floor for hours at a time..

there *IS* a reason why all the exporters pay TOP DOLLAR at auctions for enything with a DT-466 in it.. the dealers dont want to be dickered down on price for their DT's by a consumer.. they want those to go to exporters who just walk in and say "gimme that one this one, oh and those 5 over there... get em to miami for me by tuesday and ill pay the $$$"... ive seen that happen with my own eyes at a VERY high priced florida bus dealer...

ANY engine can be good or bad depending on how it was treated and how you treat it when you buy the bus..
-Christopher
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:17 PM   #8
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I guess rust doesn't matter if you are a re-seller. Someone else has to deal with it at the end of the game.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:23 PM   #9
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I guess its logical for a dealer to be trying to convince people that rusty buses with underpowered engines are the way to go.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:34 PM   #10
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With the exception of the 8.3 Cummins, which most everyone feels is a better engine for a Skoolie, there is a large measure of agreement on this site that ALL the engines mentioned, are good engines ... plus the Mercedes which wasn't listed.

The issue is with rebuilding costs and difficulty if any of them has a major issue.

The DT466 and 8.3 can be re-engined in-frame. To a shop that probably doesn't matter much as they can pull an engine in a few hours, something not so easy on your drive, in February.

The other issue for CAT and Mercedes is their refusal to supply the after-market, or secondary market, with parts ... so rebuilds cost a lot more.

The T444 may be a tad under-powered in a full-size bus when listed in this company.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
With the exception of the 8.3 Cummins, which most everyone feels is a better engine for a Skoolie, there is a large measure of agreement on this site that ALL the engines mentioned, are good engines ... plus the Mercedes which wasn't listed.

The issue is with rebuilding costs and difficulty if any of them has a major issue.

The DT466 and 8.3 can be re-engined in-frame. To a shop that probably doesn't matter much as they can pull and engine in a few hours, something not so easy on your drive, in February.

The other issue for CAT and Mercedes is their refusal to supply the after-market, or secondary market, with parts ... so rebuilds cost a lot more.

The T444 may be a tad under-powered in a full-size bus when listed in this company.
The 444 is a decent engine. In my shorty its adequate.
But I'd really hate to have a forty or even thirty footer with one.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:52 PM   #12
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one of the advantages to in-frame buildable engines is that in the event you have a catastrophic engine event.. ie the rings break up in a cylinder, or you drop a valve, you have a really good chance that you can still save and rebuild that engine.. the cylinder walls are sleeves and are replaced with new pistons as a matched set.. if you score-up a cylinder wall on say a 444E, or cummins 5.9 then its possible you cant bore big enugh to clear it.. and the block is scrap-junk..

I concur on the 444E being great in s hortie but underpowered in a heavy bus.. i think you'll find that with any of the V-8 diesels..
-Christopher
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
one of the advantages to in-frame buildable engines
How many here are realistically going to rebuild their engine? 5%? 10%?

You can rebuild a ISB 5.9L in-frame: Kit

Hone the cylinder walls with some stones and good-to-go.

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 4.43.19 PM.png

The nice thing about the Cummins motors is they tolerate overheating a bit better.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I guess its logical for a dealer to be trying to convince people that rusty buses with underpowered engines are the way to go.
One's with high miles are also the ones to get. They are the "Troopers".
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
How many here are realistically going to rebuild their engine? 5%? 10%?

You can rebuild a ISB 5.9L in-frame: Kit

Hone the cylinder walls with some stones and good-to-go.

Attachment 16599

The nice thing about the Cummins motors is they tolerate overheating a bit better.
good luck if you drop a valve or bust up the rings.. which would be the most likely catastrophic failure which would trash on cylinder walls.. or an injector tip..

I agree that non sleved engines can tolerate a little more heat.. though one of the risks is warping the head which is a danger on any diesel engine in an over-temp.

the coolant in the oil is the most common result of over-temping a wet sleeve engine..

overtemp on a T-444E most common failure is injector O-rings.. or Injector cups injector O-rings ends up in lots of smoke and the engine will lose oil or fuel pressure and stall. hopefully not in a hydro-lock situation. any of the HEUI engines have that possibility..(DT-466E,T-444E,CAT-3126, VT-365)

the VT-365 in an overtemp melt plastic internal parts (yep you heard that right).. when those melt you throw the block away and buy a new one.

I dont know the caveats of the cummins engines..

and I should note like mentioned any or all of these engines CAN and often DO last a LONG!!time and never need overhauled or taken apart.

a LOT of premature failure is user error..

but my real point was that the DT-466 engine is not a "stay away from" engine like that bus dealer mentioned...

people will say on here stay away from the mercedes and cat engines and avoid the VT-365 at all costs... yet ive seen and known of several that are over 300,000 miles going strong.. and they werent "bullet-proofed" .. they were well taken care of..

and ive heard of DT-466s being in-framed at 100k because they were not taken care of... I saw a bus online today that the owner responded to a question about the engine.. that its all original 466E and has 300k on it.. it got a set of injectors at 190k...
-Christopher
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
How many here are realistically going to rebuild their engine? 5%? 10%?

You can rebuild a ISB 5.9L in-frame: Kit

Hone the cylinder walls with some stones and good-to-go.

Attachment 16599

The nice thing about the Cummins motors is they tolerate overheating a bit better.
Fred and Dan rebuilt their DT with ZERO prior mechanical knowledge and have been across the usa several times in it now.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:18 PM   #17
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It's about "insurance".

For me, it's not about whether an engine is likely to go wrong, but what can I do about it if it does go wrong.

Anything that can be rebuilt without removing has a head start.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:20 PM   #18
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It's about "insurance".

For me, it's not about whether an engine is likely to go wrong, but what can I do about it if it does go wrong.

Anything that can be rebuilt without removing has a head start.
I totally concur.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:24 PM   #19
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Cool Alright.

Alright. Let's do this once and for all.





There was a post from Pirate 4x4, maybe? that his 5.9L died and he found himself a much better bus for cheap.

I agree about insurance- is why I bot a bus with fewer than 30,000 miles. If I can get 20,000 more mi out of it, I'm happy.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:34 PM   #20
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I really would like to see responses to some of the original points, such as: Has New York State really mandated high-headroom buses for a long time? Have all buses starting from 2006 been high-headroom? This is one of the biggest issues for me, looking at buses. So many of them are too "squat" for me and my wife. (Can't say "short", because for buses that means something different!)
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