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Old 03-03-2020, 10:26 PM   #1
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Thoughts on a 2004 International RE 2122 7.3-L V-8 w/ Allison transmission

Hello everyone,
This is my first post. I'm looking to buy a 40' bus. I don't need a ton of power, but optimal gas milage. I'm looking at a 2004 International RE 2122 7.3-L V-8 with an Allison transmission. It has 1014445 miles on it and they are asking 3000$. Any help/insight/anything would be great. I have general knowledge about mechanics, so don't take it easy on me. The seller is a salvage/auto sales/auto repair place. I've contacted them and they aren't able to provide any service logs on the bus.
Appreciative of any input!
-Jade
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:43 PM   #2
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Hello everyone,
This is my first post. I'm looking to buy a 40' bus. I don't need a ton of power, but optimal gas milage. I'm looking at a 2004 International RE 2122 7.3-L V-8 with an Allison transmission. It has 1014445 miles on it and they are asking 3000$. Any help/insight/anything would be great. I have general knowledge about mechanics, so don't take it easy on me. The seller is a salvage/auto sales/auto repair place. I've contacted them and they aren't able to provide any service logs on the bus.
Appreciative of any input!
-Jade
Is this the bus?

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...dWMkc4NllYTTl3
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:49 PM   #3
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Yes, that's the one
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:54 PM   #4
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Yes, that's the one
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:06 PM   #5
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Yes, that's the one
I bought my bus from M&M as well, not a bad place overall to get a bus. My bus as well as this one are from Loudoun County, VA. You could try there for service records, however I made a similar attempt and was rejected for "security reasons."

Unfortunately Loudoun County does salt and these Internationals are prone to the passenger frame rail swelling up underneath the door. This will be visible from the holes in the front bumper. I took these pictures from a 2005 (#575) with more miles and the damage concerned me. It heavily factored into my choice as this sort of damage cannot really be repaired.






I cannot speak much on how this power plant will perform aside from it has an MD3060, which is largely the best possible transmission to find in a school bus. Since you're looking at a bus from M&M I presume you're also in Virginia in which case I would be more than happy to help you get 6th gear unlocked and reprogram the speed limiter.

However Loudoun buses seem to be geared very high with mine having a ratio of over 6 to 1 and I test drove one that must have been even higher than that. My bus averages from 6 mpg around town to 8.5mpg at 65 mph.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:12 PM   #6
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How willing are they to negotiate prices? I was also looking at the 2004 Thomas HDX they have available, but I'm not in a spot to pay that additional 500$. I'll definitely check for rust, and that is terrible gas milage! Right?...
I am in Virgina and if I do wind up purchasing the bus that is something I'm interested in if it doesn't affect gas milage negatively.
Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:19 PM   #7
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At 3000, I would say it is a good price, engine will be the high torque 250 HP 7.3, it has the Allison 3060 transmission and AC. Only real question is how much rust
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:23 PM   #8
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At 3000, I would say it is a good price, engine will be the high torque 250 HP 7.3, it has the Allison 3060 transmission and AC. Only real question is how much rust
Thanks, yeah. I'm definitely going to check thoroughly for rust. Hopefully since the bus doesn't have as many miles on it as others the rust can be remediated.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:34 PM   #9
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How willing are they to negotiate prices? I was also looking at the 2004 Thomas HDX they have available, but I'm not in a spot to pay that additional 500$. I'll definitely check for rust, and that is terrible gas milage! Right?
My bus was listed for $4,500 and I offered $4,000 cash for it, which they accepted with no hesitation. I have since learned they have a large profit margin on these buses as they get them for well under $2,000 at auction so you may be able to haggle lower. Try not to feel rushed, there's other places to get buses cheaper.

I'm pretty sure I know which bus you're referring to and well last I saw it the electrical compartment door was just hanging off the bus, not exactly very good for the now exposed 3 electrical boards. I also never heard that bus run. AC compressors were also leaking oil meaning they would have to be replaced if you wanted the factory AC. The Mercedes engine is not particularly well loved by many but many fleets seem to swear by them and this particular one does not seem to have EGR or any other emissions controls. I do love HDXs tho, modern look with nice ergonomic driving features.

I think it's average for a bus, but certainly not great. I already drive my bus a lot for pleasure and it hurts at the pump just buying 40 gallons every two weeks.

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At 3000, I would say it is a good price, engine will be the high torque 250 HP 7.3, it has the Allison 3060 transmission and AC. Only real question is how much rust
I'm not so sure it's 250 HP, more likely a 210HP. I took a peek in a couple of these and that's what I found on the valve cover.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:39 PM   #10
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Where would you suggest looking for cheaper prices? As well as less possibility for beyond repair rust?
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:45 PM   #11
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Public Surplus and Gov Deals are the two primary auction websites. Buses from further south in the state have so far proven much nicer. Even buses from Manassas looked like brand new underneath compared to a bus from Loudoun. I took a look at a few high mileage buses last week in Harrisonburg and they were in very nice condition though all had some body damage. Those buses went for about $2,000 each on Monday.

That's not to say a Loudoun bus is a rust bucket, underneath they generally aren't that much worse than an old pickup. It's those RE Internationals that rust up in that one place and a lot of buses with big underbody luggage bays suffer rust damage underneath the bays, but that would be more repairable as that's just box framing.
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Truthseeker4449 View Post
I bought my bus from M&M as well, not a bad place overall to get a bus. My bus as well as this one are from Loudoun County, VA. You could try there for service records, however I made a similar attempt and was rejected for "security reasons."

Unfortunately Loudoun County does salt and these Internationals are prone to the passenger frame rail swelling up underneath the door. This will be visible from the holes in the front bumper. I took these pictures from a 2005 (#575) with more miles and the damage concerned me. It heavily factored into my choice as this sort of damage cannot really be repaired.






I cannot speak much on how this power plant will perform aside from it has an MD3060, which is largely the best possible transmission to find in a school bus. Since you're looking at a bus from M&M I presume you're also in Virginia in which case I would be more than happy to help you get 6th gear unlocked and reprogram the speed limiter.

However Loudoun buses seem to be geared very high with mine having a ratio of over 6 to 1 and I test drove one that must have been even higher than that. My bus averages from 6 mpg around town to 8.5mpg at 65 mph.
That would actually be considered "low" gearing. The higher the number the lower the gearing.
I'd never bid on or purchase a bus with such a rusty frame! Beware rust OP.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:26 AM   #13
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I thought geared high meant there are a lot of gears and the purpose of that is so that the transmission helps an otherwise lowered powered (for the job) engine gain momentum more rapidly.
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:55 AM   #14
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I thought geared high meant there are a lot of gears and the purpose of that is so that the transmission helps an otherwise lowered powered (for the job) engine gain momentum more rapidly.
Geared low is having numerically higher differential/final drive ratio that does help achieve better performance with a weak powerplant. The transmission does not factor into this, we're referring to the gear set in the differential.

It's better on hills and around city, but the engine is reving higher and in my bus this puts it above the power band above 55 mph where it will struggle to climb even a gentle hill without losing a lot of speed.
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:22 PM   #15
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I'm not a fan of that motor, but the rest of the bus is a good one. Since it's at a dealer, the $3K asking price seems extremely low for a dealer. Makes me wonder what issues they aren't revealing.
Transmissions have nothing to do with engine performance.
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Old 03-04-2020, 05:38 PM   #16
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We have a VA bus (Chesapeake City) which is rust-free and decently geared for highway driving (4.61? rear end). We bought it from an outfit in Moyock, NC, just south of the VA line. Decent guy to work with and he seems to have good buses. The buses are listed under two sections of his web site:

https://www.completeautocredit.com/b...r-sale-B100003
https://www.completeautocredit.com/c...r-sale-B100006

I'm not affiliated with him, just a satisfied customer.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:16 PM   #17
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I'm not a fan of that motor, but the rest of the bus is a good one. Since it's at a dealer, the $3K asking price seems extremely low for a dealer. Makes me wonder what issues they aren't revealing.
Transmissions have nothing to do with engine performance.
What engine do you suggest?
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:24 PM   #18
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What engine do you suggest?
The T444e is not my favorite either. I think that it is a fine motor in appropriate applications. From the description so far, I would buy that bus in a heartbeat IF the bus is as described.

A high torque 250hp T444e backed by an MD-3060 would be a good highway rig.

OP: If you don't buy this bus, please PM me with the sellers info. I may buy it.
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:42 PM   #19
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Sorry OT, but I'm looking for a Chevy 8.1L V8 bus since I prefer a gasser.

Can be a shortie, and 4WD would be ideal.

Any clues as to how to locate, or just identify / search would be appreciated.

Even a propane version would be OK
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:35 AM   #20
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The DT466 is generally regarded as being a better medium duty engine than the T444E. The Caterpillar 3126 is a good engine as well, it's what's in my bus and I just won an auction for a second bus also with a 250HP 3126. Both the 3126 and the Mercedes MBEs can be harder to get parts and service for without going to a dealer. I would avoid the mechanical 3116, the forerunner of the 3126, and it's problematic fuel injection system. The Cummins 5.9 is underpowered for a full size bus, but it's bigger brother the 8.3 is the most desirable school bus engine tho hard to find on the east coast.

Since you're not wanting to go fast I don't think the choice of engine is that important for you as long as it's backed by an MD3060.

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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
The T444e is not my favorite either. I think that it is a fine motor in appropriate applications. From the description so far, I would buy that bus in a heartbeat IF the bus is as described.

A high torque 250hp T444e backed by an MD-3060 would be a good highway rig.

OP: If you don't buy this bus, please PM me with the sellers info. I may buy it.
M&M Auto Salvage

And here's their list of buses for sale. They have quite a few of these, tho not all have MD3060s. Again I don't think this is a 250HP model, but the only way to know for sure is to contact International (which I did for 575 and found out it is 210 hp) or look on the valve cover.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...CDY/edit#gid=0
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