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Old 08-15-2019, 05:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I want to build a skoolie, need advice on engine/

chassis....
This isn't something I'm going to do right away but in the future.
Looking at CL I found two near Boston, one is a Freightliner Chassis with a 6.0 PS, (https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/ct...938643856.html)
the other is a GMC with a 3126 CAT and Allison transmission.
https://worcester.craigslist.org/cto...935319798.html
There is an IH diesel too but not sure on the power train on this one
https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/ct...935248436.html

So, which set up would be most reliable? Easier to work on (I have never owned a diesel anything)
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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not the 6.0 one.

3126s were the HEUI ones right?
they need some rubber hoses replaced before they gack the fuel injectors and shit, but otherwise are basically the same shit that made everything else of that era go. A high pressure oil pump that provides the power for a ecm to fire injectors electrically. if it doesn't make terrible noises it will probably last a while.
parts will be expensive.

I'd investigate that there IH chassis in the hopes that it would have a dt466 of some kind, but it's probably a 360.
even a 350 isn't terrible. cheap ass parts, just not a lot of power.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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pretty happy with my 7.3PS shortbus.


Build thread in tow rigs... Where this thread should be.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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DT466
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My friend was looking into sprinters to convert for a cross country road trip with his wife. I started sending him ads for buses, the next weekend we picked one up in Lodi. It was a 7.3ps short bus. They have done several trips in it with their two big ol dogs, they love it, and afaik have had no issues other than buying steering tires and regular maintenance.
Like this one https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...945226342.html

Guy buys tons of em from school districts and resells em
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...945213275.html
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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pretty happy with my 7.3PS shortbus.


Build thread in tow rigs... Where this thread should be.
Thanks guys. I'll keep researching.

Being diesel ignorant I thought it would be best to toss this out here first as this place gets a lot of traffic. Once I start a build I will post there.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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DT466 or cummins 8.3 are thought of as top of the heap. 8.3's are hard to find. I think the dt466 went electronic in 97, dt466e.

schoolbusfleetmagazine forum, mechanic's area is a good resource.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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See all previous builds of "bulletproofed" 6.0L trucks to know why you shouldn't consider one.

Or just see what Hitler has to say about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HMnSLUQS7I
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My vote would be a 366 Chevy big block! After all they were built for torque. Just like Doug’s axles.
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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DT466 or cummins 8.3 are thought of as top of the heap. 8.3's are hard to find. I think the dt466 went electronic in 97, dt466e.

schoolbusfleetmagazine forum, mechanic's area is a good resource.
they did, using the same HEUI shit as the powerstrokes.

it's fine unless you want mor power, cause there's 0 aftermarket support for tunes and shit.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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my kids 2006 thomas has the detroit 6cyl, i think it is a mercedes.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Anything with a 2 stroke Detroit. Nothing sounds better.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have nothing to add but i went to a public/estate auction a month or so ago. 3 school buses with dt444e sold for $6-700 each. Considering the person that bought them, they were filled with bicycles and are currently in mexico. All fired right up and drove off.

$2500+ seems real steep in my eyes for a vehicle with a very limited second life.

Most FL60-70 freightshakers came with ISB cummins or MBE900 IIRC.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Cool, thanks guys!
I have stripped two campers the last few years, I kept the furnace, sinks, potable water tanks, power inverters, stove top burners and a few other things.
I'm a carpenter by trade so I think it will be a fun project.
A loooong time ago my brother bought a bus, 6 cyl gas job (read as slow as shit), we added bunks over the wheel wells and a bed in the very back, a kitchen counter with an apartment size gas range, a 7' long kitchen table, we would take it to Lake Champlain to catfish all night (and drink) and I think he used it a couple of times for hunting. He had an artist friend paint murals on both sides, one side had a big bear and the other side had a nice buck jumping a fence or stone wall. We just covered the windows with metal roofing.
I'll see if he has a picture of it, it was way back before cell phones...lol
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Every now and then I see 4wd busses out of denver on ebay
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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another vote for "any mechanical diesel" over "gas" over "any electronic diesel"

the 8.2s and IH 9L motors both got bad reputations, but that's in service with idiots behind the wheel who'll never downshift
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have nothing to add but i went to a public/estate auction a month or so ago. 3 school buses with dt444e sold for $6-700 each. Considering the person that bought them, they were filled with bicycles and are currently in mexico. All fired right up and drove off.

$2500+ seems real steep in my eyes for a vehicle with a very limited second life.

Most FL60-70 freightshakers came with ISB cummins or MBE900 IIRC.
Every time I'm on a interstate trip I either see an older school bus flat towing another bus or new buses being driven for delivery.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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skoolie.net

Are you a member? I filled out the registry and I have been waiting for two day s for the approval email and nothing yet. tx
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Anything with a 2 stroke Detroit. Nothing sounds better.
He probably would like to actually get somewhere this century. Great sound no guts. And the oil consumption is eqau l to fuel.... Not a good diesel for a beginner
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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He probably would like to actually get somewhere this century. Great sound no guts. And the oil consumption is eqau l to fuel.... Not a good diesel for a beginner
The 500hp 8v92s they put in the bluebirds and prevosts moved pretty well for being 40k lbs.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:02 PM   #22 (permalink)
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See all previous builds of "bulletproofed" 6.0L trucks to know why you shouldn't consider one.

Or just see what Hitler has to say about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HMnSLUQS7I

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Old 08-19-2019, 05:31 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Are you a member? I filled out the registry and I have been waiting for two day s for the approval email and nothing yet. tx

yea. i just browse for ideas for a (hopefully) eventual build.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:52 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Local bus company has several 2004+ bluebirds with 74" ceilings for $2900 plus tax with 5.9 Cummins and OD allison. That's the route I'll go if I follow through, seemed like a reasonable price given the engine.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Anything with a 2 stroke Detroit. Nothing sounds better.
Said no one who has ever operated one for any length of time ever.
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