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Pitbull Equipment
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2014 :  6:41:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Pitbull Equipment's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I am looking at used buses in my area. I have found one with higher miles than average. It has a manual transmission and more side storage than normal. The seller says it will do 75mph. Are these indicators of a bus that was used for trips and not a route? It is a 99 with 191k on a 444e. Most buses for sale around here have a 444e, Allison and 125k, and top out slower than 75. A retired director of transportation for a school told me to consider a buses miles as 2x the wear as a normal vehicle. Would you agree? Thanks for any responses.

bwest
Administrator

United States
2319 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2014 :  07:04:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Pitbull Equipment

I am looking at used buses in my area. I have found one with higher miles than average. It has a manual transmission and more side storage than normal. The seller says it will do 75mph. Are these indicators of a bus that was used for trips and not a route? It is a 99 with 191k on a 444e. Most buses for sale around here have a 444e, Allison and 125k, and top out slower than 75. A retired director of transportation for a school told me to consider a buses miles as 2x the wear as a normal vehicle. Would you agree? Thanks for any responses.



I would agree with him on figuring twice the wear but if this is indeed a trip bus that would be canceled. Trip buses are often treated better and if they are not on a route then they will have less banging around in general. I'm not well versed on the 444 so I won't give any opinions on it's condition with those miles but 191K on a 15 year old bus wouldn't be out of line if it was in continuous service.

Bryan
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dsalinas1939
Senior Member

195 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2014 :  10:43:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit dsalinas1939's Homepage  Reply with Quote
i have a 99 with a 444 in it with 150000 and its so unreliable it never gets used only in emergancies it cant get out of its own way had so much work done to it injectors turbos etc i would stay away from that one as far as speed goes if its on flat road maybe 70 on hills forget it
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Fastback
Top Member

985 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2014 :  05:14:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Outside of some oil leaks our 444es have been pretty good to us. Just traded in a 98 with 226,500 miles, 444e was still running great with original turbo and injectors.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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aaronwilmoth80911
Senior Member

123 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2014 :  05:21:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit aaronwilmoth80911's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We run about 20 444s and for the most part they are pretty reliable. As with every engine, they have their positives and negatives. Personally, I think they are a bit underpowered for something the size of a school bus. Not to say that it won't get the job done, but it may struggle a bit more than say a 466. As far as mileage, I would have to agree with BWest. As far as doing 75, that usually depends on what the ECM is programmed to let it do. Ours are programmed to top out at 70mph, but that is something that is a programmable parameter of those engines.

All in all, they are decent IMO. To me, it seems that ones that travel long distances (trips) are more reliable and have fewer problems than those that are doing constant stop and go. Hope this helps.
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RidgeLine
Active Member

29 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2014 :  09:22:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit RidgeLine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The school system I just left had 60 of these ranging from 99-2002. For the most part they are good, injectors are the biggest expense. Daily route driving of a school bus is hard mileage, like everyone else says, double it.
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BJ Henderson
Advanced Member

USA
227 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2014 :  03:29:33 AM  Show Profile  Send BJ Henderson an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Those engines are decent engines. Cooling system problems like, the radiators could be better. What kind of rims are on this bus?
Clutches are not that hard to install. A lot of things to consider when buying and maintaining one of these.

CMTT,CMAT,CMBT
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Pitbull Equipment
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2014 :  08:54:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Pitbull Equipment's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This is it.

http://www.nextechclassifieds.com/listings/view/831348/
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Fastback
Top Member

985 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2014 :  09:37:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't put a lot of faith into that odometer reading being accurate, that vintage International chassis was notorious for instrument cluster "freeze up" problems. If odometer reading is a big factor for you, you may want to have someone hookup a diagnostic reader and compare it to the mileage reading stored in the computer.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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