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Old 01-07-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default 800,000 miles ... problem or not?

Looking for opinions and experience ...

Am I buying someone else's trouble by buying a 1999 International converted to a motorcoach with 800,000 miles? See below:

RV 99 International Pro Sleeper-converted For Sale

I keep reading that these trucks "last forever" ... but when is "forever end"? I expect that need to find out what kind of engine and trans it has, get the maintenance records, and then sit down with a knowledgeable truck guy for an opinion.

Confirm this ... I presume there are "good and bad" engines and transmissions. Some are much more trouble than others. Is that correct? Were International tractors from 1999 good tractors? Or problems?

I'm hoping to find something that won't nickle and dime me to death. I plan on pulling my 24' enclosed trailer and race car; maybe get a 30' trailer.

Thanks!

Dick
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Started looking for 379 Peterbilt TC, 24' to 30' box, bumper pull--but ended up w/1999 Liberty Coach conversion of 45' Prevost XLV bus. 1,000sf heated/AC'd race shop w/dump station, 50amp shore pwr where bus parks, 3 NASCAR/ARCA race cars & 26' Bravo trailer.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:24 PM   #2
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If I were in the market for one I would certainly take a serious look at that one. That is actually fairly low miles for a 1999. Cummins is a good engine and that trans is bullet proof. Both have been around for many years. Sounds like it has been well maintained and history is available. I would want to know if it was airride or sping suspension.Spring ride can be quite harsh in that application.It looks in the pictures to be a well built,clean unit. You sure can't build one for that price and that should leave you some room to modify repair if needed. Heck,you can't buy a new diesel pickup for that price. I wouldn't worry about the miles at all if it has been maintained. As a point of reference,I am building a toterhome on a 1995 W900 KW with 1.1 million miles! Just my opinion.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:15 PM   #3
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almost looks to cheap to me. i would check it out and have a shop look at it. times are tough and may be a great deal.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
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You can also do an oil analysis on it. They're pretty cheap, like less than $20. That will give you a good idea how good the engine is built. I like the looks of it too. Where is it? Anybody on here that's close that could go look at it for you to make sure it's worth a trip for you? I'd take it to a good truck shop and have them do a pre-purchase inspection.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:50 PM   #5
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hay 90 give me a call i got one like it 2407935740
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:56 AM   #6
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Well? what was the outcome.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:21 AM   #7
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Default Lots of miles!

It took ten years of searching for me to find my "perfect" truck; it was worth the effort and wait. Mine had 879,000 miles on it, a rebuilt transmission, "the best ever made" Cat C-15 6NZ engine, although no maintenance records were available. I thank the "mechanical gods" every day that I waited to find this unit. It has not been flawless, but its been pretty darn good! I have added another 10,000 miles during the past year. No major problemsd with engine, trans, or rear end.

Thnigs I did do? New drive tires to get rid of the recaps (lost the left outside rear at 60 mph, not a pleasant experience); new brake chambers all around; complete oil and fluids change; replaced the clutch linkage bar (no adjustment left and the flywheel brake was not engaging). That's about it, mechanically. Of course, this was all done in addition to extending the frame, dropping the front drivers, and adding the 16' box.

I have found working with these big trucks is that things take twice as long and cost twice as much as you expect, whether you do it yourself or have someone do it for you. Conversely, when things are done right, they will last a LONG time.

I would make two suggestions to you:

First, take the unit to an International dealer for an evaluation inspection and them go over it with a fine tooth comb. What's needed immediately, and what needs to be done sometime in the future. Make a list.

Second, regardless of engine or transmission you get, purchase ONLY a "pre-emmissions" vehicle. For my Peterbilt and Cat, this means the newest years are going to be 2003/2004. Stay away from twin-turbos, ACERT, and any emmissions based engines; they are problematic.

With your '99 International, this will not be an issue, regardless of the engine. However, an electronically controlled engine is better than a mechanically controlled one. For Cat, that means stick with a C-15, not a 3406. Talk to your International dealer, find some fellow back in the shop would be best, and listen to what he says.

One last point I have found through my "experience" so far. These class 8 rigs, when converted, are hardly "working" at all going down the road. You are not taxing or straining the drivetrain. They will last a long, long time if given basic maintence once you get all the bugs out. My pyro never goes over 600 degrees; my trans temp seldom over 150. Manifold pressure never over 20 psi and running down the road its like 5! These engines are just not working hard in our type of application.

Get a good one you like, and take care of it!

Sorry this was so windy!
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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"One last point I have found through my "experience" so far. These class 8 rigs, when converted, are hardly "working" at all going down the road. You are not taxing or straining the drivetrain. They will last a long, long time if given basic maintence once you get all the bugs out. My pyro never goes over 600 degrees; my trans temp seldom over 150. Manifold pressure never over 20 psi and running down the road its like 5! These engines are just not working hard in our type of application."

Highway
The above statement is exactly why I have recently begun to search for my class 8 retirement vehicle.
Mike
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:51 AM   #9
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Hi Mike:

Hey, the "searching" is part of the fun. I started with how much I wanted to spend, and went from there. My wife started from what looks cool. In the end, we spent just a bit more than I had planned, but got a great looking rig with which to start our conversion; at much newer tractor than I had expected to buy because we found a seller who had already gotten a new unit and wanted out from under his old one ASAP.

I am "over the hump" now on major expenses, and am now just enjoying working on completing the camper, and mostly, just driving the thing around!

Keep us all posted on you project, Mike.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:55 AM   #10
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Highway
I'm a transplanted Michigander myself. Lived in Kentwood for a couple years.
More important
Looking at a 92 peterbuilt with Cummins L10 and Eaton Fuller 9 speed. KC converson done in 2002.
interested in your opinion of engine and trans combo. Owner claims 14mpg unhitched. Don't have the gearing info yet
Mike
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