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Old 03-15-2008, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1990 International 4600

How's it goin' folks? Newbie here with a few questions about a truck about to purchase.

My father and I do field and brush mowing as a side job, and as he's about to retire from the Fire Dept., he's going to have a little extra time on his hands. Looking into upgrading to a different truck.

We ran across this 1990 International 4600. We frankly don't have any experience with the medium duty rigs. Tandem axle dumps and semi's, yes, but never owned one, just operated. Long-time friends of our family run a business laying asphalt with laying dirt and landscaping on the side. My father, on his days off, drive their rigs which consist of tandem axle dump, and triple axle dumps, all late 70's International's I believe (forget the exact years really) equipped with L10 Cummins, Dt466, and a 300 Cummins. So not totally inexperienced when it comes to behind the wheel time. More from my dad's side than mine to be honest.

Back on point, we're looking at this 1990 4600, and after VIN checking with International on specifics, and a few facts from the guys that are selling it, it's 7.3 non-turbo powered with a 5-speed manual, and 4.56 rear end, and air ride rear suspension. It originally was a roll back, but the guys we're buying it from are refurbishing it with 4' cut off the frame making it 77" cab to axle, and a 9'+ dumb bed on it. They seem to be doing a very good job of it.

With a 2000 F-350 Powerstroke doing the current duties, I have experience with that engine with bpu's. This 7.3 non-turbo, I'm quite clueless about, and not find much info about it. According to Int., it's 330 trq at 1600 revs, and 170hp at 2700 revs. I know trucks can be geared to work well with less power than expected, yet neither my dad or have experience with this engine, other than his experience with the 6.9 diesel in 1-ton aumbulance's back in the day. From what he remembers, the 6.9 was nothing to brag about by far, and a dog in the amublance application. Kinda hoping this 7.3 in the 4600 won't turn out this way, yet it's an upgrade from the '56 International S-130 it'd be replacing, any way you look at it.

But in the long haul, down the road, I've noticed the newer 4000 series Internationals are equipped with the DT466, and some with a 7.3 turbo diesel. How different are these 7.3 turbo's in the International trucks from the Powerstroke's in my 2000 F-350? If this rig we're gettin' turns out to be a nice truck, down the road, and with 180,000 miles on this 4600, what kinda of options do you recommend in upgrading this 7.3 non-turbo? Or would it be a good idea to get one of these 7.3 turbo's, or a DT466 to replace it? What about the tranny... the tranny in this rig stock, will it work with a 7.3 turbo? Is it possible to quite literally find a Powerstroke out of a F-series and drop it in with little or no hassle?

I also know ATS has a turbo kit for the 6.9 and 7.3 for the F-series. I've mailed them about this truck, the 4600, but no response after a week. I've seen rebuld kits for this 7.3 for about $900 (sound accurate?), so you recommend that route? Rebuilding this motor with a ATS turbo kit (if possible), or just getting a new crate/rebuilt engine like a Powerstroke or a DT466?

I have a lot of questions, and still learning about these rigs, so I apologize for the novel, but I value getting info from an experienced mouth more than a salesman. I appreciate the time of you reading this, lol.
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it were me I'd just run the 7.3 until it dies, then swap in an 8.3 Cummins, if it will fit; some of those V8 IH's had short snouts. The 7.3 will be adequate; putting a turbo on it won't help much esp. w/a truck that size.

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Old 03-16-2008, 06:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We own 12 4900's

All with DT-466's. If you are going to do an engine swap, a DT in your 4600 will be a snap. You can get one pretty cheap and all the parts needed to do the swap are off the self.

That said the truck you are looking at will be an OK truck but quite a dog for pulling anything. I've never been a fan of installing a turbo on an engine that did not start out as a turbo. There are other things inside the engine that may need upgrading.

Why not look for a used 4600 or 4900 with a DT? Trust me you can't go wrong with this combo, we get 500K on an engine all the time.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had a 1991 Int'l 4900 with a dt-466 and a 5+2. it had a 10' dump box on it. great drivetrain, great overall truck but a little low in the power dept. it was 220 hp, but the truck had a GVWR of 35,000 which I was usually over. my suggestion is forget the N/A 7.3, they have no power whatsoever especially with a straight 5-speed and they as don't like to start unless it's above 60 degrees!! go find a truck with a dt-466 and you'll be much, much happier. the mechanical dt-466 is one of the best diesel engines ever IMO
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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that engine is the same as in the pre 95 trucks or the idi trucks ask around on the idi forum and see what you get

i commonly haul loads bigger than i should and the engine does the same overloaded or just empty it is a bit sluggish and takes a bit to get off the line but it is a good profroming engine that will consistantly put out even power

for your application a mechanical dt466 would work dont go electronic (thats a psd +cu in) the electric ones have bugs

the 6.9 in the ambulance was probaly geared bad they all were and they were sluggih but they ran in the top end
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well I'll tell you why I'm considering the ATS on this motor.... they advertise that a 50% increase in power at the wheels (not the motor), which puts the output right up there with mid-level DT466.

And I understand completely about putting boost to a motor that originally wasn't designed for it... yet ATS claims (now this is on the 1-ton rigs, not an International, I'm not sure the difference's in the motor, if any, ATS hasn't gotten back to me) that these engines are plenty stout for a turbo application with parts like forged steel cranks, oil cooled pistons, extra web-bracing on the blocks of the 7.3, etc, etc, things you'd normally see on an already boosted engine. See where I'm gettin' at?

And at the price of around $2k for the kit, plus the cost of a rebuild kit when/if this motor goes, it seems like a considerable route to take. But then having it installed by a pro will be extra $$ as well.

I may sound talked into doing that, but I'm not, that's why I'm in this dilema. I've heard GREAT things about the DT466, and with that motor in one of the dump trucks for the asphalt, we have some experience with it. And for all the down sides of why I wouldn't wanna put a turbo on the 7.3, the DT466 is one complete package, I assumed with all the modern 4000 series rigs coming with them, it shouldn't be much of an issue: roofediter, your comment backs my assumption. Problem being, I don't know where to look for an engine like this, and anything I've found is a junkyard rust bucket that sitting in the weeds. Not exactly an engine I'm comfortable buying.

A cummins? Hell yeah... but I would think the DT466, being in the rest of the 4600's and 4700's would be an easier swap with less hassle. *shrugs*

Some of you are saying just go out and look for what we want, well.... the guy who's selling this particualy 4600 is completely refurbishing this truck. I'm amazed at the price he's selling it to us for, plus the over the top dollar trade in price he's giving us for the S-130, that he'd make money on the deal. We're talking new windows, painted cab/frame/dump bed/wheels, throwing in air ride capt. chairs, new pnuematic tailgate release, let alone a whole new PTO engagement system, new chrome bumper, installed our LED's. The one thing he isn't touching is the motor. The sale price is almost 1/2 of any comparable rig I've found, definitely less than any rig with a turbo diesel for obvious reasons. And like I said, on it's worst day, this 4600 is still better than the S-130. I mean that thing runs great, but we're talkin' 1956 standards. It'd be lucky to see 55mph downhill, 60mph is record breaking. If it wasn't for the trade of the S-130, this deal wouldn't be happening.

So moving ahead... where can I find a decent running DT466, and where do I get these off-the-shelf parts for an easy swap? I'd love a Cummins, but I'm going to see more about the DT for now.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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BTW... ATS Turbo Kits There's a link to where I'm getting all my info for the ATS turbo kit on the 6.9/7.3.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You could get 230 or so hp from a 6.9/7.3, but how long will it take that kind of power pulling around 30k pounds. A DT466 is designed to pull at full load, at its rated hp for hours on end. Add to that, a 230hp DT466 will run circles around a 7.3 with 230hp. The difference? Torque, and where in the rpm it comes in.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yer right nevr... I'm more of an I-6 TD fan myself anyway. For comparison, what does a new Maxxforce DT go for?
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevrenufhp View Post
You could get 230 or so hp from a 6.9/7.3, but how long will it take that kind of power pulling around 30k pounds. A DT466 is designed to pull at full load, at its rated hp for hours on end. Add to that, a 230hp DT466 will run circles around a 7.3 with 230hp. The difference? Torque, and where in the rpm it comes in.
what he said!

if the truck is as good of a deal as you say, go for it. you can always find a used mechanical dt-466 somewhere there are thousands of them out there. if I were you I'd swap trannies too if you went for a dt-466, something with more than 5 gears for sure. but you never know the truck might perform perfectly for you as it is, it's all a crap shoot!! I wouldn't waste money on the turbo kit though, I'd just run it as is, then save the money from that turbo and look for a dt-466
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Good deal... was originally leaning towards the DT466, and you guys are only reiterating, even if it's a few more $$, to go that route.

That's the other issue, for now, would a DT466 bolt up to this tranny? It'd be nice to get another tranny with more gears, but that may be even further down the road. Let alone, this tranny and rear end setup (4.56's according to Inter.) may do well, but with that added power, it'll prolly rap through those gears before I get across the intersection.

I figure worst case scenario, being newer 4600's come with the DT466, I could try and find a newer model rig and yank the whole drivetrain out, and it "should" bolt right in right? Not much difference's in a 1990 4600 to say... a 1999 or lower year rig right?
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Good deal... was originally leaning towards the DT466, and you guys are only reiterating, even if it's a few more $$, to go that route.

That's the other issue, for now, would a DT466 bolt up to this tranny? It'd be nice to get another tranny with more gears, but that may be even further down the road. Let alone, this tranny and rear end setup (4.56's according to Inter.) may do well, but with that added power, it'll prolly rap through those gears before I get across the intersection.

I figure worst case scenario, being newer 4600's come with the DT466, I could try and find a newer model rig and yank the whole drivetrain out, and it "should" bolt right in right? Not much difference's in a 1990 4600 to say... a 1999 or lower year rig right?

The trans should bolt right up. I'd also look for a 2spd rear end. You should be able to find one pretty cheap.

Nick
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The trans should bolt right up. I'd also look for a 2spd rear end. You should be able to find one pretty cheap.

Nick
Yup, yet another issue I'm looking into, lol.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'd about gaurentee you guys wouldn't be happy with it. Nothing worse than working day after day with something that's severely underpowered. Like Roofeditor posted the "proper" engine with that size truck would be a DT466, not to mention needing a 2 speed rear end (even with the 466). Where I worked we maintained about 34 mid-duty trucks with Eaton 2 speeds and DT466's and they make a good combination in that size truck. Reliable engine, reliable drivetrain.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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my dt-466 had a 5+2, it was actually an air-shift rear which was prety cool. I think 4.56 gears...

if it were a straight 5 speed, fogetaboudit it would have been an absolute nightmare to drive. more gearing helps out a lot for less power
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1997 F-350 PSD 4x4, 4" lift, 35's, Superchips tuner

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