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1976 Superior / IH Loadstar 1700 School Bus Scott Franzyshen 12-4-03  
I am looking to take possession of a 1976 Superior / International Loadstar 1700 School Bus. I have little to no knowledge of this beauty. She appears to have an IHC 345Ci gas engine with a 5 speed Allison Automatic transmission. She also has the (electric switched) 2-speed rear. As my adventure begins, the first items I am in need of are both front windshields (some wing-nut shoot both out with a shotgun). If anyone has glass please contact me. More important then the glass is the rubber seals. One of them is torn. I am in need of resources for replacement parts/etc any help would be appreciated. Anyone with any insight to this bus please share. I can be reached via email at

Re: 1976 Superior / IH Loadstar 1700 School Bus mike 12-30-03  
I own a 1969 IH Loadstar 1700 and wouldn't trade it for anything, but I haven't even taken it out yet. I just bought it and I think I have some kind of a fuel problem. It is totally converted, and professionally so. I love it and I say if you are happy that is good enough. Our local junkyard has a few old 1700's, so maybe I can help. I live in Indiana.
Re: 1976 Superior / IH Loadstar 1700 School Bus Mark O. 12-4-03  
Hey Scott,

Unless you can get the bus for free, I would not touch that bus with a ten foot pole.

Several problems pop up immediately.

IHC made a lot of great engines, the 304/345/392 family of engines being some of the best. The downside is they haven't made any for more than twenty years so some of the parts and pieces are starting to get hard to find (read that $$$).

Obselesence aside, the real problem with the 345 is exacerbated by the Allison transmission--lack of HP. No matter what you do to the 345, it really doesn't have the HP to maintain much more than 55-60 MPH tops on the flat and strickly slow lane on any hill.

You will also be looking at 2.5-4.5 MPG. With gas prices hovering around $1.65 per gallon you are looking at a cost of close to fifty cents per mile for fuel.

The other real problem with the bus you are looking at is the fact the body is by Superior. Don't get me wrong, Superior made an excellent bus body. All things being equal, a bus body by Superior is not a bad thing except for the fact they haven't made any for quite a few years. Proprietary items can be most difficult to obtain. Wiring diagrams are practically non-exisitent unless you can find OEM manuals.

Windshields and the rubber to seat them shouldn't be a problem if the windshields have flat glass. Any reputable glass shop should be able to take care of you without any real problems. Curved glass is another question altogether.

The biggest concern I would have with that bus is the fact the windsheilds have been out for some time now. All conventional buses have problems with the wiring under the dashboard getting damp. With the weather allowed to drip and dribble down the dashboard, you are looking at some major problems electrically.

I am thinking that even for free this particular bus is going to be too expensive.

There are a lot of buses out on the market currently. Some of them not even fifteen years old that are diesel powered with automatic transmissions. Several I have seen have been selling for less than $2K.

Find another bus!

If not, all I can say is good luck.

Mark O.
Re: 1976 Superior / IH Loadstar 1700 School Bus John Ford 5-31-10  
I have a 1976 IHC 1700 Loadstar with a 392 with a 5 speed and a 7.17 and 9.77 ratio 2 speed rear.I am looking for a 5.29 or close to this ratio with a 2 speed or can I change the ring and pinion and use the old carrier?I also have a 6.9 liter diesel out of a 1984 1600 that I would like to put in.This should give me good highway cruise speed with lower engine speed.The diesel I don't like will turn as many rpms as the 392.The 1700 Loadstar has a 22000 lb rear with air brakes.Thank you
Re: 1976 Superior / IH Loadstar 1700 School Bus ray 12-30-03  
Marko if you don't like the i-h just say so... sounds like that would be too much work but this is a 26 yr old SCHOOL BUS.Not built for speed! The 345 had the typicle horsepower for the time the speed issue is not horsepower but gearing as they where built to haul weight at lower speeds most buses of that time where also equiped with gov's so as not to exceed 55mph anyway,The 345 loadstar bus was extremly popular and there should still be some decent pickings out there and there are sights online to help....
Re: 1976 Thomas Built (Canada) / IH Loadstar 1700 School Bus Skidee 10-30-05  
I own a 1976 Loadstar IH school buss. I converted it into a camper for myseld and it doubles as a frieghter in the back half for my company. The Loadstar has a 1976 392 cu in gas motor in it.

I need a torque curve for the engine. I'm converting to a 529 difrerential from a 650 to improve on the fuel efficiancy and to lower the rpm at cruize speed. I want to cruize at 2500 to 2700 rpm which will give me an easy 50 - 55 miles per hour cruising. Right now I need 3050 rpm to get the 50 - 55 miles per hour cruizing range.

I don't want to experience any detonation requiring a reset of points and timing, and I sure don't want to burn out the piston heads.

On a second note, I read some other comments about the 1976 Loadstar.

I now get 4.5 miles per gallon at a steady cruize of 3050 rpm with the 650 differential. with the new 529 differential I should get almost 7.0 miles to the gallon.

I installed a new 4 barrel holley carb last year and a new distributer this year.... what a diffeence in milage and pulling power.... especially on long hills.

mine can cruize in the 55 to 60 miles per hour range with power to spare for hills

the above is just adding some new data to the discussion on whether or not the 1976 Loadstar is worthy of consideration.

In closing, I got an exhaust manifold, gaskets, dipstick, and the 5.29 differential from International Truck... through a Canadian depot... parts are easy to come by.

Re: 1976 Superior / IH Loadstar 1700 School Bus Mitchell Matzek 2-25-04  
I have a 1973 Thomas LoadStar 1700 with a 392. I am looking for exhuast manifolds. Carb,Distributor or petronix. Where do I look for this stuff.
Re: 1976 Superior / IH Loadstar 1700 School Bus Thunderkiss66 1-25-04  
Hey mike,
another binder brother!!!cool,I am also the proud owner of a 1966 loadstar wayne body though 392 w/a 4 speed e-mail me w/ any ?'s as i have been doing ongoing engine work (carb rebuild,fuel pump electrical,etc.)

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