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Old 08-14-2016, 09:12 PM   #1
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Bandwagon project

Hi folks, my research is starting to get serious about converting a rear engine transit format school bus into a bandwagon with 6 bunks and otherwise mostly party space. Key issues are highway speed capability pulling a ~2000lb trailer and high mileage reliability. I'm starting to settle on a TC 2000 RE and probably swap engine/trani.

On that note, is the highly regarded DT466 engine good for long hauls at 70mph? And then there's the mountains, definitely need trani cooling and speed compromise is acceptable there. Hard to believe a 6cyl engine can handle that but I'm open minded!

Thanks
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:20 PM   #2
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Should point out we currently roll in a 30' RV E450 with 6.8L V10 gas and it does the job well, except it's a family format and we don't own it.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:03 PM   #3
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The DT466 is plenty of engine for highway use. Highways speeds are all in the gearing. A modern overdrive tranny is helpful. A lock-up torque converter is desirable.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:00 PM   #4
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Definitely going lockup overdrive. Best highway tranis for DT466?
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Old 08-15-2016, 02:30 AM   #5
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Definitely going lockup overdrive. Best highway tranis for DT466?
Allison 2000 series for FE, 3000 series for RE or MT643 for either. All lockup. 2000/3000 series are overdriven, with the possibility of unlocking a 6th, double overdriven gear for REs. The AT545s are workhorses and can be retrofitted with a lockup converter.
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Old 08-15-2016, 02:36 AM   #6
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Interesting, didn't know 545's could be retroed for locking OD. There are some cheap local front engine TC 2000's with 5.9L Cummins and 545 tranis. Is a DT466 a drop-in replacement?
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Old 08-15-2016, 02:54 AM   #7
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Interesting, didn't know 545's could be retroed for locking OD. There are some cheap local front engine TC 2000's with 5.9L Cummins and 545 tranis. Is a DT466 a drop-in replacement?
The AT545 can be retroed with a lockup torque converter. It will, however, remain a 4spd gearbox with a 1:1 top gear. Essentially, the 545 becomes a 643.

The DT466 should go in a TC 2000, but it won't be "drop in". Not sure if motor mounts are available or would need to be fabricated. The AT545 is an SAE 3 unit. The others are SAE 2 as is the DT466. In other words, a new bellhousing will be needed (they exist). And you'll have to make sure it all hooks up fine with the diff. Sounds really expensive to me.
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