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Old 10-04-2016, 11:54 AM   #111
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 8
Year: 1985
Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: International DT466
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I was thinking the weld failures were on the newer body carpenter which started in 86 (noted by the tall windows instead of the short)...

mine is a 1991 and can tell where it was fixed..

it affected only those built in Mitchell I believe

-Christopher
Carpenter School Bus Advisory

The government site here says any of the Carpenter buses prior to 1995.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:32 AM   #112
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 11
Year: 1999
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Justin I like your bus. I just bought one a 1999 Thomas MVP in March of this year. Just started removing the seats. About 8 of them out. Don't have a lot of time. I've been reading a lots of posts about conversions and gaining a lots of opinions. One of my concerns is the 5.9, 24 valve engine having enough power after a full conversion. I would think it would weigh a lot more therefore struggle up long up hill grades. My bus max out at 65 mph and with my family of four, it will slow down going up hills. I plan to work in two phases. The first is to do the min. to get it titled as a motor home while I come up with a conversion plan. I want to be able to go to Ohio by Christmas legally. Then maybe by the summer of 2017 I will have my final conversion plan fully completed. I'll be keeping up with your progress so keep up the good work and keep us posted.

Bud
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:27 AM   #113
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 140
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
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Originally Posted by budbud7 View Post
Justin I like your bus. I just bought one a 1999 Thomas MVP in March of this year. Just started removing the seats. About 8 of them out. Don't have a lot of time. I've been reading a lots of posts about conversions and gaining a lots of opinions. One of my concerns is the 5.9, 24 valve engine having enough power after a full conversion. I would think it would weigh a lot more therefore struggle up long up hill grades. My bus max out at 65 mph and with my family of four, it will slow down going up hills. I plan to work in two phases. The first is to do the min. to get it titled as a motor home while I come up with a conversion plan. I want to be able to go to Ohio by Christmas legally. Then maybe by the summer of 2017 I will have my final conversion plan fully completed. I'll be keeping up with your progress so keep up the good work and keep us posted.

Bud
What part of Texas are you from? Seems like most Texans on this site are in Houston.
Honestly the 5.9 concerns me a little as well. However from all the reading and research I have done it seems like it will be enough, even if its going to be slow and sluggish. Honestly I do not care how long it takes to get up the hill, just as long as I can get up it.
Time and experience will ultimately tell, neither of which I have in abundance right now, so I can not really speak authoritatively about the 5.9s power issues.
I would say that the advantages, assuming your running a 6BTA, is that they seem mechanically approachable, and parts are cheap and easy to come by. That is something that is significant while your on the road.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:50 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Justin McCormick View Post
What part of Texas are you from? Seems like most Texans on this site are in Houston.
Honestly the 5.9 concerns me a little as well. However from all the reading and research I have done it seems like it will be enough, even if its going to be slow and sluggish. Honestly I do not care how long it takes to get up the hill, just as long as I can get up it.
Time and experience will ultimately tell, neither of which I have in abundance right now, so I can not really speak authoritatively about the 5.9s power issues.
I would say that the advantages, assuming your running a 6BTA, is that they seem mechanically approachable, and parts are cheap and easy to come by. That is something that is significant while your on the road.
I'm not sure how concerned you are with the 5.9, but you can get decent HP with a tune, exhaust and a different intake. Like close to 400 reliable HP.

Also, I really like your videos. I really wish I could talk to a camera, but I can't.

That bus sure does look like a lot of work!
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:34 PM   #115
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The Cummins 5.9L is a great little engine, emphasis on little.

It is not going to keep up with the big dogs no matter how much you tune them up.

There is a big difference between tuning up a 5.9L in a Dodge pickup and a 5.9L in a bus.

First, when you add HP you also add heat. If you have a RE bus you will already have overheating issues. Raise the HP and you will definitely be overheating on hot days on long hard grades. The problem will not be as bad in an FE or a conventional but it will still require upgrades.


Second, most 5.9L's were paired with the Allison AT500 series transmission. It is a good little transmission that when kept within the design envelope it is will last a lot of miles with very few issues. If you raise the HP and torque in the engine you will tear the guts out of the transmission.

If you want a big HP engine in order to go up the hills fast the best way to do that with a bus is find a bus that is already equipped that way. It will be much less expensive to pay more for the high HP bus than to try and retrofit a low HP bus into a high HP bus.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:02 PM   #116
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 4,232
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
at least the cummins dont have half-radiators like the IH motors do..

when tuning you also run into EGT issues esp with the little downpipes that a lot of these busses have stock.. you can put on a bigger exhaiust and a bigger turbo .. but at whast point do you well-exceed the cost of either swapping in a better engine or buying a bus that has what you want in it..

I also believe allison to be extremely conservative on their transmission ratings.. I knopw i was pushing 400 HP in that 454 gasser I had with a 545 and I used to run that like a hotrod.. I did have a nice external cooler on the trans..
-Christopher
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:45 PM   #117
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 11
Year: 1999
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Ok, what is an 6BTA engine?

I was under the bus today to draw an oil sample and thought I had major problems because I had to get a 1/2 breaker bar to get my oil plug out. That's just too tight! I'll be buying a new bolt because some of the flats are a little rounded.

Are there any model numbers on the rear axel and the transmission?

Bud
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:36 PM   #118
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 30
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 (24v)
Rated Cap: 66 Passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
The Cummins 5.9L is a great little engine, emphasis on little.
I just drove my bus, a 5.9 Cummins, over a 1,000 miles through the Rockies at 70 mph... North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah - Gallatin, Yellowstone, Tetons, and Wasatch mountain ranges... I took a circuitous route to test the bus on the steeps. I dropped to 50 once but, that was only because I got stuck behind a semi hauling rocks.

Other than that I was able to do at least 65 or better going up all the steep canyons. I lifted the governor (apparently, I can't remove it all the way) to 75, that enabled me to do most of the 1,000 mile drive at 70+ mph. Granted my fuel mileage went to hell but, that "little engine" rocked. Some specs, my bus is only 33 feet long, bumper to bumper. I also have an Allison 2000 series tran with an overdrive gear. Those were in my favor...

There are few things that will give you an adrenaline drop like hitting whoopty-do, on a two lane road, in a bus, with your cruise control set at 73.

...Skoolie geeks and Preppers are looking for 466's, and are driving the prices on them up to insane heights. To be fair, I would like to get a 466m but, wanted to get going on my build more than I wanted to shop. I had concerns that maybe I had 'settled' on a Cummins but, not any more.

Just a curiosity, does anybody else use the PA System in the bus to rap to themselves as entertainment while driving?
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:26 PM   #119
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 11
Year: 1999
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Chad how do you lift a governor? Some guys at work tell me that since I have a 24 valve motor, I can't turn up the power manually. It has to be programed. Are we talking about the same thing?

Bud
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:42 AM   #120
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You def have to go 5" from the turbo. And add a intercooler.

Every diesel should have a EGT and Trans temp gauge.

It seems people on here are scared to touch the engine on these skoolies. Diesel engines can handle way more than people think. It does come at a cost, and risk.

But if you're driving your bus, and not just letting it sit and camping, then I wouldn't worry about it. I plan on putting 100k miles on mine.

I love the 5.9, but I would take the 8.3 all day over it.
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