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Old 02-03-2015, 07:08 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Location: North Georgia Mountains
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Year: 96
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Talking The Forge

Finally bought a bus, after more than a year of looking. It isn't everything I wanted, but it's more than I had. now the adventure begins.

I ended up with a '96 AmTran 72 pax, 38 ft long, DT466 w/ Allison trans.

Wanting a FE flat nose limited my choices, and wanting as near to 40 feet as I could get limited them more. But the biggest limit was price. I'll begin stripping her this weekend, and deciding how much of a roof lift I'm going to need to make things work the way I would like.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:05 AM   #2
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Year: 1992
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You're in good company.
You got a good bus, I LOVE my AmTran. I got mine in Kentucky.
Price way key for me... but I love my bus.
Is yours the 466 or 466E?
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:26 AM   #3
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Honestly, I'm not sure. There are a lot of things I still need to figure out, like which transmission it in it. I know it is an Alison 4-speed, but not sure if it is a 545 or a 643. It started raining the day I got it so I haven't been able to get under it to do any more checking.

Any advice from a fellow Amtran owner would be great. I was originally after a BB but the lines on the Amtran are so much straighter that I figured it would be easier to do the body modifications like raising the roof and skinning some of the windows.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:32 AM   #4
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Its almost surely the E, or electronic injection.
Yeah I much prefer the AmTran. I had a Thomas once and I like the one I have now so much more.
Have you looked at the engine plate/sticker to see what your HP rating is?
Whats the highway speed on your rig?
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:07 AM   #5
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I haven't looked at the engine plate, but the highway speed, all out on flat ground, with a good tail wind, is 65 mph. I got up to 68 going down hill a couple of times. I've driven it about 175 miles so far and I really want to find a way to get the RPMs down at highway speed, and maybe even get a little more speed out of it, 5 to 10 mph, just to maintain speed limit on the open highway.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:12 AM   #6
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Thats about what mine does. The fuel economy isn't bad at all for what it is, though.
Mine has 4.44 gears, I'd imagine yours is similar. I'm ok with leaving mine as is for now.
I think playing with the governor and fuel can get these to 70mph. maybe.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:55 AM   #7
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Chassis: International
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I had considered, and still am, putting a two speed rear end under it. That would give me more power for the mountains in low range and better fuel efficiency on the highways in high range. I did notice that coming up on long hill, but not a steep one at all, that it was all I could do to maintain 45mph. On the highway that is just a little too slow, even for a hill, once I head north into the mountains it is going to be really bad unless I do something to help the power.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Its almost surely the E, or electronic injection.
Yeah I much prefer the AmTran. I had a Thomas once and I like the one I have now so much more.
Have you looked at the engine plate/sticker to see what your HP rating is?
Whats the highway speed on your rig?
It could be a mechanical injection. They had them until 1997. I have one. 1997 was the last year for mechanical while some states got the E starting about 1995 like California.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:30 PM   #9
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Before you spend the $$$ for a 2-speed rear end make sure the gearing is going to be a plus for you.

Most 2-speeds did not have very high gearing on the high side. I doubt you will find any that are much faster than what you have currently.

As far as slowing down on the hills, it is going to happen. The DT466 is a great engine but it is still only rated in the 190HP-285HP range. To get the weight and frontal area of a bus to go up a hill at speed is going to take a lot more HP than 285 HP.

I drove a 10-wheel Christmas tree harvest truck with a DT466. At loads of 30,000 lbs we could move along at 60 MPH very easily unless we got into a head wind. The tree box had a four foot high cabover section the width of the truck. All told we were 13' high. Going along the river against the wind one afternoon I couldn't maintain 50 MPH. While heading the opposite direction empty I hardly had to touch the throttle to maintain 60 MPH.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Before you spend the $$$ for a 2-speed rear end make sure the gearing is going to be a plus for you.

Most 2-speeds did not have very high gearing on the high side. I doubt you will find any that are much faster than what you have currently.

As far as slowing down on the hills, it is going to happen. The DT466 is a great engine but it is still only rated in the 190HP-285HP range. To get the weight and frontal area of a bus to go up a hill at speed is going to take a lot more HP than 285 HP.

I drove a 10-wheel Christmas tree harvest truck with a DT466. At loads of 30,000 lbs we could move along at 60 MPH very easily unless we got into a head wind. The tree box had a four foot high cabover section the width of the truck. All told we were 13' high. Going along the river against the wind one afternoon I couldn't maintain 50 MPH. While heading the opposite direction empty I hardly had to touch the throttle to maintain 60 MPH.

If you find a school bus with 285hp, you better buy a lottery ticket fast.
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