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Old 04-20-2006, 11:53 AM   #1
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Cruise control for a diesel

Agood cruise control will work very effective for any type engine. The difficulty begins when the vehicle travels down the freeway/hiway at maximum engine speed all the time. Many of the school buses and transit buses have a verylow rear axle ratio. With a 4:10 axle ratio, the engine will spin at maximun RPM to achieve 57MPH. No cruise control needed, just a heavy concrete block to rest on the foot throttle. When it is time to slow down, kick the block off the throttle. My last bus trip was about 1200 miles of hell. The bus had a 8:16 rear alxe ratio. Driving down the concrete ribbon at 53 MPH was an endurance test. I had the local truck shop install a different rear axle ratio at a cost of $1600. The buswill now go about 72MPH with an Allison 5 speed. A hand throttle will doa better job than a cruise control and the cost is about $20 and some install time. Frank
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:42 PM   #2
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A cruise control is not going to increase your MPG. What your really want in a truck of this size is a way to set your engine speed. (Loadstars have a cable on the dash to do this.)

This way you set your engine speed once you are at the speed you want to go and when you hit a hill the bus slows down some but does not waste tons of gas just to keep a constant speed, look at how much gas you waste doing that just to get where you are going 15 minutes faster.
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:17 PM   #3
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I believe that is referred to as a Finlander Cruise Control up in my parts (and a skoolie is referred to as a "Finn-abago"). I know it might not be the safest thing, but I use my hand throttle for that as well. The pedal isn't particularly hard to push down, but it's nice to stretch. Besides....I have EVERY faith that my brakes will EASILY overcome the engine in an emergency. I learned mighty quick just how good the bus's brakes are after jumping in and driving it after spending some time in my truck. Even with my vastly upgraded brakes on the truck, stopping those big bias ply swampers takes a little work. The 40 inch tall tires on the bus on the otherhand will lock up with as little as about 2 inches of pedal travel
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjespers
I tested out my poor-mans-cruise-control, or throttle knob this week. It has the potential to work great, but it tends to slip causing the preset speed to slowly decrease. Is there a way to tighten something so it is less likely to creap back in?
Mine does the same thing, I'm also intrested to know if theres a fix for this.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:12 PM   #5
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On mine you twist it clockwise to lock it into place. I have a couple british cars that work that way also.
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:25 PM   #6
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I have to twist mine somewhat hard to make sure it looks in place good. That'd be my only recommendation....twist harder
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Old 05-01-2006, 02:49 PM   #7
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I'm pritty sure mine dosent have a twist to lock feature. It just pulls straight out, in fact when I first got my bus I pulled it out so hard that it broke the cable. With it all the way out I could see that it was smooth, no lock or "catch" in it at all. I fixed the broken cable with a zip tie down by the gas pedal.
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:19 PM   #8
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You could always clamp some small vice grips to hold it out. Better be good at unlocking them if you get in trouble though...
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:29 PM   #9
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mine is also the twist to lock type, but you have to twist it HARD to make it hold. The knob is smooth, so it's difficult to get a good grip. I'm going to find/make a T handle for it. That should fix it.
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:40 PM   #10
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Mine has a T-handle and it very nice and easy to use.
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