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Old 03-08-2016, 11:38 PM   #21
Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
Yeah I can see the mirror image thing; the driveshaft attaches to the diff at the rear, not the front. Thanks for the answer! I won't be so scared of it anymore. I'm sure I could figure out backfitting the pneumatics for air ride; would I have to weld fittings to the frame?

And, by "newer buses that have been built in the last few years" do you mean 15 year old buses that come up for auction? Or newer than that? Thanks in advance -
When you view a differential from the end of the pinion, you'll notice the pinion is off to one side of center slightly. You can then figure out which way the drive shaft rotation will propel the axle shafts as the pinion rotates against the ring gear which closer to center or slightly to the other side of center.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:06 AM   #22
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IHC stopped making gas engines in about 1985, Dodge stopped making OEM vendor supplied chassis in about 1980, and Ford and GM in about 2000.

Cummins started making the 5.9L/6BT available for buses in about 1988 and stopped making the 555 available about the same time. Cat stopped making the 3208 available about the same time and replaced it with the 3116/3126/C7.

Blue Bird and Thomas started making their own Type 'D' bus chassis in about 1980 and Ward/AmTrans/IC in about 1995. With the advent of those chassis Meritor started making available front axles with turn cuts of 50* which makes getting around corners a whole lot easier. Those front axles were also being made available in Type 'C' chassis which made them turn as sharp as a Type 'D' about the same time.

Allison started to phase out production of the AT/MT/HT transmissions with the advent of their 1000/2000/3000 series of transmissions in about 1995.

Those are all significant milestones in school buses. But the big change came when IC, Blue Bird, and Thomas started building only on their own chassis even under their Type 'C' buses. By model year 2005 or so all full size school buses needed only one dealer to deal with warranty issues. The results have been buses with fewer issues in regards to the interface between the running gear and the bus body. It also means that newer tech is being used to manage the engine and transmission. It also means that multiplexing is being used to reduce the "miles" of electrical wire to less than a "mile".

So I would guess that newer to me would be anything that has the Cummins 5.9L/8.3L engines or the Allison 1000/2000/3000 overdrive transmissions. Any bus with those components are going to be easy on fuel and easier to drive than older buses.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:37 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
IHC stopped making gas engines in about 1985, Dodge stopped making OEM vendor supplied chassis in about 1980, and Ford and GM in about 2000.

Cummins started making the 5.9L/6BT available for buses in about 1988 and stopped making the 555 available about the same time. Cat stopped making the 3208 available about the same time and replaced it with the 3116/3126/C7.

Blue Bird and Thomas started making their own Type 'D' bus chassis in about 1980 and Ward/AmTrans/IC in about 1995. With the advent of those chassis Meritor started making available front axles with turn cuts of 50* which makes getting around corners a whole lot easier. Those front axles were also being made available in Type 'C' chassis which made them turn as sharp as a Type 'D' about the same time.

Allison started to phase out production of the AT/MT/HT transmissions with the advent of their 1000/2000/3000 series of transmissions in about 1995.

Those are all significant milestones in school buses. But the big change came when IC, Blue Bird, and Thomas started building only on their own chassis even under their Type 'C' buses. By model year 2005 or so all full size school buses needed only one dealer to deal with warranty issues. The results have been buses with fewer issues in regards to the interface between the running gear and the bus body. It also means that newer tech is being used to manage the engine and transmission. It also means that multiplexing is being used to reduce the "miles" of electrical wire to less than a "mile".

So I would guess that newer to me would be anything that has the Cummins 5.9L/8.3L engines or the Allison 1000/2000/3000 overdrive transmissions. Any bus with those components are going to be easy on fuel and easier to drive than older buses.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:02 AM   #24
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That's a lot of good information/history their Cowlitz. We should make a how to buy a skoolie sticky and put that in it.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:22 PM   #25
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Just as an exercise, I consulted the build sheet on a bus I was serious about recently and got the specs on the rear end. It was a Spicer J-210 with 5.38(?) gears. Glad I didn't buy it; I know more now than I did then. (Thanks, Cowlitz!)

A quick Googling reveals that I can get them used from a boneyard for $750 - 900 with my pick of ratios, or buy just the pinion and ring gear for a 4.10 ratio for $330 off of Fleabay.

Just a data point.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:53 PM   #26
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R&P sets are the quickest and cheapest ratio fixes by far. But if you go used, have a tech or axle shop check them over really well before installing. A bit too much wear in the wrong place can reveal otherwise good looking gear sets to be worthless.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:10 PM   #27
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Thanks to all - this is really good information. I would hate to buy a bus, redo the interior, only to find that it can only do 43 mph, and I have to pay $500 more to get it the way I want. A skoolie can be a real money pit.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:40 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by pengyou View Post
Thanks to all - this is really good information. I would hate to buy a bus, redo the interior, only to find that it can only do 43 mph, and I have to pay $500 more to get it the way I want. A skoolie can be a real money pit.
Of course everyone will have their own priorities, and to many that have not gone down the ratio change route before, it can be somewhat daunting. But if you find a bus that otherwise fits your build best and only has a ratio change to be made, I would'nt let the ratio change stop you. It really is a simple thing to do, and if you have a friend that is familiar with the procedure, it can be done for very little money.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:22 PM   #29
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Year: 1986
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I am ready and capable to change mine and can't find a replacement whether the whole enchilada or just the hog head with the right gears.
Ain't tried e-bay but the shipping cost could be as much as the parts.
I can get the gears themselves and want a shop to do the setup but they only want the hog head handed to them for 3000$?
I am on a wet/unstable driveway with with kids running around daily and if I had to go through the effort and worry to prop the bus up for however long for the garage to change the gears in the head by itself then I could attempt it myself in place.
I wanted a garage to do it. That way I had some liability on them if it wasn't right?
Anyone find me a rear end? Whole or hog head?
86 Wayne/Thomas 8.2 with at545
Eaton 16121
Current gear 6.50 looking to get around 4.7 (still want pulling power) but more than the current 49
9r20 tires with Dayton split/rims
I can change a tire on/off the rim and put it back true no problem
Mechanicked all my texas farm boy life but I can't find what I need or can't afford for it to be done for me in east n.c.
Even j.c. Whitney won't reccomend an air bag set up? But I would like some at least in the rear.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:38 PM   #30
Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
I am ready and capable to change mine and can't find a replacement whether the whole enchilada or just the hog head with the right gears.
Ain't tried e-bay but the shipping cost could be as much as the parts.
I can get the gears themselves and want a shop to do the setup but they only want the hog head handed to them for 3000$?
I am on a wet/unstable driveway with with kids running around daily and if I had to go through the effort and worry to prop the bus up for however long for the garage to change the gears in the head by itself then I could attempt it myself in place.
I wanted a garage to do it. That way I had some liability on them if it wasn't right?
Anyone find me a rear end? Whole or hog head?
86 Wayne/Thomas 8.2 with at545
Eaton 16121
Current gear 6.50 looking to get around 4.7 (still want pulling power) but more than the current 49
9r20 tires with Dayton split/rims
I can change a tire on/off the rim and put it back true no problem
Mechanicked all my texas farm boy life but I can't find what I need or can't afford for it to be done for me in east n.c.
Even j.c. Whitney won't reccomend an air bag set up? But I would like some at least in the rear.
What housing is it in?
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