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Old 09-19-2005, 11:38 AM   #1
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Has anyone added a tach to their diesel bus?

Here is my problem;
My bus tops out at about 57mph on flat ground. I have a 91 Bluebird flat nose (TC2000) with a front mounted 5.9L cummins allison AT545 (I think)auto trans and 4.33 rear end.

I would like to adjust the governer or up the fuel pressure to gain crusing speed but since I dont have a tach on my bus so I dont know how far I can saftly go.

I've done some reserch and found some diesel tach's like this one.

http://www.jegs.com/cgi-bin/ncommerc...32&prmenbr=361

I called jegs and autometer and they said this tach runns off the alternator and has to be calibrated, using eather a photo tach or you can set the idle based on the factory base idle.

The guy at the local diesel preformance shop said he thought that wide open throttle would be close to the same in nutral as it would be topped out on the highway, so I could use a photo tach to monitor the top rpm while in stopped in nutral with wide open throttle. I found some photo tachs on ebay for about $45-50 shipped, but if i can get a permanent mounted tach for close to the same price (buying used off ebay or something) i'd rather go that route.

My question is this, has anyone added a tach to their diesel engine? If so what route did you take, which is most cost effective? I assume most skoolie owners look for the most cost effective way to do things like me, and hopefully maybe someone will have some insight on this for me.
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Old 09-19-2005, 01:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Spencer IA
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Year: 1987
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 366 Gas
I work for Cat and all of the new motor use the alt. for the input for the tack. I don't have to calibrate the cat tachs because they are match up with the alt. So I would said they are right about having to calibrate it.
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:59 PM   #3
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I've seen cable-drive tachs on older trucks...worth a shot. Other than that, you're pretty much stuck with the alt-drive units.

Interestingly, the Bird flat-nose at work has a factory tach (Cummins ISB, trans shifts at 24-2500, governed at 2800).
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Old 09-24-2005, 10:23 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Grundy, Virginia
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Year: 1985
Coachwork: ThomasBuilt
Chassis: International Harvester S-1700
Engine: 9L IHC V-8 Diesel 180HP
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My '85 Thomas-built International came with a tach, so I haven't added one. The 9.0 liter engine tops out at 2800 RPM, which is dyno calibrated (even certified on the engine) to 180HP. IIRC, that is the maximum HP for that engine. I've heard that they are bad about blowing cylinder gaskets, which would probably result if I tried to increase the HP by increasing the RPMs.

Honestly, I think there is probably a limit to how fast any given engine can push a bus (especially a flat-nose) through the air.
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
I've seen cable-drive tachs on older trucks...worth a shot. Other than that, you're pretty much stuck with the alt-drive units.

Interestingly, the Bird flat-nose at work has a factory tach (Cummins ISB, trans shifts at 24-2500, governed at 2800).
Yeah some a have tach and some don't. I have a parts manual that came with the bus for the TC2000 and it shows an optional tach. I should look behind the inst panel for wire leads, but then I'd have to find the right kind of tach to hook into the factory harness, which might be harder to do then just add on a tach.

The guy at the diesel performance shop said he thought I'm maxing out at about 2,200rpms now and could safety run 3,000rpms all day long and not hurt the motor. Apparently he if very familiar with the Cummings 5.9L Dsl engines since there common in the older dodge pick-ups.
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