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Old 03-01-2007, 10:21 AM   #1
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Power. I want more power!

I have an 1989 BBAA with an 8.3 Cummins. Does anyone know how the governor works? Has anyone gotten more power without breaking the bank? I was thinking intercooler (or aftercooler as the mechanic calls it), adjusting the injection pump and maybe a larger turbo. Have any of these things been tried by anyone here? The power is ok on the flats, but when I hit a long grade, forgetaboutit. Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:11 PM   #2
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I need more power Scotty!!!!!

bigger bank account, older whisky, younger women, MORE POWER!!! get in line pilgrim we all want that. Money=HP! sportyrick
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:22 PM   #3
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This site has good instructions for just about any enginewe'll ever see in our buses. What horsepower rating do you have on the engine? It is possible that you have the lower spec engine. I find it amazing that the manufacturers can charge SO MUCH for the power upgrades on a particular engine when the only real difference is in the injection pump, but I'm sure they need to spec heavier transmissions, pay various taxes, etc. On top of that, they're in business to make money.

It's important to remember that a bus will never be a sports car. It will never be a heavily loaded modern pickup even. Longevity, reliability, and safety are of the utmost importance in a bus. A given engine only has so many horsepower hours in in. You can safely add more power to just about any engine, but the truth remains that it WILL reduce the life of that engine. Compare a 116 hp 22re Toyota 4 cylinder than can easily got to 200,000+ miles to an 8000+ hp nitromethane top fuel drag engine that gets torn apart after every 1/4 mile pass.

Obviously you aren't going to see something that drastic, but keep everything else in mind. Your engine, transmission, driveshafts, axle, etc are all a matched system. It's tough to really upgrade one item without upgrading the others. You are lucky in that I don't think I've ever sen an 8.3 Cummins with an AT545. They all have MT643 transmission. Given the rating of that transmission versus the relatively small size of a school bus, I think you have some breathing room. I think you might be able to iincrease your power as much as 50 hp without too much trouble. Again, a lot depends on what your stock rating is. Go in small increments and keep an eye on other parts. I plan to up my power a little once Old Man Winter lets up mostly just to prevent downshifting. My top speed is limited to about 45 in 3rd gear, but 4th gear doesn't always have the power for hills.
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:48 PM   #4
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That's why I think this forum is awesome. All you have to do is ask and you get answers. The plate on the engine says 240 hp. I would like to get it around 300. That website you listed doesn't have an 8.3 Cummins on the list. Maybe I missed it. If anyone has done anything to your motor, I would like to hear from you. Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:07 PM   #5
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The 8.3 is listed as the 6CT in that list. It has the same instructions as the 3.3L and 3.9L 4BT's and 5.9L 6BT's. If it turns out that you have one of the inline pumps, the instructions are the same as a DT360, DT466, Ford Brazilians, etc.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by crazycal
That's why I think this forum is awesome. All you have to do is ask and you get answers. The plate on the engine says 240 hp. I would like to get it around 300. That website you listed doesn't have an 8.3 Cummins on the list. Maybe I missed it. If anyone has done anything to your motor, I would like to hear from you. Thanks.
i'd kill a man for a bus with 240 hp!

ok...i woulnd't really kill....seriously maime perhaps!
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:26 PM   #7
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it's very simple/cheap (as in free) to get that out of a 5.9 cummins with some pump tweaks.

spend a little money and you can get alot more. of course, the transmissions won't like it.
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
i'd kill a man for a bus with 240 hp!

ok...i woulnd't really kill....seriously maime perhaps!
I guess I better hide!

DD 6V92TA - 350HP
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Old 03-03-2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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where'd you say you live, busnut? lapeer wants to know.

I wouldn't kill either for 240, hp., well, my boss maybe. I'd push him in front of a 240 hp bus for pocket change.

but three fity? I'd kill my gramma, well, she's quite dead actually, both of them. I would kill a number of inlaws and maybe even close blood relatives for that kinda juice in a skoolie.

Is there anybody here that lays claim to the fastest skoolie around? Gotta be somebody out there with a hopped up, propane breathing 800hp shortie that will give mustangs a run for their money? Or do folks with that kinda dough not associate with this gang of misfits?
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:01 PM   #10
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By rough estimation from a drag calculator, a 15,000 lbs bus (that's pretty hefty for a drag prepped bus) with 1000 horsepower will run the quarter in 14.336 seconds@94.882 mph. That's pretty darn quick and 1000 horsepower is not out of the realm of possibility for a twin charged 6V92 or 8V92, both of which could be made to fit in a conventional with some work.

My life's goal is to set the landspeed record for a vehicle fueled by WVO, but it probably wouldn't be a bus. Something like Gale Banks' Sidewinder with external pre run heating perhaps
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:56 PM   #11
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Something like this?

(Photo Elliot Naess, all rights reserved)

Bonneville Speed Week, August 1997.
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete c
Is there anybody here that lays claim to the fastest skoolie around?
Mine probably isn't the fastest but when I got together with lapeer I could run circles around him.
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:57 PM   #13
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The pic of the red truck looks like me after eating bad sushi.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete c
Is there anybody here that lays claim to the fastest skoolie around?
Mine probably isn't the fastest but when I got together with lapeer I could run circles around him.
Is that with the jacuzzi filled or empty?
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:30 PM   #15
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Is that with the jacuzzi filled or empty?
Empty or full wouldn't have made much difference, that old beast could barely get out of it's own way on a good day.....The jacuzzi was empty that day however. Steve's bus is a racecar!

I didn't think my old bus was all that bad, until i got my new bus.

old bus max mph: 57
new bus max mph: 65

old bus 8% grade max speed: 21 mph
new bus 8% max speed: 40 (and that's before i turned up the hp!)

Steves bus would probably still woop me in a race. I think his power to weight ratio is significantly better, plus he has a manual trans and 2 speed rear.
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:51 PM   #16
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I'm sure his gas engine has significantly more horsepower than your old 5.5 did. What was your 6.6 speced at? Mine is rated at 185 hp. Before the conversion it would do 62 comfortably, but with some weight back in it it has slowed down to 57-58 given the rediscovered torque converter slip. I know my 4.56 gears limit me, but I certainly am going to see what turning mine up does for me.. From a dead stop on a 7% grade I can get up to 30-35 mph. That is the top end of 2nd gear. It will rapidly come back to a stop if it gets into third.

I don't want to get into the physics of it all, but suffice it to say that Steve's higher horsepower and, albeit lower in output, highre RPM torque helps him on top end while our lower RPM torque is going to keep a hefty bus moving atleast. Unless he is a super fast shifter, I would imagine your 6.6/AT545 bus would out accelerate him for a ways from a stop on a steep incline.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:17 AM   #17
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i think the difference in weight between the two vehicles is a significant factor also.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:42 AM   #18
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Weight? He has enough batteries in his bus to light up Las Vegas for a week straight. I agree that weight was certainly at your disadvantage. The 6.6 is probably 1000 lbs heavier than an IH gasser fully dressed.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:05 AM   #19
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i think the difference in weight between the two vehicles is a significant factor also.
yeah, but your bus has flames painted on the sides. That's gotta be good for a 100 hp, give or take a few.

I'm thinking of doing my toyota sunrader up in that paint scheme as the poor little 22RE needs some help too in the speed department. Problem is though, the wife would most likely shoot me or atleast withhold sex for a few months.

We are doing a 3 week trip out west this summer. If I'm up your way, maybe we can run for pink slips or something.
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Old 03-05-2007, 02:05 PM   #20
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i'm up for a game of tug-o-war !
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