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Old 09-04-2019, 03:35 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Searching for info on engines

Hey guys I'm doing my research for a future project. Once I finish school I plan to take my career remote and I've been looking at loads of school bus designs. I've also been looking at the mistakes some have made when getting started and the most common one is not getting the engine/ powertrain working at 100% before doing anything else. On the chance I'm looking at a engine and transmission replacement I was wondering if anyone could give me a list of prices,good brands, and specs. I'm looking for 400 horses with single or twin turbo diesel. Can anyone recommend something in that range. I need that much power to haul the weight plus a tow vehicle
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:40 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Year: 2002
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Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
I think you will find that school busses run 175 horsepower to 300 horsepower with most a little more than 200 horsepower.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:51 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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So in order to get the performance I'll need I'll need I'll have to instead take a brand new engine and modify it with aftermarket exhaust, and single or twin turbos or a better intake system to ensure better horsepower and fuel efficiency. I'll also need to look at the rear axle to make sure it can handle the torque. It still boils down to which engine and transmission to use. I'm leaning towards either duramax or Cummins engine with an allison trans but models and price are what I need.
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:03 AM   #4
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Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
It also depends on what you want to tow. Many skoolies here on this site tow vehicles and most of those are with stock powertrains.
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massagestudent52 View Post
I need that much power to haul the weight plus a tow vehicle

What are you planning to tow, retired locomotives? These engines aren't like the engines you'll find in a Ford or Chevy or Dodge pickup. You *DON'T* need horsepower to tow, you need torque.


A racecar might have a 500 horsepower, high-revving engine which will give it great acceleration and high top speeds ... but it'll burn up (or the transmission) when you ask it to pull 20K pounds for sustained periods.


A truck might have a 500 horsepower big block diesel - Cat, Cummins, Detroit, or whatever; it's top end will probably be around 2000 RPM but has long-stroke pistons that generate lots more torque than the racecar engine. These are engineered and built to pull 80K pound tractor-trailers all day long and last over a million miles.


A small locomotive might have a 500 horsepower rating with a much lower RPM engine (top end 950 RPM) but it'll move a number of heavily loaded railcars ...
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:37 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I'm thinking something the size of a sport truck. I'm concerned because my bus will be carrying a lot of weight before I add the vehicle. I'm looking to have a bus used as a home a few weeks at a time as well as a traveling business. That means carrying extra resources. I'm thinking at least 150 and 200 gallons of fresh water, 50 gallon grey water tank, washer dryer combo, possible dark water tank, wet bath or full shower, and room for two adults to sleep separately. Along with at least 1000 watts of solar, 600 amp hours of battery minimum, as well as the other amenities lol. Oh, and I plan on raising the roof of the bus. I'm just worried the bus won't have enough power with a stock engine
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:17 AM   #7
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,531
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Massagestudent52 View Post
Hey guys I'm doing my research for a future project. Once I finish school I plan to take my career remote and I've been looking at loads of school bus designs. I've also been looking at the mistakes some have made when getting started and the most common one is not getting the engine/ powertrain working at 100% before doing anything else. On the chance I'm looking at a engine and transmission replacement I was wondering if anyone could give me a list of prices,good brands, and specs. I'm looking for 400 horses with single or twin turbo diesel. Can anyone recommend something in that range. I need that much power to haul the weight plus a tow vehicle
If you're looking for 400 horses get a real class 8 rig.
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:40 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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This is why I'm doing research. I'm not familiar with how diesel engines perform obviously. So back to the original question. If I need to replace the engine on a bus with something powerful enough what should I get and how much should I expect it'll cost for parts and labor?
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Massagestudent52 View Post
This is why I'm doing research. I'm not familiar with how diesel engines perform obviously. So back to the original question. If I need to replace the engine on a bus with something powerful enough what should I get and how much should I expect it'll cost for parts and labor?
Tens of thousands. IF you find someone wanting the headache of a medium duty engine swap.
Best just to find something with the kind of power you're looking for.
A semi truck or coach bus.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:10 AM   #10
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IF you find someone wanting the headache of a medium duty engine swap.
If you're in Cali, I imagine you'd have an even harder time finding a mechanic to do it. I assume they're booked solid now, what with the mandate to replace all pre-2004 engines.
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