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Old 12-07-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
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Should I buy it???

Hey guys. New to the forum here and looking for a little insight. I've been dreaming of building an rv converted bus for some time now. I was driving home from work today and stumbled upon a 1989 Bluebird with the 7.3L and AT545 trans. Its a 6 window short bus. Great condition, no rust, tires are good, no leaks. Even after sitting for a while it fired right up, ran perfect and drove solid. He was asking $3999 which was obviously way too high. I got him down to $1800. Its perfect for what I want. The ONLY complaint I have, and what I need advice on; I want to use it for traveling across the states to different dropzones (Im a skydiver). But this thing taps out the rpm's so quick. 55mph and its hitting 3k rpm. I feel like I wouldn't be able to take it past 45 to get it state to state safely. What would it take to get more top speed? I don't care if it drives like a slug or takes a while to get up to the speed. I just want the speed with less rpm's. Advice?
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:26 PM   #2
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Location: Montana/Texas
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT 466e
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two options would be either upgrade the transmission to something like an Allison MD3060 or look into changing the gearing on the rear end. I'm pretty sure the rear-end option would be the cheaper of the 2...
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:30 PM   #3
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I was afraid Id end up having to do a gear change. Will I be able to get enough out of it to make it worth the hassle? I'll be doing a lot of highway driving. Everything else is perfect so Id hate to pass up on the deal and have to keep looking.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:25 PM   #4
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
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It depends on what the gearing is now, and what it will be changed to. From what I understand, it can make a significant difference. However, I don't know enough about it to say 100%. Hopefully someone with a bit more knowledge on this subject will chime in...
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:55 PM   #5
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Location: Moodus, Ct.
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
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With a early (non-turbo) 7.3, you'll get your wish of being a slug.
For a point of reference, my shortie (7.3 powerstroke-ford tranny-4.10 gears-16" tires) turns 2300 at 65. And I wish it was less.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:17 PM   #6
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I would love to even hit 60mph. With the way its set up right now, 55mph is winding it all the way out. It feels like the top cruising speed would only be 45mph. Does that seem normal?
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:47 PM   #7
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
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Pretty easy to figure out your RPM's vs speed. Below is a good calculator...

Engine RPM Calculator
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