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Old 12-09-2017, 05:14 AM   #11
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Glad you made the first pucker ride ! First few miles are white-knuckle, but after awhile you forget your driving a house around.

Congrats ! Now the real work begins....
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:06 AM   #12
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congrats on getting it home!!! your tach very well may be wrong.. if the gauge was ever changed it may be set up wrong and be reading incorrect RPM. I thought the valve float on a cummins 8.3 was at 2800-2900 which means youd never make 3100.. at least not without a lot of smoke and feeling like its missing.. unless its different than what ive been told.. nevertheless you should nbe able to calculate it.. assuming you are getting your shifts all the way to 5th gear... and if it truly is running at 55 MPH at 2500 RPM or so, then you are a good candidate for getting 6th unlocked and not exceeding thomas's 75 MPH max speed limit.. which would drop your RPMs down a bit more.

sounds like its a school bus!!.. clunks, rattles, loud fans, wind noise, and steering thats not as tight as a car.. its a bus and quite normal.. after you drive it a bit. you will learn to let it wander just a bit within the lane and not worry so much that you stay exact center between the lines.. it will get much easier to drive... first time I drove a bus (wow way back then).. I felt like I was playing "Operation" to not touch the sides of the lane lines.... after awhile I realized that the bus was going to generally go straight down the road unless it has something majorly worn out..

I thought my red one was pretty nice until I replaced the king pins, drag links, and adjusted the steering box.. wow.. huge difference.. so you can always jack the front end and see if any steering components are loose and need attention and replace them as you go..
-Christopher
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:48 AM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
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Year: 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
congrats on getting it home!!! your tach very well may be wrong.. if the gauge was ever changed it may be set up wrong and be reading incorrect RPM. I thought the valve float on a cummins 8.3 was at 2800-2900 which means youd never make 3100.. at least not without a lot of smoke and feeling like its missing.. unless its different than what ive been told.. nevertheless you should nbe able to calculate it.. assuming you are getting your shifts all the way to 5th gear... and if it truly is running at 55 MPH at 2500 RPM or so, then you are a good candidate for getting 6th unlocked and not exceeding thomas's 75 MPH max speed limit.. which would drop your RPMs down a bit more.

sounds like its a school bus!!.. clunks, rattles, loud fans, wind noise, and steering thats not as tight as a car.. its a bus and quite normal.. after you drive it a bit. you will learn to let it wander just a bit within the lane and not worry so much that you stay exact center between the lines.. it will get much easier to drive... first time I drove a bus (wow way back then).. I felt like I was playing "Operation" to not touch the sides of the lane lines.... after awhile I realized that the bus was going to generally go straight down the road unless it has something majorly worn out..

I thought my red one was pretty nice until I replaced the king pins, drag links, and adjusted the steering box.. wow.. huge difference.. so you can always jack the front end and see if any steering components are loose and need attention and replace them as you go..
-Christopher
I was pretty confident in the bus by the time I had driven it 500 miles home, through mixed driving. I just took my time, went slow where I needed to, and let others worry about their progress.

The steering does have an issue, but I'm not bothered about the slight tendency to wander about a bit. It's actually pretty good in that respect. The vibration could be wheel balance but I suspect it's something mechanical.

I found a great reference point to tell me where I am in my lane, and that works in the dark too. Basically, if the inside edge of my cross-view mirror appears to be either on the centerline of the road, or just over it, I am perfectly placed with about 1 foot on the right, and two feet on the left. Working that out gave me a lot of confidence. Narrow construction lanes put a few new creases in the seat though

The engine never felt like it was straining, even at 70 mph. At 60 mph it wanted to drift up a bit in speed. It's a "feel" thing, and I know you get it. I suspect the Tach. I'll get the rear axle ratio and work it out. SHifts are smooth and I've no reason to suspect that it isn't shifting up to 5th gear. I have the Up/Down buttons, so I guess I can test that. If I put it in 4th it should hold there until I allow it 5th, and I should feel the shift up. Also, with the gearing, I can work out the RPM in 4th for various speeds.

By the way, it's currently 30F outside and the bus just started up first touch of the key. A bit of clatter for 30 seconds and it settled down to a smooth tickover. I wanted to try a completely cold start. It passed. There are a few nice little touches about the place that suggest that someone took pride in their maintenance in the past.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:13 AM   #14
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
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Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
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Cummins 8.3 Power Specs:

School bus
  • 660 pound force-feet (895 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 260 horsepower (194 kW; 264 PS) electronically governed at 2,400 rpm
  • 800 pound force-feet (1,085 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 280 horsepower (209 kW; 284 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 800 pound force-feet (1,085 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 285 horsepower (213 kW; 289 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 860 pound force-feet (1,166 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 300 horsepower (224 kW; 304 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
Urban bus
  • 660 pound force-feet (895 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 250 horsepower (186 kW; 253 PS) electronically governed at 2,200 rpm
  • 660 pound force-feet (895 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 260 horsepower (194 kW; 264 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 800 pound force-feet (1,085 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 280 horsepower (209 kW; 284 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 800 pound force-feet (1,085 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 285 horsepower (213 kW; 289 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 860 pound force-feet (1,166 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 300 horsepower (224 kW; 304 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 1,050 pound force-feet (1,424 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 310 horsepower (231 kW; 314 PS) electronically governed at 2,400 rpm
Firetruck/motorhome/truck
  • 1,050 pound force-feet (1,424 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 310 horsepower (231 kW; 314 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 1,150 pound force-feet (1,559 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 330 horsepower (246 kW; 335 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 1,200 pound force-feet (1,627 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 400 horsepower (298 kW; 406 PS) electronically governed at 2,400 rpm
NOTE:
For longevity and peak MPG's, any diesel is best kept in that engines "sweet spot" which is typically at or just above it peak torque RPM. All the above ratings show peak torque at 1300 RPM. Running consistently at much above that number will shorten the engines life and consume excess fuel.

That is precisely why you never hear 18 wheelers screaming on the highway. They are often going 70 but sound like they are at high idle for good reason.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:57 AM   #15
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 11,871
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Cummins 8.3 Power Specs:

School bus
  • 660 pound force-feet (895 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 260 horsepower (194 kW; 264 PS) electronically governed at 2,400 rpm
  • 800 pound force-feet (1,085 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 280 horsepower (209 kW; 284 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 800 pound force-feet (1,085 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 285 horsepower (213 kW; 289 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 860 pound force-feet (1,166 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 300 horsepower (224 kW; 304 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
Urban bus
  • 660 pound force-feet (895 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 250 horsepower (186 kW; 253 PS) electronically governed at 2,200 rpm
  • 660 pound force-feet (895 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 260 horsepower (194 kW; 264 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 800 pound force-feet (1,085 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 280 horsepower (209 kW; 284 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 800 pound force-feet (1,085 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 285 horsepower (213 kW; 289 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 860 pound force-feet (1,166 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 300 horsepower (224 kW; 304 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 1,050 pound force-feet (1,424 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 310 horsepower (231 kW; 314 PS) electronically governed at 2,400 rpm
Firetruck/motorhome/truck
  • 1,050 pound force-feet (1,424 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 310 horsepower (231 kW; 314 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 1,150 pound force-feet (1,559 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 330 horsepower (246 kW; 335 PS) electronically governed at 2,500 rpm
  • 1,200 pound force-feet (1,627 Nm) @ 1,300 rpm, 400 horsepower (298 kW; 406 PS) electronically governed at 2,400 rpm
NOTE:
For longevity and peak MPG's, any diesel is best kept in that engines "sweet spot" which is typically at or just above it peak torque RPM. All the above ratings show peak torque at 1300 RPM. Running consistently at much above that number will shorten the engines life and consume excess fuel.

That is precisely why you never hear 18 wheelers screaming on the highway. They are often going 70 but sound like they are at high idle for good reason.
interesting.. I had always heard you wanted to be in the middle somewhere.. if you load up and engine at peak torque then they call it lugging..

in my case with my red bus if I am running at 1550 RPM.. peak torque is 1400... I watch my computer'd engine load factor easily run up to 100% on ANY incline.. if I dump it to 5th gear. and it goes up to 1750-1800 then I have a lot less of that.. if I go down to 4th gear.. 2450 RPM at 65.. then it feels like the engine has all the power but is running-out..

I really love the sound and feel of it at 1550.. it just idles down the highway and never gets hot.... so Tango sounds like im in the right range? maybe just adjust the trans to downshift before I "load up" too much?

-Christopher
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:41 PM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
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Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
interesting.. I had always heard you wanted to be in the middle somewhere.. if you load up and engine at peak torque then they call it lugging..

in my case with my red bus if I am running at 1550 RPM.. peak torque is 1400... I watch my computer'd engine load factor easily run up to 100% on ANY incline.. if I dump it to 5th gear. and it goes up to 1750-1800 then I have a lot less of that.. if I go down to 4th gear.. 2450 RPM at 65.. then it feels like the engine has all the power but is running-out..

I really love the sound and feel of it at 1550.. it just idles down the highway and never gets hot.... so Tango sounds like im in the right range? maybe just adjust the trans to downshift before I "load up" too much?

-Christopher
I need to hook mine up to a J1939 scanner to find out what's going on.

Also, none of the idiot lights on the dash strip are working. I haven't investigated that yet.

I do know where the bus was operated and I've asked them if they have any info.
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:48 PM   #17
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Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
One small thing on the way home.

I pulled into the Oklahoma Weigh Station as it was open.

I know I didn't have to, but the bus is still registered as a bus, and I didn't want a state trooper chasing me down to ask why I hadn't stopped.

The guy just said "Your fine" when he weighed the bus, and I was on my way.
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Old 12-09-2017, 06:12 PM   #18
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Hey Christopher --- sounds like you are pretty much spot on. The "sweet spot" referred to is valid when on level ground at highway speed. Hit a hill and yes, gonna have to downshift to avoid lugging. The spot on my 4 banger is 1800 and that is what I geared and tired it for at 63-65. I am confident it will run higher but hoping to get max mpg's and service life by staying within the numbers.

Cannot comment on adjusting the trans but with your skill you can probably optimize it with precision. Me?...with an all mech engine and cable shifter, I'll just have to listen try to shift accordingly.

BTW...have you been monitoring your MPG's? How are they looking?
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:00 PM   #19
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Sounds like a solid bus just in need of a little T.L.C. Sounds like my first trip with HF from CA, just shorter than my trip.

She'll be an awesome bus for you!

M
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:21 PM   #20
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Glad you made it back with no issues.......I know it was a big relief to get home unscathed with mine. For 8 hours I kept thinking "Should have signed on with Good Sam before undertaking this folly."


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