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Old 02-04-2019, 05:41 PM   #1
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Downshifting?

So we are a converting a 1991 Thomas built chevy short bus. Along with the many challenges of the build we are having some driving challenges as well. I already knew it was going to be slow but it will not get past 15mph going uphill. It is an automatic and I would downshift to 3rd gear but there is a blocker of the shifter that will not let us shift down. I know basically nothing about driving a bus so I am hoping you guys could help me. Anyone else run into this and if so how did you fix it or compensate for it?
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:51 PM   #2
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Need a little more info. To get the best guesses/advice.
Motor size?
Gas/diesel?
Transmission type?
Or at least a pic. Of the shifter with blocker plate but to me if it has a blocker then it is most likely a 545.
Does the motor still run strong or does it sound like the transmission is pulling it down?
If the motor is giving it its all with know problems then I would say tranny but if the motor is bogging down then I would start looking at the motor.
Depending on what they are depends on the first go to check out points.
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:55 PM   #3
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It is a diesel and I can post a pic when I head back out there in a few. It seems to run great otherwise. We had it at the diesel mechanic about a week ago just doing maintenance and making sure it's ready for the cross country trip. He did say we have a great transmission on it
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:05 PM   #4
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Is this your style shifter with a block out plate?
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:06 PM   #5
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Yep sure is
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:09 PM   #6
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Huh. It almost looks like you could just take that plate of with a screwdriver?
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:12 PM   #7
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You could take it off with a screwdriver but not sure if I should. Don't want to kill before I get it on the road lol
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:14 PM   #8
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That would be the AT 545 tranny.
A lot of busses have them.
Still need answers to the size motor and if the motor is still giving its all while the transmission isn't shifting or if the motor is losing or not gaining any more power.
With a diesel it can tell us if the fuel filters need to be changed on the motor or if the tranny needs a good flush,filter,fluid change.
For that tranny and a cross country road trip an aftermarket fluid cooler is definitely in order before hitting the road.
Just trying to hear from you if the transmission is slipping or if the motor isn't creating the power?
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:19 PM   #9
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That pic is of my shifter and its riveted through the plastic.
I could take it off with no problems but for me as of now even a down shift isn't going to stop the 545 on a down hill grade and mine even in the mud doesn't up shift until what feels like a solid ground actual speed/torque resistance on it?
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:43 PM   #10
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It's a 8.2l diesel v8. It feels like the motor is giving it it's all when going up hill. We really slow down when going up hill. Like from 45 to 15 mph.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:06 PM   #11
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It's a 8.2l diesel v8. It feels like the motor is giving it it's all when going up hill. We really slow down when going up hill. Like from 45 to 15 mph.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:36 PM   #12
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I have the same motor and tranny.
Mine is an 86 non turbo.
Does yours have a turbo?
These motors especially in school bus service were not power houses
What grade of hill?????
I have the very basic 8.2 at 175hp and the 545 in a 60 pass. bus tranny and have researched many options for me.
I have a 6.25 rear end gear and can pull tree stumps and get 49mph max on flat lands.
It's starting to sound like your shortie has a rear end that allows it to run the roads but not really climb a hill?
Post your VIN others might be able to help tell you what you might have.
As for as the 8.2 and the 545 and rear diff. I have a lot of research info but can only take pics of notes cause I am tech.challenged? More hands on than computer?
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:47 AM   #13
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Do you have a tachometer in that rig? Sounds like either the transmission is slipping or it's not downshifting as it should. I am not familiar with that engine but I would think it should run 2100 or so, at WOT on a hard pull?
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:09 AM   #14
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Make sure the tv cable to the transmission is adjusted correctly. If it's not correct or broken, You'll get early upshifts and no downshifts which would give you the issues you're having.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:28 PM   #15
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Or bad modulator.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:44 AM   #16
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Ok thank you guys. I think I am going to have to have the mechanic look at it because I really have no idea what you all are saying lol. I did get that that this is not normal though.
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