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Old 07-12-2016, 09:59 PM   #11
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 10,048
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
my first bike was a red sting-ray with the high seat bar, it was a 5speed with a STICK-SHIFT... i loved that bike... rode it till it literally fell apart... i got it in like 74 or 75.. I remember I could barely reach the pedals to ride it as I was a little kid and it was a "big kid bike"
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:28 PM   #12
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 930
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
I came for the Busses; i stayed for the comradery.
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:56 PM   #13
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: in our bus
Posts: 6
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas MPV
Engine: Cummins 6BTAA
Rated Cap: 84
The exterior flashers that are disabled can easily be rewired. There should be a large yellow electronic relay module. disconnect and rewire so the front work together and the back together. Add switches in cab and you have 55 watt high beams/security lights. Most people paint them over and don't know they are stronger than regular high beams. The relay should be marked _ and +, they work diagonally so just temporarily wire each one and see which one lights up.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:10 AM   #14
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 205
What year is your bus? I have a 2000 GMC with a Bluebird Body on it. You should know that the GMC part is a GMC Savana 3500 Van ... it might be easier to get parts if you give the parts guy this information.

You might want to read this regarding the 6.5 engine. I think you may find that the problem you experienced is caused by a failed PMD/FSD (Fuel Supply Driver).

Make sure to read through the entire article, especially the part about harmonic balancer failures and head gaskets.

6.5 NEWBIES - **START HERE** - Diesel Place : Chevrolet and GMC Diesel Truck Forums

BTW, its probably a good idea to register on that website ... you'll find answers to almost all of your engine questions there.

A lot of folks think that the 6.5 is a "bad" engine, I agree with the author, it IS an engine with a couple problem spots but you can avoid an engine disaster if you take a couple precautions.

When I bought mine, I was aware of the weak spots, so, as soon as I got mine home, I replaced the timing chain and gears, the harmonic balancer, Valve cover gaskets, front engine seal, water pump and thermostats and hoses. It's a lot easier replacing these parts as "maintenance items" and doing them all at once is actually a lot cheaper than doing it piece meal, and certainly better than snapping a crankshaft out on the road.

My bus:
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:23 AM   #15
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 205
... I forgot ...

This bus has two batteries because of the large amount of power it requires to crank, especially when cold. I live in the northern part of Georgia, it doesn’t get very cold here in the winter, but mine is VERY hard to start on one battery.

Both batteries share the same load, if you need to replace one, try to replace them in pairs.

This being said, I keep looking at the one under the bus wondering if I should replace it with a deep cycle battery wired into the coach electrics, with a switch that would allow me to use it during starting. But I'm still looking into that.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:33 AM   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 9
Thanks TEDD. Great info there, it'll take me a little while to dig in.

After a quick skim the PMD does sound a little bit like what I was experiencing for sure, so it along with the HB will be one of the first things I check out. I believe the PMD might be the culprit as it seems to be fine on the highway until fully warm after 30-60 min. Dang, I was hoping it was just water in the diesel...

Oh well. Will give it a check out. Thank you very much for the info.

Mine is a 2002. Oddly enough, the guy I bought it from is the Oregon and Idaho school district maintenance manager, and told me these engines are bullet proof aside from the high pressure oil pump.

He also told me it had the 7300 something or other Overdrive Tranny with the OD indicator circle around the D in the indicator panel, which it does not. Should I assume the guy was not nearly as knowledgable about these as he claimed, and that this is in fact not an OD tranny? I need to get this figured out, as it will determine max cruising speed for sure, and it's a little hard to read the RPM inside the bus when on the highway to tell if it's overspun or not. Any way I can determine this without taking it somewhere?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:35 AM   #17
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Oh, and your post was one of the first ones that inspired me for mine and I will be referencing your posts for future exterior tips and more!
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:08 PM   #18
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 205
I'm fairly certain ALL of the big Chevy and GMC Vans (3500) used the 4 speed 4L80e or the 4L85e. The 4th gear IS an over drive ratio on these transmissions. I did a quick check here to back me up:

The transmission won't dictate cruising speed or fuel mileage. You need to know the differential (rear end, final drive, rear axle) ratios to determine that.

I think this website explains how to get the code to determine the gear ratio. There are other ways to determine this ration but this is the easiest.:
GM RPO Codes - Axle & Ratio Identification - Sierra Gear & Axle

BUT ... I pulled most of the dash out of mine to repair a vacuum leak for a heater door ... and there is NO glove box sticker anywhere over there. I also checked the driver door ... nothing there either.

Your best be is to try to determine the ration using the VIN number. A google search should help you decipher all of this.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:02 PM   #19
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 9
This is what I've found by vin -

Trans Order Code MT1
Trans Type 4 4.0 min 4.0 max
Trans Description Cont. HD Automatic w/OD
First Gear Ratio (:1) 2.48 2.48 min 2.48 max
Second Gear Ratio (:1) 1.48 1.48 min 1.48 max
Third Gear Ratio (:1) 1.00 1.0 min 1.0 max
Fourth Gear Ratio (:1) 0.75 0.75 min 0.75 max

So, in this case I'd be concerned with the 4th gear ratio?

edit: Axle Ratio (:1) - Rear 4.10, 4.56, 3.73 3.73 min 4.56 max
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:12 PM   #20
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,914
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
One way to determine your rear axle ratio is quite simple...

1. Block front wheels and put in neutral
2. Jack up driver side rear wheel(s)
3. Put corresponding marks on the tire & ground
4. Put a mark on the driveshaft where it can be seen
5. Rotate the wheel one full revolution (mark to mark)
6. Count the number of turns the driveshaft makes

The result will be your ratio (X:1)

Compare to what is available

That is how I confirmed what my '46 had. The tag or book may or may not be correct if the gears were changed somewhere along the way.
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