Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-20-2008, 11:17 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: GMC 350
Short Bus Mileage

Hi folks,

New here. The band I'm in recently bought a bus for a summer tour across the US and back (7500 miles). It's a 1991 Blue Bird short bus with a GMC 350 in it. It runs great, and a trusted mechanic gave it a remarkably clean bill of health, but we're a little worried about gas mileage. We've been using it for the past month to drive to local shows (all city driving), and it's only getting about 6.5 MPG.

We thought it would do a bit better than this on gas even in town. And we were hoping it would do about 12 mpg on the highway. So, here are my questions:

1. Is 6.5 alarmingly low? Is there something wrong?
2. What kind of highway MPG should we expect? Might we get close to 12?
3. Anything we can do squeeze another mile per gallon out of it?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Rock-n-roll don't pay like it used to, and, as everyone knows, gas prices are outragous.

Thanks.
WilcoxHotel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2008, 02:11 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
odyssess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 109
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 3800
Rated Cap: 36
Re: Short Bus Mileage

Hey man, I checked out your myspace page and I dig your sound. I like the Drive By Truckers and you can hear their influence in your music. How come your not playing Vegas? You're in Reno and L. A., EVERYBODY plays Vegas!! Get yourself booked here and we will come out. Try the Sand Dollar Blues Lounge...down and dirty Vegas Style!!
__________________
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... Green+Bus/
Keep on Keeping on.
odyssess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2008, 09:25 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Re: Short Bus Mileage

How many gears does your transmission have? A 1991 is just as likely to have a TH400 3 speed auto (no overdrive) as a 700R4 (overdrive). The overdrive would help you out with mileage though I'm not personally a fan of the 700R4.

Your in town mileage is going to suck. There really is no way around that. On the open highway I think you stand a chance of doing better. Remember that you as a driver have far more control over your mileage than any of the other gimmicks out there. Gently accelerate, coast rather than hurrying to that red light and slamming on the brakes, and find that "sweet spot" for mileage. For something like you're driving I would guess it is at 60 mph, certainly not much faster. Newer cars actually get better mileage at 65-70 than 55. There is something to be said for deep overdrives.

As was mentioned before, a swap of rear end ratios might prove to be helpful. I would venture to guess your rear axle is a dual wheel Dana 70 or Dana 80. If so it would actually be worth some ching to a fourwheeler, especially in your area. You could easily swap a GM 14 bolt full floater in (the whole axle...why mess with gears?) with a more highway friendly gear ratio. I think you might actually make money on the deal. Find your local fourwheeling club and offer to trade someone your rear axle for a 14 bolt if they will install it for you. It shouldn't be an issue as a 14 bolt was used for 30 years and can be had for $200. Strength will not be an issue for you.
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2008, 11:06 AM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: GMC 350
Re: Short Bus Mileage

Thanks to everyone for the advice. Unfortunately, we leave in 10 days. So I donít think thereís time to swap out gears (or the axle). It does have overdrive, and Iíve had it up to 75 mph. So Iím thinking that that the ratio isnít too ill-suited for the highway.

I contacted a Blue Bird service guy who said it should get between 8 and 12 mpg depending on terrain. If we can average 9 for the trip, we can stay pretty close to our budget.

It scared the crap out of us when we got 6 mpg. We had visions of selling our drummerís kidneys to get from Albuquerque to Galveston.

Odyssess, glad to hear you liked the songs. Weíre pretty big DBT fans. We were really hoping to hit Vegas, but the timing/venue/money just didnít work out.
WilcoxHotel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2008, 06:55 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
odyssess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 109
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 3800
Rated Cap: 36
Re: Short Bus Mileage

Hey Jimmy, email me when you get to town, I can tell you all the cool outdoor spots driving distance from Vegas( Valley of Fire, Redrock Canyon, Mt. Charleston etc.) If you haven't been to Zion Nat'l Park or Bryce Canyon, they are really cool as well and close (3hrs.) You probably have been to most of these places if your sister lives here. I may or may not be there that weekend but if I am, we can meet up.
__________________
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... Green+Bus/
Keep on Keeping on.
odyssess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2008, 08:23 AM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: GMC 350
Re: Short Bus Mileage

I second the Zion National Park suggestion. I was there a few years ago and it was unbelievable. If you're a hiker, Angels Landing and The Narrows are by far the best hikes I've ever done. Though, Angels Landing is not for the faint of heart.
WilcoxHotel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
High Mileage Gearhead94 Mechanical and Drivetrains 14 10-20-2012 02:51 PM
Bad fuel mileage somewhereinusa Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 2 03-12-2012 03:42 PM
Fuel Mileage, what do you get thechandler Mechanical and Drivetrains 2 03-25-2010 01:09 AM
engine mileage vs NO RUST Doodlebug Conversion General Discussions 7 11-20-2009 10:30 PM
Better gas mileage. Steve Conversion General Discussions 3 03-31-2005 03:42 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.