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Old 03-16-2019, 10:30 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Cummins 8.3 power increase question

I test drove a nice bluebird around a 2000 a few days ago that fit my basic requirements, rear engine, big engine, my order of preference was dt466 then Cummins then possibly cat, I've heard cat is more likely to have issues and they are more expensive to deal with, I noticed the Cummins was electronically controlled mechanical ip, not bad since I plan to convert to wvo and I have most of the parts that were removed from a dodge pickup to convert. The other required I has was allison 3060 with highway gears, this seems to rule out any mechanical dt466, I'm not sure about converting the Cummins to full mechanical as far as computer interfaces go, especially with the transmission, and possibly drive by wire conversion, I didn't look for a throttle cable.

The long and short of it, this bus seems to have the 250 or 260 hp engine with 660lb ft of torque, great for economy, but I'd like to be able to tow a 10,000# trailer with a fully loaded bus at around 33,000#, initially I thought I could just turn the engine up, unfortunately after researching it seems the lower power engines also have lower grade internals, being the older million mile engine per Cummins statement, not the newer 500,000 mile engine, I assume the internals aren't that much of an issue, still, I'd like to know if there is any consensus or long term experience with power upgrades on these engines, probably mid level 800-900lb ft of torque, off the top of my head the transmission is treated for 950 and the engines come with up to 1150 stock year dependant

Thanks in advance.

Eddited... oops, after posting I found the Cummins specific forum, I apologize for the misplacement
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Napabavarian View Post
I test drove a nice bluebird around a 2000 a few days ago that fit my basic requirements, rear engine, big engine, my order of preference was dt466 then Cummins then possibly cat, I've heard cat is more likely to have issues and they are more expensive to deal with, I noticed the Cummins was electronically controlled mechanical ip, not bad since I plan to convert to wvo and I have most of the parts that were removed from a dodge pickup to convert. The other required I has was allison 3060 with highway gears, this seems to rule out any mechanical dt466, I'm not sure about converting the Cummins to full mechanical as far as computer interfaces go, especially with the transmission, and possibly drive by wire conversion, I didn't look for a throttle cable.

The long and short of it, this bus seems to have the 250 or 260 hp engine with 660lb ft of torque, great for economy, but I'd like to be able to tow a 10,000# trailer with a fully loaded bus at around 33,000#, initially I thought I could just turn the engine up, unfortunately after researching it seems the lower power engines also have lower grade internals, being the older million mile engine per Cummins statement, not the newer 500,000 mile engine, I assume the internals aren't that much of an issue, still, I'd like to know if there is any consensus or long term experience with power upgrades on these engines, probably mid level 800-900lb ft of torque, off the top of my head the transmission is treated for 950 and the engines come with up to 1150 stock year dependant

Thanks in advance.

Eddited... oops, after posting I found the Cummins specific forum, I apologize for the misplacement
I'm not sure if converting an all electronic engine to mechanical is possible. I know if it is, it will cost you more than the bus is worth. The newer electronic engines have stricter tolerances to produce more efficient power. Even if done properly, they probably couldn't handle wvo very well.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:58 PM   #3
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the allison part is easy... there are throttle boxes which can take a pedal-cable movement and convert to either J-1939 (electronic engine interface) or voltage-divider-style. (CAT-Throttle)..


the 3000 series electronic transmissions were used behind mechanical engines in their first generations.. with the controls on the 3000 and 1000/2000 being very similar, the aftermarket has an aray of products outr built for the guys swapping out the crappy dodge transmissions for allisons behind cummins 6BT's in the pre-98 pickups.. plus there are ford guys replacing IDI engines with 4BT's in OBS trucks.. and stuffiong allison 1000s behind them... makes for a nice amount of throttle parts for mechanical engines to electronic allison transmissions..


-Christopher
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:16 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by Kinson View Post
I'm not sure if converting an all electronic engine to mechanical is possible. I know if it is, it will cost you more than the bus is worth. The newer electronic engines have stricter tolerances to produce more efficient power. Even if done properly, they probably couldn't handle wvo very well.
This appeared to be an electronically controlled mechanical ip similar to the gm 6.5 and early vw tdi, I believe late 90s early 2000s dodge pickups as well, the injection method is mechanical however it the ip is electronically controlled allowing more parameters to be monitored, it can reduce power and go into limp mode to protect the engine if problems arise. I've heard mixed reviews about electronic engines on wvo, properly set up with clean dry oil power strokes seem to love it and there have been a few duramax conversions, apparently a fellow in Portland got quite a few years under his belt, the trick is always wait until everything is good and hot to switch over, and clean dry oil.
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Napabavarian View Post
This appeared to be an electronically controlled mechanical ip similar to the gm 6.5 and early vw tdi, I believe late 90s early 2000s dodge pickups as well, the injection method is mechanical however it the ip is electronically controlled allowing more parameters to be monitored, it can reduce power and go into limp mode to protect the engine if problems arise. I've heard mixed reviews about electronic engines on wvo, properly set up with clean dry oil power strokes seem to love it and there have been a few duramax conversions, apparently a fellow in Portland got quite a few years under his belt, the trick is always wait until everything is good and hot to switch over, and clean dry oil.
ISC's of that era used a Cummins Accumulator Pump System (CAPS). Is that what you are talking about? I remember coming to the conclusion that this system is much more failure-prone than just the mechanical pump. Is it similar to the previous model's Bosch pump? I'd be all for its viability for wvo as I want to explore that route myself. Be picky about your oil, as you say, and use a two tank system. I have seen plenty of people try it on newer engines, even series 60's. The long-term success rate and duplicating that success rate are up in the air.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kinson View Post
ISC's of that era used a Cummins Accumulator Pump System (CAPS). Is that what you are talking about? I remember coming to the conclusion that this system is much more failure-prone than just the mechanical pump. Is it similar to the previous model's Bosch pump? I'd be all for its viability for wvo as I want to explore that route myself. Be picky about your oil, as you say, and use a two tank system. I have seen plenty of people try it on newer engines, even series 60's. The long-term success rate and duplicating that success rate are up in the air.
That would be it, we have a great supply of oil from a hospital that changes out frequently and titrates around 2-3, I handed it over to a friend when I moved away but there is plenty to go around, at one point I had 12 or 16 totes...

It is the caps pump, for the price of replacement one could just order a couple of every failure prone component and a diagnostic computer to deal with issues as the arise, no real need to start over for ten grand, a rebuilt p pump plus core charge from the looks of it would run $2000-3000 alone.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:34 PM   #7
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So the CAPS pump is more prone to failure in normal conditions. Adding more viscous fuel might be an issue. There is a lift pump that works during and 30 seconds after starting. When it shuts off, the only thing sucking fuel from the tank is the CAPS pump. Some people bypass that lift pump to provide positive fuel pressure to the CAPS pump nonstop. This CAPS pump is rotary, which does not perform as well as the inline Bosch pumps of older models.


The new pumps are more complex and more expensive to fix/replace. I'd assume the same goes for the injectors. Both of these are the problem areas of running alternative fuels. There is a kit to convert from CAPS to Bosch.... for $8k.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kinson View Post
So the CAPS pump is more prone to failure in normal conditions. Adding more viscous fuel might be an issue. There is a lift pump that works during and 30 seconds after starting. When it shuts off, the only thing sucking fuel from the tank is the CAPS pump. Some people bypass that lift pump to provide positive fuel pressure to the CAPS pump nonstop. This CAPS pump is rotary, which does not perform as well as the inline Bosch pumps of older models.


The new pumps are more complex and more expensive to fix/replace. I'd assume the same goes for the injectors. Both of these are the problem areas of running alternative fuels. There is a kit to convert from CAPS to Bosch.... for $8k.

Ro-Ta-Ray ya say? I'd say, no way! And for eight grand I'd buy 2 spare parts busses. It isn't totally out of the question if I can get the space. From my knowledge the rotary pumps in v8 idi 6.2/6.5/6.9/7.3 are very temperature sensitive with wvo, too low and they die from viscosity, too high and the heat kills them, and max temp isn't that high! If it was 200 one could simply use a coolant plate heater and be safe, but I believe it was 160 or so max, this is from memory and years ago. The inline Bosch m/mw/p pumps seem almost indestructible with clean dry oil, some even try one tank systems. I got one after it died, too bad it burned in the napa fires, a full teardown would have been fun, at 400,000 miles on an om603 6 cylinder the fuel its self may not have been the problem. As far as injectors, I believe they are the same as full mechanical, or at least similar, pressurize to a set level and they pop open spraying fuel. We have rebuilt a few with great results, super simple with the right tools, essentially a hydraulic Jack pump with a pressure gauge and the right replacement nozzles and shims, I found some already done on Ebay for $90 a pop to fit the 8.3.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:32 PM   #9
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This may not be so bad, after a bit of searching I found core c8.3 engines as low as $1500, one for $750 but no photo so I don't know if it is complete, an infrared kit seems to fun $1000-1500, might as well get the IP overhauled and fresh injectors, so with surprises you get a fresh engine with more power for $5000-6000 and can still sell the old one to someone in need, half the price of the p pump kit and an outright bare p pump with injector lines would run $3000, not sure what else you would need to do it yourself.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:12 AM   #10
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Just a question.

How many gallons of free wvo do you have to use until you've saved enough on fuel costs to eat the cost of the new injection pump?

WVO in a newer engine doesn't make much sense to me really. The only people I've seen that truly saved money on wvo, were those that had an inline pump and had no value for the time they spent picking up and processing the oil.

If you really want to utilize wvo, burn it in an oil fired furnace for heat.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Just a question.

How many gallons of free wvo do you have to use until you've saved enough on fuel costs to eat the cost of the new injection pump?

WVO in a newer engine doesn't make much sense to me really. The only people I've seen that truly saved money on wvo, were those that had an inline pump and had no value for the time they spent picking up and processing the oil.

If you really want to utilize wvo, burn it in an oil fired furnace for heat.
There is another way to do the math, if I have to pay for diesel can I go on this trip?

There is a guy an hour away who sells unfiltered oil for $0.50 a gallon, if I could negotiate a volume discount I'd do that over collecting, pick up 2-3 totes at a time. Down in California I handed my account at a large big city hospital over to a friend and he is swimming in it, more than he can use.

As far as processing, if the oil you get is clean and dry and you have space pump it into a 275 or 330 gallon tote and settle it for a couple months. If its mixed with chemicals and overused look for a better source, cant find one? Wash it with a shower nozzle and figure out how to dry it, all a centrifuge does is speed the process up and possibly dry the oil if you use a pump powered unit.

The rotary pump must go, no love there, I suspect the bigger problem here is the rotary pump, this is still a mechanical engine however instead of a throttle cable a computer controls the ip, there is no reason the electronics should be affected by the fuel.

Final trouble is power, I'd like to be able to tow a 10,000# trailer with tall gears, the biggest reason more powerful diesels get better fuel economy is lack of downshifting, a smaller engine will down shift for a hill and get out of its sweet spot, more power allows you to stay in the economy range, I'd like to get in the 280-300hp range and 888-950lb/ft, current configuration this thing only has as I recall 10 lb ft mor than my 2006 GMC pickup. The 260hp Cummins isc has different internals than the more expensive higher hp engines so either I move up or swap in a dt466, or swap ip and pray the overbuilt nature of the engine has me covered.

I prefer the newer model of bluebirds and want an md3060, that is also what is readily available as school districts are still selling them off.

I'd rather run wvo through a cp3 pump than an expensive rotary pump
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:28 PM   #12
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You didn't really answer my question. I simply want to know how many miles you have to run on wvo to save money.

With diesel you have
-fuel costs (~$3.00 per gal)
-thats it

With wvo you have
-fuel costs (you said $.50 per gal)
-Bus conversion costs(tanks, heaters and lines)
-Filtration setup(tanks,centrifuge, filters, pumps, and your time spent doing it)
-the inevitible injection pump and injectors

Granted, the pump and injectors will still wear out with diesel, but every wvo/wmo conversion I've seen does it way faster.

Quote:
There is another way to do the math, if I have to pay for diesel can I go on this trip?
So you're telling me you can afford to spend a couple thousand for the stuff in the bottom list but can't afford diesel?

I've worked on engines with these conversions. Some of them make it work. Others blow through wads of cash trying it. I've never understood how anybody that does this can call it "free" fuel. The only way I've seen it work is with inline pumps and people who don't value their time.

Our furnace burns wmo in the shop. Adding wvo makes no difference because the filtration and heater is already present. It makes financial sense for us because we'd have to buy heat in some other fashion, and also pay to get rid of the used oil. I just don't see how a person would get ahead running this in a vehicle.
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:07 PM   #13
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I broke even so many years ago I can't recall when it was and it's all automatic for me, like I said, it's about covering more miles for me, if you want to do other math feel free. I never considered it free, but far cheaper than $3-4 a gallon, if I'm buying fuel I'm driving less so in the end I spend a similar amount with more freedom.

I was involved before the fad and I was the guy buying everyone out after it passed so at one point I had quite a collection of parts. The folks who fail are sloppy, burn wet oil, don't keep things clean, poor heating, ect, and the "free" crowd. I'd rather play with oil and make biodiesel than go to work so I worked less and made my own fuel.

As far as paying for parts or diesel, that's my choice and it does pay off in the end, I spend $4000 to drive my Mercedes 300sd for 3 years, that included purchase price, insurance, fuel, repairs, tires, everything. Fuel alone was costing me $50-60 a week before this, of course those were the high price days in California.

You have misinterpreted the quote you chose. Once the bus is converted the cost is very low, if I have a week off or the winter I can just fill up with oil and go, if I have to buy fuel I first ask if this is a good use of a thousand dollars.

Fifty cents a gallon is only one option, there are other options as well, and don't let the internet overcompllicate the filtration process, it's like reality TV, the most incompetent people get the most airtime, drama sells. You never hear from the folks who are good at their job. In business one unhappy customer can scream over two dozen happy clients. One thing I have noticed, the anti wvo/biodiesel crowd has never put the effort into doing a quality job, they either expected something free or were repairing the idiots botched job. How many folks come to you with vehicles that aren't broken? I'd expect they stay at home.

No one who is not mechanically inclined should take this on, stick to a new car with a waranty.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:25 AM   #14
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You can re-power the 8.3. All Cummins have a CPL number, this number determines the configuration of the motor to produce a given horse power. All you have to do is find a CPL for the horse power you want, make the changes to the motor and it will produce that horse power. In California, the maximum horse power is about 375. This enough to move a bus with ease and still produce decent MPGs.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by BigPaul367 View Post
You can re-power the 8.3. All Cummins have a CPL number, this number determines the configuration of the motor to produce a given horse power. All you have to do is find a CPL for the horse power you want, make the changes to the motor and it will produce that horse power. In California, the maximum horse power is about 375. This enough to move a bus with ease and still produce decent MPGs.

the CPL number in cummins is like the EFRC code in navistar... on electronic engines its how they file with the EPA and test for emissions.. each manufacturer creates a computer configuration or Calibration ID and tests it with the EPA.. (timing, fueling pulse width, gallons per hour, output by a dyno in ft lbs and HP).. the specific calibration items cant be changed independently in the computers as the parameters are a set and since each engione rating is filed with the EPA, the cals remain a set..



modifying the hardware or sensor outputs are ways you can create your own calibrations.. on older computers you sometimes are able to download the full computer program, edit it and flash it in if you know in the hex tables where to go.. I snagged a couple navistar 444E / 466E Calibration and software files.. they are somewhat easy to follow. but not as simple as one might think..



I hgavent m,essed with CAT or cummins as i dont have any engines or busses to test my theories and programs on.. I own several ECMs for my 444E so i use it as a test bed..



-Christopher
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:29 AM   #16
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The biggest problem I see with adding HP to a bus is heat.


If you have a Type 'C' or Type 'D' FE bus increasing cooling capacity isn't a big deal.



If you have a Type 'D' RE bus increasing cooling capacity is a HUGE deal. One reason school buses are limited in HP is how difficult it is to adequately cool a rear engine bus.



MCI, Van Hool, Prevost, Setra, Neoplan, and the other motorcoach OEM's. cool their 450+ HP buses with radiators that are HUGE. School buses don't have room in them for radiators as large as a coach radiator.



I have driven and worked on a LOT of school buses over the last 40 some years. Every rear engine bus will overheat if you push them hard enough. School buses for the most part were designed and built to transport kids to and from school. The power package and gearing is made to do that as efficiently as possible at speeds under 35 MPH. The few school buses that are spe'c'ed for trips have significantly larger radiators than to/from buses.


I am not saying you can't turn up an engine's HP but you need to be thinking about exponentially increasing your radiator capacity if you do.



As it was pointed out in some other threads it isn't just the water temp that is an issue. You will start to get into exhaust gas temperature issues as well. Turning up the HP will also increase your EGT's, particularly on a hill. I think using WVO will exacerbate your EGT and water temp issues as well.


It sounds as if you know more about the use of WVO than most of us. The biggest issue about WVO is finding a reliable source. Here in the NW there is virtually no WVO available since most users lease their fry oil.


Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
You didn't really answer my question. I simply want to know how many miles you have to run on wvo to save money.

With diesel you have
-fuel costs (~$3.00 per gal)
-thats it

With wvo you have
-fuel costs (you said $.50 per gal)
-Bus conversion costs(tanks, heaters and lines)
-Filtration setup(tanks,centrifuge, filters, pumps, and your time spent doing it)
-the inevitible injection pump and injectors
I'd like to add one thing to this. We all know that WVO/WMO burning is done best with a two tank system, heaters, etc. Even if the WVO/WMO thing doesn't turn out to be worth someone's time, they still end up with an additional tank plumbed into the engine! With an anti-gel heating system! That's a huge plus in my books.

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