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Old 04-08-2015, 04:20 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,328
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
I had some communication with a customer support person in Georgia who represented that he had formerly worked in the powertrain engineering department. He told me that Blue Bird had never done the engineering work to support the 6-speed option in a rig like mine. I'm not sure just how alike it would have needed to be -- I assumed at minimum something with the same axle ratio (mine is 5.3, probably MD3060 or B400 tranny (mine is B400), and 8.3L Cummins (not sure whether it makes any difference whether it's the C or ISC model). Generalizing a little more, and based on the observation that there aren't very many unique powertrain combinations available, I infer/assume that there probably don't exist any Blue Birds with 6th gear enabled from the factory.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:07 PM   #12
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 694
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
I have no problem traveling a gps indicated 65 mph around 1900 rpm, or 63 at 1800 rpm in mine. It's only got 5 gears, with a 6CTA and MD3060 (no retarder or exhaust brake though). I've been told I have tall tires which helps it go faster. Maybe it's not really needed?
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:21 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,328
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
What axle ratio and tires are you running? Mine is 5.38 with 11R22.5. If memory (and my gear calculator spreadsheet) are accurate, I have to run the engine around 2100 to get 65 MPH out of mine. I can't remember now whether the rev limiter is at 2200 or 2400, but anyway it's operating very high for that engine. I'd be much happier turning 1840 rpm at 65 instead (that'd be with the 0.65 ratio 6th gear). I've given some thought to changing the axle ratio or the tires.. but having the second overdrive seems to be the lowest cost and lowest penalty (in terms of hill climbing, for example). Unfortunately it's also the most difficult to achieve.
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