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Old 04-18-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

I called the guy and talked briefly. This is what I found:

Both are BB rear engine, 5.9 Cummins. 1 has 129k on it and the other 53k.

His price on them is around $5500. That is a good price, they are from WA so should have no rust.

The guys name is Preston and his number is 406-826-2322
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

The DT466E uses electronic injectors unlike my DT466 which is mechanically injected. What the difference you ask. The injectors for the E motor run about $300 a piece. Mechanical are about $50-75 each. I have an AT 545 in my bus. What a pile of ****. If you live in Kansas City and will never leave or go over 45 mph, it's fine. I accepted that transmission because to positives out way the negatives on my bus.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:14 PM   #13
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
There is a link in skoolie that helps you identify an at545 vs an mt643. It would be a great idea to have the photos of each trans handy so you can identify the trans on any particular bus when crawling underneath.
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=1824

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Old 05-29-2013, 12:26 AM   #14
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

A school bus is slow. It doesn't need a lock-up converter because it is rarely in a situation where it could benefit from one. An automatic uses the converter to split the gears, especially in a heavy, low-powered vehicle like a bus. Anytime there is acceleration going on, the converter would be unlocked and in use doing its job. In a big school district where the students are gathered by smaller buses into a staging area and then sent on the highway to a big school, you might find a huge transit-style school bus with a lock-up converter. I would think new, in-service buses would have them so they could pretend to meet emissions goals, but 99% of school buses wouldn't benefit from a lock-up converter.

The overdrive is the second thing. Nope, MT643 doesn't have it. Neither does the AT545. To go fast, you need to switch the rear axle gears. It's simple, but you have to be strong or smart. The rear axle is an empty shell that the differential bolts into. You have to unbolt the driveshaft and tie it up out of the way; unbolt the axles at their flanges in the middle of the drive wheels and slide them out 6"; unbolt the 12 bolts that hold the pig into the axle housing; pull out bad pig; push in new pig, sweeten to taste. There are minor intermediate details, but that's the plan, overall. The transmission doesn't play a big part, except that for your drives, the lock-up is better because you will be going down the highway a lot. Still, if it's a torque sensitive system, it might be unlocked a lot. If it's speed sensitive, you should be okay. A locked converter is about as efficient as a manual trans. If you can keep it locked.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:24 PM   #15
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

Good advice so far. Just an opinion from someone who has a DT466 and MT643. It is an awesome combo. I have 4.78 gears for now and am looking for 4.10 or lower (numerically), but otherwise I am in love. It actually feels like it is shifting again when the tc locks up, instant boost in speed. And I can climb mountains all day long at 50mph+ and my transmission never even hits 150*. The only combo I can think of that would top it is a Cummins 8.3 and an MD3060
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:19 PM   #16
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

Quote:
but 99% of school buses wouldn't benefit from a lock-up converter.
I respectfully disagree with this statement. Maybe you mean a school bus being used as a city school bus that never sees a freeway. But as a skoolie used for traveling, an AT545 transmission is a pig and will cost you dollars in fuel and is nowhere near as stout as a MT643. I just finished 700 miles on my bus in 3 days. As soon as I have some extra cash, that 545 is gone. I know this trans cost me at least 15% more in fuel. I watched speed, rpm and temps the whole way. I know that at some times I was turning 500 rpms higher that if I had a lockup converter. Also, a 545 is rated for about 28-30k GVW gross and the 643 is rated at about 60-70k GVW. If someone finds a bus with a 643 trans for not much more, it will pay dividends down the road.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:45 PM   #17
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

hopefully CC will document changes needed bell housing, shifter mods, flex plate and or spacers for tc and the basic wiring needed
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:53 PM   #18
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
hopefully CC will document changes needed bell housing, shifter mods, flex plate and or spacers for tc and the basic wiring needed
I will but when I buy a 643, I will try to find one that was behind a DT466. That will simplify things.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:36 PM   #19
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
I have limited experience with modern electronic bus engines, but I have worked on several ambulances with electronic 5.9 and the Mercedes diesel, and they are all coupled to electronic transmissions with lock up torque converters.

How likely is a person to find an electronic engine coupled to a non electronic trans?
I have driven several vehicles with AT545's, an AT500, and an MT643 behind electronic diesels.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:39 PM   #20
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Re: Engine and Transmission Questions - looking at two busse

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
Quote:
but 99% of school buses wouldn't benefit from a lock-up converter.
I respectfully disagree with this statement. Maybe you mean a school bus being used as a city school bus that never sees a freeway. But as a skoolie used for traveling, an AT545 transmission is a pig and will cost you dollars in fuel and is nowhere near as stout as a MT643. I just finished 700 miles on my bus in 3 days. As soon as I have some extra cash, that 545 is gone. I know this trans cost me at least 15% more in fuel. I watched speed, rpm and temps the whole way. I know that at some times I was turning 500 rpms higher that if I had a lockup converter. Also, a 545 is rated for about 28-30k GVW gross and the 643 is rated at about 60-70k GVW. If someone finds a bus with a 643 trans for not much more, it will pay dividends down the road.
Actually, it's even further apart. Best I recall from Allison: the AT545 is rated for 26,000lbs. The MT643 is rated for a stunning 73,000lbs! The trash trucks my brother drove had 643's.

I have NEVER seen a worse match than a 12-valve Cummins and an AT545!
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