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Old 11-16-2018, 05:01 PM   #1
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E
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Gutless T444E and AT545

Well...we just took our first test run in our 1999 International mid bus with the above engine and transmission. We went camping in West Virgina for several days. We quickly realized this bus is gutless when it comes to uphill power. If we got up to 35mph going uphill we were doing well. I never expected the bus to be equivalent to a diesel truck but I thought it would have a bit more power. This kind of nixes our plans to convert this bus into a home and travel around out west. If it can barely handle the hills of WV, how will it get through the passes of the Rockies?

The bus has good bones. Zero rust and about 80k miles on it. Is already partially converted. So what now? What can we do to increase power or make it better for climbing mountains?

A transmission swap and/or rear end swap is what first comes to mind. We dont mind spending $3-4k to make that happen. We have $6k in the bus as is. So to spend that extra money to make it mountain worthy is a good investment for us. We would have to have a shop do the work since we dont have the knowledge to do something like that.

What are your opinions? Thanks in advance!20181111_161229.jpeg
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:31 PM   #2
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Whatís your rpm at 55mph on flat ground?
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:33 PM   #3
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In your boat

I have the same year bus with what is most likely the same transmission + motor.



The tranny ID plate is gone and 2 diesel mechanics couldn't ID the thing. I have the 210hp engine and I have to say that it sounds nice when it's running. I pressume I will have to blow up the transmission, then replace it or buy a different bus. The diesel mechanic was glad to hear me ask if he would put in a new transmission.



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Old 11-16-2018, 06:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
Whatís your rpm at 55mph on flat ground?
I dont know off the top of my head but I would guess about 2500. The governor was removed by an Internatonak dealership so it will could faster. But that's too fast for the engine to spin.
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Old 11-16-2018, 06:35 PM   #5
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Engine: T444E
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Originally Posted by mrpincher View Post
I have the same year bus with what is most likely the same transmission + motor.



The tranny ID plate is gone and 2 diesel mechanics couldn't ID the thing. I have the 210hp engine and I have to say that it sounds nice when it's running. I pressume I will have to blow up the transmission, then replace it or buy a different bus. The diesel mechanic was glad to hear me ask if he would put in a new transmission.



Watching this thread for other solutions
MOAR POWER. Mine is the 190HP version
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Old 11-16-2018, 06:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advRN View Post
I dont know off the top of my head but I would guess about 2500. The governor was removed by an Internatonak dealership so it will could faster. But that's too fast for the engine to spin.


Thatís what mine does too, t444e/545 with 5.29 gears.

Depending on how steep the grade is, 35mph maybe normal I dunno. But if the engine is spinning 2500 and your bus is only going 35 then itís the slip in the transmission, I read on this forum that someone added a transmission cooler to their 545 and it really helped reduce the amount of slip on uphill grades.

Iím expecting / hoping for 40-45 uphill with 75% throttle and low slip. But Iíll back the throttle off till the rpm/speed match up without much slipping to avoid excess transmission heat and poor fuel economy. If I have go 35 sometimes so be it.
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Old 11-16-2018, 06:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by advRN View Post
MOAR POWER. Mine is the 190HP version

I hacked the computer and changed the EFRC and HP up to 230.. im putting a pyro gauge on it and a bigger turbio before I drive it far.. but I swapped my AT545 for an allison 1000 in 2017.. best thing i ever did..



right now at the low torque EFRC and 230 HP.. my red bus will Haul Ass..

-Christopher
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:37 PM   #8
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I have the same bus size and engine/tranny combo with 4.78 gears. When I first drove it through the mountains in Pennsylvania, I thought this bus of mine is just going to be a slow turd up the hills. I have the 210 HP engine and was able to turn off the road speed limiter. I also disabled the EBP system and straight piped the exhaust. This made a difference, but guess what. It's still a slow turd on the hills.

I have learned to live with it and not upset or regretting the bus I bought because this is a very reliable and proven drivetrain. Took me awhile to learn how to drive my bus properly and the more I drive it, the more satisfied I am with it. I can cruise at 60 mph at 2500 RPM all day long and know it is totally fine.
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:18 PM   #9
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Johnny did you bump yourself up to 210 from 175?

I notice a big difference running a low torque mode 230 tune. I haven’t. Climbed with it yet. I want my pyro up first . I need to learn the turbo and up pipe part numbers for the high torque versions so I can install them and run it at max 250 high torque
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:32 PM   #10
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install a trans cooler.

it was the biggest bang for the buck on my at545. i now keep up with traffic on hills.
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