Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-12-2018, 02:40 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 8
Help me understand drivetrains?

Hey Guys,

Making my first bus purchase for conversion. I'm getting TONS of info reading through the forums on engines, but the only things Im seeing for transmissions are "AT545 'insert hatemail'. Really looking to make an informed decision and not buy twice, so have a few questions:

Drivetrain for Pacific Northwest US (not making trips to Canada, or down to South America). I love the 5.9 cummins, but understand that its not always the ideal engine for a bus ... because its twice the size of a pickup.

What transmissions are mated with what? What are my combos?

What will I do the least maintenance on?

I have done some searching with local bus purchase options and found that 96-2003 range busses hit my budget.


Thanks!
Austin
AustinsBigMouth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 03:22 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,268
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
In the PNW you could definitely get a good drivetrain. Lots of 8.3 Cummins up that way.
The 5.9 is fine, but more is always better when it comes to moving a bus over mountains and across vast expanses of highway.

If you get an 8.3 you won't have to worry about it having the lame 545.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 03:42 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 8
Thanks CB, was looking at a 8.3 Cummins option. Is an Allison 2500 an AT545?
AustinsBigMouth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 03:47 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,549
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinsBigMouth View Post
Thanks CB, was looking at a 8.3 Cummins option. Is an Allison 2500 an AT545?

No. The Allison 2500 is a different transmission.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 05:01 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,268
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinsBigMouth View Post
Thanks CB, was looking at a 8.3 Cummins option. Is an Allison 2500 an AT545?
2500 replaced it. Totally different. Computer controlled, has lockup TC, had OD too! A BIG improvement over the 545.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2018, 10:42 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,798
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I love the 5.9 in my 1 ton pickup.

When it came time to buy a bus I held out for the 8.3/MD3060 combo and I would do the same again.

No replacement for displacement


BTW: My bus weighs almost 3 time what my truck does.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2018, 10:45 AM   #7
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,268
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I love the 5.9 in my 1 ton pickup.

When it came time to buy a bus I held out for the 8.3/MD3060 combo and I would do the same again.

No replacement for displacement


BTW: My bus weighs almost 3 time what my truck does.
Exactly. Although in an older bus I'd happily settle for a 643. As long as the final drive ratio is ok!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2018, 10:46 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,798
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
We are getting enough skoolies in Idaho, Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington that we should have a skoolie meet up.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2018, 12:50 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 8
Thank you for all the feedback guys!

I'm seeing a lot of cat 3126 / Alli 2500 combos out this way, thoughts?

Also, I know everyone has their preference, but what are the real differences between Thomas and Bluebird? I see same drivetrains, similar miles being priced about the same this way.
AustinsBigMouth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2018, 01:08 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,268
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinsBigMouth View Post
Thank you for all the feedback guys!

I'm seeing a lot of cat 3126 / Alli 2500 combos out this way, thoughts?

Also, I know everyone has their preference, but what are the real differences between Thomas and Bluebird? I see same drivetrains, similar miles being priced about the same this way.
I've got a bus with a Cat 3126. If its been taken care of its as good as any.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB 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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.