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Old 07-24-2018, 01:22 PM   #1
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Need a bigger engine/more power.

I have a 1997 international amtran. 11 window with the 7.3 intl powerstroke and allison trans. When I bought the bus I didn't know that the engine is underpowered and after I completed the conversion it started struggling on hills. I go 50 mph @ 2200 rpm and it really struggles on hills. It overheats often going up the mountains. Its already converted and I live in it, also I would want to keep living in it so I need help finding out which way to go with my skoolie

I am a new member, just registered and I don't know if a thread like this already exists.

Thanks for reading

Madhat
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Old 07-24-2018, 02:40 PM   #2
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I'd upgrade the transmission first. Its where all the heat/slip comes from. If it has the 545, that is. Which I'm sure it does.
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:36 PM   #3
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You don't need more power, you need different rear gearing.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
You don't need more power, you need different rear gearing.
Some old time trucker told me that if I were to upgrade to different rear end gearing I will lose all the torque and the bus will have a higher top speed but still struggle on the mountains.

Wonder if there is some sort of exaggeration in that statement..
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhat View Post
Some old time trucker told me that if I were to upgrade to different rear end gearing I will lose all the torque and the bus will have a higher top speed but still struggle on the mountains.

Wonder if there is some sort of exaggeration in that statement..
ALL is definitely an exaggeration. Torque and horsepower don't change with a gear change in the rear, it just moves the power band. A higher gear for highway speed will slow your execration off the line, but give you higher speed at the same RPM. A lower gear would get you faster off the line, but sacrifice top speed.
Depends on how much you change the rear gear.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
ALL is definitely an exaggeration. Torque and horsepower don't change with a gear change in the rear, it just moves the power band. A higher gear for highway speed will slow your execration off the line, but give you higher speed at the same RPM. A lower gear would get you faster off the line, but sacrifice top speed.
Depends on how much you change the rear gear.
First. I just want to say thanks to everyone for looking out. I am new to the skoolie community and you guys have been really helpful really quick!


So I was reading a different thread on rear end swaps and someone said they instead swapped the transmission and gained a ton of top speed and still have the low end torque


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonpop View Post
My suggestion would be to leave the rear end alone and change out
the transmission to a 5 or 6 speed model like the Allison 2060 or md3060
which are 6 speed transmissions which are double overdrive which will
give you the lock up converter for mileage and a the low gear starting
power. My bus has an MD3060 but only has 5 speeds open with 6th gear
locked out at present. With 12r22.5 tires it is doing 65mph at 2000rpm.
my differential ratio is 5.38, top speed at 2400 rpm is 85mph.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I'd upgrade the transmission first. Its where all the heat/slip comes from. If it has the 545, that is. Which I'm sure it does.
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhat View Post
First. I just want to say thanks to everyone for looking out. I am new to the skoolie community and you guys have been really helpful really quick!


So I was reading a different thread on rear end swaps and someone said they instead swapped the transmission and gained a ton of top speed and still have the low end torque
Yep. Like I said- biggest upgrade for the $$ would be transmission.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Yep. Like I said- biggest upgrade for the $$ would be transmission.
I found allison md3060 for about 1000 bucks.
Is there another way to go about finding a transmission? Maybe someone would take the trans off my skoolie as a trade in?
And also one last question. How do you find a shop big enough that could work on the bus ?

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Old 07-25-2018, 01:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhat View Post
I found allison md3060 for about 1000 bucks.
Is there another way to go about finding a transmission? Maybe someone would take the trans off my skoolie as a trade in?
And also one last question. How do you find a shop big enough that could work on the bus ?

EastCoastCB
Any shop that works on big diesels should be able to help you.
To make the 3060 work you'd need a TCM, TPS, and some other stuff. But not a bad price.
Or buy a rusty bus with a good drivetrain and take the parts you want or need, scrap/sell the rest.

That's where I'm at. I need an engine overhaul, and its cheaper just to buy another bus for the engine.
If you have a 545 trans you'll be lucky to even give it away... ask Tango.

For a bus of your year/engine a 643 would be a nice upgrade and not too expensive or complex.
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:50 PM   #10
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on a 444E dont go Allison 3000 series.. go 1000 or 2000.. the 3000s require a crossmember be installed for extra support on the V-8 diesels..



if tyour chassis on your bus is a true 97 then you are WTECIII (J1939) ready so your engine will talk to the electronics of a 1000/2000.



I have a whole thread about my trans swap.. but ultimately getting a Lockup converter on it, at least one OD gear if not 2.. with a 50 MPH 2200 RPM.. you probably max out at what 60? a 5th or 6th gear would help out from a standppoint that you could probably lower the rear end gear slightly and gain a bit more torque on the hills.. esp if you had a 6th gear with a .64 or .61 OD..



getting Hot in a 444E - really common issue.. the cooling system in them is quite small capacity for the engine displacement.. the result is that you get hopt even on shorter hills.. abd of course it cools down quickly when you slow down.. I did some updates to mine that involved changing the fan clutch and going to a higher performance coolant.. my trans swap also made my engine run much cooler..



abother route is to custom mod it so you have a full radiator and full turbo cooler..



EC has a DT466E with the full rad and turbo cooler that could likely be retro'd into a 444E bus .. the part numbers may very well fit.. I was going to do it but i havent had any over-temp issues in the hills since my trans swap.



-Christopher
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