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Old 01-13-2014, 03:29 PM   #11
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Re: Picking the right train

Now Im convienced the 5.9, 8.3 Cummins and the DT466 International are the ones most converters are looking for. I wonder how new a Bird I can find that has a DT466 Inter. and a MT643 Allison. Now that sounds like the real cats meow.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:34 PM   #12
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Re: Picking the right train

That would be a good combo,
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:37 PM   #13
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Re: Picking the right train

Absolutely agree, though I've read from some people that the 5.9 is a tad under-powered. The best drivetrain I've seen on this site so far is probably this rig (http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...?f=12&t=467003), but who knows what's actually going on with that bus. Take a read yourself; it takes off in all sorts of angry directions
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:55 PM   #14
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Re: Picking the right train

Yea thats what I get about the 5.9 as well. Guess I can drive a little slower on the hills to have a good engine and one thats easy to find parts for. I had one of those one of a kind vehicles before. Sure was nice to drive but if you broke down on the road you had to call a cab and leave it at a shop waiting for parts to arrive a month later. Done got to old for that. I want popular set up with good parts available anywhere I go. Most of the birds I see have the 5.9 and 545 Maybe I will get lucky and find a 8.3 or 466 Sounds like the tranny may be more importo than the engine. Sure would be nice to have that MT643 that locks. That old crown sure is pretty but a little to much bus for me.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:04 PM   #15
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Re: Picking the right train

I have been keeping a little tally and the 5.9, 8.3 Cummins and the DT466 International are way ahead of the pack for reliability and long life.
So far thoes are my top picks. Actually they are my only picks. I wish I could feel better about a few more so as to have more options. I am in the full research mode so maybe I can add to my list.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:10 PM   #16
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Re: Picking the right train

My bus has a 5.9L with a 643 trans. we pull the mts. out here at 45 mph most of the time, and 50 plus other times. Its a 40 ft. FE bluebird. Engine is rated at 250 hp and has 200,000 miles on it. Very pleased with it.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:57 PM   #17
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Re: Picking the right train

Sounds like the tranny makes a big difference. Thats a lot of bus for a little 5.9 That makes me feel a little better. I did not know they put the 5.9 in a 40 ft bus. Some of the guys I talked to says the 5.9 and 545 is a little slow but thats ok Im getting a little slower too. I am looking for a 32 to 40 foot Bird, Thomas or International and would like to have the DT466, 5.9 or 8.3 with a lock up tranny. Seems like the lock up works a lot better. I wonder why ? Maybe cause no slip no extra heat IDK if all I can find on a good deal is the 545 I will settle for that.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:28 AM   #18
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Re: Picking the right train

test drive a 545 down a 7-8% grade 5 mile stretch and then see what you think

peeps say the 545 doesn't lock up and that doesn't mean much until you are descending that hill..... then it all makes sense.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:14 PM   #19
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Re: Picking the right train

Does that mean it would run free with no help from the engine holding it back or what happens ? I drove a tractor trailer in the mountains but it had a two stage jake brake and a straight ten man trans, no problem. Now with a auto trans IDK ? We sometimes go to the mountains and go up Saluda mountain going from SC up to the Asheville NC area and that concerns me a little. Thats a steep grade.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:29 PM   #20
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Re: Picking the right train

yes, it free wheels down a hill... no help from tranny. you depend on your brakes to control speed.

the first time i did it, it was very scary. both bansil and i have posted about driving with the 545. my post was a "wtf"? and bansil was ..."heres how you do it".
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