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Old 02-25-2016, 12:01 AM   #1
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Question 89 Chev D 8.2

Greetings to all, I am new here but have visited numerous times in the past. I should have joined years ago when I was looking to purchase a school bus but didn't.

I have 89 Chev Thomas Built 8.2 that I converted.
As I have read the 8.2 is sluggish. I currently have it at a mechanic to get more power. I am told the motor and transmission are fine. At first they wanted to replace the engine but I am being told now to get more road speed that the rear end needs to be replaced. One mechanic says the cat 3208 is the only motor that will go in it and the other says I will get more speed with a different rear end and 1122 tires. When I first bought this thing top end speed was 63 and that was wound out only going up hill 35 to 45.

I don't need allot more speed but would like to get all I can on the interstate.

Everyone I've talked to says you should have talk to me before you bought that bus. Well I didn't know them then. It is what it is now and I am just trying to figure out what I can do. Obviously hind sight is 20 20. Am I doomed or do I have hope?

Any and all help would be appreciated and thank you for reading my first post here on Skoolie.
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:38 AM   #2
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The 8.2L is the big brother of the 6.2L used in light duty GM trucks of the same vintage.

Like the 6.2L, not much can be done to the 8.2L to get more out of it.

The 8.2L wasn't originally designed to have a turbocharger. You can put one on but you run the real risk of blowing the bottom end out or burning a piston while going up a grade.

Swapping in a Cat 3208 would get you a more reliable engine that is a little bit easier for parts and service. But for what it would cost you could purchase a bus with a better power package and have $$$ leftover to do the conversion.

Swapping rear ends or going to taller tires may give you a higher top speed on the flat but it will mean using at least one gear lower on any grade. For the steep ones where you already have to go to 1st gear you could get to the point where you run out of go before you run out of hill.

Putting along at 55-60 MPH isn't that bad and it is a lot better than having a top speed of 47 MPH which a lot of buses used to have.
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:52 AM   #3
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You explained the climbing of the hill with a different rear end to me which was one thing I did not fully understand. I was told it would climb the hill better because I would have more reaching the hill but your explanation helps. I appreciate all your info. I should have done more research. Thank you!!!
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:35 AM   #4
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You'll have more momentum when you hit the hill if you're doing 70 vs 63. But you're still going to lose speed going up because the power isn't there to hold it. If you're driving up a long steep grade like Jellico, a taller rear gear would actually be worse for you.

Cowlitz covered the engine pretty well. There's not much you can do. The only Detroit I would own would be a series 60 or 50. The only thing I like about the 2 strokes is the noise.

If you're going to go through the trouble of swapping, I'd stay away from the 3208 as well. IMO its not much more of an upgrade over what you have. Go with something that's more common. A DT466 or a 6CT would be way better of an engine, and they're both capable of more power.
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:01 PM   #5
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Don't worry, you're not the only one that joined post-purchase. Hindsight is always 20/20, but it's always nice to share each other's pain and successes. There's a wealth of information and experience here. Good to see you here.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input!!!
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:24 PM   #7
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Right now it's more pain, hopefully the end result will warrant success.

Thanks for the welcome!!!
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Don't worry, you're not the only one that joined post-purchase. Hindsight is always 20/20, but it's always nice to share each other's pain and successes. There's a wealth of information and experience here. Good to see you here.
I have an 86 ford with the 8.2/at545 with 6.5 rear gear
There is a group down at the bottom of the home page for Detroit/mechanical drive train.
My bus will only do 49 on flat roads,wide open and haven't tried any hills yet. I know I will make it to the top I just don't know how fast.
My bus came directly from the bus barn and the old timer's told me a few stories(not lies) about ones that there churches bought in the past and some followed the advice of the old timers and changed the gears and there's is still on the road and the ones that turned up the motor to get more are dead in the water.
I can't get them to reccomend what gear to change to because of liability.
I have heard change the whole rear and I have heard just change the gears. I like just changing the gears because I know what I have has been taken care of maitenance wise. Some reccomend gears in the 5.4 range and some recommend 4.3 but in my opinion gaining speed is losing towing power in the rear gear sizes but I am not an expert or pro in this choice by far and am still looking into the issue and don't know when I will have the time or money but 49 it is because the Jolly Roger is gonna go somewhere every year even if it is slow I have no problems pulling a loaded car on a trailer, like its not even there.
Please let me know where your info/decision takes you.
The military still uses the 8.2 two stroke in some of the baddest trucks in use (dragon wagon )
I don't know the tranny or rear end I will never afford them anyway. A lot of people hate the 8.2 and they said the true mechanics are a dying breed? Why is the military using boat anchors for engines.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:48 AM   #9
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Your gearing choices will depend on the availability of the parts to change it. You'll have to figure out what rear end you have and then look for the available pumpkins to swap. That'd be the easiest/cheapest. You could also take it to a shop and they could set you up a new set of gears in your current pumpkin (expensive, if not impossible, depends on availability of parts). You can try and swap the entire rear end, as long as all the bracketry is in the same place and it is of the same capacity or higher.

The reason people hate 8.2 is because it's low powered, large and heavy, and there are better options available.

I've never heard of an 8.2 two stroke.

The reason the military uses 2 strokes while the civilians don't is because we have emissions standards for both air and noise that we have to meet. The military stays with it because it's tried and true and the amount of red tape that they'd have to go through to repower them with something else would be insane.

The reason all the true mechanics are dying out is because all the true mechanical engines haven't been used in 20 years. The stuff is obsolete. You can find someone that knows how to work on one here and there but the demand isn't there for new techs to learn that stuff. I learned how to set the valves and run the rack on an old 6v92t in college. That was the first and only 2 stroke that I've worked on. The only reason I did that was because it was extra credit, I had all the other stuff done, and the instructor was specialized in detroits, specifically the two strokes. I figured it'd be something neat to learn, even if I never do use it.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:02 PM   #10
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The mechanic is looking for a 410 gear says it will give me more top speed and some pedal left to hit the hills.
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