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Old 01-16-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Hi,

I just recently purchased a 35' International with a DT 360 and an automatic transmission; I'm trying to figure out the best things to do to maximize my mpg. The thing seems pretty underpowered and struggles to do 20 sometimes going up hill. I'm not sure if this is normal, or just the weak 360 (not sure, but I think one of my brakes might be seized up, too). I've seen threads where people talk about getting more hp out of the 360 by adding an intercooler, turning up the fuel screw, or adjusting the governor. I don't particularly need more power for the sake of power, but I would like to maximize my mileage and am wondering what adjustments I should make in order to do this. The bus will primarily be used for relatively unloaded few-day camping trips traveling around 140 miles each way. This has to drive over a mountain range, though. Also, once a year the bus will travel to Burning Man while carrying a load. some 600 gallons of water(about 5000lbs) and we'd probably pull a full trailer full of stuff (food, steel structure material, etc)

Any advice would be appreciated, or thoughts on what kind of mileage I should expect,
Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Hi-

I have a 30' bus with a DT360 and AT545 auto transmission, and I get 8mpg on average. Yes it is gutless on the hills or with a headwind, so the performance you are experiencing is probably normal. I think you can change the gearing (for increased highway speeds) without a loss in MPG, but changes to the engine or fuel delivery will cost you MPG. But I could be wrong.

HTH
Sean
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

turning up the pump, fuel screw and governor won't hurt your mileage unless you use it all the time, it might even help your mileage if it helps you get the engine to run in its "sweet spot", it's also nice to have a little extra to be able to take a run at a long hill.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:57 PM   #4
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

I just bought a bus with the DT360; same performance as what you described. Anyone got a link to a write up on how to turn up the pump? I have done it on my 3/4 ton dodge 12-valve, so I am somewhat familliar, but am not familiar with the DT360.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

do a search on this site, their has been some detailed discussion in the past.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:01 PM   #6
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

I had a 35ft DT360 dog nose that did most of it's miles going over the Appalachian Mountains. Reliable, but also could be relied upon to be the slowest thing on the road Some of the time it was towing a trailer, sometimes not.

If I kept it in the sweet spot at around 55, I got about 9mpg. Bump it up to 60-65 and I got 5mpg. Hills are not it's friend, but you'll always get up 'em. Just add some time to the trip.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:20 PM   #7
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

I had a dt360. I drove it from michigan to nevada and back 3 times, and i turned up my hp (fuel screw) and my rpm's (govenor)

turning up the hp actually increased my mileage slightly....i don't understand why. This was tested both locally, and on a long distance 5K mile trip.

these are the best mod's i ever made to my bus.....ok, the jacuzzi was actually the best mod....but engine "performance" is definately a bonus.

easy to do, if the weather is not -40F (or -40C...c and f are = at -40) where you live.

here is the link:

http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...l+engine#p3142
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:00 PM   #8
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Thanks Lapeer. exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Leeper: I've been considering the jacuzzi mod myself. How did you go about doing it? just get a fiberglass shell and get 12v pumps and heaters? heat exchanger off the engine? How do you keep the water warm when the bus is turned off?
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Quote:
Originally Posted by icnivad
Leeper: I've been considering the jacuzzi mod myself. How did you go about doing it? just get a fiberglass shell and get 12v pumps and heaters? heat exchanger off the engine? How do you keep the water warm when the bus is turned off?

kinda hijacking the op thread....

anyhow...

i find a used jacuzzi for free or cheap, then either remove the wall (not so good) or the roof/ceiling (much better) and install the jacuzzi after leak testing it. Then i convert the pumps to small 110 volt clear water pumps from northern tool, like this one:



I use a plate heat exchanger to heat the water utilizing engine coolant:



in one bus a small residential fuel oil boiler to heat water when parked.

if you put a cover on the jacuzzi, you can heat 400 gallons of water in under an hour of driving utilizing engine heat. In the summer you don't even need a cover.

craigslist is a good place to find used jacuzzi's. They are pretty easy to fix if they are broken...they are mostly made of standard pvc pipe, if not, you can use a "fernco" fitting



to adapt to standard pvc size. Since you are removing the pump and control board it makes it easy to find a cheap broken jacuzzi.

and you can buy a cheap temperature controller off of ebay so you can control the temp of the jacuzzi.

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Old 01-25-2009, 12:19 PM   #11
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

After you adjust the fuel screw a little, advance the timing a little bit. That's what helps the most. Most of the time it's set at a lazy 13-15*. Going to 16, 17, or even 19(in a lighter bus) will do it. For all the adjustments, look to my web link to the right of the message button.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:07 PM   #12
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

My DT360/545 powered, 10 window/54 passenger 94' burned 39 gallons of No.1 on the 412 miles from Whitehall, MT to my place in Wyoming holding a steady 65 mph on the flats and 45 mph on the steepest hills which had me passing over the road rigs. That's good enough for me, it's pretty hilly country with plenty of wind.

I'm just happy as hell she runs strong, I drove quite a few buses of different sizes with different drive trains before I decided on the bus I bought. I think it runs as strong as any of them and certainly stronger than most of those that I drove. In fairness though most all of them were 65-77 passenger/11-13 window buses, getting a better power to weight ratio was why I ultimately bought a smaller bus.

I don't think anything has been done to the fuel delivery but my bus maxes out a little shy of 2800 rpm's. As soon as it warms up I'm going to turn up the fuel and see how that goes. I've also got to figure out what to do about the accelerator, it takes two men and a boy to keep it stuck to the floor board and running 65 mph I was switching legs all the way back.

Take care,
Den
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:12 AM   #13
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Quote:
After you adjust the fuel screw a little, advance the timing a little bit. That's what helps the most. Most of the time it's set at a lazy 13-15*. Going to 16, 17, or even 19(in a lighter bus) will do it. For all the adjustments, look to my web link to the right of the message button.

If you follow Nervrenufhp instructions you can't go wrong. These dt360's are good engines. Simple, easy to work on and can be rebuilt w/o removing them from the frame. if you can keep your weight under 30k, or even better, under 26k, add a transmission cooler and temp gauge, your transmission should last a long time. And its pretty cheap to rebuild. About the same money as a GM 400 trans to rebuild.

The biggest problem that most skoolies with our setup is the rear axle ratio. My first bus with the dta360/at545 combo came with a 5:38 axle ratio. Great if your running around the city picking up school kids, ain't worth a dime on the highway. if you can find a 4:10 or 4:33 axle ratio, reasonably priced, grab it. Just changing that will make all the difference in the world. Plus you will see a major fuel economy increase, if you can resist racing those Stangs and Corvettes.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:26 AM   #14
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Ok my bus has a dt-360 and a eaton 10 speed how do you know if the pump and governer have already been turned up? I have only used my bus for one trip so far and the rpm maxed out at 2700 to 2800 ?????
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:46 AM   #15
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

A quick way for you to tell, the rpm would go closer to 3k, or even 3100(stock is generally 2700-2850). The gov is the least likely to be messed with. There would also be evidence that the safety wire was cut for removal of the big access plug. To see if it had the fuel messed with, the plug on the pump will have the paint disturbed, and sometimes the factory silicone RTV blob will be in the hole where the allen wrench fits in.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:03 PM   #16
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

thanks for the answer. So whats the redline on the rpms? and if I do turn the fuel up I will first put in a pyro meter but whats redline on temp? any recomends on a pyro gage? Thanks
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:37 PM   #17
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Quote:
Originally Posted by beltburner
thanks for the answer. So whats the redline on the rpms? and if I do turn the fuel up I will first put in a pyro meter but whats redline on temp? any recomends on a pyro gage? Thanks
Keep rpm below 3200, otherwise the valves may start to float and cause major damage to say the least. Hypermax sells heavier valve springs if you really want to go higher. The DT360,408, and 466 can actually spin to 4500 without flying into pieces. For durability, keep it at 3k or less. Having a pyro is great for any turboed engine, on the 360, as with most others, keep sustained temp at 1300 or less, but you can spike it up to 1500 for about 3 seconds. Most of the time it will only get to 1150 or 1200 on a hard pull, even after the fuel screw is maxed out. As far as brands of gauges, I'd go with what's readily available. Autometer is my first choice, but there's also Isspro, Stewart Warner, VDO, and a couple others.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:45 PM   #18
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Nevrenufhp I am going to turn up the fuel when I am home next week. so after I turn up the fuel all the way do I need to adjust the pre boost wheel ? and if so could you elaborate on that
Thanks
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:11 PM   #19
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

Quote:
Originally Posted by beltburner
Nevrenufhp I am going to turn up the fuel when I am home next week. so after I turn up the fuel all the way do I need to adjust the pre boost wheel ? and if so could you elaborate on that
Thanks
You dont need to adjust the pre-boost if you dont want to. It's like a fine tuning. If left stock, it will stay burning relatively clean(no black poofs of smoke when you hit the pedal).
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:32 PM   #20
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Re: Maximizing MPG with a DT360

now how about pictures and instructions for the ambac100 rotary pump on my 1979 dt466b
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