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Old 03-11-2015, 02:11 PM   #11
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Most school buses of that vintage had top speeds in the 58-67 MPH range.

Even if you swapped out to faster gearing I doubt you would be able to go much faster than about 67 MPH.

The T444E is a great engine but it just doesn't have enough of what it takes to pull a bus through the air much faster.

With some engine modifications and hot rodding you might be able to up the HP and torque some. The reality is that in order to overcome the drag of the air pressure you are going to have to exponentially increase the HP to do that.

Most of those engines were in the 190-235 HP neighborhood. In order to cruise that bus at 70 MPH you would need at least 285 if not 300 HP.

When you get into those HP ranges you will start to have overheating issues. You will also start to exceed the design envelope of the transmission if it is an AT54X or 1000 series transmission.

We have one bus in our used inventory that was built with the MT653 transimission. It will cruise easily at 70+ MPH. But it has the DT466 285 HP engine as well.

If you really "need" to cruise in excess of 60 MPH you need to find a bus with more engine under the hood.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:15 PM   #12
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7 speed Spicer would be nice
Really would be, especially on the highway.
I just don't enjoy driving in heavy traffic with a manual these days. Age is creeping up on me maybe.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:46 PM   #13
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What flashing warning light? What yellow? The brakes on the trailer seemed to work just fine.... nice long skid marks. Probably similar to the one the driver and passenger had. I had rode thru town in front of them. No way was I going to stay in front of them going the speed they were doing. It was one of those "the truck can pull it" situations, the truck just couldn't stop it. I am very cautious of large loads behind me. Good thing or I wouldn't be posting this.

I may have run Hwy 76 at 85mph in my Jeep but no way would I do that in the Class C or the bus (which couldn't get up to that speed anyway).
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Most school buses of that vintage had top speeds in the 58-67 MPH range.

Even if you swapped out to faster gearing I doubt you would be able to go much faster than about 67 MPH.

The T444E is a great engine but it just doesn't have enough of what it takes to pull a bus through the air much faster.

With some engine modifications and hot rodding you might be able to up the HP and torque some. The reality is that in order to overcome the drag of the air pressure you are going to have to exponentially increase the HP to do that.

Most of those engines were in the 190-235 HP neighborhood. In order to cruise that bus at 70 MPH you would need at least 285 if not 300 HP.

When you get into those HP ranges you will start to have overheating issues. You will also start to exceed the design envelope of the transmission if it is an AT54X or 1000 series transmission.

We have one bus in our used inventory that was built with the MT653 transimission. It will cruise easily at 70+ MPH. But it has the DT466 285 HP engine as well.

If you really "need" to cruise in excess of 60 MPH you need to find a bus with more engine under the hood.

Good luck and happy trails.
Can you send me your contact info? muddyrabbit@gmail.com
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by lornaschinske View Post
What flashing warning light? What yellow? The brakes on the trailer seemed to work just fine.... nice long skid marks. Probably similar to the one the driver and passenger had. I had rode thru town in front of them. No way was I going to stay in front of them going the speed they were doing. It was one of those "the truck can pull it" situations, the truck just couldn't stop it. I am very cautious of large loads behind me. Good thing or I wouldn't be posting this.

I may have run Hwy 76 at 85mph in my Jeep but no way would I do that in the Class C or the bus (which couldn't get up to that speed anyway).
So you had a bad encounter with a crappy driver, and based on that you are making a blanket statement that no one should drive a converted bus at 70mph on the highway, even though the same chassis, brakes, suspension, drivetrain, are used in many many commercial vehicles that weigh just as much as a converted skoolie and safely traverse the highways at 70+ MPH every day.

Seems legit, I think I'll start looking for a 55mph bus instead.
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by muddyrabbit View Post
Seems legit, I think I'll start looking for a 55mph bus instead.
I know you're being facetious and all, but I've gotta say that I love cruising between 55-60mph! It seems to be the sweet spot for quiet cruising and keeping money in my pocket, not spitting it out the exhaust. My bus is governed somewhere North of 65mph, but I have been seeing a 2 to 3mpg drop with that additional couple mph.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:03 PM   #17
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I know you're being facetious and all, but I've gotta say that I love cruising between 55-60mph! It seems to be the sweet spot for quiet cruising and keeping money in my pocket, not spitting it out the exhaust. My bus is governed somewhere North of 65mph, but I have been seeing a 2 to 3mpg drop with that additional couple mph.
And for you that's what works, and better yet what you enjoy. It also highlights the different intended uses of a converted bus; for you the cruising in the bus was the end goal. For us though, the bus is a means to get the bikes and gear to the jumping off point for our adventures. We generally have 4 drivers to trade off, and when we do stuff like haul to Baja from Ohio to escape winter we have a 2500 mile drive, andabout a 2 week vacation window. So 41.5 hours at 60mph vs. 35.5 hours at 70mph to get across the country is an important factor for us. Particularly in winter when days are short, that 6 hour difference can mean unloading bikes in the daylight instead of the dark, or getting to the end of the drive early enough to sleep for a night in a hotel and take showers before rolling out the next morning. I guess I just didn't appreciate the preachy attitude of the second post.

BTW, what is your bus?
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:55 PM   #18
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Lets all just calm down now. I don't think anybody means any offense here. Lorna presents some good points about speed, weight, and safety. But I can see occasions where one could use higher speed and still be safe.
Anyways, your top speed will depend on more then just the engine and trans. Rear gear and tire size plays a part too.
When I first picked up my bus, we did 65-70 mph on the interstate. That's with a 6.9 idi NA with an at545 and a 6.50 rear gear(180 Hp max, and that's being genserous). Idk how much power it takes to go that fast but I would think a t444e would have enough based off that experience.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:09 AM   #19
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booyah, do you remember the rpm at that speed? also, do you know at what rpm/speed the trans shifted to fourth gear?

thanks
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:16 AM   #20
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No I couldn't tell you the specific rpm. Don't have a tach installed(looking though if you have or know of one available). I do know it was against the governor, or damn close to it because if we would hit a slight down hill you could hear the injection pump cutting fuel. I'm also thinking the injection pump was changed and it might have been changed to a 7.3 idi version because it smokes slightly at full throttle and seems to have the higher rpm governor springs as well.
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