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Old 03-10-2015, 01:50 PM   #1
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Top speed of this bus?

Looking for our next project, and I'm considering this bus:

1999 Thomas International T444E Bus Wheel Chair Lift Air Brakes AT

We just did another cross country trip hauling motorcycles with our beastly Isuzu FSR flatbed, which is a great truck, but... The wife and I both agree it's time to do a bus project for our travels. We also both agree that the 63mph top speed of the Isuzu sucks, and we want to make sure we find something that can do highway speed.

So I'm hoping for some wisdom from the community on that bus. With the 4 speed will it do 70mph? If not, I imagine different gear set in the axle may be a solution?
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Old 03-10-2015, 02:15 PM   #2
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And how many feet do you think it would take to stop a fully converted bus at 70mph?
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:36 PM   #3
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Probably less than the Isuzu FSR at 60 fully loaded.

Besides your idea of "fully converted" is a lot different from our plans.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:43 PM   #4
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it is going to have a top speed of 62, that is what they were goverened at when the chassis left the factory, I used to deliver them, same thing my 1997 international is set at, but you can get the top speed changed but you need to find out what rear end ratio is in it, mine has a 4.78 which gives me a theoretical top speed of 68 at 2700 rpm with 10R22.5 tires, but with the 10 % torque converter slip of my AT545 tranny 2700 rpm is just at 62.

since it has air brakes, it will have the same stopping distance as a straight truck of the same weight rating because it has the same brakes, as long as they are adjusted right
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:48 PM   #5
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one more thing, I bought my bus before measureing the width of the handicap lift, which is 30 inches, so my larger bikes will not fit on it, if you are planning to use it for that, measure first, also my back door is like 35 inches, and my Harley is 37 inches wide
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
it is going to have a top speed of 62, that is what they were goverened at when the chassis left the factory, I used to deliver them, same thing my 1997 international is set at, but you can get the top speed changed but you need to find out what rear end ratio is in it, mine has a 4.78 which gives me a theoretical top speed of 68 at 2700 rpm with 10R22.5 tires, but with the 10 % torque converter slip of my AT545 tranny 2700 rpm is just at 62.

since it has air brakes, it will have the same stopping distance as a straight truck of the same weight rating because it has the same brakes, as long as they are adjusted right
See, now that is the sort of useful info I was hoping for. Ya know, what you say about stopping distance just seems to make sense for some reason...

I'm also looking at an International with a 7 speed spicer manual trans.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
one more thing, I bought my bus before measureing the width of the handicap lift, which is 30 inches, so my larger bikes will not fit on it, if you are planning to use it for that, measure first, also my back door is like 35 inches, and my Harley is 37 inches wide
Also good info, this has been on my mind. Our bikes are dual sports and adventure bikes, the largest is a Triumph Tiger 800XC. I think the bars are 34" wide but not sure.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:49 PM   #8
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7 speed Spicer would be nice
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddyrabbit View Post
Probably less than the Isuzu FSR at 60 fully loaded.

Besides your idea of "fully converted" is a lot different from our plans.

Thanks for your input.

No problem. But every time I read the "How fast can it go" questions I always remember the huge fiver being pulled by a rather large pickup truck and the look on the driver's face as the idiot tried to stop at a light on US76 (west side of Blairsville, GA). Major fail and a good thing there wasn't any vehicles crossing as he blew all the way thru the light. Managed to stop the thing after the fiver completely cleared the intersection. Good thing I had changed lanes. I don't know which was better... the look on the driver's face or the look on my daughter's face when she realized the RV wasn't going to stop in time and that if I hadn't of changed lanes, the Jeep would have been flattened. And yes, there were brakes on the fiver. Speed limit was 65mph.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:36 PM   #10
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Trailer probably way overloaded and brakes not working right and most traffic lights on 65 mph roads have yellows that are too short or the moron just ignored it or the previous flashing warning light , stuff you learn in 13 years as a truck driver
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