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Old 10-24-2016, 08:25 PM   #1
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Newbie-what size battery and how to find the engine type

We are trying to buy a battery to start the bus. The engine type has apparently been lost in translation. How do I find out what my engine is? Thanks!
What I know:
1988 FE Bluebird according to the title.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:35 PM   #2
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Can you snap a picture and post or link to it?

Can't really go wrong with a big battery. 12 volt systems are pretty standard and a big battery won't harm your machine in any way. A battery too small wont harm it either but will have a short life span and could possibly struggle to start it.


Good luck!
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:09 PM   #3
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most of the school busses i see.. diesel ones.. have 2 group 31 batteries installed in parallel..

most battery boxes have room for 3 group 31s but would need the wiring and tie down for the 3rd...

I think a single 8D would fit into the battery bay but they are huge and heavy..

-Christopher
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mskittysnow View Post
We are trying to buy a battery to start the bus. The engine type has apparently been lost in translation. How do I find out what my engine is? Thanks!
What I know:
1988 FE Bluebird according to the title.

If you post your VIN, I'll tell you what engine you have.
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:49 PM   #5
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Year: 1994
Coachwork: Genesis/Am-Tran Tall Roof
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Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
Rated Cap: 86 screaming Monsters
probably a 3208 cat n/a 200hp with a 545 transmission. with two 8d battery's in the side box. Yellow in color with 22.5 rims. 72" inch low roof

I just looked one a couple weeks ago and that is what it had. Plus I stayed at holiday in last night.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:16 AM   #6
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Quick point I recently learned from a guy who knows his way around electronic engines: if you have an electronic DT466, ALWAYS use a minimum of two Group 31's, and if you have room, three Group 31's are worth the investment, regardless of the climate. Yes, the bus may start on one battery, but there are other factors in play.

His logic was interesting. The injector controller boosts the 12 volt supply to 120 volts to fire the injectors. During cranking, voltage falls into the 11.5 volt range or even lower. To compensate, the inverter section of the driver module has to draw more current. The lower the applied voltage to the driver, the harder it has to work to feed the injectors a steady diet. This causes degradation in the ECM drivers over time.

His observation was that busses with three batteries had a lower ECM failure rate by a fairly significant margin, and busses where there was only one battery had increased failures. His sample size was from a barn with something like 150 busses and 30 years of wrenching, so I'm inclined to believe his data.

For all you non-DT466e busses, I gots nuthin. But I also stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, and the guy sitting next to me in the bar was a politician, so I could probably make-up something that sounds good. (It is an election year after all...)
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:30 AM   #7
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One g31 started my mechanical DT466 when I picked it up. Even in ten degrees with icicles inside the bus.
i'm running two now, but that one got me home just fine from KY to FL.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:31 PM   #8
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ID.

My FE bluebird has a 5.9 Cummins. Easy to identify by the 6 independent valve covers. If its a DT, it will have one long valve cover. Google Image a couple of pics of each of these engines, and compare. They all look very different from each other.
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