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Old 03-21-2017, 11:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 9
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Amtran/Ward
Chassis: Crane
Engine: 5.9L Cummins Turbo
Rated Cap: 72
Surprise Bus

Hello everyone! Suddenly owned a school bus, so I decided to quit lurking and actually create an account. The wife and I have been toying with the idea of a doing a bus conversion for the last few years we couldn't decide what type of bus to start with... The decision was easily made for us when a co-workers church decided they no longer wanted to maintain 2 72 passenger buses when the headlights quit working on this 1991/1992 Ward Senator F/E. They were getting quotes on scrap prices and was able to purchase it for a bit more than the price of 2 - 11R22.5s.

We are planning to slowly do the conversion and in the end have something that we can boondock for up to a week at a time (My target anyway).

I am learning as quickly as I can on this bus, but something don't seem to add up to what I am reading online. From the bus body plates this is a 1991 Crane Chassis, assembled by AmTran in 1992 as a Ward Senator. It is equipped with an all mechanical 5.9L Cummins turbo diesel (w/ Intercooler). One of the things that confuses me is that it appears to have a P7100 injection pump, even though that wasn't offered until 1994. The bus has 86,000 miles on the odometer and about 4600 hours. I am not sure what transmission is in it yet (It is a 4 speed automatic and shifts super smoothly). The chassis has a GVWR of 32,000

I had my buddy with a Class B CDL drive it about 60 miles to my home and we managed about 8mpg and cruised at about 60mph and hit 70mph once on a downhill

I am currently tracing down the electric issues. The basic functions of the bus (Turn signals, brake lights, etc) were functioning. But a lot was not as well (Heater fans, heater boost, flashers, headlights, etc). I have replaced the main fuse panel (18 circuits) and am now at about 90% functional. It was really corroded. It appears during some previous repairs they had decided to just bypass the builtin fuse panel so now I am tracking down those circuits and reattaching them. I have a feeling the headlights were subject to this "fix" as well and will just take a little time to trace down there add-on wiring.

Does anyone have any experience with electric hydraulic brakes? It appears they bypassed the electric pump at some point in the past. What I have gathered is that normal operation is assisted by the power steering/hydraulic pump and emergency/low pressure operation initiates the electric pump. Is that accurate, and are there any driving characteristics to observer when they are operating properly?

I am sure I will have way too many questions! Thanks every one in advance!
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:17 AM   #2
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Location: Winlcok, WA
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Before IHC purchased part of Ward the Ward Bus Body company had to go out and purchase chassis to put under their buses. The Ward Body Company, as far as I know, never built any buses on their own chassis. AS a consequence, all of their bodies were built on OEM vendor supplied chassis.

Crane Carrier Chassis was just one of several companies that offered OEM vendor supplied chassis. IIRC, CCC was later purchased by Spartan who still makes OEM vendor supplied chassis for RV's and fire trucks.

The electric over hydraulic booster is there for whenever the engine isn't running or if while running the hydraboost unit should happen to fail. It is the same sort of system GM has used in some of the light duty trucks, vans, and cut-away chassis since the late '70's and all since about 2000.

You should not be operating your bus on the road without the electric part of the system operating. If your hydraboost should fail the only braking you would have left would be how hard you could stand on the brake pedal and from applying the emergency/parking brake.

The electric motor should operate any time the brakes are applied and the hydraboost isn't working. In other words, it should work regardless of whether or not the ignition key is off or on.

As far as parts and pieces or any sort of wiring schematic I think you are going to have to become very creative. If you go to an IC Bus dealer you might be able to get a Line Setting Ticket for the bus. But I wouldn't get my hopes up on that. Body parts and pieces won't be hard to find. But finding anything for the running gear I don't have a clue as to where to start other than looking for a builder's plate that id's the axles or any tags on the axles that give any id.

I hope you paid a price that is low enough that figuring out the electrical issues will offset the aggravation and time spent figuring things out.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:22 AM   #3
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: International
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Rated Cap: 78
Is the engine blue?
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:41 AM   #4
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Year: 1997
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Im not 100% sure about this, but i believe that the P pump on the 5.9 was offered before 94' just not in dodge pickup trucks. When researching the 5.9 keep in mind there might be small difference between the pickup and industrial engines. Someone else might have a bit more info.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:58 AM   #5
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In 92, were there REALLY 5.9 Cummins in Ward Senators?
I've seen DT360's in them, but never a Cummins.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
In 92, were there REALLY 5.9 Cummins in Ward Senators?
I've seen DT360's in them, but never a Cummins.
If the chassis was made by IHC I too would seriously doubt it being a Cummins. But the OP stated the chassis was made by Crane. It would be very logical for a Crane chassis to have a Cummins engine.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
If the chassis was made by IHC I too would seriously doubt it being a Cummins. But the OP stated the chassis was made by Crane. It would be very logical for a Crane chassis to have a Cummins engine.
But didn't Navistar OWN Ward/AmTran in 92???
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:37 PM   #8
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But didn't Navistar OWN Ward/AmTran in 92???
In 1991 IHC/Navistar owned 1/3 of AmTrans. It wasn't until 1995 when IHC/Navistar purchased the remaining shares of AmTrans in order to make AmTrans a wholly owned subsidiary of IHC/Navistar.

I am sure that until IHC/Navistar owned 100% of AmTrans that other OEM vendor supplied chassis were utilized. In the early to mid 1990's IHC/Navistar did not produce any Type 'D' chassis so it would make sense an OEM vendor supplied chassis from another vendor would have been used.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:38 PM   #9
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So Navistar didn't build the 3900FC chassis on my Senator??
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:01 PM   #10
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So Navistar didn't build the 3900FC chassis on my Senator??
If your Senator has an IHC/Navistar engine then the chassis was most probably built by IHC/Navistar as IHC/Navistar rarely sold engines to OEM vendors to install in their chassis.

3900FC also sounds like IHC/Navistar nomenclature for a forward control school bus chassis of that vintage.
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