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Old 06-19-2018, 02:30 AM   #1
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Pedal to the Metal

Hi guys! Super new here, just arrived home with a 1998 Thomas 30ft Bus.
When driving it home seems like I have to floor it to get it to go. Guess I'm not use to having to really put my foot down to go. Just wanted to make sure this is totally normal. Or if there might some transmission issue going on behind the scenes.

Any info on how buses usually feel and drive let me know. This is the only bus I have ever driven.

Thanks in advance!

Tim
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:12 AM   #2
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Buses are heavy beasts and can take some power to get them moving.

What engine and trans does your bus have? What speed and rpm did it go to? You may be governed at a low speed or just have a not as powerful package
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the Reply JJ!

I looked at the paper work. Looks like the Engine is a ER3126B190
And the Trans is a AT545

Not sure what that means.. the bus is flat nose, and 30ft, so sort of smaller side in terms of giant buses... but still a good amount of room.

Whats your thoughts on those?

Also another off question, I want to drive the bus across my front yard into the sideyard.. Do you think it will eat the grass up? Would you put something on top of the grass?
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:37 AM   #4
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Thatís an older cat 3126

Should have plenty of torque for pulling the bus

Watch out for injector cup leaks on that engine

Just do a google search for 3126 injector cup

This guy has lots of good videos about the 3126 available on his channel

https://youtu.be/_DKJYkXQ6pU
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:33 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard. I got to floor my bus too. Don't park in soft ground. It will sink.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:05 AM   #6
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It takes some effort to move them for sure, especially on the highway. Around town shouldn't feel too bad, I never really go above half throttle until I'm getting on the highway. If yours is geared like mine, you'll never be below half throttle above 55mph or so, it's just spinning too high.

Sounds like a 190hp version of the 3126 engine, is it a MVP rear engine bus?
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:45 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the info! I truly appreciate it. At times, it feels like I bite off more then I can chew with this bus.. Its still parked in the front making all my neighbors grumble.

Yeah the engine is in the front.

I'm going to buy plywood and steak it to the ground. Do you guys think this will help with the sinking or create more problems?

I have a new worry about the turning radius to make it into the sideyard. does the back wheels need to be in place before a turn, or will they follow the front wheels? Not sure that make sense.

I have a 11ft gap to get into the side yard, and require going around a bush to parallel it with the fence.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!! thanks again!
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:09 AM   #8
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It takes some finesse to learn to drive the bus. I found I could slowly go through the gears at low rpm, but you would only be going 20mph or so. If you need anything near 55+, you just mash it to the floor and let it catch up. There is very little actual motion at the end of the pedal sweep that actually makes you accelerate.
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:58 PM   #9
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Well I went to move it to the sideyard and it didn't turn over... Noticed their was only one battery, it was at 50%. I am charging it now.. Hope that fixes it. I took it on a 100mile ride home 2 days ago, and it has just been parked ever sense... Any other things to check to get it to start?
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:32 PM   #10
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Okay I Am in! in the sideyard. I ended up buying 2 new Group 31 Batteries and it started right up! I also pulled over the curb and grass no problem. Fit like a glove. So excited. Let the real conversion begin!!!
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:38 PM   #11
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Okay I Am in! in the sideyard. I ended up buying 2 new Group 31 Batteries and it started right up! I also pulled over the curb and grass no problem. Fit like a glove. So excited. Let the real conversion begin!!!

congrats. let the fun begin!
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:56 PM   #12
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Thanks!! So excited.
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Old 06-23-2018, 05:19 PM   #13
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I notice mine takes a lot to stay above 55 on the highway, i have an 05 e 450. Especially when the clutch fan comes on which happens a lot when its hot out, hope this is normal😕
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
It takes some finesse to learn to drive the bus. I found I could slowly go through the gears at low rpm, but you would only be going 20mph or so. If you need anything near 55+, you just mash it to the floor and let it catch up. There is very little actual motion at the end of the pedal sweep that actually makes you accelerate.

the accelerator on the electronic engines is totally unlike the mechanicals or even a car.. on the navistar T444E and DT466E, the pedal simply shoots for a target RPM and holds the engine there.. you can map those target RPMs out, I did it on mine by % to help me program my trans.. but the "useless motion" at the end of the pedal is good for telling the transmission how far you are trying to push.. and possibly force a downshift..



the engine will push all the torque it can to reach that target RPM in a fairly short amount of time.. so if you have a lockup converter and are lugging it along at 1200 RPM and youy press the throttle to a point at which the engine wants 1500 RPM.. it is going to fuel it at 100% it can.. however the trans may not downshift like when you hit the pedal hard.. the AT545 trans makes your pedal "feel" more like a regular accelerator pedal we are all used to using.. because the RPMs go up and down in large swings with that trans..



I have no idea why navistar designed it that way...
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:45 PM   #15
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floored mine would not go over 55, its geared pretty bad. I checked all the boost hoses and replaced a bad and leaking one and now its at like 59. so check for leaks in exhaust and boost hoses.

Next step would be to change the rear end gears which I am not looking forward to myself.
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Old 06-23-2018, 08:09 PM   #16
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Mine did 65 all the way from Kankakee to Billings, but it did need a rolling start on the get-ons.

I'm gonna have the 6th gear unlocked - some day.
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Old 06-23-2018, 08:47 PM   #17
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Pedal to the metal in mine would yield speeds in excess of 85+. Here is mine at 2350rpm at 80mph on cruise control. Glad it can do it, don't plan on it often as mpg's drop to low7's.
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:22 AM   #18
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Pedal to the metal in mine would yield speeds in excess of 85+. Here is mine at 2350rpm at 80mph on cruise control. Glad it can do it, don't plan on it often as mpg's drop to low7's.
I try to tell folks its not unheard of for school buses to come capable of 80+.
55-60 is best for mpg, safety, and all that but for LONG drives or Atlanta traffic speed can be a great thing.
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Old 06-24-2018, 02:21 AM   #19
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Where are you keeping your bus? I thought that Costa Mesa, like most Orange County cities, doesn't allow parking large yellow things on your own property. That's one reason I keep my bus in an RV storage lot there. Welcome to the madness, fellow Costa Mesan.

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Old 06-24-2018, 06:08 PM   #20
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Where are you keeping your bus? I thought that Costa Mesa, like most Orange County cities, doesn't allow parking large yellow things on your own property. That's one reason I keep my bus in an RV storage lot there. Welcome to the madness, fellow Costa Mesan.

John
Small world.... I used to live just off of Victoria and Placentia.
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