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Old 05-18-2016, 07:03 PM   #11
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Yeah so I talked to another dealer who has buses with engines like the 8.3 and he was not down on the 5.9. Sure I don't expect it to rocket up hills. So based on that I think I will move forward I just needed apparently a third opinion!
Sounds like something to avoid, man.
Cummins 53 Block Casting Information

53 Block FAQ and Information

Cummins' Fatal Flaws - Diesel Power Magazine
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:15 PM   #12
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wow i never knew the 5.9 had so many things going on.. but then every engine seems to,. people hate on the cat 3126 yet there are 1000s running down the road just fine.. the DT466 is good the DT466E is bad. . you'll hear bantar all day long...

everyone also said the Bendix Air brakes compressor on a mechanical engine beats the hydraulioc brakes any day and will last forever.. yet i had one BUST TODAY...

a VT365 that has had its injectors updated may run forever yet everyone and their brother will say dont touch a VT365...

honestly it all comes down to a game of chance and how well it was taken care of...

all of our busses are older and anything can happen to any of them at any time... there are definitely combinations that have more power or a more proven reliability than others but in reality its like any vehicle at high hours / high mileage..

-Christopher
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:03 PM   #13
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For the record...

Only the 1998 to 2000 have 53 blocks and they are clearly marked on the casting. The letters are about 1" tall and are below the injection pump, just above where the oil pan bolts to the block.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:48 PM   #14
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Yeah great, I've got the KDP.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:54 PM   #15
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I'll just double check that 53 block issue but otherwise I think my apprehension just stemmed from getting all the worst case scenarios from an overzealous diesel mechanic. All things considered it's still the best deal I've seen for what I want and I'm sure I'd get alot of miles out of even if it has some well-known flaw. I think cadillackid is right too, every model of engine is going to have some Achilles heel and it's just a roll of the dice if you get a good one or a lemon.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:43 PM   #16
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That's all true. As the read said, a lot of that issue is how you drive it. Overheating and cold starts. Since you're not going to drive it like it belongs to someone else things should work out fine.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:30 PM   #17
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So I test drive this bus and it ran fine but without going out on the highway I did the math and the gearing is my biggest concern. I was turning 2100rpm to 55mph in fifth gear, that's not good. Even if I can get the sixth gear unlocked which is just supposed to be software but from what I've read no one will do it, that's still higher rpms than I want to run on the highway. I may just have to deal with it though because I'm guessing if the gearing is too (numerically) low the 5.9 may have trouble just getting it moving from a stop.

Any Cummins 5.9 owners who know what their differential gearing is for comparison?
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
So I test drive this bus and it ran fine but without going out on the highway I did the math and the gearing is my biggest concern. I was turning 2100rpm to 55mph in fifth gear, that's not good. Even if I can get the sixth gear unlocked which is just supposed to be software but from what I've read no one will do it, that's still higher rpms than I want to run on the highway. I may just have to deal with it though because I'm guessing if the gearing is too (numerically) low the 5.9 may have trouble just getting it moving from a stop.

Any Cummins 5.9 owners who know what their differential gearing is for comparison?
Sounds like your gearing is LOW, but not numerically.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:35 PM   #19
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By my calculation it must have a 6.73 gear ratio... I didn't know they went that low! Yeah, I got that turned around didn't I? It would be numerically higher than I want.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:56 PM   #20
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you want numerically Lower which leads to Less driveshaft revolutions per wheel revolution.. I never realized they put that high of gears on an O/D transmission bus..

are you sure it actually shifted to 5th and hit the Lock up?

I wouldve expected 4.78's or 5.31's in a school bus...

-Christopher
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