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Old 08-18-2019, 08:22 AM   #221
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Buses
Chassis: FS-65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
yeah and i just 2 days ago had this discussion with a fleet dfirector who ordered 2 new Busses.. conventionals with 240 HP 6.7's and MD3060s that are greared to run 80 and the allison will only have 5 speeds.. same happens if he ordered them with allison 2000s'' only 5 gears are open.. his sales rep cant get many answers from the factory either as to why he cant run a lower ratio and have 6th open.. he wants the quick take off in first and second gears of a low ratio but being able to run fast as these busses have to traverse I-75 with a speed of 70-75 and not run the engine at its rev limiter.. but neither thomas nor bluebird will sell the bus with all 6 gears open unless it is a non-school bus.. he can buy a thomas transit with transit windows , transit seating, no school signals and it can be ordered as an activity bus and will come with all 6 gears on the 3060 operable....
That's infuriating. If you're paying THAT much money for a bus they better do what you ask.

If you took that much money (100k plus) to a BMW, Mercedes, Porsche dealer they'd certainly be a whole lot more flexible

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Old 08-18-2019, 08:46 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Ab01ns View Post
That's infuriating. If you're paying THAT much money for a bus they better do what you ask.

If you took that much money (100k plus) to a BMW, Mercedes, Porsche dealer they'd certainly be a whole lot more flexible



my guess is that maybe there are some wierd rules in place for school districts? what im not sure of is if I am an owner/ op can i go to thomas as a private buyer and buy a georgia state-approved school bus and have 6th unlocked.. I have seen Bluebirdd all americans running school service for private schools that have all 6 gears on their 3060s.. so it may be a government-contract thing.. im not sure..



and again gears are gears.. if its reall a top speed thing. then unlock 6th and require a lower axle gear...



im totally with you.. if i got money in my wallet to spend they should build it...



a server in a restaraunt recently lost a 6 top (I and a group)... when they refused to make me a burger that has just bacon and cheese.. "we dont do substitutions.. feel free to remove whatever items you dont want when your food is served".. ' i cant remove the slimey sauces you are going to put on.. I will pay full price i just dont want the sauces, condiments or veggies'. server replied 'would you like some time to find something else on the menu?'.. one of my friends .. "no we'd like some time to gather our things.. we are gonna go next door to the pizza place.."..
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:05 AM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
my guess is that maybe there are some wierd rules in place for school districts? what im not sure of is if I am an owner/ op can i go to thomas as a private buyer and buy a georgia state-approved school bus and have 6th unlocked.. I have seen Bluebirdd all americans running school service for private schools that have all 6 gears on their 3060s.. so it may be a government-contract thing.. im not sure..



and again gears are gears.. if its reall a top speed thing. then unlock 6th and require a lower axle gear...



im totally with you.. if i got money in my wallet to spend they should build it...



a server in a restaraunt recently lost a 6 top (I and a group)... when they refused to make me a burger that has just bacon and cheese.. "we dont do substitutions.. feel free to remove whatever items you dont want when your food is served".. ' i cant remove the slimey sauces you are going to put on.. I will pay full price i just dont want the sauces, condiments or veggies'. server replied 'would you like some time to find something else on the menu?'.. one of my friends .. "no we'd like some time to gather our things.. we are gonna go next door to the pizza place.."..
There's a sandwich shop near us like that. They won't NOT put mustard on sandwiches.
SO GROSS.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:29 AM   #224
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Another dead end

I talked with the service manager for the dealership that had sold my bus when new. He was very friendly and helpful. Unfortunately blue bird corporate is not.

He said that bluebird does authorize 6th gear unlocks but the bus has to be in service with a school, municipality or transit company. He said once it is no longer in commercial service blue bird will not support unlocking 6th.

He use to work for blue bird corporate and one of his jobs was to evaluate 6th gear unlock request. He said the evaluation takes about a half day of going over the build sheet for the bus looking at the engine specs, drivetrain components axle ratio, ect. I explained what I was doing and agreed putting 5.38 and unlocking 6th would be the best configuration for my bus but he couldn't do it.

He said I could try contacting bluebird corporate and getting permission but was unlikely they would even look at it.

Ted
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:25 PM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
I talked with the service manager for the dealership that had sold my bus when new. He was very friendly and helpful. Unfortunately blue bird corporate is not.

He said that bluebird does authorize 6th gear unlocks but the bus has to be in service with a school, municipality or transit company. He said once it is no longer in commercial service blue bird will not support unlocking 6th.

He use to work for blue bird corporate and one of his jobs was to evaluate 6th gear unlock request. He said the evaluation takes about a half day of going over the build sheet for the bus looking at the engine specs, drivetrain components axle ratio, ect. I explained what I was doing and agreed putting 5.38 and unlocking 6th would be the best configuration for my bus but he couldn't do it.

He said I could try contacting bluebird corporate and getting permission but was unlikely they would even look at it.

Ted
So in other words blue bird doesn't care about you unless you are into buying new buses, given they don't make a penny when a bus is resold so they don't want to take any effort to continue their product support.
I read about this before I bought my bus and decided against blue birds just because they have a phone system that black lists you when you try to call back after the first time you call because they don't want to deal with you. I understand it's all about the money with businesses.
Seems Thomas and IC are the only companies that care.
I've read more about people getting Thomas buses unlocked.
I'm just going to get a 2nd TCM reprogrammed, I'm not going to fool with jumping through hoops and having to make a road trip for a simple programming issue, just too costly and time consuming. I also like the idea of having a spare TCM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:32 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by PatrickBaptist View Post
So in other words blue bird doesn't care about you unless you are into buying new buses, given they don't make a penny when a bus is resold so they don't want to take any effort to continue their product support.
I read about this before I bought my bus and decided against blue birds just because they have a phone system that black lists you when you try to call back after the first time you call because they don't want to deal with you. I understand it's all about the money with businesses.
Seems Thomas and IC are the only companies that care.
I've read more about people getting Thomas buses unlocked.
I'm just going to get a 2nd TCM reprogrammed, I'm not going to fool with jumping through hoops and having to make a road trip for a simple programming issue, just too costly and time consuming. I also like the idea of having a spare TCM.
You can blame the manufacturer if you want, but bottom line is it is not ultimately the manufacturers decisiion to unlock the transmisiion, It's Allison that give the okay for the dealer to unlock, and 99% of the time they refuse, using age as an excuse.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:31 PM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
You can blame the manufacturer if you want, but bottom line is it is not ultimately the manufacturers decisiion to unlock the transmisiion, It's Allison that give the okay for the dealer to unlock, and 99% of the time they refuse, using age as an excuse.
I also talked to Allison they have to have a letter from the OEM. Get the letter unlocking 6th is no problem. It all comes down to liability. Everyone wants to cover their a$$ so they don't get sued. There would be liability issues for someone to change an engineered drive train without an evaluation of the components. If a bus was in an accident you can bet that lawyers would love to come after an OEM or component manufacture. It could could be a big pay day for them if they could prove there was negligents.

Ted
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:47 PM   #228
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6th unlock

I've been pretty successful in unlocking many of mine. Still awaiting approval for a 2500 pts to be unlocked.

6th does make a difference as it lowers your highway engine speed by 300 rpm.

Jer
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:26 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by jhagan View Post
I've been pretty successful in unlocking many of mine. Still awaiting approval for a 2500 pts to be unlocked.

6th does make a difference as it lowers your highway engine speed by 300 rpm.

Jer
Have been able to get this done with a Blue Bird?

Ted
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:31 AM   #230
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Yes. Note the picture.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:36 AM   #231
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Yes. Note the picture.
I thought I recognized the dash. Were you able to get permission from Blue Bird or did you go another route? What model bus is that in?

Ted
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:57 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by jhagan View Post
Yes. Note the picture.



Yes but arent you a Licensed transit company? bluebird just doesnt want to do it for the individual.. they state they will do it for private transit companies , municipalities, etc.. in fact as a private transit company, you could order these busses with all 6 gears...




I was succesful in copying a TCM program from one bus to another... couple acuaintences of mine had nearly identical birds.. same engine same trans, one year apart.. one was built as a transit, one was built as a school bus..



I copied the TCM program file using allison DOC pro from the transit to the aschool bus.. I had to adjust the Customer modifiable parameters in the TCM to match so the speedometer read correctly. as both busses had slightly different rear gears..



since i was doing this on the busses themselves I didnt need a bench harness.. i just needed J1939 access to the TCM which was wired out to the green 9 pin connector under the dash..



worked like a Champ.. both busses have 6 gears... these were both 3rd GEN WTEC III TCM;s



so I have the program file for 8.3 cummins and MD3060, its important if copying programs to use an engine with the same characteristics or the Base shift schedule will be off..



I dont often have access to Live-Busses to play with for this so it was great to get these 2 together at once and Play..



for allison 2000 series of 4th Gen. (2006 and later) i have the ability on A41 Medium duty TCMs to actually build shift schedules from scratch.. I havent figured that piece yet for 3rd gens or for the late 4th gen stuff.. and 5th gen is out.. allison is really locking down the 5th gen controls..



-Christopher
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:26 AM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Yes but arent you a Licensed transit company? bluebird just doesnt want to do it for the individual.. they state they will do it for private transit companies , municipalities, etc.. in fact as a private transit company, you could order these busses with all 6 gears...




I was succesful in copying a TCM program from one bus to another... couple acuaintences of mine had nearly identical birds.. same engine same trans, one year apart.. one was built as a transit, one was built as a school bus..



I copied the TCM program file using allison DOC pro from the transit to the aschool bus.. I had to adjust the Customer modifiable parameters in the TCM to match so the speedometer read correctly. as both busses had slightly different rear gears..



since i was doing this on the busses themselves I didnt need a bench harness.. i just needed J1939 access to the TCM which was wired out to the green 9 pin connector under the dash..



worked like a Champ.. both busses have 6 gears... these were both 3rd GEN WTEC III TCM;s



so I have the program file for 8.3 cummins and MD3060, its important if copying programs to use an engine with the same characteristics or the Base shift schedule will be off..



I dont often have access to Live-Busses to play with for this so it was great to get these 2 together at once and Play..



for allison 2000 series of 4th Gen. (2006 and later) i have the ability on A41 Medium duty TCMs to actually build shift schedules from scratch.. I havent figured that piece yet for 3rd gens or for the late 4th gen stuff.. and 5th gen is out.. allison is really locking down the 5th gen controls..



-Christopher
Sounds a lot like my 2002 A3RE with 8.3, 3060 & 5.29 gears...... I wonder if that file would play?
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:55 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Sounds a lot like my 2002 A3RE with 8.3, 3060 & 5.29 gears...... I wonder if that file would play?



it more than likely would be perfect for that bus.. these were both A3RE's .. nice busses. Dual factory A/C's on them too..
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:05 AM   #235
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it more than likely would be perfect for that bus.. these were both A3RE's .. nice busses. Dual factory A/C's on them too..
If either of them are foolish enough to remove the road a/c please save the parts and pieces

Now I need to find an opportunity to get to Ohio.

Or do you still get down to Florida?
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:10 AM   #236
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Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
I've been lurking this site for a year or so, never felt compelled to reply to anythignuntil now. I had my 2003 Thomas with 3126E and MD 3060 unlocked by PCM Performance.com. Three hundred bucks. Then took the bus to my local CAT equipment dealer and in ten minutes and no dollars they put the laptop on it and gave me all the 3126 was capable of per CAT specs. With a 5.67 rearend I now have an 80mph 40' school bus. I have only been that fast one time, when I left the CAT shop and held it to the floor to see what it would do. Now I use my right foot and my brain and keep things around 70 at the most. Sixth gear doesn't add that much speed, just drops rpm by about 200 which helps fuel mileage. Take a picture of the back of your TCM which has a C.I.N. number on it, email it to the guys at PCM Performance.com and they will get back to you and tell you if they can unlock you trans. Apparently there are some they can not, but most they can.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:07 PM   #237
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
If either of them are foolish enough to remove the road a/c please save the parts and pieces

Now I need to find an opportunity to get to Ohio.

Or do you still get down to Florida?

I do go to florida alot.. esp in the upcoming months!.. I dont have a bench harness built for those TCMs.. I just havent got to the boneyard and cut the connectors out of a bus yet to make one.. so I still have to program them on the busses for now..



as for the A/C neither is planning to take it out.. the transit bus (sliding windows and cloth seats).. is a Total Unicorn of the bus world.. "the little old man drove it to church and back.. literally...".. it was bought new by a church.. Well over-boiught on spec's as they expected to keep it and run it 25 years.. so everything is heavy duty.. Nicely done.. the care it had was fantastic from being washed before being put away each week to under-coating like Ziebart being applied or touched up every 3 years etc...



after a few yeares the church figured out having one big fancy bus was not cutting it... people spread out everywhere meant the bus route was way too long so they bought a few vans and the bus went only to a senior center 25 miles away each week... till the center was sold to a developer and its residents went ??? it sat around for a few more years being used only for events and youth rally trips etc.. its current owner kept pestering the pastor "when ya gonna sell me big bird?" 'How about Today!' finally came out of his mouth and bam.. a less than 50k mile indoor-stored beautiful A3RE became his for the exhorbinantly high price of $3k... (sarcasm).. now THATS a unicorn story... he has no plans to convert it ever... he is one of the wierd ones like me that just loves Busses....



as for the 25 years? well the bus is doing well at holding up its end of the bargain.. but the church gave up on big-bird
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:54 PM   #238
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Originally Posted by 1dmpo View Post
I've been lurking this site for a year or so, never felt compelled to reply to anythignuntil now. I had my 2003 Thomas with 3126E and MD 3060 unlocked by PCM Performance.com. Three hundred bucks. Then took the bus to my local CAT equipment dealer and in ten minutes and no dollars they put the laptop on it and gave me all the 3126 was capable of per CAT specs. With a 5.67 rearend I now have an 80mph 40' school bus. I have only been that fast one time, when I left the CAT shop and held it to the floor to see what it would do. Now I use my right foot and my brain and keep things around 70 at the most. Sixth gear doesn't add that much speed, just drops rpm by about 200 which helps fuel mileage. Take a picture of the back of your TCM which has a C.I.N. number on it, email it to the guys at PCM Performance.com and they will get back to you and tell you if they can unlock you trans. Apparently there are some they can not, but most they can.
They don't have the software to unlock the 2k or earlier trans.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:32 PM   #239
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I thought i would update/add to this post. I put my earlier touch on it a lot of pages ago but hopefully this will help others in their journey.

To recap from my old post.... I had my local international dealer submit for 6th gear and got denied ( I know a real shocker) reason was too old.

Fast forward to about 2 months ago...... I was put in touch with a person who also has RE 466e/3060 that went through a dealer in Indiana. We talked through text for a week or so on the ins and outs of his unlock. Long story short he is the ONLY person I know of that has got a release from International. Once he got the release sent it to allison.... BOOM.... 6th gear.

So I follow the same path as he did.... talked to the same dealer in Indiana....blah blah blah, since he said he knows EXACTLY whom to talk to at International. Well short story long.... I got denied again. So I think they are pretty much shutting down all school bus related 6th gear unlocks. I thoughts this was going to be a slam dunk deal but was not to be.

By the sounds of it there are only a few options which I will start my journey to do that and hopefully get it unlocked. I have yet to locate my tcm on the bus as I thought other means were going to happen so I guess the time to go under the bus is now to see what type of TCM it has.

I would like to thank all who have posted on here. I enjoy the info share.... other than I hate those who just call a dealer and get it unlocked with no hassle at all.... just kidding but very envious ..... things like this are a huge help those of us sturggling with this.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:46 PM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
You can blame the manufacturer if you want, but bottom line is it is not ultimately the manufacturers decisiion to unlock the transmisiion, It's Allison that give the okay for the dealer to unlock, and 99% of the time they refuse, using age as an excuse.
From what I understand friend is that the mfg gives Allison the ok to unlock since you have to take it to Allison to have the reprogramming. No it's not ULTIMATELY the mfg decision but it starts with having to have their blessing for you to have your property reprogrammed by another company that isn't the bus mfg. (in case I wasn't clear in my prev post)
Thank God for 3rd parties making a easier work around.

Enjoy the rest of yer weekend bud.
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