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Old 10-13-2004, 02:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 21
Bus rambling/newbie question

First off, awesome site....

When I was a freshman in high school I used to ride in bluebird 72 passenger with 5.9 cummins and 4spd autos. I have always been into the mechanics of anything around me so I always made the bus driver pull the engine cover on Fridays so I could look around.

The plan: buy a large bus, make the rear section a flatbed for my truck,
install gooseneck hitch and standard reciever hitch. I also want a full bathroom with shower.

The bus will be used for trips around the country to take my truck offroading and pull another truck on a flatbed. I will also use the bus to haul my friends car to the drag strip and back.

My main issues are concerning powertrain. I would like to be able to do 65-70mph on the freeway. (When I road in the blue bird model to school I remember it being able to do 65 on problem...but that was some time ago.)

I am looking at some blue bird 60-80 passenger busses and here are the questions.

Does anyone have the ratios for the Allison AT545 and does it have an overdrive?

Any other options for engine drive train other than the 5.9 cummins/allison? I know that combo is capable of 600+ lb/ft of torque?

What kind of transmission is the A2000?
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:09 AM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 448
For the highway speeds to be close to 65-70MPH you will want to find a bus with highway gears. Most don't have them since they mostly do city driving in stop and go. You can change out the rear end though to get a higher top speed. The AT545 is the bottom of the line Allison, it is very common but I would not buy a bus with it. The MT643 is a much better tranny with an overdrive. If you can find one with a retarder you are even better off. From what I have heard the Cummins 5.9 is an ok engine in a bus but they don't hold up very well. They are like the AT545 cheap and widly used. I don't have the specs on hand but a Cat 3208 or my favorite Cummins 8.3 would be best in a bus. For more info you should email Greg Archambault, he can tell you almost anything about school buses you could ever want to know. You can get his email addy from his website. If you are looking to buy he is a good honest guy who can find almost any buy you want. He is on the road a lot so you may have to wait weeks to get a reply email from him though. HTH
busone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2004, 01:40 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 21
I just read this..thanks A LOT of the info..very helpful. I would rather have a manual...a nice 9speed... even if I had to put it in there myself.
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