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Old 05-28-2018, 04:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Eastern Massachusetts
Posts: 37
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Freightliner Thomas
Engine: 5.9L Cummins Diesel
Rated Cap: 71
improving fuel mileage

Hi folks!

I know a bus is still a bus, but I’m wondering whether you all have come up with any approaches to improving the fuel mileage of your bus.

The bus we’re probably getting is a 12-row dog-nose. Automatic. Diesel. High top (77 or 78”). The person we’re buying it from says he gets 9 1/2 mpg.

It has those “eyebrow”-looking shield things above the lights at the top; I thought maybe removing those would help a bit? Perhaps removing the stop sign...? (I know we need to cover it for legal reasons but I thought we might not actually remove it altogether.) But those seem to be small marginal benefits on fuel efficiency.

Other ideas? Experience?

Also, we’re planning to put solar panels on top. I imagine that probably isn’t great for fuel mileage. Any ideas how to install them with as little increase to wind resistance / fuel consumption as possible? (Or, is there a way to install them that actually improves air-flow around the vehicle?)


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Old 05-28-2018, 06:41 PM   #2
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,761
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Its a giant brick. I'd say the way you drive it and how its geared are probably the most important things for mpg's.
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:03 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
david.dgeorge07's Avatar
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 1,413
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: CAT 3126
Drive slow, make sure you are in your engine’s rpm sweet spot and hopefully you have a tranny with lockup.

Remember, pushing the pedals used fuel. The less you can push gas or brake the better.
My Build Thread:
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:07 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,756
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
fuel saving

Porsche for the 911 gained 10% in town fuel saving by turning off the engine when the vehicle was stopped.

tire pressures.

disc type wheelcovers on duals.

windows up and ac on with highway speeds.

55 mph top speed.

keep engine rpm as low as possible at all times. - find and read report by bmw as a result of this study bmw made the bmw 528e e stands for economy.

run the engine as hot as you can and keep the engine in good health. A gasoline engine for racing, I gained 4 hp by running at 210 instead of 200.

The more momentum you conserve the better your fuel mileage.use brakes less.

a gasoline engine the timing curve will have a certain point at each rpm and load that will get you the best fuel efficiency. I would assume a diesel is the same way. Another way to think about this, is to tune the engine for the most efficiency.

The lightest weight oils you can use and still protect parts.

The smallest engine fan you can use and still keep things cool enough.

Run in the wake of a vehicle in front of you.

worn tires get you better mileage, worse for water.

Highway rib tires usually do better mileage than lugged tires.

Well adjusted drum brakes usually do better than well adjusted disc brakes.

IF! shifted well, a manual transmission should net better mileage than an automatic.

An automatic with fluid type torque converter will net better mileage if the torque convert has a "lock up" clutch.

Because most operators do not shift well for fuel savings, the automatics made in the last 20 years, maybe more, usually save more fuel.

tired, that is what comes to mind right now.

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fuel economy, mileage, solar

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