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Old 10-30-2016, 09:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 39
Rear axle gear ratios

It appears that for whatever reason most school buses are geared for around town driving and only some are geared for highway driving. Is there any way to tell which is which? I'm looking for a bus that can comfortable cruise at 60-65. What is involved in changing the gear ratios, is that a very expensive change to make and would parts to do that be readily available for an old bus?
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:23 PM   #2
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: near Christiansburg VA
Posts: 692
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 44 or 66? 11 rows
Others who know what they're talking about will chime in here with specifics. But I believe that seeing the label "Activity Bus" is a predictor for longer gearing. And sometimes basement storage.
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:13 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,950
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
I looked into regearing my bus which currently has a 5.38 ratio. If I do the "chunk" removal and installation myself, let a nearby shop do the actual gear replacement (as things have to be adjusted to certain specs), I can get it done for ~$850 or 900 + seals and fresh oil.
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Old 10-31-2016, 01:05 PM   #4
Bus Nut
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 933
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: TE 444
Rated Cap: 12
The easiest way is to fund out what type of rear axle you have and buy the whole center section with the gear ratio you want in it, cost me $650 when I got mine, but the spicer axle in mine was pretty common
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:27 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North carolina
Posts: 651
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Detroit 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Check out differential wizard. They require some info upfront when you mail or talk to them but on there site they tell you what there going to ask and please have it ready to save all of you headaches. I called and talked to them and didn't have the info there web clearly states but they seemed to be good people even after dealing with me?
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