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Old 04-14-2011, 11:15 PM   #1
Atridox's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 25
Year: 1986
Engine: Gasoline
miles per gallon among other things

Took my finished 86 bluebird middie (7 wondows), Chev C-60, 350 engine, for a long road trip (12 hours at about 60-65 mph. A couple of things came up:

1. I got 5.2 mpg. I had the bus tuned up, oil changed and new tires before the trip. Is this low mpg normal? Can I do anything to change it? It cost me $410 in gas today.
2. The HurryHeat valves were closed under the hood. However, the hot air blowing off the engine onto my legs in the driver's seat was stifling. Can I put some insulation behind the pedals to cut down on this heat source.
3. There is a leak on the power steering pump. Is there somewhere I can find a new or rebuilt one>
4. As noted above, I had the bus tuned up and oil changed prior to leaving on my trip. I checked the oil after the first 140 miles and it was down a quart. I ended up having to add a quart every time I stopped for gas. I do not see anywhere it is leaking. Can a bus burn that much oil or should I look harder for a leak?

ALL help will be appreciated.


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Old 04-15-2011, 06:08 AM   #2
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Location: Andrews,Indiana
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Year: 1991
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Re: miles per gallon among other things

I got 5.2 mpg....Is this low mpg normal?...Can I do anything to change it?
While I'm not familiar with that exact set up, in the overall scheme of things a 350 is pretty small. Smaller engine is not always the answer. Probably the cheapest and easiest thing to do is slow down to 55. Driving habits are the easiest thing to change and many times This is excellent article has some excellent advice on braking and accelerating.
Fuel efficiency varies with the vehicle. Fuel efficiency during acceleration generally improves as RPM increases until a point somewhere near peak torque (brake specific fuel consumption.[20]) However, accelerating too quickly without paying attention to what is ahead may require braking and then after that, additional acceleration. Experts recommend accelerating quickly, but smoothly.[22]

Generally, fuel economy is maximized when acceleration and braking are minimized. So a fuel-efficient strategy is to anticipate what is happening ahead, and drive in such a way so as to minimize acceleration and braking, and maximize coasting time.

The need to brake in a given situation is in some cases based on unpredictable events which require the driver to slow or stop the vehicle at a fixed distance ahead. Traveling at higher speeds results in less time available to let up on the accelerator and coast. Also the kinetic energy is higher, so more energy is lost in braking. At medium speeds, the driver has more freedom and can elect to accelerate, coast or decelerate depending on whichever is expected to maximize overall fuel economy. Traveling at posted speeds allows for best civil planning and should allow drivers to best take advantage of traffic signal timing.

While approaching a red signal, drivers may choose to "time a traffic light" by easing off the throttle, or braking early if necessary, far before the signal. For example, a driver who is approaching a red light should adjust vehicle speed in advance, such that the vehicle arrives at the intersection when the light is green. It is also important to account for the time it takes for the stopped traffic at the light to start moving again. In theory, the ideal situation is the driver slowing immediately to the calculated speed that allows the car to be barely behind the car in front as that vehicle is accelerating from the light. If the driver does this the instant the red light is recognized, this will result in the vehicle having maximum speed, and kinetic energy, as it reaches the intersection. This means that energy lost to braking is as little as possible. Instead of coasting up to the light and stopping, the driver will now be traveling at a slower speed for a longer time, allowing the light to turn green before he arrives. The driver will never have to fully stop, as accelerating from just a few mph is much more efficient than from a full stop.[23] Using this practice during periods of traffic congestion may affect other drivers and the overall effect is not obvious.

Another problem with this technique is that some traffic lights (usually on minor roads where they intersect major roads) are not timed but triggered. They will stay red until a car arrives at the intersection. In this situation, the optimum strategy may be difficult to determine.
the hot air blowing off the engine onto my legs in the driver's seat was stifling
If there is hot air "blowing " on your legs, there is either a hole in the fire wall or the heater isn't really turned off. Do the "hurryheats" only shut off the water to the rear heaters? Since your bus is basically a C60 truck I would think that there would be standard heater controls on the dash for the driver heat/defrost. But, to answer your question, yes you can insulate as long as you make sure it won't come down and interfere with the pedals.

here is a leak on the power steering pump. Is there somewhere I can find a new or rebuilt one>
That kind of thing should be the same as a C60 truck of the same vintage. Any place that deals in medium duty trucks should be of help.

Can a bus burn that much oil or should I look harder for a leak?
It is quite possible to burn that much, and it wouldn't necessarily smoke. After idling for a couple of minutes and on startup (could be delayed by length of exhaust) is there a puff of blue smoke? Suspect valve guides and seals. It's amazing how much that can burn. If there is generally a very light blue haze behind the bus, suspect rings. Does the exhaust smell like burnt oil? After your long trip, does the back of the bus seem more dirty and oily than you expected? Is the crankcase ventilation system open and working properly? These are signs to look for to help determine the cause of oil consumption.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:39 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 25
Year: 1986
Engine: Gasoline
Re: miles per gallon among other things

thank you so much!
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