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Old 05-18-2009, 03:52 AM   #1
Almost There
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 85
Year: 2012
Coachwork: Need bus-as-home over RV
Chassis: still looking
How fast is your bus esp uphill or into winds?

I thought about creating a poll but no bus is "average" so i'm curious for just short posts of approximate factoids, like what type bus (weight/passenger rating/make/year), what engine, and what kind of problems you have staying with highway traffic on certain grades or certain types of headwind? (or whether you do even on flat ground or without a headwind, I know busses arent known for high power) Am especially interested in the underpowered busses, what the lower limits end up being.

This is not an mpg question, i'm well aware driving 55mph saves gas, this is more of a safety/power reserve question like if you have to drive in a deeply hilly city like Rapid City during busy time, or absolutely have to do a long one day trip or are short on time and don't have a choice. (ie - using it as a moving van on short notice between the rush hours) Do you have a problem running 70mph flat? Does it still run 55mph on a 6% grade? When do you start bogging down, at what grade or headwind?

OPTIONAL: How badly does your mileage drop when you go 70mph instead of 55mph?

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Old 05-18-2009, 12:25 PM   #2
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: near flint michigan
Posts: 2,657
Re: How fast is your bus esp uphill or into winds?

i found that my 71 passenger dt360 at545 bus would keep up or even be a little bit faster than most loaded semi-trucks when hill climbing in the mountains. This is after i turned up the injector pump, which is a free modification. I think she would stay above 50 mph on nearly every hill across I 80 from chicago to reno nevada. Heading east, the hill climb out of slc is killer! I think that 20-30 mph was about all the big trucks would do. I just followed the big trucks once i caught up to one to keep my bus from overheating. I was loaded pretty heavy with at least 6 passengers and all our stuff on the way home from burningman. A dt466 with mt643 would probably stay above 55 or 60 on all except the steepest of grades. I bet an 8.3 liter cummins would really rock!

I did that trip twice traveling with my bus and another bus with a gasser 366? gm engine. He had way more top end speed than me, but we were almost dead even when it came to hillclimbing. His had a manual transmission. If they didn't find the right gear fast enough i'd blow their doors off going up hill...but they'd fly past me on the downside. We'd keep this going for an entire day through the rocky's, sometimes gesturing or otherwise saying "hello" as we passed each other.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L IDI
Rated Cap: 44
Re: How fast is your bus esp uphill or into winds?

I have a 1990 International 7.3 IDI that is bone stock with no injector pump modifications yet. It goes 65 flat out on level ground or down hill. It gets pulled down to 45 on larger uphills over the highway. On steep hills, it goes 25. The engine runs great, just not fast. I can't wait to turn it up, and add a little propane into the mix. Unfortunately, those gains will probably just be offset by getting a larger ratio rear-end so that I can increase my top-end speed. In my opinion, 65 is too slow for me.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southwest Wyoming
Posts: 334
Year: 1991
Coachwork: ward
Chassis: IH
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 72
Re: How fast is your bus esp uphill or into winds?

Took an "outlaw run" out of town the other day, just to blow the cobwebs out from the winter. The bus is not completed yet, and still has the school district plates. Anyway, went out for a 100 miler. Averaged 10-11 mpg. On the flat and down hill was 65 mph max. Hit an 8% grade for about three miles and it slowed down to 50 mph. A couple of 5-6% grades and it would hold 60. Average altitude of 6600 ft. This is with a (91)72 Pass. international/ward with a DT466 and AT643 lock-up. It is geared fairly low. I'm sure with a little higher gearing it would cruise 75, no problem. Just not worth the hassle to change, with the limited yearly use it will get.
"I've never been lost, but I been mighty confused for several days"
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