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Old 05-12-2019, 06:02 AM   #1
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 253
Detroit Series 50 8.3l 4 cylinder a 40 foot bus...yet rated at 300 hp and 1,000 ft pounds of torque. Is this engine (combined with the right transmission and rear end) likely to push this mobile brick to 80 mph? I don't intent to do that often - I am looking at 65 mph cruising speed. It is 8.5 liters That's 2 liters per cylinder! Is this a durable engine? What are the differences (practically speaking) between a 4 cylinder 8.5l and a 6 cylinder 8.3?

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Old 05-12-2019, 09:57 AM   #2
Bus Nut
Alan N's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Gonvick MN
Posts: 339
Year: 1975
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3208t/10 speed transmission
It is supposed to be a good engine, often used to replace ageing two stroke Detroits.
I suggest you ask your question over at You should be able to get an answer there from someone with practical personal experience.
Remove hence to yonder place....
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:05 AM   #3
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,401
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Edit - Accidental post.......

I had the series 40 & series 50's confused.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:06 AM   #4
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 993
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
Rated Cap: 36
My limited knowledge of this engine is they are a series 60 block and crank that is missing 2 cylinders. They have the addition of counterbalance shafts that help with engine vibration. They were commonly used in city transit buses. As far a reliability and maintenance I have no idea.

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Old 05-12-2019, 05:45 PM   #5
WARGEAR's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Fingerlakes region NY
Posts: 204
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran/Wolfington
Chassis: 3800
Engine: International DT466E 190HP variant
Rated Cap: 72 pax 29500 GVWR
The short answer is YES. Flat land top speed with the necessary gearing could be 80MPH+ even with the wind resistance. There is enough power there.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:11 AM   #6
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 3,775
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
300 hp with the right gearing is plenty to get you to 80 mph on flat ground. Going up a grade, however, will require your total weight to factor in.

I've never heard anything bad about the series 50. Just that they vibrate a lot and eat motor mounts.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:47 AM   #7
Bus Nut
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Posts: 671
Year: 1999
Coachwork: New Flyer
Chassis: D45HF "Viking"
Engine: 11.1L Detroit Diesel S60
Rated Cap: 51,600
And noisy as all get-out (at least at hi-idle).

If I've got it set at hi-idle, you can hear my Series 60 upwards of a mile away if the wind is blowing just right; and you can feel it at about 150-200 ft.

Lo-idle is much, much better: you can barely tell its running.

Funny story - a police officer drove past my house while I was hi-idling. I was sitting in the driver's seat and I saw his face - he was really close to stopping. He saw me and kept on going. Don't know why he didn't stop....
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