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Old 10-09-2019, 03:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 5
12v upgrade

OK, so I originally purchased a 77 passenger 1999 Blue Bird with a 24v 5.9 Cummins with a AT 545 tranny for a good price and just turned around and sold it (wasn't sure if I wanted to do this conversion). Changed my mind and want to take the plunge so I purchased another 77 passenger 1996 Blue Bird but this one with a 12v 5.9 Cummins with a AT 545 tranny. One of the reasons I bought the 1996 is because I know it is pretty cost effective to upgrade the engine (modified fuel plate, governor springs) so it pulls better and I already got a KDP kit to take care of that, too. I also acquired a MT 643 tranny to go behind it (got it for $400). Haven't started work yet but will try and keep ya'll up-to-date. If you have any tips I am open for that, also!
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:53 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,376
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Let us know how the tranny swap goes.
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:09 PM   #3
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Got the transmission swap done. Not too bad. My brother-in-law (who works at a place that has a machine shop) made the adapter plate needed to do the swap (I found the plans online) and I had to bring it to someone because I don't have the facilities at my house to do the swap. I upgraded the 5.9L Cummins (removed fuel plate and installed the 3K governor spring kit). The upgrades along with the transmission swap made a noticeable "seat of the pants" difference! The bus "pulls" really well and it cruises at 70 mph with no problem. I did the KDP swap (it was halfway out) and replaced the water pump while I was in there. Next clutch replacement. Before I brought the bus to the shop for the transmission swap I noticed that the engine fan wasn't turning. After some testing/research I determined it took a dump. Hard part to find. I had to submit the VIN of the bus and finally found the part number and then finally found one that had been sitting on a shelf for a looooong time (my bus is a 1996 blue bird after all). I just wish I had discovered this BEFORE I replaced the KDP because I was already in there! Well, now I know how much of a pain it is going to be to tear apart the front end to get to the fan clutch.
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