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Old 11-09-2019, 03:04 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tacoma, Washington
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: Escort RE
Engine: Cummins C8.3
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I can't drive past 55! Governor/limiter question

I'm crafty and mechanically inclined, but I have never had the time or place to take apart an engine and learn its secrets, do what may be old hat to many of you is still a mystery to me. I am especially dumbfounded by diesels, and now we have one.
It's a c8.3 in a 97 ElDorado National Escort RE, don't know what transmission yet as I haven't looked for the nameplate. Drove it with the pedal to the metal for an hour straight with no issues, but it's governed out limited to 55mph. It holds steady at 2250rpm, and there's no electrical on this engine, so I'm pretty sure it's a mechanical limiting device that may be removable.
Our mechanics have not looked at it yet (no plates, and their shop is by the Tacoma Police fleet station), but when I mentioned the speed limiting and possibly adjusting or removing it, they got that look that mechanics get when you mention something that will cause certain death. They both spoke of vehicles unexpectedly taking off after the limiters were removed, one being in a shop when it happened.
I trust our mechanics, they're family, but I can't wrap my head around the scenario. Is this possible? Is there a way to prevent it? I just want to be able to hit 60mph!
The previous owners told me all kinds of things that they had done to the bus, like an in-frame rebuild and replacing the differential so that it can go up to 70mph (the first exposed lie, though I bet it could without the limiting).
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:13 PM   #2
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Need lots mor einfo, what rear gear does it have, what transmission. Usually the older motors were governed with a mechanical spring set up that senses load, the more load you apply the more it slows the engine.



Here's a previous thread on the subject.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f36/8-...n-15247-3.html
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:46 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks for the link, I couldn't get any good results from searching the forums.
I'll have to get that info on the transmission, and I have no idea how to figure out the rear gear info.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesOriginal View Post
Thanks for the link, I couldn't get any good results from searching the forums.
I'll have to get that info on the transmission, and I have no idea how to figure out the rear gear info.
Get a VIN#, the dealer site can tell exactly what's in it.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:49 PM   #5
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I think that brand/model was much more designed as a city transit or shuttle bus, not a highway cruiser. Therefore it may not be geared for much more than 55 even if you defeat the limiter. Especially if you're already turning 2250rpms at 55mph, unless there's some hidden top gear I think that may be all she's got. A prior owner says they regeared? Not sure what that got them, maybe now we know why they unloaded it.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:38 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2019
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Coachwork: El Dorado National
Chassis: Escort RE
Engine: Cummins C8.3
Rated Cap: Not sure (32 foot model)
The prior owners had it for 11 years and used it as a church shuttle for their seniors. The driver of the bus worked for the city transit, and he unloaded on me for about an hour, all of the things he replaced and rebuilt, as well as what he didn't do and why. The problem with all of that is that he said he replaced the differential and that it could now do 65-70 on the freeway. One lie makes me wonder how much of the rest of what he said he did was actually done. But, doing 55 at 2250rpm, I'm sure it could do 65-70 (until it pops).
Does it seem unreasonable to be expecting 60mph at 2300rpm? Wouldn't that be in the sweet spot for rpms, or is it different with a diesel?
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:56 PM   #7
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I would suggest looking closer to the engine. The 8.3 went electronic in '96.

It could be that Eldorado bought a '96 chassis and finished it in '97 but there is a good chance that you have an electronic engine and the governor is set in programming.

The 8.3's Max rpm varies by application but is around 2500-2600rpm.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:44 PM   #8
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No electronics on this one.
I had no idea how different the rpms are from a car, that's an eye opener.
So, if I'm maxed out at 55mph - 50mph on I-5 inclines - am I going to be dragging along at 40-45 with a tow vehicle?
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesOriginal View Post
No electronics on this one.
I had no idea how different the rpms are from a car, that's an eye opener.
So, if I'm maxed out at 55mph - 50mph on I-5 inclines - am I going to be dragging along at 40-45 with a tow vehicle?
Probably not.

I have an 8.3 in my full size Bluebird. From the Eldorado's that I have looked at, I suspect that yours is lighter.

I packed a houseful of stuff in the back of the bus when I moved to the East side. I mean packed. I pulled Snoqualmie pass at 55. Not because of a lack of power. It was in the high 90's outside and I was not in a hurry. On the steep bits the coolant temps started climbing a bit so I backed out of the throttle a bit.

Last time I was in Tacoma I was attending a training class hosted by TPD. Nice folks.
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Old 03-14-2020, 05:25 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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He probably has the AT545 which isn't geared high enough to hit 60
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Old 03-14-2020, 08:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcraftnet18 View Post
He probably has the AT545 which isn't geared high enough to hit 60
My 545 sure doesn't have a problem going 55+. In fact mine will do 80.
The transmission and the final drive are two different things.
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:20 AM   #12
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mechanical 8.3 .....

Some things come to mind......

1. with the engine rpm listed..... I would expect you be able to move at a faster pace , if the other bits are in place to do so.....

transmission type.... gonna have to get under the bus and verify.... be sure to block the bus up so that there is absolutely no way it can sit down on you. Air suspensions have a wicked way of getting people killed when they get under them.........

axle gear ratio..... good idea to get a helper for this one.... there are ways to figure this out, with just one set of wheels in the air, but I have always found both ends of the axle up in the air is least troublesome.

2. Verify tachometer is correct, would not be the first one I have seen not set up correctly

3. Low on power? I would first have you put a boost gauge on this so you can read Intake manifold pressure. No air = no power.

4. I think this engine uses the bosch P7100 fuel injection pump. Very very tunable for more poop at the rear wheels. But as an example, I spent $1000 to have mine rebuilt, balanced for flow, governor springs, and modified for a bit more power. And this pump was in good working condition. Costs go up when there are damaged parts. My point is ... My 200 hp cummins 5.9 is able to to make about 425 hp at the flywheel now...... so you having a bigger engine to start with should get some good torque numbers cause you got two more liters than I do.....

start with the information about the kind of transmission and rear end gears and then go from there...

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