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Old 02-15-2017, 05:51 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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85mph+ schoolie

So I was cruising along I-10 today east of Baton Rouge, cruise control set to 80mph (Louisiana standard highway speed) when image my surprise when a skoolie comes cruising past me. I matched its speed to see what it was doing and for the 10mins or so that I was behind it the speed was 85-87mph. The bus was in service (without kids but owned by the school district). It was a reasonably new model Bluebird conventional bus. Looked like 11 window and didn't have belly storage etc to indicate it was some type of long range transportation.

My question is....what drivetrain would it have??? Most large BHP class A motor homes cannot get to that speed, so how did a school bus? Also the rear end ratio must have been geared pretty long, so it must have quite a high BHP motor to put such a ratio.

Any ideas so I can look for a similar model?
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:56 PM   #2
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Woah! It must have been the Bat Bus in disguise.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:57 PM   #3
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A newer Blue Bird would most likely have an ISB with an MD3060 transmission.

Depending upon which box was checked that engine could be putting out as much as 285 HP.

In an empty bus, on flat ground, with OD gears it is very possible it would go that fast.

Back in the day we had a couple of Blue Bird All Americans 14-row buses with Cat 3208T engines that were 285 HP with 4.10 gears. Both of those buses could cruise on the flat fully loaded at speeds close to 80 MPH.

With enough HP and the right gearing they will move if you want them to go that fast.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:59 PM   #4
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... And then one of the front wheels blows out. The end.

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Old 02-15-2017, 06:36 PM   #5
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I hit 70 to 72 in my bus & it felt like I was flying.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
A newer Blue Bird would most likely have an ISB with an MD3060 transmission.

Depending upon which box was checked that engine could be putting out as much as 285 HP.

In an empty bus, on flat ground, with OD gears it is very possible it would go that fast.

Back in the day we had a couple of Blue Bird All Americans 14-row buses with Cat 3208T engines that were 285 HP with 4.10 gears. Both of those buses could cruise on the flat fully loaded at speeds close to 80 MPH.

With enough HP and the right gearing they will move if you want them to go that fast.
You are probably right, I just wonder why they would go for the added expense of high bhp motors in south Louisiana buses. We don't have an elevation of more than 20ft for about 500miles
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Thomas1985 View Post
... And then one of the front wheels blows out. The end.

-Thomas

All that weight at that speed, must come to a stop....
One way or another!
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:01 PM   #8
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... And then one of the front wheels blows out. The end.

-Thomas
Sounds exciting!!

I have had catastrophic failure of two steer tires and neither was very exciting....

My first blowout was a drive tire. Scared the **** out of me. It sounded like somebody fired a 30-06 off behind the drivers seat. The blowouts on the steers I was a little better prepared for. Loud noise, bus shakes, pull over and call the tire shop.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:11 PM   #9
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My bus has a 3208 cat 250+ hp, an RTO 610 transmission a 5:29 rear end and 11r24.5 tires.
80 plus mph is not a problem.
But 80 is a wee bit fast for a 40 year old school bus.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:45 PM   #10
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My bus has a 3208 cat 250+ hp, an RTO 610 transmission a 5:29 rear end and 11r24.5 tires.
80 plus mph is not a problem.
But 80 is a wee bit fast for a 40 year old school bus.
Wow, what RPM was the engine turning to make 80 with a 5.29?
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:40 PM   #11
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Wow, what RPM was the engine turning to make 80 with a 5.29?
2600 more or less
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:33 AM   #12
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I hit 70 to 72 in my bus & it felt like I was flying.
you know it, esp on a downhill
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:03 AM   #13
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just curious, but how many hp is a DT530e?

Public Surplus: Auction #1782489
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:42 AM   #14
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just curious, but how many hp is a DT530e?

Public Surplus: Auction #1782489

280-300 was pretty typical from those.

Much like the Cummins 8.3, the hp figures aren't what they were about though. The fact that their hp peaks came at a much lower rpm than their smaller counterparts meant they had considerably more torque. That's why you can't put a 260 hp 8.3 in front of an AT545 even though the 545 is rated for 300 hp. The engine's torque output vastly exceeds what the transmission can handle.

The problem with the DT530 lies in the front cover design. It's different from the venerable 466 in that it has both coolant and oil passing through it and is very prone to developing leaks between the two systems.

Also, if you have a 530 with an AC compressor mounted to it, those are very problematic. The only place the were able to mount the compressor was to the top of the front cover. The result was the front cover cracking, and the belt tension pulling the compressor down into the fan and consequently destroying the radiator.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:54 PM   #15
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just curious, but how many hp is a DT530e?

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I've seen two school buses with 530's. Both were rated at 275.
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:20 PM   #16
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you know it, esp on a downhill
mini, my ass, I also drive tractor trailers.
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