Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-01-2017, 09:19 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Freightliner Allison motor Cummins 5.9L 190 HP Turbo Diesel, Good or Bad?

I have never bought a bus before and my family is looking for one to convert for cross country travel. I found a Freightliner with an Allison motor Cummins 5.9L 190 HP Turbo diesel engine on Craigslist for about $5,500. It is a 1997 with I believe low mileage. I am hoping to find experienced people that can tell me: if this is a good deal, if these buses run well, do these buses have a lot of issues, about how much mpg's should they get, and any other helpful info I should know and or ask the seller?
Thank you for your time.
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:23 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Njsurf73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,497
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
Alison is the transmission. Cummins is the engine. The 5.9 is pretty reliable
What size bus is it and find out the model of the transmission ie: md360, at545, 643, 1000, 2000

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Njsurf73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:34 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Hmmm...an Allison engine could be fun. They made a lot of supercharged, 16 cylinder motors during WWII.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:37 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Njsurf73- I was told it is about 26 feet long. Ok thanks so much. Do yyou know what the 190 HP means?
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:40 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Njsurf73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,497
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
You should ask what transmission. What version of the 5.9 (mechanical 12 valve or electronic 24 valve) I think that's right around the time they were switching from electronic to Mechanical if I'm not mistaken. Ask about the rear gearing... If it is geared too low you may not make very good speeds on the highway. Ask about rust. And see if they have any of the service records so you can figure out if it was treated properly by the previous owners

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Njsurf73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:42 PM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Thank you so much for the advice. If I find out I will plan to post it on this thread.
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:43 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Njsurf73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,497
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
190 horsepower is the horsepower of the motor which is a little on the low side and leads me to think it might be a 12 valve. But that is plenty of horsepower to push a 25-foot bus down the road at a good clip.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Njsurf73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:43 PM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,950
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Overpriced. You can snag one at auction for half the price or less. Cummins 5.9 isn't a bad engine but at least in a full length bus, it's not going to ascend hills very quickly. I would expect somewhere around 10 MPG, depending how you drive it.

I personally don't care for Freightluggers but that's my own personal preference. Some folks like 'em and have good luck with 'em.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:46 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Thanks for commenting. Would a 26' be considered full length, mid-size, or short? Good to know you think I can get it for less. I thought that was a good price...is it the year of the bus that should make it cost less?
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:47 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Njsurf73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,497
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
I would think 30-foot and better would be full size. 40 ft is the maximum. 25 ft is right about mid-size.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Njsurf73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 10:04 PM   #11
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Njsurf73 View Post
190 horsepower is the horsepower of the motor which is a little on the low side and leads me to think it might be a 12 valve. But that is plenty of horsepower to push a 25-foot bus down the road at a good clip.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Would this bus be able to pull a vehicle?
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 10:06 PM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,950
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Mine is an IH/Blue Bird 2001 "Shorty", about 25' (I haven't measured it). T444E engine, 5 speed Spicer manual trans, 214K (or so) miles. Injectors replaced not long before retirement. Paid $2500 for mine (and I wouldn't have paid that much if I hadn't known the injectors had been replaced).

Seller included a folder with the service history, so I know what was done to it and when.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 10:17 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,950
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Here's the thing about the 5.9 Cummins engine. Basically the same thing Chrysler put in the Dodge pickups for 20+ years ... the buses and larger trucks used a 12V (No, that does *NOT* represent 12 Volt, it represents 12 valve) version of this engine. Yard switchers used these engines in vast numbers. They'll easily move road trailers weighing many thousands of pounds. The thing is, they are very geared down, often having a top speed of 30 MPH. Some will go faster, but they'll struggle to get a heavy trailer up to anything higher than a fast running speed. Dodge used a version that was adapted for light truck use, and later buses/larger trucks switched to an electronic 24 Valve engine (more powerful, efficient but also has electronics).

These engines are, for the most part, pretty reliable but consider that a full length bus tips the scales at somewhere around 17K pounds and even a shorty will be somewhere around 10K. In a 4000 pound Dodge truck, these engines are pretty quick but once you load up a 10K horse trailer, they slow down a bit. It's no different moving a heavy bus, and you're considering towing a vehicle in addition to that. Sure, that bus should be able to tow a car safely and legally. As for how quick it will get down the road, that's another matter.

Also, check the rear gear ratio. A 5.38 rear will give you a top speed of about 55 (unless the transmission has overdrive).
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 10:23 PM   #14
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Thank you Brad for taking the time to explain all that. I look forward to finding out from the owners more details. So, basically whether we tow a car or not I shouldn't expect a bus like this to be able to do more than 55 mph?
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 10:46 PM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,950
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
The top speed varies based on several factors. First and foremost is any governor system the bus may have (very common on electronically controlled engines and fairly common on mechanical engines too). Next is engine top speed, which I would not mess with unless I was a professional engine modder and knew what I was doing (*TIP*, I'm not, and I don't). The last 3 things that determine your top speed is tire size (often converted to Revolutions Per Mile), Gear ratio, and transmission final-drive ratio. A 10R-22.5 tire (or a "Lo-Pro" 22.5), combined with a 5.38 axle, and 1:1 transmission "high gear" will have an engine turning about 2600 RPM at 55 (this is the setup I have). An AT545 Allison transmission has no "lockup" torque converter (this is undesirable) which equates to a bit more heat generated when ascending a hill and a little RPM loss when going down the road. Most other common Allison transmissions have lock-up converters (desirable) and many newer models have overdrive (more desirable, higher top speed even with a 5.38 axle ratio).

Given all this, it's hard for me to answer the question, not knowing the specs on the bus you are considering.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 10:53 PM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,950
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
For the sake of discussion and our purposes here, let's assume the bus has a top speed of 65, empty (turning 2200 RPM, with an overdrive transmission). Towing a vehicle straight down a relatively flat road, I would expect to be able to maintain that 65 relatively easily. Rolling hills, you'll probably go down one side at 70 and up the other you'll drop to 55 or 60. Going up a long, steady hill you might drop to 50-55. Going up Monteagle or Fancy Gap (both about 6-7% grades) I'd expect to drop to under 45. (I haven't driven a 5.9 in a bus pulling a car, so someone with real life experience can chime in and offer their experiences).
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 11:08 PM   #17
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Thanks again Brad for your time and sharing your knowledge and experience. Stay tuned because I hope to find the answers to the specifics on this bus tomorrow.
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 01:15 PM   #18
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
I was told the bus is an AT545 and he thinks it is 12 valve. So is that good news?
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 01:35 PM   #19
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Suggestions?

I have a feeling this isn't the bus for us. Does anyone have a suggestions for a reliable bus that we can convert to live out of and travel cross country? We may want to pull a car behind it too. What is a good brand, transmission, etc....Also, how old is too old for a reliable bus? Thanks again.
Tsaddi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 01:42 PM   #20
Bus Crazy
 
turf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,605
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
Rated Cap: 2
the AT545 combo with any motor is not a "towing" rig.

i tow with mine all the time. i have plenty of mechanical issues

i tow a 3k lbs trailer and can hold 65 on the flat and 45 on the hills. i have over heated everything. towing is tough on it.

now running extra trans cooler, and swapping to a locking transmission.
__________________
.
Turfmobile Build Thread
turf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
190hp, cummins 5.9, freightliner, turbo diesel

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×