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Author Topic: TDH 5303 top speed???  (Read 4642 times)
TradeCities
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« on: April 11, 2009, 07:54:37 AM »

Hi everyone my name is Aaron Reeves I represent Trade cities entertainment llc. We are a christian rock group traveling in a 1967 TDH 5303. I am having trouble finding out what the top speed on my bus should be. I do not want to continue working on it if there is nothing wrong. It has a 6v71 and a 1 speed transmission. I am also having a major power issue. When I get to even the slightest hill I loose 5 miles per hour. I am afraid to take it into the mountains. You comments and advice will be greatly appreciated. Cool
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 08:10:46 PM by TradeCities » Logged
Lin
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2009, 09:18:40 AM »

Losing speed on hills is normal for most buses.  The link is to a speed calculator.  It can help you see what the top speed for your setup is.

http://www.cwis.net/~mallie/page12.html
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2009, 11:31:13 AM »

Welcome Aaron

Most likely you have the VH9 2 speed transmission.  If the bus has the 5:30 rear end your top speed will be approx 48 MPH

If you have the Vs2-6 transmission 75 MPH is possible

I have the VH9 in my 5303 but I have  the 4:10 rear end  I can cruise at 65 mph.  I have a V730 to put in when I get the lead plate out of my back pocket. 

With the 3 speed V730 mathmatically I should be easy in the 70's  which is all I need.

Look for a VS 2-6 tranny as it is the easiest modification to do for speed.

But going up hills no matter what you have you will lose 5-10 MPH  IMHO

« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 11:36:00 AM by Paso One » Logged

68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009, 12:54:35 PM »

My transmission is a one speed. crazy I know but that is what shows up when I search wiki answers on it. they say that most of the fishbowls had this one speed tranny and mine never shifts so I guess they are right. Does anyone know were the data plate is so I can find out?
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2009, 01:04:28 PM »

Transmission SER# 6775426
Model # VH32184
This is what my tranny tag says. Does this mean anything to you guys.
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2009, 01:27:36 PM »

The only tag I can find on the rear end says A3 3201L2898, 000972940 Can anyone identify this? thanks for everyone's help. or help me find the ratio tag
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2009, 01:41:40 PM »

Aaron, something doesn't sound right.  Old Look, New Look (Fishbowl) automatic transmissions all had at least two speeds.  If I remember right, the later VS-2's (super v's?) had a lockup or an overdrive, so they had a feel of two shifts (3 speeds).  My first experience with the V-730 was when I bought a fleet of RTS's, so that really post-dates my driving days.

How does the engine sound when you're driving?  That may be the best way to find if it's shifting.  I had a Superintendent of Maintenance reporting to me about 25 years ago, when we had a fleet of 35 foot fishbowls (4519's and 4523's).  If I remember right, the 4519's had VH-9's (two speeds), and the newer 4523's had VS-2's. 

The reason I mention the Superintendent is that he could never say the words "soft shift switch."   Is yours shifting so softly that you can't feel it? 

Listen to your engine, it'll tell you a lot (and Detroit Diesels sound great - I have a 6-71 startup as the ringtone on my cellphone).

Now, other than that - the speeds and driving characteristics that you're talking about sound entirely normal for a 40 footer with the 6-71.

One of the things we've found helps on this board .... post your location - or include it with your signature.  Who knows, one of us might be right around the corner. 

Arthur   
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
1968 PD-4107

Working in the bus industry provides us a great opportunity - to be of service to others
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2009, 02:07:51 PM »

Arthur, I figured I was the only one that used a 6-71 Start up as a ring tone!  Grin

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Listen to your engine, it'll tell you a lot (and Detroit Diesels sound great - I have a 6-71 startup as the ringtone on my cellphone).


Arthur 
 
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Paso One
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2009, 02:34:24 PM »

Okay Aaron lets try another angle Post your serial # and we might be able to access the records from the bus museum in Ohio.

 This will tell us what Transit agency bought the bus and will likley identify the tranny it was shipped with.

The 1967 TDH 5303 should have had the VH9 2 speed.

Lots of people think when driving the VH9  that is a 3 speed because when you start off, it shifts very smoothly into 2nd but there is a hard shift like  feeling when the transmission goes into "lock Up " and people confuse this with another gear.

But in your case your not feeling anything like a shift.

What is the top speed your getting??  do you have a speedo??   

If you have a speedo have someone listening at the back when you get to about 28 MPH and listen closely at the back it should softly shift into 2nd.  The lockup should be easily heard or felt.

Your top speed should tell the story if it is shifting.
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68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 03:28:37 PM »

I have a 6v71, VH9 & 4:10 rear end setup and cruise at 63 mph.  It is slow in the hills and can make it over a mountain (ask me how I know  Wink Wink Wink)
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2009, 03:31:38 PM »

coach #6139. There is with out a doubt no change in the RPM's and nothing that feels like a shift. Maybe its broken? I can not find my stinking rear end ratio. My speedo is really inconstant so I am going to throw the GPS in her tomorrow and take a cruise
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2009, 08:08:34 PM »

 I am from Dallas.
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2009, 05:48:29 AM »

Look on your builders plate. (under front right windshield) and give us the number after 5303.  That will be the serial number and from that we can tell who your bus was manufactured for.

Your late model 5303 with the VH-9 should shift under full power, so you might not be able to tell  it's shifting.  If the VH-9 is anything like my VS-2-8 was, the bus will not shift out of first if the fluid is low.
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2009, 06:17:34 AM »

TDH5303-6319 Delivered to Houston City Lines November of 1967

TC.... There are a number of bus nuts near you if you are in Dallas, and I'm just a short 150 mile jaunt down the road in Franklin. If you need help with the bus, just holler, I'm sure someone would be glad to help in your area, or, if you wanted to bring it down this way, we manage a campground where we usually have space to work on stuff.

Dallas
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2009, 09:57:27 AM »

Aaron, when I said one of us might be right around the corner..... I'm in Carrollton, and technically tha apartments I see out of the kitchen window are within the Dallas city borders.  A busfan living in Farmer's Branch is a retired GM Field Engineer - 50 years in the bus business.  JLV is in Palestine, and Dallas is 150 miles south of Dallas (confusing, huh?)

If I don't have to go back up to Indiana this week, I'm going to try to take a little time off.  Let me know if you want someone to go for a ride with you.

Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
1968 PD-4107

Working in the bus industry provides us a great opportunity - to be of service to others
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2009, 02:10:33 PM »

I apreciate the offer, I am going to take her for a ride on Monday and see how she does. I replaced the throttle cable and I am now getting full throttle. I will keep everyone posted on the progress.
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« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2009, 06:14:11 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_New_Look_bus

This is a link were I found the transmission options for my bus. Is this accurate info?
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« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2009, 01:11:25 PM »

I took her out for a drive this evening and according to the bus speedo and a GPS I am only going a top speed of 31mph. I still have no feeling of a shift I am now getting full throttle, however it does not seem to help. any help you guys can provide will be greatly appreciated.
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2009, 01:26:45 PM »

Aaron,

Are the finances in your group such that you could upgrade? I don't know, but you might want a little newer bus. I don't know much about your bus, but a newer MCI or Prevost (that you can call up and get parts for) might help. I know a lot of guys here on this board have other buses, Eagles, GMC's, Neoplans, Setra's, RTS, and others (sorry guys if I have missed some). I am not saying that other buses aren't good, they are great buses. I just wonder if something newer would help you out. MCI has free tech support, and most all of their parts can be overnighted if necessary.

The other buses are great, but a lot of the guys that drive them are retired, and don't have a really restrictive time schedule. They just go from place to place, but you have to be at certain places for shows at certain times....I was just thinking out loud....

As for me, I prefer the more laid back travel. Don't have to get to certain places at certain times, can wait as long a necessary to get parts for the bus, change the travel schedule if I want...That's nice.

Enjoy.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2009, 02:36:11 PM »

Sounds like your not getting the up shift or the lock up.

According to my manual the VH9 shifts at 25 MPH

As mentioned above make sure your transmission fluid is full as it won't shift or lock up without it full.

After that check behind the long cylinder (trans cooler) and make sure the wires are on the two electric solonoids the furthest one in is the direct drive solonoid and if the wire is off it won't go into direct drive.

Then right above the shift lever towards the front of the bus there is a transmission govenor make sure those wires are connected good.

All this is visable thru side compartment door.

P
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 02:41:51 PM by Paso One » Logged

68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2009, 10:02:44 AM »

Does anyone know when I am supposed to have power to the two solenoids? I want to make sure they are getting power but I do not know if I should check it while it is sitting, at 25 mph, etc. my plan is to run a couple of lights from the solenoid up into my bus to serve as test lights. thanks for all your help.
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2009, 08:28:57 PM »

We have a second gear now!!! I put a toggle switch on my dash to engage my lock up solenoid. It works perfectly. Now if I can just find that Governor that is supposed to operate it. I appreciate everyones support and advise on this issue. I got her up to 40mph and the speedo cable broke. I think I am getting 55mph out of her.
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2009, 05:47:20 AM »

Good Mcgyvering.  That's the way I troubleshoot lots of stuff.  Full bypass and then work out what's wrong.
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2009, 06:17:32 AM »

Probably a dumb question, but have you checked to be sure your transmission is full?  Someone earlier mentioned that.  The book.... check fluid level immediately after stopping engine, and only when fluid is at operating temperature.  "The GM Hydraulic Drive requires a special oil.  This oil lubricates all internal parts and operates the power converter as well.  Use only this material when replenishing."  By the way, the book also notes that you shouldn't lose fluid unless there's a leak somewhere, it's a closed system. 

I don't remember what the right tranny fluid is (if I ever knew, when I was fueling buses it was just the correct 55-gallon drum).  I'm sure someone else here will know.  Remember, too, that there's a transmission filter.  VH- transmissions have 1 filter, VS- transmissions have two. 

I can't scan in the image from my 5307 manual, but it shows the governor as a dome-shaped object, on top of the transmission, very close to the driveshaft mounting flange.

Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
1968 PD-4107

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« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2009, 06:35:17 AM »

I would love to know what type of fluid to use if anyone knows. Thanks for all the great insight. I have located the Governor on my bus I just need to find a supplier so i can get a new one. The transmission is full.
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« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2009, 07:22:27 AM »

I'm guessing you can adjust the governor.  keep it simple.  Someone here probably has the info.
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2009, 09:33:05 AM »

That got me curious, so I went back to my 4523/5307 manual.

" The transmission governor is hydraulic pressure type, which controls fluid pressure as speed incrases, and signals shift requirements to control valves.  Governor is mounted on output end cover and is driven from gear on transmission output shaft.  Flyweights within governor operat a spool valve which controls flow of fluid.  Governor assempbly is enclosed within a housing and cover.

ADJUSTMENT
Governor is non-adjustable, and the only change that can be made to change shift pattern is by adding or rmoving valve spring shims in control valves"

It goes on to discuss disassembly, assembly.

Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
1968 PD-4107

Working in the bus industry provides us a great opportunity - to be of service to others
Paso One
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« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2009, 10:03:55 AM »

According to my VH transmission manual the governor has an adjustment.  I posted a PDF  but it bounced it back because the attachment was to large and all my typing was lost.  I'll try again smaller then repost.

It says turn up shift screw or downshift screw as necessary (in to lower or out to increase.)  But read it yourself incase I'm wrong.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 10:30:52 AM by Paso One » Logged

68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
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« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2009, 10:10:50 AM »

Okay I got it there under the size restrictions but I'm not sure if you can read it.

The manual says the transmission control relay controls the solonoids  and has adjustments  see attached ( hopefully)
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68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2009, 10:21:15 AM »

The wiring diagram may help.
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68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
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« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2009, 10:48:22 AM »

Paso

Will you scan the next page (19) in that book for me?  I have been trouble shooting an electrical problem with the neutral solenoid switch and the manual I have has no electrical diagram. 

Thanks in Advance!

Scratch That... I see page 19 in your previous post!
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« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2009, 12:37:17 PM »

Those old GM manuals are the greatest!
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« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2009, 01:30:23 PM »

I appreciate you hard work on getting me the manual. That stuff is awesome.
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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2009, 07:11:19 AM »

Well the maiden voyage is finished, We headed out for a 70 mile drive on Saturday. She is running 50 -55 mph. On decent upgrades I drop to about 40 mph. I think my rings are worn out b/c she smoke a lot in the mornings and I am getting a bunch of oil out of my blower box drain. I guess I will in frame the old girl after we make a couple more trips. I also learned that my starer is bad because when the engine is at operating temp. She will not start. I originally thought it was the alternator not charging then after it sat over night it started up just fine. I will replace that this week. I am headed to Abilene State Park this coming weekend which is a 230 mile trek for my house. I will keep everyone posted on the trip. This time we are going to be towing a SUV so we will see how that goes. Thanks for everyone's support and advise along the way.
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