Glad to hear that your trip went well!
You got the mileage about right...6.5 to 7 MPG is about what they get in relatively flat country at something less than 65 MPH.
You're right about the speed limiter too. Unless you've changed the EEPROM, you are rev limited to 1800 RPM, about 65 MPH. Engine is set to 270 HP.
Fortunately, there is an easy mod to eliminate the speed limiter, RPM limiter, and increase the HP to a little over 300...which makes a noticeable difference.
DDEC 1, has few advantages over DD II and up...but the changeable EEPROM is an advantage.
Luke had the upgraded EEPROMs at one time. He may still have some. That's a cheap way to improve the performance.
You speedo is not calibrated. Mine reads 45 MPH when I'm actually going 65. I use my GPS for a speedo. The bus speedo reads 30 MPH at 45...at least it's repeatable. Always the same error.
I have been told that when NJT replaced an engine and transmission, they would install a new speedometer.
That accounts for why the buses are sold with 275K on the speedo. That's probably the last out of the frame major overhaul. Who knows what repairs were done in the meantime? Mine was showing 175K..but factor in the calibration error and something over 200K seems in the ball park.
I'd guess that most NJTs have 175 to 200 K on the powertrain when they are sold to ABC.
My worn out rear main and wear ring would support the 200K mile engine theory.
Most of the NJTs have about 750K total chassis miles when they're auctioned.
As long as the engines have oil pressure at idle, don't smoke much, don't leak much, and run cool, they are going to last a long time in RV use. I hope!
If you decide to change the EEPROM, there are two ECMs in the upper LH rear bay..the fowardmost ECM is the DDEC unit. The rearward mounted ECM is the ATEC (Allison Transmission ECM).
On early MCIs, an often overlooked maintenence item is the squirrel cage blower gearbox. Be sure and check your fan gearbox lube. Small window at the end of a tube on the bottom of the gearbox.
Most other service items are easy to deal with.
Remember that low coolant in the tank above the fans will result in engine shutdown. You may already have them, but if not, get a copy of the DDEC codes and keep in the bus. Better yet, get a DDEC 1 dx guide. Worth its weight in gold if you have a problem. It'll also show how to hook up your cruise control. Cruise is already 'enabled' on you coach. About $15 bucks worth of wiring and switches is all it takes. Very simple wiring.
Most of the '87 NJTs have a lot of life left in them. NJT made a good effort to maintain their fleet.
They have been pretty well picked over too...since the last came out of service in 2001.
John, if you want to see an '87 with the an R&M cap, our bus is in BCM this month. It's on page 22, as "JR and Terri's..." gold color. Bill and Phyllis Haga's '87 is also shown on the same page. Bill's put some serious miles on his bus since he bought it. Got the inside looking nice too.
We've spent about a month in the bus so far this summer. Retirement is goood! So far...
Oh well...written another book. Gotta go now and get my BCM subscription updated...keep forgetting...got a bad case of CRS!