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GM/Spicer Driving Styles

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GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby shano_falconoot » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:21 am

I've been on a learning curve over the last 3-4 months drive 3 x tourmasters (One Merc 0303 - thats no challenge, girly bus!),but theres 2 with 6V92's & 6 speed direct drive boxes, one is a 310hp with lower gearing (1550 rpm @ 100km/h) the other is 350hp and higher gearing (1700rpm @ 100km/h - right in the power range, she's a rocketship) both are beautiful old girls to drive, each with there own little tricks (one you cant hear at all, and the tacho sticks!!) but most of my "style" is self taught, the owner has given me a good overall rundown, and two other drivers have shown me some good pointers, but I thought I'd throw it out there to see if anyone had any tips/tricks that they've found to master this wild driveline combo! I've been flying solo getting the hang of it pretty well through just trying different things....
Some advice so far was to rev right out to 1950/2000 each time to go up gears, others have suggested lower, same with coming down, some say back to 1000/1100 rpm, back up the revs to 15/1600 and come back, some say back to 1500 and back up to 2000 to come back, or one bloke who just said "drive it like you hate it"
By the sounds of things theres a lot of guys here with a s#!tload of experience, What tips do you guys have to tame the beast?

Cheers
Shano
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Alfy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:47 pm

Silver series 60's develop their torque between 1400 rpm and 1900 rpm from memory !
Pointless to drive em like ya hate em but would not lug below 1400 rpm under load but may have to rev to 2000rpm to change up on hills,

Hope this makes sense
The old 71 series used to get driven like you hated them.
and then the later 4 strokes are different again.
Have a look at manufacture's recommendations for ea engine ??
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Daz » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:59 pm

Don't drive a 92 like you hate it. That was a thing from the 53 and 71 motors, because they'd build up with carbon, overheat pistons, burn rings etc if you didn't.

You can't really overrev a properly governed 92 on the flat. You can under-rev them, in which case it will blow smoke, overheat and pop valves. Anywhere between 1300-2200rpm should be fine. Low revs in town for noise, but 2100rpm up long climbs.

I found mechanical motors revved harder than DDECs. It is not really a general numbers thing, more a case by case basis. Bankstowns 5116 revved very well and loved it, whereas Concorde's TM was more a worker. Work out where the motor runs best and changes gear easiest, and you'll be fine.

Of course, less rpm equates to less fuel used.

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby shano_falconoot » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:47 am

The older girl has an over-rev buzzer that scares the s#!t outta you just a bees d!%k over 2000, I had been bringing them back to around 1100 before shifting back but have found by coming back to only around 13-1400 life is a heap happier! We are in a contstant battle to find the happy level between quietness, smoke minimized driving, and having the thing in the right rev range for a nice shift, out the road is fine, give it some and rev out between shifts (you have to go right out in the old girl as the gearing is pretty ordinarily spaced, comes back around 700 rpm from 5th up to 6th!) but in town we trundle around the streets at 6 in the morning and a few particular people like to complain to the mine about the noisy buses ruining the environment and their beauty sleep (some of them should stay in bed for a month!!)
It's been an interesting time, I havent had my HR licence long, I've driven tons of mining machinery over the last 11 yrs, and trucks around mines (mixture of autos, syncro manuals and the odd R/R) but these coaches have been a challenge that I just want to master!
We'll pull her up when the oil comes out faster than we can put it in......
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby wannawagon » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:45 pm

I suppose this is a continuation of the same thread, I'm only a newby,

currently looking at doing a new motorhome in a coach, have been thinking of a landseer but a wondering if they are as difficult to drive (in the gears) as it sounds.

Current motorhome is a 79 YMT Bedford 500 diesel with a 5 speed eaton SMOT box. Although its a 'synchro' its way old and I find it behaves better if you double declutch down, and just slow up change. Will the same work for the spicer boxes? Assume using the clutch all the time until I get enough time on it. My wife also drives occasionally and finds the eaton a pig in that she has problems "finding" the gears in the gate.

Do the Spicers have centering springs etc?

Is there much difference in behaviour between the 6 or 7 speed spicers?.

Assume all the 6 or 7 speed Landseers are crash Spicers?,

The one I am looking at at present is a 7 speed , silver but its a days drive away so am trying to get there as 'educated' as i can.

Also what axles etc were Denning using mid 80's.

sorry about some of this being a bit off topic
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Daz » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:47 pm

All spicers are crash boxes, no synchronizing bits at all.

There is exactly 1 gears' difference between a 6 and 7. The changes are just a little quicker.

I am 23, and the industry concensus is that I'm a bit of a dickhead, and I do alright with them. They are pretty good once you learn them. Gate positions are MUCH clearer than an eaton, but some get sloppy with age.

Austral Tourmasters had 32,000lb? Indestructible Rockwell diffs. I assume Dennings are the same.

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Charlie » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:02 pm

Denning and Austral were the same running gear as you said Daz, not totally indestructable, I have seen a Landseer one absolutely F%$#ed, it did however spend much of its life in Central Aus, towing a huge safari trailer, and jumping sand dunes and getting bogged. Re Dickhead, Yes you are a dickhead, but there are plenty of bigger ones in the industry. The difference with you, is that you have the natural ability to handle the things properly, and like myself, drive by the sound of the thing, rather than the tacho. The other thing is that you would listen when people told you things, and ask if you didnt know something, so if that means being a dickhead, then yes you are. Bendi and Camera, well tha WAS a dickhead act, but rest assured, there are hundreds of more arrogant incapable people in this industry, with some of the biggest dickheads trolling this very forum.
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby User7526 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:48 pm

Denning were also fitting Eaton axles as well in some vehicles, I've seen them in some of the last Monos as well as early Landseers. It was sometimes a stock build or it was a choice by the original owner when placing an order. They aren't indestructable at all, I've seen them loosen off the crownwheel bolts and I've also seen them bend axle shafts as well which in turn caused the centre to fail.

The biggest thing about learning how best to handle one of these combinations is to not panic and overstress yourself when starting out in them, only time and practice gives you experience as we all know but listen to what the vehicle is doing just as much as feel the gearlever for crunching as you shift. You have to throw the things around without crunching (of course) and the biggest clue is matching your engine revs. to the road speed just as much as the correct gear, if one of these is too high you'll crunch just as much as anything being too low.

Daz, if people are calling you that then there's a reason mate. I fix mobile cranes now and I've seen a heap of the heavy vehicle industry over the last 26 years as well, experience has shown me that even I at times can be thought less of but there is always an underlying cause to why. Work it out old mate and rectify it if you need to, if there's plenty out there who are worse then you can't be too bad can you?

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Daz » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:26 pm

Indestructible when a good driver drives it, someone who can feel the mechanical stress and pain of a vehicle. Someone who knows the difference between 90 and 100% throttle and someone who sheds a tear when the see a vehicle being brutally abused by its clueless driver.

I just need to learn to keep my bloody mouth shut. I think it's more a case of 'how come that young bloke (thats not the real word they use) gets all the good jobs and drives the good coaches'. Uh, because i wanted to and asked... And I can drive and not hit stuff. Mostly.

And can drive a crash box ALL DAY and NEVER EVER MISS A GEAR. I wish.

Oh well, I made a statement I need to stick to. It's trucks for me for a while. Less bullshit in the drivers room, however when it comes to picky whining little girls whose bosses are all mongrels and driving the 'worlds biggest shitbox' as they say, the mud-carting game beats coaches ten fold. The Mack I'm driving, whilst a little under-powered, is a very nice thing to drive, the work is cream, and my employer is a gentleman. Much same as the places I have worked in coaches. Except BBL.

In reality trucks are better than dealing with jealous old coach captains who should retire. At the end of the day, who really cares- it's only a way to avoid those long dole queues. Plus, a hot meal, cuddle and sexual grope of my girl EVERY night is worth it. Fcku the buses.

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby User7526 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:05 pm

Daz wrote:
I just need to learn to keep my bloody mouth shut. I think it's more a case of 'how come that young bloke (thats not the real word they use) gets all the good jobs and drives the good coaches'. Uh, because i wanted to and asked... And I can drive and not hit stuff. Mostly.

Daz


You know what? I copped the same sort of thing as well, the biggest thing was that you couldn't get a 40 foot 'Benz through the roundabout at Blacktown Station without putting the back wheels over the middle. Some drivers at B..ways considered me a show off because I kept all wheels on the road and never touched the kerbing. I sympathise with you old mate, some people can get quite jealous in this industry and yeah, it's a part that I don't miss.


And yeah it took me a while to master the crash boxes but if I get in one now I can have some real fun stirring them up!

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Daz » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:27 am

The roundabout at the exit? Where the shithouse gets smashed every couple weeks?

I've taken the twin steer through there without hitting anything!

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Alfy » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:36 pm

And the stretches as well without hitting anything even when idiots are parked outside the shithouse during a busy rail shutdown
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby User7526 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:53 pm

Daz wrote:The roundabout at the exit? Where the shithouse gets smashed every couple weeks?

I've taken the twin steer through there without hitting anything!

Daz


Yeah that's the one!

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby dominodc122 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:14 pm

Driving a 6 speed Spicer is a closely guarded secret that many old coach captains take to the grave!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Anyway - cut my teeth on these in the mid to late 80s (at the ripe old age of 23 - something in common there Daz! :D ) and the word "feel' is the best way to explain a constant mesh transmission.
Firstly - they are all different (usually due to wear in the gates and linkages. Second - listen! sound of the engine versus gently pulling the stick from one gear and "feeling it into the gate" until the gearbox matches the engine rotate speed - Third - dont panic!!! if it misses the gate you are selecting and begins to 'grind' - go to the next gear up momentarily as it will almost always mesh - and then change back down to the the gear you wanted.

and lastly - always watch the tacho (if fitted) on changes to give you a reference point for the shift range of that particular gear, for that particular unit your driving.

Good luck and remember - too much advice from others can also sometimes cloud the message
Last edited by dominodc122 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby shano_falconoot » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:29 am

It's been interesting, I hadnt driven one for around 6 weeks, took the old spare for the shift run friday arvo, I have it in my head right what I need to do, just need the time to practice to get it all to sync with my feet, hands and the coach.... One fella on board (ex interstate truckie) got a bit lippy when i slightly missed one, he piped down when I told him he learnt in a truck full of freight, freight doesnt judge, I'm learning in a 28 yr old coach full of people who do... Kindly go get ...... ( I work with these guys in my main job so I can get away with it!)
I'll get the hang of them, I just think I need to go on my days off every now and then and grab the coach and go for a run (the owners are happy for me too, the coaches sit around 16 hrs a day)
We'll pull her up when the oil comes out faster than we can put it in......
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Daz » Tue May 01, 2012 6:33 pm

A lot of passengers don't get that a coach is a unit built to carry passengers, which is what it should do more than 50% of the time (by that I mean total km). You dont get much forgiveness from the freight. The most difficult part is that a vehicles characteristics totally change loaded vs. empty ie slower gear changes and corners and braking etc, and I can't think of a way to practice driving an empty coach at loaded gvm.

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby shano_falconoot » Wed May 02, 2012 1:01 pm

Yeah your right there Daz, the only way to practice properly is with a load of people.... judgemental people who take a slight grind/clunk going into first at the stop (clutch brake knackered, gotta feather it in when stoppped...) as "holy S#!T, are we gonna make it off the mine site, let alone back to town!" And everyone all of a sudden becomes an expert at it, whilst the young truckie learning with a load of toilet paper and womens weeklys on can miss the odd cog or two and happily motor down the road with only his/herself to know they had a slight off!
I did offer this particular "expert" that I mentioned above a shot at putting his money where his mouth is, but he declined with every excuse under the sun about how he wouldnt lower himself to a dirty old coach but, stupid backward gearboxes aren't for men etc.... He's a bit of a celebrity... (I did ask if he was so wonderful and an expert why isnt he still doing it?)
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby jerrang05 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:00 pm

I have been driving buses for 43 years now. Not too many makes that I havn't had a go in. I went to work at a Company when I was quite young and was about the only one then who didn't have a liscence. I learnt to drive by watching 'the old blokes' and driving empty buses around. I remember how proud I was when I started to drive around with my own passengers onboard. As for managing the gearboxes in the Dennings and Australs, they were both magnificient to drive. The Fuller and Spicer boxes took a bit of getting used to. It was trial and error, but the all of a sudden you would get it. Every bus was different, you had to always remember what bus you were in at the time. As a rule of thumb, I used to drive them 21 to 13 revs, but always kept an ear to the motor as that told you best, I always did and still do drive with the drivers window open.Every gear change was an achievement. Them was the days.
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby User7526 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:06 pm

2100 revs in a 2 stroke?

Music to my sweet little ears! The only way to drive a Jimmy, like you stole it!

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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Doc68 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:29 pm

Peta mechanic wrote:2100 revs in a 2 stroke?

Music to my sweet little ears! The only way to drive a Jimmy, like you stole it!

Peta.


Stole :shock: Don't you mean borrowed :lol: Everytime I see a Denning or Tourmaster while I'm my car I always turn the music down drop the windows & slip in behind for a little listen. So peeved off by drivers that don't use the jake brake Yes officer I realise it is a residential area but it is part of the braking system of this vehicle :roll: besides they should have known when they bought the place it was a busy road :lol:
GM 2strokes, still the most efficient engine ever developed for converting fuel into noise'
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby invada1 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:05 pm

Doc68 wrote:
Peta mechanic wrote:2100 revs in a 2 stroke?

Music to my sweet little ears! The only way to drive a Jimmy, like you stole it!

Peta.


Stole :shock: Don't you mean borrowed :lol: Everytime I see a Denning or Tourmaster while I'm my car I always turn the music down drop the windows & slip in behind for a little listen. So peeved off by drivers that don't use the jake brake Yes officer I realise it is a residential area but it is part of the braking system of this vehicle :roll: besides they should have known when they bought the place it was a busy road :lol:
GM 2strokes, still the most efficient engine ever developed for converting fuel into noise'



Oh I knw this well windows down listening for the change and hearing a good driver or shyte change.

Lots of good comments here, including the words of linkage slop it not just one at the front one at the rear. One Domino/Austral I worked on and drove had 14 linkages from the front to rear. Keeping them greased and adjusted or the universal joint in top condition was paramount.

I ever one of those Uni joints goes you'll know it on the next gear change or maybe sooner. One while driving the stick decided it wanted to lay down almost i was still in 4th or 5th changing down. Good job I had a few truckies on board a quick floor hatch removal and we had it sorted and pulled over. Me driving reving double clutching him changing the gears he just had to remember it was all revers H pattern.
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby dominodc122 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:28 pm

so how many universals are actually in the gear change shaft on a Domino Tourmaster 3 (I have counted 3 on mine thus far) are you saying that there are more in the shaft housing tube that runs through the bin roof under the aisle depression!?
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Maladjusted » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:26 pm

My parts book says 4 universals.
1 at the gearlever box 1 at the beginning of the tube. I had the grub screw come loose on this one once, when I picked up a Greyhound after accident repairs and then took it back to Austral Geebung for them to fix.
Certainly made it difficult to drive only having 2 gears forward and backward too much movement sideways to get a different sideways gear!
1 at the end of the tube in the chassis rail and the last one at the gearbox remote housing.

There are 4 bronze bushes supporting the shaft between the chassis rails.
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby dominodc122 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:52 am

Maladjusted wrote:My parts book says 4 universals.
1 at the gearlever box 1 at the beginning of the tube. I had the grub screw come loose on this one once, when I picked up a Greyhound after accident repairs and then took it back to Austral Geebung for them to fix.
Certainly made it difficult to drive only having 2 gears forward and backward too much movement sideways to get a different sideways gear!
1 at the end of the tube in the chassis rail and the last one at the gearbox remote housing.

There are 4 bronze bushes supporting the shaft between the chassis rails.


So it appears I have not found the one at the front of the tube(obviously as it is on top of the fuel tank and tight to get to without a pit to work in :roll: )
Cheers Maladjusted - thoroughly helpful indeed- Cheers (any chance of obtaining a copy of the parts book from you to assist in my Domino rebuild?? 8) Many thanks
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Postby Maladjusted » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:21 am

My parts book is only a sample given to Brisbane City Council as part of an Austral tender in 1984, however it seems fairly comprehensive.
Chris on a pit the shaft will be a mile up in the air, you'll need arm extensions to just reach it. If memory serves me correct that tube starts around the beginning of the aisle way, just above and behind the front axle. You will see the shaft and uni, by turning the wheels full right lock and looking behind the wheel toward the top of the bulkhead.
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