GM/Spicer Driving Styles

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rustbucket
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by rustbucket »

Hello Kevin,
The catch can seems to garner a lot of interest, with most not knowing about that which they speak, as the saying goes.
I was shown the valves that close above idle that allow the airbox to drain (at idle), yet there are yankee forums that say these are "filters".
Rather than dumping that crap in the sump much better to get it out of the engine as far as I am concerned.
Bloody aircon is causing some probs at the moment, who would have thought the camber of the road would have such an impact.
After they fitted a new set of bearings I asked if the engine was good for another 50 K's.
NO was the answer, good for another 500, 000 K's
Pretty happy about how the last parts of this conversion have come about and will be pushing off in the next couple of weeks, sans wife until all systems have been proven.
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Mr Scania
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by Mr Scania »

I have found that whatever you rev it to you need to be doing about 1500 rpm when you have made your gear change. Otherwise you are making it pull away at too lower revs making it blow black smoke and also oil.

I have heard that you do the bearings at 300000 km. Castrol oil is the best. Was CRB 40 but has now changed its name. Some use 50. At the moment I am using Detroit Diesel oil as I got it at the right price.
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rustbucket
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by rustbucket »

I have found I change up at a touch over 1500 for the lower 4, a bit higher for the top 2. Change down at 1500, but in view of advice here and elsewhere I will lift that by a couple of hundred revs. This may change when I put the enclosed trailer on the hook.

Was surprised after it was tuned, hit bottom of the gateway bridge at 85 and had to grab 5th just before the top at 70
CPF told me this was what they did for greyhound when they were running detroits, every 500,000 new mains, inspect and do big ends if necessary, makes sense.
Found their work excellent and fairly priced, so quite happy with the outcome.
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Mr Scania
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by Mr Scania »

Where is CPF
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rustbucket
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by rustbucket »

CPF Detroit Specialists are at 11-13 Dollis st Salisbury, Brisbane 32775512
I am happy with what they did and the price charged, less than expected.
The owner Frank owns the Bandag Bullet which has 2 x 8v92's joined together like a V 16, 2600 HP on nitrous oxide, They know how to build Detroits !!

Rustbucket
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rustbucket
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by rustbucket »

Ok have done the first shakedown and a few issues have come to light, nothing really unexpected or too calamitous to handle, indeed most is already taken care of.

However, when towing the trailer with 5 door Suzy on board I feel the Spicer is a bit of a stretch in the top ratios, when you get to that "bit of a hill" 5 is too low, 6 is too high. And this happens as the hills get bigger with the lower ranges in the box as well. Would love a 1/2 gear in between but investigation so far has not been successful, if we were to go to 2 speed diff would have to be an eaton, which means changing the whole housing, bit of a task, 7 speed spicer if one could be found only adds a top overdrive from my understanding and 2 speed splitters seem to have totally disappeared. I would prefer a splitter option rather than fitting an 8,9,10 or 13 speed road ranger because of the extra gear shifting involved and a suspect left knee.

Any other ideas ?
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Free Lance
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by Free Lance »

Until you get use to "Clutch-less shift" even with a splitter still need to use the left leg. A Multi gear Roadranger would be a great choice, more gears than you need, better too many than not enough
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Free Lance
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by Free Lance »

Until you get use to "Clutch-less shift" even with a splitter still need to use the left leg. A Multi gear Roadranger would be a great choice, more gears than you need, better too many than not enough
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Toolman
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by Toolman »

I have a 7 speed Fuller Direct, that if ever needed any work would be replaced with a 13speed which gives you a split in each gear in high range :)
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rustbucket
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by rustbucket »

Well VP has just had her first mechanical which was a non event but I do not like being charged $170 for a 10 minute inspection. Seems they were more interested in how the "pop outs" worked than anything else. And then of course go to the office and be relieved of another $1400. Vic rego or Tassie, next year, 1/2 the price and no ongoing mechanical inspections. Don't mind too much about the inspection, but do mind being charged to do it.

Anyway I feel driving style has settled after after a few trips over the past year, to the stage of being annoyed with oneself if it even grates a bit.

I have found it is better to take each change nearly to the governor which is 2500 rpm in order to not be bogging down in the next gear up, this makes the up changes very slick, even though the spicer progression is not even between the gears. Down shifts have been mastered to the extent of not even worrying about which gear we are in when needing to change down, more instinct about speed/revs needed for the gear required.

No oil spotting on the white fibreglass rear, in fact no oil has been used in over 5,000 k's, which is an unexpected bonus.

All the engine cooling is now done by the sun as we have increased the solar to 3 Kw. A recent trip to Lightening Ridge on 43 Deg days put that to the test, in fact the hottest it has gotten with the thermatics and new auxilary radiator is 95 when climbing the range at Toowoomba on a hot summer day. Full tanks, trailer on, against the governor in 2nd, back to 80 deg within a couple of hundred metres of the top.
We have also used glycol free coolant, same as used by Brisbane Council bus fleet and that has made a huge difference, it is soooo much more efficient at removing heat.

So all in all pretty happy, clutchless gear changes are some way in the future I think, when I feel time is right, and the advice on here was pretty spot on, there is no substitute for practice.
Rustbucket
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rustbucket
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by rustbucket »

Thought I would post an update here on VP and where we are at now.
Nearly to the point where I am happy with it, still some fiddly bits to do as time permits.

Just when I have mastered the 6 speed, I have gone and found a 7 speed, that is being fitted by CPF on Monday. Considered the RR options, much dearer for the box itself, more problems in the install whereas the 7 speed will just slot right in, biggest problem is a tailshaft shorten.Have a friend that has fitted a 10 speed RR and says he very rarely uses the bottom 2 so I sort of went "what's the point"

Have a very weird issue for some time now. There has to be a very specific set of circumstances to trigger it, but when it happens, the revs hold up.

1. Motor must have been running for at least 1/2 hour (highway)
2. Coolant must get to 82 deg C ( on my gauge)
3. Must be worked a bit just before it happens, e.g long slight hill.

When all of these things happen (and we can generally trigger by turning thermatics off to get the 82 deg) the motor continues to rev until temp drops below the magical 82.
As you can imagine this can be interesting to say the least, especially when it happens as it did once at the top of Cunninghams Gap, heading down.
It is only by driving and observing what is happening that we have come down to what is required to make it happen.
We have spent many hours with Cameron from CPF driving and triggering this problem to try and fix it without success so far.
However by the time you pull up, he grabs some tools and heads to the back nothing can be seen that locks in the cause.
Everything has been pulled apart and poured over, even slight bits of wear in the accelerator for instance have been fixed, even though we could not see how the heat could have anything to do with it, being at the other end so to speak.
There is a pivot point on the gearbox end of the engine, a steel rod from there to the governor, cable forward from there. It has been replaced, even though only slight wear.
As the steel rod passes about 1" under the exhaust pipe as it leaves the turbo I reasoned that it may have taken some time to heat up and do whatever nasty thing it was doing, so I lagged the pipe. This time I had to drive twice as far before I could make it happen, and when it did it was half hearted, push the clutch in at 100 K's and instead of revving harder and staying there, it simply jumped up 300 rpm and then went straight back to idle.

We are starting to think the governor shaft bearing/s are dicey and it takes quite a while for the heat to do whatever it is doing. As it is a fair bit of work to remove turbo and blower we are putting it on the back burner until after the next trip. With the cooler weather it is getting more and more difficult to make it happen. We have lagged all the pipes in the engine bay (bedroom is much cooler when you stop) and I have fitted a camera which points at the pivot point. The next time it happens I will be able to absolutely confirm it is engine internal, or something on the cable side, just by looking at cable slackness/tightness.

The camera will be left there as a fire warning device after we solve this, you don't really have much idea what is happening in the engine bay so far ahead until it really has a hold.

Anyone ever come across something this weird with a 2 stroke ?
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rustbucket
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by rustbucket »

Just driven back from CPF to home near Caboolture after the 7 speed gearbox was fitted

A HUGE difference in ease of driving, feels like lots more horses, keep up with the traffic at the lights and the changes just fall in, best 4 grand I have spent so far.
It makes the six speed seem like a tired notchy bag o' shite, even though it isn't.

Finally near the end of getting this coach exactly as I want it.
landseer1
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by landseer1 »

G day Rustbucket

I've have followed your posts interesting reads. I've got a 692 I'm curious what CPF charged you for the work you had done for the bearings ect....was anything else done? I'm wondering the best way to save the longevity of mine.

Pm me if you prefer

Cheers
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rustbucket
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by rustbucket »

Hello Landseer,
First up you have the spelling on your tag right, so many seem to call them lancia
Second, as you are a Denning man I don't know if I should talk to you
Thirdly, Have decided to as we are all in this together so to speak.

Ok took VP to CPF on recommendation of another bus owner, found them to be a really likeable, extremely hard working bunch of guys with lots of truck and bus knowledge, and plenty of 2 stroke knowledge as well

I originally took VP there to fix oil leaks, Cameron assured me that Detroits, especially on highway service do not have to use/leak oil. One was the crankcase seal at the rear or gearbox end of the motor. Many years ago (more than I care to remember) I qualified as a car mechanic but 2 strokes and the size of bus/truck parts and tools required sent me looking for those with expertise. I found it at CPF and am very happy with their work so far.

First visit, they cleaned the motor, hey sump has to come off, do you want to stay here in VP tonight ? No will get a ride home.
So, sump off, have a look at clutch at the same time, got less than half left, phone call what do you want to do ? Price ? Ok replace while is out. While sump is off also drop some con rod bearings, bit of scuffing, maybe from the 2 runaways I have had, coupla hundred bucks for a new set of mains and con rods.
This is what they did for Greyhound when that company ran detroits, bearings at 600,00, full rebuild at 1.2 M Km
While tailshaft was out, noticed the uni joint that cops the abuse (one more than the other due to angle) is on the way, what do you want to do ? Replace
These were the major items that I recall easily, there was also a lot of other smaller fiddly stuff taken care of at the same time and a complete tune was done that made me think they had snuck an 8V92 in while I was not looking.
About 3 days in all as they fitted it in around other emergency trucking stuff and to be honest I was shitting myself about the bill which came in under 5K.
When you take out the cost of the parts I think that was extremely reasonable (was expecting double) and I have had no reason to fault any workmanship so far, it os not like a car dealership where you are quarantined from the workshop, they take the time to explain what they are doing and why and for me it has been a learning experience about my vehicle.

No major money is spent without your ok so no nasty surprises so I cannot recommend the business highly enough, based on my experience, now over about 5 or 6 visits.
Outside work (like my shortened tailshaft for the 7 speed) is charged at what they are charged, most tack anything up to double on.

If your 6V92 or 8V92 has a good top end I would suggest a bottom end check, bearings if necessary and make sure all oil leaks are fixed. I did talk to Cameron about an inframe rebuild for someone at one stage, less than 10K for all new pistons, liners, bearings etc. Heads are extra about $1,200 each for reco.

Hope this helps
Since the first work done VP has not used any oil at all, now up around 20,000 K's we have done so far.

BTW Frank owns the Bandag Bullet 2 x 8V92's in line, they get 2,600 hp from them, guess they know Detroits
landseer1
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by landseer1 »

Thanks for thr reply rust bucket.
Sorry for the delay but this forum hasn't let me post anything for weeks?
We found a GM guy locally who has been great

Cheers
landseer1
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by landseer1 »

10k sounds very reasonable for a basic rebuild.
On recommendation I've done a couple of quick oil changes, I've got onto the gulf western oil (2 stroke) very reasonably priced too! I'd say as good as anything else on the market, wasn't happy with the Caltex loco oil they market now.
Very happy the current oil has a couple of thousand ks and is still quite clean... Funnily enough my manual says the sump should be 22lts but I never add more than 19?????
ArfaBrayne
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Re: GM/Spicer Driving Styles

Post by ArfaBrayne »

Learned to drive bus in an alloy body Denning Mono mid 1980's around the Gold Coast and Hinterland for Greyhound/Surfside.
6 speed Spicer with a 6v92 Detroit.
As a mechanic I've driven a lot of vehicles from Ducatti's, sports cars, supercars, 4x4's and road trains.
The old Denning is still my favourite of the lot.
Winding up, down and around single lane mountain roads while skipping through the gears without a clutch, chortling down grades on the Jakes, with that beautifull growl of the old Detroit in full song on the climbs. Felt like it would rev to 2800 if only you'd let it. Handled like a sports car, rode like a limo.

So - clutch only when you start or double clutch if you're skip shifting.
Shift up around 2100rpm (before the governers kick in)
Downshift at between 1400 and 1200rpm
As you lift the throttle on upshift, gently nudge the shift lever into neutral, then nudge the shift lever into the next gear at the right revs (engine note) - the clutch and throttle usually have electrical switches (like a brake light switch in opposite) to disengage the jakes, but if you shift without the clutch, don't fully release the throttle, so the jakes won't come on.
When downshifting on a climb, lift the throttle and nudge to neutral, use some feel in the throttle to rev just past matching revs for the next gear down, as the revs drop to correct rpm (note) nudge into gear and smoothly apply throttle. If you've downshifted to use engine brakes, lift the throttle instead to apply engine braking or jakes.

Personal opinion is the 6 speed spicer was much nicer to drive than a roadranger (15 speed). The gaps between the ratios are just right on the spicer for a Detroit powered bus, where the roadranger (admittedly on trucks running cats or cummins) seems to be less nimble and seems unsuited to driving with a light or part load, however with a full load and variable climb the roadranger is king.
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