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Making my bus go faster
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:00 pm    Post subject: Making my bus go faster Reply with quote

We were on vacation the last few weeks - drove across the USA. We took the Mercury Sable wagon but I could not help think about what the trip would have been like in our 1977 bus. The last time I drove some of these routes in a bus was 25 -35 years ago.

Here are my observations based on the trip and reading all the time from people here who want more power in their buses to keep up: Give it up. We were doing at times 10 - 15 mph over the speed limit sustained trying to avoid being run over by cars and trucks. It isn't possible. Even at 80 mph in a 60 zone we've had people come within 2' of us 3 or 4 times while passing us at speed. Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama were the worst - and I was raised in the South so this isn't Northerner's opinion. You cannot stay out of their way by choosing the slow lane either - whichever lane you are in they will run you down. So if you are thinking more power in your bus will solve it - forget it. Only God can solve it now as our observation was that many of these people simply believe and act each for themselves - whether you are going 65 or 80 they will cut in front of you just the same. Worse, they may squeeze in between you and the car in front of you with only 2' or 3' between the cars. You cannot avoid them. In all my cross country drives I have never seen anything like this before - where people drive by us consistently at 85 mph with only 3' or 4' between them and the car in front of them. And it is just not us affected - we see the same person who missed us by 2' miss the next guy by less. So I would not be wasting money trying to make my VW bus go faster in traffic to keep up. They will run you over regardless.

It doesn't bother us other than it is unsafe - however we did want to express that we understand how easy it would be in a VW bus to think that more power might make it better - IMHO - it won't. People out there are crazy and getting crazier. Someone who doesn't care as they cut driver after driver off doesn't care how many HP you have or what you are driving - they just know they are going around you even if they have to force their way thru.
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Amskeptic
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Making my bus go faster Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
We were on vacation the last few weeks - drove across the USA. People out there are crazy and getting crazier.


True. I just hit 75,400 miles. That is 36,000 miles of cross-country in the past 17 months in this poor bus. I cruise around 70 and do not find that the nutcases especially bother me. If they have passed me, they are pulling away even if it looked close. I had a night of it through downtown Detroit Michigan, a Saturday late night of I-94 with show-offs blasting past in their Chrysler 300s or claptrap spinnered Hondas. As long as they miss me, I'm good.

The fatal crash yesterday was a Minnesota plates Ford pick-up spin-out with a camper trailer that exploded into fiberglass tufts and plywood as the Ford rolled several times ejecting the Mrs.
Who was the greater threat to my own life? A young hotshoe with razor reflexes or the genteel old man who caught an edge with the trailer wheel throwing him into a whiplash fishtail on the bridge here in Wyoming?

Polite and predictable, that is my new old man driving style in this world of ADHD texting gabbing clueless drivers, the 18 wheelers are becoming my next problem.
Colin
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chabanais
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard adding a light bar to the Bus will make it go faster.

The nice thing about driving a Bus is it's a massive billboard that says "I can't go fast pass me."
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Keeping in-line with what VW originally had in mind; keeping the bus as close to OEM as possible with a few little changes to give it a "not forgotten look" but still maintaining the charm that made them what they are today.
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1970fun
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chabanais wrote:
I heard adding a light bar to the Bus will make it go faster.

The nice thing about driving a Bus is it's a massive billboard that says "I can't go fast pass me."


I use this one from time to time
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Desertbusman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's right SG. Trying to join in with or intermingling with the crazies is useless in a bus. A bus is a bus and reguires a specialized and trained bus driver. Adding speed capabilities to a bus doesn't help anything and might even make it worse by taking on the new mindset.
If I ever get in a wreck it might be from rear-ending whatever is in front. Because I pay more attention to what is in the side and rear view mirrors. It takes major attention and effort to drive these things. Actually at times it is hard work. There's no kicking back listening to tunes, enjoying the A/C and letting the cruise control do the work.
Keep constant awareness of where all the vehicles are behind and to both sides and what they are doing. In more critical highway situations plan ahead for potential problems by predetermining your escape and avoidance options. Be defensive and ready to hit the ditch if need be.
Drive your snail in the same defensive manners NASCAR survivors do.
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WestyPop
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1970fun wrote:

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Love it. Actually that Briggs & Stratton-sized exhaust tip should give the same message to an observant driver, but they're not necessarily the ones causing most of the problems.

Even SoCal morning commuter traffic frequently rolls @ 85-95+ mph when no cops are in view, but unlike in many locales, most of us 55-70mph Cali slowpokes do get over to & travel in the right hand lanes of the freeways. While driving 75mph (65mph speed limit) in the #1 lane, a CHP officer actually ordered me to move over to the slower #3/#4 lanes; he said that I was driving too slowly for existing conditions, that I was "holding up traffic".

Good commentary, SG.
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Esher127
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't really had a problem with traffic moving too fast for the bus. But that's mainly because I've yet to set a tire on the interstate with it! I know my boundries, and I know the bus isn't capable... especially not in the mountains where I live. Doing 35mph up a hill on the interstate would get me killed.

So I stick to the 55mph scenic highways, and so far, no problems!
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outrun1984
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cruise at 55 on the highway.....I could never drive my bus 65 or 70 sustained...OG motor and tranny have 91,900 on them and that would just destroy her....oil pump is on way out...CHT's are high and compression is more than 25lbs different across some of the cylinders...55 is just fine...give em the wave "go around" most people in Connecticut love the bus and give it tons of room on the highway!
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gatorjos
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Safety is part of the reason I bought a school-bus-yellow Westy. I cruise about 55-60 and seem to do OK...
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VDubTech
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put your foot down and get the hell outta the way

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Mountain Minstrel
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VDubTech wrote:
Put your foot down and get the hell outta the way

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In my '69 that would still only be about 70 mph and that is with 195's.
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject: Re: Making my bus go faster Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
Even at 80 mph in a 60 zone we've had people come within 2' of us 3 or 4 times while passing us at speed. Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama were the worst...

i thought you lived in califonia?
shouldn't be anything new to you.
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outrun1984
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ive had Delilah the bus up to 81 myself on a flat stretch but man was she screamin!
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Lionhart94010
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that no stock powered T2 will never be fast enough for today’s driving conditions(Inconsiderate drivers)…

I had my own experience on I5 near Red Bluff, headed to Lassen Volcanic National Park(northern CA), we where going camping(fully loaded with camping gear & supplies) for the fourth of July weekend, the outside temperature was 104F. I had just installed my CHT probes and we where trying keep our CHT below 450F… My wife was driving and we where doing between 60-65MPH trying to keep out of peoples way and trying not to have the Berg Dip stick Temp Sensor flashing…

It was two miles from our destinations, doing about 65MPH when an 18 wheeler came up on us doing 70+(Their speed limit is 55 in CA), he had to slow down as traffic in the fast lane was doing 80+MPH after getting in the fast lane to pass us, he cut over into our lane when he was half way passed us, my wife had to veer onto the shoulder so we didn’t get squashed :0(

Now my efforts to make my bus more powerful and reliable is in a big part so when needed, we can “get out of the way of NUT CASES”

I’m under no illusions that I will ever be able to get more than 50 reliable horse power out of my T1 Bus engine, but if I do it right it will have in reserve an other 50HP for short bursts; but to be “competitive” with modern traffic I would need to have an additional 165HP in total(to equal my similar weight SUV 215HP), not likely out of a T1 Powered T2.
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pozz907420
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

idk how to delete the double post-sorry
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pozz907420
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to put on the back of my bus a "slow moving sign"(the triangle thingy like tractors use) to avoid being run over.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also disturbed by the general craziness on the highways. People drive stupid fast (why?) and I seem to be the slowest thing on the road in my buses, or in my Subaru or Honda Odyssey. It's not that these cars cannot go fast -- I simply choose to drive below 70-75 mph. It safer (or sould be if everyone did) and it certainly saves fuel. Gasoline is not expensive enough yet. If it were $6 or $7 / gallon would people drive more slowly and conservatively?

And some folks are just downright dangerous drivers. Weaving in and out of traffic like race car drivers, talking and texting on cell phones, reading, doing their makeup!

this is all part of why we got the Odyssey for family trips. Air bags all around, very stable on the road -- I feel like we are riding in a big bubble.
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Mal evolent
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

on Fridays the State police set up a speed trap at the historical marker by the Rio Grande on Rt. 380. all the locals putter along at 50 in the 50 zone and laugh at the Type A personalities blasting by at 65 in the 50 zone, no doubt making remarks about the inteligence of people around here.
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busmania
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pozz907420 wrote:
I was going to put on the back of my bus a "slow moving sign"(the triangle thingy like tractors use) to avoid being run over.



I have the "slow moving vehicle" magnetic sign sold here on thesamba and I think it works great. People see it from very far away and seem to be more courteous.
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RatCamper
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No matter the fuel price, people that are always in a hurry will always drive fast / dangerously.
Aussie police would have a field day over there. A very minor infringement (5km/h over) can cost hundreds of $ and some demerit points, and anything more can get up to instant disqualification, court, huge fines, and if you are being a "hoon" have your car confiscated.
Dicks are still dicks. I often see them pass me and then I pass them later on having a nice chat with a policeman. If i remember i either wave or point and laugh. Yeah it's an asshole thing to do. i just do it so it sticks with them. tortoise and hare, man.

Also i have found different cars invoke different reactions in people. My bay, widely varied. usually people like it, then there are people like the old bitch that opened her door hard on it, while I was in it, shithead kids in their hondas or whatever that like to overtake in town and then slow down resulting in seeing nothing but roobar in their mirror (oddly they speed up again) etc. but yeah usually positive.
My DD on the other hand seems to be one of those cars which people cut off, tailgate, overtake for the sake of it etc.
I drive the speed limit, and the car is capable enough. Sure it's a barge but it's a V8 barge with a limited edition go faster bits pack... which is getting progressively more damaged by said assholes. If i had known it would elicit this reaction from people i wouldn't have bought it.
people expect a bay to be slow. If they don't, let them deal with it. Not your problem. Why should you pay to make it faster to placate some ignorant dick?
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