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Old 02-10-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
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39Z bounder

hi everyone, i need your help. i'm thinking of buying a 1999 39Z bounder with a 275hp cummings & a 4 speed allison. all the other 39z's i look at have like 300hp + motors & 6 speed trans. is this unit under powered. thanks rich.

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by richardreyn7 View Post
hi everyone, i need your help. i'm thinking of buying a 1999 39Z bounder with a 275hp cummings & a 4 speed allison. all the other 39z's i look at have like 300hp + motors & 6 speed trans. is this unit under powered. thanks rich.
I had a 2001 39Z with 300HP. In my opinion, it was under powered - it could barely get out of it's own way. Put ANYTHING behind it to tow and it was a real pig. And don't get me started about the marginal cooling capability of the radiator setup...

I'm sure there are going to be plenty of 275HP coach owners who disagree with me.

All that being said, it did get me everywhere I wanted to go - eventually

'04 Windsor 40PDQ
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:39 AM   #3
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I would be unimpressed by both the 275 hp and the 4 speed tranny. It's going to be a dog, so if performance is a concern to you (I assume it is, since you asked the question), I think I would pass that one up.

The rule of thumb is that you need at least 1 hp per 100 lbs of load. And add the toad weight in when you do that. And 100 bs/hp is not going to give you more than adequate performance either. It's fine on the flats but just barely ok on steep (6%) grades.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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The 99 and 00 came with the ISB 275 and 4 speed Allison MT643 (with T shifter). 01 and up went to the ISB 300 and 6 speed Allison 3060 with pushbutton shifter. I believe both the 275 and 300 ISBs might have 660 ft/lbs torque. The 4 speed isn't as desirable as the 6 speed but they are rock solid (used mostly in 40000-60000 lbs GVWR garbage trucks) and there's actually very little difference in mileage (I think the top speed just isn't quite as high and acceleration suffers).

Certainly not the most powerful mhs but there's tons of them sold and on the road and they'll get you where you're going and they get great mileage (for a mh). They usually get about 10.5-11+ mpg.

I think they have 26000 GVWR and 31000 GCWR so you're actually not far from 1hp per 100 lbs. One thing to keep in mind is that it only has a 5k lbs towing capacity but that's actually pretty common with mhs with the ISB.
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