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Champion Bus, Inc., submitted a model CTS, diesel powered 29 seat/31-foot bus, for a 7 yr/200,000 mile STURAA test.  The odometer reading at the time of delivery was 0,720.0 miles.  Testing started on August 18, 1998, and was completed on December 18, 1998.  The Check-In section of the report provides a description of the bus and specifies its major components.

The primary part of the test program is the Structural Durability Test, which also provides the information for the Maintainability and Reliability results.  The Structural Durability Test was started on September 9, 1998 and was completed on November 27, 1998.

The first segment of the Structural Durability Test was performed with the bus loaded to a GVW of 18,590 lb.  The number of standing passengers was reduced from 11 standees and one wheelchair position, to 0 standees and one wheelchair position (600 lb per. wheelchair position).  This reduction in passenger weight was necessary to avoid exceeding the GAWR (12,000 lbs.) of the rear axle.  The middle segment was performed at the same 18,590 lb.  The final segment was performed at a curb weight of 13,700 lb.  Durability driving resulted in unscheduled maintenance that consisted of a variety of subsystem failures.  These can be found in a complete and detailed listing of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, which is provided in the Maintainability Section of this report.

Accessibility, in general, was adequate, components covered in Section 1.3 (Repair and/or Replacement of Selected Subsystems), were found to be readily accessible and no restrictions were noted.  The only accessibility problems found during testing were in accessing the engine drive belts.            

The Reliability Section compiles failures that occurred during Structural Durability Testing.  Unscheduled breakdowns are classified according to subsystems.  The data in this section is arranged so that those subsystems with more frequent problems are apparent.  Failures are classified according to the severity as defined in Section 2.  The test bus encountered No Class 1 failures and one Class 2 failure.  Of the remaining fifteen reported failures, eleven were Class 3 and four were Class 4.  

A Double-Lane Change (obstacle avoidance) Test was safely performed in both right-hand and left-hand directions up to a maximum test speed of 45 mph.  The performance of the bus is illustrated by a speed vs. time plot.  Acceleration and Gradeability Test data are provided in Section 4, Performance.  The average time to obtain 50 mph was 26.81 seconds.

The Shakedown Test produced a maximum final loaded deflection of 0.077 inches with a permanent set ranging between 0.000 to 0.003 inches under a distributed static load of 15,600 lb.  The Distortion Test was completed with water leakage observed at the bottom corners of the second and third windows, right side, and the fourth, fifth and sixth windows on the left side.   All subsystems operated properly.  The NBM was not equipped with any type of tow eyes or tow hooks; therefore, the Static Towing Test was not performed.  The Dynamic Towing Test was performed by means of a front lift tow.  Due to the lack of tow eyes or tow hooks, a hydraulic underlift apparatus was incorporated as the towing interface.  The drive shaft was removed for the test.  No deformation or damage was noted, and no problems were encountered with the towing interface.  A rear test was not performed as per manufacturers recommendations.  The Jacking and Hoisting Tests were also performed without incident. The bus was found to be stable on the jack stands, and the minimum jacking clearance observed with a tire deflated was 4.10 inches.

 A Fuel Economy Test was run on simulated central business district, arterial, and commuter courses.  The results were 5.83 mpg, 6.78 mpg, and 12.01 mpg respectively; with an overall average of 7.17 mpg.

 A series of Interior and Exterior Noise Tests was performed.  This data is listed in Section 7.1 and 7.2 respectively.


Number: 9811
Model: CTS
Manufacturer: CHAMPION BUS INC.
Vin Number: 558CT291RL06W5167