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Old 08-13-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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Brucie needs some help

So Brucie, my 1985 International, just finished his first major trip since purchase in the fall of 08. Made 3048 miles from CT to Miami and back, with an average of 11.3 mpg at around 57-58 mph. This was running on diesel, the veg oil is all rigged up, but I have a leaky 12V booster pump that was pouring oil all over when it was running, so I need to address that.

However, over the trip I realized I need a few things to make this much more liveable. I did this trip with a few of my buddies from school (we just graduated) and they did a lot of the work helping out to get some beds and seating in there. However, it was not done the way I really wanted it to be done, so I figured I would let it slide for now, then go back and do everything so it was much more stable. (There were bunk beds made of 2x4's and all the "furniture" eventually wobbled, creaked, and started falling apart). I want to make some nice stainless framed fold down beds, a stainless ladder to a top deck, etc etc (visions of grandeur). Other than the interior and living quarters, the bus ran great.

Made it down to miami, no overheating, no problems at all. Burned about 3 quarts of oil over the 3000 miles.

However, my real issues with the bus right now:

Its loud. Any ideas on quieting it down during cruising?
Its rough. Is there any way to get these guys to ride a little softer? The shocks could stand to be replaced, but is there a way to soften the rear springs now that the bus doesn;t have to carry its rated 72 passengers? It was just really rough over even the smallest road imperfections, and i know i know, its a bus, but i feel it should be a little bit smoother during cruising.

I was thinking of selling the bus, but after driving it a while, kind of fell back in love with it. So, if the price is right, I'll sell, if not, I'll keep dumping money into it I guess....

Thanks

Harrison
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:35 AM   #2
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Re: Brucie needs some help

The best way to quiet a bus is to insulate the inside from the noise on the outside.
Google "race car insulation" for the area closest to the engine. Normal foam insulation will work for the rest of the bus.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:15 PM   #3
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Re: Brucie needs some help

needs some weight in it to rise smoother,put more beer in it
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:45 AM   #4
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Re: Brucie needs some help

What about new shocks? Any Experience here? Also, are we talking like dynamat type material for thed insulation?

I gotta keep this bad boy under 18,000...

I am also having power issues, generator needed? Def would want a nice quiet diesel one.

Any advice would be great!
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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Re: Brucie needs some help

convert to air ride rear suspension or talk to your local suspension/spring shop and see what they recommend to soften up the rear springs, remove some leafs?
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
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Re: Brucie needs some help

A smoother ride can be improved by balancing your wieght to work to for you. Fortunatley mine is a RE bus so the rear axle has alot of weight on it but I also put my water tank behind the axle. You don't want to "unload" the front axle too much tough, or you will have steering issues. I plan on putting my Gennie in front of the front axle if things work out. All this to say, what ever chassis layout you have, get your load balanced. When you think you have it figured out, go to your local truck scales and weigh the front axle and rear axle seperately. then compare those numbers to the GVWR percentages listed on the ID plate of your bus.

For ex: (these numbers are just for an example)

GVWR= 36,000lbs
Front axle= 12,000lbs= roughly 33% of total GVWR
Rear axle= 24,000lbs= roughly 66% of total GVWR

So lets say your bus weighs a total of 24,000lbs with all of you normal traveling gear. design it to have 33% of that weight up front and 66% out back.

This is a perfect world example but will get you as close to a engineered ride as possible with what you have.

You can also go to a spring shop and pick their brains on "how many leaves can I remove from my spring packs" to achieve the best ride to weigh ratio of your bus.


The only other option is air rideand lots of money
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:06 PM   #7
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Re: Brucie needs some help

OK- time to liven this thread back up.

Since last posting, Brucie has seen numerous trips, all running straight diesel. Amazing the durability of these buses, Brucie has 1.2 million miles so far!

Replace a few pitted brake lines, and added a very nice built in, working on finishing the insides now and will add pictures soon, you can also check out www.bruciethebus.com, so long as it is up, and see more about Brucie.

One question I have is front shocks; mine are shot, one of which was rusted and now basically does not exist. The bus has been parked since then and I want to replace the front 2 shocks with something. Any advice here?

Thanks guys!
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: Brucie needs some help

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmacris
O

The bus has been parked since then and I want to replace the front 2 shocks with something. Any advice here?

Thanks guys!
What are you asking? You have to replace the shocks with shocks. You are probably going to find Monroe or Gabriel. If you can get the number from one of the old shocks it simplifies things. The number is usually stamped near the end on the body (not the dust shield) Most auto parts stores can cross reference the number order them and they aren't very expensive. I haven't checked but the shock catalogs are quite extensive and probably have a listing. Take ALL of the numbers from your body and chassis tags. (Real parts store, not the "It's not in the computer,I can't look it up" fast food kind of parts store.
I would recommend Monroe gas shocks. On my semi the Gabriel mounting bushings only lasted about 6 months, the Monroes are good as long as the shocks are.

I've found a good way to keep those numbers handy is to take a good sharp picture and store them on your phone. I also keep a binder with those pictures printed out along with any and all part numbers I discover along the way. Engine, transmission and differential tags are also something to keep handy.

There is a guy who custom makes stainless shocks for semi's, a bit expensive, guaranteed forever.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:58 AM   #9
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Re: Brucie needs some help

Ok, I will see what I can dig up when I go home this weekend. But yes, I just want to get some new front shocks. Has anybody ever taken a leaf out to soften the ride either?

Im still wading through a lot of this and learning as go, so I'm trying to be patient!
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