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Old 01-08-2016, 10:53 AM   #21
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Location: Winlcok, WA
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The shutters are air operated with air pressure closing them.

There should be an air line going from the shutter open/close mechanism to a heat operated air valve. The valve should be somewhere in the top radiator hose circuit or near to the thermostat housing. To turn off the air to the shutters just close the air valve.

When you first start the engine if there is no air pressure in the system the shutters should be open. As air pressure comes up in the auxiliary tank (the tank that supplies air pressure to the wipers, air horn, service door, etc.) the shutters will gradually close. They will stay closed until the engine gets to 140*-160*. They will stay open until the engine gets below that temp.

It is doubtful that they will ever open while the engine is idling. The volume of coolant in a bus system (close to 80' of hose from the engine to the front heaters and back) is so large that at fast idle you will be hard pressed to get the temp above 120*. At slow idle you will be hard pressed to get the temp gauge to move.

Do NOT idle a diesel engine for long periods of time. You can't get the engine up to operating temps, even at fast idle. If you don't get it up to operating temps you run the real risk of getting unburned fuel washing past the rings. This will not only dilute and contaminate your lube oil but it will make it increasingly harder to start as lube oil is taken away from the rings--no lube on the rings and you don't get a good tight seal which will lower compression making the engine hard to start.

If you want to keep things limber take it out for a good run of at least 50 miles with some of those miles at highway speed. It isn't just the engine you want to keep limber. You want to roll the tires around so they won't flat spot (working the tires also "lubricates" the cords adding life to tires that won't be doing a lot of miles). You also want to get all of the bearings and gears to get splashed so everything gets a fresh coat of lube (you most likely have oil lubed front bearings).
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:10 PM   #22
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Silvana, WA
Posts: 69
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: DD 6V-71
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
The shutters are air operated with air pressure closing them.

There should be an air line going from the shutter open/close mechanism to a heat operated air valve. The valve should be somewhere in the top radiator hose circuit or near to the thermostat housing. To turn off the air to the shutters just close the air valve.

When you first start the engine if there is no air pressure in the system the shutters should be open. As air pressure comes up in the auxiliary tank (the tank that supplies air pressure to the wipers, air horn, service door, etc.) the shutters will gradually close. They will stay closed until the engine gets to 140*-160*. They will stay open until the engine gets below that temp.

It is doubtful that they will ever open while the engine is idling. The volume of coolant in a bus system (close to 80' of hose from the engine to the front heaters and back) is so large that at fast idle you will be hard pressed to get the temp above 120*. At slow idle you will be hard pressed to get the temp gauge to move.

Do NOT idle a diesel engine for long periods of time. You can't get the engine up to operating temps, even at fast idle. If you don't get it up to operating temps you run the real risk of getting unburned fuel washing past the rings. This will not only dilute and contaminate your lube oil but it will make it increasingly harder to start as lube oil is taken away from the rings--no lube on the rings and you don't get a good tight seal which will lower compression making the engine hard to start.

If you want to keep things limber take it out for a good run of at least 50 miles with some of those miles at highway speed. It isn't just the engine you want to keep limber. You want to roll the tires around so they won't flat spot (working the tires also "lubricates" the cords adding life to tires that won't be doing a lot of miles). You also want to get all of the bearings and gears to get splashed so everything gets a fresh coat of lube (you most likely have oil lubed front bearings).
The Detroits I'm used to are much bigger than the 6v-71. The Navy put me through a 3 month school to learn everything about the big V-16 Detroits we ran as generators on the frigates. With those gensets we'd isle them for up to an hour to attain safe temperatures before placing the electrical load on the generator. Though, those engines also had jacket water keep warm systems and prelube pumps. This "baby Detroit" is a little different for me: I'm glad I've got somebody around here to set me straight.
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Old 01-09-2016, 02:46 PM   #23
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Alright Cowlitzcoach- you seem to be the guy who knows everything about these Gilligs. What can you tell me about the main entrance doors? I want to make a one piece door that swings out, hinged from the front (non-suicide style). I've looked at the mechanism for it, above the doors, and it seems pretty straight forward. I believe I'll be able to use the current setup with my new door, but I haven't really looked into the hinge itself yet. How does that hinge attach to the front door? Is it a solid bar, or is the door pinned in between bearings on either end?
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:04 AM   #24
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To be perfectly honest, I have never had one of the Gillig service doors all apart and it has been a while since I really looked at one.

Since all of the Gillig service doors from the late '60's to the end of production for the classic schoolcoach the doors opened inward for service and outward for emergency I would tend to think it is a door on a top and bottom bearing and not a hinge. I don't think a hinge would be able to withstand the operation going 180*. They also never seem to get stiff so I would tend to think it is pinned between a top and bottom bearing.

I would not see any problem with fabricating a single piece door. I know Gillig made a few commercial versions of the classic schoolcoach with sedan doors. But I don't think any of those had an air operated door control. I think all of the sedan doors had mechanical door controls.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:12 AM   #25
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Year: 1973
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
To be perfectly honest, I have never had one of the Gillig service doors all apart and it has been a while since I really looked at one.

Since all of the Gillig service doors from the late '60's to the end of production for the classic schoolcoach the doors opened inward for service and outward for emergency I would tend to think it is a door on a top and bottom bearing and not a hinge. I don't think a hinge would be able to withstand the operation going 180*. They also never seem to get stiff so I would tend to think it is pinned between a top and bottom bearing.

I would not see any problem with fabricating a single piece door. I know Gillig made a few commercial versions of the classic schoolcoach with sedan doors. But I don't think any of those had an air operated door control. I think all of the sedan doors had mechanical door controls.
I did look at it better this afternoon, and it does seem to be a bearing system on either end.

I'm thinking I will try to build a lightweight door that visually mimics the drivers side in the same area. I'm toying with the idea of using the opposite side as a self latching mechanism: a kind of claw that grasps the door just as it fully closes. It might be tricky, but I like the idea of using stuff that already exists. It'll cost less, and hopefully it will cut down on the amount of fabrication I have to do.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:40 PM   #26
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For all you picture junkies
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:41 PM   #27
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:25 PM   #28
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Paso Robles, CA
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Year: 1973
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: 1160 V8 Diesel
Rated Cap: 79
Great looking bus!!!!!!!

Great choice in buses!!

Of course, I am a little biased...as I'm converting a 1973 Gillig too! ��

I'm going to fabricate a one-piece standard door as well, but haven't got to that point yet.

I'm not sure if you know what you'll find under the floors of yours...but if it's like mine, get prepared for...nothing. I'll be looking adding new photos to my thread on what I've done for floor insulation.

You've got a beauty!! Looking forward to your build, and love your taste in buses! ��
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Old 01-19-2016, 06:29 PM   #29
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Silvana, WA
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Year: 1973
Coachwork: Gillig
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Originally Posted by FreedomPanda View Post
Great choice in buses!!

Of course, I am a little biased...as I'm converting a 1973 Gillig too! ��

I'm going to fabricate a one-piece standard door as well, but haven't got to that point yet.

I'm not sure if you know what you'll find under the floors of yours...but if it's like mine, get prepared for...nothing. I'll be looking adding new photos to my thread on what I've done for floor insulation.

You've got a beauty!! Looking forward to your build, and love your taste in buses! ��
I just looked through your thread, I can see that you're going to be my new best bus friend. Keep posting pictures, lord knows I'll need all the forewarning I can get as to what to expect.

I've been trying to decide what I should do about my floors, I could replace them with new plywood (if they need to be replaced), but I also have a friend who runs a fab shop up here in the Seattle area, so replacing the wood with steel isn't out of the realm of realistic possibilities either.
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Old 01-19-2016, 06:49 PM   #30
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And, finally, it had to be a completely functioning school bus, seats and all, in case we decided to sell it, because sometimes life just happens.

Delores has a super clean 6V-71 Detroit, brand new steer tires, a brand new air dehydrator and was very reasonably priced at $3k, 25 minutes from home, too!
Well, if life happens, I'd offer you $4k. Beautiful bus!
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