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Old 11-19-2017, 09:11 AM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,093
Air bags fail.

Air suspensions leak.

26K lbs. of bus on your chest makes it really hard to breathe!

Never, not ever, get under an air suspension bus without first blocking it up.

Using the air suspension to level will only work as long as the system holds air pressure. If your system retains pressure more than 12-hours it is exceptional! Most buses with air suspension will leak all of the air pressure off within 3-5 hours. Many highway coach buses will lean to the side that leaks off first. It is not unusual to see a line of MCI buses leaning one way or another. Most will not drop uniformly. And for some reason, once the system is down to zero they will still lean. Which is why most coaches do not park close to anything. I have seen where buses have leaned into the bus next to them. It can actually cause damage if two buses side by side lean into each other.

It appears as if you have found a great bus.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:33 PM   #12
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Location: Charleston SC
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Year: 1987
Started on interior demolition the other day. Took out heaters and used copper attached to the heaters to reconnect the coolant lines. In the future I may redo the coolant lines a bit later as they connect to a main line that runs the center of the bus and I suppose it'd make sense to have those hoses out of my way. I wanted to lose as little coolant as possible so that I could still start and run the bus occasionally. I ended up losing 5 gallons (due to a silly mistake)! Am I right to just add water for now so that the coolant sight glass is full? I'll replace all that coolant I believe before I take off with the bus in a year or two.

Anybody have opinions on whether to tear up or leave the rubber floor? There is plywood that seems sturdy underneath. I had two thoughts.

1. The rubber is fine and I can just insulate over top and save time.

2. I kind of want that rubber gone, just out of my house and it'd be nice to confirm that the plywood is okay everywhere. It's tough to get up. I bet it'll take me 4-6 hours of annoying labor. I suppose most people may have dealt with worse on their metal floors.

Next I'm going to figure out how I can remove the wiring on the right side of the bus which seems to have fed lights, speakers, and an emergency shut off switch for the rear hatch. With that rear hatch raised the bus will start but it will not leave neutral. I'll head to the electrical forum and try and figure out how to do that.

Also discovered that the ceiling was insulated with 1.5 inches of foam board yielding R7.5. As much as I'm dying to be cheap and reuse it. I know I can do more like R10-12 in that space with spray foam. Alternatively I might put it back up and spray foam over top. We will be in very hot climates at times so insulation is important especially because I'm not currently planning to delete any windows. Currently planning to lose 2 inches on the floor to insulation, plywood, and hardwood floor, and maybe 3/4 to 1 inch on the ceiling for a total headspace loss of 3 inches max bringing us down to 6"2'. Really wish I could have a ton of insulation, and a ton of headspace, but hey, it's a bus!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. If you're interested in following along, most of my activities will be chronicled in youtube videos, such as the one below.

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Old 11-23-2017, 08:50 PM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
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Year: 1999
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I'm not convinced spray foam will yield a much better R-value than the foam board already there, if it's in decent condition.

It might be a bit better, if it's applied evenly, but I would be concerned that it is a great deal of work, and money, for a small gain. You have a high ceiling. Why not just add another layer of foam board under it?

Just adding water could reduce the coolant strength to a %age that won't protect if it freezes hard. You be the judge.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:58 AM   #14
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The coolant not only helps to keep things from overheating but it also keeps things from freezing.

The other important aspects of coolant include the anti-rust inhibitors, water pump lubrication, and most importantly in a diesel engine is the way in which it reduces cavitation between the cylinders/liners and the cooling jacket.

Neutral pH is very important as well.

If your bus does not have a coolant filter you need to add something help with the pH and electrolysis. I have seen engines eaten up from having the pH wrong and the dissimilar metals eating themselves up. https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/PARHD20016
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:05 AM   #15
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Real nice bus, congrats!
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:09 AM   #16
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
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Super nice bus! Good luck on the build!


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Old 11-25-2017, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Air bags fail.

Air suspensions leak.

26K lbs. of bus on your chest makes it really hard to breathe!

Never, not ever, get under an air suspension bus without first blocking it up.

Using the air suspension to level will only work as long as the system holds air pressure. If your system retains pressure more than 12-hours it is exceptional! Most buses with air suspension will leak all of the air pressure off within 3-5 hours. Many highway coach buses will lean to the side that leaks off first. It is not unusual to see a line of MCI buses leaning one way or another. Most will not drop uniformly. And for some reason, once the system is down to zero they will still lean. Which is why most coaches do not park close to anything. I have seen where buses have leaned into the bus next to them. It can actually cause damage if two buses side by side lean into each other.

It appears as if you have found a great bus.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
my red bus air suspension holds pressure for weeks at a time .. the main air tank will go to 0 (i found a leak at a protection valve).. but the air springs are still up over a week later.. a nice tight air suspension is a very simple system and should hold air for a very long time.. but seems evem if you had to start your bus engine faily to pump up the air springs it wouldnt be a too bad thing..
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:21 PM   #18
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Very nice bus! Good luck on the build!
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:18 PM   #19
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Posts: 102
Year: 1987
Thanks for the coolant tips, Twigg and cowlitzcoach.

We will consider leaving all of the already installed foam board (although we'll have to figure out where each piece goes again) and spray foaming over top. That seems like a good combo of R-value and easy.

Made a bit more progress. Have the wall panels out, removed the adhesive behind them so that I can add studs/furring strips without that being in the way. Found a bit of surface rust behind the wall panels. Picked at it with an angle grinder and a braided steel brush attachment until it was mostly gone and then used Loctite rust converter on the problem areas. My Lowe's didn't have the usual Ospho product I see people using. There may be better products or angle grinder attachments to get the job done if you're reading this and looking for ideas for your project. I just bought what I saw could work and got it done. I have so little rust I'm not too worried about it.

You can see everything we did in the video below plus a little bonus trip to the beach.

I'll be priming all metal that I made bare when I exposed it with some Rustoleum metal primer, and will finally decide whether to leave the rest of the rubber floor intact and then the interior demo will be done. Next up I'll move to the exterior and start with the roof. I'll remove the drip rail above the windows which seems to have failed and let in some water, will treat any rust I find behind it.

I need to decide what I want to do on the roof. What I would like to do is replace the two emergency hatches with a solution that both vents it with a fan and turns it into a skylight. I'd rather not cut holes in the roof (but will if necessary) and I'd like to maximize space for panels. Too bad they don't make those fantastic fans around 24 inches. Seems ridiculous to me that there is no plug and play option for replacing these hatches with a fan and skylight. The only thing I can think of is to install a boat hatch, maybe there's something here that will work: https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/boa...ght-hatch.html and then fit a box fan up there somehow.

Other option is skin it over and install 14 inch fantastic fans but then I lose interior roof access...

Last option is install something like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...R663ZCHZ&psc=1 and then cut in two fantastic fans in different locations. Once again I lose roof access. Okay maybe I could do just one of the hatches.

Open to other ideas. Thanks for reading!

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Old 12-15-2017, 02:32 AM   #20
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 41
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Thomas B2B
Chassis: 281TS
Engine: MBE 926 7.2L 210HP
Rated Cap: 29,000 LBS
I love you guys bus!! I look forward to the seeing the transformation. I drove those kinds of Gilligs back in college and I love the way they drove! Good luck with the conversion and enjoy your videos!!
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