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Old 03-30-2007, 02:57 AM   #1
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Olde Skool update

Yesterday, I made some astonishing discoveries on Olde Skool...

I came to realize... that she was never actually a school bus...
What that means is that there isn't four big holes in the sheet metal that I'm gonna have to patch ... and it also means several less electrical circuits to try to figure out ... Yes !!!

I found out that the bus choke cable is a foot longer than the one that came off of the '72 bump.. dang!!! I says to myself... I got the one from the bus off and got it staightened out enough to pull the center out... It was stuck real good... actually pulled the handle off getting it out. I took some steel wool and cleaned the wire real good and coated it with some white grease and stuck it back in the housing... now, it works like a champ.

I have been utterly amazed by some of the things I have found...

As I was crawling around on the floor fixing the choke cable, I noticed this red wire coming through to the inside of the fire wall... I traced it down... one end was bare and attached to nothing inside ... the other end was connected to a heavy black wire going to the front left turn signal... I assumed that maybe someone had tried to patch in a hot wire to make the turn signal work... after disconnecting the wire I used a jumper and tester to check to see if there was power... the wire was dead... ah ... but when I touched it with tester (attached to the positive battery post)... my test light came on... someone cut into the wire and ran a red wire to the ground wire and ran it inside the bus and attached it to nothing... wuuuzzzupppwitdat?? I switched leads and ran the jumper to the positive and connected the tester to ground and ... you guessed it, the turn signal light came on. ... Now, I'm gonna get some shrink tubing and fix that right... Then, I'm gonna start looking for other ghost wires and remove them as well.

Now for the treasure map adventure...

I have been searching the country high and low for a wiring diagram for this bus... it has been like the quest for the Holy Grail...
As I was cleaning up the bus, I actually found the plastic printed wiring diagram in a few pieces... like a puzzle... I brought it in the house and cleaned it up and matched all the pieces... there is a little over 3/4's of the diagram there... but alas... it was like finding all the pieces to a treasure map... except the one missing piece that has the big red X on it... the pieces I have lists all the wire colors and how the harness runs... it does not tell me which color wire goes to which circuit... that's the piece that's missing... X marks the spot... arrggg

I did manage to make some 8 foot ramps so I could roll things in and out of Shorty... I nearly gave myself a double hernia trying to get my 30 gal/6 HP air compressor inside without help... I know there has to be some multiplication factors goin' on here... I have no problem picking the thing up and tossing it in my Caravan...
hmm let's see ... the door is only 3 feet higher from the ground.. yep I can do this... nope ... dang... I should thought about using the steps before trying to pick it up... good thing I'm not thinking about havin' any more kids...
Shorty's asleep now... so I better catch some shut eye before I hear her beconing cry....
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:20 AM   #2
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Isn't it fun to find how some folks do things....especially in the wiring area! When I was doing my demolition of "Big Gary" I discovered the very dangerous wiring practices of the previous owner. It gives me shudders to think that I actually lived in this bus for six months with the potential of an electrical fire at any moment. So I'm in the planning stages and I've got several electrician friends that I'll be plying with beer to help me rewire our bus properly...(beer after work is done not before or during).
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:28 PM   #3
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Speaking of bus wiring.
I was working on a white short bus I think it might have been a champion body or something it was a 1991 model.
Anyways most of the rear clip lights had quit working on it so I was up on a ladder looking at it and discovered that the morans that built the thing used a short piece of wire and a crip connector between each light. Now myself I am not a fan of crimp connectors so I ended up running a new wire through to each one fishing it to the next hole and soldering it to a piece of wire to each light. I could have removed the inside paneling but it was just faster to fish it.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:45 PM   #4
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Crimp connectors are like tree rings. On my two buses -- specially the older
one -- I can/could read the history of the bus by the layers of crimp
connectors bypassing fried wires.
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:36 AM   #5
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Even worse than the crimp connectors are those no crimp splice connectors where you just fold a metal clip over and it slices into the wire. The only one I've found to be worth a $hit is the Posi-Lock style. They are cool, but you pay....oh do you pay. I do keep a few around for emergency repairs though. Interestingly enough, Bulldog Security does not recommend any type of connector or solder when installing one of their remote starters. I'm going to be installing one and I can understand not soldering until you know you have the correct connections made, but you can be darned sure I'm going to be soldering and shrinking or atleast crimping my connections depending on space. Something about braiding and electrical taping seems too booty fab even for me.
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:38 AM   #6
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Olde Skool update

Hey all,

I finally got some pictures of Olde Skool posted to the site...
I finally located a new turn signal switch... The company is Shee-Mar... I sent them a couple of photos of my old switch they identified it and I ordered one. It came in a few days. I hooked it up, but still don't have any blinkers.
I made a field trip to the local school bus barn... I made a new friend
I have been revamping/replacing some of the sockets and had to buy a couple of replacement lights as well... wouldn't you know it.. it has rained ever since I got the new lights. My new best friend told me that the blinker probably won't work until I get all the lights hooked up to draw enough power to trip the switch. we'll see as soon as it stops raining..
Such is life...

Take care..
kaptnKAOS
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Ya learn to live with it and clean up after its mess... KaptnKAOS

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Old 04-26-2007, 03:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
...blinker probably won't work until I get all the lights hooked up to draw enough
power to trip the switch
This is an age old problem with light duty vehicles like passenger cars. The function of the
blinker relay (flasher) is dependent on the electrical load. Back in auto mechanics school
(a few centuries ago) it was explained that this is deliberate, so that you will notice
when one bulb burns out -- the blinkers will not blink.

Conversely, if you add bulbs, such as when hooking up a trailer, the blinker will blink far
too fast -- often to the point that the bulbs never reach full brightness. The routine fix
for this is to install a Heavy Duty flasher.

A bus should already have a HD flasher -- unless somebody substituted a car flasher
somewhere along the way.

I swear by a SOOOPER HEAVY DUTY flasher used in various commercial vehicles. Signal-Stat part
number 10-53. It costs about 30 bucks, but besides working well, it makes a lovely metallic
ticking sound that cuts thru all reasonable noise without being the least bit obnoxious
-- keeping me from driving all day with the turn signal on!
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
keeping me from driving all day with the turn signal on!
And looking like a dumbass. I have never forgotten them on. Well, maybe once or twice. There could have been a third time.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:59 PM   #9
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...And a fourth? And a fifth.... And a...

Some vehicles have "secret" turn signals, and then I slap a 10-53 on it. End of problem.
I'm getting ready to put one on my motorcycle. Some of these bikes came with a
buzzer for this purpose, and it was so obnoxious that people disconnected
them. The 10-53 makes a lovely tick that "belongs" just fine.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:28 PM   #10
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backatcha

hey Elliot,

Thanks for getting back to me.
Who carries that flasher unit? Is it something someone can just pickup at a parts house or does it have to be special ordered?

Thanks,
KaptnKAOS
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