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Old 02-19-2016, 04:53 PM   #21
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North carolina
Posts: 483
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Detroit 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Originally Posted by treenail View Post
Do a search on "masonry bits to drill steel"

How To Drill Hardened Steel

Thanks, I have never heard this and will be trying sooner than later
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:49 AM   #22
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Willis, TX
Posts: 31
Year: 1999
Chassis: Midbus
Engine: GM 5.7 L31
Rated Cap: 19
When we purchased the bus in January the first place we hit was the gas station and added just a few gallons of fuel to top the tank off. I was hoping for a huge tank.

Since we knew the tank was full and we wanted to know the tanks capacity we have been driving it without refueling carrying along a 2 gallon spare can with us. Well 325 miles later it stalled out. The last 20 miles or so it was also hard to start requiring extended cranking.

Went to the gas station to find out it has the 31 gallon tank GM specifies on express cutaway vans. We got 10.6mpg on that tank with mostly city driving, lots of idling, and ac on for about 20%.

The fuel sending unit also works perfectly hitting the red on E about 20 miles before stalling out.

I'm gonna get her weighed how she is currently and see if it's the wind resistance that lowers mileage so much compared to a suburban or if shes heavier than I suspect (or both).
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:00 PM   #23
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Willis, TX
Posts: 31
Year: 1999
Chassis: Midbus
Engine: GM 5.7 L31
Rated Cap: 19
cruise control and attacking noises

So I saved up enough to order my new cruise control turn signal indicator. She was about 30 bucks shipped.

The only other component this vehicle needs is the motor that pulls the throttle which I had a spare in my shed from another gm vehicle I tore apart.
At first I wasted 30 minutes reading on how to disable the airbag. Well, turns out there is no airbag. So that got easier.

Yanked the old Multi Function Switch out. Hardest part was the 2 wires that go over to what I believe are the transmission lockout switch. This prevents you from taking the vehicle out of park without pressing on the brake. (only relevent if the key is in the on position)

Set them side by side and verified that everything appears correct electrically. I haven't mounted the fire extinguisher yet.

Took a test drive and confirmed that I can hold cruise at TWENTY TWO MILES PER HOUR!!! That's the lowest I've ever been able to use cruise! I also verified that all other functions work as well.
All in all not a terribly hard project however I'll have my eye out for the correct cruise module (the cable lengths vary) and mounting bracket. Right now I'm using zip ties. Hopefully I can find an express van at the junkyard and score both someday.

The handle that opens to bi-fold doors rattles somethin fierce. I grabbed a few springs in my shop and played with some designs. I settled on something simple. A gm drum brake spring (new) anchored to the existing hole and drawn straight down to the bracket beneath it.

Now it's probably 200% harder to open/close but still not a challenge and worth every second of labor now that she's quiet. I can also still close the bi-folds from the outside and it latches like normal without any crazy effort.

The noisiest component in the bus is the rear ac. It rattles like mad on every single bump or every 5 feet of travel which ever comes first. Once I tore the cover off and dug a little deeper I found the pan beneath the system doesn't belong to this system. It's about 2" narrower so that was lovely.

I don't have a solution for that since the big cover on the outside is also incorrect. I might just fab up something out of sheet aluminum. Once it gets hotter I'll attack that project.
There were some missing rivets that apparently got in the way of a hack job repair. The blower motors are almost completely broken away from the unit. The only thing holding them on is some rusted wire wrapped around each blower unit half. 4 straps in total and 2 were broken off.

If I could find replacement blower motor housings I'd just build my own replacement parts for the unit. I searched for the blower model ph26025q and came up with zero results. If I can't replace these, I don't see a point in trying to spend more time/money attacking this.

For now however I'll just do what I can to get it quieter and working better. Once I had the tray off I secured the electrical wiring that was hanging into the drip tray and ran some stainless wire around the blower housings. My 2nd attempt failed so I decided why not run some ac zip ties instead.

Enlarging the lower hole to clear the zip tie was easy but the upper hole took my dremel and was more work than I'd like to do 3 more times so I left the 2 rust wires in place, my surviving stainless wire and the zip tie.

Ran her around the block without issue. Set cruise at 60mph and let the bus do the driving.

I can't imagine driving anything else than cruise control and an automatic transmission!

Someday I'll retrofit a google self driving mechanism in altogether. That would be the best day ever.
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:17 PM   #24
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 435
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
Cruise control? Whazzat?
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:07 AM   #25
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Arizona via Baton Rouge
Posts: 640
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
One of my best friends grew up in Bonifay, good ol' bay county.....

Great storie, and hope your build gets smoother!
My build thread - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=467197
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:03 AM   #26
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,341
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Dash mounted hand throttle. Old school CC and no electronics.
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