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Old 10-03-2015, 11:33 PM   #51
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Since I have removed all of the wiring harnesses and haven't hooked them back up yet, I don't know if I encountered and fixed the problem or not. I found problems in a few areas (burnt wires, disconnected/loose wires, blown diodes on the boards) but don't know if they affect the gauges. Needlesstosay, when I do start reconnecting things, all ground connections will be "shiny and chrome" : sanded, sealed, protected. There are data wires that run everywhere as well so I need to verify all of those connections. When your gauges are out, do you notice a difference in performance and shift pattern for the transmission?

Right now I priced my spray-foam insulation and it will be something like $3000 for just the materials. I won't be buying that just yet, since I need to buy and install windows, fix rust behind the sidewalls at the floor, and develop a nuclear fusion reactor. It really feels like that sometimes when I look at the floor.
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:09 AM   #52
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If you had a mechanical engine bus, I would say just use stand alone gauges.

I pulled my entire wiring harness and will be starting from scratch.

I know nothing about the engine you have.

I look forward to updates.

Nat
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:42 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHOMBUS View Post
When your gauges are out, do you notice a difference in performance and shift pattern for the transmission?
Not at all; I've never noticed anything strange happening when they drop, just that they're dropping. I ripped my dash open and found two small connectors to the back, both look fine, but there is something jumped off of one side. I need to try and figure out where that goes, because I imagine it has something to do with it.

Good news is, I just talked to a guy who works for International this past weekend who knows someone here in town (literally a block away from my house) that works on school buses. I may just have them take a look. I don't want to mess with the wiring of the bus, as I'm not that knowledgeable about it. I could build my own no problem, but looking at the diagrams for this bus has my head spinning.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:27 PM   #54
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I am in the process of removing the radiator to have it rebuilt. A shop right next door does all of that, and it will be a lot cheaper than buying a new one. The original radiator is so badly corroded from road salt that I can literally crumble the fins right off of the tubes. "Just remove the radiator and bring it to me and I can get started." Sounds simple, right? Not at all. Every bolt is rusted, some in nearly impossible places to reach with 2 wrenches to prevent spin which happens to EVERY last one of these. I had to remove about 10 screws from a lower body panel to remove another panel to get full access to the radiator, and now I think I'm going to have to cut the transmission lines going into the bottom of the radiator because the hose is frozen solid to the fittings. I'm okay with that though because the fittings on both ends, at the transmission and at the radiator, are looking really poor.


This fitting looks okay but is pretty much welded to the hose. The ones at the transmission are so rusted I think they might shatter when I go to remove them.

On a positive note, my bumper arrived today, and thanks to the radiator guy's forklift, it now sits in my shop. It is HUGE!


All of the steel widow panels are caulked inside and out, top and bottom, and I am trimming caulk and priming the exterior (interior is already primed). Then it will be window shopping literally. I've seen some inexpensive windows on the 'bay, but I'm a little hesitant. They are half the cost of Atwood windows from their online custom window store, but I wonder if they are disasters waiting to happen. My bus will really only have 4 or 5 windows at most, and a new driver's window.

I should really be sleeping.
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Old 10-17-2015, 03:15 PM   #55
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So, day 3 with the !@%#$ radiator. I'm beginning to think that the whole frame with the radiator and intercooler has to come out just to get the radiator out. Everything is bolted together in a such a way that I just don't know to get it out any other way. Not to mention how I will get it all back together again. Photos aren't really going to help much here since it would be very time consuming to explain what is bolted where and why. Suffice it to say that the radiator and intercooler have their own shared subframe that is bolted to the frame rails in the engine compartment. The individual pieces are then bolted to that subframe. The subframe seems to be designed so that even if you unbolted the components from it, you still would not be able to remove them. Brackets bolted through the upper and lower tanks bolt to the subframe, some in places behind the radiator making access nearly impossible while the assembly is still part of the bus. I read somewhere else online that an experienced mechanic with a full shop of tools take about an entire shift to replace one of these.

Also, DO NOT attempt to cut the transmission lines going to the radiator. I spent about 30 minutes with hacksaw and go nowhere other than needing to buy a new line. These lines are super tough. Plus, I discovered that if you grip the metal cap on the lines just before the fitting begins, then turn the fitting with a meaty wrench, they spin off like they should.

On another note:

Belt-driven air-actuated cooling fan (stock) vs multiple electric fans? I'm not sure what the power drain would be, but I would think that running the stock system would rob a little more power than the electric fans would. Thoughts? I figure if I'm going to get down this far into it, I might as well consider any upgrades.

Number of bolts sheared in half: 8
Knuckles scarred: 5
Obscenities uttered: often
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:52 AM   #56
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The transmission lines you speak of are braided hydraulic lines. New ones can be made up at any farm supply store.

Nat
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:08 PM   #57
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Quick note before I try to get a few hours of sleep before work:

Even if it costs $500 or more in just labor to remove and reinstall a radiator in a rear engine Thomas, it's worth it. I just blew another 2 hours and sheared 2 more bolts. That leaves me with 1 left holding the subframe in place, but 3 on the shroud where it bolts into the subframe. All of those bolts are nearly impossible to access. I'm wondering if the radiator assembly was put in before the engine, it's just that inaccessible.
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:00 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHOMBUS View Post
Quick note before I try to get a few hours of sleep before work:

Even if it costs $500 or more in just labor to remove and reinstall a radiator in a rear engine Thomas, it's worth it. I just blew another 2 hours and sheared 2 more bolts. That leaves me with 1 left holding the subframe in place, but 3 on the shroud where it bolts into the subframe. All of those bolts are nearly impossible to access. I'm wondering if the radiator assembly was put in before the engine, it's just that inaccessible.
From what I understand from our shop foreman, yes, it was. And yes, it's worth going to a professional shop to get it done right. Apparently there are some heavy duty tools that are needed to do it right. In addition, I've been told it's more than a one-person job.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:57 PM   #59
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All I have to say is...

SUCCESS!





This was the last point of contact I had to remove a bolt from, AND it didn't shear, AND I'm confident I can reattach it.


So, here's a look at some of the issues. The radiator and intercooler are bolted into a surrounding subframe so that even if you managed to detach them from that subframe, there's no room to remove them because of the subframe.



Using my 3 ton floor jack as a balance point on the lower portion of the subframe, I was able to slowly lower the whole assembly onto a cart. The whole thing is pretty heavy. I haven't weighed it, but could lift it and carry it for a few feet before needing to stop.


So, eventhough it was very frustrating, and I sheared more than half of the bolts involved, I would do it again now that I know how it all goes.

Time to get to work cleaning up that part of the engine compartment.
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:33 PM   #60
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Replacing the offending fasteners with all stainless would certainly make any future such removal a tad easier.
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