Alright no updates for a while. I have been busy working and chilling out. I don't know what to do with my spare time anymore! I think I'll buy another bus
So I changed the fuel filters. The water seperator bowl has a heater in it which doesn't connect to anything, no plugs to be found that could possibly go to it. It starts fine in 25 degrees so I guess it is alright.
New filters. CAT was $15 and Parker / Racor was like $30 or 35.
These buses were hired for my sister's prom night. There were like 86 kids or something. The orange bus was a heap, but the one in back was nice. The orange bus had an air leak on one of the bags and he got stuck on our street for a little while cause the brakes wouldn't disengage. They paid $65 a person for these buses, I seriously am considering a CDL and buying some more (nicer) buses and making bank off things like that, haha.
I should be taking more pictures, but this is all I have. I am starting to take pieces off to fix my exhaust leak. After talking to a diesel tech, he believes that the exhaust leak could have been causing my overheating, because not enough gases get into the turbo > the turbo isn't putting out enough boost > the engine is overfueling for the amount of air going in >runs hot. I thought this was a long shot since the ECU uses a boost gauge and an intake air temp sensor, and the thing wasn't smoking at all (excess of fuel would have led to black smoke) but it is still possible. I have to take off the air intake / filter tubing to the turbo, the alternator, (it is in the way) and a few misc hoses to get to the exhaust manifold easier.
The turbo seems to have a lot of shaft play but I have heard that it is normal on trucks. It isn't blowing smoke so nothing is broken yet and when it spools up it sounds smooth. It is a wastegated turbo, BorgWarner I believe. If it ever goes, a replacement is $500-1000, (aftermarket rebuilt) which isn't exactly free but it isn't as bad as you'd think.
Upon further investigation, there is a broken exhaust bolt on the port where the gasket failed. It appears to have been broken for a while. Does anyone have any advice for extracting broken bolts from the head? I have used screw / bolt extractors with mixed results, and this is one I really really do not want to eff up. I have had the best luck with the square screw extractors that look like this. However I have broken one of these before, and it is very heard (read: impossible) to drill these out if they break because the metal is so hard.
Another possibility is dremeling it out and using a helicoil or something but I would really rather not do that.
My AmTran handled the haul back from Maine beautifully, governed about 65, but its getting there that's half the adventure. Rear engine's are a definite for quiet rides. The two buses I drove up to Ft Drum for annual training were both FEs (A Thomas, I think, and a 00 BB that couldn't get out of its own way up I-81), and engine noise hour after hour was a killer. And the nice thing about the RGBs is you can have them on so your passengers can read, write, whatever but you're not blowing your nightvision
My thoughts exactly. I had them set to blue on a lower brightness while driving at night which caused no glare issues and put out a lot of light without being distracting. We slept with it red at night, just like a 1940s naval ship I slept on in elementary school (not sure if they still use that today or not). I think they do that to keep your night vision while still having enough light to see.
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
So how is it have that sixth gear? Any better MPG? Does it drive better at highway speeds? I need a report so I can decide if I want to do it to mine.
I didn't get a chance to get that done before I left. I literally finished electrical (inverter wiring) at 2 am the day we left for Memphis. My cousin who has been in Afghanistan for a year or so is coming back soon, and he believes he has the correct Allison software and connectors to take care of the software flash. If that ends up working out that would save me like $300 and I will call you up and see if he will do yours for a case of beer or something. I cruised in 5th the whole way and while it is unpleasant thinking about that engine taching out the whole way, it only used a quart of oil the whole way (2,000 miles) on very hilly roads. There was a stretch of I-40 near Asheville where the going gets reeeal rough and steep and trucks are limited to 35 (for good reason). I used the trucker "stab braking" technique in order to avoid overheating my brakes on the downhills. It made me nervous as hell but we made that stretch just fine. My friend was looking at an altimeter on his phone and we dropped like 1000 ft of altitude in 5 minutes of driving. Upon going back home, I was on 495 near DC and traffic to the left of me was stopped while traffic on the right was doing 50 or so, and a woman in the standstill traffic pulled out in front of me about 20-30 feet ahead of me while I was doing about 50, and I hit the brakes as hard as I could, fully expecting to hit her. This dumbass didn't even floor it or look in her mirror and would probably have been killed had I even blinked before she did that. Luckily, the brakes in the bus are very very VERY good and stopped us with room to spare even in such close quarters. Stuff went flying though.
I didn' pay close attention to MPGs but the one or two times I calculated it, it was between 10 and 11.5 mpg. That is without 6th gear and without full boost pressure. I am willing to bet I could crack 13 mpg once I get this taken care of, anyone care to wager?
So after the mechanical stuff is in order I will begin plumbing, hopefully finish that quickly, and put some sort of flexible shelving system in the space where the crapper was going to go. Finish up trim, make it look nicer, and put up actual curtain rods because the temporary magnetic ones we got are not ideal. I am also looking for another job because mine pays pretty poorly, is mind-numbingly boring and has no room for moving up. Also I should really go back to college.