Finally getting back into the swing of things. I had been in the process of getting my bus ready to pass inspection, and I finally got it inspected and got tags. Due to an error on my part and an error on the dealer's part, the bus was sold uninspected, and MD state law requires dealers to sell all vehicles inspected. I didn't know this at the time, and I didn't think to ask for an inspection cert upon the sale. So I was caught in a catch-22 of not being able to register it and get tags (even temporary) because there wasn't an inspection certificate, and not being able to get it inspected because I couldn't get tags. The great state of MD. Eventually I just decided to drive it over to inspection tag-less, where I was passed by an officer without him batting an eye. I guess people leave army green buses alone.
I wanted to get it registered because my next door neighbor was letting me keep it in his yard. Very, very generous of him, but I have to say, the color it is, it really doesn't stand out too much.
I put on some new LED marker lights all the way around, $6 each from SuperBrightLEDs:
I added 2 per side for better visibility.
I got what every 19 year old guy asks for for Christmas, a Dometic RV toilet:
A 12 volt domestic water pump good for 55 psi:
Four of these roof vents, to which I will attach 12vdc computer fans:
And a power center, with slots for 120 volt breakers, a 55 amp 12 volt power supply, and 12 volt automotive style fuse slots:
Pretty good Christmas this year. Last year all I got was BMW suspension parts
So I finally got to drive it on public roads once it was registered (my cousin drove it up from where I bought it, and my uncle drove it to inspection) and it is pretty fun. Loads of low end torque on this motor, that quickly drops off as the RPMs climb. I guess the compressor wheel on the turbo is smaller for better low end but doesn't put out enough volume at the top end to keep the HP up. A variable geometry turbo would be a lovely addition to this motor (and a very expensive one). Most newer car and light truck diesels use VGT's so that they can rev higher and drive more like a gasoline car, while still keeping that low-end grunt that makes them so great.
The motor runs great on this bus, HOWEVER, I have noticed ridiculously high oil consumption, but it didn't seem to be going anywhere. There are no leaks, and the motor doesn't smoke at all, not even under acceleration. The blow-by is not excessive either. So I did a little research on the subject, and I was pretty sure I had a problem that never even crossed my mind: this engine uses a system called HEUI (Hydraulic [over] Electronic Unit Injection) which basically uses really high oil pressure off a separate oil pump to actuate the injectors, rather than an injector pump (like on the side of a 12v Cummins) or a cam-driven injector. This system works pretty well, but since both oil and fuel flow through the cylinder head, if a seal or O-ring goes bad on the injector, the two can mix, and send engine oil into the fuel return line to the tank (since the oil is at a much higher pressure than the fuel in that area). So I opened up the bleeder on the bottom of the first fuel filter and lo and behold:
This is fuel from the tank after it has gone through a filter. It is BLACK with engine oil. So I think it is safe to say that is my problem. I ran it by my cousin who is a diesel mechanic and he said that problem is not unheard of, and the fix is usually just to replace the O-rings on the injectors, which isn't too difficult or expensive. Worst case scenario the injectors need changed, which is about $165 each, but since the engine runs fine otherwise, this is unlikely. It was going through about a gallon of oil every 2 hours of runtime.
Here's how it sits now, right next door:
This week (hopefully) I will be insulating the roof, running wires for lights and speakers, and reinstalling the ceiling panels.