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Old 05-07-2015, 10:44 AM   #691
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It's great to see your still busing around.

I'm also looking forward to this.

The four bolts that hold that support were imposable to get loose on mine. Rust and no room to get at them, I cut the whole mess up.

Nat
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:49 AM   #692
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The upper bolts run fore-and-aft and are perfectly accessible so can be cut with an angle grinder, if need be. But it does not look like that will be necessary.
The bottom bolts run up-and-down and are tucked into a tight spot, so they could only be cut with a long blade on a sawsall, and they are grade 8, so lets hope they break loose with wrenches. It will take a U-joint on the socket, which is always an iffy affair. We will know in a couple hours.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:03 PM   #693
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Sorry Elliot, I used the wrong smily. I didn't mean to stick out my tongue.

Looking back at my pics now, I think a few ratchet wrenches would have been a massive help. At the time I did mine, I didn't have any yet.

Nat
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:23 PM   #694
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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And... it is out.





This is how the socket had to sneak onto the bolt. The difficult part is keeping the socket from tilting and slipping. The extra long extension provides more leverage to hold the socket straight on the bolt with my right hand.





Close up. The socket is black, and there is a piece of black tape on the extension, but it should be possible to make it out. Note the box end wrench holding the nut at the bottom. There is a scrap of wood under it to keep it from falling off the nut.





Use only 6-point tools for this! 12-point tools are sometimes necessary in tight places, but this ain’t it.





Before it goes back together, I will cut clearance so the nut can be reached straight-on from below. I find it difficult to forgive Blue Bird for not doing this. There is no problem with structural integrity, since this is forward of all engine and suspension components. The lower section extending forward does nothing but hold the bumper and tow hooks.

The fan belt was quite ripe for picking, yes. As are the radiator hoses. Just dumb luck we got away with running these as long as we did.

Nat-ster, no worries about the smiley! All smileys are good smileys. That's why we call them smileys.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:32 PM   #695
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Glad to see it went well.

Yours was a world cleaner than mine. Mine had min 1/2 inch of oil and dirt completely covering the front.

My radiator and intercooler were almost completely blocked off.

Your bus is still in fine shape.

Nat
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:12 PM   #696
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Cleaned battery terminals today -- all six of them. Serious corrosion on a couple cable-ends. This ought to be done every year. But the batteries are now now eight years old and going strong. Added water to them for the first time, I think. Buying quality pays off.

In between all the engine-related work, there is also the interior to prep for the season. And I was reminded of a mistake I made way back when I installed the shower. You want to learn from this if you plan to install a fiberglass shower basin or stall:

To keep the floor from flexing and cracking, it is customary to place some plaster or foam or some such under the floor -- something that molds to the shape of the floor and then hardens. Well, I used expanding foam. Trouble is, this tends to keep expanding as it hardens, and it pushed the floor up. The walls were screwed fast, but the foam pushed the middle of the floor, with the drain, up a bit. So now I always have to mop out the shower, since the drain is not the lowest spot like it should be.
Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:35 PM   #697
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Fuel linkages.
On the left is the fuel shutoff solenoid link. Note that one rod-end separated when I took it off the engine.
On the right is the accelerator pedal link. Note that one rod-end has been jury-rigged with a hose clamp. This rod-end separated on I-5 a couple years ago, and the hose clamp worked so well I left it on there another 8,000 miles or so. (I was not on the trip.) But no more!

That Peter and Mike were able to effect the hose clamp repair was partly talent and skill, but also partly dumb luck – in the part being accessible, and in having a suitable “patch” on hand. (Bailing wire could be used.) And you sure wouldn’t want such a failure in city traffic.

So the lesson here is… replace linkage rod-ends before they become this worn. There are others, not in the photo, and they are pretty much not accessible without removing the radiator.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:57 PM   #698
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The angle grinder with cutting disc took a bite from the upper flange of the bumper bracket, and also a small notch from the lower flange with a grinding disc. Now I have a straight shot at the radiator mounts. With this task so much easier, I will make it a hobby to remove the radiator every Wednesday.

Never do anything like this to the actual frame rails of a bus!
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:46 AM   #699
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Millicent is back on the road -- even if a week late, because Blue Bird shipped me parts destined for a different customer, and my parts to them. Lesson learned: Start work early, and order parts early, to have plenty leeway before the next scheduled trip.

Next lesson: Anytime significant work is needed around the engine of a forward-control bus, remove two things: The doghouse and the driver's seat. The doghouse is obvious and easy, but you will be glad you removed the driver's seat also. (Depending on what exactly you need to reach, of course.) (Forward Control = front engine, flat nose)

I found it easier to reach the upper radiator hose clamps and the intercooler hose clamps from inside. This may not be possible in the initial disassembly, depending on how the factory placed the clamps, but for reassembly it allows more room to swing the ratchet.

Rather than refurbish the linkage that operates the fuel shutoff with an electric solenoid, I replaced that entire system with a simple push-pull cable. This eliminates failure of the solenoid, and failure of the relay that controls it -- that relay being somewhat notorious. Now I just pull the cable out to run, and push it in to stop the engine. Photo to come.

In other news.... My brother has a nifty toy-hauler camping trailer (which we used last weekend while Millicent was awaiting correct parts), and that tailgate has a clever type of latch which I want to duplicate for Millicent. Or perhaps I can buy the latches and save a lot of fabricating-time. Anybody have a wrecked toy hauler sitting around?

Finally, among other parts that should probably be replaced soon are the turbo-charger/intercooler hoses. They got bent around a bit while the radiator was out, but are very flexible and seem to have suffered no harm. And I had the turbo pressure up to the normal max of 17 or 18 PSI on yesterday's test drive. Still, they are 23 years old with 240,000 miles on them.

Oh... finally, finally.... On the test drive, one end of the accelerator link came off. (Ironically, it was the one that had been jury-rigged previously.) I could have sworn I tightened the nut on the new one, but the evidence suggests I didn't. Lesson: Go over EVERYTHING one last time before putting the lid back on.

Also, a mandatory trick when going on a test drive: Bring ALL the tools and supplies that were used in the repairs. Plus bailing wire.

We leave on Millicent's first outing of the season in 24 hours.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:59 AM   #700
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Sorry 'bout the issues but glad to hear you are "on the road again".

Damn...now I'll have that song stuck in my head all day!
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