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Old 03-23-2016, 07:40 PM   #741
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
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Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Today the Main Ticket Sale for Burning Man took place, and that means another step up the ladder of preparations.

To bring you up to speed.... I run a Theme Camp at that annual event, and our main gig is bicycle repair. Last year there were 24 of us. We repaired 494 bicycles. There will be more than 30 of us this year.
Also, we are adding more features, such as Reiki, Shiatsu, massage, and other Healing Arts stuff, so we can tune up our customers while we tune up their bikes.

This means bringing more Stuff to the event. And Millicent was severely overloaded last year.

So I'm brainstorming. I could use a second vehicle. Maybe a big box truck. Or another bus.

So.... I'm inviting suggestions and leads.
It would have to be one of those "fantastic deals" that sometimes crop up -- low mileage, big engine, new transmission, 40 feet long, turn-the-key-and-drive-it-home-for-$1,500.- sort'a thing.

It could be a conventional or a pusher. But NOT a forward control like Millicent.

I'm in Northern California, 100 miles north of Sacramento.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:52 AM   #742
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Elliot,

Since my wife and I can't afford two buses, my daily driver is going up for auction in either June or July. She's a beautiful bus in need of a good home. The engine was rebuilt 21K miles ago. She runs beautifully. If you're interested, just PM me and I'll give you all the details. I'd really like for her to get a good home.

M1031
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:58 AM   #743
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Posts: 2,057
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Thanks, M1031!
Katy, Texas, is a bit far from me, but who knows... and a friend of mine very near Katy is looking for a bus.

Another thing I'm looking for is a Blue Bird parts bus to cut some body parts off. I want the rear roof-cap and a few roof bows. So if you know of a Blue Bird in a scrap yard in Northern California....

In other news.... I'm now asking a local mechanic what it would cost to replace Millicent's king pins, and also her springs. Anybody here had king pins done?
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:37 AM   #744
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Crazycal did last year or so he is somewhere in cali...and welcome back
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:31 PM   #745
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Yes, CrazyCal is about three hours from me. I'll check with him. Thanks.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:19 PM   #746
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
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Rated Cap: 84
Trip report.

Actually... a repair report.
The first trip of the season began late last week with the first starting of Millicent. We were going to leave by Noon Friday, so I turned the ignition key late Thursday to bring her out of the back yard.

Nothing.

My trusty test lamp showed me there was no juice coming from the ignition switch. She cranked when I jumped the terminals on the starter.

Opened the dash and wiggled the connector. Started right up.
And ran for ten seconds.

Secondary fuel filter not full.
Changed primary fuel filter, which caused this problem once before. Still no fuel.

Removed secondary filter and cranked her over. A decidedly non-impressive trickle of fuel.

Local NAPA Auto Parts had it in stock! Thank you Dodge, for putting millions of these engines (Cummins 5.9) in your pickup-trucks. The receipt reads 1995 Dodge 1-ton.

The pump lives on the left side of the engine block. One hose, one steel line and two bolts. Two hours. There is no room in there! Never buying a Forward Control bus again.

That done, she ran like a rocket.

A "teaching moment":
There are four spare components that ought to be carried in a bus, with all the needed tools -- unless they have been replaced recently: Starter, alternator, fuel pump and water pump. Of course, I have not followed my own advice.

Replaced the starter in Black Rock City in 2007.
Just barely made it home from a Kinetic Race when the rear bearing in the alternator disintegrated a couple years later.

Millicent is now down to the water pump. I ought to buy one real soon!

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Old 06-01-2016, 06:30 PM   #747
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add a 5th.. an air governor if you have air brakes.. they are notorious for going out and not allowing the unloaders to trip back into service till your spring brakes start to apply..

glad its back on the road again!! and that you didnt bust down in the middle of nowhere like I did

-Christopher
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:24 PM   #748
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Engine: 5,9 Cummins
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I drove 18-wheelers for 27 years, and the only time I had an air governor fail was when it froze. Pennsylvania, December 1983 -- the year Christmas was largely cancelled in much of the country because of the ferocious cold-snap.

I did have an air compressor fail -- with a bang -- rod thru the block.

But your point about the air governor is well taken. Let's add it to the list.

And fan belt.
On Millicent, I found it unrealistic to change the fan belt without removing the radiator. And the radiator was a bugger. So with this type bus, I am tempted to recommend that owners remove the radiator once, at home, for practice. I wound up cutting clearance for tools in the frame-extensions (radiator support, bumper support) to make it much easier next time.

We could continue the list in descending order of priority.

Oh... come to think of it.... I didn't even consider it, because I count it as absolutely obligatory: Fuel filters! Both. Most Diesels have a primary fuel filter and a secondary fuel filter. I'd make those 1 and 2, so now we have seven.

A few years ago on this forum, somebody mentioned Neutral Safety Switch. That's the switch that keeps us from starting the engine with the transmission in gear. But it can be bypassed.

Hose clamps. From the tiniest up to huge. Heck with duct tape. Hose clamps! Fabulously useful. "Steel zip ties".

Many truckers carry a tire. Just a tire, no rim. Any truck stop or road service can change it out, but you'll pay dearly for a tire at 2 a.m. -- if they even have your size back at the store. But storage space is at a premium in most skoolies.
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:53 PM   #749
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Posts: 2,057
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Fuel filter head repair

Last year, Millicent's secondary fuel filter came lose on a couple occasions, and it was then tightened quite severely.

When I later unscrewed it to change it, the nipple -- the threaded hollow tube that the filter screws onto -- came out with the filter.

Today I finally went to town on it.

A bit of quality time online established that the nipple is readily available for reasonable money. So I drove an old-fashioned extractor into it. Guess what! The filter suddenly dropped about 1/4 inch into the filter, and then unscrewed normally.

The threads in the filter were badly stripped.
Best I can analyze this.... When the filter was over-tightened, the threads stripped, but we had the amazing luck that the metal also seized. Sort'a friction-welded itself in place. Whacking it with the hammer on the extractor broke it free.

Guess what, again! The nipple has nasty marks from a previous re-installation with Vice Grips. Some frustrated school bus mechanic in Oregon had fought this demon before. The nipple has a "screwdriver slot" from the factory. Clearly, that does not get the job done. And I have confirmed this on at least one Cummins-related forum.

When the filter kept loosening last year, it was not the filter that was unscrewing from the nipple, but the nipple unscrewing from the filter head (also called filter base of filter mount, or whatnot. Cummins calls it the filter head).

This time it will get fixed to stay. In the next episode of... MILLICENT, THE MECHANICAL MYSTERY BUS! ...on most of these stations.



This time it
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:19 AM   #750
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Dirty little bugger!
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