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Old 08-20-2015, 07:31 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 542
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Good day all. first time poster, longtime reader and owner of 95 Bluebird 72 pass capacity now under renovation.
I had the same problem after buying my bus which led me to the decision to go over the whole bus as in an electrical inspection and repair as best I could. This before deciding to convert it to what I had in my mind for an RV.
it turned out to be corrosion on the starter relay terminals which wouldn't allow power to the start solenoid. Cleaned it up and squeezed the wiring connections tighter on the terminals. Tried it and have never had a start issue since involving the starter.
Bus has the same engine, 5 speed standard though and goes like stink in top gear. The most I have seen her doing is 85 mph and climbing but ran out of safe road. She'll do that all day long too and never overheat, touch wood.
I'd like to start blog about my experience but still to busy buildin her but do have pics so if you'd like to see some, just contact me here and I can send.

Cheers, John
Belleville, Ont. Canada
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Bus has the same engine, 5 speed standard though and goes like stink in top gear. The most I have seen her doing is 85 mph and climbing but ran out of safe road. She'll do that all day long too and never overheat, touch wood.
I'd like to start blog about my experience but still to busy buildin her but do have pics so if you'd like to see some, just contact me here and I can send.

Cheers, John
Belleville, Ont. Canada
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Old 08-20-2015, 05:29 PM   #13
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Year: 2000
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Originally Posted by somewhereinusa View Post
You're starting at the wrong end. The first place to diagnose a no crank is at the starter/solenoid. If it does work back the other way.
I was thinking the same thing. Why not try hot wiring it? Put the key in the on position and use a jumper wire, with a fuse in-line if you're feeling conservative, to connect the solenoid control terminal to battery.

You could buy an in-line fuse holder, pop in a fuse like 20 amps maybe, and use it as the jumper between the control terminal and the battery supply terminal right there on the solenoid.

Hopefully it'll crank, start, and shut down again when you turn the key off.. It's possible that it might crank but not start, or start and promptly die, if there is some safety switch interfering. In any case, if it cranks at least, you can trace back through the wiring harness from solenoid to ignition key and see what's connected along the way. It's the slow "brute force" method, but in the absence of somebody who knows all the points to check, it's effective.
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:40 PM   #14
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Location: Andrews,Indiana
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Year: 1991
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Quote:
You could buy an in-line fuse holder, pop in a fuse like 20 amps maybe, and use it as the jumper between the control terminal and the battery supply terminal right there on the solenoid.
Or do it the way I do, short a screwdriver between big and little terminals on the solenoid.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:43 AM   #15
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Chassis: B3800 Short bus
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Originally Posted by somewhereinusa View Post
Or do it the way I do, short a screwdriver between big and little terminals on the solenoid.
Works great for glow plugs as well when the relay dies!
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Old 08-21-2015, 12:33 PM   #16
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Works great for glow plugs as well when the relay dies!
Done that a few times... a neighbor has a Bobcat skid loader and asked me to do some work on it. It was a bear to start! The second time he brought it to me I decided to look into the starting aid first. Discovered it uses glow plugs and they weren't energizing, so just went around back to jumper them for several seconds and then climbed into the cab and whaddaya know, the engine started up easy as can be. I told him the glow plug switch wasn't working and he asked how I could tell. So I showed him that pushing the glow plug switch didn't help the engine start, but using the jumper did. I think he still just uses the jumper wire.
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Old 08-21-2015, 03:19 PM   #17
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
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Rated Cap: 84
I've decided not to do anything until I am comfortable with what I'm doing.

However, in the mean time, I have been making calls around trying to focus on where I need to begin.

Yesterday I called the school district the bus came from and spoke to the mechanic in charge of the buses. He says I probably have a simple problem (safety interlock system, bad wiring/ground, etc) keeping the bus from starting. He noted that although the bus is old, that it was one of the best buses he had in his fleet. He gave me some history on it, so I am more comfortable that my issues are minor ones... perhaps just above my level of experience.

He says I must first find out why my shifter panel is blank. He says (as well as other transmission guys and John Kopalek) that my ECU is just fine. He stated that when I removed my battery connections that I must have done something unbeknownst to me that caused the no display problem. John Kopalek stated that my no display problem lies with the VIM and ignition somewhere... pretty much right along with the bus mechanic. Until I get my shifter to respond, I'll be dead in the water... so this is my #1 problem to remedy.

After I remedy my no display problem and get the transmission display back up, I then need to find my no start problem. I have directions on how to disconnect my interlock safety system now as well. He said a no start, no crank problem should be a breeze to figure out. He mentioned that more than likely, based on my scenario, that it's probably most likely just the interlock system. He mentioned that when my no display problem is fixed, to try to start the bus from the rear. He said this would help find out where to start looking depending on if the bus started from the back or not.

I'm lost on how to do any of this hahaha... yeah. I called around to every mechanic in town after talking to the previous bus mechanic, and I just happened to have gone through the only mechanic who does house calls. So, even though I have no idea what I'm doing... I'm sure I can do what needs to be done if I had step by step directions or some reliable, easy to understand resource and a good idea of breaking things down to small diagnoses one by one.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:00 PM   #18
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Not too sound harsh but if you come here for help to solve a problem, you need to answer questions that are trying to pinpoint the problem. You have called every mechanic and their mother in town and you have come up with what I told you about the door locks. Go figure. Why type long posts and ignore questions.

DOES THE STARTER CLICK WHEN TURNING THE KEY?
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:15 PM   #19
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Understood. No worries... I completely overlooked to add that in.

I wouldn't know, I can't here it from where I'm at up front. I don't have anyone to help with that as someone would have to be at the back of the bus while the key is turned over.

However, I managed to find a local school bus mechanic for the school district to come help and he should be here this evening. I'll take a look when he's here, but I'm being told by the other bus mechanics I've been talking to that it's not very likely to be the starter.

I'll know more later tonight.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:28 PM   #20
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Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Make sure one of you tries hot-wiring the starter while he's there..

If you happen to know somebody who does low-voltage wiring (phone, computer network, security, fire alarm, audio/video, etc) maybe ask whether they have a wire tracer they'd help you with. It's a small tone generator box which you clip to one end of a wire, and a hand-held probe which you can use to trace that wire without actually contacting it. The tone box could be attached to the control wire from the starter solenoid or to the start output from the ignition switch, then use the probe to follow along the harness and hopefully be led to the place where there's a switch interfering with the start.

For the tranny controller not powering on (and for the starter, really)... did you check for blown fuses yet?
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