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Old 04-02-2017, 06:06 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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I tried to sort this out, but I need reinforcements. Bus won't start...ughhh

1998 Thomas SafTLiner, 3126 CAT, 3060 trans. Bus ran perfectly when pulled into the shop, never a hiccup. Removed the stop sign, seats, flooring, roof hatches, now it won't start. There is a buzzer, but it's not the emergency buzzer.

I've checked all the doors, emergency locks, etc. All the emergency handles and openings actuate a different buzzer. Regardless, I've checked and rechecked. There are no vandal locks (per search), so that's not the issue.

The side sign has no pressure switch or indicator it was open/shut. Just wires for the lights. I've attempted to start the bus from the rear pushing in the rear door interlock, ignition on switch and push to start...does nothing.

Bus barely sat at all from time I removed interior and sign before I found it wouldn't start. I feel it's highly unlikely to have a bad starter or solenoid by coincidence, definitely seems like an interrupt. When I turn the key to on position, multiple clicks occur in side panel and rear, just as it did when it started before.

I'm a bit perplexed. I've looked at the video of the interlock bypass and mine doesn't have the same wiring added. I've searched for some wiring diagrams, as I'm very capabe electrically (built custom fuel injection systems for racecars from scratch, etc).

The bus is new to me, but here is some small things I noticed. 1. Step near door light goes out when I attempt to start (assume this is normal). 2. The buzzer has quit entirely on a couple of occasions, but still no start. 3. My bus has an additional emissions monitoring system added by a company name Donaldson. It has a driver panel added light that indicates issues, overheating, etc. I'm unable to determine if this is actuating the buzzer. The buzzer that is actuated is old and appears original though, buried under a mass of wire in the front side panel.

I need some assist here. What am I missin? Problem is, I may have an unexpected cross country move necessary and may have to sell this bus unfortunately (not happy). 1998 Thomas, zero rust at all, ran perfect, rear engine with belly storage.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:12 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
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Currently buzzer isn't going off upon retry...no buzzers.

Key on initiates 4 clicks in succession, each progressively closer to the rear of the bus and it cycles that sequence 2 x in a row (8 clicks total). I recall this being normal when it ran. When I then turn to start, I hear a solenoid click in the side panel, but no start.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:16 PM   #3
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I believe there is a safety interlock on some of these busses. It's been a few years since I drove a full spec school bus.

Check your doors and E exit. If you removed anything look and besure you don't need to bypass a switch.

If your stop light system has been removed there maybe an interlock on that. Without seeing the bus it can be tough to tell for sure. I did a couple of runs with a Thomas RE but not enough to learn the in's and outs.

You should be able to sell that here on the forum for the right price. Sounds like a nice spec bus. What speed does it travel on the interstate?

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Old 04-02-2017, 06:23 PM   #4
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I picked it up an Kentucky and drove it 450 miles home, no issues.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:26 PM   #5
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So, here is my panel



This is pointing to the buzzer that is actuating...it seems to come and go, or be off and suddenly come on for no apparent reason. There is no air in the bus, but I've never heard the low air or low oil pressure buzzer, not sure if that's it or not.



The buzzer has two red/black wires to one pin and a light green from the other. Light green goes forward to the front of the bus...trying to track it.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:34 PM   #6
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find the fuel solenoid and hot wire it to check if it is a switch consider a separate on off switch
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:37 PM   #7
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The bus will start with no air, ideally the air system should be bleed down when you park at the end of the day anyway (at least per CDL training).

Question: does the engine turn over? If not or if slowly you will need to either fully charge the batteries or get a heavy set of jumper cables or two sets of regular car cables and allow a jumper vehical to charge the batteries 10 min prior to cranking it.

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Old 04-02-2017, 06:38 PM   #8
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A low voltage situation can prevent a bus from even turning over. To me this really sounds like an interlock issiue.

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Old 04-02-2017, 06:52 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Chassis: E350 #Vanlife
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Bus batteries are good, I even have a plug in charger on them for periodic maintenance. Power is definitely adequate.

I agree that is sounds like an interrupt, but from what?
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:24 PM   #10
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I'd work backwards. Find your starter solenoid. The small wire running to it should be hot when the key is turned. if its not, put power to it to see if it will start. If it does, trace the color back. Thats the most likely place for them to interupt.
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