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Old 12-11-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
kirkndopp's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PDX, Oregon
Posts: 48
Year: 1988
Coachwork: bluebird
Leaving and Need tune-upish advice

We are leaving in two weeks for a LLLOOOONNNGGGG trip and need to do a semi tune-up on our bus. We haven't driven more than four hours at a time since we got it. It runs perfect but we could use some advice on what we should do to take-off. We have been told to grease it and change the oil. It's a diesel CAT engine with 200,000 miles on it. My husband is the handy one that has re-built many a VW engine so he'd probably understand your replies - I'm just the engine bonehead writing this.

Second question: We are heading to Mexico where the toll roads charge per axel. Can we assume we have two axels - we are a forty foot bus with six tires. I feel like this is the stupidest question but I just want to make sure of this because the difference in cost between two and four axels is astronomical on the toll roads.

OK, thanks for the all the advice btw. I feel like we couldn't have done this without this website. We know no other converters out there and wish we could find some down in Mexico. I hope to send this site some photos along the way to Guatemala in our bus. Thanks again to all!
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:06 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: hosuton, tx
Posts: 21
Year: 88
Engine: 7.3 international
Re: Leaving and Need tune-upish advice

the axle connects the tires side to side. an example: a semi tractor (not including the trailer) has 3 axles and 10 tires. so you've got 2 axles.

as far as the bus checks, i would find a local heavy truck or school bus service place and ask for their "multi-point inspection" list. it should be in advertising form. but it'll give you a good place to start for common and easy to check systems.

enjoy mexico. just be careful in the boarder towns. get into the heart of the country as quick as you can.
joining the u-haul club.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: downriver, detroit mi
Posts: 794
Re: Leaving and Need tune-upish advice

stop by your local drivers license place and pick up a cdl study manual, it has a good pretrip inspection checklist that will be a handy way to make sure all of the little stuff gets looked at .
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #4
Bus Nut
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MASS
Posts: 449
Year: 1993
Coachwork: THOMAS
Engine: CAT 3116
Rated Cap: 83
Re: Leaving and Need tune-upish advice

Hello. Here are a list of things to look at and do. Its a start.

Engine area:
Change oil, filter, fuel filter, air filter if not done recently. (If nothing was done at all since you've had the bus,then a full service would be in order. All fluids and filters changed)
Inspect hoses, lines for chafing or leakage
Check for fluid leaks under bus
Inspect belts for cracks. Engine pulleys for loose/worn bearings
Top off all fluids

Tire condition/tread
Lugnut tightness (look for shiny spots around the lugnut that would indicate one might be loose)
Oil level in front wheel hubs (if applicable)
Check condition of brake linings/pads (if air brakes.. Have them adjusted)
Check front end components for wear. (tie rods, drag link, king pins)
Check rear differential fluid level (if not changed already)

All exterior lights ( directionals,brake,reverse,parking/tail,4 way flashers,clearance lamps,headlights(high/low)
Loose and or broken glass or mirrors.
Exhaust pipes and hangers

Fire Extinquisher
Operational emergency exits (if applicable)
Wheel chocks/triangles
Instrument panel gauges working properly
Low air warning light/buzzer (if air brakes)
Automatic 20psi air brake pop up. This is to check to make sure the air brakes will apply when the air pressure gets around 20psi. Depress air brake knob and pump brakes until almost all the air is out and the brake knob should automatically pop up.

These are a few things that come to mind. A lot of these are CDL pretrip inspections. Others are for a routine PM (preventative maintenance).

You could also find a local heavy truck shop and walk in and tell them you would like a routine PM service done to your bus.

Have a safe trip!
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