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Old 09-06-2007, 09:34 PM   #1
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
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Step 1: Put a starter in it. NOW.

.

Step One to a successful skoolie conversion: Put a starter in it. NOW.

What is the most common roadside or parking lot repair? Flat tire? Dead battery? Not even close. Not for me, anyway. In my experience, it’s a worn out starter.

I replaced the starter on my hot rod roadster in a Bank of America parking lot. The guy who gave me a ride to the parts store and back was delighted to get a brief but rip-roaring ride in the roadster as thanks. I was less than pleased myself.

I replaced the starter on my Blazer in a Target parking lot. In the rain. Walked to the store and back. I was real thankful for a hot bath and dry clothes when I finally got home.

Several others.

This Tuesday, about Noon, we were ready to leave “Black Rock City”, 100 miles from abso-effin-lutely nowhere in the Nevada desert, when Millicent’s starter blew its last fart. I worked on it for a couple of hours in a blinding dust storm, but it was not repairable. While I worked I could practically hear my dried out fingertips cracking open. (I'm typing with my pinkies now.) So I bicycled to the “city” exit and hitched a ride to Reno with a pot-smoking old hippie and bought a starter. Back to Black Rock City the next day in a rental car. We got out of there exactly 24 hours late.

Wow, that new starter sure cranks a lot better than the old one ever did!

So: Based on 55 years of foolishly neglecting my starters until it was too late, I offer this suggestion: Unless you are REALLY SURE you have a sound starter in that clapped out skoolie you just dragged home, PUT A NEW STARTER IN IT.

NOW.


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Old 09-06-2007, 10:21 PM   #2
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Re: Step 1: Put a starter in it. NOW.

I bet you were loving that the starter is accessible from inside your bus in that dust storm.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:47 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Re: Step 1: Put a starter in it. NOW.


Yes, I did much of the work from inside. But the solenoid field wire terminal and two of the mounting bolts were better accessed from underneath.

We did indeed start out by tapping on it. Then banging on it. In various places. We took a long seat stem off a bicycle and used as a tapping/banging tool. By the time we got to the big rebar driving sledge, we conceded that method wasn't going to do it.

I also tried to disassemble the solenoid, and I took it off the starter, but the terminal cap did not seem to be field servicable -- there were soldered connections where I expected nuts that could be taken off so the cap could be pulled off the field coil stud. (But then, I'm no mechanic, so perhaps I blew it when I was ten seconds from fixing it. )

All fond memories now!

But I suppose I'll have the old starter analyzed so I'll learn something.

Next: alternator, water pump etc. At least have them with me.

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Old 09-07-2007, 12:03 AM   #4
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Re: Step 1: Put a starter in it. NOW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
Next: alternator, water pump etc. At least have them with me.
I would not want to do either one of those on a TC2000

When I bought my bus I talked to the bus mechanics and they seemed very happy to be rid of they're fleet of TC2000's... I guess they're not fun to work on. They kept trying to steer me away from them.

I remember them telling me what a PITA is was to get the serp. belt on and off, saying something about laying across the top of the motor and not being able to see what you're doing.

I hope I never have to do any repairs like that on my bus.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:15 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Posts: 2,116
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Re: Step 1: Put a starter in it. NOW.


On the Wanderlodge version of this vehicle, they have a HINGED RADIATOR that swings out of the way for access. It may be optional or aftermarket, but it exists. I have not seen one up close.

(I've tried to look into it on the Wanderlodge forum, but I encountered some electronic glitch that keeps me out of the forum and even their own administrator cannot solve it.)
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Old 09-08-2007, 10:19 PM   #6
jdd
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Re: Step 1: Put a starter in it. NOW.

i will second that my experience is with trucks but its the same idea being a long way from home fixing something on the side of the road sucks a new starter brings peace of mind if you shop around and can change it yourself or get some help to change it it has potential to save you a lot of expense and for the amount of mileage your bus would see will probably last the life of the bus i feel the same about an alternator a 150 amp delco 22 si is under 200 if you shop around new starter alt. and 20 dollar remote solenoid will eliminate a lot of problems and bring peace of mind
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