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Old 03-01-2019, 09:22 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Driving a bus home that hasn't been driven for 2 years...

Hi all, I'm sure many of us have wittingly or unwittingly driven buses that sat parked for at least a year or more back to their new homes, I'm curious if there's a consensus on whether that's a terrible idea or not.

Here's my situation:

Bus is about 150 miles from my house. It has been parked for the better part of 2 years in a parking lot. Apparently it only has about 1/4 tank of fuel. I'm assuming the last time it was serviced was when the current owner bought it from the school district about 2 years ago.

I know I need to check the tires for cracks and bulges, check all the fluid levels (transmission fluid when warm, oil when cold), make sure the air system holds pressure, do a leak test, etc. I can pick up some extra oil and maybe even some filters (if I can figure out what kind I need) before I head home.

Is this advisable or should I just drop the bus off at a local shop and come pick it up when it's been fully serviced? None of the shops in the area can get to it until next week.

I'd appreciate your thoughts, I have to make a choice really soon (by this afternoon)!

-Dan
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:32 AM   #2
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2 years is tricky. The tires tend to deform after just a few weeks, but they generally recover after a heat cycle or three. At some number greater than that, they don't recover. I don't know that that length of time is. Fuel may have water contamination, keeping the tank full is recommended for storing for any length of time. Consider the oil and transmission fluid as being time to change them as those fluids degrade over time not just from use.

With that said, i try to avoid paying shop rates for anything I can do myself, even if I have to buy a tool or two to do the job. If the fluids are full I'd expect after 2 years that they will work well enough to do the job to get you home.. provided the rest of your checklist looks good of course.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:32 AM   #3
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Fuel filters would be my biggest concern, so bring( get) some spares if you can.

This is assuming it starts and builds air, and all else looks to be good.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:33 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
Fuel filters would be my biggest concern, so bring( get) some spares if you can.

This is assuming it starts and builds air, and all else looks to be good.
Would some place like Napa be likely to have the right filters?
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:35 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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The ones that sell truck parts yes they should.
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:41 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Microbial Bacteria (often incorrectly referred to as Algae) can pose an issue in stagnant diesel fuel. Make sure to check your fuel tank and filters.
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:43 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by GWRider View Post
Microbial Bacteria (often incorrectly referred to as Algae) can pose an issue in stagnant diesel fuel. Make sure to check your fuel tank and filters.


Yeah, I plan to look into the tank as much as possible. Are the fuel filters usually “wet” or can I pull them off with the bus not running and stay relatively dry?
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:11 PM   #8
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Need to know chassis manufacturer and motor to be able to answer that.
Different things were done over the years but most diesel fuel filters are wet.
If you can reach it from the top you can probably stay dry if you have to pull it from underneath then there's always the chance of dropping it,having to tilt it to get it out, or it being mounted on a tilt which all meen that's it's better to be prepared to get wet.
Good luck
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:14 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Sorry, it's an IC (IHC?) bus, International DT466e engine, model year 2003.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsoundman View Post
Hi all, I'm sure many of us have wittingly or unwittingly driven buses that sat parked for at least a year or more back to their new homes, I'm curious if there's a consensus on whether that's a terrible idea or not.

Here's my situation:

Bus is about 150 miles from my house. It has been parked for the better part of 2 years in a parking lot. Apparently it only has about 1/4 tank of fuel. I'm assuming the last time it was serviced was when the current owner bought it from the school district about 2 years ago.

I know I need to check the tires for cracks and bulges, check all the fluid levels (transmission fluid when warm, oil when cold), make sure the air system holds pressure, do a leak test, etc. I can pick up some extra oil and maybe even some filters (if I can figure out what kind I need) before I head home.

Is this advisable or should I just drop the bus off at a local shop and come pick it up when it's been fully serviced? None of the shops in the area can get to it until next week.

I'd appreciate your thoughts, I have to make a choice really soon (by this afternoon)!

-Dan

Me...

I would make sure there are no visible cracks, pressure is correct, start driving slowly, let tires warm up. So if speed limit is 40, run 25-30mph. You might feel or hear thumping from any flat spots on the tire but once tire heats up it should diminish or even go away.

Once you get on the highway, I would keep it 10-20 mph lower until I was confident tires warmed up and any thumping noises are gone. I would also stop and check tires 5 or 10 miles down the road, do a visual to make sure no cracks or bulges appear.

Drive it slow and normal, 150 miles is not that bad. Got to remember that most all busses that are sold after taken out of service will easily sit for 6 months to a year before they are sold.

Fuel issue....

I would put in some diesel conditioner with algacide, new filter and top off with clean fuel. Once you get home you can decide on what to do next.

Good luck!
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