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Old 02-25-2015, 05:58 PM   #31
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,572
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Other bus maintenance stuff:

Engine oil - Use only diesel rated oils (I use Delvac 1300 Super). The Powerstroke engines use oil pressure to fire the injectors and when the oil gets old it tends to foam which makes the injectors fire erratically. I change mine at 3000 - 4000 mile intervals or once a year.

Coolant - Our engines use the old style green coolant (Walmart SuperTech is a good one) and require supplemental coolant additives (SCA) to keep the coolant from cavitatating near the cylinder sleeves and causing pitting (and potentially, pin holes) in the sleeves. I use Fleetguard DCA4 in mine. You test the additive levels with test strips also available from Fleetguard.

Fuel tank - Diesel doesn't absorb water as well as gasoline does and water tends to fall out of the fuel in cold weather. This can cause algae to grow in the tank and cause rust in the tank itself. I throw in a container of Power Service's Clear Diesel (Walmart has it) once a year to keep the tank healthy. Keeping the fuel tank full also helps keep condensation from forming in the tank.

Tires - These rigs tend to sit parked a lot so tires usually rot before they wear out. Look for small cracks in the casing which show that the rubber is drying out. The conventional wisdom among RV folk is to replace tires every 5-6 years regardless of tread wear.

Tire pressure - Most short buses run light truck rated tires that can be inflated to 80 lbs. but you don't have to inflate them to 80 lbs if you are lightly loaded. I run mine at 60 lbs for a better ride. Have your bus weighed at a truck stop then consult the tire manufacturer's inflation specs for the proper inflation for your axle loads.

That's all I can think of for now.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:38 PM   #32
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 5
Year: 1989
Rated Cap: 66
You paint that red, yourself? Mine's red as well. Shanghai Portland Party Bus | The Funnest Party Bus in Portland !

I'm about to paint another and try and do it myself rather than pay a professional
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:03 PM   #33
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 15
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3L Turbo Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711 View Post
Other bus maintenance stuff:

Engine oil - Use only diesel rated oils (I use Delvac 1300 Super). The Powerstroke engines use oil pressure to fire the injectors and when the oil gets old it tends to foam which makes the injectors fire erratically. I change mine at 3000 - 4000 mile intervals or once a year.

Coolant - Our engines use the old style green coolant (Walmart SuperTech is a good one) and require supplemental coolant additives (SCA) to keep the coolant from cavitatating near the cylinder sleeves and causing pitting (and potentially, pin holes) in the sleeves. I use Fleetguard DCA4 in mine. You test the additive levels with test strips also available from Fleetguard.

Fuel tank - Diesel doesn't absorb water as well as gasoline does and water tends to fall out of the fuel in cold weather. This can cause algae to grow in the tank and cause rust in the tank itself. I throw in a container of Power Service's Clear Diesel (Walmart has it) once a year to keep the tank healthy. Keeping the fuel tank full also helps keep condensation from forming in the tank.

Tires - These rigs tend to sit parked a lot so tires usually rot before they wear out. Look for small cracks in the casing which show that the rubber is drying out. The conventional wisdom among RV folk is to replace tires every 5-6 years regardless of tread wear.

Tire pressure - Most short buses run light truck rated tires that can be inflated to 80 lbs. but you don't have to inflate them to 80 lbs if you are lightly loaded. I run mine at 60 lbs for a better ride. Have your bus weighed at a truck stop then consult the tire manufacturer's inflation specs for the proper inflation for your axle loads.

That's all I can think of for now.
Thank you! I am going to go through this checklist over the weekend, this is great!
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:07 PM   #34
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 15
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3L Turbo Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanghaiPortland View Post
You paint that red, yourself? Mine's red as well. Shanghai Portland Party Bus | The Funnest Party Bus in Portland !

I'm about to paint another and try and do it myself rather than pay a professional
Nice bus!! I did not paint it myself, took it to a spot in Fremont that did an awesssommme job for 1000. They took off all the decals, prepped and did two coats of paint. Everyone else quoted 2500 or more. I recommend them if anyone is in the bay area. Almost Anything Autobody in Fremont.

I'm going to be driving up to Portland in early April, I'll keep an eye out for your bus. Mine will also have lasers and party lighting haha. I play in a psychedelic funk band and this is going to be our tour bus.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:54 PM   #35
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
The weak link on all of the Ford products was the E4OD transmission and all of the follow on versions of the E4OD.

It really isn't anything more than a small car transmission that has been made to fit in light duty trucks.

Even with modifications you can not physically move the oil through all of the passages without the oil getting hot. Heat will kill it faster than anything else.

Get your transmission serviced by a shop that knows what it is doing and have a transmission temperature gauge installed. You may even want to install an auxiliary transmission cooler.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:04 PM   #36
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 15
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3L Turbo Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
The weak link on all of the Ford products was the E4OD transmission and all of the follow on versions of the E4OD.

It really isn't anything more than a small car transmission that has been made to fit in light duty trucks.

Even with modifications you can not physically move the oil through all of the passages without the oil getting hot. Heat will kill it faster than anything else.

Get your transmission serviced by a shop that knows what it is doing and have a transmission temperature gauge installed. You may even want to install an auxiliary transmission cooler.

Good luck and happy trails to you!

Awesome advice, I will look into that asap. Thank you!
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:02 PM   #37
Bus Crazy
 
roach711's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,572
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
One more thing to check (that I just found out about myself) is the oil reservoir on the transmision mounted emergency brake. It holds a small amount of Mercon automatic transmission fluid (4 ounces or so) that keeps the bearings lubed. There's a fill plug on the body of the brake unit (17MM if memory serves) so to check it you pull the plug and check that the ATF is up to the edge of the hole. These units are EXPENSIVE to replace (like $1200 plus labor) so checking them out once in a while is well worth the effort.
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:38 PM   #38
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Hmmm-thats a new one to me too. I'll check it when 2 ft of snow melts. Thanks!
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