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Old 05-23-2009, 01:52 PM   #1
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Year: 1990
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help needed

hello I have a problem that i cant figure out. I have a 1990 blue bird 366 Chevrolet school bus that i just bought. my problem is that the bus didn't start today. i picked it up from storage last night and drove it to my house and this morning it wont start. the same thing kinda happen last week it started just fine but the next morning when i needed it to start it wouldn't fire. I eventually got it to start through persistence (Just keep turning the motor over). the only thing that is common is that its parked at my house and my driveway is at about a 20deg incline. it runs on propane do these propane tanks have an issue with being parked at an incline? I tried using starting spray in the intake and it wouldn't fire i checked the plugs and they were in just fine. whats troubling is that it was working no less then 12 hours ago. any help would be appreciated. I use it for a small business and i really needed it to start today.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
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Year: 1990
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Chassis: c60
Engine: 366
Rated Cap: 36
Re: help needed

Well after some work we think we have it nailed down to the pickup coil. we get hot to the distributor and out of the control module (this was tested at autozone also) we have replaced the rotor the coil and the distributor cap there's not much left. I am going to try to install it today hopefully it will start and I can get back on the road. thanks vanguy67 for the info. I'll let you know if it works.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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Re: help needed

yep, probably the wires are broken where they go into the pickup coil, they flex right there every time that the vacuum advance moves the mount plate to adjust the timing for throttle position. not a totally uncommon problem with the gm hei distributors. also, it's cheap insurance to replace the condenser that goes to the module, as a rule they don't fail but the connections build up resistance and can be troublesome.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:59 AM   #4
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Year: 1990
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Engine: 366
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Re: help needed

your not gona believe this. after changing out pickup, it still didn't work. so as the battery wore down we were connecting the jumper cables and we noticed the positive terminal was corroded and barely hanging on by a thin connection when i went to touch it it flaked right apart and disintegrated in my hands. after we swamped it out and tried again the dang thing fired right up. its started 3 times since then. talk about the long way around... this wasn't a total waste since now i can say that i can change out the whole ignition system if i need to. hard lesson learned. Thanks fellas for the help. if i can hind an opportunity to give some useful information i will.

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Old 05-26-2009, 07:15 PM   #5
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Re: help needed

Isa your bus fuel injected or carbed? The TBI modules seem to last a lot longer than the old HEI carbed modules did, but if you lose the module with TBI you lose spark AND fuel which can send you running in entirely the wrong direction if you aren't expecting it. In either case, carrying an extra coil, cap, rotor, and module isn't a bad idea, even if you fetch them off a junkyard rig.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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Year: 1990
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Re: help needed

well I'm back again. After starting it 4 times on Monday night, yesterday it refused to start again. it was about 18 hours after I drive it last and it has the same symptoms. no spark. Is there something I should know about getting into the bus? I have been using the back emergency door because I don't know of any other way of getting in a locked school bus. the emergency buzzer goes off when i do that, does that kill the ignition somehow? We are out of ideas. I think the nest step is going to by bypassing all the wires under dash and going directly fro the ignition switch to the starter and bypassing anything that may be in between. there's also a power draw somewhere the battery keeps dying.

Does the emergency exit in the back of the bus kill the ignition system?

ARC
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:27 PM   #7
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Re: help needed

just replaced the ICM after i had it tested at autozone and it fired right up. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
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