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Old 03-22-2018, 02:37 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: portland, or
Posts: 14
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Help! air brakes on my bluebird not getting enough psi

title says it all.
my 1984 bluebird bus has been sitting for a bit (maybe 9 months, starting occasionally).
I use it more as a spare bedroom than a vehicle. anyway, it gets up to 50 psi or so and then won't go any higher. And it takes forever to get that high.
Any ideas on what the problem is?

and/or, any recommendations for people in Portland, Oregon who might be able to help me?
-brandon

oh, and I can't seem to get the photos on my post, if anyone is curious about this beauty you can check it out on my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brandonlawspdx
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:58 AM   #2
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Location: Huntington beach
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Are all of the drains on the air tanks off?

Have you crawled under the bus to listen for obvious leaks?
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:29 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1984
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I ran the engine for 25 minutes today getting the PSI up to around 30. I then crawled under it to listen for leaks but couldn’t hear anything.

Admittedly I know nothing about airbrakes. How do I check to see if the drains are on or off?

I took pictures of a cylinder about 5 feet behind front axle. Is this the compressor for the air brakes?

I know it is kind of tacky but I couldn’t figure out how to post an image in this reply so I just made that picture my avatar.
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
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Rated Cap: 72
The compressor is mounted to the engine.

The air drains have valves similar to many other ball valves. When they are open, the handle is in line with the body of the valve. When they are closed, the handle is perpendicular to the body of the valve.

Another indicator is: when open, air comes out. When closed, air does not come out.

The drain valves on mine are in a compartment below the drivers side window and are plainly labeled.

If you ran the bus for an extended period and could not track down a leak you may have a problem with the regulator on the compressor.
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:53 PM   #5
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Location: Huntington beach
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
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What motor if is a 5.9 cummins the compressor will be on the front left under the fuel injection pump
The drain valves are on the bottom of the air tanks
Pumpup to whatever pressure it will reach and open each valve on yhe bottom of each tank it probably will spray nast water
What i really think is wrong is the unloader valve in the compressor is stuck or maybe the air filter on the pump is clogged severly
The unloader does just what it sounds like it unloads the pump when the desired air pressur is made
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
What motor if is a 5.9 cummins the compressor will be on the front left under the fuel injection pump
The drain valves are on the bottom of the air tanks
Pumpup to whatever pressure it will reach and open each valve on yhe bottom of each tank it probably will spray nast water
What i really think is wrong is the unloader valve in the compressor is stuck or maybe the air filter on the pump is clogged severly
The unloader does just what it sounds like it unloads the pump when the desired air pressur is made
I called it a regulator. Rivetboy is correct. It is called the unloader.

As to the drain valves, location varies.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:14 PM   #7
Almost There
 
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Location: Wauchula, Florida
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Year: 1993
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
I had a similar problem with my International Thomas. I replaced the governor and it works great now. Mine was higher up in the engine but with the engine cowling inside the bus off the air leak could be clearly heard.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:53 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1984
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Ok, so i built a bed frame over the engine compartment (stub nose, you can sit on the bed and drive.) I'll have to take it apart tomorrow and see if I can find the leak. If that doesn't present itself I'll check and see if I can find the air filter on the compressor. I'm not sure how to get to the unloader valve. One thing at a time though.

also, if the compressor is mounted on top of the engine on the drivers' side (maybe under the fuel injector), where are the air tanks for the brakes located?

also, side note, what is that piece that I took a picture of?

Oh and if it helps i can confirm it has a cummins engine.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brando View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Ok, so i built a bed frame over the engine compartment (stub nose, you can sit on the bed and drive.) I'll have to take it apart tomorrow and see if I can find the leak. If that doesn't present itself I'll check and see if I can find the air filter on the compressor. I'm not sure how to get to the unloader valve. One thing at a time though.

also, if the compressor is mounted on top of the engine on the drivers' side (maybe under the fuel injector), where are the air tanks for the brakes located?

also, side note, what is that piece that I took a picture of?

Oh and if it helps i can confirm it has a cummins engine.
Air tanks are usually located along the frame rails. There will be at least three and possibly four of them.

Wet tank
Primary tank
Secondary tank
Auxiliary tank
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:08 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Brunswick, GA
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brando View Post
also, if the compressor is mounted on top of the engine on the drivers' side (maybe under the fuel injector), where are the air tanks for the brakes located?

also, side note, what is that piece that I took a picture of?

Oh and if it helps i can confirm it has a cummins engine.
Mine is a 1999 flat nose BlueBird with a Cummins also. I have an air tank underneath the driver in front of the left wheel that is evidently a dual tank since it has two drain valves on bottom. My other tank is near the rear axle - also on the driver's side. Once you've seen one, they are pretty easy to spot since they are similarly shaped.

My best guess on your picture is your air dryer. Mine's slightly different, but it's newer too. The air dryer is something that needs periodic maintenance too.
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