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Old 07-30-2019, 09:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Southern Maryland
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Year: 1986
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: Phantom
Engine: Cat 3208/Allison MT643
Waking A Sleeping Cat... 3208

One of my summer goals for my bus is... wait for it... to get it started. The bus is a 1986 Gillig Phantom with a CAT 3208 and an Allison MT643. The motor is a turbo with ~70K miles installed in 2012. The transmission is original to the bus and has ~176K miles (at least I think it's original).

In Dec 2017 I drove the bus cross country from Redding, CA to Washington DC area (~2900 miles). It ran like a top and I had no issues with the drivetrain. It has not been driven or started since March 2018; so it's coming up on 1.5 years since the bus has moved...

I am a decent (shade tree) mechanic and I (naively?) feel that in most cases with tools and instructions I can do or fix almost anything. However I have no experience with "big diesels" and I am a bit stressed about not f-ing up this bus...

I will of course be draining and replacing all fluids, replacing all filters and other wear items. But when it comes to "the rest" of the requirements I am a bit unsure. To all the Diesel SMEs (subject matter experts) out there I covet your input.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:33 AM   #2
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Sadly, I'm in the same boat when it comes to diesel, main difference is you have a yacht. Mine's just a dingy dinghy...
Wanted to express my appreciation for the clever title!
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:43 PM   #3
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Year: 1984
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Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
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A running bus parked for a year and half would need good and charged batteries, and a pumping up the fuel with the installed hand pump and draining the pumped fuel until you get a good solid stream.

That and making sure the fluids are up, and the air intake is clear.

It's a 3208. They've been abused for decades.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:56 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 344
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: Phantom
Engine: Cat 3208/Allison MT643
Quote:
Originally Posted by bus-bro View Post
A running bus parked for a year and half would need good and charged batteries, and a pumping up the fuel with the installed hand pump and draining the pumped fuel until you get a good solid stream.

That and making sure the fluids are up, and the air intake is clear.

It's a 3208. They've been abused for decades.
Good gauge; thank you.
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:46 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 344
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: Phantom
Engine: Cat 3208/Allison MT643
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Originally Posted by bus-bro View Post
A running bus parked for a year and half would need ...
So what about pre-oiling? If it were a gas motor in a car, I would likely pull the spark plugs, pour a bit of oil into the plug holes, and spin the motor a few times by hand. Is a similar approach feasible/recommended for the big cat?
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ComfortEagle View Post
So what about pre-oiling? If it were a gas motor in a car, I would likely pull the spark plugs, pour a bit of oil into the plug holes, and spin the motor a few times by hand. Is a similar approach feasible/recommended for the big cat?
If you really want to you can. I don't feel it is needed though.
I will outline what is needed if you want to go this route.

Start with a empty oil pan on Your engine.
The best way it to take a Brand NEW air compressor With pressure regulator
Replace the the petcock water drain with a ball valve and plumb a air hose to the valve.
Then take the air line loose from the top of the tank and pour in a gallon or two of the engine oil you are planning on running.
Next hook the air line back to the tank and find the oil pressure sending unit on the engine.
get what ever you need fitting wise to hook the hose where the sending unit went.
Fire up the compressor set the regulator to 50 PSI.
Open the valve and the air will push the oil in all oil galleys at 50 PSI.

I cannot Stress enough the importance of using a new compressor. If a compressor has EVER been used it WILL have some rust in the tank. This oil will go in unfiltered. You don't want a unclean container.
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