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Old 07-26-2018, 10:17 PM   #1
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Air Brake Compressor - 94 Bluebird - 5.9l Cummins

Hey all,

The past few weeks I've had a few issues and now I think I'm stuck.

First, had been driving the bus for about 30 min and stopped. Turned the bus off and about 10 min later went back to start it again. It wouldn't start. Try calling any mobile mechanic and nobody will come since it's Saturday at noon. I think most of them are auto, not diesel mechanics. Anyway, a buddy of mine calls a friend and finds out, "if you tap the fuel solenoid on the top of the engine, it'll probably start right up. Sometimes those get stuck, common problem on the 5.9" Tapped it and it fired right up <solution not fixed>


Second, the engine coolant/core heater plug started leaking coolant. It was a compression style one and I tried to tap it back in and put some right stuff around it to last me a week or so till I got the part but that only lasted for about 6 hours before leaking again. I put some stop leak in the radiator and it fixed it again for about 4 more hours. A week later, I replaced the plug with a new one that had an allen head to tighten it in and seal it up. <leak fixed>

Third the engine by running it for 30 min and opened it up to see a stream of coolant being shot out of an old coolant system hose that had ballooned up on me. Bought some new hose and replaced that section till I can get some silicon hose to replace all of it. <leak fixed>

Now, our driver drove about 2 miles and heard a big bump sound and air release. Warning buzzer starts beeping and the driver pulls over. I get under and start checking all lines/tanks, etc. All lines are connected, tanks still have pressure in them. Noting obvious that I can see so I got back on the bus to ponder. As I'm sitting in the driver seat, I noticed that the pressure wasn't building back up so I figured it was the compressor. I pull up and off to the side of the road in my neighborhood before the air brake automatically popped on and have ordered a replacement compressor for the bus. I wanted to fill the tanks with air and move the bus, but there are no valves for me to put air in the older tanks.

I'm wondering if it's something I should do myself? Anyone out there know the air compressor replacement process well? Also thinking of hiring a guy to do it but I'm not 100% certain of his knowledge, even though he claims to have 30 years experience as a mechanic. I can't find a video or instructions online anywhere. This guy is the only guy that will work on the bus as/where it sits. (not in their shop) that won't charge me $800+ to come out and do the job.

Also, the tanks are pretty rusty so I want to replace those in the next few weeks. Looking for the process on those as well? Anyone know what size/type I'd need? 1994 Bluebird TC-2000 w/ 5.9 Cummins

Thanks in advance!
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BigSteveATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2018, 11:30 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2018
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Year: 1954
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Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
umm....... suggestion

To give you an idea of where this advice is coming from. I am fifty and have been successfully repairing different kinds of vehicles for thirty years now.

That coolant hose is an indicator. Being ballooned up like that is kind of like the rattle on a rattlesnake... a warning before the strike. I would recommend replacing all of the coolant hoses, even the little pinkie sized ones. all of them. It seems the time is up. My experience says you will be replacing the weakest link for a while, until you have all new hoses. Use distilled water. kind of pricey for a coolant fill, but a nicer thing to do to your radiators. Flush the coolant system while you are at it.

The fuel shut off solenoid..... check to see there is nothing binding in the linkage. You should be able to lift it up with you finger easily. There should be a rubber boot around the rod coming down out of the solenoid, if that boot has shredded it could be getting caught in the works. However, the shut off solenoid is an item that moves every time you start and stop the engine. It wears out. The parts that it attaches to, wear the holes out too. No longer round holes, but oblong. Word is the fuel shut off solenoid seems to be good for about ten years of daily use.

From what I am reading, I think you could replace a compressor your self... Confirm the compressor is dead. what if a pulley fell off? what if a line broke? You might not have a damaged compressor. Confirm diagnoses first so that you are not replacing good parts. You sound capable. You are asking the correct questions.

go to you tube "air brake compressor replacement" watch some and then decide if you can diagnose.

come back with questions and go from there.

peace, hope this helps you.

william
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:58 AM   #3
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Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSteveATX View Post
Hey all,

The past few weeks I've had a few issues and now I think I'm stuck.

First, had been driving the bus for about 30 min and stopped. Turned the bus off and about 10 min later went back to start it again. It wouldn't start. Try calling any mobile mechanic and nobody will come since it's Saturday at noon. I think most of them are auto, not diesel mechanics. Anyway, a buddy of mine calls a friend and finds out, "if you tap the fuel solenoid on the top of the engine, it'll probably start right up. Sometimes those get stuck, common problem on the 5.9" Tapped it and it fired right up <solution not fixed>


Second, the engine coolant/core heater plug started leaking coolant. It was a compression style one and I tried to tap it back in and put some right stuff around it to last me a week or so till I got the part but that only lasted for about 6 hours before leaking again. I put some stop leak in the radiator and it fixed it again for about 4 more hours. A week later, I replaced the plug with a new one that had an allen head to tighten it in and seal it up. <leak fixed>

Third the engine by running it for 30 min and opened it up to see a stream of coolant being shot out of an old coolant system hose that had ballooned up on me. Bought some new hose and replaced that section till I can get some silicon hose to replace all of it. <leak fixed>

Now, our driver drove about 2 miles and heard a big bump sound and air release. Warning buzzer starts beeping and the driver pulls over. I get under and start checking all lines/tanks, etc. All lines are connected, tanks still have pressure in them. Noting obvious that I can see so I got back on the bus to ponder. As I'm sitting in the driver seat, I noticed that the pressure wasn't building back up so I figured it was the compressor. I pull up and off to the side of the road in my neighborhood before the air brake automatically popped on and have ordered a replacement compressor for the bus. I wanted to fill the tanks with air and move the bus, but there are no valves for me to put air in the older tanks.

I'm wondering if it's something I should do myself? Anyone out there know the air compressor replacement process well? Also thinking of hiring a guy to do it but I'm not 100% certain of his knowledge, even though he claims to have 30 years experience as a mechanic. I can't find a video or instructions online anywhere. This guy is the only guy that will work on the bus as/where it sits. (not in their shop) that won't charge me $800+ to come out and do the job.

Also, the tanks are pretty rusty so I want to replace those in the next few weeks. Looking for the process on those as well? Anyone know what size/type I'd need? 1994 Bluebird TC-2000 w/ 5.9 Cummins

Thanks in advance!

Hi, I have a 91 TC 2000 freont engine 5.9 and replaced my air compressor. The engine was out of the busthough!

It is in a mother hunker chunker bunker of a place, under the injection pump and with the power steering pump and the fuel shutoff solenoid linkage behind it. If I was trying to replace it with the engine still in the bus probably would remove the radiator unbolt the front engine mount a loosen the rear mounts and jack up th e front of the motor to gain access to everything. The pump itself after everything in the way is moved just unbolts and pulls out. It is heavy!. Also, on my bus the a/c compressor was in the way too.
Good luck
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Rivetboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2018, 04:43 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2018
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Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
your 5.9

did you do anything to increase the power levels ?

curious, thats all

william
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Old 07-28-2018, 05:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
did you do anything to increase the power levels ?

curious, thats all

william
Not yet but I plan a trip to Las Vegas in the spring to take it up 50-60 hp with some tuning. CA. is impossiblefor that kind of stuff anyway, even though the bus is smog exempt.
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:03 PM   #6
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Location: Huntington beach
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Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
did you do anything to increase the power levels ?

curious, thats all

william
You know, it might come out the bottom. I had a tappet cover leak and did not really invesigate it
that much. It still will be a female dog no matter how you do it.
Definetely good luck.
That critter is heavy.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:30 PM   #7
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Air compressors are pretty durable gadgets, and total failure of one is exceedingly rare. Usually they just wear out and don't build pressure as fast, but still do the job.


The first two culprits I would check are the "governor" (this actuates the compressor), which do occasionally fail, and the air dryer (you'll hear it hissing air when the compressor is running), and the associated lines.


As for air tanks, use whatever you like within reason. If it were me, I'd like to snag some nice aluminum air tanks, but steel ones work fine too. Make sure the "wet" tank has drain valves; automatic ones will make life convenient for you.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:05 AM   #8
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x2 on the governor replacement first. $20 vs $800 for a compressor.

i had the compressor replace on my 93 FE BB. the shop charged me 8 hours of work. at the time i didn't feel comfortable enough wrenching on it so it paid for it to be done.

on the FE's that compressor is tough to get to. now that i am more familiar with the truck, i'd do it myself. i may pull the radiator and do it thru the front instead of underneath. but its doable.
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