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Old 03-31-2017, 03:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: State College,PA
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Year: 1998
Chassis: ford e350
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke
Elfie and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly(1)

Yep, we are western fans, and this came to mind after we came back from our last adventures

Had to work in Wilmington ,NC and decided to leave our chickens in the hands of a friend.

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

That we loaded Elfie in the hope to enjoy the warmer weather and beach away from State College,PA

We drove overnight as not to loose to much school time with the kids but still made it later in day on Saturday in Wilmington and figured to check out the Battleship.

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

Had a good time drove of in the dark to a nearby dead end road where we stayed overnight. We left the next morning just to find that we had a flat with a nice screw stuck in our 10 ply tire.

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

Pumped it back up and it was a slow leak and I did not have a repair kit so decided to drive to the closest Waffle house for breakfast.
Got a kit at Oreillys and plugged the tire without luck, added a second plug, good for a while. Got a estimate for a new tire at the walmart and of to the beach.

continued.
Later J
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Old 03-31-2017, 07:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2016
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Year: 1998
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Here are another couple of relevant to us pictures from the battleship versus Elfbus

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture


School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

I think the sailors had more room then we.

That afternoon we drove over to Fort Fisher and had a good time on the beach.

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

After coming back from the beach we ate in the parking lot.

Later J
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:17 PM   #3
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love the name, good movie. keep up the travels!
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:26 PM   #4
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Thanks BurlKing,

good movie in seemingly simpler times.
Onwards

later J
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:34 PM   #5
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After dinner we reevaluated the tire

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

It did not leak anymore but there was a huge swelling half down the thread and 3/4 in circumference. So it was time to use the spare.
Child labor is coming back and we did not want to stay behind the times

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

I recently had installed a spare tire carrier to get more space inside the bus .


School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

By that time it was pretty dark and we decide to get closer to the location of my work. We stayed overnight at a Walmart.

Later j
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:40 AM   #6
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part 3

Monday I worked while the rest of the family spend time in the nearby Castle Hayne park.

After work we went back to beach to get another sniff and in the vening started driving to Monroe NC to pickup a traction battery from a CHEVY VOLT. These batteries are great for our DIY electric cars, solar backup and indeed Skoolie house batteries.
It was further then expected and with no spare we did not push it.
We camped along the highway and in the morning it turned out to be a great spot.

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

After a Waffle House breakfast, can you tell we like Waffle Houses, we came to the parts junkyard next to Dons in Monroe. They were very nice. This battery had a cracked cover and worthless for an exchange part ut perfect for our purpose. They liked out bus and allowed us to take the battery apart in section at their yard.


School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

I have done this a couple of times, it was good weather and the kids played around.


School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

The battery is made out of building blocks 24 volt and 48 volt. They are 45 Ah . The total voltage is close to 300 VDC so you got to be pretty careful. At this voltage and current a short will cause explosions and a spray of liquid molten and evaporated metal, so read up on it if you want to play.

JR of the parts department, great guy was able to find a very good spare tire as replacement for my flat one, it was on a ford rim, the size was 235/85/16 load rating E. It is slightly bigger then my original 245/70/R16 but I figured better a spare then no spare. We were still 9 hours from home.

In the mean time I noticed that my just installed spare had lost some air and after some pumping it turned out that the valve stem was leaking between the brass nipple and the rubber body. By this time I was kind of was sick of tires and asked JR for a second helping.
They came out with the tire and loader twice the size of our bus with forks and offered to lift the whole bus up with I gratefully declined. We ended up spending $125 on two as new tires on rim. We installed the two new 235/85.R16 on the rear. Happy, confident we finished the job and ended up.


School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

Life could not get much better.

to be continued.
Later J
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:53 AM   #7
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Nice job with the bus. You'r kids are at just the right age to enjoy the bus.

Keep hitting those waffle houses.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:53 PM   #8
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the ugly

Thanks Robin, LOL at least as they are staying this size , I have slept in the upper bunk but it was not easy.

So we were back on the road towards 81 when i started smelling brakes.
Parking was not on but stopped and checked the rims and tires.... Not hot and no smell so assumed that another vehicle was having some problems. Nevertheless it bugged me
Half an hour later same smell , a little stronger, was driving behind an 18 wheeler and going downhill at the time but by then I was on Hi Alert.

Stopped to check the AC clutch, slightly squeeling noise , figured we had a problem. We had just turned on 81 and Salem Virginia was 5 miles away. Did not want to come to an uncontrolled stop at 6PM long 81 and hoped for the best . Turned the AC off thinking that it would reduce stress on the clutch. A loud bank was my reward and something flew out on the highway.A second stop revealed that the clutch disc had disappeared, did not seem to have hurt the radiator or serpentine and decided to get the Salem exit and stopped at the first auto parts store.

It turned out to be a failed clutch bearing and the next Adance at electric road had a clutch and ac compressor in stock. I was afraid to turn the engine of in the fear that the bearing would seize if it stopped rotating ... Elfie held up to the next store. We wanted to get back to State college that day so the kids could go back to school
Got the parts. 6.30 PM and started disassembly.

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture

We were very lucky it came apart with the limited tools we had. The ball bearing balls rolled out and i pulled the whole pulley of leaving only the inner ball bearing race on the compressor.

The evening manager was great help and understanding our 8 h
ours from home dilemma.
Bought a snap ring plier and was unbelievable lucky that the inner race came of,



Then our luck took a small dip. The AC clutch bearing /whole compressor was a different size / mounting and the race against the clock was on.
The manager called a friend Lee who had been working for the local bus garage. He immediately came over. 8 PM... Some searching for an idler pulley bracket... no luck
By 8.30 we had not found a bearing and he decided to attempt and weld the compressor spline adapter directly to the pulley and left for his shop.
I was nervous about the solution and parallel to his efforts decided to take this compressor and mount off the engine and replace it with a new econoline original size compressor and use it as an idler. Problem,....we needed 4"long M8 mounting bolts.
The manager kept the store open and at 9.30 I bought a compressor, M8 exhaust threaded studs and a serpentine assuming that we were going to be the Ford dealers wet dream if I could not get this fixed.
Around 10 PM Lee cam back with..... a pulley with the right bearing.
By that time we started to realize how fortunate we really were and that there are a lot of very good people willing to go much further then imaginable. The store's back door stayed open and by 10.45 we did our first try, within seconds the old serpentine failed.
Took the pulley back of and dressed the grooves, used the new belt, tested OK, washed hands. It was 11PM ..The manager left on his motor cycle and Lee in his truck. We decided not to try to drive by night since we would not make it home in time anyhow.
Camped in the parking lot. We slept really well, faith in humanity was restored.

Here a question to the AC tech savy. Can anybody identify this AC compressor. Both hoses come out of the compressor straight up. the bearing ID 35MM.

to be continued
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:11 AM   #9
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the pictures are only thumbnailing for me so the resolution is terrible for me and just seeing the front shaft doesnt help.. it looks almost like a seltec TM-21.

who made the A/C in your bus? the rear unit? is it a carrier, trans/air, Thermoking, etc? if its a company still in business, theres a good chance that when it was installed, the VIN of the bus was linked to it and the the A/C company can look up what was sold.. typically t oactivate the warranty on an A/C at install-time, it is tied to the vehicle VIN by the aftermarket installer.

its possible thats a ford Compressor on there if the Bus has a Dashboard factory A/C,

but it would likely be a high capacity that a regular auto parts store would not list for that application...

that doesnt look like a standard FS-10 Compressor..

are you sure its just the clutch that went? most often when you actually lose the clutch disc it means that the compressor was seizing internally.. (the outer ring will spin but the inner shaft is VERY hard if not impossible to turn by hand.)..

-Christopher
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:30 AM   #10
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Chassis: ford e350
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Hi Chris, thank you for taking look at it. The FS10 is very different. The mounting holes from the original Ford o vertical into the engine with 4" long M8 bolts.

I see I forgot to add the link to the lower picture with the pulley removed.

School Bus Conversion Resources - Elfie's Album: Elfie the Elf Bus adventures - Picture


The normal FS10 has a 30 or 32 MM ID bearing. This one is 35 MM ID.

This one is mounted on a separate conversion bracket that uses the original powerstroke mounting holes to the square flange on the compressor.

The spline shaft still runs very smooth, The "flexible" clutch disk of the assembly is one, probably laying on 81 somewhere around Salem.

No way of telling a this moment if the compressor sustained internal damage. It feels OK but time will tell after I replace the clutch.
The clutch bearing itself failed, worn out, ball retainer came apart, balls fell out and the pulley started riding on the clutch plate.

It has dash AC and air in the rear. The dash ac looks original but is has skirt condensor.

I will go to the bus and see what brand the condensor and evaporator are if that that helps.

Hope the picture works better now.

Thank you J
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