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Old 12-05-2018, 07:16 PM   #11
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
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On Millicent, I installed a battery shutoff where I can easily reach it from the driver seat. It is on the wall to the left of my leg -- and it so happens the bus' main electric panel is right there on the other side of that wall (accessible from the outside).

This switch itself is typically used on race cars, but there are many other kinds.

In my installation, it shuts off all EXCEPT THE BIG BATTERY CABLE TO THE STARTER. I could include that also, but it does not seem necessary.

Now I routinely flip that switch when I get in and out of the seat.

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Old 12-05-2018, 09:46 PM   #12
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Join Date: May 2016
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Originally Posted by graceashlynn.arts View Post
Thank you! This is all good stuff. I got together some pictures for you.

Here's that computer I was talking about:
Attachment 27886

Attachment 27887

Attachment 27888

Attachment 27889

Photo 1 - just a housing for a few switches. Mine had one similar which I removed and tossed aside. Probably no real value.


Photo 2 - the yellow thing is a controller for the 8-way flashing lights. You won't need it. Practically every school bus will have one. Maybe you'll get $5 on ebay for it? (I haven't even removed mine yet).


Photo 3 - Much of the wiring looks factory original. I wouldn't mess with it too much except to fix any problems or remove something you *KNOW* you don't need. And in the latter case, disconnect only one thing at a time, making sure the bus will still start/run/drive normally, that way you can easily undo the change if you disconnect something that is needed after all.


Photo 4 - to address Dave's comment, it seems the bus originally had LED lights, so the new ones should work just fine, the original electronics having been designed for LED lights to begin with. It's a valid point for those of us switching from incandescent lights though.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:06 PM   #13
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Picture 1 looks like it could be a heater control? Best not to unhook something until you know what it does.

Ted
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:11 PM   #14
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Picture 1 looks like it could be a heater control? Best not to unhook something until you know what it does.

Ted

The center 2 switches in photo 1 are common Blue Bird push-pull switches. I'd keep these for spares. The button on the left (formerly) activated the 8-way flashers for picking up/dropping off kids.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:48 AM   #15
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Oh man! Now that's a real mess. I definitely feel WAY better about my situation now!
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:04 PM   #16
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Welcome - always happy to see another woman on this site! Not too many of us are brave enough to take on a skoolie by themselves. You sound a LOT more savvy than I am, believe me.

My philosophy on the bus (and on life in general!) is that we have to choose our battles. I happen to have a very long battle list outside of the bus related stuff, so there are things I just choose to bring to a professional instead of attempting to tackle myself. However - when possible I hover at the elbow of said professional and learn everything I can so I will be less overwhelmed when I do decide to take it on myself, or when throwing money at the problem isn't an option.

Anyway, have fun, and see you around the forum. The bus you got is the one I was originally going for, but I couldn't find one in good enough shape in the time frame necessary (I had a hard deadline). I'll be watching your progress!
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by graceashlynn.arts View Post
Oh man! Now that's a real mess. I definitely feel WAY better about my situation now!
Another suggestion i f you do not know how to measure amps with a meter (Learn!) sometimes parking in a dark and quiet place have a helper look for any lights that might come on or clicks of a relay or maybe the hum from an almost dead buzzer can help you find your ghost load.
And get all those drowned lights in order before anything else. Brake lights work without the ignition on and a brake light full of water probably would flow enough current to drain your battery...

On your picture of the power distribution the fat black wire connects to one side of each of the 3 circuit breakers the other side of the circuit breaker is the circuit being protected. You could also take off the wire on each individual breaker and touch it on the terminal and see if it sparks. Or set up your meter for amps.
Make sure your battery disconnect is off when unscrewing things and do not wear any jewelry when working on electrical.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:37 PM   #18
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Another suggestion i f you do not know how to measure amps with a meter (Learn!) sometimes parking in a dark and quiet place have a helper look for any lights that might come on or clicks of a relay or maybe the hum from an almost dead buzzer can help you find your ghost load.
And get all those drowned lights in order before anything else. Brake lights work without the ignition on and a brake light full of water probably would flow enough current to drain your battery...

On your picture of the power distribution the fat black wire connects to one side of each of the 3 circuit breakers the other side of the circuit breaker is the circuit being protected. You could also take off the wire on each individual breaker and touch it on the terminal and see if it sparks. Or set up your meter for amps.
Make sure your battery disconnect is off when unscrewing things and do not wear any jewelry when working on electrical.
Sweet, thank you! I will check it all out. I did buy new brake & turn signal lights. I know how to connect them & make sure they work. Now, I'm having issues securing them on. It seems that the lights before were attached with a nut on the back. I don't have my wall panels down yet (have to wait until the A/C unit comes out) but it's all in the works
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:11 PM   #19
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Where in NC are you?
I am midway up/down the coast.
Can help if your within a reasonable drive on a weekend.
Depending on how the lights are turned in there mountings?
If the positive wire connection is in the water then it might could draw a parasitic load ?but in my Mind??
Only if the switch was left on to send power to the lights and the bulbs are burnt out so you can't see them working?
Some of the pedal arm type brake light switches are aggravating to get set correctly and after time have to be re-adjusted because of wear. But if your lights don't work then you might not see it.
Many things that can/could/will cause battery drain.
A lot of times it is the ground for something that has power even with the key switch off.
My hazard and brake lights and direct feed to the starter are the only thing that do.
If you can read your switches then make sure they are all off.
A normal two position rocker switch is down for off a normal three position switch is in the middle for off.
Push pull switches are push for off
Good luck, if your within a couple hours of the beach I can help and if your farther away then then are skoolies in Fayetteville,Greenville,Durham and the asheboro,Charlotte areas.
Let's get your build going so we can have a Carolina's skoolie meet and greet.
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Old Yesterday, 08:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
Another suggestion - don't replace your turn signal bulbs with LED without replacing the turn signal relay. They don't draw enough power so the regular relay will blink very fast.

Dave
Jumping into the thread as I too am in the process of converting. I picked up new LED bus lights and your comment about the turn signals caught my attention. Relays are confusing to me, where would I pick up a new relay and what do I ask for?
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