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Old 11-09-2006, 09:25 PM   #1
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1987 Skoolie with DT-360 - help me learn about my first bus

I'm so happy I found this site. I just bought a 1987 International Bus with a rebuilt DT-360 with ~6000 miles on it. Also new brakes and tires with 6000 miles on them.

I drove the bus 2500 miles to break her in from Ohio to California. Everything went fine except for a huge diesel leak half way along with sprayed diesel all over the top of the engine from the end of the fuel line after the injectors. The rubber or (plastic?) cap cracked near the clamp so I just moved the clamp closer to the end and she was good to go for another 1000+ miles.

Anyway, I'm wondering what type of maintenance I should do on the drivetrain? Does it have lube nipples? how do I know if I should change the gear fluids etc? how do I maintain u-joints? If anyone can point me to a general maint thread that would be great.

Bus starts instantly even when very cold, but the starter spun twice out of about 30 starts. How long do they take to go out? Should I worry? can I just hammer it if it spins to get it to engage?

I'm enjoying this site a lot! Tons of great info. I searched for insurance and within 5 minutes on this site figured I should call GMAC. It was registered in OHIO as a MH, does anyone have any advice for registering in California?

Thanks for the great info!
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:51 PM   #2
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I asked a lot of those same questions of Tim at United Truck Body when I bought my bus from him. Here's the answers he gave me. While they might not be "by the book," it is what the majority of schools around here follow he said.

Drivetrain Maintenance:

Fluid checks on the automatic tranny should be done with every pretrip.

Steering linkages should be inspected with every pretrip and lubed every oil change. There are grease zerks on mine.

U-joints should be greased at every oil change. Don't overfill them and inspect them for any looseness when you're under there. He said they should last 100,000+ miles

Gearlube is rarely changed. It's not that it shouldn't just isn't. He said most mechanics just don't. They will add some as needed after doing an axle seal replacement, etc, but rarely is it done just for the sake of doing it. That said, I don't think you see all the many gear set failures either.

Tire pressure should be checked as part of every pretrip, but you know darn well it's generally just done by sight or with a quick thud on the sidewall with a club to hear it. I would check them before going on a long trip.

I know that information isn't the correct information, but I know it is what is practiced so take it for what it's worth. If anyone else out there has heard from mechanics, I'd love to hear it as well.

The starter problem sounds like a weak bendex. It's not the worst thing in the world. It's just annoying. You might be able to pull it apart and clean it if it is gunked up. If the spring is actually shot, most times they can just be replaced instead of getting a whole rebuilt alternator. I know the bendex on my little truck sticks all the time in the cold (not so much in the summer), but it doesn't really hurt anything. If it starts spinning and then suddenly engaging the flywheel on the bus you might want to get it fixed as that's a fine way to take out a tooth.
Skooling state at a time...
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