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Old 03-04-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
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20 things I learned today.

1. The group of guys and the singular female in that are working with me to start the automotive club back up at our school are great, helpful workers.

2. My AT545 has the deep pan despite what the guys at Interstate Detroit Diesel tell me. The shallow pan filter is not compatible.

3. The Wix filter book listing for the spin on filter for the transmission is also wrong.

5. Refilling a transmission and oil pan, both of which have a 5 gallon capacity, through the dipstick tubes is more than a little time consuming.

6. Of that 5 gallons of each you will spill at least 1 gallon on the floor and in your hair, despite how careful you are with the drain pan.

7. The AT545 pan is a royal pain to get off thanks to a rusted on dipstick tube. While the bellhousing bolt holding the dipstick tube retainer is actually pretty easy to remove, feeding the tube down from the engine compartment is not.

8. My exhaust is broken back behind the rear axle.

9. Hitting all the grease fittings on the bus takes a surprising amount of grease.

10. The tensioner/idler pulley for the compressor belt on my bus requires the loosening of no less than 6 bolts that are darn near impossible to get at with a wrench.

11. After reworking the plumbing the front heaters work surprisingly well. However, without twisting the body up properly getting all the windows to stay latched all the way up is next to impossible. Duct tape cures all.

12. A quarter of an inch low on the power steering dipstick amounts to being half a gallon low on fluid.

13. My bus has 4 air tanks, not the 3 I previously found.

14. The doors to get in the auto shop at the school are 9 feet wide. The bus is 8 feet 9 inches wide with the mirrors in their current position.

15. My block heater draws no less than 14.5 amps when plugged in. Despite how well my bus starts without it I plan to use it whenever possible from now on as my bus started like it was 80 degrees out this morning when it was 0 in reality.

16. The lack of cooling from the weatherfront over the radiator greatly increases the ability of the bus to reach a quasi-normal operating temperature, even during winter. However, it does limit power thanks to also covering the charge air cooler.

17. Cold weather has surprisingly little affect on my fuel mileage. Except for all the excessive idling I do in an effort to warm up the engine.

18. Excessive high idling will generate some heat in the engine, but not enough to move the gauge or actually result in cabin heat.

19. It is much easier to back a bus up a long, narrow snow covered driveway in the daylight than at night when the banks and road surface are indistinguishable.

20. 18-30 year olds think the bus is cool as all heck even when I think it is a mess and in need of some serious interior work.


Now then...I'm off the shower with Dawn dish soap and some Fast Orange in an effort to remove the Dexron from my shaggy head.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

what an excellent post, i enjoyed that immensly!
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:01 PM   #3
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

Great post.

What happened to number 4?
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:34 PM   #4
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
8. My exhaust is broken back behind the rear axle.
Same here, I just noticed this a few weeks ago..


Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
16. The lack of cooling from the weatherfront over the radiator greatly increases the ability of the bus to reach a quasi-normal operating temperature, even during winter. However, it does limit power thanks to also covering the charge air cooler.

18. Excessive high idling will generate some heat in the engine, but not enough to move the gauge or actually result in cabin heat.
My bus for whatever reason makes great heat at idle. Also when driving even with temps in the single digits the heat output it great and I don't have a weatherfront over my radiator.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:07 PM   #5
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John
Great post.

What happened to number 4?
Huh...good question. How about this?

4. The 2 feet of snow on the roof of the bus from sitting all winter that felt rock hard and unmovable due to the melt-refreeze cycle in the last week or so WILL come off and sky bomb opposing traffic on two lane highways, much to the dismay of oncoming drivers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillbus914
My bus for whatever reason makes great heat at idle. Also when driving even with temps in the single digits the heat output it great and I don't have a weatherfront over my radiator.
Do you have the shutters? I've seen an AWFUL lot of TC2K's with them. I thought they were a very cool system. In fact, most TC2K's in school district up here must have them as you rarely see a weatherfront on them. I think that if I removed my fan during the winter it might help a lot. I have no fears of overheating due to that. The heaters in the bus alone draw enough heat off that the upper radiator hose never builds pressure so I can only assume the t-stat isn't opening. If it did start getting warm I think fully opening or even removing the weatherfront would be more than sufficient to cool things.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:27 PM   #6
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

I don't have any shutters... I don't even know what they look like, but I'm sure I would have noticed them.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:04 AM   #7
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

i'll second that phillbus does not have shutters. his bus was in my driveway the other day.

i removed the fan on my ford 6.6 liter during the winter. I didn't usually put it back on till about june, and then i didn't need it, it's just that i was going on a long trip and thought i should have a fan.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

What kind of oil did you use in your transmission?

I thought I read somewhere that you can use motor oil?
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:10 PM   #9
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

Allison gives a BIG run down of what is appropriate fluid for various conditions and motor oil is just one of the options. Tranny fluid really is just 10 weight motor oil with a strong detergent and friction additives package. I used Partsmaster (Valvoline) Dex/Merc which carries the Dexron III rating so it's darn near universal for General Motors transmissions, the Allison being no exception.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:52 PM   #10
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Re: 20 things I learned today.

There aren't too many things I can't do mechanically but for the sake of getting it right and no breakdowns I let a Kenworth Truck dealer change my tranny fluid and 2 filters. The price chart above the service desk says "transmission oil and filter change $135 plus parts, that seems fair for the size of it. So I bring my bus in to my 1:30 appointment and just hang around while keeping an eye on what's happen'n. The mechanic lets it cool down for a couple of hours and then starts to work on it while spending every spare moment putting a Cummins engine together at the same time. After he finally rolled under it and started to do some work I heard some cussing a few minutes later and I checked on what the problem was and it's that dreaded dip stick tube rusted to the nut. Of course he twisted the snot out of it and had to fight to get it out without twisting it in half. I looked at it after he got it out and suggested he just straighten it out and run some brass over the holes and it would be fine, he was really relieved because it's older than dirt anyhow and where would he get another one at 4:00, now we are almost 4 hours into the oil change. The next step is taking the numbers off the filters (he didn't see the screw on filter in the cooler line so I suggested he change that one too) then he ordered the filters and gaskets from the local truck parts house. Back to the Cummins. After another hour or so he had the correct filters and 3 cases of oil and was ready to tackle the bus again. Everything else went well, R&R of the filters, filling of the transmission and a run up and test drive around the parking lot. During all that waiting I got to show off the bus to quite a few people, learned the first names of all the mechanics, got chased out of the shop if I got too nosy, witnessed a shift change and watched the sun go down. To top it all off the mechanic that did the work reccommened that next time bring it in at 5:00 and let the night shift do it, they would have just charged me the origional fee and wouldn't have minded if I helped. I waited a while longer while they figured up the time, material, the brazing job etc. It cost me $430 or so if I remember right. Moral of the story: do it yourself and save $300 and a lot of time (7 hours). sportyrick
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