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Old 02-15-2018, 11:05 AM   #1
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Maintenance Advice

Hello! New to the skoolie world, but wondering what everyone's advice would be on the first steps in becoming proficient in bus maintenance. What are the starting places? I don't know the first place to begin.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:17 AM   #2
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Like most queries here, the best place to start is by reading as many related threads as possible. Folks here have encountered most of the more common issues which vary based on the type and brand of bus & engine. Each has it's own quirks that can vary widely based on the year even. Once you have a specific bus in mind, Google is your friend. Lots of info out there, but as noted, it is typically specific to a particular make & model of bus. If you decide to go diesel and are not familiar with them, you can also get quite a bit online or take a quick Community College course in basic diesel mechanics. Just depends on how far you want to get into it, but definitely read up here and take advantage of other peoples experiences and homework.

We were all Newbies at converting a school bus at some point. Dive in, learn and have some fun.

Welcome to the weird & wonderful world of Skoolies!
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:36 AM   #3
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It all depends on what bus you have. If you have air brakes you need to know how they operate and how to maintain them. With a diesel engine you will need to know how to change the fuel filter, and how to bleed air from the fuel rail. Also, the proper engine coolant treatment is important, you can destroy your engine if you run it without the proper additives. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, and that includes the inside dual tire.

Otherwise, it's a motor vehicle: bigger and more expensive to maintain and repair -- fluids, filters, belts and hoses.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:01 PM   #4
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It all depends on what bus you have. If you have air brakes you need to know how they operate and how to maintain them. With a diesel engine you will need to know how to change the fuel filter, and how to bleed air from the fuel rail. Also, the proper engine coolant treatment is important, you can destroy your engine if you run it without the proper additives. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, and that includes the inside dual tire.

Otherwise, it's a motor vehicle: bigger and more expensive to maintain and repair -- fluids, filters, belts and hoses.
My oil cooler is getting fixed now and the radiator was already fixed. Do I need any additives to get the bus home 350 miles? It could be near freezing at night.

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Old 02-20-2018, 08:36 PM   #5
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My oil cooler is getting fixed now and the radiator was already fixed. Do I need any additives to get the bus home 350 miles? It could be near freezing at night.

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As long as you have a 50/50 anti-freeze mixture you are safe for the journey home.

You can test and adjust the additives later. You don't want to be without them for too long, especially if you have an engine with wet-liners.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:08 PM   #6
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As long as you have a 50/50 anti-freeze mixture you are safe for the journey home.

You can test and adjust the additives later. You don't want to be without them for too long, especially if you have an engine with wet-liners.
You say that like I might possibly have any idea what a wet liner is and whether or not my engine has one or not. Must take deep breaths.....

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Old 02-20-2018, 09:17 PM   #7
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You say that like I might possibly have any idea what a wet liner is and whether or not my engine has one or not. Must take deep breaths.....

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You can figure all that out when you get it home.

What engine does it have?
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:34 PM   #8
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You can figure all that out when you get it home.

What engine does it have?
DT444e. It's a 1997 International 40' with 120k miles. it has air brakes which are being adjusted at the shop now and an AT 540 or 545 transmission, so apparently I will be going slowly over the 2 sets of mountains between the bus and my house and paying attention to something to see if I need to stop and let things cool down. But I can't think what it is now.

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Old 02-20-2018, 10:00 PM   #9
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DT444e. It's a 1997 International 40' with 120k miles. it has air brakes which are being adjusted at the shop now and an AT 540 or 545 transmission, so apparently I will be going slowly over the 2 sets of mountains between the bus and my house and paying attention to something to see if I need to stop and let things cool down. But I can't think what it is now.

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OK, I googled it, and while I still don't totally understand what it means, at least two sources say I do NOT have a wetliner engine. So I guess that's good. Seems like its one less thing to worry about?
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:10 PM   #10
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Your engine needs SCA (supplemental coolant additive) in the coolant to avoid cavitation which can eventually cause pinholes in the cylinder liners. The shop that's working on your rig should be able to fix you up if they haven't already.

Your engine and the Ford Powerstroke 7.3L are basically the same. Here's a how-to on maintain these beasts.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f34/th...sel-10607.html

Yours will have a different trans and fluid capacities may be different from the Fords but most of the stuff will apply.
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