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Old 04-07-2014, 12:52 PM   #701
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Sorry to hear about those morons. Stealing is low brow.

Landlords can suck too. At my apartment complex they HATE my bus. So I have a storage area about 15 miles away. I got lucky, $50/month on a lot that is difficult, at best, to rent. Spaces become available once every 3 or 4 years....... Now that I have my spot I'm NEVER giving it up until we move to Texas hill country. I feel your pain. If y'all were closer I'd offer you use of my truck ('06 Ford F-350 dually with utility bed with genset and air compressor). MD is a haul from here...

BTW, how do you like the Cat engine? The 31XX series I'm not familiar with it unlike the 3406 or 3208s. I haven't had much time to really read the thread, so my apologies if you discussed it before...

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Old 04-07-2014, 01:54 PM   #702
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

In what town did all this happen? I'll add it to my small list of places in this world to avoid
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #703
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Geuss I'm lucky I havn't had them problems yet, I only get flack from the wife who I love dearly, I bought my house in 08 watered the grass for a month then got the bill, told my wife who was my girlfriend at the time we don't have kids I ripping this crap out & made my front & back yards gardens, she said what will the neibors say, I replied when they pay my water & food bill I'll care about what they say, now they get fresh veg's in the summer & we can about 200 qts for the winter, I installed clothes line for my wife & she loves it, even in winter we hang clothes my ex brother in - law said what will your niebors think I said when they pay my PG&E bill I'll care what they think, my bill over the summer runs $40.00 to $50.00 a month, theirs are $300.00 plus, because we sit outside in the evenings & listen to their AC units running, I bought the bus she like what are the neibors going to say, I said well it's parked behind a gate except when I work on it so when it's parked the only people who see it are the ones on the right & you hear them all the time in their house yelling back & forth to each other how much they hate white people(even before I bought the bus) so I really don't care what they think, other have come by & think it's awesome what I'm doing.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:59 PM   #704
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Howdy Porkchop --- I have one of the new 6 speed 2xOD Allisons but have been told that many of the 5 speeds can indeed be re-programed to use all six gears. No idea which years or models but a call to Allison should work out whether it can be done with yours. Go for it and good luck. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:30 PM   #705
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031
BTW, how do you like the Cat engine? The 31XX series I'm not familiar with it unlike the 3406 or 3208s. I haven't had much time to really read the thread, so my apologies if you discussed it before...
It seems alright. Mine has problems. ThePimentals' does too. Wmkbaileys is fine I think. He drove it from md to Indiana over Christmas season with no engine issues. They come in a variety of hp and torque ratings, the ones we have I believe are 210 hp and something like 550 lb ft making peak torque at 1400 rpm. Unfortunately since the trans is only programmed for 5 speeds (actually has 6 speeds but programmed out for speed limiting to 65) you're at 2400 rpm at 65mph which sucks down fuel and makes no power or torque. I've been meaning to contact Allison to see if they can unlock 6th since its not in warranty and not a school vehicle anymore.

The motor has this thing called HEUI or Hydraulic Electronic Fuel Injection. I wrote a bit about it in my thread a while ago. Basically instead of using an injector pump externally like a cummins b series or dt466 or the like, or a cam driven injector like some engines, this motor has a separate high pressure oil pump (600-700 psi) to push down on a plunger in the injectors, squirting fuel in. So there is no plumbing to each injector from a pump or anything, just cast bores in the block for fuel and high pressure oil. It is a clever idea really. However a common failure point is the rubber O Rings that seal the fuel from the oil inlets...if they fail, high pressure oil will enter the fuel return line. It causes no running issues except extremely high oil consumption, because it gets pumped back into the tank. I found this out on mine when I had to add a gallon of oil every hour of runtime, but there was no smoke or leaks. So I pulled a fuel sample and it was BLACK with oil. Fix is as simple as pulling the valve cover, injectors, and putting new o rings on and cleaning the injector bores.

Other than this common failure point I think theyre ok. They have good torque down low which drops off up high cause the Allison trans loves to make this motor rev, which it doesn't want to do. They never smoke while running and barely do on cold starts (never black smoke) because of the electronic injection, fuel is metered precisely based off load rpm and boost pressure. As a result they're pretty fuel efficient, wmkbailey I believe told me he did 10-11 mpg in his bus to Indiana, which is good for such a huge heavy vehicle, considering I had an old bronco that did 8 mpg. CAT parts are EXPENSIVE though. If you go to the dealer for anything other than filters, bring lube if you know what I mean.
I ran 3406 B engines in my semi tractors back in the '90s when I was a trucker, so I KNOW about the expenses. $9K for a rebuild, $12K for an out-of-frame reman, probably double that now. Since I'm looking at this bus I'm driving on my new-to-me route I was just given today, I was curious about your experiences so far. I may just get this bus when it goes to auction. I don't have deep pockets, but this engine appears to be a bit more affordable than the 34XX series I owned back in the day. If I remember right it's a Japanese manufacture.......
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:12 PM   #706
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Man, I stay away for a week and looks at what happens.

I just moved the bus back over to the tattoo shop I had it parked at last year. They are very happy to see me back. They can't wait to see what I do next with the bus.

I have been very lucky with my bus. It runs good. I drive it all the time. My trip to Indiana and back 1600 miles, I averaged 10.7 mpg. I ran all day on the trip up through Ohio is a strong head wind with 50 -60 mph gust and still got 9.6 mpg. My oil is still right on the full line. I did have issues with my air dryer not working. It has a heater and the wire was broke so the water in my tanks froze. I had to heat them up with my heat gun until I got it figured out.

I had a propane 30 amp generator that cost $350.00. I just bought the same one again. I want a nice diesel gen for the bus, but I wont have the money until next year. So this will get me byuntil then, as long as I can keep it safe.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:49 AM   #707
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Scour Craigslist for diesel gens, I found mine for $300 (dude didn't know what he had). Granted it's air cooled and very loud but it's a real yanmar from 1994 and has a built in fuel pump / parker racor (same brand as Thomas uses) fuel filter / water seperate on it. It came off an ambulance.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:40 PM   #708
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Also, look at the RPM of the generator. This is very important in estimating the service life.

To make 60 Hz, AC, the easy way is to join the motor to the alternator shaft and turn 3600 rpm. One turn of the shaft produces one AC cycle. 60 cycles/second times 60 seconds/minute = 3600 rpm. That's what the cheap big-box contractor-style portables do.

The life figure rumors I've heard for 3600 rpm generators are about half of what Nat_ster has published.
I know I have had to order rebuilds done on a few 3600 rpm propane standby gensets, I think in the 900-2000 hour range.

Larger, more expensive gensets, such as big diesels, run at 1800 rpm. The alternators are somehow wound to produce two AC cycles for each revolution. I would expect an 1800 rpm genny to last at least 3 times as long as a similar 3600 rpm model.

There are also some belt drive gennies, where because of pulley size the engine can turn slower for longer life, while still spinning up the alternator to provide 60 Hz.

Finally, there are the inverter generators, generally the smallest output overall but some are big enough for most RV loads. The engines spin fast enough to provide enough current for the transistorized circuits whose job it is to "fake" a 60 Hz sine-wave output. These are the quietest when running at lower rpm.

I have also seen some auctions on military surplus gensets with DC output. Obviously, rpm is not a factor when the output is not an AC waveform.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:07 PM   #709
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbear
I have also seen some auctions on military surplus gensets with DC output. Obviously, rpm is not a factor when the output is not an AC waveform.
If it wasn't for the fact that I need to run AC, I would get a genset with DC output and just recharge my batteries and run everything off them. I think Nat posted a link to an offroad RV the has two alternators running of it's Diesel engine. The engine is qiuter that a generator and uses less fuel at idle. They just recharge the batteries.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:35 AM   #710
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

You can't think about the maybes. Maybe the tyranny goes and I've got to shell out 9k for a new one.. Maybe the engine siezes. Blah blah. If your going to do that you shouldn't even leave the house. Maybe you get hit by a bus? Live it up guys. If you do what you want and it doesn't work that's great. Way better than just continuing to watch tv and buy other expensive plastic stuff.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:52 PM   #711
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePimentals
You can't think about the maybes. Maybe the tyranny goes and I've got to shell out 9k for a new one.. Maybe the engine siezes. Blah blah. If your going to do that you shouldn't even leave the house. Maybe you get hit by a bus? Live it up guys. If you do what you want and it doesn't work that's great. Way better than just continuing to watch tv and buy other expensive plastic stuff.
That's about how I feel. People have asked me (usually older businessman type people who live in a bubble) what I will do if something expensive fails, I say "uhh...I fix it" (idiot). If my motor fails I don't have to buy a new one, there are plenty of used motors I can find, and I'd probably replace it with an 8.3 cummins anyway

Granted I'm a dumb teenager but really, some people need to just quit worrying for once, stop thinking of "what-ifs" and just live life.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:42 PM   #712
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

When I was young and broke I was way more willing to trust in the Fates to get me there and back, but as I got older and good jobs got harder to find I began to stress out about keeping to the schedule and being back home to start work on Monday. Now that I'm retired and don't have to bow down to the work week I feel liberated from worry about breakdowns. I still want a reliable vehicle but if the beast dies on the road it's no big deal to hang out until it's fixed.

Your businessman has a vested interest in reliable transportation. Once you've quit the rat race it's not so important anymore. Priorities change with your circumstances.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:48 PM   #713
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

I know, it all makes sense, I'm just being an ass.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:25 AM   #714
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches
I know, it all makes sense, I'm just being an ass.
No worries, We've all been there. When I was a kid I thought my parents were the most un-cool people on the planet but as I got older I saw that they were being the people they had to be at the time. Dad often said "peace child, you don't understand" (which really ticked me off at the time) but years/decades later I've had to admit that I didn't understand until I was in the same situation and found myself doing the same stuff.

I do agree that it's easy to be so caught up in chasing security that you stop doing anything adventurous. Buying a bus generally changes that.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:40 AM   #715
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Sam Clemens (aka; Mark Twain)...

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

Sound familiar?
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:32 AM   #716
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

When I was heading back from Indiana over the holidays, my mom was worried because there was a big snow storm running right behind me. She was concerned that I would be in trouble if the bus broke down.

If I was driving my car, yes I would be concerned. Since I'm in the bus, I have food, water, heat and a place to use the bathroom. My batteries fully charged can run the heat for a day and a half before I would have to think about recharging them. My propane tank was only half full which would run the generator for about 4-5 hrs. That would bring the batteries up to 80%, giving me another good day or more.

I feel more prepared driving cross country in the bus.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:32 PM   #717
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
When I was heading back from Indiana over the holidays, my mom was worried because there was a big snow storm running right behind me. She was concerned that I would be in trouble if the bus broke down.

If I was driving my car, yes I would be concerned. Since I'm in the bus, I have food, water, heat and a place to use the bathroom. My batteries fully charged can run the heat for a day and a half before I would have to think about recharging them. My propane tank was only half full which would run the generator for about 4-5 hrs. That would bring the batteries up to 80%, giving me another good day or more.

I feel more prepared driving cross country in the bus.
This is one of the reasons I am going to do my conversion (Once I get a bus ).
In Feburary while in Georgia with all of the ice storms I was coming back from Florida in my 08 Crystler. I went over a bump going onto a bridge and somehow it took the engines electrical system . There was 7 other people in the car and it was about 3 in the morning. I had to wait 3 hours in an icy rain mix to get it towed, and around me there was a lot of spin outs. I take 4 or 5 6+ hour of driving trips a year and one trip to Florida. After sitting with no heat for 3 hours and spending 2 days in a 2 bed hotel (Good thing I had Air Mattresses, Payed for by Crystler due to the engine powertrain warranty), my wife wanted an RV, so if we ever break down and have to wait hours to get towed it wont be sitting in a 25 degree car crammed with 7 people it wont be as much as an unplesent experience.

If it was 6 hours later I would of sat on the side of the bridge for close to 12 hours
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:44 PM   #718
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmar896
. . . Good thing I had Air Mattresses, Payed for by Crystler due to the engine powertrain warranty . . .
Chrysler Corp. bought you air mattresses? How generous!

p.s. If it had been a '70s Chrysler product with the early breakerless ignition, the suspect would have been the ceramic resistor on the firewall that controlled the 12 volts to the the ignition coil. I used to keep a spare resistor in the glove box, because they were known to fail. Switch two wires and one big sheet metal screw, and you were back on the road in 3-10 minutes.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:15 PM   #719
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

They paid for everything I bought there, I got a check from them 3 weeks ago. I own 2 Crystlers and have bought crystlers every 5 years for the last 15 years so when I complain they usually fix it right. They paid for my break repairs 2 times. I'm pretty happy with them, when there TDI t&c comes out next year I will be buying it.

They payed for a loner t&c but I could not drive it all the way home. It wasn't the top of the line model like mine though
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:27 PM   #720
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

I was kidding, of course. I expect they paid for a lot more for your troubles.

I used to be a "Chrysler guy" back in the slant six days when there were "GM guys" and "Ford guys." Each line had its own weaknesses. If I recall correctly, with Chrysler Corp. it was failing alternators and rust on the torsion bar front suspensions. I think the quality is down in the last 20 years. My brand-new '96 work van did not seem to have the quality I remembered from past eras.
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