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Old 05-26-2019, 10:52 PM   #41
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Sounds to me like airing up the bags, and .... is there a way to access the air suspension control valve? Any way to disconnect the linkage and let the bags air up beyond normal ride height? Easy enough on most school buses but I'm unsure if you have access or not. Otherwise, airing up the bags and digging out a little gravel may be the next best option. In any event, good luck!

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Old 05-26-2019, 11:14 PM   #42
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Can you air up the bags and block the frame up on both sides next to your rear axle. Then dump the air out of the bags. Next use small jacks to lift just the axle and place boards under the tires. Air up the bags again and you should gain plenty of clearance at your jacking point for your larger jacks or continue using the bags to lift the bus placing boards under the wheels until your high enough off the ground to work on it. Just don't go under it with the bags inflated.

Ted
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:37 PM   #43
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Do you have any rental places that rent airbag jacks? Just a thought.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:07 AM   #44
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Do you have any rental places that rent airbag jacks? Just a thought.
That is a great idea Marc ... air bag jacks would fit right under the bus.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:30 AM   #45
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I like the air bag jack idea.

Another thought - you're not trying to tow the bus down the street, maybe just roll it forward a few feet onto some 2x4. You don't automatically need the semi-sized wrecker - just a regular tow truck operator that knows how to set a snatch block and use his winch smartly.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:49 AM   #46
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Unfortunately I haven't found my air ride height valves yet. I know there are three - one in front and two in back.

I have a brother-in-law with a wrecker, and he might be willing to do it, but I still can't see the physics working out in a 7k or 8k lbs. wrecker pulling a 33k lbs. bus forward and up a ramp. Just not enough friction as he'd be pulling while on gravel - he'd move instead of the bus....

Well, I said to myself "screw it" and jacked the back of the bus as far as my bottle jack would go (20" total height). I was still short by about 1/2" under the jack point, so I dug out the gravel. Wouldn't you know, I got my other bottle jack underneath with a hair to spare. I let down the jack in the back and my frame groaned a bit. So, I have one jack underneath, wrong side, mind you, but I got it under.

However, we are forecasted to have severe weather today, and chances for rain the rest of the week. Therefore, I'm going to jack the bus back up and pull the other jack out. That way they won't be exposed to the weather. If it was my jack stands, I wouldn't really care as much (no mechanism to screw up with water). Unfortunately my jack stands are 12" high, so I'd need to dig out another 1.5" of gravel to make that work....

So, minor success today - the "proof of concept" worked.

I'll take it....
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:20 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
Unfortunately I haven't found my air ride height valves yet. I know there are three - one in front and two in back.

I have a brother-in-law with a wrecker, and he might be willing to do it, but I still can't see the physics working out in a 7k or 8k lbs. wrecker pulling a 33k lbs. bus forward and up a ramp. Just not enough friction as he'd be pulling while on gravel - he'd move instead of the bus....

Well, I said to myself "screw it" and jacked the back of the bus as far as my bottle jack would go (20" total height). I was still short by about 1/2" under the jack point, so I dug out the gravel. Wouldn't you know, I got my other bottle jack underneath with a hair to spare. I let down the jack in the back and my frame groaned a bit. So, I have one jack underneath, wrong side, mind you, but I got it under.

However, we are forecasted to have severe weather today, and chances for rain the rest of the week. Therefore, I'm going to jack the bus back up and pull the other jack out. That way they won't be exposed to the weather. If it was my jack stands, I wouldn't really care as much (no mechanism to screw up with water). Unfortunately my jack stands are 12" high, so I'd need to dig out another 1.5" of gravel to make that work....

So, minor success today - the "proof of concept" worked.

I'll take it....
depends how strong his winch is - a wrecker carries wheel chocks for those heavy pulls - he isn't going to be lifting the bus in the air, just pulling it up a short incline, so he isn't 'lifting' a gazillion Lbs - the Egyptians built the pyramids out of stones that weighed close to what your bus weighs, give a ton or two, and they moved those huge rocks by man power using rollers made from logs - unless your bro-in-law has a very small wrecker, I bet he can winch your bus up onto the ramps - make sure those ramps are VERY sturdy, perhaps made from a series of laminated 2"x10"s on their edges
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:31 PM   #48
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air bag jack... seems like a cool tool to make and keep in your bus... I think most good year bags are designed to max out at 110-120 PSI.. have to see what weight ratings they are but maybe modify a set of jack stands and have bags in the middle that collapse? get you down to that 10-12 inch level and be able go up to 24-30?



I dont know how low a flat coach bus gets.. i guess pretty flat if it sinks into the soft ground...
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:09 PM   #49
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The MatJack is available for lifting capacity up to 86 tons. Probably not cheap, but effective.


https://www.matjack.com/matjack-high...ting-bags.html
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:10 PM   #50
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looks like they dont have a very high raise rate.. the 6 ton goes from 1 inch flat to 4.5 inches inflated..
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:40 PM   #51
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looks like they dont have a very high raise rate.. the 6 ton goes from 1 inch flat to 4.5 inches inflated..
Raise it, block it, raise it, block it, etc. till it's high enough. Kinda neat seeing a balloon lift an 20ton truck. They make small ones you slide between the door window frame to pull the frame away to get unlocking devices in.

You only need to raise the wheel 1/4" with one of those to change tires.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:53 PM   #52
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Heh, I'll stick with my 20-ton bottle jacks (oh, and my jack stands). They are powerful and are air operated, and they go from 10.5" to 20". The balloons seem ... dangerous. If you note in all of the pics there's is something "flat" below it as well as above it. Most places I'd like to jack are, well, sharp....



My issue was with my jack points. The ones I used in the back seem to have held, but I really don't want to press my luck. Hopefully I only need to lift one or two more times to get to my starter.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:33 AM   #53
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I believe you are on a roll. As long as you are able to get the lift started, you can finish it. When you are lowering it back down after the starter repair, put a 2x12 under the wheels so that the jack will be easier to remove Once off the jack, simply drive it off the 2x12's.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:21 AM   #54
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When I I changed tires on Dory I researched hydraulic jacks. dory is very low. I would love 12" as you said you have.
Air jacks are slightly taller then manual ones. Tractor supply has 20 ton jacks that are the shortest around.. For me ..Dory..that was just enough.
Of course it is a pain with a manual jack but..... It takes what it takes.

Like Brad said just air the bus up with the Schrader valves or if you can make one directly on the air tank to air the thing up. I have mechanical air ride control with electric override valves for ferry mode or kneel position. That means if you apply air it will go up regardless of battery. If yours is fully electric just find the air valve wire and apply power to it....and air of course.

Good luck. J
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:28 PM   #55
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When I I changed tires on Dory I researched hydraulic jacks. dory is very low. I would love 12" as you said you have.
Air jacks are slightly taller then manual ones. Tractor supply has 20 ton jacks that are the shortest around.. For me ..Dory..that was just enough.
Of course it is a pain with a manual jack but..... It takes what it takes.

Like Brad said just air the bus up with the Schrader valves or if you can make one directly on the air tank to air the thing up. I have mechanical air ride control with electric override valves for ferry mode or kneel position. That means if you apply air it will go up regardless of battery. If yours is fully electric just find the air valve wire and apply power to it....and air of course.

Good luck. J

Yea, I'm airing up the pneumatic system with my little 6 gallon pancake compressor. I'm concerned about the humidity I'm pumping into the system, but its all going through just as if it came from the engine's compressor (via the muffler tank, air dryer, and so on). There's a pic of it earlier in this thread.


Now, if the dang weather would just cooperate - we're forecasted to have severe weather tonight and tomorrow. Friday looks reasonable (so I'm thinking of taking off work), but Saturday and Sunday look like we'll be back to the severe weather....
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:30 PM   #56
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Well, good news and bad news today. I can use a bottle jack to jack from the rear of the bus enough to get another bottle jack under the jack point. Then I used the bottle jack under the jack point to get the bus up farther to put a jack stand under the rear of the bus.


Bad news is: first, my ride-levelling valves open up and depressurize the system. Second, the ground is so soft that my bottle jack under the jack point sank upwards of an inch into the ground. Third, how many times can I really jack from the rear before I do damage??



I'm pretty discouraged that I spent all day and barely made any progress. I'm also concerned with the "sinkage" that even if I do get the bus jacked up I won't have very long to look at the starter, or get trapped....
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:35 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
Well, good news and bad news today. I can use a bottle jack to jack from the rear of the bus enough to get another bottle jack under the jack point. Then I used the bottle jack under the jack point to get the bus up farther to put a jack stand under the rear of the bus.


Bad news is: first, my ride-levelling valves open up and depressurize the system. Second, the ground is so soft that my bottle jack under the jack point sank upwards of an inch into the ground. Third, how many times can I really jack from the rear before I do damage??



I'm pretty discouraged that I spent all day and barely made any progress. I'm also concerned with the "sinkage" that even if I do get the bus jacked up I won't have very long to look at the starter, or get trapped....
you have to put a 2" x 12", 3' or 4' long under the wheels - and one each under the jacks and stands
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:36 PM   #58
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you have to put a 2" x 12", 3' or 4' long under the wheels

I can't get anything under the wheels - at least not the way I'm doing it. What am I missing?
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:43 PM   #59
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I can't get anything under the wheels - at least not the way I'm doing it. What am I missing?
as soon as you can, get a plank under each item jack up high enough to get another jack onto a planck and jack some more so you can get a plank under a stand, then more planks and a jack on top of that and so on - if it has to go up a lot them you need to build a crib to block from so it's all stable - a "crib" = 2x 2x4 or 2x6. laid parallel on the ground, then two other 2x6 laid across them to form a big square
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:30 PM   #60
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Maybe Iím dumb, but what about getting a different jack?
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