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Old 07-20-2023, 07:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 130
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Mechanical Help Needed: 91 TC2000 went from trying to crank to silence

Hey everyone, long storyshort my 1991 Bluebird TC2000 is not cranking or turning on at all. No idea what’s wrong.

He has run like a dream every time we’ve cranked it since we bought himz I went to crank him a few days back after an month of sitting idle and he tried igniting for a while before finally combusting and starting. That’s the first time he hasn’t cranked right up.

After about 30 seconds of being on, he started to sort of jolt and rev and then fizzled out. Since then he hasn’t been able to crank. THIS IS A VIDEO of the noise he was making a couple days ago when I’d try to crank.

I posted it in a couple FB groups and was told to charge the battery and check if I ran out of gas. That bring me to today. I added a gallon of diesel to the tank and tried to crank it. Same thing as in the video happened. I then went and I hooked my NOCO charger up to the batteries. It registered 12.5V so I knew they were charged but I gave them some time to charge. I went back to crank the bus and NOTHING. No lights. No buzzing. No cranking. No nothing. So now I’m very puzzled and at a loss. No mechanical background so not sure where to start.

Possible relevant background: when I went to hook up the battery charger the batteries tried to fall out and the terminal on one touched the bus skin and sparked pretty good. Not sure if that could’ve done something. Also my bus has a battery cut off switch in the started battery bay. I wonder if maybe it got stuck in the off position or something? It still clicks to on position though.
A couple others suggestion “priming the fuel pump” or “checking if there is air in the fuel line” so I’m curious you alls thoughts. Also I don’t know how to do either of those things if anyone wants to help me out. Thank you for your time and wisdom.

Our lease ends in one week so I need to be able to drive it out in a week…the pressure is ON

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Old 07-20-2023, 09:29 PM   #2
Bus Nut
fo4imtippin's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 650
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000 28ft
Engine: Cummins ISB 5.9 24v, MD3060
Rated Cap: 14
Crawl under the bus and check voltage at your starter lugs and solenoid. If the starter isn't churning, then loosing prime or a fuel issue isn't your primary issue.

You either have a bad fuse, interlock problem, bad solenoid, ground issue, or chewed up wires.

I'm not exactly sure the procedure for a 12v Cummins, but if it was a tractor, I would jump the starter lugs and see if it goes. Someone with a 12v will chime in soon, but we need more details.

Your recent roof raise is suspect to an interlock, started it since then?
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Old 07-20-2023, 09:42 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 130
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9
For checking starter lug voltage— do I just touch the tips of the multimeter there while the battery switch is open or does someone need to crank the bus as I do it?

Chewed up wires are definitely a possibility. If it’s a bad fuse I’m somewhat familiar with replacing those but not so much with how to identify it. The mention of “starter lugs” is a new term for me. Will need to research that.

As for the roof raise- we did not have to cut and splice anything. The only areas of possible concern were some marker and blinker lights that got stuffed behind the hat channels and I worried they got pinched when the skins were riveted. But those shouldn’t be an interlock I don’t think. Further, we’ve started the bus repeatedly throughout the raise and skinning process. And it even started a couple days ago. It wanted to start today and then after I tried charging the batteries was when it went completely dark. So I didn’t touch any wires or anything in that time. That’s what puzzles me. I wasn’t snipping or moving anything besides sliding the battery bay out to charge them. Is it possible that something disconnected when I slid them out?
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Old 07-21-2023, 06:10 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,734
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
volt meter

the big cable bolted to the starter motor, the one that is also connected to the + positive side of the battery. right at the starter motor and the negative lead of the volt meter to the case of the starter motor. that reading should be the same as the reading at the positive and negative battery posts. start there and report the findings.

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Old 07-22-2023, 01:44 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 130
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Can anyone tell me where to locate the starter lugs for testing? I’m haven’t been able to find much online and don’t see them in the manuals I have.

Secondly, I have used a non contact tester and find that I have power in the electrical box outside beside the driver seat AND I have power at the little plasticity box (relay?) under the steering wheel which I assume is the ignition. BUT absolutely nothing happens when I turn the key. Everything is dark and quiet. Not even a click. Before I start going the route of bleeding fuel lines and thinking about replacing the fuel sender solenoid….should I be looking at something with the ignition or the starter?
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Old 07-22-2023, 02:30 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 130
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9
I bought this 12 V remote starter switch that said it will bypass engine ignition. I’m thinking that if there is something wrong with the ignition and the bus should start a fine if I use this. I wanted to see if any of you had experience using something like this. Does it work with the bus?

This is the product: mpaign=12144811130&campaignid=12144811130&utm_cont ent=117789254638&adsetid=117789254638&product=3544 8&store=96&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_O2lBhCFARIsAB0E8B-3aXBJte9CJaOhIw0LUR2UxOR-kFUKlyxgykyVUnW3JNGatpJeG1UaArpVEALw_wcB
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Old 07-23-2023, 08:20 AM   #7
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 2,898
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
you need to get it turning over good before you worry about diagnosing fuel issues.
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Old 07-24-2023, 08:51 AM   #8
Tin Roadtube Vagrant's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 150
Year: 2001
Chassis: Chevy Kodiak
Engine: 3126B CAT
Rated Cap: 27K
Hi Nick, I have your same year engine in our Super 15. Awesome, bulletproof, little fella with one serious Achilles heel starting issue at the injection pump.

Does your engine have a pull cable to kill the engine?.... or is it all electrical? If it's electrical solenoid control (no dash mounted t-bar pull cable) I have a suggestion to try.

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Old 07-24-2023, 04:42 PM   #9
Bus Nut
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 802
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
Battery cables are most likely or bad ground at end of cable, your problem is something simple so quit trying to make it complicated. Yes you can put your starter switch on your starter but u need to get informed where they hook up. Take a picture of the business end of your starter and go to a shop or auto parts store and get informed where they go. Exercising the process of elimination you should systematically start at the beginning; 1 remove your batteries, 2 check water, 3 charge each one separately, 4 check voltage after charge should be AT LEAST 12.7 but should be in the 13's, clean cables and check all connections while batteries are out, then if voltage is good re-install correctly and try your ign. switch first, if nothing then install your jumper switch and see if it will turn over. This is the ONLY way to substantiate if each battery it usable, cables are good and starter connections are tight. It also gives you the satisfaction of knowing the system is in top shape and the problem is somewhere else. One battery will drag the rest down, if you have a bad one change them all at the same time.
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Old 10-01-2023, 12:31 AM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 130
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Figured I should follow this up for posterity:

It was a rather embarrassing fix… the engine wouldn’t crank because the cheap autozone screw down terminals I bought for the batteries had popped loose when the battery shifted while I was moving the battery tray. From my perspective you couldn’t tell it wasn’t attached and I didn’t bother looking at it until I crawled out from the deep rabbit hole about fuel sender solenoids I’d entered days prior…

After adding some copper lugs secured with a hydraulic crimper the ol boy suddenly cranked again…
Still the engine didn’t ignite so I got a mobile diesel mechanic to come and try to fix it. Sadly he didn’t seem to know much about the engine and wound up just spraying starter fluid in the air intake and charging me $100. I couldn’t complain too much but I wished I’d thought of that lol.

So for the future reader…start simple. And get a hydraulic crimper!
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crank no start, dead battery, ignition, tc2000

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