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Old 10-09-2022, 09:48 AM   #1
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Relocate Air Tanks

I tried searching and didn't net any results. Hard to look up things regarding any kind of "tank" with there being so many kinds on a skoolie.

Has anyone ever attempted to relocate the air tanks needed for their brakes/bag suspension? Mine sits mid frame in front of the rear axle but on my plans there should be enough room behind my propane storage between the box I'll build and the frame rail. That would move it about 4 feet closer to the middle of the bus lengthwise, but put it outside of the frame rails. Moving it there would allow me to locate the condenser of the minisplit where the airtanks used to be instead of on the side skirt. Which then frees up space on the side skirt for misc storage. I'd be able to fit a box there that is just under 9cuft if my math came out right. Which is an amazing amount of room for just moving the air tanks.

Just checking to see if anyone has done it before. I can't imagine it causing any issues if all I'm doing is extending some air lines but maybe one of y'all will think of something I missed.

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Old 10-09-2022, 11:46 AM   #2
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My thinking is to NOT try to re-engineer things like brake systems on a bus. Disturbing connections on your air system is inviting problems. My approach is to design around existing hardware in the bus. Changing out things like engines and transmissions is OK when there is a reason.

My "new Crown" has six air tanks for the brake and suspension systems. Air systems can be complex and just keeping them air tight is a challenge.


My advice - don't change anything in the air system.
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Old 10-09-2022, 01:15 PM   #3
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Very Good Advice. Concur completely. DOT regulations are certainly involved in there somewhere as well. Just Don't.
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Old 10-09-2022, 02:43 PM   #4
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I'm moving mine. Not re-engineering anything, just moving and replacing lines.


I have a dual chamber tank. One is the wet tank, and one is the rear brakes. It's currently under the driver's seat (where I want to put my mini split condenser).


Technically, the only line to get longer will be from my auxiliary manifold to the tank. I actually shorten the lines for everything else since my filter dryer is mid-bus.


Obviously I have traced all my lines already to ensure nothing will change. When it comes time to actually do it, each line will get numbered (one taped on the hose, and one taped by the current fitting of the tank.


Some partial motivation for this is how Bluebird buried my steering gear by putting the tank and a bunch of air lines right under it. I have to replace the leaking steering gear and dropping the tank is "required" for good access.


I agree with the seriousness advice from the crown guys as brakes and steering are deadly things to mess with, so you better be sure of yourself before you touch anything..
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Old 10-10-2022, 08:32 AM   #5
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You can move them.

Just be sure they're protected from the road, and use new lines when doing so. Do not splice the lines. Also be 100% sure you know how the system functions, so that you don't mess up the lines, as line placement is deadly important.
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Old 10-10-2022, 10:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Just be sure they're protected from the road, and use new lines when doing so. Do not splice the lines. Also be 100% sure you know how the system functions, so that you don't mess up the lines, as line placement is deadly important.
The new location should be more protected from road debris than the last as I'll have the propane box, water tank, and frame rail blocking off three sides.

I'll probably lay under the bus for 30 minutes or so, that way I can trace out where all the different lines are coming and going from. There's already some stuff under there that confuses me.
For example: The first tank appears to have 2 internal baffles separating it into three sections each with its own drain plug. All of the lines come and go from this tank. I can follow all of that so far and understand it. What confuses me is that there is a second tank plumbed into the first tank with a female 1/4 quick connect fitting on it. No matter how much pressure is reading on the gauge that second tank is always empty. But there appears to be nothing but an air line between the tanks. Also if I use an external air compressor to put air in that second tank, it just comes back out of the quick connect fitting when I disconnect them.
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Old 10-10-2022, 10:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Crown_Guy View Post
Very Good Advice. Concur completely. DOT regulations are certainly involved in there somewhere as well. Just Don't.
The only DOT regulations I could find have to do with the minimum size of the tank. Says something along the lines of when you fully depress the brake you should lose no more than 30% of the air in your tank. Which seems like a lot to me.
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Old 10-10-2022, 06:49 PM   #8
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Hi I just saw your response to this thread and wanted to chime in. I just bought 8 of the 2009 IC Bus PB3050 with the DT466e/Maxxforce engine with Allison MD3060 6-speed pushbutton trans at auction. These are all Florida spec with aftermarket Carrier AC units, with engine-driven compressor and two underdeck condensers, and 3 blower units in the coach. I want to convert these buses to Skoolies, but they are for sale at this stage pre-conversion. I am brand new to this, and am interested in picking your brain on what you have discovered so far in your build. My goal is to sell, or build/sell enough of these so I can build my own skoolie for $0.
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Old 10-11-2022, 07:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clouse House View Post
The new location should be more protected from road debris than the last as I'll have the propane box, water tank, and frame rail blocking off three sides.

I'll probably lay under the bus for 30 minutes or so, that way I can trace out where all the different lines are coming and going from. There's already some stuff under there that confuses me.
For example: The first tank appears to have 2 internal baffles separating it into three sections each with its own drain plug. All of the lines come and go from this tank. I can follow all of that so far and understand it. What confuses me is that there is a second tank plumbed into the first tank with a female 1/4 quick connect fitting on it. No matter how much pressure is reading on the gauge that second tank is always empty. But there appears to be nothing but an air line between the tanks. Also if I use an external air compressor to put air in that second tank, it just comes back out of the quick connect fitting when I disconnect them.
Well, before you do anything here, read cover to cover the bendix air brake handbook. https://www.bendixvrc.com/itemDispla...ocumentID=6390

That will help you to understand what's all involved in a braking system. And you should have a very intimate understanding of a braking system before you make changes to it.

Those baffles actually create independent tanks inside of the one large "tank". There is no internal connection between them, it's all done external with fittings, tubes, and check valves. Air brake systems are required to have 2(or more) separate systems that are protected from one another, in order to ensure the brakes will function if a component failure where to occur. I'm not sure what your additional tank is for. It's obviously for additional capacity, but what system it's plugged into will determine where the additional capacity is at. Buses that have air suspensions and other air powered devices could require additional capacity, especially buses that have "kneeler" front axles. If that 2nd tank is always empty, there must be a valve of some sort that's preventing air from flowing. Often times when installing additional air tanks they will use a pressure protection valve that won't allow air flow until a certain air pressure is reached. This is so that an auxiliary air device doesn't limit or restrict your braking ability by dropping the pressure too low.

If the air is coming right back out, I'd say that quick connect fitting is junk.
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Old 10-11-2022, 09:03 AM   #10
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MaxxForce in High Demand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffroy View Post
Hi I just saw your response to this thread and wanted to chime in. I just bought 8 of the 2009 IC Bus PB3050 with the DT466e/Maxxforce engine with Allison MD3060 6-speed pushbutton trans at auction. These are all Florida spec with aftermarket Carrier AC units, with engine-driven compressor and two underdeck condensers, and 3 blower units in the coach. I want to convert these buses to Skoolies, but they are for sale at this stage pre-conversion. I am brand new to this, and am interested in picking your brain on what you have discovered so far in your build. My goal is to sell, or build/sell enough of these so I can build my own skoolie for $0.
------------------
You bought eight!?

Most skoolie buyers are aware of the less desirable bus engines. If you intend to profit from the skoolie market, you ought to avoid the buses which are difficult to unload.

The MaxxForce line of engines are well known and considered to be the worst. Most MaxxForce buses sell for scrap prices.


Twenty MaxxForce buses (Florida, October'21). High roof, triple AC, no rust. All sold for less than $2200, some as low as $650.

Geoffroy,
Do you have a Florida DHSMV dealers license?
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Old 10-11-2022, 10:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffroy View Post
Hi I just saw your response to this thread and wanted to chime in. I just bought 8 of the 2009 IC Bus PB3050 with the DT466e/Maxxforce engine with Allison MD3060 6-speed pushbutton trans at auction. These are all Florida spec with aftermarket Carrier AC units, with engine-driven compressor and two underdeck condensers, and 3 blower units in the coach. I want to convert these buses to Skoolies, but they are for sale at this stage pre-conversion. I am brand new to this, and am interested in picking your brain on what you have discovered so far in your build. My goal is to sell, or build/sell enough of these so I can build my own skoolie for $0.
I am brand new to this

Say no more.

While I don't typically condone people trying new things. Trying your hand at skoolie flipping by buying not only one, but 8 buses is a recipe for disaster, especially if they're maxxforce equipped. You'll likely find out real quick why they were so cheap. For your sake, I hope you can swindle enough newbies to get your money back and break even on the deal.

And for the record, maxxforce dt and dt466e are two separate engines. While they are similar, one is famous, the other infamous.

Perhaps you can sell the ac parts, along with everything else of value on them, scrap the steel, and then break even on the endeavor.

Also, demac brings up a good point about the dealers license. In ohio I know you can only sell 5 cars annually without a dealer license. Not sure what state you're in, but I believe every state has a similar law. I wouldn't recommend title jumping these either.......
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Old 10-11-2022, 08:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Well, before you do anything here, read cover to cover the bendix air brake handbook. https://www.bendixvrc.com/itemDispla...ocumentID=6390

That will help you to understand what's all involved in a braking system. And you should have a very intimate understanding of a braking system before you make changes to it.

Those baffles actually create independent tanks inside of the one large "tank". There is no internal connection between them, it's all done external with fittings, tubes, and check valves. Air brake systems are required to have 2(or more) separate systems that are protected from one another, in order to ensure the brakes will function if a component failure where to occur. I'm not sure what your additional tank is for. It's obviously for additional capacity, but what system it's plugged into will determine where the additional capacity is at. Buses that have air suspensions and other air powered devices could require additional capacity, especially buses that have "kneeler" front axles. If that 2nd tank is always empty, there must be a valve of some sort that's preventing air from flowing. Often times when installing additional air tanks they will use a pressure protection valve that won't allow air flow until a certain air pressure is reached. This is so that an auxiliary air device doesn't limit or restrict your braking ability by dropping the pressure too low.

If the air is coming right back out, I'd say that quick connect fitting is junk.
Thank you for the info. I'll definitely add that to my reading list, and make sure to do so before making any adjustments.
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Old 10-21-2022, 10:21 PM   #13
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I got a cdl and this rule is against semi/trailer. You can NOT drill, cut or weld on the frames. I have no idea if that relates to us or not.
Regardless if you cut that air line it needs to be a clean 90 degrees. Theres is a tool, poly tube cutter, that makes it alot easier
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Old 10-22-2022, 01:03 AM   #14
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A little insight about welding frames on trucks and buses:
I have heard about issues with drilling holes and welding on truck frames, however when I constructed the generator mounts in my Crown I discovered the original factory spare tire mount framework is welded to the frame of the bus. I have a longtime friend in upstate New York that owns a welding shop and he told me he makes a lot of his income welding up truck frames on 18 wheelers. There are things NOT to do with frames. Modifying by drilling holes or welding on the top or bottom of the frame rails is a bad idea. The spare tire mount on both of my Crowns are welded on the side of the frame rail. My son welded mounts for the black water holding tank to the frame in the "old Crown" years ago and we never had problems with it.
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Old 10-22-2022, 05:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrd Scheit View Post
I got a cdl and this rule is against semi/trailer. You can NOT drill, cut or weld on the frames. I have no idea if that relates to us or not.
Regardless if you cut that air line it needs to be a clean 90 degrees. Theres is a tool, poly tube cutter, that makes it alot easier
There are plenty of existing holes already in the frame work, plus my tanks are currently mounted through the floor anyway. But thank you for the heads up.
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