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Old 02-02-2020, 08:56 PM   #581
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I changed the transmission fluid today. I ran outa daylight, so didn't get to take it for a test spin yet. New filter and refilled it with Transynd.
Gonna check the level again tomorrow and leave a half gallon in the bus to make sure its perfectly topped off. They sure put the trans dipstick tube in at a horrible shallow angle.
Doing the service/maintenance on the bus feels very rewarding.

After the swarm I'm gonna check out the gear oil in the rear and after a couple tanks of fuel I'll do the fuel filters.
While I was doing the fluid Roxy cleaned the seats and headliner twice. Smells much cleaner!
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:52 PM   #582
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Must be nice working in t shirts and seeing actual green foliage in the background. It's 35 and snow everywhere up here in the Midwest. Work on my skoolie pretty much stops in the winter time.



People say all dealers are overpriced but that isn't true. Places like Macalister are new bus dealers first, used department is just an afterthought.



Indiana buses are very nice. Lots of pushers and they are/were ordering them with 4 corner air ride. Quite a few have AC and understorage too. If you can get over the rust issues or find a relatively clean example they aren't bad at all.
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:58 AM   #583
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True. IDK why anyone would live in the snow!
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:43 AM   #584
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True. IDK why anyone would live in the snow!
Eh wintertime has its own sort of fun with it. My goal is to get a heated shop someday so I can continue the skoolie hobby even in winter.

The bus market here is beyond awful and you pretty much have to travel several states over to get anything worth buying.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:59 AM   #585
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ah, I see.
After reading a bunch of allison manuals I found that all reman Allison 545's come filled with Transynd. So its likely that's what was drained out. Feelin even better about it.
It wasn't BRIGHT red. Still red, though.
I'll get the trans oil cooler on it this summer.
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:07 PM   #586
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Must be nice working in t shirts and seeing actual green foliage in the background. It's 35 and snow everywhere up here in the Midwest. Work on my skoolie pretty much stops in the winter time.



People say all dealers are overpriced but that isn't true. Places like Macalister are new bus dealers first, used department is just an afterthought.



Indiana buses are very nice. Lots of pushers and they are/were ordering them with 4 corner air ride. Quite a few have AC and understorage too. If you can get over the rust issues or find a relatively clean example they aren't bad at all.
If I could get a Thomas CE with front air ride cheap enough I'd do it just for the front suspension.
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:13 PM   #587
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Took the bus over to the swarm yesterday. This was its first REAL trip since getting it home from GA a year and a half ago. She purrs along nicely. The only noise is the audacious rumble of the m/s tires. Handles wonderfully.
I'm really glad I took the gamble and bought this wildcard bus. She's a beauty.
The trans temp stays around 160-180ish but on long pulls at highway speeds uphill it will climb a bit to 200.
This bus likes to do 60-65. It feels so effortless compared to the other buses I've had.

I'm taking a break (its HOT out) and resting from the last couple hours of washing this beast. I feel for you folks who have forty feet of bus to wash. This 22' behemoth is a lot to wash. I haven't given it a scrub down since buying it and the Florida green was starting to set in. Buses here will grow algae if not washed regularly. I'm playing catch up now. The first round was bleach and water with a cap full of carwash soap. Second round was/is a heavy scrubbing with a lot of soapy water.
I may have to do a 3rd.

WASH your buses regularly, folks!
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:06 PM   #588
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I just keep going over it. the moss and algae are all but gone.
I also took the time to grease the front door lock/latch mechanism as well as the side and rear doors' as well. They get so sticky and I always forget.

Its SO NICE having the bus at my house. I'm gonna get a ton of stuff done now. I'm REALLY hoping to have it painted soon.
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Old 02-04-2020, 05:22 PM   #589
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Must be nice working in t shirts and seeing actual green foliage in the background. It's 35 and snow everywhere up here in the Midwest. Work on my skoolie pretty much stops in the winter time.



People say all dealers are overpriced but that isn't true. Places like Macalister are new bus dealers first, used department is just an afterthought.



Indiana buses are very nice. Lots of pushers and they are/were ordering them with 4 corner air ride. Quite a few have AC and understorage too. If you can get over the rust issues or find a relatively clean example they aren't bad at all.
How do you "get over" the rust issues? Doesn't underside/snow/salt rust pose a structural threat to a bus?
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:13 PM   #590
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Had another great drive in the bus tonight. Haven't driven it at night till now. The guages are really well lit and in a good placement. Much better than my last.
Spent a couple hours hanging out at the swarm.

Sure is nice having an extra vehicle. Dixie loves it too.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:11 PM   #591
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Chassis: CE 300
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Had another great drive in the bus tonight. Haven't driven it at night till now. The guages are really well lit and in a good placement. Much better than my last.
Spent a couple hours hanging out at the swarm.

Sure is nice having an extra vehicle. Dixie loves it too.
My night gauges are absolutely horrible. The pointers themselves are barely visible and that's it. I vaguely know where they're supposed to be pointing so it's ok. I have many problems that would be fixed by one of those bluefire gadgets and a tablet.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:06 AM   #592
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My night gauges are absolutely horrible. The pointers themselves are barely visible and that's it. I vaguely know where they're supposed to be pointing so it's ok. I have many problems that would be fixed by one of those bluefire gadgets and a tablet.
I want the BF/Tablet just to nerd out on everything going on with the bus.


I can't have my coolant tank rusting inside so I ordered a new one from Vander Haag's. $106 with shipping. Looks like the sight glass is included, but who knows.
Anyone done the coolant on a 3126??

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Old 02-08-2020, 09:29 AM   #593
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heres what the current one looks like-
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:37 PM   #594
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heres what the current one looks like-
I removed and reinstalled my sight glass to clean the sludge off the bottom of it...

It just unscrewed by hand. Has an o-ring to seal it. I retightened it by hand and no leaks after my test drive.


Wait, what?! Isn't that a 'blue-bird' symbol on your windshield wash bottle?
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:38 PM   #595
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THe inside on mine is rustier than the outside!
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Old 02-08-2020, 03:34 PM   #596
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How do you "get over" the rust issues? Doesn't underside/snow/salt rust pose a structural threat to a bus?
Structural rust damage is pretty rare on rust belt buses newer than 20ish years since frames are generally the last thing to fail unless if there was a manufacturing defect.

The steel main floor does tend to rust out but isn't always readily apparent until the plywood subfloor is pulled up. You also get rusted out side skirts and heavy damage to anything behind or around the wheel wells due to tires kicking up salty slush into the vehicle all winter long.

Rust also causes lines, fasteners and fittings under the bus to corrode and cause leaks and prolong routine repairs.

Spending a little more on a flight and return fuel is always preferable to me than spending precious time and resources on fixing a rust belt bus.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:51 PM   #597
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Year: 1999
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Rated Cap: 15
Took it on a trip out to the swarm. Its a nice drive from my place.
Bus ran great as usual. When we got there I popped the hood to show Sam and Ronnie that belt and noticed right away one of the hoses at the top of the coolant reservoir was leaking under pressure. Ronnie pulled it off and threw another hose clamp from his toolbox on it and that took care of that! THANKS again, Ronnie. You're a true friend, and a hell of a mechanic.
Glad to be putting some miles and use on the bus. It likes it, but it does bring all the little issues to light.
On the way home I noticed my oil pressure gauge didn't look right. At some point today the needle broke in half and the end fell off. It looks strange. Still sorta readable.
How the hell does the needle of the gauge break in half? its totally encased!
Kubla gave me several of his NICE comfy coach seats. They recline and have built in footrests. Very cool, thanks Eric. Hope your trip back in that white whale is as cloudlike and cozy as it can be. I'm jealous of that air ride and that beast of an engine. I'm gonna get those seats into my bus asap.
As much as its gonna suck I gotta start paint prep this week. Ugh.
At least the bus is in my yard now. That totally makes the project a lot more enticing. I can wear myself out, go smoke a bowl, and go back to it all day. I'm planning to take a few weeks or so to really get it prepped as well as I can.
Still unsure about what paint I'll end up using but I'm going to the local auto paint store to talk to them this week and get a game plan together. I want a satin or semi-gloss single stage I think.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:14 AM   #598
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Got the new coolant reservoir yesterday afternoon. Came with new sight glass with a nice, beefy base. Thinking about putting another coat or two of paint onto it for good measure.
It has the fitting on the side for a low coolant sensor but mine doesn't seem to have the sensor, just a plug in that port.
I'll install the new tank then proceed with flushing the system thoroughly. The plan is to switch it to ELC. I think it came with that originally.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:03 PM   #599
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Still havemmthe front end shake at speed, maybe shocks or bushings, do not know if MCI has steering dampers
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:22 PM   #600
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Still havemmthe front end shake at speed, maybe shocks or bushings, do not know if MCI has steering dampers
Your torque rod bushings are looking pretty rough.
I found torque arms for mine WITH bushings for $100 per.
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