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Old 07-29-2017, 08:21 PM   #41
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Couldn't stand the fiberglass back behind the driver, so I removed it. But in the process I had to start ripping out all of the leftover wiring from the zonar and motorola radios the city that owned the bus had removed before selling the bus. Ugh.


I was hoping to get part of the parcel bins removed, but the wiring took precedence as there is a big mess up there from those silly radios.

One problem I have is that the outside panel beside the driver's position is locked down and can only be opened by some sort of "T square tool". Anyone got an idea how I can either get one or mock up one long enough to get my panel open?

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:11 PM   #42
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My goal today was to get into the outside driver's side compartment. I found out that to open the cover I need one of those "special" square-tipped for-buses-only "T" handle tool. I've not been able to find one either at the hardware store, on eBay, on Amazon, or on the general internet (using google). This has been one of the only times I've never been able to find something I need on the internet.

Well I did find that one of my large drill bits has a square end that fits! The "bit" is 5/16" on a side, although its a tight fit. Maybe it should be 1/4" on a side....

Anyway, I got the cover opened and this is want greeted me....


Uh, where's all the circuitry???

Oh, there it is....


The driver's side panel lifts straight up. You can see the gas cylinders that are supposed to to hold it up on the previous picture. The gas has all leaked out now and friction is the only thing holding it up.

Still, anyone know what that square tool is called or where I can get one??
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:25 PM   #43
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wow how about if my bus is pulling a rig to a destination where the rig on the trailer will be making the money ? the bus is used as a home while at the event ?
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:26 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Busmanmoab View Post
wow how about if my bus is pulling a rig to a destination where the rig on the trailer will be making the money ? the bus is used as a home while at the event ?
First, IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer).

My understanding is if you are driving a "commercial motor vehicle" as a job or in support of any kind of trade you need a CDL. So, if you sell something out of the back of the CMV, or the CMV itself carries or tows something you sell out of (i.e. carnies, carnival rides, food trucks, etc.), you're on the hook for a CDL.

However, if you have no money-making aspirations tied up in the driving of the rig, then you are driving for personal reasons (i.e. "just seeing the sights"), you are not regulated and don't need a CDL, even if the vehicle itself is registered as a "commercial motor vehicle".

The real twist with my interaction with the "Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division" of the Indiana State Patrol was when they:
1. stated to legally use an RV plate, you must be driving for personal reasons only, and
2. suggested to leave the bus titled / registered / plated as a BUS and not convert to an RV, which keeps open the option to drive the vehicle / bus commercially (just remember to have a CDL when you do so).

What follows here is pure speculation on my part, but with regards to #2, if my wife who runs a Mary Kay business decides she wants to personally "deliver" some product to family who lives 100mi away, using the bus so as to write off the miles while spending some time with them, then I'd suspect that trip will fall under the "you need a CDL" category. If she just drove to see them without delivering Mary Kay, then its in the "nope, no CDL" category. Furthermore, I'd surmise that "delivering" Mary Kay while using an RV plate or without a CDL is illegal.

It seems that it all comes down to how you are making your money. If your making money is in any way tied up in driving your CMV / bus / RV that weighs over 10k lbs. (or 26k lbs., I haven't determined which is the limit), you better have a CDL.

Again, IANAL.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:44 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
Couldn't stand the fiberglass back behind the driver, so I removed it. But in the process I had to start ripping out all of the leftover wiring from the zonar and motorola radios the city that owned the bus had removed before selling the bus. Ugh.


I was hoping to get part of the parcel bins removed, but the wiring took precedence as there is a big mess up there from those silly radios.

One problem I have is that the outside panel beside the driver's position is locked down and can only be opened by some sort of "T square tool". Anyone got an idea how I can either get one or mock up one long enough to get my panel open?

Thanks!

Marky, I think what the key type is would be available from Allen Bradley or perhaps an electrical wholesaler in your area. I know many electricians carry them in their tool box too so they are out there. I have one kicking around the shop someplace but that doesn't help you much.
In your first post is where I got a clue when you mention AB programmable controller.
Just explain your predicament to those folks and they should help if nobody here can.

Good luck,

John
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:56 AM   #46
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Question

Have you tried 1/4" drive socket tools?

Amazon Linkhttps://www.amazon.com/Wera-Zyklop-T...drive+t+handle
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:00 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston View Post
Have you tried 1/4" drive socket tools?

Amazon Linkhttps://www.amazon.com/Wera-Zyklop-T...drive+t+handle
I thought I had, but ill give it a second go.

Sent from my SHIELD Tablet K1 using Tapatalk
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:21 PM   #48
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I thinl the DMV may be confusing what is required to drive the vehicle vs use it in a business.. or what defines a commercial vehicle.. is a commercial vehicle anything used in commerce or is it anything over certain GVWR / passenger capacity.. ultimately its a mess because either way they go theres a loophole..

alas if defined as used in commerce.. now I know why the E350 regular cargo vans my neighbor has are displaying DOT numbers.. they are hot-shotters.. never pull a trailer and just the van.. easily a "non cdl" van in its form from the dealer.. but used in commerce.

so is my 27k GVWR bus commercial or not? most DMV reps would say yes it is. "is my E350 club wagin commercial?" most DMV reps would say no.. ..

why not just remove the wierd square tool and eother put a screw in or a different type of lock on that outer panel? ive seen those square tools around.. john is right they seem to be in electricians toolboxes most times I see them.
-Christopher
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:35 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
First, IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer).

...

Again, IANAL.

Uhhh, why the hell not? Welcome- you add much to the posts !
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:10 PM   #50
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Uhhh, why the hell not?


C'mon, you know why....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Welcome- you add much to the posts !
Thank you very much!
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:16 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I thinl the DMV may be confusing what is required to drive the vehicle vs use it in a business.. or what defines a commercial vehicle.. is a commercial vehicle anything used in commerce or is it anything over certain GVWR / passenger capacity.. ultimately its a mess because either way they go theres a loophole..

alas if defined as used in commerce.. now I know why the E350 regular cargo vans my neighbor has are displaying DOT numbers.. they are hot-shotters.. never pull a trailer and just the van.. easily a "non cdl" van in its form from the dealer.. but used in commerce.

so is my 27k GVWR bus commercial or not? most DMV reps would say yes it is. "is my E350 club wagin commercial?" most DMV reps would say no.. ..
IANAL. My understanding is its not the vehicle necessarily, but why you are driving it. Yes, there are weight / mass limitations, but you could be driving a simple 4-passenger car and need a CDL (i.e. limo driver, Uber, etc.) - well, its not a CDL, but a limo license, but you get the idea. But the gov't doesn't seem to have a mandate in regulating personal excursions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
why not just remove the wierd square tool and eother put a screw in or a different type of lock on that outer panel? ive seen those square tools around.. john is right they seem to be in electricians toolboxes most times I see them.
-Christopher
I will (and add locks to all the other basement doors, too), but that is waaay down the list of things to do. I still have to finish cleaning all of the old cabling out and get the parcel racks out. Then there's ripping the walls and ceiling down. Yadda, yadda. Yep, I'm moving slowly.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:34 PM   #52
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More ripping. Ripping out all of the extra "stuff" the city that had the bus first put in for managing it and the driver....



I still have two very large cables I'd like to pull but I can't figure out how they are routed through the front of the bus. I may leave them until I pull apart the dash to to rebuild it.

I've also counted at least 5 antennas that the city installed in the bus! Incredible....
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:41 PM   #53
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Great bus choice!
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:02 PM   #54
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Great bus choice!
Thank you! However, if someone chooses a coach, be forewarned that it'll take longer to convert than a school bus. The seats are heavier; the parcel racks are larger; and (usually) the bus has the (mostly useless) destination signs - stuff that a conversion really doesn't need, and costs to move around if you keep.

With a school bus, you can usually be converting within a few weeks to a month of purchase. I'm into the 4th month now and I've barely scratched the surface. I will admit that I didn't get started immediately as the seats were in the way. However, I've learned a lot of the legal side of things while I was waiting for the seats to go. I was also pouring over the schematics and opening up all of the hatches to learn what was what before I started changing things.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:15 PM   #55
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I am 50/50 on the bus choice right now - a coach gives more storage under for example (tanks, generator, grill, bikes ), the skoolie lacks all that... You might be able to make it work - you might not... I'll make a decision one day, but for now I enjoy them all .
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:21 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piston9 View Post
I am 50/50 on the bus choice right now - a coach gives more storage under for example (tanks, generator, grill, bikes ), the skoolie lacks all that... You might be able to make it work - you might not... I'll make a decision one day, but for now I enjoy them all .
For sure! The reason I selected a coach is for the four kids my wife and I have.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:41 PM   #57
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It sounds like the mystery square key that you need is the same as my Crown Key. It's a slightly-tapered square, I'm guessing from about 1/4" to about 5/16", with a T-handle, forged as one piece. It fits all the A.L Hansen no.46 compartment latches on my bus, including the main electrical junction box door. Ace Hardware has a plumbing key with several stepped square sizes that will also work, so maybe you can try one of them for a few bucks.

And about the "Is it commercial or not?" question, strictly speaking if your vehicle has any type of commercial logo or branding on it or is directly used to generate any income at all, it's a commercial vehicle. Taxis and Uber cars are commercial vehicles. Courier mopeds and motorbikes are commercial vehicles. Company cars used by salesmen are commercial vehicles. Pickup trucks and vans used for work or with any business or company advertising written on them are commercial vehicles. RVs and toy trailers with the name or logo of a team or event for which you can win any prize money are commercial vehicles. In practice, will you be cited for having a non-commercial license when driving such a vehicle? Probably not, but the law is not on your side. Commercial refers to the actual use of the vehicle, not what is was originally built for. An RV used to support a race team that can win money or tangible-asset prizes is a commercial vehicle, and can be pulled over by federal DOT agents. I wonder how many of the RVs and toy trailers that swarm out to the desert here every weekend for dirtbike and quadbike races realize that? On the other hand, I can buy a brand-new Class 8 truck and use it to haul a big 5th-wheel private RV trailer, but it's not for commercial use and may be able to be driven on just a car license! A few years ago the DOT came down hard on entertainer coaches that were registered as RVs - they looked similar to private bus conversions, but were used differently. Remember that commercial use falls under federal guidelines, but non-commercial use is outside those parameters. That's why, for example, non-commercial Class B licenses are available in California for operating any vehicle (except Housecars and some agricultural operations) over 26,000 GVWR, or for operating a Housecar over 40 feet in length. If you really want to know what is needed, read the state vehicle code: everything is based off that, not some ignorant DMV dweeb's or patrol officer's personal recollection or opinion! Find the pertinent sections of the vehicle code, print them out and keep them with you.

John
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:21 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
It sounds like the mystery square key that you need is the same as my Crown Key. It's a slightly-tapered square, I'm guessing from about 1/4" to about 5/16", with a T-handle, forged as one piece. It fits all the A.L Hansen no.46 compartment latches on my bus, including the main electrical junction box door. Ace Hardware has a plumbing key with several stepped square sizes that will also work, so maybe you can try one of them for a few bucks.
That sounds exactly like what I need. I'll check out an Ace Hardware (if I can find one in Indy) for that plumbing key.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
And about the "Is it commercial or not?" question, strictly speaking if your vehicle has any type of commercial logo or branding on it or is directly used to generate any income at all, it's a commercial vehicle. Taxis and Uber cars are commercial vehicles. Courier mopeds and motorbikes are commercial vehicles. Company cars used by salesmen are commercial vehicles. Pickup trucks and vans used for work or with any business or company advertising written on them are commercial vehicles. RVs and toy trailers with the name or logo of a team or event for which you can win any prize money are commercial vehicles. In practice, will you be cited for having a non-commercial license when driving such a vehicle? Probably not, but the law is not on your side. Commercial refers to the actual use of the vehicle, not what is was originally built for. An RV used to support a race team that can win money or tangible-asset prizes is a commercial vehicle, and can be pulled over by federal DOT agents. I wonder how many of the RVs and toy trailers that swarm out to the desert here every weekend for dirtbike and quadbike races realize that? On the other hand, I can buy a brand-new Class 8 truck and use it to haul a big 5th-wheel private RV trailer, but it's not for commercial use and may be able to be driven on just a car license! A few years ago the DOT came down hard on entertainer coaches that were registered as RVs - they looked similar to private bus conversions, but were used differently. Remember that commercial use falls under federal guidelines, but non-commercial use is outside those parameters. That's why, for example, non-commercial Class B licenses are available in California for operating any vehicle (except Housecars and some agricultural operations) over 26,000 GVWR, or for operating a Housecar over 40 feet in length. If you really want to know what is needed, read the state vehicle code: everything is based off that, not some ignorant DMV dweeb's or patrol officer's personal recollection or opinion! Find the pertinent sections of the vehicle code, print them out and keep them with you.

John
Thank you, that is much better put than what I was saying. We should "sticky" this particular message for posterity!
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:01 PM   #59
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I remember those keys from my days driving school bus many moons ago. I think the above mentioned plumbing tool is a "faucet seat wrench". A quick google search came up with the one linked to below but there are probably loads of other places to get one.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Superior-...&wl13=&veh=sem
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:24 PM   #60
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What a day....

Well, I had a very eventful day today. I was needing to take the bus to the mechanic's shop to get it "professionally" maintained, as I don't yet trust myself to know where every filter, valve, or tube goes. Yes, I know, there's no way to really learn without doing it yourself, but with how big this bus is, I'm just not ready to bite off on that yet. Plus, the bus hasn't been maintained in probably over two years. So, I want a "professional" to look it over.

I figured it was time for the bus to "stretch its wings", er, tires. My plan was to drive it to my office (over 35 miles away), then to the mechanics' at the end of the day. My wife was to pick me up there. Well, it didn't go quite to plan. (Please remember that I had the bus delivered to me, so I haven't driven it yet.) Here is my story to entertain and warm your hearts....

Well, getting it out of the driveway was the first challenge. My driveway is about 22' wide, between a rod-iron fence on the left side and a telephone/power pole on the right. The bus is 8.5' wide and 45' long. The road I was trying to pull out on is only about 18' wide. Fortunately there were no curbs. However, I turned too soon and the bus kissed the power pole. Oops. Well, the bus needs body work anyway....

After much consternation on my wife's part, I finally got the bus off the pole and lined up on the street. Whew. Onward!

You have to remember, the largest vehicle I've ever controlled up to this point in my life was a 20' box truck. Yea, that really didn't help that much....

First corner - a right. No cars, time to go. "Pull forward, then turn" echoed in my head. I missed the right curb by inches, whew. Then a stop sign - continue on. Crest a few hills, whoa, cars! I then came to the highway. Turn right into a nice, large opening. Press the accelerator, engine came to life and I accelerated, wow, what a thrill! Whoa, crosswind! Don't run off the road!

First things first, I need some fuel. I made my way to a Flying J and pulled into the 18 wheeler pumps. I do remember seeing a YouTube video on this - two pumps, one on either side. The "controller" was on the left or driver's side (but my doors are on the right side). Around to the control panel and swipe my card - "please see attendant", just what I expected. Into the store I go. Pay. Then back out to the pumps. I first go to the right side hoping I could just start fueling. Nope. Go to the other side and I read on the screen - "please activate left pump to use the right pump." I pulled the nozzle and laid it on the ground, then popped the lever. Back around to the other side. Pull the nozzle, pop the lever, insert, and start fueling. Ok, I think I'm getting the idea....

I finish fueling and put the nozzles back. Climb back onboard. But before I get going, two "truckers" saunter by. Shirtless, tattoos everywhere, and eyeing me like I had two heads. All I could do was smile back.... I'm sure they had grist for their mill for the next three hours....

So I headed out, back on the highway, on my way to work. I think I gripped the steering wheel a bit tightly as my hands were hurting by the time I got to work. Wind blew me around. Strange drivers making even stranger maneuvers in front of me. Stuff like that. Ah, I have a better understanding what what the truckers go through.

I got to work late. Great, my coworkers were going to have a "field day". Sure enough - "Hey! You finally made it!" "Yea, he probably was driving his bus!" "What if I was?" "Yea, too bad you didn't drive it here!" "Well, I did." "WHAT?!?" They made a beeline for the door. We spent the next half an hour looking the bus over. "Wow, look at that engine!" "Look at that sway bar!" I just wanted a drink - of water. Well, it was hot outside....

Worked my time, then headed back out to the bus to take it over to the mechanic's. Bus started but refused to move. Uh, oh. Little did I know that the side door was wired in such a way that if the bus thought it was open (even by a fraction), it would not move. Oh, wonderful.

I tried everything - push on the door, pryed the door, pulled the door, all to no avail. An hour later I called the previous owner - "I'm in a pickle." "If you need to move the bus, flip the switch in the compartment above the driver!" Ah, wonderful buzzer, but the bus moves. I'll remember that for "next" time.... Onward!

On the way to the mechanic's, one of the locks on the right side back outside hatch broke and it popped open. I flipped my hazards on and started looking for a place to stop. I finally found one on an offramp, got out, and shut the hatch. Great, is that going to happen again? That is sooooo incredibly dangerous. I went 55 the rest of the way, praying it didn't pop open again. It didn't. Prayer really does work!!!

Finally made it to the mechanic's, and there was my wife waiting for me. That adventure was finally over. Now I just wonder what the mechanic is going to charge me....
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