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Old 08-10-2017, 10:26 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by want2camp View Post
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
That doesn't look 1/4" thick, but there is no scale in the picture....
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:47 PM   #62
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You're a a heck of a writer ! (better scribe than bus driver, it seems )

Yeah, much pucker on that first solo run. It's a beast, so go slow whatever you do. Other vehicles can see you, no worries there !

One of the best lessons I learned when I got my CDL is when I used to worry about cars in line behind my slow-going trucker-self, my instructor said: "F#$% 'em--if they wanted to get there ahead of us, they should have left earlier."

That was an important lesson not to worry about anyone other than driving safely.

Big vehicles do get pushed around by semi's. They push and pull you a bit, I let it happen and don't try to fight it a lot. You'll see them coming-up on you in your mirrors and be ready for it. Wind is another story...watch the landscape and vehicles swaying ahead for early warning.

Pre-trip walkaround cannot be stressed enough. Tires, hatches, latches, wires, hoses...all that stuff hooked to the outside. People drive-off regularly still hooked to shore power... A bit of OCD is nice here.

Mechanic will be costly, but towing AND mechanic is more costly, so you def did right thing by getting checkup.

If you've ever ridden a motorcycle, you devlop radar for idiots/situations. Same with big vehicle- after awhile you know that minivan that has been debating pulling-out in front of the big vehicle will do it last second so they don't get caught behind a slow bus. Light pops yellow as you approach gives 2 choices- lockem-up and powerslide thru the intersection in a behemoth, or glide thru the *slightly* pink light.

Much different than driving an Acura. But I bet you felt ALIVE when you made it into work and you didn't need a coffee to wake you up !
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:02 PM   #63
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You're a a heck of a writer ! (better scribe than bus driver, it seems )
Certainly right now I am. I hope to change that over time.

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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Yeah, much pucker on that first solo run. It's a beast, so go slow whatever you do. Other vehicles can see you, no worries there !
Yea, I was taking it slow. It is definitely a beast. The one thing I learned very quickly is that the bus doesn't respond as quickly as a car. The first few times I tried correcting for a gust of wind I majorly over-corrected. So I started making much smaller adjustments and waiting for the bus to react. Much easier....

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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
One of the best lessons I learned when I got my CDL is when I used to worry about cars in line behind my slow-going trucker-self, my instructor said: "F#$% 'em--if they wanted to get there ahead of us, they should have left earlier."

That was an important lesson not to worry about anyone other than driving safely
Oh, believe me, I wasn't caring about them unless they posed a danger to me.

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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Big vehicles do get pushed around by semi's. They push and pull you a bit, I let it happen and don't try to fight it a lot. You'll see them coming-up on you in your mirrors and be ready for it. Wind is another story...watch the landscape and vehicles swaying ahead for early warning.

Pre-trip walkaround cannot be stressed enough. Tires, hatches, latches, wires, hoses...all that stuff hooked to the outside. People drive-off regularly still hooked to shore power... A bit of OCD is nice here.

Mechanic will be costly, but towing AND mechanic is more costly, so you def did right thing by getting checkup.
Good advice all the way around....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
If you've ever ridden a motorcycle, you devlop radar for idiots/situations. Same with big vehicle- after awhile you know that minivan that has been debating pulling-out in front of the big vehicle will do it last second so they don't get caught behind a slow bus. Light pops yellow as you approach gives 2 choices- lockem-up and powerslide thru the intersection in a behemoth, or glide thru the *slightly* pink light.
I can see how that would happen....

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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Much different than driving an Acura. But I bet you felt ALIVE when you made it into work and you didn't need a coffee to wake you up !
Absolutely correct. I didn't need any caffeine - at all. Full Stop. I was still sweating at 9pm that night at home.
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:09 PM   #64
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Was taking vacation in Colorado last week and spotted a converted Van Hool and an International skoolie within an hour of each other on I-70 in Kansas about 100mi from the Colorado border on Saturday, 12 August - probably early afternoon.

Needless to say my family caused quite a stir inside the car pointing out the converted buses to one another. We wanted to follow them until they stopped so we could talk to them, but we were caravaning with family that just wanted to get to our destination....

Anyone here know who they were? We'd still like to talk to them....
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:23 PM   #65
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There's a switch in my engine compartment labeled "hi idle / lo idle". When switched to the former, the engine idles at a noticeably higher RPM than the latter.

Can anyone tell me the benefits and drawbacks of this switch?

Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:58 PM   #66
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Bus is back at home after its trip to the mechanics (and my vacation to Colorado). I'm looking forward to getting back to working on it!

And this trip was almost a let-down in how UNeventful it was compared to my first time out (my walk around found an issue straight away that they were able to fix). My wife was very apprehensive about getting the bus back in the driveway, but I pulled it in and missed the powerpole! She even said that I made it look easy....

BTW, the guys @ PFM in south Indianapolis are some great guys! Knowledgeable and very helpful. In addition to the general maintenance I asked them to do, they found a number of items that I didn't know about (some they fixed, some they left for me to fix...). I was able to talk to the guy that worked on my bus. He volunteered some info that I didn't know about as well as stating "sometimes old buses like this have undersides that are a mess - this one doesn't! It was definitely a southern bus." I almost think he was sad to see the bus go.... Anyway, I'll be doing more business with them. I'm not quite ready to tackle all of the maintenance myself just yet.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:45 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
There's a switch in my engine compartment labeled "hi idle / lo idle". When switched to the former, the engine idles at a noticeably higher RPM than the latter.

Can anyone tell me the benefits and drawbacks of this switch?

Thanks!
For anything more than a minute or two of idling, it's better for the engine to be at high idle:
1. Air compressors are typically most efficient at about 1400 RPM, so if your engine is high-idling at 1100 RPM it will build air quicker than at 600 RPM low idle, and more effectively than if you have the pedal all the way to the floor.
2. At low idle there's a lot of vibration that transmits through to the bearings; at high idle most of that vibration is at a frequency that won't resonate through the entire engine block. Notice how much smoother the engine is at high idle?
3. Oil pressure is higher at high idle. Some engines make only a few PSI oil pressure at 600 RPM, not really enough for effective lubrication.
4. Alternators charge batteries better at high idle, especially important if there is an OTR A/C system.
5. In cold weather some engines are running too cool at low idle, which will cause internal condensation and corrosion, and will cause incomplete combustion resulting in unburnt fuel washing past piston rings and diluting the engine oil. After driving enough to bring the engine to full operating temperature, if the coolant temp then drops below normal when at low idle you need to engage high idle instead. This is important - engine life is affected by this.

Why is your high idle switch in the engine compartment? It needs to be easily accessible to the driver, not hidden away somewhere. It should also be operable only when the parking brake is set and when in Neutral. I suggest you relocate this switch.

John
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:59 PM   #68
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Thanks John! That really spells it out for me. I knew there had to be benefits, but I didn't know what they were....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Why is your high idle switch in the engine compartment?
I don't know why the designers put it there. I would guess because it was a city bus and the designers were trying to cut down on anything that could "distract the driver" such as a fuel gauge (yep, my bus currently doesn't have one).

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Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
[The high-idle switch] should also be operable only when the parking brake is set and when in Neutral.
What should the behavior be? Should the engine always be hi-idle or lo-idle until those conditions are met?

Quote:
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I suggest you relocate this switch.
There's a number of things I'm going to change when I re-do the dash and driver's side controls. I'll add this to the list....
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:43 PM   #69
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What should the behavior be? Should the engine always be hi-idle or lo-idle until those conditions are met?
Engine should lo-idle by default. Hi-idle only when the previously listed conditions are met and hi-idle switch is on/enabled.
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:35 PM   #70
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Quick update. I have one baggage bin out plus the "arch" over the handicap door:


I had to unscrew some sort of window framing on the inside so that I could get at the screws holding the baggage bins on the wall. When I started working on the next set of bins this happened:


Well, now I know how the windows were being held in. I immediately screwed back in the frames I had unscrewed....

Fortunately the glass didn't crack or shatter, although the plastic/rubber seal on the corner of the window assembly where it hit the ground is damaged....

I also discovered some rust - the manufacturer didn't use enough butyl around the windows - actually just a little on the outside and a little on the inside.... Any water that made it past the seal basically just sat at the bottom of the window between the window assembly and the bus frame. The bus frame underneath some of the windows is pretty badly rusted; and under other windows not rusted at all....

So, what was that rust arrestor goop called again? I've got a feeling I'm going to need quite a bit of it....
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:30 PM   #71
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When I started working on the next set of bins this happened:
Holy cats, those must be some tough windows- bounced on the gravel quite a ways.

They all like Rustoleum Rust Converter for the heavy stuff, Ospho for the lighter stuff.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:56 PM   #72
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Holy cats, those must be some tough windows- bounced on the gravel quite a ways.
Yes, they seem to be very tough. The damage doesn't seem that bad, but I doubt it will seal against rain very well any more.

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They all like Rustoleum Rust Converter for the heavy stuff, Ospho for the lighter stuff.
Thank you! I've discovered that some of the members around the windows are rusted so much they've disintegrated. To me, that doesn't bode well for the rest of the frame....
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:03 PM   #73
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Yes, they seem to be very tough. The damage doesn't seem that bad, but I doubt it will seal against rain very well any more.



Thank you! I've discovered that some of the members around the windows are rusted so much they've disintegrated. To me, that doesn't bode well for the rest of the frame....
You will be shocked at the price of a window seal, maybe you can use sealant to fill the void.

Make sure you aren't spending a lot of money and time on a rust bucket.... it might just be the window frames hopefully. If unsure, bus mechanic inspection may be worthwhile. Post pictures of the uderside/frame/rust and we all will chime-in.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:17 PM   #74
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You will be shocked at the price of a window seal, maybe you can use sealant to fill the void.

Make sure you aren't spending a lot of money and time on a rust bucket.... it might just be the window frames hopefully. If unsure, bus mechanic inspection may be worthwhile. Post pictures of the uderside/frame/rust and we all will chime-in.
I've had it to the mechanic to bring it up-to-date on its maintenance. He made the comment that the underside was "incredibly clean for its age. Its obvious it was a southern bus...." So I'm not concerned about the frame at large, but I am concerned about specific sections. Heck, I might get a roof-raise after all....
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:43 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
Quick update. I have one baggage bin out plus the "arch" over the handicap door:


I had to unscrew some sort of window framing on the inside so that I could get at the screws holding the baggage bins on the wall. When I started working on the next set of bins this happened:


Well, now I know how the windows were being held in. I immediately screwed back in the frames I had unscrewed....

Fortunately the glass didn't crack or shatter, although the plastic/rubber seal on the corner of the window assembly where it hit the ground is damaged....

I also discovered some rust - the manufacturer didn't use enough butyl around the windows - actually just a little on the outside and a little on the inside.... Any water that made it past the seal basically just sat at the bottom of the window between the window assembly and the bus frame. The bus frame underneath some of the windows is pretty badly rusted; and under other windows not rusted at all....

So, what was that rust arrestor goop called again? I've got a feeling I'm going to need quite a bit of it....
The BEST product for rust I've ever tried is Rust Reformer. Its $75 a gallon but does an incredible job.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:18 AM   #76
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Thanks to some neighborhood teens (football players at that...) the window is back in the bus. None too soon as rain is forecasted for Wednesday....

And thanks to those who posted what rust reverser to use. Once I have the rust stopped, what stuff do I use to keep it from coming back should moisture get into the walls again? I see the butyl the manufacturer used, but is there other stuff?
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:40 AM   #77
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Thanks to some neighborhood teens (football players at that...) the window is back in the bus. None too soon as rain is forecasted for Wednesday....

And thanks to those who posted what rust reverser to use. Once I have the rust stopped, what stuff do I use to keep it from coming back should moisture get into the walls again? I see the butyl the manufacturer used, but is there other stuff?
Once its converted, prime it and/or paint it with whatever you like.
The key to keep it from coming back is keeping moisture out of the walls from the get-go.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:50 AM   #78
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Once its converted, prime it and/or paint it with whatever you like.
The key to keep it from coming back is keeping moisture out of the walls from the get-go.
Gotcha. Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:53 PM   #79
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Opened part of the wall tonight to try and find the source of the rust. Looks like what I found around the window that "fell out" (i.e. the rust on the steel member under the window) is exactly what I found elsewhere:





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Old 10-01-2017, 01:12 PM   #80
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The city of Houston ripped a bit of it out when they sold the bus, but the ZONAR stuff mounted around lends credence to your explanation. I tried to find information about some of this but hit a brick wall. What other pictures do you need?

I'm trying to identify what I should keep and what can go as I start ripping. I'm a techie, but even so the number of wires running to and fro boggles my mind....

I thought that looked like our old Metro buses!
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