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Old 07-02-2018, 11:36 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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DET 6-71 St. Louis Mechanic/Shop

Hi everyone, I wanted to know if there is any shop or mechanic in the STL area that any of you can recommend. I am in the process of converting our 1978 Crown Bus which has a Detroit 6-71. I need to change the oil soon and I also need to lube the bus up (grease all zerk fittings etc, specifically the fan bearing as I was told this one usually is hard to spot and is neglected often) I have been told to try to stay away from RV repair places since our bus is more like a truck or highway coach and that I should try to find shops or mechanics with experience with these vehicles and 2-stroke diesels. If there is any shop or anyone that can recommend me to one in the STL area or midwest please I would really appreciate it.
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:47 AM   #2
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The only experience I have with diesel mechanics in St Louis was poor. For the kind of work you're looking to do, I'd call a truck stop/travel center with a garage, or just do it myself. The consistently bad shop experiences I've had push me towards buying new tools and learning new things instead of relying on a "professional".
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
The only experience I have with diesel mechanics in St Louis was poor. For the kind of work you're looking to do, I'd call a truck stop/travel center with a garage, or just do it myself. The consistently bad shop experiences I've had push me towards buying new tools and learning new things instead of relying on a "professional".
So you recommend the truck stop with garage would be suitable for greasing up our bus and maybe even doing the oil change?
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:03 PM   #4
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I believe you will get a better result than if you went to a generic auto shop, or even a diesel speciality shop. The last place I went had a yard full of school buses and couldn't diagnose a bad glow temperature sensor on a "hard to start when warm" truck.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:59 PM   #5
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Hit truck center that does detroit diesels.....

Or any truck center, should do a lube and oil change.... If you do this at a truck stop, they do it faster... cause at the truck stops that is all they do pretty much.

check the prices online so you know what to expect. Think there is a truck stop that does this sort of thing on the east side of river by the race track.

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Old 07-02-2018, 04:21 PM   #6
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Or any truck center, should do a lube and oil change.... If you do this at a truck stop, they do it faster... cause at the truck stops that is all they do pretty much.

check the prices online so you know what to expect. Think there is a truck stop that does this sort of thing on the east side of river by the race track.

william
Great thanks for this info this gives me a little peace of mind, do you by any chance have the name of that truck stop?
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:05 PM   #7
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So you recommend the truck stop with garage would be suitable for greasing up our bus and maybe even doing the oil change?
Any truck shop should be able to handle it.
Or just do it yourself. Its not any harder than changing the oil on a pickup truck. Just bigger.
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:10 PM   #8
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truck stop

do a google search for truck stops... you should see a loves truckers stop...

find a loves nearest you that does the oil change lube service... and make sure you know how to lube fan...

I have installed a remote line to grease points... you can stand in one place and grease damn near a whole truck... problem is the first time you do it... takes a lot of grease to fill those empty lines, used a whole case the first time.

Rolls royce at one time there was a button you could push,,, it greased the chassis.

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Old 07-02-2018, 07:45 PM   #9
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+1 for Loves.. I broke an idler last fall. and they were cool.. worked together with me to find the parts and get them on...

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Old 07-03-2018, 08:58 AM   #10
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Another vote for Loves. They have been very helpful with issues I had on the road and they make their living with tires and lube services.

Just talk to the shop manager about the correct oil for your engine (low ash content like Delo 100) and ask whether they can get it or you should bring your own.

As far as the specific maintenance of a DD 6-71 is concerned, try to learn doing it yourself. Get the few special tools on ebay and have an old-school DD mechanic look over your shoulder the first time you do it. It is not rocket science and I find it very rewarding when the engine purrs like a kitten as a result of me doing more than writing a check.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:17 AM   #11
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Hi everyone, I wanted to know if there is any shop or mechanic in the STL area that any of you can recommend.
I'm not sure they can help you and I don't have a lot of experience with them but...

I took my coach to Mid-American Coaches near Washington, MO a little more than a year ago. A young mechanic from church worked there and he gave my coach a good going over, oil, and filters change. They are not inexpensive and seem to mostly work with the newer style coaches. I've not had them do any "real" work so really can't comment on their abilities.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:24 PM   #12
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Another vote for Loves. They have been very helpful with issues I had on the road and they make their living with tires and lube services.

Just talk to the shop manager about the correct oil for your engine (low ash content like Delo 100) and ask whether they can get it or you should bring your own.

As far as the specific maintenance of a DD 6-71 is concerned, try to learn doing it yourself. Get the few special tools on ebay and have an old-school DD mechanic look over your shoulder the first time you do it. It is not rocket science and I find it very rewarding when the engine purrs like a kitten as a result of me doing more than writing a check.
Thanks, I do plan on learning to do as much myself, right now the bus has Delo 400 in it, because at one point it was said that delo 400 was fine and since delo 100 is almost impossible to get a hold of in California where the bus was, the mechanic who did a partial rebuild on the engine (heads had cracked) put delo 400 and I was told it is okay, I drove it from california to missouri and averaged about 1 gallon of oil every 1,000 miles. For right now I plan on just greasing the bus on all the joints and the fan bearing. When I get back from a trip to tenessee on the bus I plan on changing the oil and filters since they have less than 2100 miles on them. By the time we get back from Tenesse itll be at 3,000 miles and I will do the oil change to delo 100.

Do any of you have a rough estimate as to what a reasonable grease job should be? I need the bus to be greased up only (how do I find that fan bearing I was told it was somewhere by the fan towards the front of the bus) I want to make sure I know where it is so I can show mechanic and make sure they do it, as I heard many people do not grease this bearing because of the difficult location.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:38 PM   #13
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Thanks, I do plan on learning to do as much myself, right now the bus has Delo 400 in it, because at one point it was said that delo 400 was fine and since delo 100 is almost impossible to get a hold of in California where the bus was, the mechanic who did a partial rebuild on the engine (heads had cracked) put delo 400 and I was told it is okay, I drove it from california to missouri and averaged about 1 gallon of oil every 1,000 miles. For right now I plan on just greasing the bus on all the joints and the fan bearing. When I get back from a trip to tenessee on the bus I plan on changing the oil and filters since they have less than 2100 miles on them. By the time we get back from Tenesse itll be at 3,000 miles and I will do the oil change to delo 100.

Do any of you have a rough estimate as to what a reasonable grease job should be? I need the bus to be greased up only (how do I find that fan bearing I was told it was somewhere by the fan towards the front of the bus) I want to make sure I know where it is so I can show mechanic and make sure they do it, as I heard many people do not grease this bearing because of the difficult location.
If everything else fails, you can order Delo 100 at any West Marine store.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:56 AM   #14
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The only experience I have with diesel mechanics in St Louis was poor. For the kind of work you're looking to do, I'd call a truck stop/travel center with a garage, or just do it myself. The consistently bad shop experiences I've had push me towards buying new tools and learning new things instead of relying on a "professional".
Okay guys so I've called 6 different truck stops like Loves and they all told me they do not work on buses or school buses at all they all said it was policy that they only work on semi trucks now. Can't believe they won't even grease my bus up. Anyways I plan on just doing it myself now, what grease gun do you guys recommend, what's the price range for a grease gun and what type of grease and how much quantity should I purchase and use? I plan on doing that this weekend so any input would be greatly appreciated
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:21 AM   #15
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wow... bummer

Okay

grease gun -- There is a standard typical hand operated grease gun. it is about 18" long and takes a grease cartridge.

one kind has a sort of Pistol grip operating lever, you can use one handed if you are strong enough, if you aren't strong enough after a while you will be!

second kind has long lever, to pump the grease, easier to use but takes two hands untill you figure out what you need to do..

I prefer to use the second kind. try to find one with the longest hose I like them to be about two feet long. the length helps to get into the tight spots.

there are literally a hundred variations of grease guns.

If the end of the grease tube is working it will clip on to the grease nipple, commonly called a grease "zirt" "zerk". It can be a real bear to get hose off sometimes..... If the nipple is clogged you wont be able to get in grease in either. If you pump in too much you can blow out the seals.

The idea is to pump slowly until you feel pressure then stop, the easy part is the grease flowing in and when the cavity is full the pumping gets more difficult.

check out you tube videos on greasing machines and get a feel from different people and then you will have a better feel for what you need/want.

regards, william
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:16 PM   #16
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Okay

grease gun -- There is a standard typical hand operated grease gun. it is about 18" long and takes a grease cartridge.

one kind has a sort of Pistol grip operating lever, you can use one handed if you are strong enough, if you aren't strong enough after a while you will be!

second kind has long lever, to pump the grease, easier to use but takes two hands untill you figure out what you need to do..

I prefer to use the second kind. try to find one with the longest hose I like them to be about two feet long. the length helps to get into the tight spots.

there are literally a hundred variations of grease guns.

If the end of the grease tube is working it will clip on to the grease nipple, commonly called a grease "zirt" "zerk". It can be a real bear to get hose off sometimes..... If the nipple is clogged you wont be able to get in grease in either. If you pump in too much you can blow out the seals.

The idea is to pump slowly until you feel pressure then stop, the easy part is the grease flowing in and when the cavity is full the pumping gets more difficult.

check out you tube videos on greasing machines and get a feel from different people and then you will have a better feel for what you need/want.

regards, william
Thank you so much for this information, I went to the bus today and I am trying to find the fitting (zerk) for the fan bearing, I was told by one of the crown guys CrownGuy that I need to grease the fan bearing as well and that the fitting is a little hard to find and that is a reason it is neglected by people a lot. He told me that it is behind the towards the front of the bus, I couldn't find it for the life of me so I looked right at the round connection where the fan and belt meet, there is a bearing there I believe and there is old grease there, when I touched inside the bearing there one of the surfaces has a slight bump sort of metal nipple feeling that I believe is the fitting, although I am not sure since I do not have experience or idea of what they feel like, I am attaching some pictures of the whole area for anyone who might know if what I felt is correct and if that is where I should grease the bearing and if thats where the zerk fitting should be.

On picture 3 you see where the fan is and where the belt is, between there is a bearing I believe or the piece that moves and holds the fan blades, in one of those gaps I felt a metal round bump sort of like a nipple petruding but I wasn't sure if thats where the grease goes in as sit wasn't that raised or didn't feel like a fitting exactly, maybe the grease around it buried it a bit, can someone tell me if these pictures I attached is in fact where I should be looking for the zerk fitting for the fan bearing?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MVIMG_20180704_122349.jpg (308.2 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180704_122354.jpg (206.6 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180704_123506.jpg (219.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180704_123548.jpg (218.7 KB, 12 views)
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:06 AM   #17
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tools you will need

Bear with me read it all and then read again.

You need in your tool kit, picks, straight, L shaped, shepard's hook, and 45degree. Look for sets that come in a four or six pack. Dental picks from junk shops work too. You are going to use these to scrape, pick, and or dig for the grease fittings.

Old tee shirts, shop rags something to wipe off places with grease fittings, I dont want you to pump dirt into the fittings, so they have to be clean when you attach your grease gun hose. wipe dirt out of, off of the end of the grease gun hose before you attach to fitting, if you dont keep this clean, you just inject that dust/dirt crap into the place that needs the lubricant.

Inspection mirror, it is a mirror on a ball socket that you can use to look around to find joints in nooks and crannies. get a biggish one and a small one, the small one will have a mirror about the size of a quarter, the big one the size of the palm of your hand.

If you have money and are a tool junkie... theymake borescope cameras that plug into the usb port of a cellular telephone... of some thing like a harbor frieght borescope. These can also be useful looking into cavities of walls, down drain pipes, into dashboard ductwork, nooks and crannies you just cant fit anything else into. Like into the bell housing of a transmission.

really good LED pen light the kind that uses three aaaa batteries.. this is about the size of a pencil. made by scripto.


Put on some coveralls and eye protection. bring the tools with you in a small bag.Start at the front of the bus.

Okay let me back up a little here... If you can find in your records, what kind of grease was used by previous owner's could be a good idea to stick with the same grease. here is why... You can, not often, but you can get into a situation when one grease base component is not compatible with another grease. when you mix these two greases, they liquefy. This is a big part of when you pack wheel bearings you are supposed to clean all the grease out before repacking. Some big trucks do not use grease on the front bearings, they use heavy oil. but any if you can confirm what was used before, stick with that.

going on, get under the front of the bus..ummm bring a bottle jack with you . a ten ton should work .... jack up one wheel, put the jack under the axle by the wheel. and just barely take the wheel off the ground. like be able to slide a news paper under the wheel.. dont need to go any further than that. Now start looking for grease zerks under there and grease them. I expect to find two of them at each wheel one lower, and one higher up. every pivot point in the steering I would expect to find one. Any point where one piece of joint or link pivots with another joint or link I would expect to find a point for lubrication. dirt will often build up on grease, so, places with a build up of dirt is likely to be a grease point. When you think you have found them all, start over and look again. have another person look too, other people see things other ways. let down the jack .. go to the other side and jack up the other wheel..

doit all over again.

drive shafts.... do those if you have them.

shift links. oil or grease.. clean off the dirt, lube, move one. door hinges, pedal pivots, hinges on service doors. you begining to get the idea.

I dont see a zerk in the fan pictures but I bet you have two. maybe not . but a hunch tells me you have two. close your eyes and let your finger tips tell you what you cant see. clean with the picks and rags.

many times I cant get my eyes on a machine part. I close my eyes and let my fingers build the picture in my mind what I am touching. You know there is at least one there. search till you find it and then look some more for another one.

I hope you find this useful.

william
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:12 AM   #18
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William,
A great beginners guide. Well laid out. Things that some of us have had to learn piece by piece. Thank you.

Rawlings,
This is just a start, but you seem eager to learn. Patience. You will succeed!
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:13 PM   #19
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For greasing buses I've had great luck with my pneumatic Harbor Freight grease gun. Makes it into a 15 minute job.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:59 AM   #20
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Might I also suggest...
You can get rubber ZERK covers for your fittings. They simply slip on over the fitting, and it's easy to flip them aside when greasing the bus.
They do a fabulous job of keeping the fittings clean and crap OUT, and only for a few bucks.

Such as these...
https://www.amazon.com/Ohaha-180pcs-...27879812&psc=1

I also recommend you get a LOCKING zerk connection for the end of your grease gun hose, it will make it certain to get the grease IN the joint, not ON it...
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