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Old 10-15-2017, 11:15 PM   #21
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,378
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown, integral. (With 2kW of tiltable solar)
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
Originally Posted by yello View Post
Crown Supercoach Series II, with a Detroit 6V92TAC

I am in the stage of being 12v solar electrician, carpenter, painter, DOT inspector, plumber (somewhat). Same thing all of you have probably done. It's just all at once. Will be looking forward to end of month when it slows a bit and I can enjoy this. I did quick search for a manual but I have to think that is not going to be easily found, which is why I need to lean on the community. Do you know where I can find technical info on the coach and or motor?

Side note: I have seats out, electrical is shipping and bus is being sanded, for what it's worth.
The only way you'll get the three manuals for your bus is to find another operator of Super IIs that has some manuals to sell or give you, or to make a trip to Orange County and photocopy my Driver's Handbook, Service Manual and Parts Catalog, and my Crown Electrical Data Sheet and Schematic. (Donations in the form of interesting chewy beers are always appreciated!) The Service Manual has all the extra electrical schematics specific to the individual bus such as DDEC wiring, and the Parts Catalog has a detailed breakdown of every not, bolt, panel, rib and individual part used to build your bus at the factory. All good stuff. Without them you're having to guess, or just blindly stabbing in the dark, not good ways to troubleshoot problems. If you're serious about keeping your bus to at least original factory standards, the Parts Manual shows part numbers for many of the items like the hydraulic system and driveline.

To help diagnose any potential problems with the DDEC, it's a good idea to buy a Pro-Link 9000 scanner with a DDEC II cartridge (I got mine from eBay for little over $200, complete with case and manual!), and the DDEC II Troubleshooting Manual from Detroit.

Remember that you don't have just any old generic school bus. It's a hand-built Crown, custom-made for the original school district, and probably unique in how it's exactly specced out. It was designed and built with a lot of thought and care, so it still deserves to be treated similarly now. Don't mickey-mouse it and hash it about, and make whatever you do to it now look like it could have come from the factory that way.


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Old 10-16-2017, 08:19 PM   #22
Bus Nut
Crown_Guy's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 392
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
I couldn't agree with John more

The concept of a "Crown Manual" comes up quite often when dealing with Crowns and especially for new owners, with no experience of dealing with Crowns while in service, as in ex-drivers or owner/operators. They all know that a Crown was always a totally customized "Coach and Body Builder" company that had unique and excellent construction standards while at the same time not trying to re-invent the wheel. That means that they picked and chose from basically off the shelf, usually very standard, very heavy-duty over the road truck components. This included all the main running gear and wear items needed to produce a super long-lived vehicle. Axles, suspension systems, engines, transmissions, steering, everything that makes it a vehicle was spec'd and ordered from other manufactures.

There was a minimum of modifications made, so as to keep the maintainability of these components and parts availability high, for a very long time. That's why you can still find to this day, 25+ years after they went out of business, most every needed part to keep a Crown up and running, because the parts are still being used, and even made today for the other over the road trucks in use today. Even if you have a special unique Crown item, such as for the 80 degree, laid down under floor configuration, which was the most common, there is still a good chance of finding something that will work or getting one from a parts bus somewhere.

All the "Manuals" I've ever seen, and damned few for sure, were of the three ring binder's variety, where the various manufacturer vendors manuals for whatever system, transmission, engine, steering, rear-ends, etc, were punched and included in the binder for that particular contract build for whoever ordered and spec'd out that bus. And they were all slightly different, even if supposedly built to the same spec's for the same customer, at the same time, and with sequential serial numbers. Did we stress enough that they were ALL HAND BUILT one at a time by Craftsmen.

Crown's are not mass produced cookie cutter vehicles that get changed from year to year at the whim of some Corporate "Suit" for the purposes of styling mods, or more insidious, in order to tweak an item in order to force all customers to come to them for all parts, and therefore be extorted for whatever they want to charge for same. The term is planned obsolescence along with malicious proprietary engineering/designs.

This is why you'll never hear a Crown owner whine about looking for some specific build-year part. We all know that the things didn't change much over the course of almost 50 years, and whatever part we might need will be available from the engine, trans, axle, etc manufacturer, or salvage yards, and the only Crown specific parts will be body panels, trim, moldings and such hardware, fixtures whatever that were in common use at the time of that bus being built. There are trends and evolution to be sure, but the thing is, whatever was used originally can still be replaced today with something else that will do the job as well or better. That's why I always like to say that a Crown is in every way a custom designed and built "Kit" bus, and any owner with a true affinity for his Crown will recognize and respect that aspect of the bus, and take great care to see that the spirit of excellence is preserved and maintained in whatever desired modifications he may choose to make for his own needs.

If you honor the Crown and stay true to it's engineering heritage and make modifications with true engineering and proper execution, without destroying the underlying vehicle integrity, I'm thinking of the constant usual gassing about a roof raise, as if that won't affect the vehicle at all.....or cutting big holes in the body without due regard to load carrying ribs and other strength members, which again will have adverse affects on longevity, leakage, stability and handling, and other possible problems, you shouldn't have trouble making any mods you want, and won't disturb the underlying vehicles' road-worthiness.

As I've stated before many times, a properly maintained and operated Crown is quite capable of many trouble free years of operation, and will not very likely leave you stranded somewhere, far from help. It's true you may have to spend, to get it back into full service condition, but all that money and effort, if well and truly done, will return many years of peace of mind, and waving to others, with their buses, found on the road "dead".

Enjoy the Crown, welcome to the club, and remember you have a unique piece of transportation history, and own, what amounts to quite literally, an American Rolls Royce of buses, of any kind, not just school buses, because Crown also made killer highway buses too, just not so many.

Find, and LISTEN, to other Crown owners and their experiences, and advice. Did I say LISTEN loudly enough. Don't make any assumptions about a Crown, they are unique, and deserve to be treated as the thoroughbreds that they are.

The same for other Detroit 2-stroke owners, and especially any mechanics near you who can work on it. You may find they are all grey haired and retired, but they are great resources, and some may be enticed to help, and maybe work on yours if you have a need.

Most mechanics today are hopelessly clueless about the DD 2-strokes, and those that say they know all about them, and they're under 40 years old, should be very carefully checked out, and watched before giving them access to your engine. There aren't many left in service and the mechanic pool is drying up due to lack of demand. Marine applications still have large numbers of DD's and you can get lucky sometimes if you can find a good Marine engine shop with current experience on 2-stroke DD's. They may not know all about the road versions, but the basic engines are all the same underneath.

Honor your Crown and enjoy it for many years to come, You won't regret it and it's worth it.
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