Originally Posted by Mtrdrms
Hey guys I've got an inner Tire on the tag axle that's off the bead won't take air any suggestions?
I replied already to the tire issue this morning. I have more time now for some further thoughts and cautions.
Assuming you're too busy (and really having fun now) to care about checking here.
I'll pass on some tips once you get the thing up and on it's feet with a tolerable air system holding enough air to keep the brakes off, and that you even got the brakes to release, and the air ride/bags raised up, and the tires are OK enough to drive that distance home, even though you won't know that for sure till you get it all the way home and parked.
I'm not going to whip you while you're struggling so I'll pass on some friendly operational tips on how to handle the bus while driving and how to take care of the engine so you don't break it.
The ferry trip home will be full of enough distractions anyway so don't overly worry about the niceties as presented here but you should definitely have your Spider Sense fully engaged for anything that doesn't feel or sound right......even though at this stage you can't know what that is...I know this.
Listen, Feel with your feet and butt, Smell, View anything that doesn't look right. Vibrations, steering wheel shimmy's, pulling to the left or right, uneven braking, take it easy until you get them fully checked out. Just take it as easy as you can and tippy toe the thing home and say your prayers. And, yes I know this feeling. Seriously, Good Luck.
Do your best to safely get it home and then learn to drive it correctly to get the most fun out of it and not cause inadvertent damage as you learn the right way to do things.
Just in case you notice the entry door not closing tightly with air leaking in and all that COLD air freezing your essential body parts, look around way below the curve of the dash near where the throttle pedal is. You'll find a little lever about 3" long with a little red knob. That controls the air actuated clamping/cam(ing) claw that grabs that massive and probably greasy attachment at the rear of the door. It pulls in the door and holds it tight with air pressure while you drive. That little red knobed lever is the air release for the clamping claw. If it's not in the right position, either up or down, I never can remember, it won't let the clamp grab the door and keep it sealed. Make sure the door handle on top is closed and shut all the way over center and CLOSED and LOCKED. Then play with the little red lever and see if the claw moves, you should hear the air escape when you move the lever and the escaping air means it's letting the claw relax. Normal operations are to leave the red lever engaged so the claw works when you manually close the door and when it is fully shut an electric switch is pushed which activates the air clamp claw. Upon opening the door with the handle you'll hear a whistling escape of air as the claws' air pressure is dumped and it moves rearward out of the socket and releases the door so you can continue opening it by hand. You may actually have the early style vertical manual door opening handle where it moves up and down. They didn't last long and the air clamping action works the same with them as well.
Normal and preferred driving technique with all Detroit Diesel 2-Strokes (notice I said 2-strokes) is to drive them like you're MAD at them. They thrive on being driven HARD with FULL throttle application, to the floor, as you are accelerating to road speed. What this means is that you're giving the engine full fuel when accelerating like an on-ramp to a freeway until you get to the desired speed and then of course you back off to hold your speed. The real point I'm making is to NOT baby them with partial throttle just ahead of where it's pulling as you accelerate. They need the heavy torque loads to keep the rings seated and proper oil control in the cylinders.
Remember the intake ports in the liners? You will learn. This is one of the reasons for the strict oil requirements. That's why they're called 2-strokes, because they really are. And NO you don't need to add oil to the fuel.....The fuel IS an oil. that's why it's called Fuel Oil.
Real simple rules for longevity and proper care and feeding of a DD 2-stroke is this.
NEVER let it lug down below about 1400 rpm with heavy (full fuel) throttle demands for very long. This is a bit tricky because the transmission will let it go that low before shifting to the next lower gear, as designed, with no problems. So the rule of thumb is to not lug it at low rpms for very long at all. I hesitate to say this but as long as you're not thrashing it with full fuel you can let it pull as long as it comes back up with a partial throttle until you get it into the power range of 1700-2200 where you can then hammer down on it.
No doubt you're panicking because you've noticed there IS NO tachometer (unless added as a factory/aftermarket option). That's normal for all coaches before about the mid nineties. They didn't have them and everyone relied on shifting and driving using the speedometer and with non-automatics listening to the engine and shifting by using the governor to help you. The shift points/speeds were all pretty standard.
The way you handle this is to drive the bus, and as it accelerates under full power with the engine/transmission doing their thing make CAREFUL note of the speeds at which it shifts to the next higher gear. Don't be fooled by the torque converter action. It'll feel like actually shifting when in fact it's shifting up with the torque converter still slipping until it locks up which is NOT another up shift in gearing, just the transmission locking up into a direct connection to that gear. It's most likely an HT740 which is a 4-spd with 2-3-4 locking up as it goes. Each time it might feel like another gear but it's not. Once you note the road speed of the up-shifts REMEMBER them because while driving and you start to climb a hill you may really want to manually override the transmission and start the downshift about 2-3 mph ABOVE where it up-shifted while accelerating. The Idea is to have the transmission go into the next lower gear with the engine maxed out at the top governed speed without over-speeding the engine(the trans. won't let you anyway if it's working correctly).
This is how you keep your road speed up and efficiently go up the hill. The Transmission may wait and lug it down pretty low(usually with no damage...but), so you should learn enough to take control and keep your engine rpms up and in the power range as much as possible. This is how you prevent lugging and take good care of the engine for the long term.
One thing an auto transmission will NOT do is to sense the water temp of the engine. So if you're pulling a long gradual grade at say just above the normal shift point in any gear and it's holding speed, but the engine is turning at the low end of it's power range,....This is potentially dangerous because the engine is maxed out probably at full fuel/throttle to pull the hill but it's not moving a lot of coolant around the engine and radiators, and yes there are TWO Radiators. This is how you overheat without knowing or seeing it coming unless you're feeling the gradual grade and noting the low rpms and gear you're in. You MUST be aware of all this and watch the engine water temp gauge for any tendency or trend to get hotter and go higher. If you even think it feels like it wants to go up and get hotter, just slow down and downshift into the next lower gear, and do it by hand and override the transmission. That's the gear you will have to use until you get to the crest.
This is how folks kill DD 2-stokes. Happens all the time and even more so now because they aren't as common and the skill-sets aren't being passed on by the old time drivers.
Key points are: Don't lug it below 1400 for long unless it will pick it back up with a partial throttle. If it doesn't increase in speed... immediately downshift and keep the rpms up in the 1700-2200 range.
Don't let it get HOT. There's many ways to get one hot and only experience and keeping the rpms up will prevent most of the nastiness. KEEP the RPMS up in the power range as much as possible. This circulates coolant and draws air through the radiators(2). MCI's are pretty notorious for having smallish radiators and limited cooling capacity for us here in the Western desert states. We always were watching for them to get hot...and so should you. Drive always with one eye on the temp gauge.
Sorry for going on but I'm drawn to your epic adventure.....actually more like hypnotized waiting for the punchline I guess. I'd like to see you succeed but fully understand the huge and serious challenge you've undertaken. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to try it without a mechanic with lots of tools and supplies, and a chase car with me, following me all the way home, oh and a whole lot of $$$$$$ in reserve. But that's just me. That's the biggest reason I don't have a coach yet......I know what I want but need much better financial resources before going for it. Even a real good one in great shape will always have issues.
Seriously, Good Luck and Happy Trails. Where Angels fear to tread indeed. May you get it home safely, and in one piece, before Senior Murphy (or the Devil) realizes what you're doing.