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Old 09-15-2021, 10:52 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 499
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
Tow company removed my axle

I recently had to have my bu s towed and they had to remove the axle because they didn't tow with vehicles in neutral anymore and couldn'tput it back because they are not mechanics. The tow guy said its really easy to put back, which probably is.

However, last time my bus got towed for leaving it at a truck stop too long I couldn't get it to start. A wrecker guy I found drove hours to help me get it home but he had to get under there and put some type of oil in that big round steel ball. Sorry, don't know what it's called but I attached an image. Can't remember exactly what kind of oil it was or what else he did and explain as it was 2017.

My question is did he just know to check some random fluid just because or is there something the tow people did (deliberately?) he was familiar with because of being in the wrecker business himself? He also had to use starter fluid/ether to get it started. Learned a few things that day.


Is it as simple as just putting it back and inserting the bolts to secure it? Do I have tobdo anything special?

Also, all that crud and build up, can I clean this with mineral spirits?

Thanks
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:55 PM   #2
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Just to clarify...that's your driveshaft and not your axle. Removing the driveshaft on an automatic tranny bus is normal. Removing the axle would be a problem!
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Old 09-15-2021, 11:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Just to clarify...that's your driveshaft and not your axle. Removing the driveshaft on an automatic tranny bus is normal. Removing the axle would be a problem!
Lol. That's what I meant, my bad..

So, I can just simply put it back? Nothing special?
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Old 09-15-2021, 11:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
Lol. That's what I meant, my bad..

So, I can just simply put it back? Nothing special?
Yup, nothing special. Did they take out the whole thing? Or, as is more common, did they just unbolt it at the end where it connects to the differential (and then tie the driveshaft up to hang on something)? Hopefully they just undid the one end and you can just bolt it back in place. I'll try to go back and look at the photos more closely...

EDIT after looking at the pics: Yes, they pulled out the splined end of the expansion joint. Put a bit of grease inside the shaft opening and push it back into place, then bolt the universal joint back together with a bit of grease on the X parts.

As to the starting issue from earlier, that might be a loss of fuel prime? If there's any leak in any fuel line, which allows air to enter, then the fuel can drain back to the tank. In a front engine bus, this might be more likely if the front end is raised to tow it...maybe? I'm just guessing here.
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:20 AM   #5
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Clean everything thoroughly, grease the splines with the same color grease that is on them already then use a torque wrench ad torque to spec if not use this and torque 75% as a very general rule. Good luck.
https://www.imperialsupplies.com/pdf...rqueCharts.pdf
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Yup, nothing special. Did they take out the whole thing? Or, as is more common, did they just unbolt it at the end where it connects to the differential (and then tie the driveshaft up to hang on something)? Hopefully they just undid the one end and you can just bolt it back in place. I'll try to go back and look at the photos more closely...

EDIT after looking at the pics: Yes, they pulled out the splined end of the expansion joint. Put a bit of grease inside the shaft opening and push it back into place, then bolt the universal joint back together with a bit of grease on the X parts.

As to the starting issue from earlier, that might be a loss of fuel prime? If there's any leak in any fuel line, which allows air to enter, then the fuel can drain back to the tank. In a front engine bus, this might be more likely if the front end is raised to tow it...maybe? I'm just guessing here.
The fuel guage did seem slightly lower than when they towed it. Not by much, if any.

And yes, they pulled it all the way out. Is Lucas Oil 10005 Red 'N' Tacky Grease OK? Already had some that I was gonna use to grease anything under the bus that needs it once I figure out where it's safe to apply.

Is it ok, or necessary, to spray mineral spirits on the whole thing and what's pointed out in the image above using an air compressor with a syphon
spray gun*attachment? Or would that be too much
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
The fuel guage did seem slightly lower than when they towed it. Not by much, if any.

And yes, they pulled it all the way out. Is Lucas Oil 10005 Red 'N' Tacky Grease OK? Already had some that I was gonna use to grease anything under the bus that needs it once I figure out where it's safe to apply
The air-in-the-fuel-line issue shouldn't be related to the tank level, unless it's so low that the pick-up tube came out of the diesel...in which case the fuel can drain out of the line. It would have to be pretty low, though...but perhaps?

Personally, I like and use the Red N Tacky grease or the Napa version "Crimson" and I wouldn't hesitate to use either there. But ISAF knows more than I so I'd follow his lead on this.
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:52 AM   #8
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You just aren’t supposed to mix grease compositions thats all. That is far more critical on stuff like wheel bearings but generally a good habit to get into. I personally exclusively endorse whatever is on sale. If you have greasable stuff under there and find you have erred on the composition of the stuff you are putting in don't fret just give extra pumps to push as much of the old crap out as you can and send it.
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:36 AM   #9
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tow guy is just a lazy phuk and wants to drop you and run with as little work as he can get away from. always note all tranny mounted park break wont work when driveshaft is removed so he left you parked illegal. if he is qualified to remove it he is qualified to reinstall. you can insist that he puts it back on but they always make up a bull$h1t reason to get the money and run
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:37 AM   #10
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never trust tow truch drivers as on the side they are always mechanics
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Old 09-16-2021, 02:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
SNIP...

Is it ok, or necessary, to spray mineral spirits on the whole thing and what's pointed out in the image above using an air compressor with a syphon
spray gun*attachment? Or would that be too much
Volatilizing a flammable solvent -- proceed with caution -- have a plan for what you'll do in the unlikely BUT possible event you start a fire...
(making this face is not a plan...)

Have REALLY good air flow or wear a respirator...

Lastly, be careful of where you aim this thing -- spraying it over parts with seals can cause contamination of parts like ball-joints / king pins
The same is true of using a power-washer.
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Old 09-16-2021, 06:57 AM   #12
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did the lazy ass tow driver mark the rotational position where the shaft was.. ie mark with a line parallel to the shaft on the spline part and the shaft still attached to the bus? driveshafts are balanced as a unit and need to be put back accordingly..



id call his lazy asss company and tell them they owe you to have the driveshaft re-blanaced and phased if they didnt mark it.....
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
I recently had to have my bu s towed and they had to remove the axle because they didn't tow with vehicles in neutral anymore and couldn'tput it back because they are not mechanics. The tow guy said its really easy to put back, which probably is.

However, last time my bus got towed for leaving it at a truck stop too long I couldn't get it to start. A wrecker guy I found drove hours to help me get it home but he had to get under there and put some type of oil in that big round steel ball. Sorry, don't know what it's called but I attached an image. Can't remember exactly what kind of oil it was or what else he did and explain as it was 2017.

My question is did he just know to check some random fluid just because or is there something the tow people did (deliberately?) he was familiar with because of being in the wrecker business himself? He also had to use starter fluid/ether to get it started. Learned a few things that day.


Is it as simple as just putting it back and inserting the bolts to secure it? Do I have tobdo anything special?

Also, all that crud and build up, can I clean this with mineral spirits?

Thanks
The real reason tow companies will not reconnect a driveshaft or replace an axle is LIABITY !

Depending on your insurance and also any local or state licensing, such as we have here in Miami Dave County, it you are not insured as a repair facility and if that driveshaft / axle were to come loose and cause damage that would initiate an insurance claim, well this is the number one reason why they just won’t do it.

Secondly is licensing, in my county there are two licenses, one for towing and another for a repair facility.

Removing a component for safe and proper towing would not require a repair shop,license, only a towing license. But, to install, or put the part back on, you technically need a repair shop license.

So if the part got loose and there was damage, injury and/or a claim to the policy, and the customer attacks you via an attorney or even filing a complaint with the county, it WILL cost the business money, time and grief. Just not worth it!

I have done a lot of towing for most of my adult life, over 25 years now, breakdowns, police tows and repossessions.

As a business owner I can tell you about all the little BS terms and conditions hidden in an insurance policy and how eager the insurance company will try to deny your claim or… payout on a claim which will more than likely cause your premiums to rise and if you are in a high risk market like I am, then get ready to bleed financially.

So in short I hope you all understand it is not laziness but simple business protection practices.

As far as not trusting the tow guy, we’ll then don’t call one when you need help, figure it out on your own.

Treat the tow guy right and he will take care of you!
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:56 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=banman;453068]Volatilizing a flammable solvent -- proceed with caution -- have a plan for what you'll do in the unlikely BUT possible event you start a fire...
(making this face is not a plan...)
Volatilizing a flammable solventÖ sounds scary like using a can of brake cleaner or carb cleaner.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:09 AM   #15
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This is good practice but not strictly necessary on most driveshafts as they aren't balance on the vehicle but on a machine. Spline orientation doesn't matter in those cases. We send out all of or driveline work to united driveline in Albany CA.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:17 AM   #16
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Tow driver must have seen a puddle of lube below the rear end and had to refill, or just looking at that greasy mess let him know to check it.
Could be a leaking seal...
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:58 AM   #17
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Any chassis grease is fine. We use gadus from shell.

The shaft should have been marked before removal, as phasing is just as important, if not more important then balancing.

Most of those long shafts are balanced as individual pieces, so the balance probably wasn't changed with removal, but removal was still a shitty thing to do, as most of the time you can get away with strapping it out of the way to the frame.

You've got 2 options for correct phasing, but one might put the balance 180į out, so look for a mark near the joint and hope they did you right.

To clean the pumpkin, any degreaser should work. It doesn't have to be anything like mineral spirits, and there's no need to aerosolize it. I'd recommend you get yourself one of these.

Fill it half full of hot water and superclean https://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Cle...allon/23752162

And scrub the mess with a nylon bristled brush https://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Val...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

But be aware, the reason that's dirty is your pinion seal is starting to weep, and the weeped fluid is attracting dirt/dust from the road. So a pinion seal replacement might be in your future.
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Old 09-17-2021, 05:47 AM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 499
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
The real reason tow companies will not reconnect a driveshaft or replace an axle is LIABITY !

Depending on your insurance and also any local or state licensing, such as we have here in Miami Dave County, it you are not insured as a repair facility and if that driveshaft / axle were to come loose and cause damage that would initiate an insurance claim, well this is the number one reason why they just wonít do it.

Secondly is licensing, in my county there are two licenses, one for towing and another for a repair facility.

Removing a component for safe and proper towing would not require a repair shop,license, only a towing license. But, to install, or put the part back on, you technically need a repair shop license.

So if the part got loose and there was damage, injury and/or a claim to the policy, and the customer attacks you via an attorney or even filing a complaint with the county, it WILL cost the business money, time and grief. Just not worth it!

I have done a lot of towing for most of my adult life, over 25 years now, breakdowns, police tows and repossessions.

As a business owner I can tell you about all the little BS terms and conditions hidden in an insurance policy and how eager the insurance company will try to deny your claim orÖ payout on a claim which will more than likely cause your premiums to rise and if you are in a high risk market like I am, then get ready to bleed financially.

So in short I hope you all understand it is not laziness but simple business protection practices.

As far as not trusting the tow guy, weíll then donít call one when you need help, figure it out on your own.

Treat the tow guy right and he will take care of you!
He turned out to be cooler than the average tow person, in my experience. Pretty mellow guy. Thanks for the breakdown!
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Old 09-17-2021, 05:48 AM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 499
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Any chassis grease is fine. We use gadus from shell.

The shaft should have been marked before removal, as phasing is just as important, if not more important then balancing.

Most of those long shafts are balanced as individual pieces, so the balance probably wasn't changed with removal, but removal was still a shitty thing to do, as most of the time you can get away with strapping it out of the way to the frame.

You've got 2 options for correct phasing, but one might put the balance 180į out, so look for a mark near the joint and hope they did you right.

To clean the pumpkin, any degreaser should work. It doesn't have to be anything like mineral spirits, and there's no need to aerosolize it. I'd recommend you get yourself one of these.

Fill it half full of hot water and superclean https://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Cle...allon/23752162

And scrub the mess with a nylon bristled brush https://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Val...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

But be aware, the reason that's dirty is your pinion seal is starting to weep, and the weeped fluid is attracting dirt/dust from the road. So a pinion seal replacement might be in your future.
Thanks! Will look into this
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Old 09-18-2021, 07:49 AM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
I see a grey spot/mark on the bolt side of the driveshaft. Not sure if the tow guy put it there or rather or not it has anything to do with it at all. (See image)

There is no mark to match it where it hooks up on the bus tho so it's probably useless?
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