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Old 04-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #1
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Mechanic for 5.9 Cummings Ocala FL

We just bought our first bus! It's a Ford chassis with a carpenter body. It has a 5.9 Cummings and I know nothing about diesels. I would like to have a mechanic look k it over, steam clean it, and make some minor changes. I would also like the mechanic to look over the air brakes.

Does anyone know any good reliable shops in between Tampa and Ocala? We live halfway between them.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #2
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We just bought our first bus! It's a Ford chassis with a carpenter body. It has a 5.9 Cummings and I know nothing about diesels. I would like to have a mechanic look k it over, steam clean it, and make some minor changes. I would also like the mechanic to look over the air brakes.

Does anyone know any good reliable shops in between Tampa and Ocala? We live halfway between them.
Davidmreedy is a forum member with a shop in Summerfield.
I know a mobile diesel tech who I can refer you to also.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:54 AM   #3
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mechanic is a real expense car wash guy. i think i might try that at home prior to taking it to a mechanic.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:58 AM   #4
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:58 AM   #5
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a truck wash will steam the engine... truck stops often charge mnore for a wash, but if you can find a local truck wash.. often near an area where lots of warehouses and depots are.. you can get a good deal...

the one I use for example in ohio will wash my bus for $30 including steaming the engine if I want...

if you cant find any, then for some reason im thinking one of the exits off of 75 for Ocala advertises a truck wash, you may also be able to fit the bus in a local Pay2Spray that has a larger bay... Ive washed a bus in one of those a couple times..
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:05 AM   #6
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It is just a big engine. Start cleaning very small areas with as other have said with even just a tooth brush. Wash and clean your hoses first. I think you can Armorall them. Pretty much from the top down and use small tarps or blankets to catch drips etc.In some areas just a rag with degreaser sprayed on it. You will learn so much about your engine. You your self will see where drips or leaks are coming from. As said hiring a Mechanic to was your engine is very expensive. I wonder what they get per hour.Yes on the brake check. There is no reason for you to not crawl under and inspect hoses.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:44 AM   #7
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Before you start with the toothbrush, go to the car wash and spray that puppy down.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:08 PM   #8
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a truck wash will steam the engine... truck stops often charge mnore for a wash, but if you can find a local truck wash.. often near an area where lots of warehouses and depots are.. you can get a good deal...

the one I use for example in ohio will wash my bus for $30 including steaming the engine if I want...

if you cant find any, then for some reason im thinking one of the exits off of 75 for Ocala advertises a truck wash, you may also be able to fit the bus in a local Pay2Spray that has a larger bay... Ive washed a bus in one of those a couple times..
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flying j on state rd 52 has one and there is more towards ocala
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:11 PM   #9
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Turf, I hear your concern but if I steam wash the engine and mess something up I have to pay to fix it. If they mess something up its on their dime. Plus I know very little about diesel engines and want someone to walk me through the stuff.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:14 PM   #10
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52 is close to me...
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:16 PM   #11
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Turf, I hear your concern but if I steam wash the engine and mess something up I have to pay to fix it. If they mess something up its on their dime. Plus I know very little about diesel engines and want someone to walk me through the stuff.
There really isn't much to mess up degreasing a mechanical diesel engine. YOU CAN DO IT!
I know 75 Chrome Shop has a truck wash and detailing service. fwiw.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:26 PM   #12
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about the only thing to learn about a diesel is to change the filters. thats why they are so popular.

crawl under and blast away, use a wire brush for thick spots. when you spot a filter, clean it up and write the number down.

paying someone else to do it doesnt learn you a thing. you gotta start somewhere.

there is a view hole in the wheel hubs so you can check the brake pad thickness too.

most likely someone here has the same bus as you and will help you thru it.

plus it doesnt matter if you or a shop screws it up, you still pay.

i did the same thing as what you are saying when i got my bus. i was going to change all the fluids myself but broke down and took it to a shop after i ran over my brand new truck oil drain pan. the shop charged me just under $1k. ever since, i've done it at home for less than half of that.

good luck
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:48 PM   #13
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I did the same as Turf the first time, but it was only $300. My driveway, with 3"- gravel, is not convenient for crawling around underneath any vehicle, not to mention painful. I finally went to town and had it done just so I could quit worrying about it.

I was a diesel mechanic many years ago so having my fluids changed wasn't a learning process for me. However there are many things I still have to learn over because of the changes in diesels over the past 40 years since I quit being a grease monkey. Just pick a project and work through it a step at a time. The second time you do that job it's a breeze. Between what you can read and a little real advice you can do pretty much anything to your bus.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:02 PM   #14
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I did the same as Turf the first time, but it was only $300. My driveway, with 3"- gravel, is not convenient for crawling around underneath any vehicle, not to mention painful. I finally went to town and had it done just so I could quit worrying about it.

I was a diesel mechanic many years ago so having my fluids changed wasn't a learning process for me. However there are many things I still have to learn over because of the changes in diesels over the past 40 years since I quit being a grease monkey. Just pick a project and work through it a step at a time. The second time you do that job it's a breeze. Between what you can read and a little real advice you can do pretty much anything to your bus.
Exactly. A few different and bigger tools and a concrete floor and you are in a great place.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:20 PM   #15
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Another reason I want it to be done somewhere else is I don't have a paved pad. I have 3 acres but I don't want to contaminate the ground as my chickens free range. I may go to a diy place now because of your suggestions.

I have a new problem now, it won't start! I tried to start it to move her. When I turn the key the lights come on as does a buzzer but nothing happens. With mine you have to have the lights on to start her and they are when I try. Can I jump start her with my jeep to rule out dead batteries (well not completely dead but enough she won't start). Also does there have to be a certain amount of air pressure in the brakes to start? I am thinking there is some safety cut off I am missing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:37 PM   #16
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dang, lol, im bad at helping!

move the trans selector out and back in to neutral
open and close all doors, roof hatch, emergency exit

a diesel takes a lot of juice to turn over, if the batteries are bad it may take a lot of charging from the donor.

no air pressure is needed to start. the low air buzzer should make noise until a few minutes after the motor starts.

best to read the voltage with a meter if you have one
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:55 PM   #17
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Another reason I want it to be done somewhere else is I don't have a paved pad. I have 3 acres but I don't want to contaminate the ground as my chickens free range. I may go to a diy place now because of your suggestions.

I have a new problem now, it won't start! I tried to start it to move her. When I turn the key the lights come on as does a buzzer but nothing happens. With mine you have to have the lights on to start her and they are when I try. Can I jump start her with my jeep to rule out dead batteries (well not completely dead but enough she won't start). Also does there have to be a certain amount of air pressure in the brakes to start? I am thinking there is some safety cut off I am missing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
You are not going to kill any chickens working on your bus on open ground. They are lot's more savvy about food and they are prehistoric. They can smell bad stuff. You can alwqys roll out a blue tarp and use a metal drip pan on oil changes. Washing is no big deal.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:56 PM   #18
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if you have had any of the emerghency doors, windows, or roof hatches open, it could very well have a circuit open not allowing the bus to start,

when you click the starter with the headlights on do they go dark or is it like theres plenty of power but the starter just doesnt engage ?

if the lights go dark, its likely dead batteries.. if the lights still styay bright it very well may be an interlock of some sort.. all of us have had to deal with tracking down interlocks.. some busses have a Vandal lock on the rear door.. that is required to be Unlocked for the bus to run.. its easy to spot as a separate lock lever from the normal emergency door handle..
-Christopher
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:59 PM   #19
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It really sounds like you've activated the interlock system. Turf's instructions "move the trans selector out and back in to neutral, open and close all doors, roof hatch, emergency exit" are the first things to check. The buzzer coming on when you turn the key to run usually indicates an interlock issue. The low air signal starts as soon as your bus cranks up and isn't related.

Interlock issues happen several times a week on this site and it's becoming a familiar issue, but it seems the interlock systems are disabled differently based on bus model and year.

If you jumpstart your bus from your jeep, make sure your jeep is turned off before you attempt to start the bus. The jeep can run and throw a good quick charge on your bus battery for fifteen minutes or so, but make sure the jeep engine is turned off before starting the bus. Think of it like you don't want two alternators connected together through the jump between the vehicles when the bus starts.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:47 PM   #20
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SHE'S ALIVE!!!.....

You guys hit the nail on the head. It was the interlok system. I had no idea it even existed. The back door had a lock on it and when it was in the unlock position it would depress a switch.

Thanks again!
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