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Old 07-28-2019, 11:57 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 54
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
HELP! Bus wonít start!

Got home from a 1300 mile trip last week and had zero electrical issues. Even drive the bus around a little this week. Took it to the girlfriends to unload some stuff and now it wonít start. Iíve cleaned all the battery connections. And a couple grounds underneath.

Itís like i donít have power at the ignition on the dash. If i turn that key on then go to the back and turn the switch on to start it from out back then the voltage drops to 6.7V. Starts at 12.9V. Turn the switch off and back to 12.9V.

Any ideas? Anyone got wiring diagrams?

Iíve been an electrician for 10 years specializing in instrumentation and controls but idk where to even start on this big bastard without some prints.

Btw itís a 1995 Thomas Saf-T-Liner MVP with a 8.3 Cummins diesel pusher.

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Old 07-28-2019, 12:02 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,401
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Disconnect the batteries and charge them overnight and try again.

Or charge the and take them to the auto parts store and have them tested.
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:28 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Make sure all emergency exits are shut and make sure the batteries are charged. Transmission in Neutral or Park?
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:33 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 54
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
I’m charging the batteries now. All the emergency exits have been bypassed a long time ago. The neutral safety switch is working.

I jumpered the starter and it clicks but won’t turn over so I’m assuming the batteries are low.
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:09 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 54
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Well the neighbors across the street from my girlfriends called it in saying it was blocking their driveway. It’s not. I happened to be outside when the cop pulled up and I got to talk to him. When I said it’s obviously not blocking any driveway so there’s no issue. He then wanted to cite some bullshit ordinance that says it could only be parked on a city street for 2 hours. Basically he was bound and determined to make me move it. So now i have until noon tomorrow to have it towed.

Once I get it towed back to my house, less then a mile luckily I will be pushing the issue as the ordinance he quoted doesn’t say anything about RVs, which technically is what my bus is according to my insurance, registration and even my tag!
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:21 AM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,764
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I'd buy a new battery or two before paying for the tow. They charge around $250 just to hook up a tow truck to a bus around here.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:03 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 54
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Batteries are $225 a piece. Local tow company only charges me $125. Worth it to have it back home to troubleshoot and not just throw parts at it.

Plus that cop doesnít get the satisfaction of having it towed.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,764
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by NRdomepiece View Post
Batteries are $225 a piece. Local tow company only charges me $125. Worth it to have it back home to troubleshoot and not just throw parts at it.

Plus that cop doesn’t get the satisfaction of having it towed.
I pay $80 for brand new G31 batteries at Rural King. They're only a hundred at autozone. One of those will start your bus.
$125 is an amazing bargain for a tow, congrats.
The tow companies in my neck of the woods will get you for an absolute minimum of $250 and that's just to hook it up.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:07 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,264
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Group 31's can be had *MUCH* cheaper than that. Shop around, I can get them around here for $70-80 each.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:38 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 54
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
My bus has some 8D-XHD INTERSTATE BATTERIES. 1155CCA. I just priced those. They are giant!
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:56 AM   #11
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,764
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by NRdomepiece View Post
My bus has some 8D-XHD INTERSTATE BATTERIES. 1155CCA. I just priced those. They are giant!
If you're ever in a pinch just know that a group 31 battery will start your bus.

The size, weight, and cost of 8D's are why many of us prefer to run 2 or 3 G31's instead.
https://www.schoolbusfleet.com/forum...TOPIC_ID=17452
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:07 PM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,056
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
I've got a pair of 8D batteries to start my bus and when they eventually go sour I"ll replace them with some inexpensive G31 or G27 without blinking.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:04 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 54
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Well both batteries tested good. I’m going to order a newer blade fuse panel and rewire the box on the side. Gonna trim it down to just the starting circuit to begin with. Once it’s running I’ll tie the rest back in after ringing out wires and making sure they are all good. There’s a mess of wires on this thing and i doubt they are all needed considering it’s a mechanical engine.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:36 PM   #14
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Park

Don't forget to park it at your girlfriends house as often as you can. Good luck getting it started, take your time and take a brake when you've had too much!
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:26 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Posts: 54
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by WBBB1 View Post
Don't forget to park it at your girlfriends house as often as you can. Good luck getting it started, take your time and take a brake when you've had too much!
Oh I will be. Lol.

I bought a couple blue sea blade fuse panels. I believe I have a short in the main harness up front. Gonna just start rewiring it and get her running.
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