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Old 12-03-2023, 09:38 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
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Unhappy Only stupid question is the one not asked!

First off hello everyone!
Now the backstory...
I bought a 1970 crown schoolbus and the guy I bought it from was going to get it fired up and deliver it to me. One of the battery terminal s were corroded so he pulled it apart wire brushed it or whatever. Upon reconnecting the battery, when he flipped the main switch it arced, so he turn it off and realized he had reversed the terminals. There is no power to the dash, it turned over with the remote switch in the engine compartment. I had a couple buddy's come look at it who are truck and tractor mechanics. They put a jumper wire to the fuel cutoff selinoid(sorry for misspelling), it started up. We looked for a fuse panel but couldn't find one. My stupid question is, "is there a fuse panel, or just a single main fuse? If there's a fuse panel where is it, if just a main, where is it? The bus still isn't in my possession and I needed it three days ago!

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Old 12-04-2023, 01:16 AM   #2
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Location: SoCal
Posts: 387
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bus help View Post
First off hello everyone!
Now the backstory...
I bought a 1970 crown schoolbus and the guy I bought it from was going to get it fired up and deliver it to me. One of the battery terminal s were corroded so he pulled it apart wire brushed it or whatever. Upon reconnecting the battery, when he flipped the main switch it arced, so he turn it off and realized he had reversed the terminals. There is no power to the dash, it turned over with the remote switch in the engine compartment. I had a couple buddy's come look at it who are truck and tractor mechanics. They put a jumper wire to the fuel cutoff selinoid(sorry for misspelling), it started up. We looked for a fuse panel but couldn't find one. My stupid question is, "is there a fuse panel, or just a single main fuse? If there's a fuse panel where is it, if just a main, where is it? The bus still isn't in my possession and I needed it three days ago!

Some more details would be nice like what engine and transmission for starters since Crowns were more than just school buses. Assuming this is a regular old Crown School bus of the normal 1970 vintage with the engine mounted pancake fashion under the floor mid-ship, then I can give you some general advice regarding the normal electrical system setup.

One little thing to note is that the difference in engine control and fuel control is very different between the Cummins and Detroit 6-71 engines. You should be very sure of what engine you are dealing with before you start troubleshooting start/run issues. That's why I ask what you have in it. A Detroit for instance can be made to run and drive with NO electrical system in operation. It's a pure mechanical engine. BUT the normal engine controls ARE using the electrical system for normal operation(and the air system), but they can be overridden and defeated to move the bus.

The Cummins on the other hand REQUIRES electrical power to energize the fuel shutoff valve mounted on the fuel pump. No power, no fuel, and no run. No way to defeat this short of actually replacing it with a mechanically/manually operated shutoff valve which I understand is available from Cummins but the electrical one rarely ever fails.

The 100 amp main bus fuse is located on the right under the floor inside the right engine bay lift up panel. It's easy to spot as it's usually got an ammeter right next to it on the small sub-panel mounted to the frame member to the rear of the compartment. Very obvious to spot. I've attached a typical Detroit 6-71 with the main fuse panel shown. A Cummins engine install would be exactly the same.

There is a location where all the rest of the Circuit Breakers are mounted along with the wiring looms and alarm buzzers. In the pre-1970 Crowns all the circuit breakers were located to the left of the driver seat under the left side driver window behind the interior panel. The panel needs to be unscrewed and removed to access the components inside there. Usually the driver seat needs to be removed first. The old American Standard fixed seats were easily lifted up and the seat and pedestal were separated from the base which was bolted to the floor. These were in use and can be identified because they have all the driver controlled switches located under the side window to the left of the driver.

After about 1970 or so they re-engineered the bus wiring and located the main electrical components in the stair well directly under the heater core in the dash. Right at the top step on the forward bulkhead you'll see two small studs poking out and they are screw fasteners that hold the drop down panel up and tight against the bulkhead. All the terminal strips and circuit breakers and buzzers are located here. Much more accessible and easier to work on. I've attached a typical shot of the stair well drop down panel with all goodies showing. This was when they changed the side switch location and completely changed the dash to the large bulky black thing in front of the driver with all the switches now under that dash and replaced with rocker switches. Certainly not my favorite but it is what is.

This was the standard used until end of production for the Crown Supercoach (rounded) body style.
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Old 12-04-2023, 09:04 AM   #3
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Year: 1974
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Well...there you go! You won't find better info or help than that.
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:26 AM   #4
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One and done. I guess he found out what he needed. Huh Ross.
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Old 12-06-2023, 08:52 AM   #5
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One and done. I guess he found out what he needed. Huh Ross.
Hopefully, he'll be back to share what he found and more about his bus.
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Old 12-06-2023, 10:27 AM   #6
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Probably not, which irritates me to no end. But I was called an a$$hole the last time I called someone out about it.
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Old 12-06-2023, 11:14 PM   #7
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Location: SoCal
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
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Rated Cap: 91
Yeah, Right? It is a little annoying and I get the feeling they are only casting about in frustration because they are out of their depth and looking for any kind of help. I'm truly interested in what he has and where he's located in case I can be of more help if he's near me. The sense I get is he isn't all that serious as is the case with most of the one and done guys.

You ever get the feeling that we're the wall and these types are the plates full of spaghetti trying to see what sticks.....??
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Old 12-07-2023, 09:00 AM   #8
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Engine: 6.9 International
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Pretty often.

I think they give it the old college try, then a desperation attempt and a few hail mary's, Followed by a google search which reveals this place. I have no doubt in the experience and intellect here being able to fix just about anything, but by the time a newbie gets here, the process of repair is too much for someone that's already near burnt out.
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Old 12-07-2023, 11:44 AM   #9
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I think maybe sometimes people make an account with a fake email address and then never get any notification that their question has been answered (and never check back on their own). I do that a lot myself with forums that I don't care too much about.
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Old 12-07-2023, 05:08 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Shortly after crown guy gave me his outstanding response, I wrote back with a heartfelt thank you you're the man! Unfortunately what I wrote didn't post, I was on a deadline to move everything out of my residence because the land lord wanted the place back so she could rent it to someone else for more money. Here in San Diego rent has skyrocketed, we were paying $1450 for a three bedroom double wide, and in today's market she'll probably get $1000 more per month. A few days before the deadline My girlfriend went into the hospital, I'm assuming due to the stress of the move. The Dr said her heart is 22%, but she's out of the hospital now. Last night 5pm was the deadline, I drove the bus out if there with no lights because I haven't had time to get into it, until today! We live in an unincorporated community called jamul, up in the hills of San Diego, that's why I could get away with driving it in twilight.
Now to the bus, it a 1970 school bus (A-743-11) 220hp cummins with a Spicer 5spd trans manufacture date of 3-70.
It appears the circuit breakers are next to the drivers seat and the main fuse location has an aftermarket fuse holder with a 30 Amp fuse. With everything working against me at the moment I'm forced to stop writing and continue later, but thank you so much for the info to get me headed in the right direction!
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Old 12-07-2023, 06:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bus help View Post
Shortly after crown guy gave me his outstanding response, I wrote back with a heartfelt thank you you're the man! Unfortunately what I wrote didn't post, I was on a deadline to move everything out of my residence because the land lord wanted the place back so she could rent it to someone else for more money. Here in San Diego rent has skyrocketed, we were paying $1450 for a three bedroom double wide, and in today's market she'll probably get $1000 more per month. A few days before the deadline My girlfriend went into the hospital, I'm assuming due to the stress of the move. The Dr said her heart is 22%, but she's out of the hospital now. Last night 5pm was the deadline, I drove the bus out if there with no lights because I haven't had time to get into it, until today! We live in an unincorporated community called jamul, up in the hills of San Diego, that's why I could get away with driving it in twilight.
Now to the bus, it a 1970 school bus (A-743-11) 220hp cummins with a Spicer 5spd trans manufacture date of 3-70.
It appears the circuit breakers are next to the drivers seat and the main fuse location has an aftermarket fuse holder with a 30 Amp fuse. With everything working against me at the moment I'm forced to stop writing and continue later, but thank you so much for the info to get me headed in the right direction!

Stick around and post 3 more times and you can post us pictures of the bus. We love pictures!
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Old 12-07-2023, 09:06 PM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 387
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bus help View Post
Shortly after crown guy gave me his outstanding response, I wrote back with a heartfelt thank you you're the man! Unfortunately what I wrote didn't post, I was on a deadline to move everything out of my residence because the land lord wanted the place back so she could rent it to someone else for more money. Here in San Diego rent has skyrocketed, we were paying $1450 for a three bedroom double wide, and in today's market she'll probably get $1000 more per month. A few days before the deadline My girlfriend went into the hospital, I'm assuming due to the stress of the move. The Dr said her heart is 22%, but she's out of the hospital now. Last night 5pm was the deadline, I drove the bus out if there with no lights because I haven't had time to get into it, until today! We live in an unincorporated community called jamul, up in the hills of San Diego, that's why I could get away with driving it in twilight.
Now to the bus, it a 1970 school bus (A-743-11) 220hp cummins with a Spicer 5spd trans manufacture date of 3-70.
It appears the circuit breakers are next to the drivers seat and the main fuse location has an aftermarket fuse holder with a 30 Amp fuse. With everything working against me at the moment I'm forced to stop writing and continue later, but thank you so much for the info to get me headed in the right direction!

EXCELLENT. OK. You're in luck because there's a great guy near you, sorta, in El Cajon, at least he's nearer than me located here near L.A. I'm aware of the Jamul area and Eastern San Diego county regions. Beautiful and isolated with all the attendant difficulties of rural living and not having stuff real close by for parts and such to purchase.

Obviously you were able to get it started and drive it, again, Excellent. And rest assured some of us have much experience with driving partially crippled buses in ferry trips for various reasons. Many, many variations of the crippled bus ferry trips I could relate..... but not here since some were definitely sporty and probably not a good idea. But it was the only option and seemed like a good idea at the time..... Boy do I have stories.

That's all very good info and enough to help you out. First things first. The main fuse in the engine compartment should be 100 Amps as called for in the original specs. 30 Amps sounds a tad low and may cause it to blow from normal random surges in the system like when you engage the starter for instance.

Even the headlights may draw more than 30 amps, like high beams, especially if it has the Quad headlights. Each lamp has both low and high beam filaments, and when the AUX (headlight) switch is turned on and the lower pair comes on, you have all four lamps blasting out high beams. That's one of the things I love about the Crown Quad headlight design. I will be doing this to mine for sure and I now have the parts required to modify them back to the Classic Crown Quad headlight configuration.

Anyway the main fuse should be 100 Amps. Here's the good news, it's a totally standard fuse available from any electrical supply house that deals in high voltage electrical parts, 110vac etc. I'll try locating a more detailed pic of the fuse and include it in a later post. But it's a standard physical form factor with bladed contacts at each end.

Take a picture with you and measure the distance between the clips for the fuse and the supply house will know what you need. Actually it occurs to me your Crown may have been altered since you say "after market" which leads me to suspect a previous mechanic butcher may have applied a Field Expedient fix to keep it on the road. Believe it or not, but I actually saw a Crown that had the main fuse replaced with a double open ended wrench, (1/2" -9/16" I think it was) jammed into the clips, by the not uncommon "mechanic" butcher we see the work of in some of the purchased Crowns from operators and districts, and auctions.

You may need to restore the original fuse block which again should be easy-peasy. If you can post a good pic of what you have in there right now I can be of assistance for sure with getting it back to the as-built configuration.

Keep in touch here if you can and don't sweat it about being timely responding. We all understand life takes priority and always has a vote. We'll help as we can and if I can get you in personal contact with my friend in El Cajon he can help you a lot since his 1964 Crown also has a 220 Cummins and you can compare things with him.
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Old 12-08-2023, 10:53 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 14
Ok thank you C.G..
And for the record I grew up in these hills no electric from the power company, no home phone, no TV. My dad was an operating engineer who taught me to run a 14¹/² ton P&H crane when I was 7-8 years old. From about 12y my dad worked out of town and I was expected to take care of the ranch, and at one time we had about 2000 birds. I haven't hired a mechanic since one dropped a washer down my carb one a brand new motor about 30 years ago.
I'm not your typical run of the mill idiot, I like to think of myself as a somewhat special idiot and I think most who know me would agree. I think I may change my handle on this site to that (special idiot) seems fitting! So now I can post pictures, correct?
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Old 12-08-2023, 11:20 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hey C.G. does the panel with the circuit breakers have fasteners that you just pull to release them and push to fasten them? I had to take the inner frame off the window, now I'm not seeing any fasteners that hold the panel in place
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Old 12-08-2023, 05:03 PM   #15
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Posts: 387
Year: 1989
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Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
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Rated Cap: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bus help View Post
Hey C.G. does the panel with the circuit breakers have fasteners that you just pull to release them and push to fasten them? I had to take the inner frame off the window, now I'm not seeing any fasteners that hold the panel in place
Without seeing exactly what you have I'll hazard a guess and say that all I've seen were screwed in place with sheet metal screws after removing the driver seat for access. I'm assuming again you have the switch panel under the side driver window which leads me to believe that the circuit breakers are behind that panel. You will be removing the whole panel which includes all the switches too, it's all one piece floor to the bottom of the window frame. It's balky and cumbersome and fairly heavy but once it's clear you can see the wiring harness and circuit breakers behind it. You may not need to do that at all if the problem is somewhere else.

Without knowing more about your actual problem and why you need to do this it might be a good idea to take a breath and think this through now that you have it home and under your control.

Lets talk about the symptoms you're dealing with. You obviously got it powered up enough to drive it home, and the problem may be somewhere else and not with a circuit breaker. Remember something is causing a breaker to trip and that should be resolved first. Lets discuss your real issues and maybe we can find another way to approach and fix the problem.

The first thing I'd do is replace the 30 amp main fuse with the proper 100 amp one. This will go a long way to supply enough current to the system and your symptoms may disappear. Start with the easy stuff first and work your way up from there to the nasty and possibly expensive ones later.

Feel free to email direct and we can go over it and I'll give you my cel. mikemcc2k@yahoo.com
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Old 12-08-2023, 06:11 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
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So as I stated in my first post the guy I bought it from cleaned the battery terminals, then reversed the terminals threw the main switch on it arced, he shut it off right away. When he tried to start it, it wouldn't start. Nothing inside the bus has any power, in has to be started from the engine bay, and a wire directly from the fuel cutoff selinoid to the battery with an alligator clip for on and off.
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Old 12-08-2023, 06:16 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
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How do I post photos?
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Old 12-08-2023, 06:34 PM   #18
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https://photos.app.goo.gl/vw8djvAWpPMVw5WY8
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Old 12-08-2023, 06:40 PM   #19
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Guess that'll work, ��
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Old 12-08-2023, 06:46 PM   #20
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