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Old 09-15-2017, 10:07 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Central Florida
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: 35' Low Floor
Engine: Cummins ISM CM570
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I just got a Gillig!

(Ok, let's try this again)

Hi!

So, enthusiasm has triumphed over my better judgment, and I've bought a transit bus! It's a 2001 35' Gillig Low Floor, with 429,000 miles. It was last used as a hotel shuttle to WDW (I live in Central Florida), so it has had a few modifications from when it was used in transit service.

I'm new to buses, and to diesel/air brakes, but I was able to successfully get it across town and to its current parking spot. It runs on the highway, but it has...issues. That's going to be where a lot of my early questions are coming from. Just so you can see what I'm going to be asking about, here's a few photos;




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Old 09-15-2017, 07:27 PM   #2
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Chassis: 35' Low Floor
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With a bit more research, I've been able to confirm that the bus uses a Cummins ISM CM570 engine, and probably a Voith D864.3E automatic transmission. With that, I can start identifying types and quantities of fluids and filters.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:40 PM   #3
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Excellent and welcome.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:28 PM   #4
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Great looking bus and likely lots of life yet in it.
Congrats and welcome, a great canvas to build on.

John
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:45 PM   #5
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Welcome!
Gilligs are good!
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:23 AM   #6
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That looks like a really nice bus. Just be prepared to shell out big $$$ if you ever have transmission issues.

The Voith is a good unit but it is not nearly as common as an Allison and almost no one will offer to work on them. In other words parts and service are basically zero.

The Gillig platform is a very good platform and is nearly indestructible.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:57 AM   #7
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Great choose the low floor buses are easy to convert and have nice heigh ceilings.
Later j
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:23 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Central Florida
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Chassis: 35' Low Floor
Engine: Cummins ISM CM570
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A little progress this week, but no new photos yet. Tags & title are done; although my credit card didn't actually melt, I'll need to treat it gently for a bit. This weekend was fabricating a set of ramps for the back wheels. The air ride is messed up somewhere, lifting normally when the bus is started, then the left side abruptly drops to the stops. I'm hoping it's the linkage for the left leveling valve, but I need to get under there and inspect.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:54 AM   #9
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Love this bus!! I like seeing different kinds of busses. when you start the conversion, treat the wiring Nicely.. it likely has a multiplexed CAN Bus network to run many of the items like the doors, Air conditioning, etc.. just going in and slicing wires will probably make it so your bus will fail to start, or operate.. so whenever you disconnect ONE ITEM, make sure you can still start and drive the bus!.
-Christopher
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:12 AM   #10
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Posts: 34
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: 35' Low Floor
Engine: Cummins ISM CM570
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I was lucky enough to score a set of the as-built schematics, and yes, there is a good deal of multiplexed wiring. Fortunately, the PLC programs are included in the schematics! Unfortunately, most of the accessories that weren't nailed down were salvaged by a previous owner, so there's a good deal of unmarked wiring for radios, GPS trackers and the like to trace and remove/reuse.

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Old 09-25-2017, 08:29 AM   #11
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Does it have level adjusters on each wheel?

I have a 1973 citroen DS with hydro pneumatic suspension.. They had models that would increase the suspension on the left if you would take a right hand corner (and visa versa) . So the car would lean in a corner as a motorcycle does.
Wonder if the Gillig does imilar.... My SLF does not but it is smaller..If so it might think that your are cornering... just a thought .

Good luck.

later J
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:52 AM   #12
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If it's like the one I got the parts catalog for, there is a simple height adjuster on each side of the rear axle. The front axle has a more complicated setup that supports kneeling, but doesn't seem to have independent left and right sides. Given the rigidity of the frame, I'm guessing it only does fore/aft, and the rear axle does left/right.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:05 AM   #13
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Cool, really fortunate that you have a parts manual. i am pretty lucky as well with that. Unfortunately I do not have the programming of the Es Key modules. These buses are way more complicated then an average skoolie truck chassis.

I can reach my level valves if i take a wheel of, not pleasant either.
I wonder if it is possible that you have a leak in the airbag that gets exposed at a certain height and ones the air is blowing out it does not close the hole until the pressure has dropped of?

I found with my kneeling function that if i shut the engine off in kneeling mode then the remaining pressure in the tanks raises the bus again to driving height. A little frustrating, guess I have to add a manual valve.

I assume your bus also has a ferry mode where it raises the bus to a max for rough terrain. I found a 15 mph speed switch in my wiring that should only allow this below 15 mph.

Later J
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:26 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: 35' Low Floor
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Yeah, the parts manual is for a similar bus, an '03. It's not the same, so I have to inspect to verify what's actually on mine. I don't really know what the problem is yet, I'm hoping to get the bus up onto the ramps Tuesday night and see what's really going on.

I'm not sure about a ferry mode, I know I can "reverse kneel" the front to get a little more clearance if I need it, but that's on a momentary switch, and it may be interlocked so you can't drive that way.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:42 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 34
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: 35' Low Floor
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Rated Cap: 32+53
Diagnosis

So, I got the bus up on ramps, and took a look underneath;



and the bags on the right side look fine;



but, the left side, not so much.



So I need to identify what type bags they are and how to change them (and clean up a bit under there, yech!)
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:48 PM   #16
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it should be marked on the side of the airbag, if not, if you take it out and take it to a parts house that deals in trucks, they should be able to match it
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:44 PM   #17
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Could you post a pic of your ramps? I really need to do something similar (except for a dually + tag...).

Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:56 PM   #18
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Eit looks like there is no under the floor storage...is that correct?
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:43 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 34
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: 35' Low Floor
Engine: Cummins ISM CM570
Rated Cap: 32+53
Sure, the ramps are nothing fancy, just stacked 2x12's that I cut on the table saw, and screwed together with deck screws. (Use 2 1/2" screws!) The top layer is 24" long. I built 4 ramps, one for each rear tire.



If you use ramps, be sure you get or make chocks too, and chock the other wheels!
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:48 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 34
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: 35' Low Floor
Engine: Cummins ISM CM570
Rated Cap: 32+53
Yes, this is a low-floor bus, so there isn't any room under the floor for tanks or lockers. I'm ok with this, since I'm planning to have everything inside anyway. It's the price you pay for the high ceiling.
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