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Old 08-16-2017, 06:46 AM   #61
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Hmm, more good ideas. I'm going to try all of that, along with some cursing, today (before it gets too hot).

THANKS ALL! SUPER NICE OF YAS TO RESPOND!
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:51 PM   #62
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Hi all! I haven't gotten the bus started yet, but it's been an interesting process.

New video up on YouTube:

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Old 08-29-2017, 05:28 PM   #63
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Hi all! I haven't gotten the bus started yet, but it's been an interesting process.

New video up on YouTube:

Any chance that you're stuck in Safety Switch Hell? All the doors (save the front one) and the roof hatches might have switches that prevent starting if the proper conditions are not met. Of course, it's a prison bus, so maybe all egress is welded shut and screw 'em in case of a fire.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:09 PM   #64
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I guess there is a chance that that is what is going on, but you're right: all of the safety switches were previously bypassed, so I've never had trouble running it with skylights open and the back door open. With that said, there is still a chance.

I'm focusing on the batteries now as a possible culprit, as they seem quite low and aren't really charging up that well. Once I can rule out the batteries I think I'll try to find the starter solenoid ... then trouble shoot possible safety switches.

Thanks for putting your mind to it! Gotta get that old bus running again!
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:15 PM   #65
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I'm focusing on the batteries now as a possible culprit, as they seem quite low and aren't really charging up that well. Once I can rule out the batteries I think

Gotta get that old bus running again!
You have to rule-out the batteries. You can drag them into AutoZone or Pep Boys and they will load test them. You cannot jump the bus with even one dead battery and you will just screw-up your other truck. Diesels use much more juice to start: pre-heat/glo-plug and higher compression.

Clean your battery connections- they look like they need attention in the video, use one of them double-ended wire brushes.

Your wife/gf is funny- same expression I get when I rarely ask for help.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:22 PM   #66
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Haha, yeah you're right: the batteries are likely shot.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:23 PM   #67
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I figure there are only so many times I can ask her to come out to the Prison Bus to help me out ... you know what I mean?
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:26 PM   #68
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New Batteries in the Bus

Hey all,

I installed some new batteries in the bus, but as you'll see am still having some trouble starting the bus. I'll install the new relays and solenoid I ordered and see where that gets me. You can't really see it in my video, but several of the wires to the relays were completed rusted away, so there is hope!

New video is up on YouTube:

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Old 09-08-2017, 09:20 PM   #69
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The Prison Bus, She Runs Again!

Got the old prison bus started up this afternoon ... and a big thanks to everyone who helped out. In summary form, here's what I did to troubleshoot the ignition issues:

=> tried to test the starter to see if it was getting juice, but I couldn't really access the leads or tell what was what (I plead clueless)
=> replaced the batteries and cleaned up the battery bay, but still wouldn't start
=> tried to jump the ignition solenoid ... fried the main fuse in the bus, killing everything (doh!)
=> replaced that main 200 amp fuse, along with two ignition relays and the ignition solenoid
=> in the process I found two completely corroded (as in gone on the ends) wires leading to the ignition relays, so replaced those wires

And then she started up like it was nothing. Purrrred just like the old days.

It's so, so great to have the bus running again. Again, thanks to all for the many suggestions.

Spencer
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:34 PM   #70
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With the bus now running, will there be another "Dear Melissa" video? The first one was priceless!
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:07 AM   #71
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Ya know, I was thinking about it! When she heard the bus fire up out there in the driveway, I think she may have got some hope ... of what kind, I'm not sure. ;)
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:57 AM   #72
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Ya know, I was thinking about it! When she heard the bus fire up out there in the driveway, I think she may have got some hope ... of what kind, I'm not sure. ;)
Glad to hear you got it running ! Now back to work...
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:51 AM   #73
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Great news! In my profession we would diagnose that as an ABC, (another bad connection) it may not seem like it but having this issue now is a good thing! You solved a problem you won't have 200 mikes from home and I'm sure you got to know your bus during the process. I always feel "closer" to a vehicle after I have fixed it a few times! Like Rusty said now you can get back to the fun part ;)
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:56 AM   #74
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definitely great news that it lives!!! i second that once you fix / upgrade a few things on a bus you become less afraid of it and confident that if you bust out on the road that you can fix it!.. good stuff
-Christopher
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:44 AM   #75
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Glad shes running. I love your videos you crack me up
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:31 AM   #76
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Prison Bus Joy Ride

Thanks again to everyone who helped me troubleshoot my ignition problems. It is so nice to have the old prison bus running again.

My next video in the project series is on YouTube. Working on plumbing (mainly) this week.

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Old 09-15-2017, 09:31 AM   #77
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that is so true! I was hesitant to dig into the wiring ... then desperation made me do it ... and it paid off
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:13 AM   #78
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that is so true! I was hesitant to dig into the wiring ... then desperation made me do it ... and it paid off
Another fantastic video- I always stop and watch the latest offerings.

The bus does teach very valuable lessons, but unfortunately teaches them at inopportune times. "Yes, I'd love to learn about air brakes, but MOVE !!!"

I mark the date on parts I replace with a sharpie. I don't know why, but I do.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:39 AM   #79
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Nice videos. Thanks

You got a sponsor ! You are now a Professional Youtuber.
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:07 AM   #80
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Nice videos. Thanks

You got a sponsor ! You are now a Professional Youtuber.
Pro Now. There goes the RV plates. Going to need that CDL, too. The Code of Federal Regulations has everything you need in it's compact 175,000 pages.

I have offers of sponsorship to get rid of my bus.
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