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Old 06-21-2019, 09:49 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
I guess that kind of speaks to my point... as a non-professional air-brake mechanic, why can't I do the job right? It seems you're assuming that anyone who doesn't do this type of work as a profession is going to do a half-ass job. So what's the basis for these assumptions? Again - are there special tools involved to do the job right? Or special knowledge (like 'don't use couplers and hose clamps)?

As a mechanic myself (just not an air-brake or diesel mechanic), my idea of finding someone to do the job right has always meant doing it myself ;)

BTW - I'm not arguing with you, just asking. I hope my post doesn't come off sounding that way, because that's far from the intent. I really appreciate your input on this thread and others. I've learned a lot about air brake systems from your posts alone, and respect your knowledge & experience.
No offense taken, and not taking it as arguing. I am all about educating people to dangers they may not be aware of. Most do-it-yourselfers will be inclined to simply cut the damaged section and push it over a smaller metal coupling or tube. Even though it may hold pressure and allows the system to work as intended, DOT would put that out of service in a hot second for the very theoretical I just proposed, and just because a bus converted to a motorhome technically no longer requires a CDL or the rules and regulations that go with it, it does not change the danger of repairs that do not comply with those regulations.

I make no assumptions about the mechanical abilities of anyone here, I just want to be clear that it is probably a good idea to stick to rules and regulations to which the vehicle was originally designed to follow. Those rules and regulations were created for a reason, to keep people safe. And let's face it, when it comes to those that apply to most school buses, most folks here probably are not aware of even 10% of them. If I'm off base on that, then good for you, you're ahead of the game already.

If folks are willing to fork out the cash for replacement line and do the job right, I see no problem with it, I'm just not sure everyone would do the right thing in that situation, mostly because they may not be aware of the danger it creates.

I don't think most skoolie folks realize that the air system and lines on such vehicles are so critically important, and so easily compromised. Brakes are brakes, right? When all is well, air brakes are not complicated, though parts of the system are not so easily serviced. But the $30 you save on a replacement air line by splicing one isn't going to seem like a good decision when you wind up having to make two trips for an inspection, or worse, get shut down on the side of the road. I've seen DOT pull over rental trucks, I'm sure they might give a skoolie some unwanted attention, especially if they're bored.

Sure, you could cut and splice and never have a problem. But for starters, in states that require annual safety inspections, these buses will likely still have to pass a DOT-style safety inspection whether or not they are still used for their original purpose. If not, I would be very surprised. Inspectors must be DOT-certified, and they will be no easier on a vehicle than a DOT officer in a weigh station would be. I'm pretty sure spliced air lines would not pass. Just trying to save folks some potential headaches and trouble.

Think of a spliced air line the same as you would a bunch of boards nailed end-to-end. Would you want to use that to cross a chasm? Not likely.

I guess I'm just trying to encourage people to not take the easy way out where it would compromise safety. It's like playing Russian Roulette, and if you had seen half of the crashes and mishaps I've seen, you'd probably understand where I'm coming from more easily.

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Old 06-21-2019, 09:51 AM   #42
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Haven't been sufficiently nailed by the junkies already..?

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You're saying to fix my air leak with a nail? Sounds dubious, but OK.



On a serious note, my air tank is extremely rusted (my bus is named "Rusty" for a reason) - how often is it the tank itself that is the source of the leak? Or would it have burst already if that was the location?
Not impossible. Pre-catastrophic tank failure, there is a possibility of a pin hole, or several, biding their time before going Pepsi Syndrome.
Spray the tank down with the aforementioned soap solution before pressurizing it. You may see some pretty bubbles!
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:56 AM   #43
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Most do-it-yourselfers will be inclined to simply cut the damaged section and push it over a smaller metal coupling or tube.
What do you think of the standard mid- and rear-heater deletion method where the coolant lines to those heaters are cut and spliced together behind the driver's seat with a brass coupling and hose clamps?

Asking for a friend.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:57 AM   #44
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Good point about Russian Roulette, difference being in that game, only one cylinder in the revolver has a live round in it...
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:47 AM   #45
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No offense taken, and not taking it as arguing. I am all about educating people to dangers they may not be aware of. Most do-it-yourselfers will be inclined to simply cut the damaged section and push it over a smaller metal coupling or tube. Even though it may hold pressure and allows the system to work as intended, DOT would put that out of service in a hot second for the very theoretical I just proposed, and just because a bus converted to a motorhome technically no longer requires a CDL or the rules and regulations that go with it, it does not change the danger of repairs that do not comply with those regulations.

If folks are willing to fork out the cash for replacement line and do the job right, I see no problem with it, I'm just not sure everyone would do the right thing in that situation, mostly because they may not be aware of the danger it creates.

I don't think most skoolie folks realize that the air system and lines on such vehicles are so critically important, and so easily compromised. Brakes are brakes, right? When all is well, air brakes are not complicated, though parts of the system are not so easily serviced. But the $30 you save on a replacement air line by splicing one isn't going to seem like a good decision when you wind up having to make two trips for an inspection, or worse, get shut down on the side of the road. I've seen DOT pull over rental trucks, I'm sure they might give a skoolie some unwanted attention, especially if they're bored.

Sure, you could cut and splice and never have a problem. But for starters, in states that require annual safety inspections, these buses will likely still have to pass a DOT-style safety inspection whether or not they are still used for their original purpose. If not, I would be very surprised. Inspectors must be DOT-certified, and they will be no easier on a vehicle than a DOT officer in a weigh station would be. I'm pretty sure spliced air lines would not pass. Just trying to save folks some potential headaches and trouble.

Think of a spliced air line the same as you would a bunch of boards nailed end-to-end. Would you want to use that to cross a chasm? Not likely.

I guess I'm just trying to encourage people to not take the easy way out where it would compromise safety. It's like playing Russian Roulette, and if you had seen half of the crashes and mishaps I've seen, you'd probably understand where I'm coming from more easily.


same thing holds true for hydraulic brake lines really - I was talking to an owner after looking at the bus he had for sale online - he told me that it had a leaky brake line ( rusted ) and would fix it before the bus went anywhere - I told him that rusted brake lines were not uncommon given the age of the bus, and that while he was at it, he should replace all of the brake lines because they had all been exposed to the same environment - whether a bus has air brakes or hydraulic, it still weighs 30,000 LBs
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:50 AM   #46
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What do you think of the standard mid- and rear-heater deletion method where the coolant lines to those heaters are cut and spliced together behind the driver's seat with a brass coupling and hose clamps?

Asking for a friend.
Blow a coolant hose, you lose a lot of coolant, maybe overheat the engine before you get it stopped. No biggie. And it is possible with inside heater connections to get sprayed with scalding hot engine coolant if such a repair fails. BUT -- it is unlikely to be a life-threatening failure.

An air line failure, however...

First, you push on the brakes, and may find the bus is not even slowing down. You look at the air gauge and it's either going down with each press of the pedal, or falling independently of it. Warning comes on at 60-85 psi... You're not sure what's wrong.

But guess what, it doesn't matter. You just ran over the car in front of you that cut you off. You have dash cam footage, so you can prove it wasn't your fault, right?

Later, the police examine your bus and find a failed splice in your air lines that should not have passed safety inspection. Guess what? Your insurance will deny the claim, whoever inspected the bus (if applicable) is in hot water until they can prove it wasn't like that when they inspected it, which then traces back to you. And guess what? You get a slew of tickets, up to / including manslaughter (depending on the outcome of the crash), as well as criminal negligence.

Also consider that it is technically illegal to repair brake lines in such fashion even on hydraulic systems, some states will impound the vehicle if they find it. Again, I'm not saying any of this to appear superior or ruffle any feathers with appearances of putting anyone down.

That being said, I am a professional driver with a lot of experience with air brakes and the various failures that can occur. Just a friendly reminder that these are, after all, big, heavy vehicles that can seriously injure or kill if not kept and repaired properly. One need look no further than the recent I-70 truck crash in Colorado to see what can happen when things go wrong. Just because a skoolie is not as big and heavy as a tractor-trailer does not make it any less dangerous. Changing a school bus's configuration and usage does not change the fact that certain failures can be lethal, nor does it change the reasons that DOT regulation forbids certain things. As I said before, just trying to save a few folks some headaches and trouble. I certainly don't want to see anyone caught with their pants down because of something they weren't aware of. We all know the old saying, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

In summary, just because you can, doesn't necessarily mean you should. Skimp at your own risk.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:23 AM   #47
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You're saying to fix my air leak with a nail? Sounds dubious, but OK.

On a serious note, my air tank is extremely rusted (my bus is named "Rusty" for a reason) - how often is it the tank itself that is the source of the leak? Or would it have burst already if that was the location?
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Haven't been sufficiently nailed by the junkies already..?
Not impossible. Pre-catastrophic tank failure, there is a possibility of a pin hole, or several, biding their time before going Pepsi Syndrome.
Spray the tank down with the aforementioned soap solution before pressurizing it. You may see some pretty bubbles!
You guys are a trip!

MG, probability and frequency of this are entirely subjective. Many factors. More likely on a bus from the rust belt, obviously. But as HM said, it is indeed possible. I was just telling someone that exact same thing on another thread in trying to help them determine why their air brakes would not release.

They've informed me that their bus' air system bleeds down after sitting a few days, which indicates a leak. I suggested checking the supply tank drank cock to make sure it wasn't damaged or improperly tightened, as well to check the tank for rust, especially at the bung for the aforementioned drain.

And it is not unheard of for air supply tanks to burst, that is why they have a safety blow-off valve to keep pressure below 150 psi -- another spot you might check for rust. When the structural integrity is compromised, all bets are off.

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Cheese_Wagon:
Good point about Russian Roulette, difference being in that game, only one cylinder in the revolver has a live round in it...
Ah, but it only takes one failure to injure or kill someone... So no difference, really. Maybe the previous five times you braked hard, it held, but the sixth time it failed. Russian roulette...
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:48 AM   #48
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In regard to the OP's question, this is my suggestion, besides the hasp and padlock arrangements on the doors...

Start fighting dirty, set some bug bombs next time you leave. Don't worry about square footage, just nuke the place with them. They might come again, but they won't come back. Of course, you may have to air it out before entering the next time you visit, but your thief problem should be solved.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:01 PM   #49
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What do you think of the standard mid- and rear-heater deletion method where the coolant lines to those heaters are cut and spliced together behind the driver's seat with a brass coupling and hose clamps?

Asking for a friend.
If you've removed the lines that far, why not get them out of the cabin and back at the motor with your coupling. I would used the heavy duty hose clamps that came off the heaters, they are way better than standard screw type hose clamps.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:44 PM   #50
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In regard to the OP's question, this is my suggestion, besides the hasp and padlock arrangements on the doors...

Start fighting dirty, set some bug bombs next time you leave. Don't worry about square footage, just nuke the place with them. They might come again, but they won't come back. Of course, you may have to air it out before entering the next time you visit, but your thief problem should be solved.
They make motion-activated OC-spray dispensers. I think that coupled with a quality streaming camera would make for both a great deterrent and even better entertainment.

A motion-activated bug-bomb would be even more comical, though likely pose some measure of legal liability

After the third time being robbed, I'd be inclined towards a motion-activated thermonuclear device. Good thing I sucked at physics.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:32 PM   #51
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They make motion-activated OC-spray dispensers. I think that coupled with a quality streaming camera would make for both a great deterrent and even better entertainment.

A motion-activated bug-bomb would be even more comical, though likely pose some measure of legal liability [emoji3]

After the third time being robbed, I'd be inclined towards a motion-activated thermonuclear device. Good thing I sucked at physics.
I like it! Practical, and piss-yourself-out-loud funny! If that stuff is remotely like Orange County CA, it'd sure repel me...
Call me, we'll work out the math. Then take a trip out to Monument Valley to dig up some uranium oxide...


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...
Ah, but it only takes one failure to injure or kill someone... So no difference, really. Maybe the previous five times you braked hard, it held, but the sixth time it failed. Russian roulette...
My point was DIYing such a critical system in a half-fast fashion is like playing Russian Roulette with an automatic.
With a full clip.
And one in the pipe...
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:45 PM   #52
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Call me, we'll work out the math. Then take a trip out to Monument Valley to dig up some uranium oxide...
Sounds like a plan! I've watched the Manhattan Project 3 times, so how hard can it be? You do the math, and I'll make the soccer-ball thingy.

We can ride out in our new bus. I'll be fixing the air brakes this week
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:00 PM   #53
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See, you're already briefed in! And way to show off your knowledge of historical scientific minutiae!
There aren't a lot of people who know that Dr. Robert Oppenheimer often referred to the fissile mass as, "That soccer-ball thingy."
Translated from the original German, since Europeans quaintly call that game, "football."
Which, even more folx don't realize, is why the nuclear arming and launch confirmation device, that is never more than 60 seconds from any sitting President, is called,
"The Football."
.
That'd be even cooler if it were true...
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:49 PM   #54
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Plywood thatís the same size as the front door. Put a steel bar behind it - then enter and exit through the rear lockable door.

I put dehorning past on the bolts of my sawmill when I had to leave it outside.
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:53 PM   #55
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nvm... doubletap
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:54 PM   #56
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See, you're already briefed in! And way to show off your knowledge of historical scientific minutiae!
There aren't a lot of people who know that Dr. Robert Oppenheimer often referred to the fissile mass as, "That soccer-ball thingy."
Translated from the original German, since Europeans quaintly call that game, "football."
Which, even more folx don't realize, is why the nuclear arming and launch confirmation device, that is never more than 60 seconds from any sitting President, is called,
"The Football."
.
That'd be even cooler if it were true...
If I weren't happily married, straight, and had a uterus, I'd so want to have your babies.

Though after a year or two of non-stop wise cracks from the little runts, I'd likely be forced to "go out for cigarettes".
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:20 PM   #57
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Aw, that was a total "gimme!"
Mixed sports metaphors notwithstanding, lob me a soft one like, 'soccer ball thingie,' and I'll do my damnedest to punt it thru the uprights!
Creative writing exercises are the only excuse that doesn't make me feel bad about myself for sloughing off doing something that's actually productive. Very much like I'm doing ATM...

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If I weren't happily married, straight, and had a uterus, I'd so want to have your babies.

Though after a year or two of non-stop wise cracks from the little runts, I'd likely be forced to "go out for cigarettes". [emoji3]
That is probably the nicest thing any guy; straight, bi, gay, or poly, has ever said to me. Thank you..? [emoji848]
No worries, I'd let you use my Top-O-Matic rolling machine! Certainly after providing me with cunning runts.
Which is eminently preferable to the obverse... 🤧
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:04 PM   #58
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Plywood thatís the same size as the front door. Put a steel bar behind it - then enter and exit through the rear lockable door.

I put dehorning past on the bolts of my sawmill when I had to leave it outside.


there was a shop owner here in BC a few years back that was fed up with being robbed of tools, equipment etc - it had happened several times - finally he decided to do something about it himself as the authorities didn't seem to have time to do anything about the robberies - he bought a new, good sized red tool box, and loaded it with dynamite - rigged to go off when the box was opened - sure enough the thief came back - opened the tool box and was killed - the owner of the shop was charged with and convicted of murder - de-horning paste isn't going to kill someone, unless they were fool enough to eat it, but it would leave some nasty burns - a person who 'employs' a guard dog that bites an intruder can be found liable for any damage done to the intruder -
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:09 PM   #59
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What is this dehorning paste you speak of???
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:17 PM   #60
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What is this dehorning paste you speak of???
used on the horn buttons of calves to prevent the growth of horns
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