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Old 03-02-2024, 08:39 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
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Online repair help

When I had my international school bus opened up by power-hungry performance services, they would help you install and diagnose what you were doing.

So I was kind of wondering why no one has come up with a service online for people who are trying to diagnose problems with their bus engines for a modest fee? Then again, maybe something exists and I just don’t know about it.

I would imagine there are others like me that are willing to do the work, but just don’t have the knowledge to take diagnosis from one step to another.
(I also realize there are people on here that help as they can but there’s no real dedicated service to get someone from the beginning to the end

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Old 03-02-2024, 10:05 AM   #2
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its a time black hole..



if I had a phone service for tech support that provided service step by step to diagnose an issue.. there are several issues that increase cost.


1. the service manuals are intellectual property. as a 3rd party I cant just print off copies and hand to people legally.. so the manuals would have to be licensed from the manufacturer in such a way that portions of pages could be emailed off to owners working on their vehicle..


2. how does a service project get managed.. I say "go check pin 2 and pin 3 and should be X volts..".. you run out and do it, an hour later phone rings again.. now i have to regroup from whatever the last call was back to you to try and troubleshoot your next step because all was in spec..



what you end up with is a lot of time involved that has to get billed somehow.. a tech good enough to troubleshoot over the phone is good enough to earn $80K plus bennies working in a shop.. (phone support is twice as hard as on site)



and yes offering a service means carrying liability insurance... if a guy on the phone says jack up the truck, properly support it and take off a wheel.. the customer asks "what is properly supported?" now the poor service line is on the hook to try and explain to the owner how to support their vehicle ... anything he offers to say is a lawsuit waiting to happen...



theres no money to be made in a customer bringing in their vehicle and having it diagnosed and sent home.. after all you often can only do one layer without turning wrenches...



lets take a common one, my T444E wont start.. you hook up servicemaxx and see that the desired HPOP pressure is much higher than the actual.. you arent reaching the 500 PSI needed to fire the engine... you unplug the ICP to throw the system into failsafe mode which opens the IPR at a wider amount.. still no start... the voltage and wiring at the IPR look and test good per the book. the HPOP reservoire is filling up



now what? you need to turn wrenches... you can pull and inspect the IPR or swap it out... still no start and low pressure so you can disconnect the HPOP lines, and do an HPOP deadhead test with a mechanical gauge.. HPOP tests good.. put it back.. pull the valve cover on one side and bam oil sprays everywhere when cranking.. so you find a busted injector O-ring, change it, properly clear the cylinder of fluids and engine runs perfect..


my point here is its a mix of mchanics and diagnostics being performed.. and for you to call abck in repeatedly to a call center through each step is going to be just as costly as a shop because you interrupt that tech or he has to re-train his brain back to you and each call he takes... thus why support service for any business are expensive... and how many tools did you have to buy to do the above troubleshooting I mentioned.. (which by the way was a real diagnosis i helped a friend with on an international truck he bought cheap non-running.. i was there in person.. he helped wit hthe wrenching). the mere diagnosis alone meant pretty much fixing the issue
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Old 03-02-2024, 10:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrazoo View Post
When I had my international school bus opened up by power-hungry performance services, they would help you install and diagnose what you were doing.

So I was kind of wondering why no one has come up with a service online for people who are trying to diagnose problems with their bus engines for a modest fee? Then again, maybe something exists and I just don’t know about it.

I would imagine there are others like me that are willing to do the work, but just don’t have the knowledge to take diagnosis from one step to another.
(I also realize there are people on here that help as they can but there’s no real dedicated service to get someone from the beginning to the end
While that sounds like an interesting business idea, Cadillackid spelled it out real well why the service probably does not exist.

then there is the other side of that coin....

Service manuals exist...
Diagnostic manuals exist....
Tons of you tube videos exist....
This forum exists...lots of good help here.....

All this FOR FREE !!!

You can't get a better deal.

One of the biggest obstacles I see is most people do not either have an interest in learning or they think they cannot do any repairs themselves mostly due to a lack of self confidence.

I myself knew squat about repairing big diesels and NO I am nothing near being a qualified-certified mechanic but I can say that being involved here in this forum, owning 2 diesel busses that need attention, I have taken the initiative to learn as much as I can cause this education, HERE on this forum, is free and when I don't understand something others with experience are more than happy to share!

Now as far as help from the beginning to the end, I have seen many instances where help is available and offered up to the point where either you do get it fixed or one just gives up and stops asking for help.

A pay service might be nice but I choose to stay in the FREE lane for as long as I can learn and pickup a wrench!
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Old 03-02-2024, 02:10 PM   #4
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As someone who does support for a living, it is expensive for my services, and I'm used to retraining my brain several times a day going back and forth to customers.

All of the reasons Cadillackid gave are why there is no such service, however some of the reasons could be overcome like liability etc, and you could start such a service.

For example, when you sign up for such a service, your company will just have to have terms that state you realize what the liabilities are and that as a company they cannot be held responsible for any actions provided to you. I.E. it is made very and abundantly clear up front that the company cannot be held liable for any mishap that occurs as YOU the customer do the work and that YOU assume the risk.

It's always a legal thing in any company but progress has to move forward, and legally it's always about who agrees to what. You can shirk off reliability. Companies do this all the time. Hell my support job I give advice that can sometimes cause catastrophic results in a customers environment if they implement my guidance wrong,(And I'm sometimes talking about MAJOR catastophy like city wide blackouts, Water Dam Operations, any kind of complex system ) but we cannot be sued for it because they agreed ahead of time in the support agreement that we cannot be held liable for any actions or advice we provide and that you assume the risk by following, even if we give the wrong advice. A similar thing could be done for a service business for fixing buses. It's all about setting up your service agreements correctly and you can get anything you want done with how you want to setup your support business.

In the end of the day, you are the one with a problem, not the support company, we're just here to offer you some advice, and you agree to take all responsibility for any action you do given by us and cannot be sued by you. You agree to this because you are up shits creek, and we are just offering you a branch. Sometimes you miss the branch, or the branch breaks that is offered to you, but without us you will assuredly drown and have no chance of being pulled to shore, so if you are willing to take the liability and not sue us for trying to help, then we agree to help you. See how that works?

The re-training your brain thing in between two calls, is a reason most will NOT want to do it, however some people may want to do it and don't mind it. At any given time I have over 20 cases, all with wildly different issues, and i switch between 10-15 of those on the daily. My brain is shot by the end of the day, but I do it because it pays well. So maybe your support business will pay you well enough you don't mind this irritation.

Additionally, while the licensing thing of International's diagnostics books are a problem and a cost for you. There's nothing stopping you from tearing down a bus you own, and reverse engineering it and writing your own technical models and diagrams and use them. If International gets wind of it, you show your manuals in court and that it's not their manuals, but ones you drew up, they will lose. No business is made without a little prep work. Are you willing to put in the work to make your own technical manuals?

Point being, nothing is really stopping you from starting a phone support business, but there are a lot of headaches for doing so,(And likely why nobody else has yet), but maybe they aren't such a headache for you, and can be easily overcome and you should make it your business and start a support industry for us. I wouldn't say that I would not use such a business. I probably would tbh if I were stranded up shits creek in a sinking bus.
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Old 03-02-2024, 03:46 PM   #5
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liability is a tough one.. we put the same things in oiur contracts.. ie internet issues we arent liable for failed 911 calls, lost revenue, etc...



but advice we give isnt going to result in a truck crushing someone to death or grinding someone's arm off... I guess the only real way to know is look at case law and see who won when the contract stated no liability..



brain re-train is subjective for sure.. I myself work on a bunch of different things every day but one of my coworkers just cant retrain.. he gets stuck doing it.. so its a personal preference thing..


making your own tech manuals? I suppose but thats a huge amount of work.. remember its a business how many hours of free time do you put in to make a little $$?



the ROI on it seems long.. and its possible there are licensing considerations for handing diagrams to customers... a subscription to IH onCommand night allow for a certain number of handouts.. I dont know.. same with thomas or bluebird, etc.. its something that would have to be explored.. I only brought it up as i know of someone who got in trouble for unscrupulously passing out copies of manual pages for GM products years ago using the shop service manuals he had obtained legally...
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Old 03-03-2024, 11:54 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Thanks for the detailed responses, a lot there I had not considered or known about.
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Old 03-03-2024, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrazoo View Post
Thanks for the detailed responses, a lot there I had not considered or known about.
Yeah, funny how life is, isn't it!

So how did it go with the power-hungry performance services you did on your bus?

Better fuel mileage ???
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Old 03-03-2024, 02:11 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Location: Virginia
Posts: 163
Year: 2002
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Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: 3126 Cat/5sp manual
Was using that to open it up enough to get 57 mph out of it instead of 50 mph.
Can’t say, haven’t been able to start since.
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Old 03-04-2024, 08:49 AM   #9
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Justanswer exists. A lot of questions on google actually link on to that platform.

Unfortunately you're still limited by the diagnostic capability and tool availability that the owner has.

GM made available vehicle diagnostics over their onstar network a few years back. I imagine it's only limited to reading/clearing trouble codes, and no live data or bi-directional controls. But with how technologically advanced modern vehicles are, there's really no reason it couldn't.

I presume if they ever did, it'd be accessed by select gm dealers only. Us independents would likely get the shaft yet again. But it's an interesting concept nonetheless.
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Old 03-04-2024, 09:32 AM   #10
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after John deere lost in court last year, i hope to see more movement on this.. the case is still open.. but im hoping the court decision over the fact a manufacturer creates a monopoly when limiting service only to their facilities stands..



judge refused to dismiss the case and stated the plaintiffs suing have a valid case over the fact they own their equipment and should be able to maintain / repair it and obtain the info to do so..



a case like this would affect others like allison as well.. i explored trying to get the necessary software and credentials to have the full version of allison DOC and PCCS.. of course it was necessary to take some schooling, both on the software and on the transmissions.. and to buy the software and a subscription... *BUT* at the end of it all came the kicker.. to get access to the allison online DB that you paid for.. and the software that you paid for to be any good you have to employed by an allison dealer... ( or become a dealer which is more than just going to school abd signing up)
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