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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: bwze on December 21, 2010, 06:09:04 PM

Title: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on December 21, 2010, 06:09:04 PM
Well, I made my first step into the world of buses. I just purchased a '64 GM 4106. #2313....anybody got any idea of the history for this one....   
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: robertglines1 on December 21, 2010, 06:15:55 PM
Welcome to bus nut ville. just jump in the only dumb question is the one not ask! Bob
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on December 21, 2010, 06:23:43 PM
Trust me, I got a lotta dumb questions......like "Why does my Detroit smoke so bad?"....and "Why won't it start?"....many more to come.....
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: robertglines1 on December 21, 2010, 06:32:16 PM
color of smoke?  has it run lately? S.C. isn't a deep freeze.well not all the time.  lots of bus nuts in N & S Carolina. Why won't it start-No fuel   no air  (could be air damper has tripped) manual reset. it shuts off air to blower in case of a runaway:sometimes trips for no apparent reason.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Dave5Cs on December 21, 2010, 06:56:39 PM
is your air box closed? Not getting air to the motor

Dave
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: RJ on December 21, 2010, 07:41:13 PM
Billie -

Welcome to the madness!  Your 4106 is a great bus, one of the most under-appreciated vehicles that ever saw revenue service.

FYI, PD4106-2313 was delivered new in either March or April of 1964 as fleet number 4823 to Eastern Greyhound Lines, headquartered in Cleveland OH.  The reason I say March or April is because this was one of a 65 bus order received by EGL during those two months.  If you want more detail, then you can request a copy of the Final Vehicle Record from The Ohio Museum of Transportation.  For a $25 donation, they will send you a copy of the FVR from the official GMC microfiche.  Send your request care of Mike Ondecker.  Besides the actual delivery date, it also includes the various components installed, serial numbers of said components, a list of options, the color codes for both interior & exterior paint, etc.  Real useful trivia, actually, but worth the price.

As was typical at the time, Greyhound usually sold off their used equipment after the 10th summer of revenue service.  Thus, yours would have been released in the fall of 1964 to the used bus market.  Also during it's time with 'Hound, it was well-taken care of, because back then, Greyhound did.  Today?  Well, let's just say their maintenance dept isn't quite up to par. . .

In the meantime, you can truthfully tell folk that you own a retired Jen-u-wine Greyhound bus!

Oh, and while we're welcoming you, might we also suggest that you go into your profile and edit your signature line to also include your city & state.  Works wonders down the road for other busnuts to suggest places for service & parts, as well as who else is in your neck of the woods.

Again, welcome aboard!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;)
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on December 22, 2010, 03:34:55 AM
Smoke is gray. Really smokes a good bit on startup, but then levels off a good bit after running for a while.

The starter just won't turn over. I head the bendix engaging and can feel it actuating, but the started just won't budge. I feel like the batteries are faulty, but I had them checked at the local Sam's and the guy in the automotive department said they were fine (oh, by the way, they are brand new 8d-1400 CCA's). It was giving me some trouble at the seller's home, but did start. Drove it a 125 miles back to my house and parked it on the curb to get everything prepared to pull it into my back yard and when releasing the clutch to back up and make the turn.....it shut off (didn't feather the clutch properly). Well of course, it wouldn't start again. I had my wife try to start it while it tapped on the started (old car trick) to see if it would engage.....but nada.
I got a neighbor to help me get it rolling and then I popped the clutch (honestly didn't think that would work at all) and then moved it out of the road. I still think something is fishy with the batteries, regardless of what the kid at Sam's said because my generator is connected to one of them and it has trouble turning it over.

RJ, thanks for the history on the bus. When the smoke settles (pun intended), I'll be sure to give Mike Ondecker a donation to have the original info for this jewel.


Oh yeah, and more questions to come..........upshifting, got it down pat......downshiting, well, let's just say that I need more practice..... ;D
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Dreamscape on December 22, 2010, 04:03:15 AM
Welcome!

You might check all cable grounds, sometimes they get corroded or loosen up. Remove them and clean the surface real good.

You have to have a solid system or it won't fire. Detroits have to spin pretty fast to create enough compression.

There could be other reasons, but I would start there, if the batts are as good as you say they are.

Just a thought.

Paul
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bevans6 on December 22, 2010, 05:23:04 AM
A battery load test is a pretty foolproof test, and you say the batteries are new.  I would suspect the starter next, after you check the cables and grounds for rock-solid connections.  The smoke is probably just a wore-out engine, sorry to say, but you should run it for a while to see what else it's doing.  If it's been sitting a long time, it might come back to you a bit and be quite usable for some time.

brian
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: DMoedave on December 22, 2010, 05:46:01 AM
Congratulations Billy! Definetley clean each and every one of the batteries terminals and cable ends. Inspect the cables carefully look for miss crimped ends broken or cracked eyes on the cables etc. Its a good place to start getting aqauinted with you new coach and the weather should be perfect for crawling around the engine. 4106 has that tough to reach starter area but hang tough. When we bought ours it was always a 50/50 chance she would start hitting the button. But she would after the bendix groaned back down. Try to come down to Arcadia and you will really get busfever and some great ideas.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: gm4106 on December 22, 2010, 07:12:20 AM
On my 4106 I found that things work alot better now because I added a ground wire from the battery box to the engine.
There is a relay in the electric compartment on the right side after the rear wheel.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on December 22, 2010, 10:33:34 AM
Well, after getting covered head to toe with grease and oil :), I've verified that all the big connections (battery cables) in the battery compartment are clean and tightened accordingly. After trying to chase down the relay setup that is being used to apply power to the starter solenoid (this is a huge nightmare by the way...nothing looks original) I began to inspect the starter.....bad news. Seems like the starter may indeed be bad. I used a pry bar to give it little nudge and it's loose as a goose. While gently prying back and forth I tried to start the engine with the rear switch and it sparked a few times and did once try to turn over. I started to feel around the mounting bolts and unscrewed, what I expect is the bottom of three bolts holding the starter to the engine, by hand. Luckily I've got a GM Coach Maintenance Manual (which is unexpectedly full of detail) which explains the starter removal process. One problem though....the first step says "1. Gain access to starter by removing middle access panel on engine compartment bulkhead."......where the heck is the access panel. I see no indication of an access panel even remotely close to where the starter is located. I do see what appears to be an access panel directly over the exhaust manifold on the bulkhead side of the engine, but there ain't no way you can get to that thing from there. Only way I see to get it out is by trying to man-handle it out through either the bottom or the side. I'm pretty frustrated right now, but I'm trying to keep a positive attitude. Anybody got any suggestions?
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: FloridaCliff on December 22, 2010, 10:58:32 AM
Billy,

On my GMC 4905, the access hole is from inside the coach in the rear.

Cliff
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: FloridaCliff on December 22, 2010, 11:00:26 AM
Oh Yeah,

Welcome to the Fun!    ;D

Cliff
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on December 22, 2010, 11:40:09 AM
Thanks for the welcome Cliff.....

I decided to use that big old search button up there to the top left and lo and behold, Mr. Barn Owl gave a very detailed process for the removal of said ailing starter and I'm currently in the process thereof. Oh yeah, and it's real fun so far (not).....two of the three bolts out and one to go.....then I get to climb up under my new "hole in the backyard where I'll be throwing my money" to see if I can wrestle it out of there....

Oh yeah, here's the link to Barn Owl's post.....http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=4610.0 (http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=4610.0)
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: robertglines1 on December 22, 2010, 01:33:54 PM
After being covered in grease and goo I use cheer or tide to help cut the tough stuff then hand cleaner also put hand lotion on before helps release some of the bad stuff..keep a pair of clothes dedicated to these voyages into the belly of the beast.. If local guy is expensive on started overhaul:ask here someone might have extra.  Bob
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Busted Knuckle on December 22, 2010, 01:39:31 PM
Probably don't want to hear this now....... But said 3 starter bolts that were finger loose and being able to move the starter with said pry bar could be the only problem you have!
Loose starter = bad ground...... bad ground = no start!
If it were me the first thing I'd try is tightening the starter and try it.
FWIW ;D  BK  ;D
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bevans6 on December 22, 2010, 01:41:52 PM
Don't forget typical GM starters are "reverse" rotation from normal, since the engine is reverse rotation (no I don't remember if it's clockwise or counter clockwise and I am too lazy to look it up).  But a truck store starter for an 8V71 probably won't work.

Brian
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: robertglines1 on December 22, 2010, 01:52:35 PM
good catch BK !
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on December 22, 2010, 02:19:56 PM
Busted Knuckle...........YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!!....I took a quick break before getting to that last bolt and read your reply....quickly decided to give it a try since I really wasn't that far into the process and bada bing......we have ignition......thank you so much.....
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Busted Knuckle on December 22, 2010, 03:57:53 PM
No problem Billy been there done that, got the T-shirt to prove it! ;)
;D  BK  ;D
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on December 22, 2010, 04:01:28 PM
Now I just need to get to the bottom of this smoke issue.....should I start another post?
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Dreamscape on December 22, 2010, 04:03:43 PM
Now I just need to get to the bottom of this smoke issue.....should I start another post?

That would be a good idea. That way it's easier to find when searching. Also be descriptive in your title, engine, problem etc.

Glad you are moving onto bigger and better things! ;)

Paul
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: rampeyboy on December 22, 2010, 04:58:49 PM
Welcome to the club. I too am in Columbia. I doubt I will be of much help with your bus, as I am struggling a little with my Scenicruiser project (mostly lack of time at the moment). If you ever want to talk busses give me a call. 803 319 0585
Boyce
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on December 22, 2010, 05:19:25 PM
Cool....a local bus owner. I'll definitely keep your number on hand Boyce. You can reach me @ eight zero three nine nine seven zero two five one......
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: rampeyboy on December 23, 2010, 03:18:10 AM
I forgot, there's a 4106 owner here too. I don't recall seeing on this board, but I think he's on the yahoo gmc busnut group. If memory serves his last name is Roberts? or McRoberts? I forget. Anyway, he keeps it in West Columbia. I emailed back and forth a few times with him years ago, seems like a nice guy. I'll be at a funeral today, then the next couple days will be busy with Christmas stuff, but maybe we can chat next week sometime.
Boyce
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Timkar on December 23, 2010, 09:59:24 AM
Don't know if you are still looking for info on shifting, but here is link to an excellent article on BNO board..

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/12262/16204.html?1167073154 (http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/12262/16204.html?1167073154)
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bevans6 on December 23, 2010, 10:10:11 AM
Now the starter motor on my bus has a separate ground cable to a dedicated ground lug on the chassis - that may be something to think about rather than relying on the ground through the engine block.  Not possible to have too good a ground connection!   ;)

Brian
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on January 04, 2011, 05:53:38 PM
Looks like my loose starter was just a pipe dream after all. Tried to spin my engine this afternoon to check the idle speed and the starter quit working again. I decided to pull it and it looks like the only issue is the starter solenoid and not the starter itself. Anybody know if a solenoid can be purchased separate?
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: James77MCI8 on January 04, 2011, 07:00:41 PM
Solenoids can be purchased separately. If I had the starter off I would take it to a local starter/alternator shop and have the unit rebuilt. I am in Spartanburg 864-923-5957.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Chopper Scott on January 04, 2011, 07:13:18 PM
Thats what you get for buying an old bus. I held out until I got mine, a 1972 MCI 7. I just couldn't see parting with all that cash for an old bus that I would have to work on all the time..... ;D Welcome to the the insanity.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: mike802 on January 04, 2011, 08:19:12 PM
That's the funny thing about buses, They have all this room, but when it comes to working on one its like working on a little chevette.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on January 08, 2011, 05:25:55 AM
As a follow up to this thread, and to bring it to a close for anyone doing a search......I removed the starter and took it to a local starer/alternator rebuilder. He charged me $60 to inspect and repair it (the solenoid was indeed bad). I took this time to replace all the battery cables and even cleaned the block breather while I had it off. I was sure to apply a liberal amount of dielectric grease to all the connections to try to ensure that corrosion didn't set in too quickly. As I stated earlier in this thread, I used Barn Owl's procedure (http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=4610.0) to remove this starter and it was a great help. Long story short, got it all fixed and now my Detroit's purring like rabid kitten.... ;D
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: MARKMC7 on January 09, 2011, 10:28:09 AM
bwze, I am so happy you got this resolved and without a major cost. 60 bucks. that's awesome.

Mark
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Barn Owl on January 09, 2011, 01:21:33 PM
I often wondered if anyone was able to make sense of some of my post. After reading it again I wish I had taken photos. I to often get caught up in getting ready for the trip and later regret not doing more to document what could save others time with their repairs. I couldn't own a bus without the help, knowledge, and support of all my fellow busnuts. A finer group would be hard to find. I think you will come to love the 4106. The more I work on the bus the more I marvel at what a fine job GM did in over-engineering their buses. The number still on the road surly testifies of that.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: belfert on January 09, 2011, 02:46:26 PM
Well, after getting covered head to toe with grease and oil :), I've verified that all the big connections (battery cables) in the battery

One trick to keeping the hands clean is to wear nitrile gloves.  I actually learned this from BK, but I have also seen this in other professional garages.  Harbor Freight sells nitrile gloves pretty cheap.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: bwze on January 09, 2011, 03:37:36 PM
Barn Owl, I wanted to take pictures to chronicle my dive into removing and replacing the starter, but there just wasn't much room for me, the starter, the block breather, the engine stabilizing bar, tools, nuts, bolts, battery cables, etc......and a camera in that little cubby hole. You get the picture......(pun intended) ::)
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: Barn Owl on January 09, 2011, 04:02:48 PM
Quote
Barn Owl, I wanted to take pictures to chronicle my dive into removing and replacing the starter, but there just wasn't much room for me, the starter, the block breather, the engine stabilizing bar, tools, nuts, bolts, battery cables, etc......and a camera in that little cubby hole. You get the picture......(pun intended) Roll Eyes

Not to mention at the time I did it cameras where not as cheep as they are now, and I turn into a dirty oil monster anytime I put a wrench in my hand. Then I only had one, now they seem to be laying around my house everywhere.
Title: Re: new to the bus world
Post by: JohnEd on January 09, 2011, 05:03:38 PM
Billy,

I have a little more than 2 cents worth.  May take me more than a couple days to finish and I will tolerate being add libbed and contradicted after the fact. 

Firstly: starters have a MIN, or MIN, voltage that they will tolerate under load.  That means that you can burn your starter up by cranking it with a LOW charge on the battery.  I know this cause the mfr. yells me so and so does a 30 year experienced rebuild tech.  The starters are over engineered and purely tough, but the fact remains.  Make sure you have the required voltage AT the starter TERMINALS....not just the bat to ground or from the starter + to chassis.  The starter voltage is measured across the starter terminals or from the + to the starter frame if there isn't a separate ground terminal.

Cranking voltage isn't the same thing as bat voltage.  Batteries have a thing called "internal" resistance.  This means that as you draw more current from the bat it will actually produce less voltage.  Starters draw heavy amperage loads and if your battery is defective or worn out and has high internal resistance, the internal voltage drop will be so great as to "cheat" the starter load of sufficient voltage or current to do the job.  So here is the deal:  Measure the lead terminals of the bat while cranking and note the voltage.  It should be ?????? volts and it changes from battery type to type.  Measure across the terminals of the starter and make sure that voltage is "almost" exactly what you measured at the bat while cranking....or at least 90%.  Had you done this test with the loose bolts, you would have known that connections were your problem without turning a wrench.

I know you have your problem resolved but maybe those that followed it will benefit from the additional discussion.  You are "new school" with that silicone grease on the terminals practice and it works wonders at keeping a good terminal good.

One of my good Buddies owns a starter and alt rebuilding shop.  Does mostly HD earth moving engine and logger and truck stuff.  Your price is what I would expect him to charge me going on our history.  You were well treated.

That might be whole nickels worth????

John