June 24, 2018, 11:58:09 AM

Author Topic: CHOICES  (Read 4395 times)

Offline Van

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« on: July 16, 2011, 09:40:06 AM »
 :) Every day of your life is a series of choices. From the first one you make that gets you out of your rack in the morning to the last one you make that puts you back in, your day is spent deciding what to do next. And what to do next is always your choice.
Making right choices makes life easier. Things go smoother and the downs of life are less frequent. Sometimes we don’t know what the right choice is and we make a guess. Hopefully, an educated one. But more often than not, we do know what the right choice is. Unfortunately, sometimes we ignore that precious knowledge and choose wrongly. And, the wrong choice often blows up in our face.
In owning a bus, today and every day, you have a choice whether or not to do preventive maintenance on your equipment. You know what the right choice is, because you know that doing preventive maintenance is never the wrong choice.Lol! And yet, even with this knowledge, some of you are not pulling PM and some of you are putting it off until the last minute and doing a sloppy job of it .
Preventive maintenance makes every Busnut’s life easier. Preventing a piece of equipment from breaking is always easier than fixing it after it’s broken. In addition, with a bus, lives depend on equipment working and working well. Lives depend on preventive maintenance.
So, what choice will you make today? To do PM or not to do PM, that is the question. And, there really is only one right answer. ;) :)

   Have a great weekend all!


Offline bobofthenorth

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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 11:04:33 AM »
The problem with PM is you don't see the effects immediately.  Fix a starter, turn the key, bus starts - you get instant gratification.  Clean a battery post so that the starter never draws heavy and therefore lasts longer - you don't see the effect hence no immediate gratification.  I tell you what really focuses your attention on PM though - try owning a boat.  Last January we went up Princess Louisa Inlet at the end of January.  For three days we didn't see another boat, the FM radio was silent and the last night there was ice forming on top of the salt water.  You know you are 100% on your own in that situation and you better know that your PM is up to date.  I think owning a boat will make me a better bus owner.

We've done a DOT inspection every year for three years now.  We're not required to but I think its a good idea anyway.  When I get the report back I'm not compelled to do anything that's on it.  They can't pull my tags even if I am in flagrant violation of what it would take for a commercial unit but that's not the point.  The feeling of security is well worth the few dollars it costs to have the inspection done and you never know what a disinterested set of eyes might see that you look at every day and miss.
R.J.(Bob) Evans
Used to be 1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
Currently busless (and not looking)
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What's behind you doesn't matter - Enzo Ferrari

Offline boxcarOkie

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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 11:08:00 AM »

Been there ... done that ... What a booger!  Bob of the north is right, another place it would seem PM is a good idea is "aircraft."  Nothing like being up 43,000 feet on something with 10,000,000 moving parts (supplied by the lowest bidder) and wondering if the flaps need greasing?

Good post, good topic, good gosh ... look what time it is (I is late for my nappy!).

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Offline lostagain

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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 11:40:21 AM »
Well Van, you're touching on a philosophical subject here. The Art of Motorcycle, (or rather Bus) Maintenance.

I learned a lot about maintenance when I read that book back in the '70s. It is all about doing things thouroughly, correctly, using quality materials and methods.

To me, preventive maintenance has the added benefit of the personal satisfaction of having done something right. I enjoy the good feeling of going out on a road trip with the bus, enjoying all the little things I've done to it back home in the shop.

Or, for the non mechanical busnut, you can get the same good fuzzy feeling by having the work done by a trusted mechanic that you know is going to do it right.

Either way, the more you do at home, the less likely you'll be on the side of the road fixing something, or waiting for a tow truck.

Blackie AB
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740

Offline Lin

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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2011, 01:53:05 PM »
Sometimes it would really be nice to know in advance what I am trying to prevent though.
You don't have to believe everything you think.

Offline mikelutestanski

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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 03:46:04 AM »
Hello;         What are you trying to prevent....      Well that is an easy question to answer.     

   you are  2000 miles from home just pulled into a rest area and noticed antifreeze leaking from a bay door or walked behind the bus and noticed the toad and back of the bus are covered in oil..   or when you get ready to leave the rest area the bus wont start or
or or or...
     Believe me if you have a choice will you check your battery water before you leave home or (when the bus wont start)  look into the battery compartment to find an empty cooked battery 400 miles from anywhere in idaho or kansas or utah.
     During our last trip we were on some roads that had nothing except sagebrush for 100 miles.. It gets relly lonely when it gets dark sitting along side of the road if you forgot to do something simple... Simple if you were home in your garage..
    Its funny how something you thought you fixed or something else you temporarily fixed and said to yourself I will get a new one later..  Or a hose that you did not have and used an old one that was questionable but would work temporarily..  THen you forgot about changing that hose..
       Believe me now that we are home I have looked at every hose clamp, hose,  and oil hose with the the idea that if it was not new three years ago it will be now. My store of spare parts includes fittings to make up to the hoses I do not carry in the event of a failure.  THis last trip I tore the bay apart but finally found all the parts to replace an 1/8 inch oil line on the alternator..
      FWIW  regards  and happy bussin

you are
Mike Lutestanski   Dunnellon Florida
  1972 MCI 7
  L10 Cummins  B400R  4.625R

Offline buswarrior

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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 06:13:31 AM »
And PM includes taking measurements and readings, and recording them somewhere for future comparison in order to see trends, and relieve our minds of remembering the values.

If we leave it parked for awhile, if someone else has to trouble shoot it, all our "experience" is better recorded to speed up the process.

Alternator output no load, loaded, at idle and at speed
how much water into which cell of which battery
Oil analysis
coolant test strips for SCA's
pushrod travel found on inspection, and travel after adjustment
alignment adjustments set to xxx
date of parts changing - time slips by, that new muffler is really 9 years old now!
air pressure gauge behavior - cut-in, cut out, drops to x on parking, climbs to x, pauses and then fills.
Shift points for transmission

And others will add some more.

Good PM isn't something to throw money at, keeping track lets you spend your money wisely, as systems start to show you a change.

happy coaching!
Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area

Offline happycamperbrat

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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2011, 06:39:05 AM »
So when is someone going to make a video showing the finer details (including tools and tricks of the trade) of a complete proper PM for us peeons  ???
The Little GTO is a 102" wide and 40' long 1983 GMC RTS II and my name is Teresa in case I forgot to sign my post

Offline babell2

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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011, 07:03:09 AM »
With Aircraft you have the manufacturers 100 hr checklist or AC43.13 Appendix D for scope and detail of an inspection.  Is there a guideline for PM's on buses? The DOT probably has one but do we have an updated version?  Would be a great thing for one of our Sage advisers (or group) to assemble and post for all of us new or novice owners.

1980 MCI-9 "The Last Resort" Located just south of Atlanta GA.
Just starting conversion. A long way to go!
The other Brice

Offline lostagain

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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 07:23:31 AM »
One thing I am a little anal about is greasing. Particularly the drive shaft U joints. We had one let go on the Hockey team's bus a couple years ago. I found that half of the bad U joint was dry, in spite of me greasing it regularly. Now after every long trip, or after 2 or 3 short trips, I drive the bus up on blocks in the shop and grease the U joints, making sure that I see grease squishing out of all four bearings. And I also get everything else while I'm under there. And checks things like slack adjusters, oil level in the diff, etc.

Oh and another thing: I check tire pressures before a trip, and every morning too. With a gauge, not a hammer. And while you're driving, do not touch curbs with tires. I repeat: do not even get close to them LOL. That'll cost you tires...

Gotogo work on my bus LOL,

Blackie AB
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740

Offline TomC

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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2011, 07:51:28 AM »
No matter how much PM you do on the bus, we're driving vehicles that are 30 to 60 years old.  This is why in order to continue using the bus and safely repair it, you should have a credit card with at least $20k credit limit on it.  If you follow Sean's blogs, you get a small taste of what it takes to both run and keep these beasties running.  But-I'd never trade them in on a new sticks and staples-ever!  Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.

Offline buswarrior

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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2011, 08:39:10 AM »
DOT is a good start, the manufacturer is better, but the big issue is NOBODY knows what to expect for these vehicles that sit still for so long, and run such short mileages.

Nobody knows what to tell us about a 30 year old "this part here", as they've never seen one last that long, or they get changed annually, or it isn't supposed to wear out in the "normal" service life, etc.

All recommendations and experience of those professionals who design, build and maintain these commercial vehicles, all of them expect, and have watched, these vehicles keep on moving, earning their keep.

How did we get them? Those same professionals' collective advice has been to DISCARD them, as they are beyond the point of earning their keep.

And then we carry on into pretty much uncharted territory.

Yes, a set of videos would be good, but there has to be a decent camera person, another assistant to hold, handle, prop, call for help, it is a real pain getting the lighting and contrast right so the viewers can actually see well enough to learn something, lots of experimentation to get each shot right for angle, obstruction and lighting, someone who can talk comfortably for the soundtrack, and they need to cover the topic fairly accurately, which needs some research as to terms and completeness of procedure as well as the healthy dose of get-r-done.

Inaccurate personal opinion, unsubstantiated content and terms always creeps into these, witness just about all of you tube...

The camera guy and helper have to be available when the busnut needs to do the PM... so we need 3 people's calendars lined up, it will take 3-4 times longer than the job usually takes, so multiply the oil change time by 9-12 times in labour.

Not counting whatever editing time.

And, after all this free labour of love, everyone will tell you what you did wrong.

That seems to be the history up to now, not saying it can't change...

A couple of us have been trying to get started for a long time, but it slips down the priority list.

oh dear...

happy coaching!

Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area

Offline Chopper Scott

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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2011, 09:02:55 AM »
I know I spent every weekend for almost 6 months getting mine ready for its first long voyage. As much as changing the engine hoses, sealing up the radiators and fans and such I also changed the air bellows to the rolling lobe type. I had several bags that looked rough and a leaky beam so it was a no-brainer (which I almosy qualify for!). Setting up the brakes, changing fluids, greasing and making things take grease and checking tires are just the basics that one should know. After basically 3300 uneventful miles it was well worth it and still is. As my trucker buddy who went on the trip stated, "We had less problems than a new truck would have had!" Basically  maintanance isn't just for the ole busses we beat around in. It's something that I see the newer sticks and staples constantly dealing with also. Luckily for the majority of us we are better qualified to run these ole girls up and down the road and repair them than the folks who jump in the new rigs and just turn the key! From airplanes, motorcycles to the family van, good maintanance is like a savings account and a lot easier to do at home than on the side of the road.
Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.

Offline akroyaleagle

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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2011, 09:42:58 AM »
In addition to the great advice lower in this thread, I offer my PM schedule. I've posted it several times before but we get a lot of new folks that might find it useful. Please feel free to copy and change it as fits your ideas. It is right out of the Eagle maintenance manual with minor adjustments I feel I need to do more often.

Fortunately, my Eagle came with all maintenance and service records. It was also super low mileage. If I couldn't determine the age of something I replaced it. I keep all service records in the bus so I have a ready record of maintenance.

It has served me well. I have never had a breakdown (except a defrost hose) in 16 years including 8 years of fulltiming, including around 17 trips tp Alaska and 2 to Mazatlan!

I believe I have driven my coach more than most. Probably over 300,000 mi.


   2000 Miles     ____________Slack adjusters (manual)
   6,000 Miles    ___________Chassis lube
                      ___________Fan drive bearings and idlers
                      ___________Fan belts (check and adjust)
                      ___________Batteries (clean and tighten)
                      ___________Throttle controls lube
           10,000 Miles    __________Engine oil and filter (change) DD recommends 15,000 mi
                     __________<45PSI Fuel filters (replace)
            __________Alternator belt tension (check)
   15,000 Miles ___________Air cleaner (clean element)
                    ___________Coolant filter (change)

   20,000 Miles ___________Exhaust manifold bolts (check tightness)
                    ___________Air compressor mounting bolts (check tightness)
                    ___________Engine air emergency shutdown (check)

   24,000 Miles____________Engine oil cooler (check)
                     ___________Radiator hoses (check)

   30,000 Miles ___________Differential (change oil)
                    ___________Wheel bearings (change oil)
                    ___________Engine airbox drain (check)   

             36,000 Miles___________Transmission (change filter)
                              ___________Miter box (change oil)   
                              ___________Steering column upper bearing (lube)

              50,000 Miles___________Valve clearances and injector timing (set)

              60,000 Miles___________Engine and transmission mounting bolts (check)

              75,000 Miles___________Fan bearing hub (clean,inspect,repack)

             100,000 Miles___________Replace belts
                               ___________Blower bypass valve (clean)
                                 __________Airbox check valves (clean)
                                 __________Replace Power Steering Filter

               240,000 Miles__________Replace thermostats
                   ANNUALLY__________Clean crankcase breather       

100HRS_____________Change Oil
200HRS_____________Change Oil Filter
400HRS_____________Change Fuel Filter
600HRS_____________Change Air Filter (Or Annually)

Joe Laird
'78 Eagle
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Offline JohnEd

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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2011, 12:20:12 PM »
Well Van, you're touching on a philosophical subject here. The Art of Motorcycle, (or rather Bus) Maintenance.

I learned a lot about maintenance when I read that book back in the '70s. It is all about doing things thouroughly, correctly, using quality materials and methods.



That was some kind of GREAT book.  I too got a lot out of it.  I did get something different from you on one micro topic....sorta.  It didn't steer me towards "quality" parts as much as it did to using "what would do the job" for the least amt of money.  Remember the BMW problem with the handlebars that slipped down?  The originally suggested fix was a strip of beer can cut out with sewing scissors.  That few thousandths of an inch of soft aluminum resolved the problem for "no cash outlay".  The guy he did that for looked at the entire thing askance and insisted on removing that "shim" and tolerating the problem till he could get exactly the same item, in functionality, from his BMW dealer for $25.(?).  Lesson was?????? 

But that was a seriously good book and an inspiration to many.  I got my copy from a VietNam era fellow vet in a college registration line in southern California in 69(?)  I remember that conversation like it was yesterday.  He thought the book actually saved his life and sanity.  I was partial to "Playboy", at the time.


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