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 on: August 19, 2017, 06:36:17 PM 
Started by richard5933 - Last post by richard5933
My driver seat is still using the OEM pedestal, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to adjust the height.

There is a 'bolt' sticking out of the left side (window side) of the pedestal with a large slot in the end of it. I assume that it's used for something related to seat height, but I cannot make it turn in either direction.

There is a center shaft coming out vertically from the top of the pedestal with ratchet-like teeth on it. It looks like if I pulled up on the seat hard enough it would go higher. Problem is, I want to make it an inch or so lower.

The Operating Manual indicates that to lower the seat it's necessary to lift it all the way to the highest setting and then lower it. I'm hesitant to do this without knowing that the seat will actually go down after being lifted up.

Any suggestions?


 on: August 19, 2017, 06:23:34 PM 
Started by Zephod - Last post by Zephod

100 LEDs - all white. $2. Two batteries.

Ages ago I soldered 100 white LEDs to a PCB and powered up with 3V from a pair of C cells. There was sufficient light to illuminate a very large room. I still have that circuit somewhere.

I did that for $2 and a lot of hand soldering. It was far brighter a couple of years ago than anything else on the market then or since.

I'm joe ordinary and I can do that. Question is... why are manufactures scamming us with incremental rollouts of such lousy luminescence? With a 500 lumen lantern you really can't tell the difference between a turd and a mars bar!

In today's blog entry I reviewed LED lanterns. The conclusion I have come to is they're just a scam. Mine has 35C of LEDs in it plus a bit of pressed plastic that cost next to nothing. Yet my lanterns cost $30 for my alleged brightest and $10 for the dazzling but not very bright Chinese junk.

Give me half a kilogram of tritium in a jar!

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 on: August 19, 2017, 04:02:48 PM 
Started by neoneddy - Last post by neoneddy
Get misters if you don't already have them. Cuts the stress on engine instead of running near overheat at times. Cheaper than a cracked head or more.

Restricted fuel filters creep up at first, being not so noticeble till they fully restrict. Look for normal rate of black smoke on hard grades, then notice it doesn't produce any on similiar climb. Some engines with turbo and smaller injectors may be hard to tell. The more wear in a 71 or 92, the better they run. Back the day, truckers used to say their engine ran the best before it "blew"

I recall seeing black smoke once while leaving a light in the spring when everything was cooler.

I've never seen black smoke from her since, doesn't mean it's not happening, just I don't see it.

The temp sits around 185 indicated, didn't rise much even on the grades.  Last month we took a trip to Austin,mn and the temp would rise some but not much over 195 , it was in the mid 80's ambient temp.

This is leading me to think my fuel filters might be clogging up, what is the usual interval on changing? I just bought it in April / May of this year.

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 on: August 19, 2017, 03:49:05 PM 
Started by Zephod - Last post by Zephod
Yesterday (as you know I drive a schoolbus), I left the office to start my route being told I have to pick up a new child who's not on my route plan. He's on one side or the other of a road that has a bridge in the middle that's been out for the last year. Anyway, I start to check the bus and oops... somebody left the air door on normal not emergency. So, as I check lights, tires etc the door closes as the air builds up. oops. My aide is inside checking out the air lift. I open the emergency door to ask them to open the front door but the emergency door buzzer is drowning me out. In the end I had to hop on the lift and get in that way. Then, heading out the yard people are gesticulating to me so I stop. Seems one of my headlamps has gone out since I checked, 10 minutes earlier. I circle round and stop by the mechanics truck. They pop the hood as soon as I apply the parking brake. Two minutes later (it's like a pit stop) I have a working headlamp.

So I head out on my run and can't find the extra child. I go up and down the road and eventually get told where to look by a driver that used to pick this child up. So, I find the child and continue on my run - now 15 minutes late for the first school. Then 15 minutes late also for the second school.

I get back to the yard and spend 45 minutes waiting to get my route updated. When that's done, I have about 25 minutes before my midday run. Now I normally don't do a midday run but I was doing somebody else's run because they were on another job. I dash off quickly and get some fries and a drink, scoffing the fries and slurping the drink as I head back to the yard. Needless to say the temperature was near 100F and the humidity was 65% most of the day.

Now bear in mind my bus has AC but only the passengers benefit. The drivers swelter. My run also includes sections of interstate travel. I'm limited to 45 (in theory) on the interstate while on a school run. Fortunately I'm empty when I'm on the interstate so I can take advantage of the 55 limit for other uses. The bus has a governor limiting it to 55 but I still manage to get 58 on the downgrades while all the other drivers are screaming past at 70.

The midday run was one where I had to hunt for the passengers. I only had four. All of them kindergarten. One teacher asked me who I was looking for so I listed the names on the sheet. She didn't know them so she asked the bus number. When I told her the bus number, she recognized the designation and answered in a shocked tone. These are regular children then moved between the children and me, protectively, and continued they're not special ed. That was entertaining!

In truth I find the special ed children I drive are pretty much universally extremely intelligent. Their disability is usually behavioral or emotional.

Then I get my kids and have to run from a route description. I'm literally Kerb crawling along some streets trying to find the right house. Some are easy - one address I guessed was a trailer park and on that particular street there were two on the side that I was supposed to drive along. It turned out to be the second.

The last child was a bit of a laugh. I have to go into a housing area where the roads are steeply undulating with sharp turns mid-way down or at the bottom of the slope. Just the place for somebody half asleep to turn a bus over. Definitely not my favorite part of the run. Anyway I was looking for a side street that I don't normally use. I zipped along and spotted it, slowed as quickly as I could, bearing in mind I had passengers and an aide aboard and stopped a bit past the turn. I wanted to reverse and drive in normally but as there was a car behind, I started to wave them to come around. Then there was a knock on the passenger door. That turned out to be the father of the child, identified by his drivers license. As soon as I'd opened the door, or rather before I, set my flashers going. That must really have confused the car behind!

So, I get myself back to the yard having delivered all the children and 45 minutes later have to set out on my afternoon run. Now my morning started at 4AM with my alarm and my first run started at 5:45AM. My afternoon run concludes at 4:50PM so you can see I have quite a long day doing nothing but driving a bus.

The first school, I have to make enquiries about 3 children that aren't on the bus. They didn't ride in the morning but that means nothing. It took the Principal quite a while to find the children either hadn't come or had gone home. So, I leave on my route. Because of missing children I can take shortcuts. Special needs busses can do this as opposed to regular route. I've only ever driven special needs.

By the time I get to the last stop, I'm almost on time. The last parent isn't there though to pick up their child. As this is a somewhat unusual stop where I have to meet a parent 100 yards from a road junction and they turn up in their car, I had to ring them. They said 5 minutes but took 10.

Now I'm 10 minutes late for the second school. I get there in time to see the line of busses before they left and loaded my children. Then, again, there were several missing. As before I'd not picked them up but that's meaningless. The school policeman boarded and asked who I was waiting for so I told them. Various messages went back and forth. An announcement was made on the tannoy and nobody appeared. By then an extra late bus had turned up behind me. The Principal then appeared and confirmed one child had been picked up and one that was on my list hadn't even registered this year. One I know is home schooling until later in the year so I was free to set off.

The reason I like to check on missing students before I leave is because if they call me half way through the route, it makes everybody that much later and gives me that much extra work returning to the school to pick them up.

So, I continued on my afternoon run pretty much without any events other than those caused by inattentive drivers. I must say I was mildly amused when my aide (who's a new driver) complemented me on my being able to throw the bus around like a rag doll. Well, it's a 4 year old Thomas and runs like a Ferrari. Loads of power, quick(ish) acceleration and it's nimble.

Anyway, that's my real life bus driving story. The worst drivers I encounter are universally on their damn cell phones.

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 on: August 19, 2017, 02:52:25 PM 
Started by Fred Mc - Last post by Fred Mc

 on: August 19, 2017, 02:51:02 PM 
Started by richard5933 - Last post by Fred Mc
I have a 4106 and a few years ago it started to overcharge the batteries. According to the manual you can adjust the charging rate on the regulator.(not sure why it started to overcharge) At any rate what I found was that as you adjust the regulator up or down, the rpm it takes for the charge lite to go out varies. What I think is that the lite doesnt go out (and it doessn't start charging) until the voltage output of the alternator reaches A certain level. So as I was adjusting the regulator, when I set it to charge less than the suggested voltage (not at home now so I don't know exactly what that rate is but I think it was 14.4) the light would go out quickly and when I set the charging voltage over 14.4 it took a higher rpm to start charging. So in a nutshell the alternator won't start charging the battieries(and the lite goes out) until it reaches a certain voltage which is controlled by the engine rpm.At least that was my experience.

 on: August 19, 2017, 02:41:49 PM 
Started by neoneddy - Last post by TheHollands!
Neo, I pull the same vehicle with same bus and I find that the slow inclines are trickier to negotiate than the steep climbs. I installed a pyrometer and drive by that rather than my speed. It can be easy to push it too hard thinking your on a flat and overheat the engine in a spot where you start relaxing. I usually drop a gear to keep the rpms up and just go a little slower.  Craig

 on: August 19, 2017, 02:19:30 PM 
Started by Darkspeed - Last post by Utahclaimjumper
 It also stands to reason that when the turbo pressure excedes the blower pressure, the blower is "unloaded" so it takes much less (if any) horsepower to operate.>>>Dan

 on: August 19, 2017, 02:04:51 PM 
Started by Zephod - Last post by Zephod
I converted my puck lights to LED. So it went like this-the puck lights originally had 20w halogen lights-bright but also hot. Then I converted them to 10w Xenon. Then converted to LED that are 3w. So with my 8 puck lights went from 160w to 80w to 24w total-and the LED's are warm, but won't burn you like halogen will.
Years ago, somebody was selling Tritium flashlights. It'd be cool if you could get that as lanterns.

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 on: August 19, 2017, 01:05:46 PM 
Started by richard5933 - Last post by richard5933

I'll be getting into the bowels of the bus this week and will see what I find. I've got the manual now and will see what things look like. I'm going to assume that there is a low current fan somewhere, because I've found a rotating switch near the Webasto start switch labeled 'fan'. From the looks of the switch there is no way it's large enough to control anything but a low current fan. Now to find it...

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