Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
November 01, 2014, 07:00:50 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: It will not get torn up or crushed if you back over it with your bus.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Undercarriage shop along I-20 corridor?  (Read 5895 times)
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« on: January 25, 2009, 07:38:51 AM »

Folks,

I am finally at my wits' end with frame and alignment problems, which are eating through expensive tires at a prodigious rate.  I need to get this thing fixed.

The principle issue right now is that one of my tag axle A-frames (the tag suspension on Neoplans is fully independent, set up the same way as the steer axle) is bent, the result of a careless tire shop putting a jack in the wrong place during a routine tire rotation.

I already have a replacement A-frame, a take-off in relatively good condition from another coach.  What I need now is a shop that can replace it for me.  Replacing Neoplan A-frames is a bit tricky, and there are no written instructions (in English, at least).  So I am looking for a shop that has at least seen one of these puppies, and is willing to do the work (many shops flat out refuse to work on German-built Neoplans).

We are en route from the Atlanta, Georgia area to Phoenix, Arizona, and the ideal answer would be a shop somewhere along our planned route via the I-20 corridor.  That's a tall order, so next best would be anyone in the southern half of the country anywhere from Georgia to California.

Please post your suggestions and recommendations here, or email them to me directly.

Thanks!

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
VanTare
Guest

« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2009, 08:04:48 AM »

Sean there is a large and great shop in the Midland area that works on buses and trucks and I will post the number for you Mon when I get to the office.I would also call Prevost in Ft Worth they will have a contact in that area and if you make it to EL Paso Stewart and Stevenson will do the work they do a bunch of bus work I have seen them replacing a 3rd member in a bus like yours before they are on exit 37 east by Flying J     


David
Logged
LegalEagle82
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 50





Ignore
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2009, 09:54:21 AM »

Sean, 

Just as an option if you want to make a phone call and check service just north of atlanta at the Tn/Ga line is in Rossville is Choo Choo Express Garage 706.891.1242.   Old school service that would does good work, used to run a charter service and downgraded to the shop only.   If for some reason, you headed towards Nashville,  I use Eagle's Nest Coach.   Call and ask for the owner Mark 615.242.7241.  If he can help he will, or send you in the right direction.

Evan
Nashville, TN 
Logged

Legal Eagle
Nash Vegas, TN

Living and Learning....
Busted Knuckle
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6447


6 Setras, 2 MCIs, and 1 Dina. Just buses ;D


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2009, 10:21:09 AM »

Sean,
The offer here still stands. But I understand we are sorta out of route, and ya never know what kinda schedule we have ahead of time. I do know how to change them as they are just like the front of a Setra, and have done one before.
OK since we know your trying to run I-20 you should give Tejas Coach Works in Mineral Wells, TX a call
940-325-2332. They are known for quality work and I know they have some experience with Neoplans (don't know how much), but they are right on your way!
FWIW Grin  BK  Grin
Logged

Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
wildbob24
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2009, 10:22:18 AM »

Sean,

We've (Ray Cox's Coach Services) had good service from a shop called Alignment & Frame Service Co‎. Address is 2441 Main St, East Point, GA. Phone: (404) 767-1516‎. They specialize in HD vehicles. East Point is a south west suburb of Atlanta, inside the perimeter, near the airport. We have used them many times for bus alignments and wheel balancing.

I don't know if their experience extends to Neoplans, but you could certainly call and ask them before you leave town.

Bob
Logged

P8M4905A-1308, 8V71 w/V730
Custom Coach Conversion
Duluth, GA
Sammy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 523




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2009, 11:19:32 AM »

Sean, here's one from my Bus Garage Index:
Cummins Alabama
Birmingham,Alabama
205-841-0421
www.atlantic.cummins.com
Says they are familiarwith Eagle,GMC,MCI,Neoplan,Prevost,Setra.
I am not associated with them in any way, nor do I have any idea of work they do.
Just a suggestion from the book. I can look up other places in other areas for you if you'd like, just let me know. Good luck with your search.
Logged
edroelle
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 351


1998 Royale Prevost




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2009, 12:35:53 PM »

Sean,

I am not familiar with a Neoplan components, but I would expect the A frame (control arm) to be a forging or casting.  I would expect that the chassis mounting points are more likely to bend, than the A frame itself.  That said, with new part in hand, I would go to an alignment shop that could align the rear tag axle, and had frame bending capabilities also.

I could not find anyone near me in Michigan with the rear alignment capability.  I called Hunter Alignment and as I remember, their newest machines had the capability.  One shop that said they could align the rear, really could not, after a 2 hour drive and they fooled around for an hour trying, on my previous MCI. 

I ended up setting up some lasers and aligning it myself.

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI
Logged
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2009, 02:19:11 PM »

@Bryce:  Thanks for the offer; I did get your note on the blog.  I was guessing that you've not actually done a Neoplan, although I acknowledge that the Setra is similar.  But see my note below.  Anyway, we did not really want to divert that far north of our route plan -- we had enough cold in DC to last us the rest of the winter  Smiley

@Ed:  Trust me, it is the A-Frame that's bent:



@All:  Thanks for the suggestions; keep 'em coming.  I don't expect most of the places I will call to be able to do it.

Again, there are no instructions, and it is tricky.  As I understand it, the wrist pin needs to be put in dry ice, while the sleeve is heated up.  Then the pin needs to be driven in to exactly the correct spot before the temperatures equalize and it can no longer be moved.

Also, I have some of the parts, but not all, and even knowing what parts to order is a challenge.  No one at Neopart knows anything about the German coaches anymore, so it's up to the mechanic to know what's needed.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Hobie
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 228




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2009, 02:35:56 PM »

After looking at the picture, is straightening it in place an option?   --Only in the hands of an expert frame bodyman.   

Have a classic car restoration shop take a look at it.  One that rebuilds cars to original specs for show judging. 

That frame looks similar in size to auto body frames in which their equipment would be strong enough and its in a good location for access.   
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 03:03:23 PM by Hobie » Logged
OneLapper
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 546



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2009, 02:54:52 PM »

I hope the shop that caused the damaged is paying for this repair!  Who in their right mind would attempt to jack up a 30,000 pound bus on that arm?!?  That mechanic doesn't deserve his pay, let along his job.

Mark
Logged

OneLapper
1964 PD4106-2853
www.markdavia.com
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2009, 05:11:47 PM »

I have a letter from the shop saying they will pay for the repair.  But that's two years old, so we shall see what lucj I have getting them to cough it up.

You're a little off on the weight, though -- Odyssey weighs 48,000 lbs.  The tag supports about 11,000 of that.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
NJT 5573
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 808




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2009, 05:46:57 PM »

If they will pay the bill, I'd get it fixed right. Otherwise I would either heat it with a torch and straighten it or cut 3 inches out and insert it with some rectangular tubing until I got home.
Logged

"Ammo Warrior" Keepers Of The Peace, Creators Of Destruction.
Gold is the money of Kings, Silver is the money of Gentlemen, Barter is the money of Peasants, Debt is the money of Slaves.

$1M in $1000 bills = 8 inches high.
$1B in $1000 bills = 800 feet high.
$1T in $1000 bills = 142 miles high
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2009, 07:45:41 PM »

... Otherwise I would either heat it with a torch and straighten it

You're the second person to suggest this.

I'm guessing it took around 12,000 lbs of pressure to create that kink.  I haven't a clue how I could provide that kind of pressure in the opposite direction without breaking something else above it.  Heating it might reduce the pressure requirement somewhat (but not by, say, half), at the expense of compromising the strength of the metal.  Without any clear evidence that it's even possible, or that we could straighten it enough to help, I'm reluctant to try, especially since I already have a replacement A-frame.

Quote
... or cut 3 inches out and insert it with some rectangular tubing ...


This is a huge hunk of metal.  Hard to see in the photo, but I am guessing the dimension of that tube is perhaps 2" x 3", and the thickness of the steel is perhaps 1/4" or so.  To even cut through it would require an oxy-acetylene torch and enough heat to melt the bushings and probably catch the grease on fire (not to mention, again, weakening the metal). Then, in order to provide the strength required here, we'd need to make a full-pen weld all the way around the tube -- not practical with the unit still on the bus. (Remember, this is the lower A-frame, so the load here is in tension, not compression.  The axle is rated for 14,000 lbs, so the suspension geometry is collectively supporting 7,000 lbs on this one side, and that's static.  Figure double that load or more when dynamic conditions are involved.)  On top of which, I don't trust my own engineering skills to know how the force interactions will play out here (and I certainly don't have confidence that a bus shop could do that engineering either).  Lastly, I consider welding of any kind on the bus to be a matter of last resort.  There are some three dozen or so things that need to be disconnected before any welding can be done, and a good part of the bus would have to be emptied to do that.  I would estimate four hours unloading, two hours to disconnect everything, two hours to reconnect everything, and another five hours to reload the bus.  All assuming, of course, I have someplace to unload everything to in the first place...

Quote
.. until I got home.


OK, this part really got me. Because that begs the question: "And then what would you do?"  The reason being that I am home, of course, and so whatever you would do when you got it home is what I should do now.  Right?


-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Hobie
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 228




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2009, 08:10:56 PM »

Understand your reluctance to fix the existing.  However, the right body man knows how to block the low points and use a ram to pull the high points with just the right amount of heat.  Talk to a restorer.  They can do it correctly.  Just my 2 cents. ..
Logged
bobofthenorth
Hero Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 2092



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2009, 08:18:07 PM »

Hobie is giving you good advice Sean.  If you are sure somebody else is going to pick up the entire tab then go for the replacement by all means.  If you just want it fixed as good as new for the least money then find yourself a good frame shop or probably even just a good welding shop.  As far as emptying the coach in order to weld on the frame goes surely you aren't serious.  Get a good clean ground close to the weld point and get on with life. 



Logged

R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
My website
Our weblog
Simply growing older is not the same as living.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!