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Author Topic: Update from Doug with the PD4106  (Read 39372 times)
BigDougInOregon
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« on: February 02, 2009, 06:42:48 AM »

Well, we made it home (back to Oregon) but without the bus  Sad

We had to leave her in El Paso, Tx at a storage unit because we just couldn't wait any longer to get home and still don't know if we can afford to fix her.  I have really been beating myself up over buying her and not being prepared for incidentals (in this case some major incidentals).  She kept overheating more and more frequently and we finally had her towed to Freightliner in El Paso (Exit 37) and they said, of course, that she needs a major inline rebuild to the tune of $25K-$30K.  I told them she had just been rebuilt around 24K miles ago, but of course they said she is bad.  So, after all that drama and disappointment, I made the decision to leave her and drive back to Oregon.  We had already been gone 10 days longer than we had planned and had to get home (had the wife and 7 of the children with us).  Now the dilemma.  What to do with her? 

Here is what I know for sure is wrong with her (as we experienced on our short 500 mile trip from Dallas area to El Paso via San Angelo):

Original cooling fan and shroud removed and replaced with a wholly inadequate 4-bank electric cooling fan from a 1991 Nissan Estanza (don't even get me started on this retarded replacement).  Engine runs fine around town but overheats once you start running over about 30MPH.

Front leveling valve for the air suspension system seems to be malfunctioning because the bus won't auto level in the front so you have to manually adjust the level and hold it there to drive (not a huge deal because #1 neophyte named me did it).

When she is in high idle, air leaks and eventually gets below 60PSI.

I didn't have any other issues to speak of with her but these were enough to leave us high and dry due to lack of funds to fix her on the road, amount of time it would have taken (thank you Dallas for your beyond generous offer to come down to El Paso and get us going) and not having a place to work on her (RV parks seem to frown on you working on your rig in their parks).

So, now I come to this forum to seek advice from the sages.  It seems to me that my only option is to sell her where she is and hope to not take a huge loss.  I don't have the funds to go back out to El Paso (nor the desire if the truth be known.....sorry if you are from El Paso, but we hated it there).

Advice and/or suggestions will be kindly received.

I want to offer a special thanks to Dallas, RJ, Arthur, John and everyone else who called me and offered advice, suggestions and just general encouragement.  I can honestly say that I have never been treated better by any group.  You all are gentlemen and scholars.

Doug Ferguson

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Len Silva
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 06:56:38 AM »

I am not one to run to a lawyer with every problem but here is a case that I would consider trying to get some relief from the seller.  As is, as seen, means nothing if the bus was substantially misrepresented as recently overhauled and ready for the road.

Good luck to you, really hate to see something like this happen.
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 07:01:09 AM »

doug you have your bus in the wrong shop Stewart and Stevenson next door will give a better labor rate ,better service ,better parts price and will be more honeset with you the Freightliner dealer there is a rip off. a plus is Stewart and Stevenson works on buses and the people from Freightliner buys the parts from S&S next door fwiw Freightliner there wanted to charge me 137.00 a hour because I was a RV same work next door was 95.00 per hr doesn't make any difference to them RV,bus or truck all the same   

David
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 07:12:44 AM by VanTare » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 07:27:45 AM »

Since you solicited advice, here is what I would personally suggest...

Sit down, take a deep breath, try not to dwell on the should-a/would-a/could-as of the past few weeks. Focus on forward looking stuff, and ask yourself the big question:  "Now that I have seen this bus and gotten a feel for it, if I can solve the identified mechanical issues, is it right for me and my family?"  Before you even start counting up dollar sign$, you need to assess if this coach fits your needs and eventual dream.

If the answer is "yes" or "probably", you have different decisions to make than if the answer is "no" or "What the heck was I thinking?".

Assuming for the moment that you have been really bitten by the busnut bug, and the coach seems right for you (discounting the known mechanical issues) it is time to total up the true estimated costs.

From the info you provided, it sounds like the engine runs fine but overheats.  We know that the cooling system was messed with and no longer does the job.  What I am not hearing is a strong case that says the engine needs a rebuild.  I think I would be inclined to fix the cooling issue and see if that alone makes her roadworthy.  Get her home and the air leaks and the engine rebuild could be addressed on your own schedule.    

By the way, you mentioned that you were quoted "a major inline rebuild to the tune of $25-30K".  I am guessing what is meant was really a major in-frame rebuild.  Assuming the 4106 has ths stock 8V-71, the estimate seems pretty close to double what it should be, unless that also includes returning the cooling system to stock and tacking the air leak issues.



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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 07:53:31 AM »

Doug, sorry to here your unfortunate story.
It can and probably has happened to alot of us with any type of vehicle, equipment,etc.
Okay, so now what to do?
Here's some suggestions that may help you move on.......
1. Sell it, as you have made that a possible choice already.If you choose this path can you recover your money? Can you recover enough of your money to be satisfied and walk away?
2.Have it properly diagnosed by a bus mechanic,getting a rough dollar estimate to possibly tackle repairs slowly and surely to get it home safely? Continue repairs as time and $$ permits - at home?
3.Find a bus garage or mechanic to do full safety inspection to that vehicle, so you'll know what you're really up against - brakes, steering,suspension,tires,etc.
I highlight BUS mechanic because they are unique vehicles.Not all truck mechanics are familiar with buses and not all bus mechanics are familiar with trucks.

If it was mine and I was in this same scenario I would have cooling system checked and air system checked by a pro (bus tech), get a safety inspection and then make my decision.
Hope this may help you.  Cool
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John316
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 08:21:29 AM »

Jamie and Doug, (This is some of my post on the previous thread.)

Don't let this discourage you. If you are ever able to take it back to your house, then it would be a great project for Doug and your sons (I am guessing that you have sons Wink) to work on. Also, I don't know what your financial status is, but if Dallas was coming your way, he would be able to get you started and pointed in the right direction. Provided the funds were there, you all would be able to eventually get that bus up and running. The biggest thing mechanically, right now, would be whether the engine is sound. I would think that it could be damaged, especially if it overheated ever, and was low on oil.

Don't let this be the death of your dream. It would be best if you could "return" the bus, but I doubt whether that will happen. I also don't think that your bus is a "lemon". Just old and not maintained, and not serviced (still the seller should have told you all of that).

So how much did you all pay for it? And (just a curiosity question) how did you get bit by the bus bug (commonly know as a "bus nuts disease" which BTW is incurable Grin)?

I still extend my sympathy. Don't let this discourage you. This is just a bit of testing.

God bless,

John
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Madmike
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 08:43:59 AM »

If the bus runs fine below 30mph then the engine should be good to go. Fix the radiator problem, fix the air leak and change the oil. Did it smoke? You could get more for the bus by investing the money to get the overheating problem fixed. If you are out of funds sell her on Craigslist.
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2009, 09:56:57 AM »

Here's an out of the box thought - if the bus will run up to 30 MPH then why not drive it home?  I know - its a long boring trip but if funds are lacking and decisions are being driven by location then driving it home should be considered.  The problems will seem a lot smaller once the bus is in the yard.  Take your time - make it an adventure - keep the speed to whatever it takes to keep the temperature down.  Compile a list of busnuts along the route and maybe even do the trip in several legs.  It looks to me like 50 hours at an average 30 MPH - you won't average 30 MPH but even at 20 MPH its still only 75 hours.  75 boring hours maybe but still only 75 hours.
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Dallas
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2009, 10:02:05 AM »

After talking with Doug a few days ago, while they were still in El Paso, I recommended they get the bus away from the Freightliner dealer as quickly as possible. I've had dealings with that place where they wanted to charge one of my drivers over $1100 for a rebuilt 135A Leece-Neville alternator including installation. The installation was remove 3 bolts, remove belt,remove alternator, remove pulley, install pulley on new alternator, install alternator, install belt, install bolts... an hour worth of labor on my IH9670.

I also figured they were going to try to sell him an engine, which as far as I can tell, it shouldn't be needing. At most it sounds like it may need a head gasket kit and a real engine driven fan, not those funky little electrics.

Doug and family are going through some difficult times right now, although I'm not at liberty to say what exactly.

SO here's my plan if he happens to go for it, and since it's worth about scrap price as it sits, where it sits, it may be a good plan.

First, I'm looking around for a free or cheap used 8V71 that runs in the El Paso, Albuquerque, Midland, Yuma area. (If anybody knows where one is, let Doug or me know, preferably Doug.
Second, As has been said, it may not need an engine, but instead a head gasket kit, of which I have one. I would need another one to do both heads.
It will also need to have the fan replaced on the torus and the Rube Goldberg stuff removed, and possibly a shroud built for it.

Now for my part.....

I don't have a lot of money and can't afford to finance the whole trip from where we are to El Paso... 700 miles one way, plus camping and food.
But, I will donate what parts I have, and all my labor, along with some extra oil and filter and coolant I have handy.

If anyone wants to chip in, maybe we can all work together and Get Doug and Family back up and running again.

Oh, one other thing that is needed.... a volunteer to administer the funds if and when they come in.... Who's it gonna be? Not me! That's for sure, I'm not good with money.

So there you have it, I'll help as I can, maybe someone else can help too.

Dallas
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BigDougInOregon
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2009, 10:55:13 AM »

doug you have your bus in the wrong shop Stewart and Stevenson next door will give a better labor rate
David

David,  that was the Stewart and Stevenson shop that gave me that quote.  They seemed fairly competent, but needless to say, way out of my price range.
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Hoping for the open road someday in our PD4106-1035!

Check out our family blog:  www.TheFergyFarm.com
John316
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2009, 10:58:10 AM »

Dallas,

That is quite the offer! Good for you! I knew that you would be able to get it up and running, provided that you could get there.

I still would like to know how much they paid for it.

God bless,

John
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BigDougInOregon
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2009, 11:03:39 AM »

Jamie and Doug, (This is some of my post on the previous thread.)

Don't let this discourage you. If you are ever able to take it back to your house, then it would be a great project for Doug and your sons (I am guessing that you have sons Wink) to work on. Also, I don't know what your financial status is, but if Dallas was coming your way, he would be able to get you started and pointed in the right direction. Provided the funds were there, you all would be able to eventually get that bus up and running. The biggest thing mechanically, right now, would be whether the engine is sound. I would think that it could be damaged, especially if it overheated ever, and was low on oil.

Don't let this be the death of your dream. It would be best if you could "return" the bus, but I doubt whether that will happen. I also don't think that your bus is a "lemon". Just old and not maintained, and not serviced (still the seller should have told you all of that).

So how much did you all pay for it? And (just a curiosity question) how did you get bit by the bus bug (commonly know as a "bus nuts disease" which BTW is incurable Grin)?

I still extend my sympathy. Don't let this discourage you. This is just a bit of testing.

God bless,

John

John,

  We paid $7500 for her and had just filled the fuel(140 gal) and propane(100 gals) when she left us high and dry in El Paso.  I do have the bus disease as I can't get having her and traveling the highways and byways with her off my mind.  As far as how to get her back to Oregon, not probably a reality due to cost.  I suppose our best option is to sell her and hope to recoup some portion of our expenditure.  We strongly feel like we were unintentionally deceived by the sellers but short of a miracle, I am pretty sure there is no way they will just take her back and give us our money back.

I don't really know how I got the bug John.  I am pretty sure I have it though as I have all of the symptoms.

Doug
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All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

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Hoping for the open road someday in our PD4106-1035!

Check out our family blog:  www.TheFergyFarm.com
John316
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2009, 11:05:40 AM »

I wonder if the seller needs to talk to some of us Shocked Shocked Shocked.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 11:17:12 AM »

Doug that doesn't sound like quote Edmond would give for a inframe did he check the bus for you a fiend of mine blew his 8v92 and the repair bill on his with 2 new heads was around 13 grand.If you have a left hand engine I see a lot of transit buses setting in El Paso maybe a used engine would be the to go   

David
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 11:21:07 AM by VanTare » Logged
JackConrad
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 11:19:37 AM »

just curious, was the seller an individual or a dealer?  Jack
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