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Author Topic: what I learned and did not learn about my bus today.  (Read 3448 times)
RJ
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2009, 12:24:17 AM »

Adarian -

The wheelchair lift on your coach is manufactured by Lift-U, a division of Hogan Industries, and they're built in Escalon - off Highway 120 east of Manteca, not too far from you! You might even be able to order a shop manual for it!  http://liftu.hoganmfg.com/support/manuals.aspx

Thousands of these things are out there, and they're actually very dependable (one of the main reasons they're the most popular).  Having trained a LOT of drivers on their use, I can probably thoroughly confuse you about it's operation.  So here goes the basics (main coach engine must be running, parking brake set, transmission in N, fast idle on):

1. Lift's controls are on the RH side of the dashboard.  Push the white button in the center row to turn on the power.  If there's power to the lift, the button will light up.  If it doesn't light, either the bulb's burned out or there's no power to the lift.  Figure out which.

2. The lift operates in a simple L > R then R > L pattern of the toggle switches along the bottom row. If the light's on, press and hold down the toggle switch below the red button.  If the lift is working, this will extend the platform out from it's hiding place under the 2nd & 3rd steps

3. Once the platform is out, move the center toggle switch down to lower the platform to the ground, or up to raise it to floor level.

4.  If you lower the platform to the ground, then move the RH toggle switch down to lower the outer barrier/ramp.

5.  To stow the lift, reverse the sequence - barrier up, platform up to floor, platform back to steps.

(If you'll notice, the toggle switch action is actually intuitive: pressing down takes the platform to the ground, pressing up brings it to the floor.)

6.  Once stowed, press the red button to turn off the lift's power.

7.  Sometimes, especially on rough roads, the lift may wiggle out from it's parking place.  When it does, the yellow button's light should come on.  If that happens, simply stop, turn the power on and re-stow the lift.  You might have to extend the platform all the way out first, depends on how it hiccuped.

Now, outside the coach, in the compartment above the RF headlight (that's held shut with duct tape in the photo), is the remote controls for the lift.  Basically the same as the bottom row on the dash, same order, same function.  Often these will work when the dashboard's doesn't.  Depending on the coach, you may also have a hydraulic pump in there.  If so, it's to help you re-stow the lift should there be an hydraulic failure.  Note that if you have to use the pump, you must also hold the appropriate switch in the direction you want the lift to go.

Fuses or circuit breakers for the lift are in the panel to the left of the driver.

Whew!

Now, about the driver's seat and a couple other things:  There should be a push/pull knob under the LF corner of the seat.  Pushing it in adds air and raises the seat, pulling it out releases the air.  That's if it's an air-ride seat, of course.  If you are close to or over six feet tall, you may or may not end up with the seat literally against the driver/passenger shield.  If so, you'll find this bus terribly uncomfortable for anything other than short drives - look at how the driver's area is suspended & framed to better understand.

Standing in the vestibule area, looking out the windshields, look up to the upper RH corner of the coach.  You'll find a small rectangular "trap door."  Inside that door is a on/off toggle switch for the rear door interlock system.

Air release for the front door is a 90o valve located either near the floor on the LH side of the driver's seat, or on the front of the side electrical department.  It's usually mounted so that if you had a stick shift, it would be to the L of the ball of your foot when placing it on the peddle.

Droopy eyelids, enough for now.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2009, 01:13:42 AM »

maybe it's jsut me but in this pic
 http://www.palofitness.com/images/bus/mainair.jpg
the air chuck that someone (po?) put on the main tank seems very exposed to anything on the road, and if it gets snapped off (easy as it's brass) you will loose all air.
 Also it looks like it is where the tank drain should be (disregard this if there is a tank drain on this tank elsewhere).
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Runcutter
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2009, 06:56:21 AM »

Adding just a little bit to Russ' explanation of the wheelchair lift.  When extending/lowering, you want to be on reasonably flat ground.  In transit, we've had a heck of a time with drivers using the lift around crowned roads, curbs, etc.  There should be a limit switch, (under the platform when extended, outer edge), that allows the anti-roll barrier to deploy.  Without a flat surface to contact, all kinds of havoc can break out. 

If you can find the specs for the lift, check the weight rating.  In the early days of fixed route wheelchair lifts, we took a coach out for a test, in response to a passenger complaint.  She had one of the early motorized wheelchairs (300-400 pounds), and she weighed about the same.  Her complaint was that we were wheelchair accessible, she could access the fixed route, but we wouldn't let her ride because of the combined weight.

I took our maintenance manager and a mechanic, and took a bus out to see if we could get her on.  We did, but really strained the hydraulics.  Fortunately, once she knew she could ride if she wanted to, she didn't call (if I remember right) - knowing that she could was enough for her.

The pedal you're mentioning (sewing machine) baffles me.  Since the bus came from Portland, I would suspect it does modulate the retarder ... as someone else suggested.  In response to the "deadman" suggestion, I've never run into such a thing on a bus.  PCC cars do, indeed, have a deadman pedal - about where the clutch would otherwise be.  That pedal would match your description.  For buses, the deadman is usually a nearby telephone pole (when we're lucky, and it's not oncoming traffic). 

Why not call Tri-Met, ask to speak to the Maintenance Director, and ask him(her) for a way to contact of some of the older mechanics who worked on them. 

Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
1968 PD-4107

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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2009, 07:16:34 AM »

Wow! great information thanks!
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1978 Gillig 636D
CAT 3208 Allison MT 643
NLAAF Fitness Bus
Fair Oaks Ca
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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2009, 07:21:42 AM »

maybe it's jsut me but in this pic
 http://www.palofitness.com/images/bus/mainair.JPG
the air chuck that someone (po?) put on the main tank seems very exposed to anything on the road, and if it gets snapped off (easy as it's brass) you will loose all air.
 Also it looks like it is where the tank drain should be (disregard this if there is a tank drain on this tank elsewhere).


I don't think there is a drain for that tank on the other side but will check to be sure.
I also thought the set up was strange. It is covered by the skirt when he bus is traveling. But still it seems out of place. Also the bus is kneeling in that photo. Ground clearance is much higher when the bus is not kneeling.
Any other Flx  Metro owners out that could check their bus?

As soon as I find the tank for the air starter, I will look into it more.
I have 7 or 8 tanks on the bus.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 07:32:09 AM by Adarian » Logged

1978 Gillig 636D
CAT 3208 Allison MT 643
NLAAF Fitness Bus
Fair Oaks Ca
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« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2009, 07:43:25 AM »

On the subject of the 110 volt wires in the dash and side panel areas.

There used to be a 110 volt micro-inverter located forward under panel where the door
operator controls are located. forward of the fuse-buss. There are wires that also go to the switch and control panels on either side of the instrument panel.

This provided the 110 volt power to light up the "backlit" instrument panels. ( Glow at night ) or EL panels. On Most of the buses that I have seen the panels were no longer functional or basically dead. They look like engraved plastic panels and have the markings for switch functions and such.

Hope that helped clear up some confusion... Basically if you havent' worked on or owned a Grumman-FLX you are just guessing inthe dark.
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2009, 08:17:04 AM »



The pedal you're mentioning (sewing machine) baffles me.  Since the bus came from Portland, I would suspect it does modulate the retarder ... as someone else suggested.  In response to the "deadman" suggestion, I've never run into such a thing on a bus.  PCC cars do, indeed, have a deadman pedal - about where the clutch would otherwise be.  That pedal would match your description.  For buses, the deadman is usually a nearby telephone pole (when we're lucky, and it's not oncoming traffic). 


Arthur
At this point we are in pure trivia land but when I was a kid in Ottawa the buses had deadman's on them.  I guess I've been into engineering etc...my hole life because I remember asking a bus driver what it was and he told me it was a deadman's switch and the bus would not roll if it was not depressed.  For years afterward I would watch the busdrivers and they would always step on it before anything else, sounds like a PITA but it was Ottawa the nation's capital and we had all sorts of stuff the rest of the country never had.
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Adarian
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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2009, 08:44:51 AM »

Next time I go to the bus, I will take a picture of the switch.
I will also take a picture of the 110 box and any other oddity.
Exploration is fun.
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1978 Gillig 636D
CAT 3208 Allison MT 643
NLAAF Fitness Bus
Fair Oaks Ca
Len Silva
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2009, 10:41:30 AM »

I know nothing of your bus but some buses had a 110 volt external connection to plug into for "station lights" or "cleaning lights".
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« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2009, 11:26:19 PM »

Learned today that the sewing machine like pedal is to turn on the microphone.
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1978 Gillig 636D
CAT 3208 Allison MT 643
NLAAF Fitness Bus
Fair Oaks Ca
Adarian
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« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2009, 04:07:45 PM »

maybe it's jsut me but in this pic
 http://www.palofitness.com/images/bus/mainair.JPG
the air chuck that someone (po?) put on the main tank seems very exposed to anything on the road, and if it gets snapped off (easy as it's brass) you will loose all air.
 Also it looks like it is where the tank drain should be (disregard this if there is a tank drain on this tank elsewhere).


I don't think there is a drain for that tank on the other side but will check to be sure.
I also thought the set up was strange. It is covered by the skirt when he bus is traveling. But still it seems out of place. Also the bus is kneeling in that photo. Ground clearance is much higher when the bus is not kneeling.
Any other Flx  Metro owners out that could check their bus?

As soon as I find the tank for the air starter, I will look into it more.
I have 7 or 8 tanks on the bus.


The air tank in the photo is for the air starter. The device on the back with wires is a solenoid for the air starter. I am not sure this tank is supposed to be drained.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 04:53:47 PM by Adarian » Logged

1978 Gillig 636D
CAT 3208 Allison MT 643
NLAAF Fitness Bus
Fair Oaks Ca
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