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Author Topic: mechanics pit  (Read 5992 times)
Len Silva
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2010, 01:02:29 PM »

Before I built mine I asked around several truck and RV shops.  None of the newer ones used pits because of the potential for accidents and liability.  Falling into a five foot pit could be painful, dropping a wheel into one could get expensive.  The newer shops almost exclusively use lifts instead.

There is very little that you can do in a pit that you cannot do lying on your back under a bus but it is a whole lot more convenient.  Just oil ,changes, lube and brake adjustments are sooo much easier in a pit.

Five foot was just about right for me, I kept a two foot step ladder down there all the time.

I sure do miss it now.
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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2010, 01:09:18 PM »

Len, when I get mine built you can come use it  Grin
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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
stevet903
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2010, 01:22:54 PM »

At some point you are going to have to lift your bus to change a tire or something, and jacks are so inconvenient....  You should build your pit so you'll be able to put one of these in:

http://www.w-kindustries.com/pdf/w-k_airjack_masstransit_heavyduty.pdf

Then everybody will want to come over and use it!!  
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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2010, 01:46:45 PM »

Sounds very nice!! But somehow I have a feeling that the sticker price would give me a heart attack  Roll Eyes
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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
HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2010, 01:51:01 PM »

Being at a bus shop with a pit I guess I am spoiled.  But while you can do anything jacking & blocking that you can do in a pit, it is sure a lot more convenient to just drive over it and walk under it.  As was pointed out, you still need to be able to lift it if you need to take a wheel off, but for most other things to me it is the safe method (as long as it is well built).  I would echo other suggestions to have some kind of sturdy cover to put over it when not in use.
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zubzub
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2010, 03:07:47 PM »

Sounds very nice!! But somehow I have a feeling that the sticker price would give me a heart attack  Roll Eyes

I think Dallas has a cheaper way of lifting a bus using a couple of sheets of plywood and an inner tube....could be  your solution Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2010, 03:21:35 PM »

haha Yaeh, if I have a heart attack then the pit doesnt get built anyway lol
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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
Chopper Scott
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2010, 04:39:12 PM »

I have a small pit in my shop. I have a cover over it made with 6" channel iron as I run forklifts and such over it. It's probably only 4 ' deep, 30" wide and 15' long. The last time I was in it was some 25 years ago when a tornado was headed for us. I've never had the urge to take all the channels off to service anything on the bus.
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2010, 04:41:22 PM »

I've had a couple of chances to work in a pit and its pretty nice.  One was full length - the other was about 20 feet long.  As Clifford has pointed out there's not much to work on in the middle but the full lengths are nice if you are lazy and don't want to turn the bus around.  My only advice is to make it deep enough so you don't have to duck.  When you need to get up higher (and you will for things on the top of the transmission or air relays that are up against the floor) then you can stand on a step stool.  The whole point of a pit is to be able to stand up while you are working - if its too shallow then you don't get that benefit.  

If I was going to go to the expense of building one I would do it right with reinforced concrete walls.  I'm not a big fan of blocks and there could be a lot of side pressure on the walls, depending on the soil you are building in.  They're not cheap and as others have pointed out you can do the work on ramps but if you have the $$ a well done pit is a pretty nice feature.
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Kenny
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2010, 04:48:00 PM »

Another option is to buy a four post lift for your bus. The ones I've looked at were 30' long, would lift approx. 60" and had capacities of 30, 35 and 40,000 lbs. Retail for the 30K capacity was approx. $12,500 plus another $1500 for shipping.
Kenny
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luvrbus
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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2010, 04:53:46 PM »

Well guys my HWH leveling jacks do the job for me on my Eagle but I cheat lol


good luck
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zubzub
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2010, 05:19:06 PM »

good point about the four post lift.  At 12.5 K it may end up =$  to a  pit, also nicer to work on the flat.  Of course I have no idea about construction cost where you are.
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Runcutter
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« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2010, 06:20:49 PM »

When I started out in the business, we had a pit.  When I had to get under any bus, it worked just fine.  The width was such that there was still plenty of room to get a hydraulic jack under the jacking point, to change tires, adjust brakes, etc.  The height (depth) was probably between 5-6 feet.  If I remember right, most of us could walk under everything without bumping heads, and those of us who are shorter, could stand on something when needed.  Remember that the low points are axles, but on transits (like your RTS), you hay have to get up to work on something at floor level. 

However, I can't remember the last transit property I've been on that had a pit.  Most are now using either fixed or portable, hydraulic or electric jacks.  While I'd love to have a pit, I'm still waiting for my lottery numbers to come in.  If I were going to do it, I think I would spend the money on a professional engineer to be sure the sides, jacking area, etc. were proper and safe (above all, safe).  Although I've worked in San Luis Obispo, I don't know anything about soil conditions, water table, etc. 

That said, you might look at the surplus auctions -- the portable wheel lifts come up at transit systems from time to time.  You have a couple in your area, San Luis Obispo city transit and county transit (I think they're still separate).  It might be worth talking with their maintenance folks to see if they have any equipment replacements coming up.

Arthur 
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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Paso One
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2010, 08:09:29 PM »

attached are some pictures of a few options for the proposed pit
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68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
Paso One
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« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2010, 08:21:29 PM »

One picture shows the electrical coming into the pit via a plastic pipe,

Also one end has a mini sump c/w pump that pumps to the intercepter pit .
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68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
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