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Author Topic: Should I be Concerned? Never had the bus in the Mountains.Headed to Yellowstone  (Read 4276 times)
Michael Mc
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« on: July 08, 2010, 06:46:08 AM »

Okay guys, tell me if I'm being an idiot here.  I have a MCI 5B which originally had a DD 8v71 with a standard trans.  Now it has a 6V92 Turbo with an auto. trans.  I don't think the rads have ever been changed.  I'm headed to Montana in just over a week.  Being a flatlander, I really don't know what to expect from the bus in the hills.  The motor is strong, so I'm more worried about overheating.  To some of you guys who are more familiar with the route, are there any roads on my route that I should be concerned about?  I am coming out of Northeast Louisiana (West Monroe).  I'll head west on I 20 to Dallas, TX and head northwest to Amarillo, TX.  From there, I'll be heading north on Co-69 to US-50 into Grand Junction, CO.  From there,  I'll find US-191 north  thru Grand Teton Natl park. and on into West Yellowstone.  We will do Yellowstone for a few days (first time - Really excited) and then head North on US-287 to I-90 to MT-82 into Kalispell, MT and hang out in Glacier Natl park for a few days before heading south again.  I know these directions are pretty rough, but hopefully the more familiar people will get the idea.  I just don't want to get into a situation that I will regret.  What do you guys think?

Mike
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 07:26:51 AM by Michael Mc » Logged
kyle4501
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2010, 08:03:30 AM »

If going up hill & temp is climbing - drop a gear & get the engine speed up - the slower you go up the hill, the more time the engine has to dump the excess heat.

If going down hill & in doubt - slow down! Again, the slower you go, the more time to dissipate the heat generated by the brakes. (slow steady is better than coasting then braking then coasting then braking. Slower is better since the energy goes up exponentially with speed.

Now that that is covered from the mechanical side,

SLOW DOWN ! ! ! There is a bunch of wonderful things to see out there & you don't want to miss any of it.
My parents took the family vacation on this basic route & is what planted the seed for me to get in to this hobby!

If you can, The Buffalo Bill Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming is a great experience!
http://www.richgros.com/Cody/BB_museum.html

Enjoy your trip!
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Michael Mc
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 08:22:12 AM »

Thanks  kyle4501,  I really appreciate any advice.  Also, thanks for the link.  We will try to make it into Cody and check it out!
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 08:50:24 AM »

Mike, The route you are taking through Colorado will have very nice scenery. You will have to go over Monarch Pass (13000 ft). If your bus is in good    shape that should be no probblem. Make sure you go down the pass in control at all times your brakes will heat up very fast if you use them more than a lite tap now and then. If you are not comfortable with the pass you can go north through eastern Colorado and go across southern Wyoming. The sights are not as interesting as the way you have planned. If you need other road information I will glad to help.

Good Luck Wayne       
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 08:55:34 AM »

Be patient and watch your temps don"t let anyone rush you..shouldn't have any problems---if you have the time go north into canada and visit the canadian side of Glacier ---Waterton international peace park..couple of hrs if that..also drive across going to sun road to other side )in Car) and take hot dogs and have picnic along stream..some great memories there.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 09:03:27 AM by robertglines1 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 09:09:01 AM »

Mike -

As a follow-up to Kyle's comments, read this, especially near the bottom:

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/12262/16204.html?1167073154


If you have a tach, remember that the two-cycle pulls well w/o overheating on a partial throttle between 1700 - 1900 rpm.  Pull any grades using this guideline and you shouldn't have any problems.  If you start seeing black smoke, back off a little.  If it clears up and you still maintain your speed, you're ok.  If you back off and start losing speed, it's time to downshift.

On the narrower roads in/around the parks, keep the left wheels/tires about 1 foot off the lane marker (i.e. closer to the left than usual), and watch oncoming traffic like a hawk.  STOP if it gets chancy, don't want you kissing sumpin' other than Mama!

Pay attention to signs regarding vehicle length restrictions on some of the park roads.  Even tho you've basically got a giant mini-van (what an oxymoron!!), you can still get yourself into places you don't want to be.

Remember the children's fable of The Tortoise and The Hare?  Think of yourself as the Tortoise, drive appropriately, and you'll have a GREAT time.  Drive like the Hare, and you'll frustrate yourself to no end, quite possibly damaging the coach in the process.

Coming into Jackson Hole from the south on 89/191, there is a really big Albertsons Sav-On market on your right at the intersection of  Wy-22, the Wilson cut-off (about a block past the Motel 6).  One of the cleanest grocery stores I've ever been in, with a surprisingly incredible selection.  An excellent place to stop and stock up the pantry - there was an RTS conversion in the parking lot doing the same the last time I was there.

Oh, and plan on having a meal at "Bubba's" while in Jackson Hole, WY.  Great local BBQ hangout.   On Broadway (Hiway 89 / US-191), almost next door to Wendy's.  Big overhead light signal clear across the street (as it's a five-way intersection), makes it easy to find. 

If not "Bubba's", try the "Cadillac" Restaurant on Cache, next door to the "Million Dollar Cowboy Bar" and across the street from the city park.  This is another local favorite.

Above all - have a good time!!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 09:15:59 AM »

Mike, keep in mind what goes up comes down I've been over Monarch Pass 100's of time without problems on any long descend lock the auto in 3rd gear at least with the shifter and tap the brakes you leave the transmission in 4th after a certain speed the shifter will do you no good for help with braking it will stay in 4th no matter what gear you shift too so take your time coming down and going up. 
If you have Jakes use them but never put a 100% trust in Jakes they can quit when you need them the most enjoy the trip.  


good luck
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 09:22:54 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 09:43:32 AM »

If you are adventurous, try the Gun Barrel Steak and Game House.

http://www.gunbarrel.com/
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kyle4501
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 09:53:52 AM »

. . . .  If you have Jakes use them but never put a 100% trust in Jakes they can quit when you need them the most. . . .   

That is the best advice you can get when it comes to Jakes.


This is going to be an awesome trip for you guys, don't rush thru it & you'll enjoy it more!  Grin

(I'm still trying to talk the wife into taking 3 weeks off so we can take that trip & include Las Vegas, the dam, & southern Utah. . . . )
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2010, 10:19:07 AM »

Most everyone has hit the high points. I'll reiterate the Monarch Pass stuff, because that looks like the biggest issue you may face. I took the MC9 over it a couple years ago. I don't have jakes,
and really don't like getting my brakes hot, so I was in 1st gear coming down the other side. Nice easy ride. 18-21 mph with minimal use of the brakes. My brakes were cool when I got to the
bottom and I enjoyed the scenery. 

I recommend you consider taking a detour on the Black Canyon highway (92) just west of Gunnison. That will take  you along the Black Canyon (funny how that works) and into Crawford, Hotchkiss, and back over to meet up with 50 at Delta. Very nice drive. Just don't trust the one pullout up on the rim as you cannot make the turnaround and have to unhitch and back out. But there's plenty of area outside the pullout to park.

We'll be in Pueblo around the 26th. Looks like we may just miss you. I'd offer you a place to overnight there if our schedules lined up.

craig

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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2010, 10:50:40 AM »

The drive north out of Durango to Silverton is one of my alltime favorite rides (on a motorcycle). It does have some tight switchbacks and such but you'll be fine. If you like old trains they run from Durango to Silverton and back daily. You can see them leave or see them come into Silverton or even ride them if you have the time. Silverton and Ourway are nice stops along the way.
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Michael Mc
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2010, 11:03:54 AM »

You guys are the best!  That's all good stuff.  I appreciate the schooling.  Any help/advice is definetly appreciated.  From your input, sounds like a very fun trip.  I'm really excited now!
13000 ft huh?  This could be interesting. Smiley

Thanks again.  Keep it coming,

Mike
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2010, 11:31:03 AM »

. . . .  If you have Jakes use them but never put a 100% trust in Jakes they can quit when you need them the most. . . .   

That is the best advice you can get when it comes to Jakes.

At least if the Jakes do quit you'll have nice cool brakes at that point.
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2010, 01:52:20 PM »

Mike,
Just keep in mind what an old hand told me years ago when I was a rookie truck driver and scared to death of coming off a mountain @ 80,000 lbs and no jake brakes! He told me "Son, just remember you can go down MANY mountains TOO SLOW, but ONLY ONE TOO FAST! If you always remember that you'll be around to take the next one too slow!"

It was great advice as I'm still here to pass it on!

Enjoy yer trip, some awesome country out there! (ranks right up there with TN as God's country!;))
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2010, 07:17:51 PM »

In all reality all Jakes do is get you down quicker. You can coast down in low or second just fine depending on the grade without the Jakes. You may get passed by turtles and guys on their bikes with tight shorts  Grin (Colorado types) but they won't beat you to the bottom by more than a few minutes.
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« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2010, 07:48:15 AM »

This from a trucker that drove for 21 years and 1.3 million miles-if you're coming west of interstate 25, you're crazy to rely only on your service brakes coming down some of the grades we have in the Rocky and Sierra Nevadas.  Spend the money and have Jake brakes installed-waiting to have a near crash or worse is to late.  Not trying to scare you, I just know how the mountainous grades are like out here.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2010, 09:48:39 AM »

I don't think anyone mentioned that you want to be sure your brakes are in good adjustment, but then, that should be a standard condition for heading out on the street, whether for the mountains or for milk...

happy coaching!
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Michael Mc
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2010, 07:57:28 PM »

Quote
"Son, just remember you can go down MANY mountains TOO SLOW, but ONLY ONE TOO FAST! If you always remember that you'll be around to take the next one too slow!"
 That is some memorable advice for sure.  Sounds like slow and easy is the way to go.

I am so glad that I asked for tips.  I learned a few things I didn't know.  Like the fact that the trans. won't shift down from fourth gear over a certain speed.  That alone could be a lifesaver.  The shifting lessons were pretty cool too.  The recommended "must see sights" will be appreciated as well.

I changed the oil and oil filter and the fuel filters today.  I had to destroy all of them to get them off.  I actually had to remove the secondary fuel filter housing at the mount and put it in a vice and used a huge pair of channel locks to remove the top ring (that was all that was left by the time I was done trying to remove it).  I don't understand why some people feel in necessary to put those on so tight.  That would definitely have been a huge hassle on the side of the road.  But it's done now.  Pretty much ready go to.  A week from tomorrow and we'll be headed out.

I do have jakes.  That is a big plus for sure.  I have checked the brakes. Got new tires.  Wired the toad lights thru relays.  Bought Euro lights (still to be installed - might not happen before the Trip)  All because you guys were here to help.  Thanks so much for the help and relieving my stress with your driving advice.

Mike
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 08:17:36 PM by Michael Mc » Logged
robertglines1
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2010, 08:21:23 PM »

Road Tripp!!!! Expect reports and pictures.....Have a crazy good time----forgot take kids on horseback ride at roosevelt lodge in yellowstone......You need to ck to see if Fishing Bridge Campgriund is open(full hook up campground in Yellowstone) they were redoing it...
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Michael Mc
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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2010, 08:38:46 PM »

Horseback riding sounds fun, but it's just us big kids on this trip. Smiley  Thanks for the tip, but Fishing Bridge still doesn't have electricity.  We found a spot in West Yellowstone to camp and will take the Jeep into the park.
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2010, 07:12:28 PM »

You will have a great time. Overheating should not be an issue if you are not in a hurry. Remember that your radiators shed X amount of heat in a given time, and that your engine will generate a given amount of heat to climb elevation point A to B (In theory it takes the same amount of energy to raise a weight a given height regardless of how fast you do it.). What you do is spread out the heat generated over time during the climb, by slowing down to the point your radiators are shedding heat at the same rate your engine is producing it. I hope it makes sense.

The advice I like to give is to stay off the Interstate as much as possible, especially through the Rockies. Some of your best moments and scenery will be the unexpected ones developed getting there and the Interstates are boring. I don't like gaining efficiency and trade for boring. You are traveling near or parallel to some of the most scenic and beautiful highways in America. If you modified your plan just a little you would not be disappointed. San Juan Skyway, Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, Beartooth Highway. If Wheezy Bus can make it, then just about any bus can.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 07:33:27 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2010, 07:20:29 PM »

I'll throw up a few photos.

Wheezy Bus at the first of what was to be many >10,000ft passes and many >8% grades:
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2010, 07:22:10 PM »

Wheezy Bus marveling at the Grand Tetons:
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2010, 07:23:31 PM »

Wheezy Bus resting at Yellowstone Lodge:
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2010, 07:24:35 PM »

Wheezy Bus waiting for Old Faithful:
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2010, 07:26:41 PM »

Wheezy Bus saw many sexy yellow MC5s at Yellowstone. I said NO!
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2010, 07:28:40 PM »

Wheezy Bus says don't miss this shot at Yellowstone. Wheezy Bus took a photo of it's owners.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2010, 07:32:27 PM »

Wheezy Bus enjoys a snow storm in June on Beartooth highway. There is a Spring/Summer ski area up there that has to close Fall/Winter from too much snow!
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2010, 08:59:51 AM »

Don't let your concerns make you a nervous wreck on the trip. I spent way too much time thinking about how the mountains were "gonna be" before we left and to be honest they are not the engine wreckers I thought they were use your jakes, downshift if you're smoking alot and be prepared to do 20 mph with your flashers on and cars zipping by on their way to slow down for vacation!
My 8v71 performed like a champ, I lost the jakes on the return trip and it was no big deal. You are gonna have a ball and Glacier is blow your mind beautiful. Personally, I would avoid Yellowstone at this time of year we were there two weeks ago at bridge bay and the campgrounds were filled like a huge tailgate party, not exactly getting away from it all. Take some back roads and stay at some small state and federal parks if you get a chance you won't regret it.

Have a safe and memorable trip.

Rick
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« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2010, 10:52:09 AM »

Michael - I just came over Red Mountain pass yesterday - 3 days earlier I was southbound to Silverton - just north of RM Pass above the 10 MPH corkscrews right after the sign "pavement narrows" and around a 120 degree blind curve I noticed that the northbound (outside) lane was missing about a foot of (new) pavement (including the white line) for about 60 feet - in my lane the rock face extends out over the pavement at about 10 feet high at that point - As I headed back yesterday I was concerned about passing another oversized vehicle at that point knowing it would be impossible to pass with out loosing at least a mirror - When I approached that point on the return trip, DOT had merely painted a new white stripe  Shocked  Well I got past just in time - when I got to the first corkscrew I passed a KW with a 53' trailer - Never could of come out of that unscathed had I been a minute or so later - Between the heavy commercial traffic, inexperienced GIANT RV owners, and the double bottom 5th wheel RV's hauling all types of menageries (by the time the last of what they are trailering goes around a turn it has to encroach on your lane) I'm thinking Million Dollar will only be a southbound trip for me until they make some major improvements - FWIW

P.S. - Monarch Pass is just over 11,000 ft, Independence Pass is the highest in US at just above 12,000 ft, highest paved road is Mt. Evans over 14,000 feet
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 11:56:07 AM by niles500 » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2010, 12:04:22 PM »

Niles is correct Monarch is 11312 ft. I was wrong.

Wayne
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« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2010, 02:44:13 PM »

Quote
the northbound (outside) lane was missing about a foot of (new) pavement (including the white line) for about 60 feet

Thanks for the heads-up Niles.  I'll be sure to avoid that area.

From all of the good tips, sounds like we need to plan our next trip to spend some time just in Colorado.

Mike
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« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2010, 05:57:50 PM »

Independence Pass is awesome but on a bike. Once I went on into Aspen on the bike but it is a yuppie tourist trap. But the east side of the trip is awesome. I would have my doubts about ever doing that in a bus for sure. In fact I think they have restrictions about lenghts and such.
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Bad decisions make good stories.
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