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Author Topic: electric air compressor tied into air system on bus  (Read 11154 times)
BG6
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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2010, 09:23:02 AM »

before you guys get your nose out of joint air pressure never got below 100 lbs 6 tank system air bags turned off air was for 100% braking witch if you pay attention to what you are doing you are ok, Luke was one of the many that said 6 weeks. can't spend 6 weeks in a rest area.

Your being lucky doesn't make everything all better now.

I'll bet that Luke didn't tell you to run 1200 miles using a Harbor Freight compressor.
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2010, 09:39:22 AM »

OK 1st off personally as long as Merlin had air pressure and kept a vigilant eye on the gauges, I see nothing wrong with using the auxiliary compressor to get off the road.
Not that I would recommend it to anyone, or even suggest it for liability reasons.

But we had a driver call me several yrs ago who told me "I just came off I-24 and the air pressure is not rebuilding like it normally does!"
I asked him how much pressure he had and he said "right @ 100 psi" I told him to find a safe place to park and I was on the way. I took another bus to him, and I had our clean up guy follow me in the truck with a generator and portable shop air compressor in the back.

Once I got to Paducah, KY (an hour away) I let the driver load his passengers on the bus I'd brought and go. Then Chuckie and I went to work determining the problem. Turned out that the crank in the compressor had broke and would not build air.
So I put the generator in one bay and the compressor in another and hooked into the air system at the ping tank drain.
Once the bus aired up, and I pumped the brakes until the air came down enough to set the alarm off and set the brakes. After I was satisfied that the air compressor would keep the air up, I drove it home about an hr away.
And yes it took a little time to get the replacement compressor from MN. not 6 weeks, but not the next day either. (thanks Craig! Wink)

Now I would not have driven it 1200 miles, or with passengers. But I did take my time and made it home without paying $800 for a wrecker or leaving it sit and having to replace the compressor in a Hardee's parking lot.
YMMV
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
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bevans6
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2010, 11:19:58 AM »

I'll say this and then shut up.  if the bus air compressor - the engine driven air compressor, not some 2 cfm hot-dog harbour freight compressor running off of a generator and hooked up with some jury rigged air line - if that engine driven compressor is out of service, the bus is out of service.  It's illegal to drive it on public roads.  BK, as a commercial operator I just flat out cannot believe that you would risk your drivers license and your business by running a illegal bus, passengers or not.  I cannot imagine the magnitude of the fines if you had been caught, or the lawsuits if the jury rig had failed.

If by the silence on this issue the consensus of this forum is that running your bus on public roads on a jury rigged generator driven air compressor is just fine, then I have a big problem with that.  As far as I am concerned, if the bus can't pass the minimum performance DOT mandatory air brake tests, then it is out of service.  Out of service means it gets towed and fixed, end of story.



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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2010, 12:47:51 PM »

Brian,
1st off I didn't use a Harbor freight elcheapo 2 cfm compressor and I did not jury rig an airline!
I used a compressor that will run a 1" impact gun all day it came off a service truck. But I don't have the service truck trailer I am building set up with the compressor and welder/generator set up yet. 
I used to drive class 8 tow trucks. Guess how we aired up buses and trucks to tow them?
We ran an airline into a tank or drain line with the same fitting & hose set up I used on my portable shop compressor!
If it's legal to to it that way, I see no issue with getting it off the road that way!
Just to make you happy I'll tell my local TN DOT officer how I did it, and ask what his stance on it is on it next time he stops in! (should be sometime in September)

I am not saying it's the way to run an air system up and down the road, but some of us don't want to leave our buses sitting 50 miles from home like you would.
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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bevans6
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2010, 01:48:48 PM »

If you ran tow trucks then you know that a bus or anything else on the back of a wrecker, hence under the control of the wrecker, is completely different from the same bus driving under it's own control.  Using extension lines to air up a bus so you can tow it is not at all the same as running a generator and a compressor to drive a bus. 


But that's OK, it's obvious no one else agrees with me.
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2010, 04:38:59 PM »

The quietest air compressor I've found is a Makita single tank oil lubed. They are very high quality.
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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2010, 04:58:33 PM »

AIR IS AIR. Not sure I would drive 1200 miles but would get air any way I could to get my bus SAFE off the road for me and the operating public as well. Give the Guy a break he did what he did so be it. Some vehicles are operating in worse condition I'm sure.

My Rant
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John Riddle
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« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2010, 05:29:16 PM »

Ah, a hot topic.  Nice.

So, first I'd like to share that if it were me, my first choice would be to make all attempts at the proper repair before attempting an alternative repair.  Since I don't fulltime, it is acceptable for me to have the bus towed to a facility where it can sit while parts arrive - but what if those parts were never again available? Do I scrap the bus in place? 

With that said, I can understand (to an extent) operating on a standalone compressor. 
My choice for an alternate repair would be to use the coach AC compressor drive belt to spin a high capacity air compressor head - but that is because I realize that a high volume electric air compressor would require a large electric draw.

By posting this I realize that I am opening myself up to criticism, which I am prepared to accept with no hurt feelings.  So, don't hold back, as I am interested in hearing some opinions from both viewpoints along with some supporting logic and/or legal basis.  I am of course referencing a hypothetical situation so edit those details as necessary to fit your arguement as opposed to the flaws of the hypothetical situation.

For example: Only drive with the OE compressor because...[no readily available compressor can possibly perform as well as the engine compressor?],[the law says so and even if it works it's still not ok].....
or It's ok to drive with a non OE compressor so long as it meets....[technical details here].

There seems to me that there is more knowledge that belongs to those here with a strong opinion than this newbie following logic is considering, and surely others finding this thread may find useful.

Thanks for humoring me.
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2010, 05:43:49 PM »

There are times that you need to take a chill pill Brian. Many of us are not blessed with your wealth and ability to pay for every over the top anal detail that you profess to. Give us a break! It does get old having someone think he's "Big Brother" watching over all of us.  Many of us have something called "common sense". We do know how to limp back home and use our minds as to if it is safe or not. My advise to you would be to use some common sense yourself and stfu! You were not there.  Off my soap box now.
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steve wardwell
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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2010, 06:52:21 PM »

!  BANG !   Again I think some of us need to drink a lot less coffee. Why are we so quick to ridicule each other? especially when the waters done gone over the dam already. I think that all of us at one point or another may  have done things that we aren't proud of. But for one reason or another felt we needed to do it just the same. done is done, lesson learned, life goes on. This is a place to tell stories good or bad so we can gain from the experiences.Yes it was serious Yes he lived to tell .  Just don't think we need these vibes here......slammin people just aint right....... thats the way you scare people off this forum  .......come back again merlin-pv.......................s....................
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 07:07:54 PM by steve wardwell » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2010, 08:29:20 PM »

not that i am saying i am for or against the idea being discussed here, but i have to ask...the spring brakes require air pressure in order to apply pressure to release the brake shoes and allow the bus to move.  correct?  so, when pressing on the brake pedal air is released from the system allowing the shoes to contact the drum and stop the vehicle.  so, air is necessary to allow the vehicle to move...loose too much air and the vehicle will come to a stop.  do i have this right so far?  someone please set me straight if i am misunderstanding how the brakes operate.  so then, if the temporary air supply fails wouldn't the bus soon come to a stop once the air pressure falls too low?  I fail to see how using a TEMPORARY air supply could be any more dangerous then using the engine ran air supply.  after all, the original problem was from a failure of the oem compressor.  if the temporary air system failed i would just be back to square one...stopped on the side of the highway.  low or no air pressure does not equal run away bus.  if i have a tire blow out on the interstate would i be expected to have the bus towed to a tire shop to have a new tire installed?  would it be considered 'irresponsible' to put the spare on and drive to the tire shop if the spare was not the exact same tire as the one that blew?  before anyone jumps on the band wagon over that last comment...literally thousands of cars are produced with spare tires that are not the same as the regular drive tires.  thought i would throw that in there.

ok, so i guess maybe i am saying i don't see the big problem with what he did.  can't say that i would have went 1200 miles that way, but i don't see where the danger was in what he did.  how is what he did any more dangerous than running with the oem compressor?

i would also be interested to see the dot regulation that states it is illegal to drive with a temporary air supply.  not saying it don't believe there is one because i am sure there is...i am just curious as to how it is written.
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2010, 08:44:33 PM »

When I lost my air pressure suddenly (as mentioned earlier in this thread) I was at the top of a 7% grade that had a sign to "check brakes" with a turn out imediately up a little ways on the crest of the hill following the sign. When I applied my brakes I imediately lost nearly all of my air pressure and then I coasted into the turn out. My spring brakes did work as I used them when the bus came to a rest, but my regular brakes had lost nearly all stopping power.

I want to thank Merlin for telling the story about the compressor actually working in a situation where the main compressor went out. I will remember the story and in the future it may save my kids and I from being stranded in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service or any other choice! Thank you, it is another "out of the box" thinking thing!
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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2010, 04:08:14 AM »

I have a brake application pressure gauge on our MC-8. A normal stop requires about 10-15 PSI, a hard stop rarely exceeds 30-35 PSI. A panic stop hits about 50-60. Total volume of brake cans and lines probably does not exceed 2 cu.ft.  So even a small compressor should be able to keep up as long as you stay aware, watch your gauges and are not in the mountains.  I would not recommend this for normal use, but to get to a repair facilty.  Jack

Moderators note: Everyone is entitled to their opinion, whether you agree or not. Let's not let this thread deteriorate into flaming.
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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2010, 05:00:09 AM »

I dunno, had I been in a similar situation I suspect I'd probably look for pretty much the same solution to get me home or at least to a safe place. Not sure about the 1200 miles but that's a personal decision based on several factors, I wasn't there. I personally don't trust most H.F tools though.
As far as I'm concerned, air really is air and the bus couldn't care less where it comes from as long as it gets what it needs when it needs it. As long as I trusted my power source, my air source and the interconnecting lines then I'd do what I needed to in order to carefully limp off to a safer and better place. Especially if family were on board. Who knows, if it tested out to be be holding well then maybe I too would push it a bit. Just because the air doesn't come from a giant compressor with my bus' brand name on it doesn't mean that it's any less reliable or less than up to the task. Does your car only run if it has fuel from Sinclair and no other?
I think the key here is caution, listening carefully and watching the gauges closely. Any deviation and I'd be out of there and off the road!


I once had a throttle cable snap on a Fiat Spyder I owned after I put a Weber dual carb setup on. So I'm broken down on the side of I-80 and no way to apply fuel to the car and get home and it's about 101 degrees outside. I managed to put a pair of mini vice grips on the end that snapped and drove home. After replacing the cable which snapped again, several times (I never could find a valid reason for the stop on that end to snap though I suspected the added tension of the second carb linkage was the culprit), I left the vise grips on and they worked for years and years, with never a slip or disconnect, nada, ever! They were there when I sold the car to a guy I knew and he used it as-is for as long as I knew he had the car, yes I pointed out the vise grips and even gave him a new cable with the guarantee that it too would snap soon. We used to chuckle about those vice grips being on the car for so long.
Unconventional? Yes, highly, but functionality was as good or better than original with far superior reliability, they never bound the linkage, came off the cable or slipped! Just because the part is not original equipment doesn't mean that it can't do the job.
The car didn't know or care how the cable was pulling on the carb linkages and the cable didn't know what was at the end of it holding it to the carbs, it worked.
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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2010, 06:48:11 AM »

I must agree with others that with knowledge, prudence, patience you can safely travel with a supplemental air compressor & a failed engine air comp. I am sure that one will guard that air pressure gauge like never before, or since.

I still chuckle at the FAA ferry permits which we can secure to move a semi damaged airplane to a repair facility. One was a while back, a Mooney on climb out of Atlantic City took on a flock of geese & subsequent geese pooh thru the windshield. The pilot, dazed & stunned, thankfully made it back to Bader Field. Next day a pilot from Trenton flys in with a beat up windshield, grey tapes it over the broken one, and blasts off to Trenton in the damaged Mooney.

Not recommended, but he knew his limits.

I surely would not have done the same, but.
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