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Author Topic: Crazy and not crazy "get'er home" fixes and other errors in judgement/hindsight  (Read 4124 times)
zubzub
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« on: August 28, 2010, 03:54:14 PM »

Thought I would start are more light hearted road fix thread.  If you want to say how dangerous/irresponsible/stupid/crazy a fix is maybe post it on the air compressor thread.  It would be nice if this one was for entertainment purposes only.
 
For starters when I was in the Bolivian lowlands, on a nice hot afternoon, 2 hours from "civilization" after being in the bush for 3 days, the jeep 10 of us were crammed all of a sudden felt like it had a flat...but it wasn't a flat,  a tie rod end had separated.  Looking at it my first thought was oh well, time to start walking, as I was not interested in hanging around  'til the mosquitos came out, and I figured the driver would have to call for a new tie rod end.  Nope, he jacked up the front to get access, we used a big rock to drive the cuff back over the ball, and then he got what I think was old reinforced inner tube (they use it to tie down loads on the roof) kind of like a rubber bungee  tie down, and wrapped it around the "fixed" tie rod.  Then I figured we would limp home but he said he would just drive a little slower down the incredibly pitted, rocky, sandy road.  Maybe he drove a little slower it was hard to tell, but we got home and when I peeked at the rod end the rubber was still tight.
  At this point I thought for sure the jeep would be retired pending repairs, but 3 days  later I saw it loaded with passengers about to head out 3 hours down that rocky road, and when I peeked at the rod end the rubber tie down was still holding it together. 
  Oh and here is a pic of some guys in a small town in Bolivia, fixing the rear suspension of a bus using stacked rocks and a bottle jack to lift the body off the leaf springs so that they could reef the broken one out and install a replacement.  I couldn't watch.  The bus was on a hill.  I couldn't watch.



I also have my own stories of severe errors in judgement but I'll see how this goes first.
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steve wardwell
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2010, 04:43:31 PM »

I got one! First bus I had was a 73  4905 Buffalo. after stripping her out and doing some of the rebuilding I decided I was ready for a test drive, so off I went. She drove OK for a stock bus, until i got down the highway to the middle of east bumF***.the clutch pedal just broke!...I was stuck on the side of a 4 lane hwy...now this bus would lose air in about 10 Min's,to the point of being all the way down in 15 Min's or so.... Armed with a couple of pairs of pliers and a screwdriver and rag I would air up the bus then shut her off, and real quick slither under between the rear wheels to see what the heck the prob was.....turns out a turnbuckle was all wallered out and finally let go...Got it out in 4 rather hectic trips under the bus, airing up as I went, allways leery of getting squashed under my new toy project. part in hand i hitched to town. fortunately the part was an off the shelf turnbuckle that any  good hardware store would have...Got her back in with only 2 more scary trips under the bus.   Got home in time for dinner....Had to do a similar thing on my MC7 the first year we had her except the linkage was for an auto,I didn't need any parts, this bus will hold air,and this time my "supervisor" was with me to offer moral support and pass me the tools....lol.....I wasn't thrilled  to do it but I lived to tell the tale....s...see disclaimer below.    ps I was thinner then !  PSS this was a risky and foolish practise and is Not the way to work on your bus, It is not safe and I'm lucky to be alive....s..........                                         
« Last Edit: August 28, 2010, 06:36:11 PM by steve wardwell » Logged

Sometimes the more I think about something the less I think about something.    As soon as I save a little money my bus finds out.                                      Why grab a plane when you can take the bus ?                         If I'm wrong 10% of the time how can the "Queen" be right 100%
zubzub
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2010, 05:16:12 PM »

hehehe...good one.  Grin

   In the interest of safety to anyone who doesn't know it.

Never get under an air suspension bus without putting it on run up blocks or similar, and choking the wheels.

The reason is if an air line breaks (or you break it crawling around) while you'er under there


THE BUS COULD LOWER AND CRUSH YOU DEAD!

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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2010, 07:04:47 PM »

   I agree, you really dont want to crawl under a bus with air bags. Wood cribbing is pretty cheap insurance.

   I had the alternator go out on the Bounder, and like anything else thats given me trouble, no one would even look at it, had to be another DIY job. But I really wanted to get it back home where I wasnt at anyones mercy. So I ran a jumper cable from the chassis batteries to the coach batteries, and fired up the generator. Lights were a tad dim that night but I made it the 700 miles home.

  I had an old 3751 I drug out from behind a barn. No air brakes and no more money. I drove carefully and stopped with the johnson bar emergency brake.

  When I was towing junk busses, they didnt want to ride high enough in back not to scrape. So I would break the control rod for the leveler off and blow the bags up full.

  Youll always be better off getting everything up to tip top shape in your driveway, just cover it all then go around and check it again. But if your out there on the road long enough, somethings going to cause trouble. The time to ponder how youll handle it is before you ever leave. Spare parts, repair manuals, tools, the farther from home the more junk you should have along with. And the knowledge of how to handle the problem. There is a thread about an engine that went bad out on the road. The owner says it was losing coolant for years and turns out it had a cracked head. The sage advice there would be to have found the source of the leak before ever heading out. Probably would have saved him $10K.
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Melbo
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2010, 07:37:26 PM »

In 1971 I drove a triumph spitfire from Fla to Ill (that's the way they spelled the abbreviations back then) with just a battery for power had to stop in the evening and find a gas station to park near so we could get the battery charged the next morning (in those days the gas stations were SERVICE stations and they had battery chargers) and drive another day (took three day if I remember correctly) I never thought about the brake lights going dim with no charge on the battery --- the engine would run with almost no charge on the battery (the car had no radio or other stuff) I didn't get rear ended or have any other problems we just had a great time -- we had been to Memphis for the very first street car nationals and slept on picnic tables in rest areas in chapels and had no concern for the poor folks that could drive faster than us and might have SMASHED into the back of our car and KILLED us and had to live with that misery for the rest of their lives because our brake lights weren't up to DOT standards ---- BUT we had a GREAT time.

Melbo
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2010, 11:43:48 PM »

For a short period when I was just starting out on my own and had a bad alternator in my old '70 GTX (which I still own though it runs much better now with a nice blown 440 Cheesy) I had several batteries in my trunk. I'd drive to work and if one went dead I'd change it out for another and so forth and then charge them at night again and start all over. It was living hell but I just couldn't pay my rent and pay for an alternator rebuild too.

We even went out on a couple of dates like that, and I'm still with the same girl who supports me with my bus project now.

I paid my dues and so did she!
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JackConrad
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2010, 05:01:15 AM »

    We had a fuel hose collapse internally and limit our speed to about 20 MPH. We disconnected the hose from the primary filter, cut the end off our water hose and clamped it onto the filter inlet fitting. We then duct taped the hose to the side of the coach and stuck the end into the fuel tank at the fuel fill opening. Pulled a prime and continued on to the bluegrass festival and back home. OEM hose was replaced after we got home.  Jack
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2010, 08:34:50 AM »

I once "whittled" a front wheel bearing, and the trans mount out of a piece of clear Oak, for a '65 Dodge van. We lived miles from a phone and my buddies wife was going into labor. 2 hours later we made it to the hospital and all was well. I re-greased the "bearing several times and we got 3+ thousand miles out of it before replacing it. I had a '68 Ford Fairlane that the column shift assy. fragged. I cut a hole in the "tunnel" and used Vise Grips on the first/reverse "lug", and one of the linkage rods for shifting 2nd/3rdon the other lug. Being as I had an infant at the time there was no shortage of Pampers to keep over the hole in the floor.
I don't miss the poor "make do with what you have to do it with" times.

Don & Sheila
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Lonnie time to go
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2010, 09:39:25 AM »

WOW this is crazy.
Very true story 
My wife just shared a story of her best friend. She was in high school and had to attend a funeral. Her Friend then 14 years old lost his father from a transit bus that crushed his head while working under the bus.   After looking at the photos me thinks that guy is lucky

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Len Silva
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2010, 09:44:50 AM »

In my high school days, my '41 Plymouth lost a rear wheel bearing and the whole wheel and axle slipped out.  I jacked it up, pushed the wheel and axle back in place, and stuck a 2x4 inside the fender to keep it from coming out again.  Made it the ten miles or so to get home.  No brakes either as it popped the wheel cylinder when I tried to stop.  (If only I had an onboard compressor)
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steve wardwell
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2010, 02:19:24 PM »

when we went to look at a bus in Utah with only our carry on bags and the shirts on our backs. Well we bought the bus and headed! home the next day.Now the steering had a little shimmy about 1" side to side in the steering column which the po assured me was just a simple bushing which he placed in my hand ....and the po also assured me that with the bushing installed the 11" of steering wheel play would also be tight as a new bus! So we are sailing down through Utah Mt's. south  towards N. Mex. hitting 75-80 on the down hill runs in our "new" bus with our 11" of play and 1" of shimmy OK a quick pitstop, while pulling out after a brief pit the hydraulic steering hose bursts spraying oil all over the spare tire....its Saturday 2 pm...sun. morn 10 am . new napa hose with a special after hours favor and price + a $300 road service we're rolling again!for another400 miles or so. A pit stop in flagstaff for new steer wheels and all is good until the steering pump starts to kind of groan from the rear of the bus. sitting at a rest area and armed with my newly acquired plyres and screwdriver I tackle the job of cleaning the steering pump filter only to find a clean filter inside already. phonecall...we're heading to Dallas TX MCI to tinker w/the steering.. 2 days later we limp into MCI for a bus checkup....OK we need air bags and shocks and front seals and a steering pump rebuild  and the brakes are OK and by the way we don't have steering parts for that old 7 any more they perform the work they can and only 9 days later we're out of the hotel and back on our way to Orlando with our now newer new bus with our 11" play X 1" shimmy ing steering wheel ...not too bad really now we're out of the Mt's. RT 66 RT 10 it's all good...Orlando to ABC for a new integral steering setup another week in a hotel and we're rolling again! home bound for sure! I sure am glad we didn't have to run to far with that nasty old steering prob. it could have been risky but with my eyes never leaving the air gauges I knew we would be safe. Ya got to love and cherish the rides you get and oh also bring an extra 10 grand for "fun" money Grin Roll Eyes Grin
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 02:29:58 PM by steve wardwell » Logged

Sometimes the more I think about something the less I think about something.    As soon as I save a little money my bus finds out.                                      Why grab a plane when you can take the bus ?                         If I'm wrong 10% of the time how can the "Queen" be right 100%
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2010, 04:03:32 PM »

Had a fuel line get a small crack in it, sprayed fuel all over the engine compartment.

Ended up using a straw from my sons sippee cup, duct tape to increase its diameter, and four tye wraps to hold it on.

Held fine for sixty miles until I found a NAPA

Now I have a brass barbed splice of every size and the hose connectors to match, which of course guarantees trouble free fuel lines forever.... Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2010, 05:06:53 PM »

  I havnt given up my dream to one day travel to Alaska, and if I do I plan to drive a bus. I will take every tool I can think of that I may ever need, every part I think could leave me stranded or broke, and an air compressor and yall know why. I will bring rope, chain, tarps, cable, wire, hoses, winches, wood cribbing, jacks, and anything else that makes sense. Maybe even a spare drive shaft. I figure there are about two ways to go. Be wealthy enough you can afford to have any repair performed at any price by somebody else, or fix it yourself. The wealthy can afford to walk away from it and leave it to the vultures. I plan to drive back up into my yard. If that requires bubble gum and shoe polish to get home, sobeit.
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zubzub
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 07:11:09 AM »

Here's a classic that I know I've seen others do as well...only works on a older style gas carb engine but will get you home.  When the fuel pump failed on my volvo I filled a portable  gas tank, strapped it to the roof, ran some fuel line from the tank to the carb fuel inlet, sucked on it to get the syphon working, and we were off.  Drove home (about 50 miles) and ordered a new fuel pump.
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zubzub
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2010, 07:20:23 AM »



Why/what do you think I was doing here?
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