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Author Topic: Mechanical question..  (Read 1559 times)
travelingfools
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« on: August 26, 2006, 05:19:17 PM »

As Ive read through a ton of posts for the last few months, the gist of looking at a potentially new coach seems to be to make sure its mechanicly sound. Hopefully in less than 2 weeks, Ill be going to look at a '85 Eagle thats been gutted and had some other conversion stuff started. Short if taking a diesal guy with me, what should I look for ? I've driven trucks and bus's in the past, so once I get behind the wheel, I've got a pretty good idea what"feel" Im looking for, but as soon as I open the hood in the back, Ill be lost. The bus is 8 hours from me and taking a trusted mechanic isn't really feasable (although Im trying to talk one into comming).
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
Dallas
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2006, 05:29:11 PM »

I don't know nuttin' about Eagles.
However the rust problem that I've heard of scares the peewaddin' out of me.
Talk to Gary Labombard about the last 3 or 4 years of welding and fitting and rebuilding the bottom of his Eagle.

I'm not saying don't buy it, I'm just saying that the rust problem may be a factor in your decision.

Good Luck!
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belfert
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2006, 06:26:46 PM »

There has got to be a bus shop or a charter operation that repairs other coaches near by.  Failing that, there is bound to be a heavy truck shop that can look at it.  Go for a bus shop unless you absolutely can't find one.  Ask here.

It is worth buying 100 to 200 miles worth of diesel to get a good inspection.  If the owner won't drive it him/herself or let you take to a shop, hop in you car and go find another bus to evaluate.

You may spend $1000 on a coach before you buy it on diesel, travel, and inspections, but it is worth it.  I probably wouldn't have bought my particular coach had I got it inspected at a real bus shop.  I would have waited for another one to come along.  A number did come along at $5000 more later on and they were probably in better condition.

Brian Elfert
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2006, 06:52:34 PM »

Brian you give excellant advice !

Where is this Eagle located?
Maybe one of our members can direct you to a repitable shop nearby! Brian speaks from experience he did his home work for a long time before buying his coach! He has had some issues but when he's done he should have a coach that'll last forever no more than he plans to use it! 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
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
travelingfools
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2006, 11:36:51 PM »

Thanks for the advise...I just got word that the bus sold .....

Good call on taking it to a local shop. Im sure it'll be money well spent...

The hunt contiues....
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
akroyaleagle
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2006, 03:43:40 PM »

I'll post this again as I haven't done so in quite some time. We forget that there new folks coming into this thing of ours all the time that haven't been around these boards "Since the earth cooled".

You have received some good advice. Do not shy away from Eagles because of paranoia by the few that only know what they have heard. The Eagle is a beautiful coach and for some of us the "only" one.

I have seen others that are far worse than any Eagle I have ever seen.

Here you go.

INSPECTING AN EAGLE

Walk up to the Bird and open the lower access door under the drivers window. If it is all rusted out close it and thank the owner for his time.This is a good indicator of things to come.

If it looks ok, open the upper access door above it. This is the forward electrical compartment. Have a good look at the wiring for corrosion and hopefully the Eagle wire numbers are still on the wiring which will make identifying the circuits easier. If you are real lucky the inside of the door will have a readable wiring diagram there.

Sight down both sides of the bus skin. Is it buckled or wavy?

Remove the front bumper and crawl up in the spare tire compartment. Look at the steering box and look for previous damage or rust.

Crawl under the bus and look at the metal under the drivers compartment.

Look at the front torsilastics.(BIG MONEY) Is the rubber hanging out of the ends of the tubes? How much thread (adjustment) is left on the adjusting rods? check the condition of the brake lines.

Look very carefully at the inside wheelwell, especially against the outer side above the tire for rust.

Open all of the bay doors. what is the condition of the bays? Are the tunnel covers there? Take them off and look at the things inside.

Look under the baggage bays. Are the longitudinal steel tubes in good shape? Is the tube under the door rusted out?

Is the fuel filler tube in good shape? Does it seal when closed?

Is the bogie out of alinement?

Check the rear torsilastics and wheel wells for the same things as the front.

Open the air compressor door. Is the bus air still there? If so I recommend you get it removed if you buy the coach.

Open the engine door and both corner doors. Hopefully the rear electrical compartment will still have the dust cover. It may also have a readable wiring diagram.

Check the corner doors for operation and the wiring for condition. Look at everything you can see. Does the engine or miter box leak?

Crawl under the bus and check the engine and transmission for leaks. Also check the cooler hoses from the engine and transmission for condition.

Open the radiator door. Does the radiator have corrosion? Damage?

Work your way up the left side checking the same things you checked on the right.

If the bus has an automatic, pull the dipstick. The fluid should be the color of transmission fluid and not have a burnt smell.

Go inside the bus and remove the access panel in the floor above the top step. Look at the stuff inside and evaluate.

Go to the inside rear of the bus and remove the engine access panels (both) and the panel just forward of them. Look at the blower and valve covers and everything else for leaks. Look at the fan hub and idler. Look at the power steering pump and air compressor and the rest of the hoses there.

Now start the bus, does it smoke? what color? does it clear up right away? Remove the oil filler tube cover. Hold your hand over the opening. Is there pressure (blowby)?

This is in no way a complete inspection but if you know the basics. tires, brakes, leaking shocks, steering wheel play, etc it may help


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Joe Laird
'78 Eagle
Huron, South Dakota
travelingfools
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2006, 05:08:00 PM »

Thanks sir...printed and added to my evergrowing notebook.

Just one question..could you expound on what the miter box is ? Also are there MCI specific issues one might look for during an inspection ?
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2006, 07:41:28 PM »

Akroyaleagle, that's a great list for the inspection of an eagle.  I would like to echo travlinfools request for a similar list for MCIs.  How about it, some of you MCI gurus?  Maybe beatenbo and other owners??
Thanks!
Dennis
Hi Yo Silver!
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Blue Ridge Mountains of VA   Hi Yo Silver! MC9
akroyaleagle
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2006, 03:43:33 PM »

The miter box is the gearbox at the front of the engine (rear of the bus as you look at it).
It is driven by the front of the crankshaft at the input. Direction is changed and as you look at it, the right side drives the A/C compressor. the left side drives the pillow box which sits below the left corner door. The 2 belts on the inside of the pillow block drive the fan. the 3 belts (or triple belt) on the outside of the pillow box drives the alternator.

This would be on Eagles through the Model 10 and some of the later models.

The inspection is pretty much standard for most buses with the exception of the torsilastics. Inspect whatever suspension is there. Probably air bags.

The older MCI's have problems with leaks in the tags but that could be better explained by someone that is versed in them.
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Joe Laird
'78 Eagle
Huron, South Dakota
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