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Author Topic: Ran out of fuel in San Jose, CA -- help please  (Read 2441 times)
Kevin Warnock
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« on: August 27, 2006, 08:49:54 PM »

Hi,

I ran out of diesel in my 1967 MCI 5a tonight, and I'm stranded at an exit, parked safely. My roadside assistance with Progressive Insurance said they cannot help me until Monday morning, August 27th. I lost the prime, and I don't know how to restore it, and I don't have many tools with me. The tank has about 15 gallons of fuel in it per my gradated dipstick. I had 76 gallons before my trip began two days ago, and I've only driven 225 miles, so something must be going on that's bad to have me run out of fuel like this. Still, I feel so embarassed.

I called the Highway patrol, and they said I can stay here tonight, though not officially. But the woman was very understanding, and I think I won't be visited by the police, as she created a record of the incident for me in the computer.

So, my question is - where should I have the bus towed in the morning? Do I need a bus repair place? A truck stop? I use a mechanic at Coach USA in San Francisco, CA normally. I don't think Progressive will tow me there, as that's 50 miles or so. However, that's the closest Coach USA, according to my Internet search tonight, from the bus.

Or, is it possible that my roadside assistance can send someone who will know how to prime the engine and can deliver enough fuel to get me going? I called one tow truck place for big trucks and told him I have an 8V-71 and he didn't know what that was, so I was not inspired.

I will check the board frequently tonight, awaiting your advice.

Thanks!

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H3Jim
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1995 Prevost H3-41, series 60, B500 Allison




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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2006, 09:10:47 PM »

I dont think I'm much help on restoring prime, but you need some sort of auxiallary pump or vacuum to get the fuel all the way to the injectors. I'm sure others will have some better suggestions here.  I do think that while the roadside assistance may not know an 8V71 from a hole, they should still be able to help get you primed

You might also start thinking about where that fuel may have gone, as thats a mystery that should be solved before you go much further anyway.  I would check my engine oil to make sure it didn't go in your crankcase, as that could ruin your bearings if that was the case.

Was it smoking much or more than normal during your drive?

Do you see any obvious leaks, drips, fuel on the back of the coach, clean spots around any of the the fuel system?

If all thats a big no, could someone have siphoned a bunch out of your tank?  with the high cost of fuel, the low lifes are sure motivated now.  I've had that happen several times over the years - but to a my car, I ran out of gas on the way home and I had just filled it.  very irritiating.

Good luck to you, I sympathize with you, its not fun being stuck on the side of the road, not knowing whats wrong or where you'll be going tomorrow.  Sounds like you  also need to get to a fuel station.  Keep us posted if you have the time.

Now if you were just a lttle closer ( I'm in San diego) I could make a house call
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2006, 10:38:01 AM »

1967_MCI5A,
First off I don't know what kinda fuel mileage your coach gets but 255 miles out of a 76 gallon tank, my guess is you are close to right as Im used to 2 strokes averaging about 5 mph (I know others claim more, but from personal experience I'm used to about 5!) if this is correct you've used around 50-60 gallons (idle time etc.) So that may resolve that issue. Now for the repriming part! A neat little trick I learned from MAK (the man who makes ths board possible for us all!) is to use a liquid dish washing soap bottle and fill with diesel, then on the fuel filter block there are usually a plug you can remove, stick the tip of the bottle in the hole and squeeze while someone cranks it! You may have to plug the hole with yer finger tip and have your help refill the soap bottle (not usually) once! The main thing is to be sure an add fuel to the tank ! This is a simple, cheap & easy procedure. Now when you get somewhere to land for a while I'd check out the pick up in the tank, although it seems about right to me! You'll always have some unuseable fuel in yer tank and how much depends on tank size, and pick up location. Hope this helps! 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)
H3Jim
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2006, 11:00:46 AM »

Busted Knuckle,

If he started with 76 gallons, has 15 left, thats 61 gallons to go 225 miles, or about 3.68 miles to the gallon, even for a DD 2 stroke, that sure seems very low.

Good tip on the priming
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
Rich (Prevost)
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2006, 11:42:25 AM »

I'm sure you are probably back on the road - if not call Steve Tesconi at Royal Coach Tours in SanJose. If he cannont send someone out he could recomend a mechanic, etc.....in town 800-927-6925.

Rich
800-468-5287
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2006, 12:02:04 PM »

Busted Knuckle,
If he started with 76 gallons, has 15 left, thats 61 gallons to go 225 miles, or about 3.68 miles to the gallon, even for a DD 2 stroke, that sure seems very low. Good tip on the priming

Hey Jim this is true, but hey he said he was "guessing 15 gallons left" and we don't know how "full" it was, or how much idling, or what ever other slight variables might need to be considered. Yes I agree straght mathmatics make it come out very low mpg, but I always aloow for a few variables such as (please remember our coaches & the ones I usually deal with, are charter buses which mean multiple drivers with different habits!) running by the house after fueling (extra undocumented miles), excessive idle time from comfort A/C (OTR air), one driver tops it til it is at the top while anopther may call it fuel the first time it kicks out(while it may still hold another 10-20 gallons), fueled 50 miles from home on the last trip! & etc. You get the idea, I just like to leave room for variables unless I know for a fact that there are none!  On the priming tip, I used to use a (sorta) complicated electric pump set up (which really ain't complicated just a lot more trouble! LOL!), until MAK himself posted this way of priming on the old board! I used it every since then and it's simple and works like a charm every time! And even though I still have the electric set up & several soap bottles, if I ever get caught out somewhere and need a new one hey a bottle of soap and a box of zip lock baggies (to pour soap into for clean up use after done working) is less than $ 5.00 at any grocery, Wal-mart, or convience store! MAK knows how to make things easy! LOL! 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)
DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2006, 12:14:08 PM »

Kinda hard to believe anyone would run out of fuel more than one time! LOL I know one time was enough for me.
Richard

Busted Knuckle,
If he started with 76 gallons, has 15 left, thats 61 gallons to go 225 miles, or about 3.68 miles to the gallon, even for a DD 2 stroke, that sure seems very low. Good tip on the priming

Hey Jim this is true, but hey he said he was "guessing 15 gallons left" and we don't know how "full" it was, or how much idling, or what ever other slight variables might need to be considered. Yes I agree straight mathematics make it come out very low mpg, but I always allow for a few variables such as (please remember our coaches & the ones I usually deal with, are charter buses which mean multiple drivers with different habits!) running by the house after fueling (extra undocumented miles), excessive idle time from comfort A/C (OTR air), one driver tops it till it is at the top while another may call it fuel the first time it kicks out(while it may still hold another 10-20 gallons), fueled 50 miles from home on the last trip! & etc. You get the idea, I just like to leave room for variables unless I know for a fact that there are none!  On the priming tip, I used to use a (sorta) complicated electric pump set up (which really ain't complicated just a lot more trouble! LOL!), until MAK himself posted this way of priming on the old board! I used it every since then and it's simple and works like a charm every time! And even though I still have the electric set up & several soap bottles, if I ever get caught out somewhere and need a new one hey a bottle of soap and a box of zip lock baggies (to pour soap into for clean up use after done working) is less than $ 5.00 at any grocery, Wal-mart, or convience store! MAK knows how to make things easy! LOL! BK  Grin
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2006, 01:39:02 PM »

Kinda hard to believe anyone would run out of fuel more than one time! LOL I know one time was enough for me. Richard

Richard when you are in the charter bus business or run a shop as I do, or are like MAK and buy buses and are in a different bus all the time and have different drivers/buses coming and going all the time it's easy to imagine being around more than 1 bus that has run out of fuel! And yes I did recently(1st part of June) run out myself in my own Setra, because of being tired and stupid and not checking the fuel(guage doesn't work) after dropping off my group! I ran out as I pulled into the fuel stop,but didn't make it to the pump, luckily all I had to do was add 7 gallons and refill the primary filter and drive it to the pump! But I've had service calls, and pulled over for buses on the side of the road who were outta fuel! It happens! BK  Grin
I can't imagine being perfect!
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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)
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