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Author Topic: What do you have for locks on your Bus's doors??  (Read 2838 times)
divinerightstrip
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« on: October 06, 2010, 06:05:01 AM »

Hey there fellow busnuts, I have a question for you!

So, I have a leak in my air system that I *still* haven't fixed yet. Since my doors are held shut by the air system, after all of the pressure leaks out, my door swings wide open! NOT OKAY! I'm worried that someone will go in there and steal my awesome stuff.

So, I went about trying to fix the lock. First, I thought that I could just easily replace that little cylinder (it had corroded and so my key didn't fit into it anymore), so I began taking the locking mechanism apart... and discovered that everything was just stuck and corroded together. Nothing moved, even with the bang of a hammer! I just bent stuff... nothing actually worked anymore. I decided to just take the whole thing apart and try to bend things back together and lube them or something...




erm. no good. I ended up breaking some things. As I was about to start looking for the replacement parts from Prevost, I realized... I DONT WANT THIS LOCKING SYSTEM!!! It's lousy! I want one of those nice and simple RV-style, house locks. None of this air crap!!! What happens if suddenly, something happens again to my air? What if I have a steady leak, and if I land somewhere for a week vacation, or store my bus for a month... what, my door is just going to pop open all of the time?? Yeah, I realize that if I lock it, then the air release won't release it, but can't I also have the door shut, not locked, and staying put??


Anyways, the question is: what do you have for a door lock on your buses?
How did you re-rig your current system to accept the new locking mechanism?

For those of you who know me by now, you know that I prefer the simple, low-tech solutions to life, so yes, I currently have a low-tech solution, but I still have an open mind, and would appreciate some educated input and suggestions before I make any final decisions!

Thanks!
-Anja (DRT)
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The Bus Girl
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2010, 06:15:49 AM »

I use a standard house deadbolt to lock the door while I'm away from the coach.  I still use the original air cylinder latch to hold the door closed while driving.  Buses usually have a lot of flex, so any latch/lock installed really needs to insert into the door frame very far if that is the only thing keeping the door closed.  My old door handle system had been removed, so I re plumbed the cylinder to use the emergency release as the way to latch the door.

Good Luck!
Glenn
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Glenn Williams
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Len Silva
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2010, 06:35:09 AM »

http://users.cwnet.com/~thall/FAST%20FRED.htm
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bevans6
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 06:42:25 AM »

Well, that cylinder is a Ford pickup truck door lock cylinder, so if you want a new one, that's where you go.  On the door lock side, I use a commercial grade deadbolt.  Many also use an RV style entry door system, if you get one that is designed for a motor home rather than a trailer you get additional security gizmos designed to keep the door from bursting open in an accident.  Others (check Gumpydog's web site) have installed modified truck door locks and handles.  That is best done with the door completely stripped, since you need to do some fabricating beyond just cutting holes in the right places.  Keep the air system in place, it's designed for securing the door while the bus is moving and there is air being compressed, not for locking the door when the bus is not in use.

Often there are issues adapting commercial door deadbolt systems and RV door sets to bus doors, due to the thickness of the bus door.  My door is 2.25" thick, and the best  matching deadbolt I could find was for 1.75".  I Tig-welded an extension to the operating rod, found longer through bolts to hold it all together, and had to modify the deadbolt bit in some way that I currently forget what I did, but I remember it being a PITA.  If I hadn't found that problem until after I had the holes drilled in the door (another adventure, drilling big holes in a stainless steel door, buy a brand new bi-metal hole saw, slow speed and keep the teeth cutting) I would have backed away from the project.

Brian
« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 06:44:28 AM by bevans6 » Logged

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eddiepotts
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2010, 06:59:06 AM »

I have a schlage dead bolt. It works great but I could not tell you how it is in there. The air operator is the best way to go. You could also think about making a tank out of PVC pipe that you could valve out of your main bus air when you store it. 2' of 4" PVC pipe fix under the floor but attached to the top of your bay would hold allot of air.
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Ace
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2010, 07:33:23 AM »

I too have a Precvost with an air operated door and also experienced the door opening after the loss of air but, once I understood how the door works, I wouldn't change it for anything. It seals tight when in use and keeps all road and air noise gone. It locks and unlocks with a key just like any other lock. I did have to replace a "Norgren" valve under the dash and then it worked and has worked like the
engineers designed it to.
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Ace Rossi
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robertglines1
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2010, 08:34:16 AM »

Like Ace and Eddie,I to kept air door lock and just plumed in a aux tank with a check valve to keep it from back feeding into the bus air when it goes down..I put a button elect switch just above door handle to make it easier to open with one hand..Just run wires to pressure release valve for door..penetrating oil will help door release mech..Bob 89 prevost
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Melbo
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2010, 10:33:43 AM »

I got a commercial door lock and installed it on my 8 that uses a schlage key (you can get them with any keyway you want) so the key can be the same for your house apartment etc.

I use it when parked and the air when on the road.

If you want pictures I have them somewhere and can post them.

HTH

YMMV

Melbo
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John316
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2010, 09:02:06 AM »

Anja,

If you go with the one that Len posted, be warned. The parts are fairly hard to come by. And they are a lot more expensive then the prices listed. For example, the outside door handle was more on the order of $75, then the 50 that was listed in the price list.

Some of the part numbers are different too, so that makes procurement a bit challenging. For us it was tough to get everything to fit in that area. The latch part was a Peterbuilt part, and the handle was Freightliner. The door linkage we used the wire from a political sign (you know the cheap signs that have a wire bent in the shape of a U).

Anyways, this door latch works very well. However, it is not an easy install (at least on our door).

FWIW

God bless,

John
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2010, 08:23:06 AM »

On a side note, PVC isn't a good choice for compressed air. If it fails, it tends to shatter = shrapnel. A metal aux air tank would be a much safer choice.

PS:
Yes, I know lots of people have been using PVC for compressed air without incident, but I also know a few that have suffered the results of failure.

Compressible gases behave differently than incompressible liquids when a crack in the plumbing develops.
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2010, 08:34:19 AM »

Think outside the box... the lock cylinder can go in the door frame as well as the door...

Whatever you do, keep the air lock for going down the road, the door will be sucked open against whatever mechanism you fabricate and make a lot of wind noise.

When lining up your new deadbolt, have the door pulled tight by the air lock. You don't want your lock obstructing the snug fit of the door.

Specialty lock shops can get lock sets for thicker doors, try in the older, more expensive part of town, where those thicker doors are still in use and desirable.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2010, 09:06:02 AM »

Do a google search for "bear claw latches"

This heavy duty latch can be used with almost any paddle handle opener.

Many, many sites show the complete install plus aligning....

Cliff
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divinerightstrip
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2010, 04:26:04 PM »

You guys are SERIOUSLY SO HELPFUL!!!!!
And honestly, how'd you know that it is a Ford lock cylinder?? You're right! It is! Cheesy

Yes, I will keep the air... I just have to replace some factory Prevost parts that corroded together. Actually, I am going to modify the factory Prevost setup, because it is destined to fail again as it already has.

But as you suggested, I will also be adding an additional lock to the outside. I will check out the different options that have been suggested. Yes, I have noted the depth, and thankfully, I am not a horrible welder! Cheesy So technically, I could modify a house lock....

eddiepotts, your Prevost is BEAUTIFUL! You must be very proud.


Thanks so much for all the feedback, you guys are AWESOME!

-DRT Smiley
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The Bus Girl
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2010, 04:51:04 PM »

Thank's Anja, I am. I make no claim to fame because I bought it like it is.  I use my dead bolt when I leave it at the storage or when i have everyone in it. I leave the key in the lock so someone is not getting up all the time to pull the handle open. I guess I use it as my latch. The key is a real heavy duty one. Not like a regular house key.
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Melbo
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2010, 06:04:10 PM »

Here are a couple of pictures of the door lock I installed

Standard parts from any locksmith in town

You can match the key to anything you want for simplicity

HTH

Melbo
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2010, 06:42:27 PM »

Melbo, I happen to be a locksmith and I use those locks all the time. They are called "Narrow Stile Deadlocks w/Mortise Cylinder" and are usually used on Store Front Doors, and on the back you have a "thumbturn cylinder". The mortise cylinders come in sizes: 1",   1-1/8",  and   "1-1/4".  It's a good idea to use those, you just have to have the room (which you do with your door). The only thing you might want to add is a SPIN COLLAR on the outside (mortise cylinder), because without one you can put a wrench or pliers to it and spin that lock off of there and gain entry. If you go to a local locksmith shop they should have them there for you to buy. The COLLARS come in differrent thicknesses and finishes. It will depend on how much room you have to play with. The best thing would be to take the bus by the locksmith shop (if that's an option).

On my Eagle I used a Schlage Deadbolt, and I had to modify it just a bit.
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2010, 05:45:40 AM »

I recessed my cylinder flush into the door so no way to grab it BUT if it stuck out then I would have added the collar.

Melbo
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2010, 06:21:20 AM »

My theory is that if you have a lock on the door of something that has windows, the lock is there just to stop casual entry.  Anyone who actually wants to get in (and doesn't own it) just pops a window and carries on.  So I don't worry about the "spin the knob/cylinder off with a pipe wrench" style of entry.  In fact, that very feature has saved my a visit from a locksmith just recently when a key was lost...

Brian
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