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Author Topic: Kinda in a bind  (Read 3784 times)
opus
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« on: January 27, 2011, 04:05:48 PM »

Went to move the bus.  Its been sitting since Nov.  We had snow, warm, rain, snow, ice and been cold since.  The bus sank a few inches in the ground and froze there.  Went to move it the other day, couldnt get it to move nor a wheel to spin.  Jacked up each corner, spun the wheels.  Everything spins.  Still cant move it.  Tried pulling it out but I cant get enough bite to pull it.

Ideas....aside from spring thaw?  It feels like it wants to move but I cant get it to, or a tire to spin under power.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 04:10:42 PM »

is it a allison? what kind of bus?
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 04:12:05 PM »

Could the clutch be slipping?
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Ace Rossi
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opus
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 04:12:48 PM »

Allison 643.  Blue Bird All-American.
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buswarrior
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 04:17:44 PM »

Coaches can't pull themselves out of holes.

And by holes, you'd be shocked at how shallow a tire divot will trap a coach.

If you have jacked each corner, do it again, and fill each hole with gravel, higher than the hole,so when the tire comes down, it is more likely to be sitting on a mound than compressing what you put in there.

Or, you can mess with a recovery strap, another vehicle and figure out how not to rip parts off either the coach or the other vehicle with the recovery strap.

Moral of the story?

ALWAYS have the tires on improved surfaces, or make piles of gravel to roll up on in the parking place.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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robertglines1
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 04:19:45 PM »

might try letting the engine/trans warm up good. Sometimes a cold automatic will act up.Cold trans fluid might not be putting enough pressure on clutch pack.Especially if someone put the wrong fluid in it.
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
opus
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 04:22:28 PM »

Gravel....there isnt gravel anywhere to be found at this time of the year.  I know about parking on higher ground.  I had plans but then life got in the way.  I'll have to get a skidder an pull it out or something.  I dont think jacking it is going to get me high enough.

I spent many years doing heavy recovery.  I can jank it out without ripping it apart.

Bus was plenty warm.  You can feel it torquing, but cant get anything to spin.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 04:27:59 PM »

not familur with that particular tans. some start off in second unless you put it in first manually.Does it have a parking brake on the end of the transmission just before the drive shaft? wheels could turn indivually  B ecause of spider gears in rear end.   Drive line brake
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 04:30:48 PM by robertglines1 » Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 04:31:16 PM »

Watch you don't snap the u-joints in the drive shaft!

Coaches are NOT, ABSOLUTELY NOT, capable off-road machines. Getting stuck can lead to breaking things and expensive repairs.

That is why my emphasis, no matter what the plan might be later...

...ALWAYS...

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 04:34:36 PM »

How about some wood scraps under the tires?  That should be easy to come by ...  Much easier than trying to figure out a tow and less stressful on everyone and everything.
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opus
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 04:43:51 PM »




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Ace
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2011, 04:50:30 PM »

From the looks of it from your pictures, you have other problems. I don't think the hole your in is deep enough to keep it from moving. Heck I have been in deeper ruts than that at some bluegrass festivals and wet too!
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2011, 04:54:33 PM »

Ice bound is a whole different thing than being in mud or sand...

Be careful!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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opus
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2011, 04:58:51 PM »

I'm not going to break anything by trying to power out.  I am not trying very hard under power.  I have dealt with a lot of peoples results from doing that.  Its not ice bound now, its just sitting in the ruts.  The rear end is about 3" off the ground, so it has sunk some.
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white-eagle
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2011, 05:23:53 PM »

so did you pull it onto more solid but flat ice?  will the wheels turn if you are out of the ruts?  Do the wheels turn by hand if you jack it up, (i thought you said they did before).  are you sure it really went into gear?
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Tom
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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2011, 05:39:48 PM »

  I dont know where youve gotten to with this, but just to go over some of this advice...

  You need to wait til the ground freezes so when you pull away you dont re-sink. As suggested, fill the ruts. Dirt, sand, rocks, ice, dont matter as long as its incompressible. Then drive it out and go park it on something solid. Those ruts are too deep to drive out of. You will either start spinning and sink deeper, burn up your transmission, break your driveshaft of something worse.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2011, 05:47:44 PM »

still think it is a parking brake malfunction. some of those had electric actuators that come on when you put it in park.  Good  luck
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2011, 06:13:20 PM »

I'm with Robert.  Brakes can freeze in place too.
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2011, 06:22:19 PM »

I'll take a shot at this, since you say the tires don't spin and you are in snow and ice and the engine and trans are warm. Also it is a school bus and is lighter and geared lower than some of our highway coaches. This makes me believe you have a problem with your torque converter not locking up. Yes unfortunately the MT 643 is prone to the lock up piston cracking causing the lock up friction to fail. 2) The transmission needs to be removed and the converter can be disassembled, most often the parts needing to be replaced will be the lock up piston,the lock up friction,and you will also need to replace the pump hub gasket,the outer seal on the lock up piston,the inner seal on the lock up piston,and the 2 square cut yellow seals. "About a 500.00 repair parts and labor,not including removing the transmission".
This is just my thoughts, so don't get to worried from what I think.
Good luck

Gary
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 11:05:43 PM by Seayfam » Logged

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opus
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2011, 06:40:52 PM »

I talked to the mechanic that maintained this bus for its life.  He said dont even try to drive it out, it wont do it.  He said its designed to keep from doing damage.  Its not the brakes.  I will get something big to pull it out.  I cant jack it high enough to get a 2 x 4 under the wheels.  Its a rear engine, and about 30,000#.
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2011, 10:54:28 PM »

  Okay, maybe I am truly Bus dumb, but I cant imagine any system that could keep a motor vehicle from trying to move, buses included. If its on level ground and the brakes are off, what on earth would make it not want to go? I could see it not wanting to spin the tires due to lack of power if its down in those ruts. Okay not really, our Fire trucks will spin with a full water tank on the back. But they are probably lower geared. Anyway....

  I realise the Bus is in ruts where the tires sank, no one here expects it to climb out of those, that would take enormous power. Were saying to jack it up, and FILL the ruts over full with rock or dirt or whatever, so when you set the Bus back down the tires are up above the ruts. Then it will just drive out, as long as the surrounding earth can support it, which is why I suggested waiting until the ground refroze.
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2011, 01:23:18 AM »

Did you notice the post saying BBs stat in 2nd unless you shift it man to 1st?  Also if you can jack it high enough to spin the wheels you can add blocking under the jack an jack it high enough to clear the holes so you can fill them.... you need 2 jacks to do this....but you need 2 jacks anyhow to lift a bus nicely, make one of them an air over from HF and you will be happy.
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2011, 05:01:49 AM »

I don't know about others, but my bus was absolutely useless off pavement and I've been unable to move out of lots smaller holes that shown!
 One time I hung it up it was a real bad spot, could not get a wrecker or tractor to it. I had to put scrap lumber (no nails Grin) under the tires till at ground level. then rip sheets of plywood, attach cleats to plywood, to keep it from spinning out. Then buy bags of sand (gravel would have been better)and spread on plywood, to keep tires from spinning or sliding off plywood. Then move the bus, move the plywood, move the bus, move the plywood. Took a few hours with the help of a friend.
                                                                   HTH    JIm

PS   don't plan on using plywood for another project Roll Eyes
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2011, 07:33:35 AM »

Ice bound can be surprisingly tough.  Some years ago I pulled a utility trailer to Maine in the winter.  When we got there, I backed into my relative's driveway and left it for the night.

The next morning it was 10 below.  I got into the truck, put it in drive and literally ripped the tread off the trailer tires.  I wouldn't have believed it possible.
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2011, 09:05:57 AM »

Len,

Do you think that the tire was already bad and just weighting to fall apart on you?  If that could happen to a good tire, I would think it would happen a lot in cold neighborhoods.
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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2011, 10:42:06 AM »

Lin,

As I recall, the tires were in good shape, though I don't know how old they were..  However, the trailer was heavily loaded and I had been driving hard for many hours before parking it in the evening.

We unloaded it the next morning before I tried to move it.

I think the temperatures were fairly warm (low 30's) when I parked and very cold in the morning.  This was quite a few years ago but I do remember leaving part of the tire in the ice.  I also remember a very miserable morning for this Florida boy installing new tires on that cold morning.
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opus
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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2011, 10:50:03 AM »




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Lin
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« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2011, 10:56:15 AM »

It's hard for me to understand why the bus would not just drive out of holes that size.  Mine goes up my 8 inch ramps so easily that I hardly feel it.
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2011, 11:14:04 AM »

Yea like I said earlier, I have had my H model in deeper ruts than those and wet ones at that and my bus is probably 40,000 lbs and it comes out no problem without any spinning of the wheels. Maybe the extra weight of my bus helps but with that does come deeper ruts!  Roll Eyes
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Ace Rossi
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opus
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2011, 11:24:59 AM »

Like I said before, the mechanic told me that this is the way they are setup.  Remember, it was a school bus.  They are designed to not give full torque from a position like this.  I had 2 mechanics tell me this.  Most school bus drivers would just pin it until they had to go pick up the drive shaft or snap an axle.  The ruts were deeper than I thought they would be.  Being stuck in ice is totally different than mud as well.

Remembered last night that I have Coachnet.  Never used it so I thought this would be a good test.  Very good experience with them.
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« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2011, 11:31:21 AM »

"Being stuck in ice is totally different than mud"

I was under the assumption that it wasn't actually stuck since you said earlier that you jacked it up and was able to spin the wheels! Being stuck in ice to me is like, frozen stuck! You originally made it sound like the wheels wouldn't spin while IN or ON the ground. That led me and probably others to believe that you had a mechanical issue.

Regardless, Glad you got it out from whatever it was you were in!
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opus
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« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2011, 11:35:02 AM »

If it were a front engine bus, I could of got it spinning.  The thing is a tank and odd sounding but frozen mud and such doesnt offer enough slippage.  Mind you, I didnt try too hard. I did heavy recovery for 10 yrs, plus I am a pretty good wrench.  I know what horsing things does to drivetrains.  Thanks for all the input.  Cant wait for our 5500 mile trip to see what I chat here about.  :/
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RJ
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« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2011, 01:43:08 PM »

Opus -

Nice pics of the bus out of the ruts, but no commentary as to how?

Did CoachNet send out a tow truck?

Did you use your John Deer?

Enquiring minds want to know!

 Wink
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RJ Long
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opus
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« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2011, 01:47:09 PM »

Ever since the 4020, JD has been worthless.  It wouldnt budge it, 4wd and all.  I dont have chains on it but still its too light.

I called Coachnet and they sent a small wrecker out from kinda local here.  Didnt need much of a pull to get it out.  Plus I hadnt seen the guy for a while so we got to visit as well.
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« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2011, 05:33:24 PM »

Big part of the problem with frozen ruts is that the edges of the ruts are hard.

There is no give in the edge of the rut as the tire tries to roll forward like in softer materials, allowing for some momentum.

So, it is more like climbing over a curb from a stop than squishing up over the edge.

And with the tires set right into it, there is quite a lot of power/traction required to pull the drives out and push the steers out at the same time.

As for ripping tread off, tires are hot from running, even in the arctic. Parking and walking away will get you melted divots under the tires, creating related trouble to  opus. The trick used by coach drivers at the ski slopes is to arrive, off-load the group, move the coach to the parking area, and 20 minutes or so later, roll the coach a half rotation of the tire off where it was to put a cooler piece of tire into contact with a cool piece of ground. Then you get no divot, no ice, and no stuck.

Glad there was a happy ending to this thread!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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opus
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« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2011, 05:48:27 PM »

It was partly my fault.  I have been doing heavy vehicles for a lot of years, plus am a life long Northerner.  When I parked it after its shake down run, it was frozen.  Things normally stay frozen here for quite a while.  We got a thaw and a whole bunch of rain.  I should have moved it but it slipped my mind.  We have a concert in 3 weeks, its kinda cleared off, so I decide to move it and move the snow banks around it before the weather went south again.

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