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Author Topic: Technomadia Update - Yuma 4106 Resurrection Partially Successful  (Read 4483 times)
technomadia
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Zephyr - 1961 GM PD-4106-446


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« on: June 21, 2011, 04:21:57 PM »

As we mentioned in the other thread, we made an offer on the 4106 in Yuma - contingent on getting the generator started, the air conditioning working, and a test drive.

We brought along a new starter battery for the generator and a trunk full of tools borrowed from friends in Lake Havasu City, and met the current owner this morning.

Unfortunately - the generator was completely dead to the world when we hooked up the new battery.  So much for believing the auction companies assurances.

Fortunately, the uber-amazing Sean Welsh was on call as our technical consultant, and he was able to talk me through some troubleshooting from afar.  After four hours working in the sweltering southern Arizona sun (109 degrees!), I had traced down a bad circuit breaker, routed around it, and rigged up a jerry can to get the generator fresh fuel.  And it worked - at least long enough to test out the air conditioning and other AC systems!

(The generator then proceeded to overheat and shut down after 10 minutes of use, but that is a problem for another day...)

All that was left was a test drive.  The owner came back to the yard, started up the bus engine, there was essentially no smoke, it was running great, air pressure was building....  And then, sputter, sputter, stop.

He tried to restart it, but no luck.

Out of fuel?

The owner had put in four gallons via a jerry can this morning, but he has no idea how much is in the tank and the gauge is non-functional. He drove it 60 miles to Yuma from the auction, and had never filled the tank in the time he has had it.  Based on the generator not getting any fuel from the main tank line, I am assuming that the main tank must be very low, and the extended 30+ minutes of idling when he showed off the bus to us on Saturday might have drained it into the danger zone.

Sean gave me some more advice via telephone on trying taking off the fuel filters and filling them with diesel, but before we could do any of that the storage yard was shutting down for the day.

So...  Now we are chilling in Yuma, planning to return at 9AM tomorrow when the storage yard opens with five or ten more gallons of diesel to add to the tank.

Any advice on how to best proceed in the morning getting the engine going again?  

We just signed up for Coach Net last night, so in theory we can call for help re-priming the engine, if that is indeed the problem.  Or maybe we can track down another resource around the Yuma area that can help us?

We got two thirds of the way there today.  All we need is a satisfactory test drive, and we'll be bus owners tomorrow.

Thank you so much to everyone on these forums - your help and support as a community has been fabulous.

Wish us luck,

  - Chris (and Cherie) // www.technomadia.com
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2011, 04:48:41 PM »

At least 20 gal turn one corner and you'll be out of fuel again. Gen set will probably not pick up with less than 20 or 25 gal in tank if pick up is set up correctly.(for gen set).  Gen set pick up is usually set higher than engine pickup so you don't run out of fuel while running gen set therefore can't start bus engine.   Bob
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2011, 05:13:50 PM »

Bob stated exactly what you need to know. You might invest in several feet of rubber hose that you can slide into the fill neck to determine how much fuel is in there. That's actually my actual fuel gauge with my bus!! I've heard a lot of problems with busses losing prime with 30 gallons left in the tank. It may not sound like a good idea to the seller but if he wants to sell the bus he may have to put $120 of fuel in the ole girl. If not be sure and follow with another vehicle so you can leave him to his misery if it quits. Best of luck and above all else..... don't let those emotions dictate your decision.
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 05:26:26 PM »

All buses have a tank capacity for fuel then they have useable gals for the unit I have no idea what the useable gals is on a GM but I would make a guess probably 90% of the tanks capacity


good luck
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2011, 05:33:26 PM »

I don't know capacity either. Just know when you dump 5 gal in a tank that is 5 ft long and 2 ft wide it would only raise the depth about a inch or 2 at most    Tilt it (turn corner) opposite pick up and could be dry quick.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 05:35:07 PM by robertglines1 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 05:56:37 PM »

I know from experience that my engine quits at about 20 gallons of fuel remaining.  My generator will still run even when the main engine quits.  I used a fuel pickup for the generator that the factory had installed for original Webasto heater.  (I know it is not good to have the generator fuel pickup so long.)

I talked to JD over at C&J Bus Repair about this and he said that with any bus you should not plan to use the last 20 gallons of fuel.  It is quite common to not be able to use all of the fuel in the tank.
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 06:49:52 PM »

If she was a charter she may have a aux. tank also and that would need even more fuel to reach the pick up. Just a thought Grin M&C
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2011, 07:39:20 PM »

. . . It may not sound like a good idea to the seller but if he wants to sell the bus he may have to put $120 of fuel in the ole girl.
No kidding.
Geeeez, what's he thinking?
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2011, 08:40:40 PM »

Chris & Cherie -

The stock fuel tank on a 4106 holds 140 gallons of fuel.  There was an optional 165 gallon tank available, but they're very rare.  Using an old rag, wipe off the tank to the left of the filler neck - the OEM label may still be visible under the accumulated gunk.

Less than 20 gallons in the tank is marginal, at best, for operation, regardless of the tank size.  (Translation: You've got an excellent chance of running out of fuel.)

Since you're probably going to have to "stick the tank" with a rubber hose or similar, here's the formula for determining how much fuel you've got:

L x W x H x 7.5 = # of gallons

To prevent this in the future, use 500 miles as your refueling point, especially with a diesel genset and the V-730.  The OEM 4106 with a stick shift will easily go over 1000 miles on a single tank, but with the automatic, don't chance it.  Unless, of course, you relish the thought of standing alongside the road repriming the system.

I noticed in the photos that there is a fuel gauge inside the fuel filler door.  The Master switch in the cab must be "ON" for the gauge to work - hold the momentary toggle up to turn it on and get a reading.  I believe sending units for this gauge are still available - Luke may have one (888-262-2434 toll-free, 9 - 5 Eastern - If you get this bus, MEMORIZE his number!).

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 10:41:09 PM »

RJ is right; his formula is correct as long as you are measuring FEET. The stock tank is 20 inches deep.

We use a fuel hose with a bolt in each end; each inch of fuel is about 7 gallons and a stock setup will give you about an hour's worth of running at 60-65 MPH. We find that we have no problem getting accurate readings.

If the coach has a side to side lean, then the measurement will be off. If you use a small level, you can calculate the error due to the lean.

Good luck.

Tom Caffrey
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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RJ
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2011, 11:04:57 PM »

RJ is right; his formula is correct as long as you are measuring FEET.

Tom -

Thanks for catching that "minor" error!

Am used to measuring how many gallons of water in a swimming pool or spa, not fuel tanks!

Digging out the old slide rule, the corrected formula (in inches) should be:

(L x W x H)
(    1728     )   x 7.48  = # gallons

or

[(L x W x H)/1728] * 7.48= # of gallons

There are 1728 cubic inches in a cubic foot, and 7.48 US gallons per cubic foot.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink



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RJ Long
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2011, 04:56:31 AM »

In inchs... LxWxH divide by 231 = gallons....
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Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
technomadia
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Zephyr - 1961 GM PD-4106-446


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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2011, 10:16:02 PM »

After several hours of learning how to prime the engine.. we were successful!   She started right up, very little smoke.  We took her for a drive for several miles, confirmed our numbers...  and completed the sale!

We are now proud bus owners!


Spent the day getting the interior cleaned up.. and wow.  Very very happy!

Pictures posted on our Facebook Wall at: http://www.facebook.com/technomadia


Guess we're nuts now Smiley

Thanks again for all your support, information, advice and guidance!

 - Cherie (and Chris)
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2011, 01:54:44 AM »

If no one has mentioned it yet pick up a cheap  ($30)  IR gun from Harbour Freight etc... You can shoot tire angine and dif temps with this and stay ahead of problem areas....example a tire runing hotter than al the  others is low on air (or a brakes dragging etc..)  With a simple walk around and the IR gun, a little piece of mind.  
In general the posts you have made haven't been too technical, so before hitting the road I am going to add that badly adjusted brakes can equal
no brakes

with air brakes....I would never drive an unknown bus like this  without
safely
 getting under there and checking the adjustment of the slacks.
Don't want to seem
alarmist  Wink Wink
Just don't want anyone getting hurt.
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oldmansax
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2011, 04:15:43 AM »

We are now proud bus owners!

Guess we're nuts now Smiley

Congratulations!! Glad you found "the ONE"

You were Nuts BEFORE you bought a bus!   Grin Grin

If you ever roam up to Maryland again, give us a call. Coffee's on me.

TOM
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