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Author Topic: Technomadia Update - Yuma 4106 Resurrection Partially Successful  (Read 4689 times)
technomadia
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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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« 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.
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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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2011, 04:56:31 AM »

In inchs... LxWxH divide by 231 = gallons....
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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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« 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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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2011, 05:36:28 AM »

Congratulations and welcome to the madness

You will have fun

Melbo
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2011, 06:04:09 AM »

This is the first time I saw any pics.  That is a very nice bus.  Congrads!

John
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2011, 06:44:05 AM »

Congrates! If up near Vegas give a shout! All the best! all the best to you two Wink
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2011, 06:50:56 AM »

lovely interior, I like it a lot.  congratulations!

Brian
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2011, 12:24:21 PM »

We've got more photos and a video tour posted now:
http://www.technomadia.com/2011/06/introducing-our-new-vintage-bus/

Our first night in her was great.  And thankfully, the roof airs are able to keep up with the 110+ degree heat here in Yuma.

Now we need to track down rims and tires ASAP.  I've discovered that the drivers inner rear tire is completely shredded and just hanging there in tatters.  The rest of the tires are looking pretty sad too.  This bus's next stop is a tire shop for sure.

Recommendations and advice appreciated - I'm diving in to the forums researching tires now.

Cheers!

   - Chris
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« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2011, 12:39:57 PM »

Don't forget Sam's and Costco in Yuma can't buy wheels there but tires you may get a good price

good luck
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« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2011, 02:11:25 PM »



"TIRES"   Just can't say enough about going to 11R24.5 tires on the rear.  Get the tallest tire you can get to lower the rpm's of the engine at cruising speed.

Was the biggest help for "HUGGY" that we have done.

4104 and v730

uncle ned
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« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2011, 03:41:54 PM »

I didn't have much luck at Sam's Club trying to buy 11R24.5 tires.  They could get them, but they couldn't install them.  They were some total off brand and I decided the price wasn't low enough to deal with the off brand and getting them mounted elsewhere.
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« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2011, 04:00:57 PM »

"TIRES"   Just can't say enough about going to 11R24.5 tires on the rear.  Get the tallest tire you can get to lower the rpm's of the engine at cruising speed.


I've called around to get quotes on 11R24.5 tires and wheels.

But...  Is there any combination that might be "too big" for the 4106's wheel wells?  I'd hate to place an order, only to find out I've ended up with something that doesn't fit, or which rubs while turning, or when the bus airs down.

Anything in particular I should be looking out for when it comes to size to avoid going too big?

Also - the current wheels have a 10-lug nut pattern.  Is there anything that I should be aware of here regarding how the wheels mount?

Finally - are there downsides in going with aluminum external wheels and steel inners?  Any advantages to all six matching?

Thanks everyone for the advice!

   - Chris // www.technomadia.com

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« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2011, 09:24:07 PM »

. . .the current wheels have a 10-lug nut pattern.  Is there anything that I should be aware of here regarding how the wheels mount?

Finally - are there downsides in going with aluminum external wheels and steel inners?  Any advantages to all six matching?

If anyone asks, your coach uses a stud-piloted type wheel, commonly referred to as "Budd" wheels.

One advantage to using a steel inner wheel is that the existing wheel studs will be long enough. With an aluminum wheel's thicker mounting flange the studs may need to be exchanged for studs of longer length.

Ted
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« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2011, 09:38:00 PM »

Chris -

Here's some info you can really use:

Bridgestone Tire model M726EL, size 11R24.5, load range G, Part Number 186181, 75 mph speed rated, 470 revs/mile - PERFECT for the drive axle on your 4106 with the V-730.  Tallest tire I've been able to find in my research.  Now you can get specific quotes!

Yes, these will fit the wheel wells fine.  They might rub in the front a little on full-lock turns, or perhaps pulling into/out of a driveway a little.  But overall, no fit problems.

Be sure to request "stud piloted" wheels - they're different than hub piloted, and your GM uses the stud style.  Lug nuts look just like one off a car, except on steroids.  (Somewhere on this BBS I listed a part number for Accuride steel and aluminum wheels for the GM - use the Google search box to find it.)

Aluminum outers with steel inners is common - but you must put something between the wheels to prevent galvanic corrosion.  Most good tire/wheel shops will have plastic spacers designed just for this purpose.

The other down side is that you will need longer studs on the hubs for the thicker aluminum wheels, especially up front.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2011, 09:57:11 PM »

This is great info indeed RJ, and I read your other thread you emailed me a link too as well.

Will the 11R24.5's have any issue with the rubber flared out tire fenders on the 4106?  The ones on our bus are partially torn away already and not in great shape.  But I can imagine that they might cause some rubbing issues.

I do worry some about rarity of replacements - how hard will it be to find a replacement if we travel into Mexico or Canada?  Should we buy and carry a spare?  Will a spare that large fit in the spare bay on a 4106?

Thanks for all the great info!

  - Chris

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« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2011, 10:27:15 PM »

It sounds like you haven't found the spare tire well, yet. Try looking at the holes in the front bumper. There are two that have bolt heads showing. The tire wrench fits those bolt heads, and when they are backed out, the bumper will fall down to about the 90 degree position. Look at the space.

There is enough room for our spare and for a bag of tire chains laying inside the wheel. Also, look at the floor of that compartment; there is a door for checking the pressure in the spare tire. The weight of the spare and the chains is needed there because the 4106 is light in the nose. When going over bad bridge abutments at 75 MPH or so, the nose will try to become airborne.

Try to get yourself a set of manuals and spend some time reading them. You need four for the bus and they are available with a little looking. They're very informative.

Good luck and take care.

Tom Caffrey
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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2011, 10:34:23 PM »

Will the 11R24.5's have any issue with the rubber flared out tire fenders on the 4106?  The ones on our bus are partially torn away already and not in great shape.  But I can imagine that they might cause some rubbing issues.

Chris -

I've seen many a GM coach with and without the front rubber fenders.  Have even seen some with the R&M Fiberglass ones, too.  Personal preference as to whether you want to keep them or not.  They do help keep rain splash off neighboring vehicles as you thunder by.  My old 4106's were badly split when I donated it to the PBM.  Yes, chances are good you'll hit them on a full lock turn pulling into a driveway - but you'll also do that with 22.5s, so it's a moot point.  Slow is good in this situation.  Replacements should be available from Luke at (888-262-2434) if you so desire.

Memory's a little foggy right now, but I think on a full-lock turn the 11R24.5 tires may rub slightly on the front shock mount.  You can check this on your own coach in the morning - crank the wheel all the way over, then get out a flashlight and have a look, w/o getting under the bus.

All this can be minimized if your leveling valves front and rear are set to the correct ride height.  Specs are in the maintenance manual.

I do worry some about rarity of replacements - how hard will it be to find a replacement if we travel into Mexico or Canada?  Should we buy and carry a spare?  Will a spare that large fit in the spare bay on a 4106?

Shouldn't be a problem in Canada, not sure about Mexico (altho Clifford [luvrbus] made a comment about that somewhere).  Never heard of anyone having trouble getting a 11R24.5 tire into the spare compartment, but check. 

Tom's comments above are right on, btw.  He's got a nice 4106, too, even if it needs an exterior paint job (just teasing, Tom!!)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2011, 10:48:00 PM »

RJ's comments are dead on; especially the part about the paint job.

Thanks, RJ.
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2011, 10:53:51 PM »

It sounds like you haven't found the spare tire well, yet. Try looking at the holes in the front bumper. There are two that have bolt heads showing. The tire wrench fits those bolt heads, and when they are backed out, the bumper will fall down to about the 90 degree position. Look at the space.

I know where the well is, but I don't have a tire wrench yet to open it.  I also found what I assume must be the inspection hatch, in the tool bay under the driver's seat.  It was getting dark, so I didn't try to open it tonight.

There is enough room for our spare and for a bag of tire chains laying inside the wheel. Also, look at the floor of that compartment; there is a door for checking the pressure in the spare tire. The weight of the spare and the chains is needed there because the 4106 is light in the nose. When going over bad bridge abutments at 75 MPH or so, the nose will try to become airborne.

So are you saying that we need to have / buy a spare just to be certain that we are properly weighted in the front?  If we were to add a mini-split AC system into this bay (hypothetically), would this serve the same purpose and provide enough weight?

Try to get yourself a set of manuals and spend some time reading them. You need four for the bus and they are available with a little looking. They're very informative.

The bus came with PD-4106 Maintenance Manual - which I have been enjoying reading (really!), and a Parts Book, as well as manuals for most of the installed systems, and a pile of receipts. What other books should I track down and acquire?

Thanks!

   - Chris
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« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2011, 06:30:36 AM »

. . . I know where the well is, but I don't have a tire wrench yet to open it.  I also found what I assume must be the inspection hatch, in the tool bay under the driver's seat.  It was getting dark, so I didn't try to open it tonight. . . .

Sounds like you found the access door for the steering shaft.
The spare tire access is a flat sliding panel located below the tire.

Ted
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« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2011, 01:40:39 PM »

Chris,

Lots of good info for you, here is a bit more. I replaced the rubber fender skirts on our '06 this past spring. They are still available from Luke at US Coach,. However the square head bolts that hold the assembly on are not. Because many of mine had to be cut off with a die grinder I bought the last he had. So unless the situation has changed be careful when you remove them!

We have 11r 24.5 tires and they do rub the fender skirts during a tight low speed turn, I do not see any wear thus far.

TM ( Steve )
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« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2011, 10:25:45 PM »

Hi, Chris. The other manuals that I was referring to are engine manuals and the operator's manual. Also, there is at least one supplement out for the maintenance manual.

The tire well requires the square drive for the Budd nuts.

The spare and the bag of chains are probably a couple hundred pounds and located all the way forward. It would two to three times as much weight in the forward bay, right behind the driver to have the same effect.

The light nose will be easily noticed when you go over an abutment that has a pretty good drop as you leave a bridge. The other reason for some weight on the nose is to reduce sliding in bad conditions.

Take care.

Tom Caffrey
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2011, 11:39:02 PM »

Chris & Cherie -

The light nose will be easily noticed when you go over an abutment that has a pretty good drop as you leave a bridge.

And with an air-ride driver's seat - make sure you've got your seatbelt on!  Don't ask me how I know this!

I'll look in my file cabinet tomorrow, I have an Operator's Manual I could scan to a .pdf for you.  Tom's also right in that you need the Maintenance Manual, the Maintenance Manual Supplement, the Parts Book, a Detroit Diesel manual for the engine, and the Operator's Manual.  I think you've already got 2/5, so you're on your way.

Don't think a mini-split HVAC system in the spare tire compartment would be as heavy as a spare wheel, tire & chains, to follow up on a previous post's question.

One other thing about carrying a spare - If (God forbid) you happen to get too close to another vehicle, the spare wheel/tire combo can absorb some of the impact.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2011, 07:05:14 AM »

I will chime in here.  The discussion of the spare providing weight is interesting, and makes sense - counterbalancing the weight of the engine on a long lever.  However, I have no direct knowledge of that, so I'm glad to learn.  What I do remember from the few times I got to drive a 4106 was that they were slippery in wet weather.  Our 4106's had been retired by the time I started driving coaches, we had 4903's and 4905's.  Occasionally we would borrow a 4106 from another company.  So, it could have been the specific bus, or the fact that I was used to 4905's.

So, the suggestion - when you start driving the coach, is to feel it out in different road conditions -- even just damp roads -- be cautious until you know how she'll handle. 

By the way, regarding Russ' comment.  We got two 4905's the year the air throttle first came out.  I could never shift the (darned) things -- so when I was instructing, I always made sure to get another bus.  If I couldn't make a shift, I sure couldn't teach someone else.  That ties in to another thread.  In my experience, every bus shifts a little differently, you have to learn what the specific bus wants, cold and hot.  My favorite 4905 was fleet number 246, I could make perfect shifts all day long.  Her sister, next serial number (248, there's a story about all our coaches having even numbers) - was an average bus - make most shifts, miss occasionally.

Arthur 
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« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2011, 10:25:17 AM »

I'll look in my file cabinet tomorrow, I have an Operator's Manual I could scan to a .pdf for you.  Tom's also right in that you need the Maintenance Manual, the Maintenance Manual Supplement, the Parts Book, a Detroit Diesel manual for the engine, and the Operator's Manual.  I think you've already got 2/5, so you're on your way.

Are these manuals available online anywhere by chance?

I am really impressed with how well written the GM  Maintenance Manual is.  And I am very amused by the chart of code words to shorten telegrams when ordering parts in the Parts Book.

And to think these were all laid out in the days before desktop publishing!  *grin*

   - Chris
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« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2011, 03:24:48 PM »

Chris -

Are these manuals available online anywhere by chance?


www.coachinfo.com

However, I have read on the various bus bbs's that often you get a poorly scanned copy of the book.  Have never ordered one from them, so cannot comment from personal experience.  Nice idea tho, you can print out a specific page for the project you're working on, then recycle it when finished, rather than having a greasy book.

All of the various manuals pop up on eBay & other websites now and then, usually for around $25 - $50.

GMC really did a great job with their manuals - you have to remember that it was also an era when they were making money building buses.  So it "paid" to provide good documentation for their product.  (As a side note, my shop manuals for the same vintage ('61 - '65) Chevy Corvair are just as good as those for the buses, both transit & parlor.)

How's the tire search going?  Time to start a new thread?

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2011, 08:15:14 PM »

Hey RJ -

The tire search is still going..  Chris did start another thread specifically about it:

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=20522.0

 - Cherie
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