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Author Topic: Can't maintain air pressure.  (Read 2692 times)
bcaddel
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« on: August 27, 2011, 07:22:01 PM »

We left Las Vegas Friday evening in our mci-7 (8v71) for a couple of weeks of visiting friends and family in Texas. Just outside of Gallup New Mexico out air pressure dropped down to about 40 psi (we just barely got off the road before the parking brake popped on) but after a short rest the compressor started working again so we decided to see if it would make it to town (5 MILES). We did make it to the TA truckstop and the compressor seemed to work well until we actually pulled into the truckstop. After some discussion it was decided our air compressor governor had probably malfunctioned. We purchased a new one and installed it and all seemed well but about 50 miles down the road the same thing happened but luckily we were able to get into a Petro truck stop before the air pressure dropped and stayed around 80psi as we got parked.

I don't seem to have any air leaks that I can hear, and it will build and hold hold air pressure when I plug in a portable air compressor, but the engine mounted compressor seems to come and go as it wants. The compressor is very hot to the touch but I think that might be normal. Does anyone have any suggestions or clues on what could be causing the problem? I am thinking since we replaced the governor already and there doesn't seem to be any air leaks that I can hear, the compressor may have just cooled down during the hour that it took to replace the governor and it started working due to cooling down, not because of the new governor and once it got hot it stopped working again. Does it sound like the only option is a new air compressor and if so how hard are they to come by?
I just talked to a truck driver and he thinks it is probably an issue with the drier and something blocking the line back to the governor.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Bob Caddel
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Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 08:01:46 PM »

You may have sheared a key on the compressor or the drive gear is stripped disconnect the 1/4 line on the dryer and see if it pumps up if it does it will be a dryer problem.
Not to start a contest her but if you can use the aux compressor and get to Albuquerque and stop on the west side at Flying J so you are not in any traffic.
 I have a friend there with a service truck if he is home he will help you get going he is a bus owner and knows how you feel several bus owners there we can get you some help from ok

good luck
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2011, 08:04:52 PM »

You need to check for air leaks with the engine running. Make sure it is not the airline off the compressor or the line going to the governor leaking. Check your drier valve also while it is running. sometimes it is hard to hear while running. you may need to run your hands down the lines and under the drier.
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bcaddel
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2011, 08:43:35 PM »

Thanks Eddie, I am pretty sure it doesn't have any air leaks but I haven't gone under to take a hard, close look/listen yet but I need to do that first thing in the morning.

Clifford, I just started it up and the air compressor seems to be working just fine. I think what ever is wrong it clears it's self after a hour or two of sitting. We are on I-40 so there is plenty of room to pull of the road when/if it starts acting again. I am pretty sure we can make it to Albuquerque in the morning even if we have to pull over for a rest,  if your friend is available and we could hire him to check her out and or repair it that would certainly be a blessing.

If everything seems to check out again in the morning, we will head to the flying J. If the compressor starts acting up we will just pull over and wait to see if a little time will reset it. If not we have CoachNet. I will let you know when we make it to flying J.
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Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 08:58:44 PM »

Bob, he is home I am going to PM his phone number his cell and home to you he is a sharp guy.
The Albuquerque bunch are all good guys even Melbo lol 

good luck
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 09:03:48 PM »

Thanks, I will give him a call first thing in the morning. Things are looking up.
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Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2011, 09:09:28 PM »

Let me know if you got the PM you are dealing with a not so good guy here with PM's lol


good luck
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2011, 09:18:45 PM »

Thanks Clifford, I just got the PM with the numbers. I will call him as soon as we get to flying j. Does he know we are coming? Thanks for the help, the wife is very happy so obviously that makes us all happy if you know what I mean. Bob
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Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2011, 09:24:57 PM »

I haven't talked to him he just got back from New York and was a sleep but not a problem just call him Sun


good luck
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2011, 09:28:18 PM »

Have you been draining your air tanks? Saw a bus last winter that had quit building air, and after changing the governor and then the compressor, it turned out that the problem was that the ping tank had gotten plugged up solid.
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2011, 11:35:17 AM »

Bob you are having the same exact symptoms that Vivian had leaving the rally in Arcadia 2 yrs ago. (and if I remember correctly you both have about the same model bus!)

Anyway Jack, Tom, and I went up to the gas station where she was broke down at and we thought it was a governor too. We played with the adjustment some and it didn't make no difference.

We still couldn't get it to build air. So we backed it over to the stations air hose and aired it up.

It was a straight shot out of town with only one stop/turn on the way to Jack's. And since I had the most experience driving thses things with issues I got volunteered to follow Jack to his ranch. 1/2 way there it started building way too much pressure (140-160). But we made it there and got it parked.

After parking it we tried to check it again, no such luck no air!

After it cooled off and we'd ate lunch we tried it again, and walla it was working again. So we adjusted the pressure back down to 130.

Sometime later we checked and would not build again.

I thought it would be the un-loader valves. And Jack had an old compressor laying around and we showed her what we were talking about.

I had to leave town and bring my group back to TN.

But I believe Jack & Tom did stick with it and find & fix the problem later in the week.

Maybe one of them will chime in and give you some help.
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2011, 12:38:20 PM »

Guy's
Bob and his wife just headed east out of here headed to TX. There were multiple probable causes for his problem. I found no air dryer so it is out of the equation.
I looked real hard at the discharge piping from the compressor to the wet tank (which was dry and oil free). There was oil staining at the discharge fitting and the half union was loose and leaking while it was pumping. Checked the compressor inlet to see if the air was bleeding back through the compressor, it wasn't at the time I checked but the hose was soft and collapsing. Replaced the inlet hose. The fitting to governor loose and leaking (may have been loose from the earlier replacement), line loose and leaking on 'skinner valve' shutdown solenoid, other multiple air leaks. Started out that the governor would cycle the compressor on to build air and air pressure would drop immediately after the governor unloaded the compressor. Pulled the skinner valve down to make sure that the plunger in it wasn't worn out and sticking open. It looked acceptable. Checked the 'wet tank' for air leaks. I didn't see any signs of tell tale oil or find any leaks. Checked the belt tensioning cylinder and it was good with no air leaks. Cycled the bus multiple times through air building and the compressor builds air well while I was observing it. It was building air from 90 psi to 120 psig at idle in less than 60 seconds wished mine did that good. The bus was holding and building air fine. As he drove off it dawned on me that the only thing I hadn't done was check for an air leak in the DD3 brake system. I realized this as he made the brake application to release the brakes to leave.
Instructed Bob to call if he has any more problems and it has been silent. He and his wive, along with Cozy, are welcome here anytime.
I suspect that Bob may let us know how he is doing.
Happy Trails
Larry
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2011, 12:42:49 PM »

You da man Jones thanks

good luck how was New York
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2011, 12:51:44 PM »

NY State was good and it is good that I got out of there before Irene hit.
These JayWho's  want me to work for them in a new semiconductor FAB start up. I'm starting to think that it is going to cut into messing with buses too much and they leave the freezer door open too long in the winter
Who is to say I've done other dumb stuff

Happy Trails
Larry
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2011, 12:52:50 PM »

Guy's
Bob and his wife just headed east out of here headed to TX. There were multiple probable causes for his problem. I found no air dryer so it is out of the equation.
I looked real hard at the discharge piping from the compressor to the wet tank (which was dry and oil free). There was oil staining at the discharge fitting and the half union was loose and leaking while it was pumping. Checked the compressor inlet to see if the air was bleeding back through the compressor, it wasn't at the time I checked but the hose was soft and collapsing. Replaced the inlet hose. The fitting to governor loose and leaking (may have been loose from the earlier replacement), line loose and leaking on 'skinner valve' shutdown solenoid, other multiple air leaks. Started out that the governor would cycle the compressor on to build air and air pressure would drop immediately after the governor unloaded the compressor. Pulled the skinner valve down to make sure that the plunger in it wasn't worn out and sticking open. It looked acceptable. Checked the 'wet tank' for air leaks. I didn't see any signs of tell tale oil or find any leaks. Checked the belt tensioning cylinder and it was good with no air leaks. Cycled the bus multiple times through air building and the compressor builds air well while I was observing it. It was building air from 90 psi to 120 psig at idle in less than 60 seconds wished mine did that good. The bus was holding and building air fine. As he drove off it dawned on me that the only thing I hadn't done was check for an air leak in the DD3 brake system. I realized this as he made the brake application to release the brakes to leave.
Instructed Bob to call if he has any more problems and it has been silent. He and his wive, along with Cozy, are welcome here anytime.
I suspect that Bob may let us know how he is doing.
Happy Trails
Larry
Thanks for all the suggestions, we took Clifford's advice and called Larry Jones. Larry was kind enough to meet us and spend the morning troubleshooting the problem. Larry found a couple of issues that could be causing the problem. The most likely in my opinion was a very soft air supply hose to the air compressor. The fitting coming out of the air compressor was loose also. He tightened up several other small air leaks but we couldn't duplicate the problem so we don't know for sure if we (Larry) fixed the problem yet but it is working great so we decided to head on to Texas.

I didn't remember meeting Larry previously but once Pearl came out of the bus And Larry saw us together he ask if we had been to Paul Lowry's Texas Bus Rally last year. Sure enough we had met last year at the TBR. Small World and it is filled with some great folks. Thanks Larry for all your work this morning and sure nice seeing you again.

Been about 50 miles now and the air pressure is building just fine.

Bob & Pearl
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Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2011, 01:00:26 PM »

Bob, if you come back the same way, stop on by. There is also the House of hose in Henderson if ya feel you might need to grab a replacement hose Wink

   Van
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2011, 03:08:05 PM »

Hi Van, I have been meaning to give you a shout since we arrived in Vegas, but just haven't taken the time. I just might be needing a few items at the house of hose.

Larry, I left you a voice mail but things have changed a little since I left Albuquerque. Let me know if you have any thoughts about the heating up idea.

Just as we left Santa Rosa, we lost our air pressure again. We pulled off the side of the road and within about 5 minutes the compressor started working and building air. It has started working again each of the three times it quit over the last couple of days within about 5 minutes of pulling over. I as still thinking it may be due to heat.

I understand the compressor is cooled by the engine coolant, and we have had several times when we have went over 200 degrees yesterday and again today and close to the 210 mark on occasion. The engine temp had heated up close to the 210 degrees just a few minutes before we lost the compressor this time and possible the previous 2 times. I usually just down shift and raise the RPM up around 2300 and it cools down the engine temp. On occasions we have had to turn the misters on but that is fairly seldom.

I am trying to get it to heat up now and if I can get it over the 200 degrees I am going to keep bleeding down the air and hopefully the compressor will stop providing air and I plan to turn the misters on and it will cool down immediately and hopefully that will allow the compressor to start providing air right away. If not I will pull over get out the soapy water and flashlight and see if I can find any more air leaks.


Once again any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

Bob
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« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2011, 06:35:05 PM »

Bob,
Well I guess that I should have taken a ride along in the engine compartment. When you come by here on your way back to Nevada I'll slip an unloader kit in the compressor then we will take it for a drive to see what happens.
I also recognized Cozy. Rest assured that I pay more attention to buses and women than all you hairy legged guy's.
The bus was loosing air immediately after it unloaded when you pulled in here, that isn't what we observed after we did the work on it so I am kind of thinking that the unloader might be hanging up when it gets hot.
Also, observe the air pressure after you shut down and let me know how long it takes for the air to bleed down like is it at 0 in the morning?
I also want to look to see if there is a shutter control anywhere in the cooling system. I didn't see one but I wasn't specifically looking for one. I don't know if your MCI model would have had one. Maybe others can chime in. If there is a control it might be opening up when the engine temp gets up there and dumping air faster than the air compressor can keep up. I don't want to over think this.
Plan on stopping by on the return trip and I think that you have enough confidence now that you can make it back here OK.

Happy Trails,

Larry
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2011, 12:04:47 PM »

I sent Jack a PM asking what turned out to be the problem with Vivian's bus back after Bussin 2010.


Quote from: Busted Knuckle
Hey Jack,
Do you recall what the problem was with Vivian's bus when she had air problems after the rally & you, Tom & I went and got her back to your place?

Looks like Bod Caddel has the same or similar bus/problem.
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=21302.0

Grin  BK  Grin



Quote from: Jack Conrad
Boy, I have slept several times since then, but I think we ended up replacing the poppett valves in the compressor.  Jack
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2011, 02:41:44 PM »

BK and Jack
Thanks for the lead. I'm going to look the compressor over real good when he swings back by here next month. Haven't heard a word so I suspect that means the bus and occupants made it to their destination.
I've got compressor valves and an unloader kit on the shelf.

Happy Trails

Larry
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2011, 02:59:54 PM »

Jones do have a discharge valve kit on the shelf check that before replacing the unloader valves you can check the discharge valve with air but you remove the head to replace it, replacing the unloaders will help but it won't last long with a bad discharge valve

good luck
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2011, 05:48:29 PM »

Bob just curious, how many miles do you have on your bus?

Glen
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2011, 02:29:22 PM »

My dad had the engine replaced in 1999 by Stewart Stevenson Power inc in Commerce City Colorado. We have put 31,000 miles on it since. My parents had engine, transmission, power steering, radiators all replaced in 1999 and put about 8,000 miles on it from 1999 to 2003 and it set parked from 2003 to 2007 when the wife and I purchased it from them  and we have put 23,000 miles on it from 2007 until today. Everything seems to be strong with the exception of it runs hot but that is more our fault as we have done stop and petal to the medal with not much in between. Since talking to Larry, we have kept it around 2000 rpm and 55 mph in 4th gear (5 speed trans) and it has stayed under 190 degrees but the country has been fairly flat. We will be headed back into the hills in a few days and I am curious to see how the temperature holds up (or down).

We have only had 1 instance of not building up air pressure since we have backed of the rpm's and kept the engine temp down. It was running around 185 degrees the other night and air pressure went down to about 80 so we pulled over and I hooked up the portable air compressor and pumped the pressure back up over 110 and the engine compressor started working like normal. This is what we did each of the 5 times the air pressure has dropped. I thought it started working because the engine cooled down but it wasn't hot this time so it may be by pumping up the pressure it is releasing what ever might be causing the pressure to drop.


As you  can tell, I just don't have the knowledge to tell what might be causing the problem but it sounds like several people here have a pretty good feel for some  possibilities. We plan to stop by Larry's next Thursday and see what ideas he has. In answer to your question Larry, it bleeds down completely to 0 in about 4 hours after shutting down.

Thanks everyone for the ideas and comments. It has been a real enjoyable trip even with the air pressure issues and hopefully we will be able to find a fix for that.

Bob
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 02:33:38 PM by bcaddel - COZY BUS » Logged

Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2011, 04:03:48 PM »

Clifford,
I've checked and I have a discharge valve kit as well as an unloader kit. I've also got gaskets. The B/W house I use stocks a lot of parts and they will be my fall back. Thanks for the direction. I'll not do the unloader with out doing the discharge valves

Bob,
I'll expect you a week from tomorrow, 9/8. I'll PM you and you can update me on an ETA. We need to look for a few more air leaks, in my mind, time permitting.

Happy Trails,
Larry
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« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2011, 04:20:14 PM »

Wow...I've been reading through these posts...and can I just stop by to say how I am constantly amazed and impressed with how helpful you guys are to one another...it's like having the "A-Team" at your disposal all over the U.S.  Cool Someday, when I grow up, I'll be able to help someone with a real problem. Until then, I could wash your windshield....I'm 6 foot and can reach.  Undecided
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« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2011, 07:20:11 PM »

Larry, that sounds great, we are planning on leaving Texas Monday sometime and finding a nice quite spot between your place and here to kick back and relax for a couple of days before heading to Vegas on Friday.

Anytime from Tuesday to Thursday works for us so just tell me a time and a place and we will be there ready to follow your lead. Thursday morning in that same spot is what I am planning for but if a there is a better time for you that wouldn't be any problem for us.

Just like Scotty said it sure is great having the "A-Team" help us out like this.

Bob
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« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2011, 07:55:31 PM »

Bob,going to Vegas you will probably take 93 from Kingman if you have trouble in that area just call and I'll come help made a trip over there today for the doctor.
Don't leave Jone's place without a blue cheese stuff burger he does a pretty good job on those lol 

good luck
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« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2011, 08:10:51 PM »

Hey Clifford, If Larry has time we would love to try one of those Blue Cheese Stuff Burgers you mention. From watching him dive into the engine compartment last week when we were there, I would say that BLUE cheese might have been yellow cheese before all the grease from his elbows got onto it. But he has some almost magic hand cleaner that he let me use last week, so I feel pretty confidant that the Blue Cheese Stuff is probably really  Blue Cheese. (just kidding Larry)

I would love to put a face to the "luvrbus" that I have been reading for these several years so I almost hope something (minor) does go wrong if it gives me a chance to meet ya. If we and you have the time we would really like to hook up with you as we come through your neck of the woods. If it doesn't happen this time then hopefully next time. Thanks for your suggestions on this issue and several more in the past that have been quite helpful.

I cant hardly imagine anyone being more knowledgeable and helpful than Larry but I know there are several on these boards and bus nut newbies like myself are very lucky to have access to you guys and your experience. Thanks to you all for sharing that knowledge and experience.

Bob & Pearl
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« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2011, 09:04:50 PM »

Larry , I was reviewing the paperwork from Stewart Stevenson Power when they installed the rebuilt engine in 1999 (31,000 miles ago) and I see that they installed a new air compressor at that time. I don't know if that includes "the unloader or discharge valves" or not but just thought I should mention it. Lots of years ago but not many miles.
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« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2011, 06:51:38 AM »

Wow...I've been reading through these posts...and can I just stop by to say how I am constantly amazed and impressed with how helpful you guys are to one another...it's like having the "A-Team" at your disposal all over the U.S. 

  Yeah Scotty, im always amazed too. I too hope I can one day help someone out, maybe thats part of the charm?

  I remember back in 1988 when we were wreckin Buses, I had a copy of a BCM or FMC magazine, there was a whole fleet of Bus conversions went up to Alaska. I remember then, reading how they all pitched in to help each other with different problems and thought that was pretty cool. But I never expected anything like what we see here.

  When I get my place more hospitable and under control, im thinking of building a pit and having good power available. Maybe someone could stop by for a beer someday.
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« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2011, 01:42:46 PM »

  Yeah Scotty, im always amazed too. I too hope I can one day help someone out, maybe thats part of the charm?

  I remember back in 1988 when we were wreckin Buses, I had a copy of a BCM or FMC magazine, there was a whole fleet of Bus conversions went up to Alaska. I remember then, reading how they all pitched in to help each other with different problems and thought that was pretty cool. But I never expected anything like what we see here.


  When I get my place more hospitable and under control, im thinking of building a pit and having good power available. Maybe someone could stop by for a beer someday.

Someday I'll do the same...someday Smiley
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1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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h1deout96a3
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« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2011, 05:11:04 PM »


this again sounds like drive key or  the to piece gear intermitting sliping, stoping allows cooling and a new grip ,just a point to look at ihave seen this many times after checking out side things.
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