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Author Topic: First trip in bus  (Read 1384 times)
DavidInWilmNC
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1978 MC-8 as I bought it May 2005




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« on: October 09, 2006, 08:27:05 AM »

I finally took my first trip in the bus.† This was only around 260 miles round trip to Dallas' and Cat's Timmonsville gathering, which was a blast, as usual.† Not only was this my first time taking a trip in this bus, but the first time I've driven any bus.† There were no mechanical failures or other real problems, except possibly for the driver's inexperience with the 4-speed stick.

My impressions on driving my MC-8 were generally good.† I was really impressed by the brakes; they seem much better than those in my old Dodge Ram truck.† Even in heavy rain, they never caused me any anxiety.† The steering is another story.† It's got that old style non-integrated steering with about 5 inches of play.† It wasn't too bad except for in heavy wind when a lot of steering corrections were needed.† On the way home, it didn't seem so bad.† I wasn't tired like I was on the trip down, so maybe that had something to do with it.† I plan on adjusting it to see if I can get some of that play out.† The 8V71 smokes very little on start-up and none that I could see while driven.† I mastered up-shifting the transmission really quickly.† Third to second downshifts are very difficult with lots of grinding.† I'm going to ask shifting questions in a separate post.† I have a power steering fluid leak somewhere at the valve up front.† The genset wouldn't start, but at least the OTR air works great - it froze us out in short time, as I had the hot water valve turned off in the engine compartment and couldn't really regulate the temp.†

I've been looking forward to driving this since I got it back in May '05.† This was my first opportunity, since it's been in various stages of disassembly since then.† As much as I wanted to drive it, I was really nervous.† Even in heavy rain, fairly heavy traffic, etc, I was really amazed at how easy it was to drive.† I need to do something with the mirrors (they won't adjust much), but having a friend check for a clear right lane made up for that.† The hardest part of the entire trip was backing this bus into my back yard.† † I had to ask a neighbor to move his truck, but after that, the only problem was my left leg... that clutch is a killer!† Now I'm ready to take 'the beast' (as a couple of friends call it) on another trip.† Thanks for all the help members here have given over the past year and a half.† Without it, I wouldn't have this bus in any condition to drive.

David
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kyle4501
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2006, 10:04:26 AM »

Good meeting you in Timmonsville!

Bring her to Greer! That should be an easy day trip for an experienced driver.† Grin
Hey, at least you are driving yours while I'm making excuses.† Cry

I need to get the speedometer like Bill has in his space eagle (gear ranges shown relative to speed). I may be able to master shifting then.† SmileyRoll Eyes

Glad you made it home. That rain on the return trip wasn't much fun, at least it stayed away during the rally.
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I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2006, 10:16:08 AM »

It was good meeting you, too.† I think a tach would sure make learning to shift a bit easier.† I'll have to get this thing ready for another road trip / get-together / rally soon.† A lot of the hard dirty work is over for a while (well, after I tear up the floor anyway) and I can finally start building the interior.† The rain didn't bother me much at all.† Sitting up so high in the bus away from all the road spray kicked up by the cars sure made it easier.† Plus, the bus drives a lot better than any S&S motorhome I've driven.† So what's the hold-up in driving yours?
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kyle4501
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2006, 10:38:09 AM »

So what's the hold-up in driving yours?

ME† Grin

I like to bite off too much. I also like to try to over think things.

Then there is that promise I made to Nancy that I'd finish the bathroom conversion at home before I did any work on the bus... I gotta be more carefull in the promises I make!

In reality, all that I know it needs is start batteries & the fault in the clutch cable fixed. Oh and lots of diesel fuel!
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I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
DavidInWilmNC
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1978 MC-8 as I bought it May 2005




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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2006, 10:41:58 AM »

So what's the hold-up in driving yours?

ME† Grin

I like to bite off too much. I also like to try to over think things.

Then there is that promise I made to Nancy that I'd finish the bathroom conversion at home before I did any work on the bus... I gotta be more carefull in the promises I make!

In reality, all that I know it needs is start batteries & the fault in the clutch cable fixed. Oh and lots of diesel fuel!

Finish a bathroom?  I started remodelling one of mine at home back in 2000.  It's mostly finished... for a 1/2 bath.  The shower is still VERY roughed-in.
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Brill-o
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2006, 10:42:54 AM »

Hello Dave,

Congratsí on your first drive and to a fun rally--in the rain to boot!
I sure wish I could have drove mine and/or made it, too-

I know the feeling you had-
When I bought my Blue Bird, I drove it from the county yard, to home (about 25 miles).
What an experience! It was the first time Iíd ever drove a bus myself, too.

It was an easy drive with no worries, except the State Trooper that followed me for several miles. I had no tags at all on the coach!

Iím really looking forward to driving my Brill, and Iím just a few steps from that point.

Again congratsí on a safe non-eventful trip, and I hope you have many more just like it.

Cheers-

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Mind the Gap!
JerryH
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2006, 02:38:24 PM »

David:

Congrats on your first trip -- one of many I hope.
I know what you mean about the steering ... you'll get used to it Cheesy

Enjoy and have fun.

Jerry
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2006, 02:51:30 PM »

David,

Congratulations on your first trip out.

And not to a better place than a rally. Grin

Wish I could have been there to see you pull up.

Go through your whole clutch linkage and make sure its in adjustment.† It made a big difference in mine.

Also hit all those grease fittings.† I just found a new one the other day. Wink

Keep up the good work and hope to see you next time.

Cliff



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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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Ross
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2006, 05:00:22 PM »

David....Post a little "how to" after you adjust the steering if you would.  I have a little play as well and I'd like to adjust it out if possible.  It's not too bad, but I think it could be better.  I think some play is to be expected....Nature of the beast.  The only possible adjustment I see is the big nut on the side of the steering box, but I don't have the 1980 manual, so I'm unsure about that.

Ross

PS...Nice meeting you at Tville.   You too Kyle.  Bring your bus next time.  The Airstream is nice, but that's cheating. Smiley
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kyle4501
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2006, 05:13:07 PM »

Thanks Ross,
I wanted my dad to meet my 'internet' friends† Grin so he would understand my enthusiam!

Old people like their own bed & dad is no exception. Dad said this was the most fun he had ever had at a rally. I also wanted to introduce Nancy. That went better than I had hoped & she is now asking how she can help!† GrinShocked

Thanks everyone!

I'll do all I can to bring mine next time!
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I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
BJ
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2006, 05:16:43 PM »

Shifting:  third to second. yes you need to double clutch but to go into second you need to be around 20mph or lower or it will grind...glad you had a nice trip
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NJT5047
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2006, 06:00:50 PM »

Hi David,
Regarding the non-integral steering, you may wish to check for lost motion in the drag link ball connection. †
Fire up the bus, and have someone move the steering wheel back and forth just a little...look at the king pins, drag link connections, steering shaft U joints (above steering box), and pitman arm links. †
You may find wear everywhere, and you might find just an adjustment will help. †
The only easy adjustment is on the side of the steering box. †Don't "preload" the steering adjustment. The steering box must have some "free play." †There is a method of setting the box with a torque wrench. †Be a right good bit of work. † †If the screw adjustment is overtightened the box will fail.
Look at the "ball" that senses the steering movement...it's a ball connection between the drag link and slave. † There are two springs that may be adjusted to tighten. †
Replacement is the only fix for loose king pins, ball joints in the drag link, and U joints in the steering.
Wheel bearings can add to the loose feeling.
The ultimate solution is to go with integral steering, but the slave steering will work satifactorily if everything is in good condition. † And integral steering won't fix bad alignment or other loose parts. †
Just start at the steering wheel and work your way down...locate where your lost motion is coming from.
Good to see you driving that bus! † If you need someplace to go, come on up and see me sometime! †We'll jack that bus up and figure out where your steering problems are.
Regarding your clutch...is your air assist adjusted? †The cylinder is complicated to adjust. †If you don't have one, get a service manual for your coach. †I have the clutch adjust procedure here somewhere. †May want to verify that the air assist is even working.
Again, thanks to Dallas, Cat, Gary, Linda, Gene and all the others that worked so hard to make the weekend an enjoyable event! †
Best, JR
 

 
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.Ē

Ayn Rand
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