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Author Topic: I'm sure I bought the wrong bus  (Read 4338 times)
Bus Busted
My other truck is a Bus!
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1984 Eagle 10, 1986 MCI 102A3




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« on: September 25, 2011, 11:48:20 PM »

   I'm sure I'm not the only one who found these forums "after" buying your first bus. Here is where I stand for my first post. I have a 1986 MCI 102A3 6V92 Turbo still titled as a bus that came from Greyhound by way of a church that sold it after not being able to fix it. It tried to run, but would not idle. During the buy test we got it running using a 24v jump. It smoked, but smelled like starting oils used to try and get it going. Had my regular mechanic look at it with me (he had worked on cars & small truck diesel). We figured the scrap value to be around $2500 and I was able to get the price down from $7500 to $5500. I knew it was a risk, but figured it left me a lot of room for repair cost before reaching the $30,000 to $100,000 that I thought this kinda bus would cost me. So I went for it, towing cost another $605. so I'm in $6,105. That was before the tow ended. After lowering the bus to the ground it sat for a min then rolled forward into the wrecker cracking the pass front windshield and the entry door window (door open at the time). He said find out about the cost of the glass and we would talk. He said without air it shouldn't have moved. I thought it should have been blocked being an unknown condition. Next day I tested the batt and found one dropping from 12v to 9v while engine cranked slowly (good battery went from 13.5 to 11v) bought two new ones so I could start off on good footing. With much smoke it cranked and would stay running with a little help from my foot. My tech said to run it for 15min at a time to clean it out and let it recover from sitting so long (that this short of time would keep it from overheating if there were other small troubles he said). It logged 1 1/2 hrs a day 15-25 min @ a time. After 2 days it would idle somewhat smooth, only smoke a little, and start as soon as you hit the switch. I took block temp and it stayed warm, but didn't get hot so we upped the time to 30-45 min running while checking the block temp. I even drove it to the end of my 1/4 mile drive to turn it around so I could back it close to the house for 110 power. During this time I was checking fluid levels and waiting the week and 1/2 when my tech could come over and give it a good going over. I found the towing/breaking issue to be the time it takes to bleed off the air (he had not hit the air brake button and it took a while to air down).

   Now the bad news... Sometimes it pumps up to 120psi and sometimes it likes 70psi better. Sometimes it takes a while to air down, 40min, and sometimes it's down in 10min. Found air coming from the break button and compressor sometimes. Found it smoking a lot under load (in gear or rev'ing it up a little). Found that the filler I was using for coolant was not hooked to the cooling sys. I went to the upper fill point with a hose and found the water soon pouring out the pass weep hose (slobber hose?). Then when I went to hit start it was froze, I'm guessing water now in the cylinder that can't be compressed. That was 3 days ago and the water is still in there. The oil level is coming up a little from the water getting past the rings, but not that much (a good thing I guess, the rings are holding water). I already know I'm looking at a head rebuild at the least. Maybe an engine rebuild or replacement. Have been told other engine items should be looked at too like the blower parts. During this time I hit the internet very hard. Found Greyhounds are patched together just enough to keep them running. Looked closer and found a lot of that on this bus. Mostly on side doors and seats ect. Found it was from Texas Greyhound by the removed stickers that left fading in the paint. I think it is a sound bus over all, but I'm new to this. It seems that if I get the engine fixed and the compressor rebuilt, I will at least know these things should last a while. Same with other repairs that will be next in line. I am from the Indianapolis area and am the only bus owner I know. Have had school buses in the past, but nothing this big. Have done a lot of car repair in my 20's including engine rebuilds, but I'm 50 now and this engine is diesel and a heavy one at that (needing to be slid on rails and not "pulled"). I repair hospital and lab equip, so I can do elect trouble shooting and repair. Have never owned a diesel, but have now watched many YouTube vids showing me the magic of 2 stroke operation. While waiting to decide this buses fate I am pulling the seats and above storage and if I keep it I plan to make it an RV. I had hopes of running up to Elkhart IN and getting a few deals since the economy has been hard up there. I have been calling the local coach companies and finding out who did their work. My tech/mechanic thinks that he can do a head swap or rebuild at good hourly rates. I have already started trouble shooting finding a loose relay keeping the driver's starting switch from working. I fixed the headlights, the 12v tap was hooked to 24v. And so on.

   Here's what I know I need help with... What would you do in my shoes (in for a penny in for a pound?). Do I have any Indiana friends that might want to lend a knowing eye in order to better advise? Anyone know the best place in this area to get engine repaired or buy a rebuilt? Where do I get a good price on the engine manual? I have the free downloaded "MC-9 Crusader II Maintenance Manual January 1989" and the "MC-9 Operator's Manual". I saw the engine manual somewhere for around $400, but hate to buy from E-bay for less than $400 and get what I already have downloaded. Should I replace the upper door window with after market at this time? Can I do the windshield myself and should I replace the seal at the same time? I'm also thinking that instead of the tow driver covering the price of cracked glass, maybe I should take it out in trade having him tow it to a shop (if I go that way for the engine) and then not charge me $450 hookup charge? If engine is fixed, can it be driven to Ky with cracked glass to have the glass replaced? (MCI hub in Ky) And is there advice on things I may not have even thought of yet, but should have? Thanks for any advice, Jon

P.S. Pictures are a mix of before broken glass and after, but hard to see cracked glass in pic's
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1985 Eagle waiting repair of burn damage
1984 Eagle Model 10, just started conversion
1986 MCI 102A3, seated when bought, conversion on hold until Eagle is done
Dreamscape
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 03:21:30 AM »

Welcome!

Contact Doug1968, he might have the entry door window. He also has a 102A3, lives in Vancouver, WA.

Looks like you got your feet wet pretty fast huh. You have come to the right place to get information. Lot of two stroke guru's here that can lend a hand.

Have fun and be safe!

Paul

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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 03:33:01 AM »

  Your sure to get a lot of responses, and a lot of different suggestions. Your going to have to weed your way through and find what makes sense to you. Like you im in my early 50's, with a strong mechanical background but none in heavy diesels. I did salvage a bunch of Buses years ago, but didnt get into the mechanical bits. That may have been my salvation, or my downfall, depending on how you look at it. On the one hand I learned enough to be scared of them to do a lot of research on these forums and asked a lot of stupid questions. Unlike me it looks like you just jumped in with both feet and started asking questions later. Fortunately it likely dont make any difference, were both going to learn a heck of a lot wrenching on our Bus so it all works out.

  First of all, welcome to the madness, as they say. Secondly, congratulations, it looks like a decent Bus. Now what to do with it? Okay, Buses are down in value and not selling, we all know that. You have more than scrap value into it, but not a great deal more, your not that far in over your head, you could part it out and scrap the shell. But that dont sound like your plan.

  First things I would do is get someone to help you learn your way around it. Get the water out of it. Drain the oil. And start over. You may not have damaged anything yet, but its getting cold so lets not let it freeze while were at it and do more damage??

  You may not be aware, but these Detroit 2 strokes like straight 40 weight oil, and far too many run multi vis in them and wonder why they smoke. Some say they smoke real bad but clear out and stop using much once the switch is made to the right stuff.

  So the second thing you want to have the engine serviced, inspected, and tuned/repaired. There wont be any way to determine what needs replacing until someone gets in there digging. Its quite possible that simply changing the oil and tuning it up and running the snot out of it might be all it needs. Along with the wrong oil, short periods idling and shutting them down without ever reaching operating temp is not good for any engine, and these especially so. It can take 50 miles out burning the interstate at full speed to really clear them out.

  So before you throw in the towel, have it checked out by someone that these guys will recommend to you. Listen to them. Some of these guys were driving these things before you and I were in junior high. And by the way, thats a nice looking Bus.

  

  
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papatony
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 03:51:22 AM »

Art gave you some good advice,  that is a great looking bus and well worth finishing into a great mot er home.  The first thing I would do is find a 2 stroke mechanic, most of the people who actuality worked on these engines have retired but still can be found.  From what you said about the running of the mot-er I don't think you have much of a problem . What you have is a wonderful learning expanse, go for it and quit worrying about your age.  lol
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 04:19:30 AM »

As to the windshield issue.  ANY towing company out there knoows to block one before totally unhooking.  Tell the guy to contact his insurance company.  He will not want to do that, but that is what he needs to do!
Jack
PS, good luck here, they are quite fun!
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Jack Hart, CDS
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 05:04:43 AM »

As to the windshield issue.  ANY towing company out there knoows to block one before totally unhooking.  Tell the guy to contact his insurance company.  He will not want to do that, but that is what he needs to do!
Jack
PS, good luck here, they are quite fun!
There is an option here.  He can come up with some ca$h and the ins does not have to know.  Be sure to present that option to him.  Not having the wheels blocked is unacceptable and 100% his responsibility.  I'm with artvonne on this one your engine might not be in that bad of condition.  It sounds like the engine keeps running better every time you try it.  If you can fix the water problem you need to drive the crap out of it HAMMER DOWN!  I do not understand how the water got into the engine.  You said something about a hose not being routed correctly.  Does this mean that you poured water into the engine's intake?  Are you thinking that water entered the cylinder through a cracked head or cylinder liner?  How is the best way to clear water from a hydrolocked diesel cylinder?  On a gas engine I would pull a spark plug then rotate the engine.  P.S. I like your coach.  That model of MCI has always been a favorite of mine. 
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robertglines1
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 06:00:50 AM »

lots of bus nut in Indiana. What part of indianapolis area?  Several up your way. Check Message area above.    Bob   Evansville
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 06:12:42 AM »

You *REALLY* need the manuals for your bus and engine.  They will give you basic info so that you don't do any more damage.  Also, it would help you to get a mechanic experienced in these buses and these engines to work on your bus -- your friend may have great car knowledge and the best intentions of helping you in the world, but for many things the right thing to do on a light-duty engine is the wrong thing for a big diesel.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2011, 06:30:56 AM »

For starters I would say get the water out and get clean oil into the engine.  Then bite the bullet and pay a good diesel engine mechanic to tell you exactly what shape the engine is in.  If it is bad you can rebuild it or buy a replacement engine to put in.  Lots of options and I think your still ahead even with the game even if you have a problem engine.
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1984 Silver Eagle Model 10 6V92 Allison auto tranny
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 06:45:41 AM »

No need to take the Bus to Louisville to get the windshield replaced. Any good glass shop can change it or you can do it yourself with help. You probably need to change the seal because they tend to leak anyway.

Terry
Mitchell,In.
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Terry
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 06:54:58 AM »

You have problems the broken glass is the least of the problem that engine has been hot if locking up pull the heads one are both are cracked sorry to say this but it is overhaul for you and before spending a ton of money have someone check the lower end first if that engine has ran with water and antifreeze in the oil it will have spun bearings man I feel for you and you need to figure out why it ran hot also.
If you buy another engine be sure it is for a MCI you don't want to go there changing stuff for a truck engine to work in a MCI  


good luck
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2011, 07:03:03 AM »

  Okay im reading your first post again. Sounds like you put water in the oil filler back by the engine, not up high on the pass side above the radiator? Filled until water came out of the blower drains, then cranked it and it locked? Ewwwww.

  Yes, you could have really jacked the engine. But if it didnt fire, im thinking you could be okay. Anything that could have broke you surely would have heard. I think.

  But your not going to know until you get it drained and time is not your friend, it needs to get out of there ASAP. Like NOW. Like yesterday. Pull the oil plug, let the water pour off on the ground til you see oil, put the plug back in and wait 10 minutes. Then do it again. If you filled the engine up to the blower with water, you could have 50 gallons of water in there. Maybe more? . DO NOT HIT THE STARTER until you can turn the engine by hand. Drain the water off but leave the old oil in it (put the plug back in as soon as you see oil). The entire engine is water logged, any fresh oil you put in will simply be contaminated within seconds. So use the old oil as your first sponge. I think it was Clifford said a week or so back, these things hold 2 or 3 gallons of oil in various cavities that will never drain out, you have to flush the motor with oil changes to keep those cavities clean, so use your old oil to start the process. Water being heavier than oil, those cavities are likely water filled.

  Once you get the majority of water out, and see a realistic level of oil on the stick, try turning the engine by hand. Youll likely need a big bar, but dont force it. It may take a patience, but with constant turning pressure the water will slowly go past the rings. Once you cant turn it through, turn it 4 or 5 times at least. Someone here can tell you how, but you need to bypass the fuel cutoff switch so you can crank it without it trying to start. Also flip the emergency stop valve closed. You absolutely DO NOT want it to fire. Now you should be able to hit the starter, just make short bumps from the rear control panel, keep bumping it over until you see it turn a few a rotations, then crank it at least 30 seconds. Any water will be blown through and you should then be able to try starting. But..

  Go back and drain the oil pan one more time to get any more water out from under the oil. Now pull your oil filter(s) and dump them out, and then screw it back in. No use wasting them.

  I think at this point you could give it a whirl. Turn the fuel back on, release the shut off, and cringe as you hit the starter. If it fires up and dont go KABANG, leave it running 5 or 10 minutes, shut it down, wait 20 and drain the water off at the pan and filters again. Then your going to have to make a bunch of $100 oil changes to get all the remaining water out. If there is any way to drive it, thats what I would suggest, go out and drive it a couple hours and drain it as soon as it stops turning, before any water can fall out of the oil. But I would change the oil at least twice before driving it. The old oil, and whatever new stuff you replace it with. That second oil change dont have to be proper grade or real high quality, just clean. And cheap is fine. Good luck.

  And please, come back and tell us how its going? Your not the first to do something dumb, we all were dumb enough to buy a Bus, and all of us have done some real boneheaded things so dont feel bad.

  I see Clifford aka luvrbus just replied. Hes usually right. Clifford, if I read the post correctly it never ran with water, he filled it up with water and it hydroed. Not very good, but he might not of broke anything.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 07:08:06 AM by artvonne » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2011, 07:26:26 AM »

It had a bad engine when he bought it Paul if it is locking up he has cracked heads and it is a waste of money to try and patch a 6v92 that has been hot the head will stand a lot of heat so it has been hot

I would remove the air box covers and see where the water is coming from he can take a socket on the cam and turn the engine backwards to brake the lock 

good luck
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 09:36:58 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2011, 07:39:31 AM »

Welcome to the insanity of bus ownership.  I am also from Indiana, Just north of Anderson.  I saw that you repaired medical equipment.  By chance do you know Russell Snow? He is budy of mine who also repairs equipment in the indy area.

I also agree with the previous that the tow truck operator is 100% at fault on the broken glass.

I dont have much engine advice other then to listen to Clifford (luvrbus).

A picture of where the water was put it in will also clear things up a bit.

Eric
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2011, 10:04:52 AM »

Hopefully Steve (5B) will see this. He is in Indy and could maybe help.
Chaz
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