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Author Topic: Lots of questions-newbie needs help...please!  (Read 2547 times)
Chaz
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4108, 8V71 w/auto .


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« on: October 17, 2006, 07:21:56 AM »

Hello again folks,
  I just posted a pic of my bus on the "Picture thread", so this is #2.  Smiley
  I just bought my '73 GMC 4905 (I think it is) and want to get started on it. I did drive it some and committed the cardinal sin of owning a diesel-------- yup, ran her out of fuel.  Cry Had to get her towed back. BUMMER!!!!!!
  I am 47 years old and a retired welding and fabrication company owner, so I can do a bunch of the work. Now I just do my metal sculpture. If you care to take a look, www.amstudio.us is my site and it also shows my house which you might find interesting. It will be on HGTV in December, I think, it's scheduled.
 First question is what is the best way to get her running again??? I hear it just about takes an "Act of Congress" to get her going again. I hope you can help as I really want to use her tomorrow for a trip.
  Second- I need a passenger side windshield. Not having any luck running one down thru my normal channels and phone calls. Any reccommendations??
  Third- I am redoing the interior and want to soften it up with softer headliner material and what I think is a very short loop carpet I've seen on some walls. I emailed MAK and asked for the latest magazine, for the floor plans, and subscribed to it also. So I will start learning the ins and outs soon. But I am TOTALLY open for any suggestions you all may have!!
 Forth- Appliances. I want to replace the stove with a 2 burner cook top and a convection microwave. I also want a single bowl sink as opposed to the s.s. 2 bowl. And, I'd like to find a 30"x30" shower stall.
  Fifth- Inverter. I understand I can run most everything off a good inverter. True?
  Sixth- How much water? I am planning on 150 gallons of fresh, 100 grey and 50 black. I understand that may be allot, but I do have the room.
  Seventh- Now a BIG one.... has anyone converted their bus to run bio-diesel from used veg. oil? I want to look into that. It would be AWESOME to be able to power our babies for about .60 a gallon!!!
  That's it for now. Sorry so many questions, but I am just really excited obout my new toy!!! I have been wanting one for over 20 years!! I have just always been excited about this lifestyle. By the way, I am planning on building a 20' or 24' trailer that the sides will flip up as awnings and tow in it a '60's style dune buggy I bought just for taking with me, my 1946 Harley and some metal working equiptment to help others out with and keep me busy with my metal sculpture.
  I am new at this, so please be gentle.  Wink lolol But ANY help you can give is GREATLY appreciated!!!!!
  Thanx for taking out the time to read thru all this. I'm hoping I can return the favors some day!!
    All the best to ya,
       Chaz







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Pix of my bus here: http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/Motor%20Coach/
What I create here:   www.amstudio.us
 
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gumpy
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 07:24:30 AM »

Just sent you an email.

Welcome aboard. Good luck on the bus.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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Tom & Phyllis
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2006, 07:41:34 AM »

Chaz- welcome!!

Most of your questions have multiple answers depending on what the owner wants & expected use of the bus. I would suggest a search of this board. I know I got a lot of answers that way when I bought my bus.

The number one rule is BE SAFE. Number two is HAVE FUN!!
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'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2006, 07:52:35 AM »

Chaz -

Welcome aboard this crazy world of busnuts!   Cheesy

By looking at your bus pic, it appears that you've got a 35-foot P8M4108, if, in fact, it's a '73.  But the VIN will ID it correctly.

Where is the VIN on your coach?  If you're not sure, there are two places to find it:  First is the ID plate riveted to the dashboard in the entry stairwell, above the emergency equipment compartment.  Second is inside the exterior tool compartment loacated underneath the driver, stamped on the "frame rail".  It will say something like "PD4107-XXXX" or "P8M4108A-XXXX".  Share with us what you find, and we'll ID the coach properly for you.

Your coach came stock with a 165 gallon fuel tank.  Figure 140 of that is useable, to avoid the re-prime situation you're now facing.  Sounds like Gumpydog may have sent you instructions on re-priming the engine privately, which is a good thing - easy to print out and follow.

Basically, you've got to refill the fuel filters and pressurize the system slightly to push fuel thru the heads.  Some folk rig up a gallon garden sprayer that they attach to a fitting mounted on the primary fuel filter, simple and effective.  Others have used a hydraulic brake bleeder, and some have gotten really fancy and installed a little fuel pump in the feed line from the main tank.  Lots of options, but the best is to not run out in the first place!!  LOL. . .

Good Luck, and HTH. . .

 Wink

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RJ Long
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2006, 08:09:16 AM »

The very first thing to do is put some more fuel in the tank so once you get it running it will keep running. BTDT. LOL
Richard


Chaz -

Welcome aboard this crazy world of busnuts!   Cheesy

By looking at your bus pic, it appears that you've got a 35-foot P8M4108, if, in fact, it's a '73.  But the VIN will ID it correctly.

Where is the VIN on your coach?  If you're not sure, there are two places to find it:  First is the ID plate riveted to the dashboard in the entry stairwell, above the emergency equipment compartment.  Second is inside the exterior tool compartment loacated underneath the driver, stamped on the "frame rail".  It will say something like "PD4107-XXXX" or "P8M4108A-XXXX".  Share with us what you find, and we'll ID the coach properly for you.

Your coach came stock with a 165 gallon fuel tank.  Figure 140 of that is useable, to avoid the re-prime situation you're now facing.  Sounds like Gumpydog may have sent you instructions on re-priming the engine privately, which is a good thing - easy to print out and follow.

Basically, you've got to refill the fuel filters and pressurize the system slightly to push fuel thru the heads.  Some folk rig up a gallon garden sprayer that they attach to a fitting mounted on the primary fuel filter, simple and effective.  Others have used a hydraulic brake bleeder, and some have gotten really fancy and installed a little fuel pump in the feed line from the main tank.  Lots of options, but the best is to not run out in the first place!!  LOL. . .

Good Luck, and HTH. . .

 Wink


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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2006, 08:10:36 AM »

Welcome to tis fun hobby!  I just checked out your website, and the work you have done is very impressive.  We will be looking forward to pictures of what you with your bus!  And of course we will help where we can.  ther is a wealth of info in the archives and in the brains of the members on most anything you want to know.  and some you don't want to know Shocked)
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2006, 08:13:25 AM »

Chaz,good looking bus to start with,much better tham my 4905 looked when I got it,your is a 35' which means it is probally a 4108. as for your questions,Luke(you need to get to know him) has most parts you will need and he has the windshields as does curved glass.Your warter plans will be plenty,i thinke the short loop carpet you are looking for is ozite?as for inverter use I am just installing mine but do know there are limitations on use,good luck and welcome  Mike
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2006, 08:20:02 AM »

Chaz- welcome aboard-you made a good choice in buses (although the GMC is to short for my 6'3").
1)- On your fuel filter bases, there usually is an extra spot to put an extra fitting on it that is plugged.  Get a flaired fitting (so when you put the cap back on you'll have a good seal) with threads and get an 12v electric fuel pump that puts out at least 10psi.  On the fuel pump, make a hose that will attach to the inlet of the fuel filter and put about a 3 ft hose on the inlet of the pump.  The proceedure is to first put at least 10 gal in the tank (use a 2.5 gal carry can), then screw the pump hose onto the fuel filter, put the other end in the full carry tank, and hook the electric to your alternator (big wire coming off of it) and the other to the body of the bus (should splice in nice sized aligator clips on the fuel pump wire).  Now with the pump running, listen to the pump.  When you hear the pump slow down, start the bus from the back.  Once running, stop the engine, stop the pump, and take the primer pump hose off and quickly put the cap on so not to loose the prime.  Start the engine again to make sure.

2) & 3)- can't help

4)- I just went to the RVIA show in Pomona, Ca (still going on through this weekend) and the Winnebagos had a neet 3 burner stove with a convection/microwave under instead of the conventional oven.  I can tell you from experience, that you just don't use the conventional oven much.  But with this setup, you eliminate the extra spot for a separate microwave.  The stove is stainless, and looks quite modern.  It is made in China, but China is todays Japan of yesteryears.

5)- This comes from the person I bought my 2500 watt Trace inverter. "if you have a Diesel generator, run it for the air conditioning."  Some think that you save money by running the electric A/C off the inverter, but the power has to come from somewhere.  I have 3 roof tops that normally 2 will cool up to 100 degrees, with the 3rd available for most comfort or redundancy.I have 2 8D AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat [Lifeline batteries]) that are 255 amp hours apiece.  The only propane on the bus is the stove and furnace (35,000btu-enough for my 40ft'r) with a built in 20 gal propane tank directly under the stove and furnace for the shortest hose run.  Also have an electric solenoid cut off with a switch inside to turn the propane supply off when not in use-also have a carbon monoxide alarm (along with smoke alarms).  I heat my water with two elec 10gal water heaters from Home Depot-one feeds into the next with the final water heater powered through the inverter.  This is what I have powered by the inverter- front and rear TV and stereo system, two plugs in the kitchen, microwave and toaster oven, plug for the ice maker, outside plugs, bathroom heater and plug, rear bed side lights, 2nd water heater.  In my case, no motor starting (like an A/C), just resistive loads.  All other A/C loads-which are the three roof top A/C's, reefer and freezer (both are compressor type Norcolds that automatically switch from 12v to 120v when you have 120v), washer dryer, and all inverter stuff.  I have a 10kw Powertech Diesel gen mounted next to the front seat like a front engine (have a transit bus).  The inverter is also a up to 130amp battery charger that is three step and adjustable to the type of batteries you have.  In the 11 years that my electrics have been in, no problems.

6)- I have 130gal fresh, 85gal gray, 45gal black.  You tanks will be perfect.

7)- You can run the bus on BioDiesel.  I have a mix that makes essentially B85 (85% veg oil) without any conversion necessary.  The BioDiesel has about a 2 month tank life, so should only be used when actively using the bus.  When you come home and it sits, should run straight Diesel only, since Diesel has a long tank life.  Go to www.DieselSecret.com for a look.

Pulling a trailer is a hard one to set up since you are pulling on the engine cradle.  It works best if you have a true trailer with minimal hitch weight-pulling weight only.  Good Luck, TomC 
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
kyle4501
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2006, 10:12:54 AM »

Very nice & straight coach. I like it.

Get thee to a bus rally! There you will find all sorts of busnuts eager to help. The best thing is all the friendly sharing of experience. Take a note pad & camera.... lots of stuff you won't want to forget.

Find the vin # (might be on the title, but you can't trust that as someone transposed sone numbers on my title... Sad ) & post it here. some really cool  Cool  guys will tell you exactly what you have & some of it's history.  Smiley

Once you know what you are working with, go th the ebay place & find the manuals for your baby. ebay can be the cheapest place to find them, IF you are patient. If in a hurry, there is a place...coach net (?) that can get one to you quickly, but at a price.  Shocked

Enjoy the ride!  Grin
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Chaz
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2006, 11:08:18 AM »

THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Really!! I just got back from lunch and now I can "hit the ground running!!!
 Tom, thank you so much for ALL the info!!! I can truely use all I can get. You have been a great help and I now I have some places in which to start!! Especially with the Bio. I was concerned about any "rubber" that the Bio may attack. I understand it will swell it up. I think more info about bio-diesel on here would/could greatly help everyone as it will help decrease the expense of cruisin and maybe get more "nuts" out there more often!
 And you are SOOOOOOOOOOO right about 140 gallons usable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OHHHHH how I know!!!!  Undecided lolol Does it help to crack the return line to allow the pressure to push the fuel thru easier?

Thanx for the compliments Jim. I really enjoy what I do. I just HAVE to create....whatever it is! Roll Eyes

Russ and All,
  You guys know your stuff!! I was under the impression it was a 4905 (what I was told) but in fact, it is a 4108!!! Your good!!! Hopefully I will start knowing which is which as time goes on. What is the difference??
  By the way, it says P8M4108A-197 on the frame. What does all that mean?? Anything I need to know??
 Who is Luke? Sounds like my kind of buddy!!!  Wink lol

  Thanx again guys!!!!!!!! I am totally open for more info, tips, tricks, helpful hints, etc. I appreciate it!!!
   All the best,
      Chaz
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Pix of my bus here: http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/Motor%20Coach/
What I create here:   www.amstudio.us
 
"Imagination is more important than knowledge". Albert Einstein
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2006, 01:03:17 PM »

Luke is a great help. I haven't used him much as I haven't done much on mine  Cry, but when I call Luke (or Mike), I get real service & knowlegeable help. Smiley When I buy parts, they are well packed & arrive in a timely manner. Smiley

The contact info:

LUKE at US COACH
Berlin, N.J.
1-888-262-2434

safe bussin'
kyle4501
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2006, 02:38:58 PM »

Welcome to the joys of bussin'.
My 2 cents worth...
With your background and talent, you'll have that bus looking like a million bucks in no time.

http://www.coachinfo.com/ -will have the manuals you need.  Well worth the investment.  I used to read the manuals well into the night, just for fun.

http://www.rv-busconversions.com/  -has a ton of good books...

and...subscribe to bus conversions magazine on this website.  You will never run out of good ideas!
Good luck and let us track your progress!

Jimmy
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Chaz
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2006, 07:24:14 PM »

Hey Folks,
  back yet again!! I took her out for another little jaunt this evening and all seems fine. WOOHOOOO!  Cheesy  Just in time as I am taking two buddies with me tomorrow to a conference in Oblong IL. It is called Metal Meet. If you are not aware of it (I wasn't 4 months ago) you should be if you like or want to work in metal. Go to www.metalmeet.com  and sign in and you will be privy to TONS, literally thousands of threads on their forum about forming metal!!!!----Guys, this is something I have to offer, at least right now, for the help you have given me. I DO appreciate it.--- Go to this site and check out the skill and talent of some of these guys who work with metal. Mainly sheet metal. There is tons of info there and they are also a bunch of good guys who like to help other people out. If you work on your own bus, or hotrod or whatever, there is some fantastic info there.
  We are taking a '51 chevy sedan there to chop the top and make new patch panels for the sides and rockers. I'm very jazzed!!! If you go to My Photobucket, ----- http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/?start=0  ----- there are pix of various things as well as the blue and maroon '51 we are chopping. I'll post pix when I get back if you would like.
 Well, I need to get packing!! I will keep you posted on my progress and keep bothering you all for info. And, of course, help you all when I can.
  All the best,
    Chaz
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Pix of my bus here: http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/Motor%20Coach/
What I create here:   www.amstudio.us
 
"Imagination is more important than knowledge". Albert Einstein
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2006, 09:58:10 PM »

Chaz -

FYI - P8M4108A-197 was delivered new in September 1977 as fleet number 78 to Shoup Buses (Cardinal Buses), based in Middlebury, IN.  More than likely, it spent approximately 10 years in Shoup's fleet before being sold off to it's next owner.

So, two bits of ID info about your bus have been solved by the VIN:

~~ It's a 1977 model, not a 1973.

~~ It's a 35-foot 4108, not a forty-foot 4905.

Some other tidbits:

Coach electrical system, unless changed by a previous owner, is 24VDC.

Coach should have the preferred Sheppard power steering on it.  Easy way to tell - look at the steering gearbox.  If it has hydraulic hoses going to it, it's a Sheppard.

If it's still the 4-speed stick shift, you'll get about 8-9 mpg.  If it's an automatic, you'll get 7-8 mpg.  Be safe - figure 750 miles and it's time to look for fuel. . .  Roll Eyes

Top speed with the stick shift should be about 75 mph, and about 71 with an auto.

Rear axle ratio is 4.125:1

If it's a stick shift, the bevel gearset has a 0.808:1 ratio, yielding a 3.33:1 overall rear axle ratio in 4th.

If it's an automatic, it will be different, depending on the auto trans model.  When you get back, post a pic of the tranny to help ID and thus give better info.

If it's a stick, it will have a "wet clutch".  Impossible to put into 1st gear at a stop w/o grinding.  Nature of the beast, something you'll have to get used to.  Two solutions: Either shut off the engine, put into gear and restart, or: put in clutch, wait a couple seconds, bump gearshift into 4th, then slip it over into first.

Again, welcome aboard!!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink



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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2006, 10:10:55 PM »

Chaz- the nice thing about Diesel Secret, is it does not have the lye or methenol it that makes the rubber parts deteriorate.  To 20 gals of veg oil you add 2 gal of Kerosene, 1 gal of gasoline (to improve combustion speed), about a cup of Power Service Diesel fuel additive and a few ounces of the Diesel Secret.  I haven't tried it yet, but am going to in the next few weeks on my MB Turbodiesel (they are the least sensitive to alternative fuels-in other words they are the best to use with BioDiesel)  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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