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Author Topic: Tech Tip: Preparation For Running Out Of Fuel...  (Read 3537 times)
brojcol
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2006, 03:57:00 PM »

The buswarrior is right.  Most of us don't tend to run 140 or so gallons of fuel at a time in our cars.  Just think about the mileage, road wear, useage, etc on an old bus.  It's a wonder the headlights still work, and sometimes, they don't.  I've been "lurking" around this board long enough to know that sometimes, things on these buses just break down.  

My 4107 didn't come with a fuel guage, and never had one.  I used a solid piece of round rubber with a hook on one end as a "dipstick".  I starved mine of fuel once, when I parked on a hill.  I got some sound advice from this board about using a very well washed out soap bottle to get it started again.  

Worked like a charm

Jimmy
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belfert
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2006, 03:59:54 PM »

Hi - Dallas or anyone else who knows about this,

What are the mechanical guages?  All I have seen so far on my MC9 is the in - dash guage.  I'd sure like to know about any mechanical guages.  That sounds like a real good idea!

I thought MCI normally installed one or more gauges in the rear, or maybe only on buses newer than the MC-9s?  I only looked at 102A3s.

My Dina only had a rear oil pressure gauge, so I had C&J Bus Repair install a mechanical temp gauge so I could figure out if I am really getting as hot as the fron gauge says.

Brian Elfert
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belfert
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2006, 04:06:07 PM »

I'm really glad I got the Series 60 if an 8V71 needs fuel at 500 miles.  I have a 150 gallon tank and figure I could do 1200 miles if I emptied the tank, so 1000 miles is a good target for fuel.  When I planned my trip out west, I planned to stop about every 900 miles since those happened to be the lowest cost fuel stops within 100s of miles.

I'm going to watch both the fuel gauge and the odometer when deciding when to fuel up.  The fuel gauge was really bad when I got my bus.  It was reading right at E one time so I got fuel.  I still had 60 gallons left out of 150!

Brian Elfert
« Last Edit: October 20, 2006, 04:13:21 PM by belfert » Logged
Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2006, 04:06:25 PM »

Ever made the BIG mistake, and run your Detroit out of fuel???  All of us who have will never forget it... and those of us who haven't never want to.

Well, I have a little trick that I use with Detroits that a mechanic taught me -- years ago when I ran my old Dodge D400 cabover out of fuel.  It had a 318, and try as I might I just could not get it to start -- I had completely emptied the pump & filters!

One of the first things I do whenever I buy any vehicle with a DD engine is to add a couple of fittings to the line coming from the primary fuel filter to the pump, and I add a check-valve to the line from the tank to the primary (or secondary) fuel filter (this is to keep the fuel from back-flowing into the tank when you pressurize -- many older vehicles did not have one in the line).  On the pump side of the primary filter, I add a 90-degree brass elbow with a quick disconnect on the end.  I use the male side with an in-line valve so that I can seal the line up after I get everything going again.

I also carry a small electric fuel pump -- you can get them at any auto parts store for around $30 to $40 -- with about 6 feet of fuel line that ends in the mating quick disconnect.  On the other side of the little pump, I use just enough fuel line to drop into a 5 gallon fuel can.

After that, whenever I ran out of fuel, I simply put enough fuel in the tank to get me to a truck stop, then primed the filters and connected the little pump to my new connection; the other end went into a can full of fuel.  I would turn on the little pump and let it run for a couple of minutes to pressurize the line to the engine's pump, then start up the Detroit.  Once it has run for about 5 minutes with the "assist", shut it down and disconnect your "cheater pump" -- if you used an in-line valve, don't forget to close that before disconnecting!

This little trick has worked time and time again for me, and not just on Detroit engines -- Cat engines can be a ^)&%^(*&$#(*& to get started, too!

John

John you make a great point, and as a matter of fact I used to use the same set up and posted it a long time ago, then our very own MAK (Mike the owner of this board) taught we a simple neat little trick that works great and cost's less $ ! If you go to any convienence, grocery, walmart, or any other store you can buy a small bottle of dish soap (dump the soap in a cup or ziploc baggie for clean up use after yer done) after putting fuel in the tank. Fill the bottle with diesel, and use it in one of the plugs (where you'd put your quick disconnect) on the filter block to prime the engine (refill and reprime if neccessary) and once engine is running on it's own put the plug back in and wash up! and away ya go! Simple & cheap! BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
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belfert
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2006, 04:14:50 PM »

John you make a great point, and as a matter of fact I used to use the same set up and posted it a long time ago, then our very own MAK (Mike the owner of this board) taught we a simple neat little trick that works great and cost's less $ ! If you go to any convienence, grocery, walmart, or any other store you can buy a small bottle of dish soap (dump the soap in a cup or ziploc baggie for clean up use after yer done) after putting fuel in the tank. Fill the bottle with diesel, and use it in one of the plugs (where you'd put your quick disconnect) on the filter block to

Okay, how the heck do you get all the soap residue out of the bottle?  I have a soap bottle here I have rinsed numerous times and it still foams up every time I rinse it.

Brian Elfert
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2006, 04:31:17 PM »

John you make a great point, and as a matter of fact I used to use the same set up and posted it a long time ago, then our very own MAK (Mike the owner of this board) taught we a simple neat little trick that works great and cost's less $ ! If you go to any convienence, grocery, walmart, or any other store you can buy a small bottle of dish soap (dump the soap in a cup or ziploc baggie for clean up use after yer done) after putting fuel in the tank. Fill the bottle with diesel, and use it in one of the plugs (where you'd put your quick disconnect) on the filter block to

Okay, how the heck do you get all the soap residue out of the bottle?  I have a soap bottle here I have rinsed numerous times and it still foams up every time I rinse it.

Brian Elfert

Brian don't worry about a little suds if ya rinse it once or twice with diesel getting the engine running is the main concern! (besides it will be a clean burning fuel ! LOL!) Seriously it won't be enongh to hurt anything! BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
John E. Smith
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2006, 06:43:18 PM »

and MC9's don't have one at all.
Fuel gauges were an option on MC9s, and I would bet the majority have them.
You're right about them being an option... but most did not have them.   I know for a fact that none of the NJ Transit MC9's were spec'ed with fuel guages (i've been working on a former one for the past few days!), and most Greyhounds didn't. 
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John E. Smith
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2006, 06:52:57 PM »

After that, whenever I ran out of fuel, I simply put enough fuel in the tank to get me to a truck stop, then primed the filters and connected the

This sentence would indicate that you have run out of fuel multiple times.  I don't understand how anyone could make this mistake more than once, unless you are talking on different vehicles.
Multiple times in multiple vehicles!  I drove trucks for over 25 years... my first truck "of my own" was a 1975 Dodge D400 cabover with a 318 & a 10 speed RoadRanger.  But I have probably driven over 100 trucks during that time -- and the only one that had a fuel guage that was even remotely accurate was my last one, a 1995 Kenworth W900.

I have run out of fuel in some of the most Gawd-awful places, too... like on the eastbound approach to Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 in the middle of a blizzard!  Actually, I still had about 40 gallons, but the steep angle I was climbing made the fuel drain to the back of the tank.  Not my fault, though... I wanted to fuel in Grand Junction, but my boss wouldn't let me get fuel until Denver!  I ended up getting it in Downieville, after lugging 5 gallons back to the truck!

Just to answer some of the previous posts that might have sounded a bit smug -- never say you won't run out of fuel; Murphy will make sure you do!  Wink
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John E. Smith
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« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2006, 06:57:35 PM »

All of these replies are good but just wanted to say that this is a good time to advise everyone that utilizing a SEPERATE fuel tank for your generator (which most of us have on board) will almost always leave you with an extra amount of fuel, JUST IN CASE you put yourself in a situation where you might run out of fuel or DO, and you need fuel to re-fill the filters or prime the motor for starting! Even with this extra tank, I still carry a 5 U.S. gal. can on board!

Ace
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NJT5047
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« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2006, 08:00:09 PM »

FWIW, an MC9 with a 6V92 and 140 gal fuel tanks will easily go more than 700 miles without refueling.  And one still won't be running out of fuel.   An 8V71 would also go a similar distance.  Unless someone has a rather smallish fuel tank, 500 mile refueling is a matter of comfort...nothing wrong with refueling at 500 mile intervals.   By the time I drive 500 miles straight, need a prybar to get out of the drivers seat....age related issues I reckon.   If one spent all day in the hills, this range may not be accurate, but in the flatlands,  a 2 stroke isn't that bad.  About the same milage as an S60...around 6 MPG....just take a little longer to get there.  Wink
I've got an NJT with a retrofit electric fuel gage (very easy to install) that I installed  in the spring a year and a half ago...the first pickup rusted to the point of failure in 14 months.  When you look at that fuel gauge and it's suddenly reading empty, that'll pucker your butt....bad fuel guage, busted fuel line, out of fuel...Huh     Recently installed a new pickup, bought from Luke, that looks stronger.   
Never had any water problems, but it's obviously there.  Tank appears  new (2001 was new) and clean.  And it doesn't sit around empty.
Haven't figured this one out yet.   May be the reason MCI didn't use senders.   No mater how much fuel is in the tank, the sender is always above the fuel level.
Most NJTs have a primer fuel pump (Phil, isn't your 'Cabin an ex-NJT) mounted in the fuel filler compartment.  A ball valve is located next to the pump that shuts off the supply line while priming.   
I've changed my filters once and thought the thing was never going to run again.  Even with the primer runing it took about 20 minutes of primer run time to evacuate the system.  I didn't realize this until a discussion with Gumpy, and spent all day screwing around checking hte DDEC and everything else.   I'm changing the filters again tomorrow.  I'd had the engine out the last time, and all the fuel had run out of the engine.   Hoping I don't repeat the headache from last time. 
I've got a fitting on the secondary where the old starter interlock was located...clear plastic line connects with a small valve.  Open the valve, stick the line in a jug, run the primer and watch for air bubbles to cease.   The filters are always filled prior to installing.
I'll post the results.  Surely changing filters cannot be this painful each time?
Got a new plan....going to install dry and loose...run the primer and fill the primary, tighten the primary, and run the pump until fuel runs out of the loose secondary and tighten it down.  How's this sound?  It sure as he11 won't be any nastier than trying to install full filters on an MC9...that's a poor location for fuel filters.     
I'm open to any ideas on this subject that may improve changing fuel filters.   Perhaps this time won't be so bad.   

Keep the tech items coming John! 
 
Cheers, JR



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

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« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2006, 01:58:21 PM »

Hello.

Good info, for those that know what we mean.... Let's be careful we don't lead someone down the path to an empty fuel tank!

In the interests of those who need to follow directions, as opposed to those who are capable of writing their own....

An 8V71 and auto equipped MCI with the regular 144 US gallon fuel tank was rated by the manufacturer at a "SAFE" mileage of 500 miles. Some of you may still have, or removed, the sticker from the ceiling above the driver. The 6V92 were similiar in consumption.

Yes, you may go a lot further in interstate running trim.

Or, if you drive it like a transit service, from corner to corner, you might not even make it to the 500 miles!

It might be described as gambling, trying to use the last 20 gallons or so, due to the risk of the fuel pick-up coming out of the fuel on slopes/hills/driveways as the fuel sloshes to the downhill end of the tank.

The key, as you become more familair with your coach, and if you want to stretch the range of your coach without running out of fuel: start with the tank full to the lip, keep track of where and how it has been driven, speed matters here, how far, and how much fuel it took to fill it back up to the lip of the tank.

On the speed topic: You'll lose close to 1 mpg between 60 and 70 mph in one of these coaches.
Quite a hit to the calculations!  Using up a healthy 120 US gallons,
70 mph @ 6 mpg = 720 miles   
60 mph @ 7 mpg = 840 miles

And the 720 miles gets covered in 100 minutes more, using 17 fewer gallons, running at 60 than 70.

Money for refreshments? Shocked

Let's remember the variables:

mileage: how accurate is the odometer/hubodometer you are using? Or the accuracy of ours, the advice givers, for that matter?
fuel: are you starting out full to the top? are you filling it up, parked level, front to rear, and side to side, everytime?
using a gauge: how do you know whether the gauge/sender unit is reading in a linear fashion?
speed? a great big variable!
parasites: generator, Webasto, and whatever else that takes fuel out of the tank.

Some of the fuel consumption claims that are out of the ordinary are usually traced back to flawed distance measuring devices, or inconsistant tank filling.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2006, 02:55:52 PM »

Some of the fuel consumption claims that are out of the ordinary are usually traced back to flawed distance measuring devices, or inconsistant tank filling.
happy coaching!
buswarrior

And, just plain wishful thinking. 
May I suggest that most bus conversion owners (not all, but most, Jerry L, Jack, Sean, and Gump could probably give mileage down to the "dots" ) don't use enough fuel, often enough to get an accurate idea of  fuel consumption.    Pro drivers get a good feeling for fuel consumption, but most us are doing a lot of "factoring" to arrive at fuel use numbers.   
Wonder if one of those marine style GPH meters (flowmeter) would work on a bus....or would it introduce another point of failure?  Reckon there's really no point.   Fuel stops ain't that far apart.  Excepting mechanical failure such as broken lines, leaks etc, there's no excuse for running out of fuel.  Priming the engine is Mr. Murphy's punishment for expecting 10 MPG!   Wink
 
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.”

Ayn Rand
belfert
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« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2006, 03:23:06 PM »

mileage: how accurate is the odometer/hubodometer you are using? Or the accuracy of ours, the advice givers, for that matter?
fuel: are you starting out full to the top? are you filling it up, parked level, front to rear, and side to side, everytime?
using a gauge: how do you know whether the gauge/sender unit is reading in a linear fashion?
speed? a great big variable!
parasites: generator, Webasto, and whatever else that takes fuel out of the tank.

Some of the fuel consumption claims that are out of the ordinary are usually traced back to flawed distance measuring devices, or inconsistant tank filling.

Right now, I use a handheld GPS and it seems to be pretty darn accurate on trip distance.  I always fill to the brim.  My last fill I put in 81 gallons and the GPS showed 585 miles for MPG of 7.22 MPG.  I was a little disappointed on MPG, but I made a trip or two to C&J Bus Repair during rush hour and the rest of the tank I was going close to 70 MPH into a headwind.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2006, 05:15:13 PM »

Brian, when are you going to post some pix of your coach?  All I've seen is the oil filter adaptor. 
Your mileage is right where S60s fall when driven on flat highways.   Seems to be some correlation to moving a specific load at a specific speed.  No matter the engine.  The difference in high HP engines shows up when climbing mountains...they excel...but there's a cost in fuel economy.   Do you have an 11L or 12L 60?
S60 is a nice piece of work.   I've been looking (that's all too) at a boatload of 102D3s at Sawyers.  Don't know where they came from.  All with S60s and B500s.   They gotta come down a little in price yet.   
Wonder if they have fuel gauges? 
Also have a collection of H3-40s with 8V92s.     
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.”

Ayn Rand
belfert
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« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2006, 07:57:39 PM »

Brian, when are you going to post some pix of your coach?  All I've seen is the oil filter adaptor. 
Your mileage is right where S60s fall when driven on flat highways.   Seems to be some correlation to moving a specific load at a specific speed.  No matter the engine.  The difference in high HP engines shows up when climbing mountains...they excel...but there's a cost in fuel economy.   Do you have an 11L or 12L 60?

I posted pictures of my bus a while back.  I guess I didn't add them to the pictures thread, but made a seperate one.

I have a 11.1L Series 60.  On a tank that is all highway without headwinds I get around 8 MPG.

Brian Elfert
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