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Author Topic: How are you Leveling your Bus when parked?  (Read 3711 times)
RJ
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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2012, 12:39:31 AM »

One of our members used to sell leveling systems, I got one of the last he built, that went between the factory valves and the air bag.  Mine is wired so the factory valves are enabled when the ignition is on and the manual valves are enabled when the ignition is off.   

That's Pete Pappas.  IIRC, Pete now is selling just the schematic w/ the parts list.

Best of both worlds - automatic leveling on the highway, manual at the campsite.

At roughly $150 for three new leveling valves, I'd start there and then add Pete's system - IF you decide to forgo wooden blocks.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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NoRivets
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2012, 03:55:01 AM »

Everybody's got a different idea of what will work for them.

Mine started out with four push-pull valves with gauges and a line to each corner(bag) or (pair of bags-rear). Disconnected the factory valves.
Discovered that leveling bus after stops(parking) was PITA. Hard to get good drive line alignment and equal height all the way around. By the way - equal pressure doesn't mean equal height!

So I ended up buying five air solenoids from Pete and figuring out way to keep the best of both worlds. Manual when parked to get comfortable leveling -- Factory leveling for getting back on the road
with the flip of a switch. 

P.S. - my bus has one leveling valve in the rear and one on each side in the front- most buses are the opposite. Another note: One of the solenoids ties the rear pairs of bags together for factory leveling and keeps them separate for parking.

Works for me.

Another note: I chose to use DOT line and DOT fittings throughout- No hardware store stuff. Again - just me !
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AZ
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2012, 04:42:21 AM »

We've all read, or experienced what running a diesel fuel tank empty will do, at most were looking at 300-350 pounds of change at the front axle burning off fuel. And whatever were carrying in our fresh water or waste tanks, its not going to change until we stop somewhere to dump or take on water.

The actual weight any liquid will vary slightly based on exact chemical composition, temperature, specific gravity, etc.
 
But consider these ballpark weights:
--Diesel fuel = 7.2 pounds per U. S. gallon.
--Unleaded gasoline = 6.1 pounds per U. S. gallon.
--Clean water = 8.33 pounds per U. S. gallon.
--Propane = 4.23 pounds per U. S. gallon.

So my 119-gallon diesel tank holds 868.7 pounds of fuel.

A side note: In my trucking days, my boss would always say that we should consider a loss of 1% in fuel economy for every 100 pounds of added weight. That data always seemed exaggerated to me.
 
See the excellent RV liquids online weight calculator here: http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-liquid-weight.shtml    
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 04:44:05 AM by Mex-Busnut » Logged

Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2012, 04:47:17 AM »

No matter what your leveling decision is, let me recommend you do carry some 2 by 6 boards. If you ever have an outside flat on your duals on a busy road, you drive the INSIDE tire up on the boards, and change the tire without the need to jack up your bus. Yes: It only works on the outside rear flats.
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
chev49
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2012, 06:15:55 AM »

And the small air compressors will get the coach air up...am planning on doing that.
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TomC
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2012, 09:20:39 AM »

I made my own 12v air solenoid system.  At each automatic air leveling valve (I still have them) I have a normally open and two normally closed valves.  The normally open valve is between the automatic leveling valve and the air bag. When I want to level the bus, I turn on the normally closed valve and that stops the air from the automatic leveling valve.  Then T'eed into the space between the normally open valve and the air bags is the two normally closed valves-one plumbed to the air pressure and the other to release pressure.  When I get to a campsite, I turn on all valves, level the bus, and within a few seconds are done with leveling.  It will stay for about 3 days, then settle down.  This is where an electric air compressor would be nice instead of starting the big engine to build up air pressure again.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2012, 10:09:34 AM »



So my 119-gallon diesel tank holds 868.7 pounds of fuel.

A side note: In my trucking days, my boss would always say that we should consider a loss of 1% in fuel economy for every 100 pounds of added weight. That data always seemed exaggerated to me.
 

  If you top off at the 1/2 way point your only making a 400 some pound change, about the same as a couple fatties getting in/out. I would be surprised to see much movement in ride height.

  Not sure of 1% either, but its interesting. There is a real advantage to keeping the weight down, in many more ways than just burning fuel.
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chev49
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2012, 10:52:43 AM »

Ok... 10,000 lbs over the shell weigh means i will get zero mpg... either me or the wife has to get out and walk... Grin
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Sean
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2012, 02:15:49 PM »

I replaced the fixed adjustment rods on my three ride-height valves with small linear actuators.  I get the best of both worlds without any modifications to the air system.

BTW, the difference between empty tanks and full tanks on our bus is in the neighborhood of 4,650 pounds, or nearly 10% of the overall weight of the coach, so I don't buy the notion that the ride-height valves are ineffective on conversions.  On top of that, the Neoplan ride-height valves actually come into play on curves, with the front valves compensating for the lean induced by centripetal force.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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luvrbus
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2012, 02:57:15 PM »

Man this interesting that is why I had a Eagle with HWH  hydraulic levers  hard to beat lol

good luck
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« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2012, 03:04:44 PM »

Bussman84, here's a shot of my valves and gauges, nothing fancy at all. Left gauge is left rear, middle is front, right is right rear. Sitting on incline, almost all air out of right to level coach. Looks like I need to do some stainless polishing. Roll Eyes

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1980 GMC H8H-649  8V71/V730 Marion,NC

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sledhead
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« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2012, 05:24:51 PM »

   I used the system from  h b industries the kit came complete for $550.00 and was easy to install .no more loss of air and I could adjust for rough ground .      dave
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1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
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« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2012, 06:06:13 PM »



  I intend to only run fuel down to half a tank, and fill the water up full with empty waste tanks, and run until the waste tank is full. I just cant imagine ever having all the tanks empty, or all the tanks full, at the same time.

  I expect to see a max weight change on the front axle of less than 500 pounds from burning fuel, and virtually zero weight change at the rear.

  Bussman, where did you get the push/pull valves?
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lostagain
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« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2012, 06:30:21 PM »

Pretty well every time we go anywhere, all tanks are full: fuel and fresh water. You never know if there will be fresh water available at the next stop. And it is comforting to know you have a full tank of fuel. Sometimes we'll sit dry camping at some dirt bike race for 3 days. I have 2 teen age boys and often their friends, and they all need showers every day being sweaty after racing. And they want to power wash their bikes... We've run out of water at times by Sunday. And that's if their mother is not with us, LOL. So we'll pull out empty of water, half a tank of fuel, and dump the sewage at the first opportunity, and drive home light. So I suppose levelling valves are good to have.

JC
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JC
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« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2012, 09:23:21 PM »

Sean's system is similar to Bob Giles, except that he does it with cables. 

Sean- I was wondering how you determine the neutral position on your actuators.  I can see that if one used a cable, you could just mark the spot that equaled the road ride height and lock it down.  But with an actuator, I imagine that the road ride height length is about the middle of the actuator travel, which gives you room to both inflate and deflate the air bags.  I am unclear, therefore, on how you determine where to set the actuator for the road.
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