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Author Topic: MAIDEN VOYAGE- Success......... mostly.  (Read 3008 times)
Chaz
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« on: October 23, 2006, 08:41:41 PM »

Hey Folks,
  Well, I took my new "baby" on her first trip and for the most part, it went well. I and two buddies went to a metal shaping seminar in Oblong IL.
  It looks like my 8V71 got just a little over 5 mpg towing a trailer with a 1951 Chevy sedan that we were taking to customize. Does that mileage sound about right?
  I was told by a couple gentlemen there that I may have a couple-three injecters that need adjusted, and I should get my "rack run". Would that help my milage?Huh?? That WVO is looking pretty good about now!!! Smiley
  The only trouble is when we got there, and I turned it off, it wouldn't turn back over. The batteries seem to have been down. A guy checked them and they - although brand new - were down and not reading the same when tested. ( 11 and 6. )We charged them, one at a time, and then started it to check the charging and they weren't being charged. He jumped something to check the alternator and it showed it was putting out, and then pulled the jumper to see if it was charging and this time it was! Make any sense?Huh? Could it have needed polarized?? I have only ever done that on new parts when I replaced them.
 She ran good all the way home. I tried to start her this evening and although she turned over pretty good, she wouldn't "hit". It seems to be pretty cold blooded and maybe not starting because of that. Should I put some sort of heater on the block???
  Well, time to go horizontal for the night, but if you guys have any ideas, I would REALLY  appreciate any ideas or suggestions!!!
  Thanx again!!!!!!!
     Chaz
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 08:51:47 PM »

Hi Chaz,

That's Great news.....Feels good Huh!

Any black smoke out the exhaust?   that would be a mileage robber  if so, could be a little rich.

5 mpg is a bit low for a 871, even towing a trailer.  My 8v92 gets 6.2 pulling the jeep.

Wishing you many more trips!
Nick Badame-
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kyle4501
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2006, 05:12:03 AM »

What RPM's were you running? Slowing dowm 5 or 10 MPH can make a HUGE difference in mileage.
If yours is an automatic, those don't do as well as the manual trans. in the GM V-drive.  Sad
'Running the rack' is equivalent to a tune-up. Shouldn't need to be done very often tho.  Smiley

Glad the trip was a sucess.  Grin

BTW, Learn where to inspect for cracking on the bulkheads in the rear since you're pulling a substantial load. This inspection was part of routine maintence for greyhound & they even developed repair proceedures, so cracks can happen & it isn't fatal to the bus . . . . . Unless you ignore it, then it can . . .

I would like to see one of your shows.
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2006, 05:18:41 AM »

I hear about running the rack on 2 strokes all the time.  Does a Series 60 need a similiar tuneup?  I know they offer Jake Brake tuneups for the S60, but not sure if there is much they can really tune up on a Series 60.

Brian Elfert
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Chaz
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2006, 05:56:12 AM »

Thanx Nick and Kyle,
  It WAS a blast cruisin in that beautiful ol'bus!! It's not the same as cruisin my '46 Harley, or '56 Chevy, but it feels just as good!!!!!!! Grin
  Yeah, there seems to be a bit of black smoke coming out the back. Not allot, but some. I am trying to find someone around here that can "run the rack" and not charge an arm and a left one. It seems that not many people who I know, that know diesels, are familiar with the 8V71.
  As far as the bulkhead cracking, I'd like to know more. I am tieing the hitch forward to the frame as well as at the bumper, and trying to keep the tongue weight reasonable, but I would like to know any other tricks or precautions or safety measures as I REALLY want/need to haul with her too.
  Any ideas on a block heater or something to take the cold nature out of her?? Indiana is getting a bit cold about now!  Tongue
  Thanx again guys. This is fun!
     Chaz
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2006, 07:32:59 AM »

Chaz,
I have a Scenicruiser PD4501 Grin & it is a T-drive, so I'm not real familiar with the V-drive setup.

Remember GM built these buses like airplanes, Stressed skin & rivets (with no real independent frame like a truck), They also used lots of aluminum in stressed areas. Aluminum doesn't have an endurance limit, so it will eventually fail in fatigue (unless re-annealed). This is why you need to watch for overstress areas - usually a good place to start is where there is a change in the structure, ie; a bolted joint, transitions, sharp inside corners, etc.

You are a talented craftsman, so I have no doubt you will be fine pulling a trailer, just follow the load paths thru the hitch & frame to watch for signs to show up in the over-stressed areas.

There is a GMC busnuts group on yahoo that may be able to provide some additional insight.

Happy bussin  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2006, 07:42:17 AM »

Chaz,congrats that your trip was a good one,as far as the block heater I just got mine from Luke for $57 that was cheaper than napa even with shipping and had it next day and it is the right one for the bus instead of a universal one,good luck   Mike
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 07:51:36 AM by mikeH8H-649 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2006, 07:43:08 AM »

Brian, no racks to run on S-60 or 4 strokes s-60 is electronic fuel injection & overhead cam. Ray
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006, 07:59:34 AM »

Chaz -

Check with your local transit agency garage.  See if there's an "old-timer" working in the shop that's familiar with runnin' the rack on a two-stroke.  You might find one that would be willing to help you after hours or on a weekend, appropriately compensated, of course.

It IS a time-consuming project, so you're paying for labor.  The local Detroit dealer in my area charges $450, which includes a dyno run before and after.

Black smoke out the exhaust indicates too much fuel, a dirty air filter (easy fix!!), or lugging the engine pulling a grade.  If you've got an automatic, downshift it manually - you'll get better performance out of it.

Your coach should get 7 - 8 mpg with an automatic, and 8 - 10 mpg with a stick shift, running at 65 mph.

Also suggest that you pick up a copy of the "Bus Garage Index", printed by the publishers of the industry mag "Bus Ride".  Lists all the bus garages coast-to-coast, well worth the twenty bucks or so.  www.busride.com is the main page, link to order the index is on the left.

HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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belfert
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2006, 08:21:03 AM »

Brian, no racks to run on S-60 or 4 strokes s-60 is electronic fuel injection & overhead cam. Ray

Does this mean there is nothing to "tune up" on a regular basis like the two strokes?

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2006, 09:12:21 AM »

change the oil and filters.
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 09:58:43 AM »

Chyaz you didn't say waht bus or transmission you hyave......5mpg may be in line.

Other contributing factors/variables

Trailer Weight, 51 sedan weight......Nick I suspect the 51 sedan far outwieghs your jeep.....in fact the trailer it sits on probably weight 3/4 of what your jeep curb is.

trying to make any bus accelerate fast with that kind of dead weight on the back will drop mileage.

as for your charging........bad voltage regulaters can give such symptoms......I had a 24v activated 12v selenoid that was intermittant...when replaced took the old wone apart and it had internal corrosion thus intermitant contacts
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2006, 11:05:06 AM »

It is not unusual for an alternator to loose its residual magnetism if it sits for a long time. Flashing the field restores the magnetism and it should be OK after that.
Richard
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2006, 12:04:01 PM »

 Richard, i didn't know you could polarize a alternator, i thought you could only polarize a generator. a alternator it would blow a diode.

       Pete

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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2006, 01:31:04 PM »

Doug (Tekebird) -

Chaz has a 4108 equipped with an 8V71 & V-730.

FWIW. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2006, 02:08:50 PM »

Chaz - with respect to the cold start situation, my 8V71 doesn't like to start so quick when the temps hit the mid to low 40's.  I am at 18K miles on an out of frame, so I am not really broke in yet.  I use my Webasto heater or the electric block heater before I try to start the bus when it is stone cold and in the 40's or below.  With the block warmed, it starts with just a touch of the button.

Craig - MC7 Oregon
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2006, 02:38:26 PM »

I have lots of experience with cold weather.  Around here we have 10 months of winter and 2 months of poor sledding.  Our 2 stroke Detroits don't like chilly temps.  Anything you can do to warm the block will be a big help.  We use the ProHeat down to about -15C.  After that we add block heaters and battery blankets.  Batteries lose capacity rapidly with cooler temps.  Its amazing what a difference a bit of heat on the batteries can make.

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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2006, 02:56:53 PM »

Not re-polarize, you restore residual magnetism. Single lead alternators rely on residual magnetism in the stator laminations to initiate the charging process. Residual magnetism will only provide a few volts, but that is enough to get the charging process started.
Richard

Richard, i didn't know you could polarize a alternator, i thought you could only polarize a generator. a alternator it would blow a diode.

       Pete

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Chaz
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2006, 03:43:59 PM »

Thanx for helping me out Russ. I have been busy in my studio (and trying to start my bus). By the way, I didn't know what kind of trany I had!!  Undecided

Glad to hear (sorta) that 40's and below make it tough for the old bird to start. That is what it is. I was told a heater for the antifreeze is better than an oil heater, TRUE??? Either way, any suggestions on which one and where to get it??
I have lots of experience with cold weather. Around here we have 10 months of winter and 2 months of poor sledding.


Too Funny, Bob!!!!!!!!!! LMAO!!!  Cheesy

Thanx for that explaination Richard. I guess I was the one who was using the wrong terminology. I'm hoping it is good to go now.

Russ, so it is ok to manually shift down the trany? I thought of that, but didn't know if it would hurt it or not. Thanx for the other info too. I have a cousin who trucks and he said he would see if he could find someone to run the rack. I'm not having any luck. I live a fair ways from any city with busses.

Thanx again guys. I'm going to go back out and see if she will start!
  Chaz
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2006, 03:53:38 PM »

I can't speak for the Antifreeze heater, but I had an oil type heater on my 4107.  It worked great.  After about 10 minutes, it was ready to go, but that's in Mississippi where it rarely got below 40 in the winter.
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« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2006, 05:45:56 PM »

Chaz, I have the same bus, same tranny... 4108 w/ a V-730. I regularly get 7.5 - 8mpg, no toad, keeping it just under 70mph. That's around 1900rpm, IIRC. I do have a fresh out-of-frame rebuild, but C65 injectors (one size up). I get lots of black smoke at altitude (mile high or more), but not so bad nearer to sea level. I'll eventually put stock injectors in her.

A DD with minimal to moderate wear (and a 24v starter w/ charged batteries) should fire off on the first revolution on down to 40deg. Under that, maybe a bump starter, wait 30 sec., bump again, etc. Cold weather will make batteries less effective AND make the 40wt. turn to syrup. Massive current is then surging through the start wires. In another life I had a sad Fishbowl conversion (eh, Paul  Grin) with a very tired 8V71. It took an act of God to start her when temps got much less than 50deg. One of the P.O.'s really did her in with ether, I suspect. There were cans of the stuff under every nook and cranny.

Now, ether can work wonders on cold starts, but is easy to cause damage by the uninitiated (myself included in that catagory). A block heater is the best thing you can do to improve your starts in cold weather... $50 or less, and maybe an afternoon to install. Batts will still be cold (and suffering), but if the engine's toasty, it should turn over every time (at your latitude, anyways) no matter how c-c-cold it is.

Also, put a voltmeter on your alt (if your dash gauge isn't working) and verify 28v or so of charging voltage, and min. 24v to start it. Otherwise your alt. and/or batts have issues. Another thing to check is your start wires and grounds. I've BTDT with my old 4106... changing the start wires made a night/day improvement in starting her. Here's a link with all of the sordid details...

Welcome to the busnut fold. And you've found the nicest place on the Web to coorespond about busses and their nutty owners. Wink

GMCs rule   couldn't resist...

Brian B.
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
Chaz
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« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2006, 06:20:01 PM »

I can't speak for the Antifreeze heater, but I had an oil type heater on my 4107. It worked great. After about 10 minutes, it was ready to go, but that's in Mississippi where it rarely got below 40 in the winter.

Thanx!!! I am thinking about both. (I am a somewhat known for overkill!  Wink)

Just curious Brian, what does an overhaul cost? I hope I don't have to find out personally and in detail, but I was just curious. Also, how can you do one in with ether?? (I am all new to this!)
I think I am going to put a voltmeter also. It doesn't have one.

 Thanx for the welcome guys. I know I will be bugging you all quite a bit and hopefully I can help in some way in return!!

 Take care!
   Chaz
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Ace
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« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2006, 06:50:03 PM »



GMCs rule   couldn't resist...

Brian B.

Maybe so... but,


 "Prevost Prevail"   

I couldn't resist either!!!     Wink

Ace
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Homegrowndiesel
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« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2006, 10:14:14 PM »

After buying our bus I thought something was wrong when it would not start.  Cry >:(Our bus had an ether injector built in but was disconnected by previous owner. I use that port just before the blower
Just a whiff and it starts cold. I like to heat it with the block coolant heater if time allows, or I can now fire up the webasto. Smiley

If you use to much ether you can kill the engine. The problems most encounter is spraying it into the air filter, by the time it is drawn into the engine there is alot in the pathway and the detonation breaks stuff like pistons and head gaskets. Do NOT over do the ether.

Bill
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« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2006, 10:32:41 PM »

Maybe so... but,
 "Prevost Prevail"   
I couldn't resist either!!!     Wink

Let me qualify my statement to say, despite my longstanding love of GMCs, I'd trade busses with Ace any day. Or Nick... Or....

 Grin
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
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« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2006, 10:42:29 PM »

Just curious Brian, what does an overhaul cost?

The previous owner mentioned $9k or so. He also put Jakes in it, which are great for here in CO. I bought the bus because of the rebuild and new-ish V-730. Anything else on the conversion that I didn't like, I can fix up or make my own.

Like Tom C mentioned in a preveious post, I'd vote for bearings and rings in most cases to breathe new life into an ailing DD. An out-of-frame like done to mine seems extreme on an older bus. A decent take-out might even be a better idea for older rigs. Labor rates can really push the cost of a rebuild.

HTH,
Brian B.
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2006, 06:18:07 AM »

( In another life I had a sad Fishbowl conversion (eh, Paul  Grin) with a very tired 8V71. It took an act of God to start her when temps got much less than 50deg. )

But lots of good stuff to rob Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2006, 07:35:10 PM »

For what it's worth, 28 volts will NOT recharge very cold batteries. It will take more like 30, depending on the temperature.

Charge voltage needs to be set for the conditions.

Tom Caffrey
Suncatcher
Ketchikan, Alaska
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