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Author Topic: Tag axle  (Read 2152 times)
chazwood
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« on: November 13, 2012, 05:46:36 PM »

Just pulled the driver side tag axle off my 92' 102c3. Thanks to Nick, who pointed me to Luke, who said something like"sometimes we have to give them a pretty good tug to get them off" I thought for sure there was a dowel pin or key I was trying to shear off. Nope, just a layer of some unearthly-rust-grease-iron-shavings-brass dust-substance that could give JB Weld a run for it's money. I ended up welding a few pieces of steel to the axle that I could push my 20 ton jack against, and the real tool was two pieces of long pipe (one inside the other ) welded in line with the shaft with a stopper welded on the smaller pipe so I could rare back and slam the outside pipe against the stopper and hammer out the axle 1/32 of an inch at a time. Did I mention the axel shaft is 18 inches long? I think I'll just drive around for a while with only one tag.
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1992 MCI 102c3
Cummins l10 / Allison auto
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buswarrior
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 08:19:17 PM »

The message to the rest of us, who are cringing at the thought...

GREASE the tag axle fittings like there is no tomorrow.

Every time, all the time, and replace or otherwise force to function zerks that won't take grease.

One of the inherited poor maintenance items from the previous owner.

Famously ignored by the grease gun for far too long. Keep putting grease into all the zerks until it comes out someplace else. Check the maintenance manuals and be sure you have found all the zerks that are SUPPOSED to be there.

Re-instate those that are missing by whatever methods necessary.

An excellent justification, not an excuse, to purchase a good quality powered grease gun.
You want your grease gun to work, all the time, every time, not become another source of work.
Cheap ones will pay you back in not greasing, just passing wind...

Purchase your favorite grease by the case, and keep swapping cartridges as they empty.
 
I prefer a grease with some colour, as you can tell fresh from older more easily as the old gets pushed out of those places that that occurs.
A blue valvoline product, suitable for the purpose, is my current choice, always available at the local Tractor Supply.
Watch for sales and buy a few more cases, you'll use 'em up around the homestead.

Those busnuts who get tired squeezing a manual gun, don't do enough greasing.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Tony LEE
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 02:40:04 AM »

The other thing worth doing is to force the tag shaft to rotate as much as possible because it doesn't move very much in normal driving on flat roads. Can run just the tag up onto blocks while having the air dumped if that feature is installed.  More rotation is possible if you run the drive axle up on blocks and let the tag drop down (can undump at this stage to force it down if it is sticky)

This procedure might also help if you carry it out a few times before trying to get the axle out. That and lots of grease might save you the job of getting it out if you can free it up
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TomC
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 07:59:33 AM »

What about just removing the tag axles? Most of us are not carrying enough weight to have the tags necessary. I would chain up both tags and try driving it. Some say you can feel a difference in stability. The real answer would be to get the bus weighed with the tags up to see if you're overloading the drive axle. My transit is only 2 axle (course it was designed that way and transits have really big brakes) and drives well. I only weigh 31,000lbs fully loaded.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
chazwood
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 03:07:12 PM »

I love what a health tag does for the ride. Not only does it spread the shock of the rough road over more rubber surface, it gives you two more brakes for stopping...... but, best of all, it kills the swaying of the body in half the time. Without my tags (or with only one on the road) it takes twice as long for the suspension to stabilize a leaning bus.
After this miserable task I will pay very close attention to my tags.
 Every, time you ride down the road you are squeezing out the grease. Hense, in my opinion, you can't over-grease these things.
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1992 MCI 102c3
Cummins l10 / Allison auto
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eagle19952
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 05:38:26 PM »

what BW said +1
And be sure to wipe the crud off the zerk before greasing and off the tip before you attack the next fitting.Most probably already do this. Wink
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buswarrior
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 07:35:18 PM »

The tags in practice may support 3500 or 4000 lbs, but without them on the ground, the coach likes to wander, lightening up the front.

The engine gets quite a mechanical advantage on the see-saw without the tags riding on the ground.

The guys who drove the 102A2 in regional transit around here knew those extra set of brakes were missing, as did the shop, brake jobs came at earlier mileages in revenue service.

Amazing how just a relative fraction of weight can tip the balance?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 07:08:01 AM »

I still haven't gotten my drivers' side tag to drop. Its stuck in the fully up position and several of us (myself and friends) have tried to get it loose. No amount of heat, greasing, penetrator, or 20 ton bottle jacking has caused it to budge even a tiny bit. I've been driving around without it down. I hate it cause truckers are constantly signaling me to tell me my tag is up. I finally stuck up a sign in the driver's window that says "Tag is UP". I can't afford to pay a shop to fix it yet, so since we're parked 95% of the time, it's still stuck. Annoying. Highly annoying.
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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
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chazwood
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 08:51:08 AM »

If you think just moving the tag is hard... Wait till you try to remove it!!!! For starters, just take off the clamp half's that cover the joint. One big bolt underneath (or on top depending on what year bus you have) and four bolts to hold the half's together. (on mine there were a few small dowel pins also) This will give you direct access to pb blast the washers and collars that need to be moving. Try a 20 ton jack in between the chain hooks on the tag and jack it down. Careful that you watch the base of the hooks and don't let them cave too much. Once you apply as much down pressure as you can with the jack take out a sledge hammer and give the arm a few good raps on a thick metal spot as far out on the arm as you can. One thing I've noticed watching these bus mechanics at work, is, bus mechanicing is a full contact sport. They beat on everything with very big hammers. Once you get it to move a smidgin,   you got her licked.
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1992 MCI 102c3
Cummins l10 / Allison auto
Thekempters.com
chazwood
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 10:09:08 AM »

Now that I have playing tag on my mind.....I think the biggest advantage to having a healthy, quick moving tag is in the handling department.

When it comes to leaning from side to side, the tags play a huge roll in eliminating the extra, unnecessary leans. In other words, the tags right the vehicle quicker, once it leans. The bus feels more stable and less like a boat in all the grooves in the road.
If your tags are sluggish, the bus rolls from side to side more than it should.


 TAG....you're it!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 10:11:10 AM by chazwood » Logged

1992 MCI 102c3
Cummins l10 / Allison auto
Thekempters.com
robertglines1
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 11:40:37 AM »

If you have any zerks that will take liquid.  Find a good penetrating oil. PB blaster is low on scale. And force it threw the zerks instead of grease. WD 40 is another low on scale the wd stands for water displacement.  Plain old diesel fuel would be better.  It will soften up the old harden grease/road dirt /metal  mix.  If you have a zerk that won't take grease a small drill bit and drill in about 3/16 thru bushing if it has slipped in bore or till you hit shaft.  You can tell when you hit shaft-much harder. A little---little heat goes a long way is softening old hard grease.  Not red metal!!!! and watch you liquids if you have already used them.  The two process do not mix well. 
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 02:53:30 PM »

When I did them on the MCI 8    I made a adapter up and used my 20 ton porta power pump to pump hydraulic fluid into the zerks.  use full hose length! I did not have one come loose but was in my mind.  Fluid found its way out and softened old grease.  FWIW.  do not try this at home disclaimer.
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
LowTide
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 03:03:42 PM »

The message to the rest of us, who are cringing at the thought...

GREASE the tag axle fittings like there is no tomorrow.

Every time, all the time, and replace or otherwise force to function zerks that won't take grease.

One of the inherited poor maintenance items from the previous owner.

Famously ignored by the grease gun for far too long. Keep putting grease into all the zerks until it comes out someplace else. Check the maintenance manuals and be sure you have found all the zerks that are SUPPOSED to be there.

Re-instate those that are missing by whatever methods necessary.

An excellent justification, not an excuse, to purchase a good quality powered grease gun.
You want your grease gun to work, all the time, every time, not become another source of work.
Cheap ones will pay you back in not greasing, just passing wind...

Purchase your favorite grease by the case, and keep swapping cartridges as they empty.
 
I prefer a grease with some colour, as you can tell fresh from older more easily as the old gets pushed out of those places that that occurs.
A blue valvoline product, suitable for the purpose, is my current choice, always available at the local Tractor Supply.
Watch for sales and buy a few more cases, you'll use 'em up around the homestead.

Those busnuts who get tired squeezing a manual gun, don't do enough greasing.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



Buswarrior,
I could have sworn I read that you got rid of the manual grease gun and went with a battery powered or electric grease gun. If you did, I have a question. What PSI do you recommend? I looked at a few and it seems some vary, so I thought I would ask you pros what you use or what brand name is dependable and well made and what PSI is acceptable.

Thanks!

All the Best
Mike
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Mike and Lori
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wg4t50
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2012, 04:14:44 AM »

Happy to report on my MCI7, after 20 years, I think I put a entire tube of grease in the tag axles each year, never saw much sign of it except around the retainer collar, always wondered where it all went.  Also never had any issues with the tag axle. had to lower the air pressure on it to keep from spinning with the 12V-71 setup, 25 psi, you get a thumping wheel hop, 32 psi you get spinning. What a joy.
Dave
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MCI7 20+ Yrs
Foretravel w/ISM500
buswarrior
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2012, 09:17:49 PM »

FWIW, I have one of the Lincoln brand guns, something like this one:

http://www.lincolnindustrial.com/asp/products/greaseguns/air.asp

Purchased at an industrial supplier for quite a bit more than the cheap ones sold in retail type settings.

I also like to permanently add an additional length of hose to my grease guns. Makes things easier when contortions are required, that the other hand holding the gun isn't tied as closely to where you are stretching off balance to attach to the zerk.

If using a 90 degree end on a gun, I leave it loose on the threads so it rotates to a convenient angle. This requires vigilance that it doesn't wind right off with repeated use, but beats fighting a twisting hose.

For the powered gun, be sure that any accessories are properly rated for the gun's max pressure. Usually sold right alongside the guns in the store.

Take note, the powered grease gun is a brute, just like an air powered impact wrench.
You will still keep and use your manual gun.
There are times and places that you would still prefer the close portion control and tactile feel of the manual grease gun. For instance, I would not subject the big air cooled alternator zerks to a powered infusion of grease.

My big lawn mower appreciates that I purchased a powered grease gun. Each of the three blade mounts took over 25 pumps of the manual gun before the grease comes out the other side...needless to say, this task is performed more frequently now than it used to be, and gets completely filled every time...

happy coaching!
buswarrior




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Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area
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