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Author Topic: What is in your OTR toolkit?  (Read 1946 times)
Mex-Busnut
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« on: June 12, 2013, 07:30:13 AM »

Dear Friends:

We are not yet on the road, but soon!

What would you experienced busnuts consider to be the minimum in TOOLS you take on the road with you for bus maintenance and repair? I am starting a separate thread for minimum PARTS you carry on the road.

In our case here in Mexico, we can very easily find ourselves literally 150 miles from the nearest mechanic.

I hope to gain immense knowledge from this thread! :-)

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 07:36:50 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
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
Paso One
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 07:48:36 AM »

Hi Dr Steve
 I will tell you what I did a long time ago ( starting the conversion )  I have a zillion tools in my shop and lots of specialized .
I took an empty tool box and set it in the bus storage area, when I was doing work on the bus I threw the tool I was using  in the empty box.
The thinking was if I used it once on the bus I would need it again sometime.
Interesting thing was how few different  tools accumulated.
Then I had a few tools that just screamed your going to need me sometime so I put them in the box. Smiley
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68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
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Sam 4106
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 10:18:49 AM »

Cell phone, computer, road service card, credit card and cash top the list. I also have a spare tire and the tools to change it, if needed. A set of combination wrenches, socket set, screw drivers, hammer, pry bar, pliers, WD40, VOM meter, IR temperature gun, and grease gun. The best thing I carry is the confidence that I have done all the maintenance to ensure I don't need any tools along. In 24 years of owing a bus, there has been only one occasion that I couldn't fix a problem myself. That was last summer when the ECM for the engine failed.

Good luck, Sam
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1976 MCI-8TA with 8V92 DDEC II and Allison HT740
muldoonman
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 10:35:36 AM »

What Sam said Dr. Steve.  If up in the United States you would not be far away from a tow or mechanics. Belts and fluids is what I carry but don't travel out of Texas and bordering states. Can you get road insurance down your way, like the Triple AAA, CoachNet, and such? Also I read the Borderland Beat every morning and i would be leary of traveling roads down your way with my family, especially with the Cartel problems. Do you take any special precautions when you do move around in your bus?
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bevans6
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 11:13:20 AM »

About what Sam said.  I kind of make a sub-set of my race tool box.  I make sure I have a 24" pipe wrench and a really big crescent wrench, and a big 24 oz ball pein hammer.  Wheel on and off tools, run up blocks.

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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chessie4905
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 01:03:08 PM »

  For you guys that like oiled wheel bearings; spare front and rear wheel seals and about 100 rolls of paper towels and extra gear oil.
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GMC h8h 649#028
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 01:04:32 PM »

Oh yeah, and an extra set of front and rear brake shoes.
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 03:16:20 PM »

Nope.  Oiled wheel bearings never fail.   And if they do, I can sit and wait on parts.  If you have Lucas hub oil on hand, you can run forever with no seals just by filling the hub up every two or three hours, anyway...   If you're going to plan on that, may as well carry a spare engine with you.  I don't carry a spare clutch, either...   Shocked

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
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1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
robertglines1
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 03:33:28 PM »

Steve; Any thing to make simple temp repair you feel good about making your self. If you can do overhaul on road. That requires allot of tools and parts. Would mostly worry about fuel and elect circuit testing and repair. Tires of course. No substitute for good pretrip! Air hose can air a low tire up several times until  you get to a repair shop.  Duct tape can tape up a water hose ,loose panel,broken window,torn pants ,cut finger,and many other uses. Sort of a Ha! but a temporary fix until you can get it done rite.  Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
Jon
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 03:43:34 PM »

Each year I carry less. Other than a tool box of basic tools including 3/8 and 1/2 socket sets and box and open end wrenches 1/4 to 1", a good selection of screw drivers, a drill and some drill bits, an IR temperature gun, a multitester, and a battery tester and I am good to go. I also have a reader for my DDEC V, the ABS and the transmission. What is most important is my spare light bulbs for the house mostly, miscellaneous fasteners, and a selection of the various relays.

Most of my tools belong at home where I use them to do preventive maintenance so I don't have to deal with surprises on the road. I used to carry a spare tire, brake chambers, and just about every spare known to man until I realized all the space I was taking up with stuff I never had to use.
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Jon

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chessie4905
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 07:03:09 PM »

leave that seal leak and add oil as needed. Just have a fire extinguisher handy for putting out the fire after descending Grapevine or wherever without Jakes. Roll Eyes
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GMC h8h 649#028
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 07:10:21 PM »

The Prevost and MCI guys have it made service centers across the USA and a tech on the other end of the telephone doesn't get any better for parts and service IMO
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 07:27:20 PM »

I will be going through mine and parring down. I carry full set of 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" and partial 1" drives. screw drivers and nut drivers. Puller set, drifts and punches, big 1-1/2" to 4" sockets, Electric impact and air impact, 2 gallon 3 hp compressor. 12 volt lights and plug in light 120 vac, 50 feet of air hose. mirror on a stick, dropped nut grabber, 2 20 ton air over manual bottle jacks, 2 12 ton air over manual and 2 manual 18 ton.

A set of run up blocks 31" long on bottom, 8" high and 12" wide. JB Weld big tubes. Gasket sealant. Large and small open ends as well as tubing wrenches. Pipe cutters, power drill cord and cordless. 4 " grinder with all the blades and brushes, Multi tool. Hammers and a skilsaw, jig saw. 10 10" 4x6 blocks and 10 2x4 blocks 10".

Thermal heat reader gun, 2 multimeters, assorted electrical connector , ends, spade blades, 100 feet of wire. Extra fuel hose.

60:1 multiplier wrench as well as 3/8", 1/2" and 3/4" Torque wrenches. 4 " diamond tile blade. 100 feet of 1/4 " air hose. Lots of screws, nuts, washers, and bolts.
I think that's it. Grin

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luvrbus
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 07:44:53 PM »

Dave,you are not traveling you are moving  Roll Eyes
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Dave5Cs
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1979 MCI MC5Cs 6V-71 HT-740 Allison, Roseville, CA




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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 09:57:13 PM »

Clifford,
 I know Right? Grin
 Thats why I need to go through it and sort. It has been so darn hot here ( probably not as hot as there) but 105 and 108 Saturday, I just haven't want to go out and clean it out. so I ordered the roller blinds and awning cloth plus all new Radius Rod bushing. So I have lots to do.

I was thinking we would be prepared.

Dave5Cs
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TomC
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2013, 11:47:51 PM »

Take a full tool box full of every tool needed to work on the bus-including large wrenches to be able to replace braided oil lines, and tools for plumbing and electrical work.

Spare parts like starter, alternator, brake cans, wheel bearings, brakes, etc are just not necessary since most truck dealers carry the equipment and those items listed above are very reliable. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2013, 06:45:25 AM »

Good information in here. If you are making time sensitive trips, then having it and not needing it would be helpful when something happens. It's happened to me plenty of times.
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Jon
1980 Mc9 w/ veg oil
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Jacksonville Fl
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2013, 06:51:18 AM »

Visa card, Discover card, Coachnet membership card, Cell phone, small tool kit consisting of 1/4" 3/8" drive sockets, small assortment of end wrenches, misc. screwdrivers...maybe a hammer.  Oh yeah, a good preventative maintenance program.  It's much cheaper and easier to fix it at home than on the side of the road at 3am.
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Dennis Watson
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chessie4905
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2013, 07:54:19 AM »

  I especially will carry my coach parts and maintenance manuals. Just remember that any space you save will be used by mom for things like extra kitchen sink, etc. I remember my father grumbling about how much "junk" my mother carried in the coach. Claimed he lost 1/2 a gear on hills.
 because of it. They went south in the coach every winter to get out of the cold.
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GMC h8h 649#028
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2013, 05:37:33 PM »

Clifford,
 I know Right? Grin
 Thats why I need to go through it and sort. It has been so darn hot here ( probably not as hot as there) but 105 and 108 Saturday, I just haven't want to go out and clean it out. so I ordered the roller blinds and awning cloth plus all new Radius Rod bushing. So I have lots to do.

I was thinking we would be prepared.

Dave5Cs

Radius rods will be on my list this winter, would love to hear how the replacement went for you.
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Mike and Lori
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2013, 06:10:19 PM »

I have a 17' folding aluminum multi position ladder in one of my bays just in case I need to get high
Mark
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Mark & Char
1976 P8M4905a 8v71 v730
British Columbia Canada
belfert
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2013, 09:45:22 PM »

Sometimes things fail even in the best of circumstances.  I had a wheel bearing fail on the tag axle last fall.  The wheel bearings had been replaced a few years back and should not have needed repacking yet.  (Greased bearings with no evidence of leaks beforehand.)  Things happen on these vehicles no matter how time we spend at home making sure we won't get left on the side on the road.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2013, 05:38:45 AM »

Did you change the wheel bearing yourself on the side of the road Belfert?
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2013, 06:38:57 AM »

Did you change the wheel bearing yourself on the side of the road Belfert?

No, we didn't have the proper tools to remove the wheel, or the parts.  It turned out the spindle was damaged so the axle was chained up for the rest of the trip home.  It was one of the tags so we simply raised the pressure in the drive tires to max.  We also stopped for fuel a lot more often to reduce a little bit of weight that is directly in front of the drive axle.  I got it fixed at home by a guy who specializes in axle repair.

The point of my post was that sometimes things happen no matter how much preventive work is done at home.  A lot of the posts says that don't bring many tools because they fix things at home before they break on the road.  I'm not sure what I could have done at home to prevent the problem since the bearings had been replaced by a shop within the past few years.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2013, 06:53:43 AM »

That is exactly my point you cannot carry enough tools to fix everything that can happen to bus, pre trip inspections,preventative maintenance a few tools you will be fine  

I always jacked the bus up once a year and checked for excess play and for roughness on the wheel bearing only takes a short period of time well worth the time IMO I did have HWH leveling jacks that made it easy to check the wheels
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 07:00:44 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2013, 07:33:26 AM »

We carry five gallons of oil, a few tranny fluid, and a few coolant. A spare set of filters, and several other odds and ends.

We do have a pretty good set of tools, that has helped me fix quite a few minor things (we usually still have to order the part). The only big ticket items that we carry is a spare alternator and a spare starter, because they are 24V (we got them for good deals, so decided to carry them with us, vs just sitting in the shop back home).

Otherwise, MCI tech support number, and we are set.
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2013, 07:43:38 AM »

The plan for this year is to carry a 12 ton air over hydraulic jack and a 3/4" impact wrench if the bus can supply enough air for the wrench.  I also have a 600 lb torque wrench I will bring too.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2013, 01:13:50 PM »

You won't be able to keep the air coming for the Impact. It takes a long time for all 10 bolts. Easie by hand.

Dave5Cs
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Debo
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« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2013, 01:54:46 PM »

One extra thing I've found useful is a set of crowfoot wrench heads. Mine are 3/8" drive from a ratchet handle. Got a little set of 'em at NAPA and they've been very useful so far when nothing else would fit. Once was removing a very awkwardly-placed fuel hose fitting at the engine using a long extension, and once was torquing drive shaft coupling bolts. Took me years to finally get a set, and now I keep finding new uses for them.

** Just looked mine up, and they're actually a "flare nut wrench set." They work on regular nuts though. **
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 01:58:22 PM by Debo » Logged

1981 MCI MC9
Detroit 8V-71N
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Outer Banks, NC (Nags Head)
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« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2013, 06:57:31 PM »

To the ever present and multipurpose duct tape.... I would like to mention a tube of the epoxy putty (like JB Weld among other various name brands). It lasts a long time if you keep the air from drying it out.

Also I have had the occasion recently to use Rustoleum's LeakStop. It comes in a spray can in both clear (very hard to see where you sprayed it at) and black. This is some messy stuff so you might want to try the clear. I had a fairly steady drip (drip, one-mississippi, two-mississippi, drip, one-mississippi, two-mississippi, drip) from the window air conditioner we built in. I dried the drip (plastic part sticking thru the pan) and hit it with the black then let it dry for a minute or so and hit it again with another shot. No more drips. Worked so well, I will keep a can on hand to stop those nagging plumbing drips from the whatever that thing is that pokes tiny pin holes into the sewer hose.

I have a tube of Henry's 212 Clear elastometric roof caulk (wet or dry roof) tucked away. We used Henry's SolarFlex on the roof of the bus and used the Henry's products to seal the seams. I missed part of a seam and had to patch it a few months later during the spring "rainy season". It really does work on a wet roof. That was over a year ago.
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