Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
October 26, 2014, 02:30:57 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: It will not get torn up or crushed if you back over it with your bus.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Biggest Fail  (Read 3255 times)
Seangie
www.herdofturtles.org
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 891


And We're Off... Like a Herd of Turtles


WWW

Ignore
« on: December 13, 2013, 05:45:47 AM »

Through the process of converting our bus we have had some fails but the biggest fail for us was the HVAC.  Mostly because of my lack of knowledge and not enough time spent on pre-planning and then installing late in the process.  On top of this there were countless issues with vendors and shipping....etc.  All in all it cost me about 3k.  Burning that 3k in one dollar bills in the campfire would have been more productive and less stressful.

Next conversion the first thing I'm doing is putting a solid plan together for the HVAC and getting that installed, tested and working before continuing with the rest of the build.

How about you...what was your biggest/costliest fail?

-Sean



www.herdofturtles.org
1984 Eagle Model 10S
Logged

'Cause you know we,
we live in a van (Eagle 10 Suburban)
Driving through the night
To that old promised land'
Oonrahnjay
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1512





Ignore
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 05:50:58 AM »

  ...   How about you...what was your biggest/costliest fail?

     Getting started in the first place ....
Logged

Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
TexasBorderDude
Founder - Texas Curmudgeon Society
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 242


Nothing simple is ever easy...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 06:24:11 AM »

Well, I asked her to....  OH! You mean on my bus! Embarrassed
Logged

A curmudgeon's reputation for malevolence is undeserved. They're neither warped nor evil at heart. They don't hate mankind, just mankind's absurdities. They're just as sensitive and soft-hearted as the next guy, but they hide their vulnerability beneath a crust of misanthropy.
luvrbus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12772




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 06:53:33 AM »

It's not a failure it is just a setback Sean you are not the 1st to have a costly mistake on a HVAC system and probably won't be the last when you try and reinvent the wheel you pay BTDT 

I think those units are going to be fine for buses the owners do not put many miles on each year and are parked most of the time a bus on the move like you is a different environment payment temperatures plays a big factor like here in Aug when the blacktop temps will reach 150 degrees + JMO 
Logged

Life is short drink the good wine first
TomC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6854





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 07:05:49 AM »

I don't have room on the roof for A/C's (to tall). So I took 15,000btu Penguins and converted them to basement models. I did this since a bought basement unit costs twice what a roof top costs and has the same equipment in it. So far, they work well-but time will tell.

When you're making a custom conversion with everything made by hand, glitches are bound to happen. Conversions many times take years to do. The best advice-keep it simple and use as much equipment you can that is standardized that is easily obtainable on the road. Good Luck, TomC
Logged

Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Scott Bennett
Scott & Heather MCI-9
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1330


Scott & Heather


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 07:10:14 AM »

It's not a failure it is just a setback Sean you are not the 1st to have a costly mistake on a HVAC system and probably won't be the last when you try and reinvent the wheel you pay BTDT 

I think those units are going to be fine for buses the owners do not put many miles on each year and are parked most of the time a bus on the move like you is a different environment payment temperatures plays a big factor like here in Aug when the blacktop temps will reach 150 degrees + JMO 

ditto that ^^  honestly, I think in time mini splits will be made to withstand vibrations. Roof-top airs are pretty sinking reliable (ours get's used like crazy and just keeps on truckin)...transfer the vibration proof technology and fittings to minisplits and we'll have a winner. I, for one, hate the noise and looks of my roof airs. our next conversion will not have them...but after watching you go through what you did sean, we will research the living daylights out of what we want before we install it. Our biggest fail (sean already knows this) was attempting to side our bus after removing the windows with filon FRP. sheet. We spent almost $1100 to buy a sheet of it 40 ft. long. We sliced into two pieces and attempted to rivet it to our coach. Needless to say, wrong material, wrong application. Within 24 hours of purchasing it, we through it all in a dumpster cracked, broken, and we ourselves bleeding. Again, it would have been much easier to take that $1100 and dump it directly into the trash bin.
Logged

Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
lvmci
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 684





Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 07:46:02 AM »

Hi Sean, my biggest and most expensive mistake, involved reacting and not researching. After just buying the bus, I took her to a RV place that had done good work to my previous class A. The phone call was, why is your bus spewing heavy black smoke and has now power? We can't move it, but, I said it was working fine when I dropped it off. Of course now I know the mechanic was lying when he said he knew how to start a mci, and he had flipped the emergency shutdown switch. What's worse, I took their recomendation as to where to bring the bus to fix the smoking bus they caused. Later I did find wwwilliams and an old DD mechanic Chuck who not only fixed my bus issues but explained a great deal, about DD engines. Lvmci...
Logged

Mci 102C3 8V92, Allison 4 speed 740
Formally MCI5A 8V71 Allison MT643
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4570

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 08:09:52 AM »

I do not know your particular HVAC story but it would seem to be one of those life lessons. If you are real young, it will be useful.  If you are real old, it proves that you are still young.  I think that most of us could say that this Board saved them from making numerous mistakes by having the members experiences as a resource.  Now, that does not mean that you can not go where others have not gone before, but rather you should be very careful when doing so.
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
Bill B /bus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 267





Ignore
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2013, 01:00:44 PM »

Lost the transmission in  a GM Vdrive. Sounded as if we were rolling a small car underneath the bus. Shop changed out the transmission. I provided technical pages for install and checks, phone numbers and names of experts to assist. Took a test drive and all was well. Paid the bill with a credit card, thank you God. Less than 400 miles transmission  failed. When we pulledthe transmission there was the pump drive gear laying in the bottom of the bell housing. The credit card  company needed about four pages of paper to rescind the payment. What was really upsetting was at least three different people cautioned the shop owner to verify the oil pump drive gear alingement prior to setting the transmission against the engine.

Bill
Logged

Bill & Lynn
MCI102A3, Series 50 w/HT70
oltrunt
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 48




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 06:34:23 PM »

Hello All.  The biggest failure in my bus project is that I didn't measure the height of my bus carefully enough when I did the frame swap.  I have to flatten the outer tires (duallies) and deflate the inners EVERY time I want to move the bus into or out of the garage.  The city requires that rvs be parked inside--they also have a max ceiling height for those garages so I'm stuck.  I'm thinking about saw cutting the floor and making trenches for the wheels to drop into.  Thankfully the garage floor isn't one of those pre (or is it post) tensioned jobbies so if I do cut the floor I don't have to worry about the garage falling down LOL.

What's the old saying?  measure twice, cut once? Its obvious I just don't get that one!
Logged
robertglines1
steam nut
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4024





Ignore
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2013, 05:05:43 AM »

Sean :you have put the DEATH BLOW on the mini-split.. so explain to me and others   why and where your failure was exactly.  so we may learn and not make the same mistake.  How many units did you have and what brand so we may avoid that maker. Did you try  to multiplex system?   Bob   
Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
robertglines1
steam nut
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4024





Ignore
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2013, 05:09:21 AM »

The whole story--was first shipment -the indoor and outdoor unit of different technology and not capable of communicating with each other?  Install on 2nd condenser ?
Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
Melbo
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1070


MC8 under construction




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 06:44:38 AM »

When I bought my bus I didn't think about my better half driving it. I got a standard with the detroit.

Buy a bus that will not require a repower.

A worthwhile upgrade but the single biggest error in our selection of what to buy.

HTH

Melbo
Logged

If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
Albuquerque, NM   MC8 L10 Cummins ZF
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5448




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2013, 06:47:56 AM »

Probably the biggest fail on my entire bus was buying a generator that has a head with brushes in it.  I've been battling issues with the generator head since 2011.  I'm on my third set of brushes now.  The extremely dusty environment I go to every year is not helping things.  I had no idea there were even different types of heads when I bought the generator.

I am not sure where I am going to go from here with the generator.  I would really like to see if I could replace the entire head with a brushless one, but everyone says a brushless head would be too big to fit in the enclosure.  I might just buy/build a slide for the generator and keep a couple sets of brushes on hand.  Changing or fixing the brushes would be much easier with a slide.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Seangie
www.herdofturtles.org
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 891


And We're Off... Like a Herd of Turtles


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2013, 07:01:40 AM »

Quote
Sean :you have put the DEATH BLOW on the mini-split.. so explain to me and others   why and where your failure was exactly.  so we may learn and not make the same mistake.  How many units did you have and what brand so we may avoid that maker. Did you try  to multiplex system?   Bob 

Bob - I m not trying to put the death blow on the mini-split.  To be honest they were awesome and when I do another coach I am seriously considering using them again.  Mine kept failing at the line connections on the outside unit.  No matter how tight (properly torqued and then slightly overt torqued and then crammed on) the flare fittings would keep failing. If I was an AC guy I would have kept on with it but not having the tools to evacuate and refill the system with freon every time got to be a pain.  On top of that...most of the people in the HVAC business wouldn't touch it.  I think the general assumption in the HVAC world is that if they do the work then they will have to fix it later for free when it fails again... even after explaining to them that I wouldn't expect them to warranty the work I still couldn't find someone to pull a vaccuum and put in more freon.

 I also had a strange road that got me to the point of pulling the old system out.  Mostly the company that sold me the 1st and 2nd system (which had great customer service) just couldn't get the parts and pieces right.  1st shipment was heavily damaged, they stopped making those units so I had to send everything back, 2nd shipment was all the wrong parts, they comped the whole thing, the 3rd time they sold me parts they did not have in stock and after 2 weeks I canceled the order and went with another company just to get something in the bus.  So 2 installs and 3 refills later, I was just not wanting to deal with it anymore and went with the roof airs which I got for pretty cheap.  Remember we are fulltime on the road and we need heat/air and I just don't have the time and resources to repair it while we are rolling.

I encourage anyone to give it a shot.  The systems are fairly cheap they work excellent at cooling, heating and they automatically have dehumidifiers built in so they are the best system hands down for our application.  There may be a better type of connector to use in place of the flare fittings.  I think if they were brazed on it might not have been an issue.  I would love to meet someone else who is fulltimimg and has mini-splits as a reliable source for heat and air.  It seems people are quick to tell you what they are using and what works but they never post anything when it all goes bad so we only ever hear the success stories at the beginning and not the 12 month follow up with all the gory details (An example to this might be that someone says that they have been using them for 3 years with no problems but they don't mention that once a year they pull a vaccuum and refill the freon).  And that is not just here on the bus boards....that goes with any online community I have ever been involved with.  I think its just human nature that we don't want to talk about our failures.

Thanks for taking the initiative to ask questions.  The board is a great resource and you (Bob) have been super helpful in all I have done to my bus, answerign questions, taking phone calls, etc.  For anyone else reading this and considering mini-splits - plan, plan, plan, plan and then plan some more.  They are awesome when they work.

-Sean

Logged

'Cause you know we,
we live in a van (Eagle 10 Suburban)
Driving through the night
To that old promised land'
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!