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Author Topic: What's the most important tools and parts to take with you.  (Read 1301 times)
hatchhome
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« on: February 17, 2014, 06:06:39 PM »

Okay bus nuts,  I'm new to the bus nut world but I really want to learn all I can. I have been looking over as many old post just to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I want to be able to fix almost anything that may come up out on the road short of a major overhaul (I have thought of buying a motor to learn that).  So here's my question. What is in your spare parts box that you take with you. I got rid of the spare tire so I have room to put most anything that can store good and would be useful in a bind. Tools that are essential as well.  I can't thank everyone here enough for all the good wisdom and advice and anyone ever coming down to New Orleans look me up for a personal tour guide. For reference I have a pd-4106 Cheers
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 06:08:41 PM by hatchhome » Logged

Cameron Hatch
New Orleans, LA
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 06:44:02 PM »

Most important tools for bus ownership, bar none, are a credit card with a high limit, and a cell phone with your bus mechanic's number on speed dial.

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Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 06:52:29 PM »

Ok, seriously, I have a complete tool box in my bus, with all sockets, both SAE and metric (pulling a modern toad requires the metric, not the bus). I have wrenches from 1/4" to 2". I have impact sockets from 7/16 to 1 1/2" or so, with impact wrench (I carry a spare and two 12 ton jacks, and 3 large tire irons). I have a bearing socket and bearing ring tool. I have a kit of electical terminal ends of all shapes and sizes, wire strippers and crimpers. Full set of screwdrivers in both straight and phillips #2, #3, and #4, and one of those screwdrivers with all the fancy interchangable bits. I have pry bars, ball peen hammers, adjustable wrenches, Channel Locks. I have filter wrenches for my fuel filter, plus spare filters. I have extra antifreeze and motor oil, some bearing grease and
oil for power steering and blower drive gearbox. I have an assortment of various fittings, clamps, relays, etc. Nuts, bolts, plug in assorted sizes (never the right one, though, when you need it).

I'm sure I've missed something.  That's just off the top of my head.
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Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 07:14:24 PM »

I got rid of the spare tire. . .
Cameron -

IMHO:

1.  Spare tire mounted & balanced on a wheel.  Much, much less expensive to pull yours out and put it on when you have a flat than to be at the mercy of roadside service.  And you WILL have a flat at some point in time.  Seangie had this happen to him as he was in the process of getting ready to get rid of his spare.  Jacks and blocks to get 'er done.

2.  CoachNet

3.  Credit card with a nice high limit and a zero balance.  Keep it with the CoachNet card.

4.  Normal hand tools, plus the bigger sizes.  Some folk carry a 3/4" or 1" electric impact gun, others let CoachNet.

5.  Fluke meter and other electrical tools.  Spare wire & connectors.  Cordless electric drill.

6.  Spare governor for the air compressor.

7.  Case of the correct engine oil. (Do you know what that is, btw?)  A gallon of the proper anti-freeze.  A quart or two of transmission oil.  Windshield washer fluid if so equipped (some '06s have them, some don't.)

8.  Spare light bulbs.

9.  Some folk carry a spare starter & spare solenoid.  OTOH, if yours has recently been rebuilt, a non-issue.

10.  Most importantly: A good attitude.  Recognize that things can break - it's part of the adventure.

The more PM you can do at home, the lower the risk of a road failure.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 07:17:19 PM »

I second Gumpy and RJ.  Also (as we found out recently) a spare tire is right up there with the most important things (tools) to have on the bus.  Its the difference of getting you home or to the next stop to get a cheap tire or paying big $$$ to have the tire service bring you one.  We recently had a brand new tire pick up a screw and without our spare it would have been a lot of time and $$$ to get the tire company to bring us another tire.

Make sure you have an infrared thermometer.  I use this more than any other tool.

I don't keep alot of tools like gumpy does though.  I have a full socket set up to 1". Add to that a 3/4, 7/8, 1", 1.25" and 1.5" open ended bus sized wrenches. A bag of electrical tools including a meter and parts and pieces to make connections, A bag of woodworking tools, a bus sized hammer and a bus sized 36" cat claw, a set of 18v makita drills and an 18v saw, a coorded makita grinder. I also keep a set of hss bits and wood bits.  I don't have air tools or sockets. I do keep a grease gun. And I have a 20 ton jack (I should get another)

The most important tool out of all tools is maintaining the bus.  So many unknowns but if you have to second guess any noise, drip, leak, etc..make sure you know what it is before you drive off across the country (and even with that, as you've seen from this site, you can still run  into problems).

-Sean

Fulltiming somewhere in the USA
1984 Eagle 10S
www.herdofturtles.org
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hatchhome
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 08:03:37 PM »

Thanks for all the great responses. I'm no dare devil but my reasoning for getting rid of the spare is I am a firefighter and unless I'm way off the road I'm not changing the spare myself (seen some bad stuff) ,  but the thought of paying way 2 much for just any tire that will work doesn't thrill me as well.  I plan on having the normal sockets plus wrenches, screwdrivers. Will the bus work a air wrench or do I need to plan on a separate compressor?  Would carrying a spare just not mounted be a good idea along with coach net?  I used rotella 40w and have about 10 fuel filters and oil filters that came with the bus,  I hope they don't expire if sealed.
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Cameron Hatch
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 05:36:22 AM »

.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 05:55:48 AM by Hobie » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 07:18:34 AM »

If you keep up on your preventative maintaince you will have fewer worries on the road.  It's much cheaper to repair problems at home than on the side of the road.  The same is true about tires.  It's much less money to have road service change out a flat versus buying, mounting, dismounting a new/used tire.  They will charge you for all of that, plus travel time.  It all adds up.  Plus sometimes it can be tough finding something other than standard truck tires.  Just something to consider.

Personally, I carry fuel filters, filter wrench, fuel to prime the filters, a small set of wrenches, a cell phone, credit card, Coach Net, and a bottle of good bourbon for the wait.  Seriously, I don't want to rebuild my bus in a rest area parking lot at 3am.  I try to keep up on things at home.  Bus shops and good 2 stroke Detroit mechanics are sometimes difficult to find.   Besides, a decent shop can turn the work much faster than I can since they do it every day and I don't.  You can always get advice from this board if you need it so use it accordingly.  Enjoy your bus and the travels.  Remember even the breakdowns are all part of the adventure.
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Dennis Watson
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Scotts, Michigan
1966 MCI MC5A
8V71
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 07:36:21 AM »

Cameron, I carry a spare tire not mounted, but I have 12R 22.5, not always an easy tire to find, I got a good one and wont have to find one in an emergency,  maybe have to accept one and have to be replaced again soon afterwards, if I didnt have one I chose. 11R are more common and metric tires are even more abundant, it depends on what you have, properly operating generator and enough fuel to run it, for an extended period of time, to recharge your phone and computer for internet,  not to mention saftey and comfort, seems to be a common thread when one of us get stuck, lvmci...
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 07:40:43 AM by lvmci » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 08:19:44 AM »

The most important tool is your maintenance log showing you have not deferred any maintenance, but in fact have done extensive preventive maintenance.

I carry a bunch of tools and spare parts, but nothing has been as valuable as never pulling out for a trip without making sure the coach is 100% ready. Having the tools and ability to do your own work, or having a high limit credit car is a poor second choice.
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Jon

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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 11:07:43 AM »

In my 25+ years with the MC7 and the Foretravel, never needed any tools or parts.  Yes I carry a credit card, cell phone, numbers & have emergency road service and hoping never to need any of it.
But I do spend big on PM etc. Brakes, tires, batteries, servicing, inspections etc....

Call me lucky so far
Dave M
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 11:09:14 AM »

Dave, that ain't luck. You likely fixed problems before they became problems.
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Jon

Current coach 2006 Prevost, Liberty conversion
Knoxville, TN
hatchhome
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 12:07:18 PM »

Sounds like most of you are saying fix stuff before it breaks... never thought of that Smiley I understand that maintenance is key. I know life and it happens sometimes. There is a reason these buses went so far in the field, they were well oiled machines. Can anyone answer my question about the need for an extra compressor or will the bus be able to support something like taking off the tire? Anyone with a 8v71, can you tell me parts that often require a infield repair that are easy enough to carry as spares? Anyone have one of those large limit credit cards I can borrow  Grin cheers
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Cameron Hatch
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 01:39:11 PM »

As for 8V71s, I think the most mentioned is starters, Im sure those that have that experience will pipe in soon, air leaks, fan belts, water pumps, any thing effected by heat,  if your in the desert southwest. Keep a close eye on your tires in the heat, batteries die in the heat and extreme cold, Ive built in two battery maintainers for my start batteries. Good luck, lvmci...
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 02:35:10 PM »

My bus has an aux compressor, but if I need a lot of air pressure I run the engine.

If you want to change your own tires on the road get a torque multiplier such as an X-12. No air required.
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Jon

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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2014, 04:26:31 PM »

I take everything I can pick up including spare parts which I keep in the bus all the time anyway.

There is absolutely no way you can second guess what you might need, I've had so many mechanical problems I could never guess what is next!!

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PD4107-152
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2014, 06:45:27 PM »

Can anyone answer my question about the need for an extra compressor or will the bus be able to support something like taking off the tire?


My understanding (from researching previous posts) is that you won't get enough air pressure from the bus to get your air tool to pull tires.  2nd - you don't really want your bus running while your pulling tires Smiley
3rd - a lot of guys plumb a 2nd compressor to air up the bus without having to run it for 5-10 minutes at 6am in an RV park.  It also helps when you have air issues and need to troubleshoot.  You should under no circumstances run your bus air system off the auxiliary air system but ir works to get your bus out of the middle of the hwy if you have air issues.   The best plan is probably to have an auxiliary air compressor for those reasons. 

-Sean

Fulltiming somewhere in the USA
1984 Eagle 10S
www.herdofturtles.org
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'Cause you know we,
we live in a van (Eagle 10 Suburban)
Driving through the night
To that old promised land'
hatchhome
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My wife is looking for the bus nut cure.




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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2014, 06:54:19 PM »

Thanks Sean, Thats what I needed to know. I will look into that type of setup as i also don't like the idea of waking the whole rv park by starting her up. I will look for a spare starter. I still have 2 boxes that came with my bus with seals and parts. Might get them out tomorrow and see what I got. Cheers
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Cameron Hatch
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2014, 07:19:56 PM »

Cameron -

Auxiliary air compressor:

I know a 4106 owner that has a small air compressor mounted in the LF baggage bin directly behind the LF wheel.  It is plumbed into the accessory tank, which is located in the compartment underneath the driver.

Spare Starter:

Make sure you find a LEFT HAND unit, your 8V spins backwards to a truck or T-drive bus engine.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
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« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2014, 09:20:24 PM »

Regarding tires.  I have been of the belief that you could proceed with caution on one dually, thereby removing the flat one or using one for a front spare.  Is that reasonable?  We use 11rx22.5 tires and have thought they would be easy to find.  Maybe I am being too optimistic.  I once had some new tires mounted on the rims by Coach-net, so have thought of carrying an unmounted tire though.
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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2014, 11:50:11 PM »

Tires,  my thoughts on tires, have popular size as 11R22.5, not 12R22.5 and keep good tires, not OLD nor patched many times, keep eye on air pressure.  Tires have never been an issue for me. On the MC7, it came with the 12R22.5, being cheap, I went to the 11R22.5, no like that due to small diameter, so switched to all new steel 24.5 rims with new 11R tires, made the mistake of running a standard truck drive tire on drive axle, with the larger engines, it wore the treat to a saw tooth looking pattern, switched to a steer tread, no more goofy wear pattern, yes I  put many miles on it over 20+ years and never an issue on the road.
If you keep your head clear, take care of the Kill items you should have a fun trip not waiting for road service that might put a big dent in your credit card, removing all fun for the trip/vacation. THINK.
Dave M
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« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2014, 09:24:13 AM »

Here we go keep good and the right amount of batteries with the right amps with the right voltage and the old 42MT Delco starter will last for 20 years easy on a old 71 engine  Grin
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« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2014, 05:07:24 AM »

I have my bus maintained by a well known bus garage since I got the bus.  I've never hesitated to have them fix any problems they have found over the years.  I've probably spent around $15,000 there.  (Bus needed almost $10,000 in work when I got it.)  I have also done a ton of work to fix and maintain things myself.

My point is even if you do lots of preventative stuff at home you can still have problems out on the road.  I've had brake issues three times on the road and a wheel bearing failure on the road too.  I have the brakes inspected yearly plus nearly every part at the wheel ends has been replaced.  The wheel bearings were all replaced when I got the bus yet I had a bearing failure 30,000 miles later.
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« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2014, 06:15:07 AM »

Most of the break downs on old buses are major like Gordie no way can one carry enough tools and parts to prevent it JMO it doesn't take much but carrying a 1in impact to change a tire buy CoachNet or other road side programs
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