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Author Topic: "What spare parts should a converter carry for their conversions on the road??"  (Read 4048 times)
Gary LaBombard
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« on: January 28, 2007, 08:25:15 PM »

CONVERSION SPARE PARTS TO CARRY AT ALL TIMES
It was brought to my attention just a few days ago by a busnut friend that attended the “Bussin 2007” Rally at Arcadia that he had problems after leaving arcadia on his way home with his Eagle.  He reached out and asked for assistance to help him from others still at Arcadia and they came, trouble shot his bus and got him running again with no more problems.  What it turned out to be was dirty (Fuel Filters)!!  I do not know the entire story; I hope our bus nut friend will fill in the holes here on his situation so we all may have this information as well for our future travels to all be successful trips.

Spring time is coming fast, thank God, and many of us getting antsy about wanting to get our rigs ready to roll, there is no better time to sit back and get a list ready for our travels.  This post will be on Spare parts only, others will follow so that we can have as much information available before we travel as we can, so please put on our caps and submit all that you can think of to add to this list I am starting from my in-experience so I too will be better prepared.

I have no idea why I am doing this but here I go again.  I was hoping that you experienced conversion travelers can help me here again put together a list of spare parts you believe all bus converters should have on hand and the quantity of such.  Perhaps a few words as why and then I can condense this all into one document and have it put in to our “Help” section with others we have recently submitted for newbies and anyone wishing to traveling with a little more ease as they will be better prepared with just a few important spare parts they will perhaps need on the road, this information we are submitting now in this thread should be considered as a guide for all to consider having on board at all times.

I will start this list with what I can think of but I am not versed enough as a converter with a lot of longevity in traveling with our rig so now I depend upon you to help me out gathering all this information.  All suggestions are appreciated from your experiences. Try to assume we are all doing a cross country trip in August from NY to CA. 

BUS CONVERSION SPARE PARTS LIST
(1)   Fuels filters quantity of two and always change them both when you suspect the filters are showing signs of clogging.
(2)   DD Oil filter, in case your original mounted to the engine should leak from gasket failure on the road.
(3)   New “V” belts for your generator & a fuel filter and Oil filter for generator as well as enough oil for a generator oil change if ever needed.
(4)   New “V” belts for replacement of your radiator cooling fan if you have one, and any place a “V” belt is used on your bus engine.  One of every kind of V belt used on our conversion should be carried at all times while we think of it. 
(5)   Engine air compressor and new gaskets for remountng, if this is affordable to consider, there is nothing worse than not having a compressor on the road go bad on a Saturday afternoon and all the shops are closed.  I am not sure of the cost of this, but well worth thinking of having aboard and ready to change out if needed in an emergency in these old girls.  My personal plan is to install a 110 volt air compressor that can be fed from my generator or shore power use in the front spare tire compartment and run my air line to the back to the dryer and tap in here with a shut off valve and check valve inline to prevent feed back into the engine compressor if the compressor should fail.  This is only a back up and a quicker way to get my air system fully charged without using the DD to run to charge up the system.  This is only a suggestion on my part, this is part of my plan only.  This can be sued as an emergency on the road should your air DD engine air compressor fail on your trip for some reason.  With a secondary air supply you are good to go and continue your trip without interruption.  With your spare Air line and fittings you may be able to re-route the leak in your air line until a permanent repair can be made at your final destination.
(6)   About 15’ length of new rubber air hose or plastic tubing, what ever it is that you used on your air system and perhaps a variety of a few new air fittings if needed to by- pass a section in the airline for an emergency because of a hole etc. in  air line or a hole in the air tank etc
(7)   Spare bulbs for your tail & marker lights and at least one new head light for an emergency in case you hit a DEER in your travels or something similar.
(Cool   Various automotive fuses for your electrical system for 12 volt and 110 volt system for spares if they are the disposable kind that you have.  Bring one spare circuit breaker for each size you use in your 110 volt power control panel and also a spare in line fuse for your battery systems.
(9)   A 50 ft. X #12 ga. stranded roll of white and brown wire or black wire for an emergency repair of your electrical system.  You should also have a few spare crimping fittings for emergency electrical connections if needed and a good crimping plier.  Perhaps consider having two rolls also of the #14 X 50ft. wire if you do not like working with the #12 wire but be sure you use the same or bigger gage size new wire to replace or repair a faulty one if needed.
(10)   A 5 gallon Jerry can of diesel fuel just in case that fuel gage does not work.  A suggestion is to always jot down on paper what our mileage was when you filled up last and knowing your fuel mileage try to never let your tanks get lower than ½ empty before refueling using your written down mileage as a travel distance gage for your fuel use.   Secure this extra fuel I a safe area from batteries and electrical components but be sure the can is sealed and securely mounted in it’s own storage area.   Use an anti-gel additive to your fuel on fuel fill ups.  NOTE: When I removed my fuel tanks on my Eagle, the bottom of both of my fuel tanks had abut ¾” of sludge on the bottom built up over the years, the fuel was funky smelling like oil Fuel / coolant mix or something, certainly not like good diesel fuel.  When I say sludge, I mean sludge over 30 years old I am sure.
(11)   A 5 gallon can of radiator coolant mix or 5 1 gallon containers with this coolant  for diesel engines if needed should your level of engine or radiator coolant go down from evaporation, leaks etc.
(12)   A spare tire, this is a controversy with many, some want the spare tire room for other things and choose not carry a spare and depend upon road service to bring them a new tire and change it out, some of us want the security of having one on board at all times and be independent upon of the outrageous prices for a new tire while on the road.  Also if you are in a desolate area without any phone service, in the desert etc. and no spare!!  Not me, but again what do I know, I haven’t even become a bus driver yet but I am just getting prepared for when I do.
(13)  At lease 3-5 gallons of spare DD oil in case we use more than we think, be sure to use the grade recommended by DD for your engine, most will be straight 40 wt. oil but check your manuals and be sure you have a new change of oil in your bus and a new oil filter before starting out your new year of traveling.
This is only a beginning of what I am sure will be a very thorough Spare Parts list we can put together for us all to think about and gather now before we forget and start loading up for a trip and be under-prepared for an emergency.  Any suggestions you may have will surely be appreciated and will be added to this list and perhaps be submitted into the help section with the moderators approval.
Thanks ahead of time,
Gary     
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007, 08:58:19 PM »

Gary, I like to run with a set of tools,fuel filters, and one of everything that fits, however I firmly believe its what happens at the shop before I hit the road that really pays off. There is no substitute for good maintence. For the most part, if you did the maintence you will make the trip. Our last trip Seattle, Jacksonville, Seattle I broke down in San Antonio comming home. Had to replace a low beam headlite.
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 09:37:14 PM »

PM,

I carry standard tools, a couple gallons of oila spare bulb or two spare headlights.....and belts. and a spare tire.......cuz my spare is cheaper than any I NEED a tire replacement

everything else is overkill and takes up space.





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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2007, 04:37:17 AM »

Extra hose clamps, electrical tape, duct tape, thread sealant just to name a few.

Good Post Gary!

Happy Trails,

Paul

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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2007, 07:12:40 AM »

Like everything else on bus conversions, it depends on how you use your bus. The needs of a person who never goes more than 100 miles from home is completely different than the full timer who has no fixed base or may be a thousand miles from that base for long periods of time. In between are the people who make frequent trips of 500 to 1000 miles. The ones who go sking have different needs than the ones who go to the sea shore. The ones who boondock have different needs than the ones who stay in a campground or a friend's driveway.

Everyone who does their own conversion (most on the board) should have an intimate knowledge of the condition of their coach and the maintenance it receives. They make an informed decision on what spare parts they should have for the planned trip.  Another consideration is if you want to make the trip without breakdown interuption or are you one who considers breakdowns part of the fun.
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2007, 07:25:08 AM »

 Another possibility is:    Buy heavier items that you could need on the road (such as compressor or similar) Box the items so that they are ready to ship. Have an agreement with a friend or family member that if you should need such, that you could call and they would take to (UPS or whoever) and send the part to you. Keep the parts at your place in an agreed upon location where your friend wouldnt have to look for it.
 You'd get it just as fast as ordering from a retailer......
       Keeping the new part boxed stored it nicely also.
  MOST LIKELY, tho, the person who would do this would have his coach in repair where it's not likely to break down anyway.
BUT, it would save weight on the road, and would save part hunting and you know that you would have correct item for your bus.
just my .02 worth...chuck
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 07:27:36 AM by ChuckMC8 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2007, 09:40:43 AM »

Everything you listed in the following
1.
2.
3.
4.
12.
13.
14.  A couple gallons of anti freeze.
15.  A couple radiator hose clamp.
16.  A spare tire.
17.  Have a good roadside assistance plan.
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2007, 10:29:35 AM »

One of the things that enters into how much stuff you take with is whether you travel with a toad.  With toad you can chase stuff such as better deals on that replacement tire if you travel sans spare.  Of course if you travel the boonies or only the interstate that should influence your needed spares.  With toad you can get whatever you need to keep rolling depending on your mechanical prowess or lack thereof.  With toad you can at least travel to the nearest mountain top to send up smoke signals to get help. With toad you can send Mrs somewhere else for entertainment while you fix the beast she was not sure you should have anyway. Grin  So, is a toad the only must have spare?  Sounds like an excuse to go shopping to me.
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2007, 05:22:59 PM »

Gary;
 One little item that comes in very handy,and cost under $10.00,is a Air diafragm ?for those Air acceleratored Coaches. BOY; ya don't go fer when won of thes break!GM'S used a lot of these on their post 76 model 4905's.
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2007, 06:28:04 PM »

Lot's of god suggestions, so far.  I'd like to add the following to the general preparedness list:

1) Air filter(s).  I have dry type filters and keep an extra set. As a minimum, I'd at least hang on to the last set I replaced during general maintenance.

2) Electrical Multimeter

3) Da Book, and manuals for all subsystems

4) Phone numbers, websites, and email address of key sources for help.

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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2007, 09:49:14 PM »

I once stopped at a fueling station to find that I had a football sized bulge sticking out of one of my rear tires.  So I limped over to the only truck stop within 50 miles and asked if they could sell me a new tire.  The guy said "yup, it'll be about an hour wait 'cause we're kinda busy at the moment."  I said OK.
Long story short, 7 hours worth of lame excuses later they still hadn't attended to me.  Obviously "real" people (truckers) got first priority even though I'd been there hours longer.
So I cornered the service manager and said "wow, look at that $100 bill I just dropped on the floor...If I don't pick it up how long will it take me to get my tire?"  He said about 15 minutes and damned if I wasn't out of there in 20.

Always carry a $100 bill.  Worth more than a lot of tools when you need one, and it's not very heavy.....
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 09:50:54 PM by boogiethecat » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2007, 10:24:24 PM »

The only real thing is NOT to carry a spare air compressor.  If you're concerned on yours, have yours rebuilt then you won't have to worry.  They are very reliable.   But carrying a elec air compressor makes sense. Full tool box with 24" adjustable wrench and large plyers, electrical tape (far more useful than duct tape-which doesn't stretch), wire, tie straps, small silicone tube. And most important is to carry enough straight 40 weight for an oil change.  I had 2 cases (12 gallons total) with me on the way back from Rickreall in 2005 when my oil filter broke off. Got the new filter on alright, but glad I had the oil since I was in the middle of no where.  You can get totally crazy on what you carry.  Just remember most of the equipment you have is much the same as big rig trucks are, and believe me because of weight, the vast majority of truckers do not carry extra parts.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2007, 05:19:05 AM »

OK, here's my list:

Filter replacement for all filters

Enough oil for complete refill

Spare lengths of brake, fuel line

Complete set of spare air/fuel fittings to make my own ends

Set of barb fittings and clamps to repair a cut or damaged hose.

Gray and silver duct and electrical tape, assorted tye wraps sizes.

30 amp 24vdc charger which could be run of generator if I lost engine 24vdc generator

2HP air compressor that could run off of generator if I lost engine compressor/fittings and shut off built in.

Roll of automotive wire and crimp on fittings/set of 4'  automotive wire jumpers with alligator clips

0 gauge 16' super heavy duty jumper cables and monster grip ends

Pieces and parts to splice, repair or cap off any of my water lines. Spare house water pump.

Spare circuit breakers, fuses of each type.

With the exception of the compressor, charger and oil all of this stuff will fit in a 2' X 3' box.

I also have a second set of tools that never leave the bus/you will always leave at home what you really need.

I have fixed air and fuel leaks that would have stopped me dead without these parts.

I am not trying to have a complete spares kit, but enough stuff to not spend hours waiting on towing but to be able

to fix a minor repair and limp on down the road if needed.

I try and do a walk around looking for items that I should carry.  "If this breaks could I work around it"  That is the basis for almost

all of the spares I chose to carry.

I am a strong believer in doing PM's, but some debris in the road flipping up and cutting an air line or damaging a filter can happen

in an instant. And the bottom line is most of us do not have new buses, and stuff is going to break or fail.

Cliff

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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2007, 06:09:59 AM »

I carry a spare blower belt, a few gallons of oil and spare fuel filters.  Keep in mind that bus maintenance is easier in your driveway than on the road.  I know S**t happens, but doing a good inspection and fixing things before you leave will keep alot of it from happening on the road.  If you carried a spare for every part that could break...Well...That's probably not possible.

Ross
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2007, 06:43:16 AM »

If you carried a spare for every part that could break...Well...That's probably not possible.

Ross

Sure it is Ross, Just buy an identical bus & pull it as a toad!  Grin  Roll Eyes


Seriously tho, I'm looking forward to the journey as much as the destination, so an unexpected delay while waiting for parts during a trip is just an opportunity to explore a different part of this great country.

The small stuff like hoses, belts, filters, oil, fittings, tools, epoxy, etc is great, but I'm NOT going to carry wheel bearings/ seals, pistons, clutch, brake drums, etc. I'll let UPS or FedEx have the honor.

I have emergency/ rainy day funds. If my transportation takes a dump, I can work around it. Just remember, the toys are supposed to add to life's pleasures, NOT add to the frustration. So do good PM, hope for the best, have a back-up plan for the worst and HAVE FUN! Don't over analyze all potential failures else you may find yourself paralyzed & not able to enjoy your fine coach.
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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2007, 06:59:53 AM »

Kyle4501:
You are absolutely correct when you stated have fun and enjoy your coach.

It seems that too many on the board must enjoy working on the coach rather than using them.
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2007, 10:23:36 AM »

everyone,
This lengthy post on spare parts below took hours to put together from all the suggestions received by you all.  I have put this infomation as best as I can in one document so Richard can place it in the"HELP" section with all your comments as well. 
Thanks for your help in this, some may benefit from it, others don't care perhaps but in case it is needed thanks to you all we have it documented from our experiences. 

Thanks a million to you all for your help in this.  Now I can go work on my Eagle for a couple of hours and get off this computer.
Gary
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2007, 11:40:39 AM »

Thanks very much for all your efforts Gary. I know it is very time consuming to put together something like this. I will move your post to the Help board and post a link to it so htat everyone can find it.
Richard

everyone,
This lengthy post on spare parts below took hours to put together from all the suggestions received by you all.  I have put this infomation as best as I can in one document so Richard can place it in the"HELP" section with all your comments as well. 
Thanks for your help in this, some may benefit from it, others don't care perhaps but in case it is needed thanks to you all we have it documented from our experiences. 

Thanks a million to you all for your help in this.  Now I can go work on my Eagle for a couple of hours and get off this computer.
Gary
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2007, 11:44:22 AM »

This topic has been moved to Board Help.

CONVERTERS SPARE PARTS LIST TO TRAVEL WITH FOR YOUR BUS
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 12:00:35 PM by DrivingMissLazy » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2007, 08:30:34 PM »

Hi all,

I saw the topic of this discussion and read a little bit of the first post so please excuse me if some of this is redundant.

My list is based upon my experience with actual problems that I have had.

super glue
bicycle inner tube or similar
two part putty epoxy (type used for emergency chemical spill)
good quality duct tape
hose clamps all same so they can be linked and some small ones
pipe plugs and clamps 1/8"-3/4"
teflon tape
tool kit (fairly serious here....all wrenches and sockets that your coach needs plus files, taps and dies, special tools etc.)
cell phone
service manual
bolt and nut assortment (from 8-24 to 1/2-13) not too many, longer fastners can be shortened
rubber cement
small lengths of heater hose and parflex, as per what is used on your bus (ex;1/4", 3/4", 1-1/4")
hose couplers....cheap plastic couplers for rubber hoses 3/4", 1-1/4" etc.
make sure that you have hose clamps for above
push on air line connectors... a small assortment...most important are couplers
fuel filters
drive belts....one spare for every one on your bus unless they are not absolutely necessary
pipe nipples and reducing bushings 1/8" - 1"
12 or 24 volt fuses or breakers
50 feet of 10 gage primary wire
small assortment of smaller gage primary wire
assortment of primary wire, crimp on connectors (ring, spade, and butt connectors, 18-10 gage)
 

prolly more....tired now



most of my kit fits in a box 12"W X 12" D X 24" L


hth,

Tq

PS, this stuff has kept me from being stranded on the side of the road at least a dozen times.




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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2007, 05:06:09 AM »

Hey Tim! If you come back here I have a few questions for you!  I was looking through your photo album again! First question after all of that insulation just how quiet was the ride in your bus and how many squeaks did you hear? Smiley Second and final question what were the dimensions of your side windows and are you satisfied with them! Ok! I slipped in a third question but heck your site is so impressive I can't resist! One absoluted amazing bus!   

Pat

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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2007, 06:36:27 AM »

Torquester,
I have just gotten back from looking at your fantastic, great, beautiful conversion work on your Eagle, what great workmanship and terrific ideas.  You have to know I enjoyed your albums and only seen about 70% of them so far and right after this post going back to look at them all again.  This photo album you have shared with us is a lot of help with making decisions on my Eagle when I get to the fun part like you are now doing.

I hope you do not mind me posting your album address here, it is really informative to "Newbies" in particular to think of ideas and the right way to do the things you need to do.  Here is the address to go to:
http://members6.clubphoto.com/tim393476/guest-1.phtml
take your time in viewing and enjoy. 
We are now getting about 4-6 inches of snow and sleet and what a mess it is making.  when this happens in SC everything shuts down, there is no school. no paper, no mail, no milk / bread or eggs in any store!!!!?Huh  Oh well, I plan to stay inside today, go and look at the rest of Troquesters album and some others I have not viewed in a while but this one just makes my day and I am so envious.  Just great workmanship.

I enjoyed the family and wedding photos also and again thanks for sharing all this with us.  Here is a view of what is going on in SC right this moment, a real rarity in this area but probably not exciting to those like Buswarrior in Canada and Jim@RVsafety in Col. and others. 
Gary
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2007, 07:12:41 AM »

Torquester,
Do you mind telling us what material it is that you lined your cupboads and baggage bay walls etc. with.  The gray material, looks like airline type carpeting or something and where did you purchase it?  Looks real nice.   Got more albums to relook at .  See you.  Probably will have more questions also.  Sorry!!  No I'm not!!  I love information.
Gary
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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2007, 09:01:56 AM »

Gary,looks like you got a pretty heavy frost down there today. LOL
Richard
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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2007, 03:51:15 PM »

Hi all,

Thanks for the kind words. To answer your questions: The material that I used to line the cabinets etc. is called trunk liner and was purchased in Denver from  http://www.keystonbros.com/index2.html  .

The insulation made a huge difference, zero squeaks, very quiet inside. Before the insulation there were not really any squeaks but the engine could be heard much better, especially the turbo spooling. Now you can't hear what the engine is doing. The side windows are about 54" wide and 36" tall (going from memory here) I like the size. I'd do double pane next time.

Thanks again, Tq
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« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2007, 04:50:00 PM »

Perfect timing Tim, thanks for the info on your windows, I'm sure double pane is the way!  One more question if that's possible, on your cafe doors how are your hinges mounted the appear to be concealed?     Thanks again!     

Pat
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« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2007, 05:30:35 PM »

A trailer would be nice too to haul all that stuff. Ever look in a Greyhound bus to see what they are hauling?? Sure they have newer buses, but still running a bunch of MC-12s. The drivers probally don't treat the buses as good as a proud bus nut. How often do you see a 'hound on the side of the road. Sure it is wise to carry extra belts, spare tire and surely oil and bulbs but I think good service and up keep is the key.
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2007, 07:42:36 PM »

The written list of "suggested spare parts" looks long, it is only a guide to be considered from information suggested by those more experienced at having on the road situations with buses probably older than some of you have.  Good maintenance cannot account for things un-forseen in the future from road debris doing undercarriage or engine damage, hitting a dear and not having a head light if needed etc, the list goes on.  Las Vegas is full of gamblers, not having any spares is just that but everyone's choice for sure.  It is your personal priority list of things you want to travel with and anything extra may be in the way.  This "Suggested" information is probably not needed by all and probably appreciated by many. 
Good Luck.
Gary
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« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2007, 03:59:16 PM »

Pat,

The bay doors use a stainless steel piano hinge. It is riveted to the edge of the door frame and to the edge of the opening frame. If you look close you can see them from the exterior. The aluminum siding helps them blend in.

hth, Tq
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1974 Silver Eagle, 3406 Caterpillar, South Dakota
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