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Author Topic: Hi Tech, Do or Don't ??  (Read 3520 times)
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« on: May 16, 2006, 06:59:17 PM »

Here's some good advice.

Everybody loves toy's and the latest Hi Tech stuff, Including me. And I have alot of them! It's called the the Tim the Tool Man Syndrome!

My advice to all, Keep it simple. Only go with the tried and true if you don't want the headachs. I'm able to tell this story from expierence.

It seems like every trip I take, only the complicated Hi Tech stuff that I had to have, is always the cause of a headache. Remember, if something goes wrong

on a trip, think of how you would resolve that problem with limited resorces. Like, where to get thoose special parts on the road!

Can you go to any local hardware, marine supplier, or electrical store 4 to 500 miles away from home and buy that part?

Or will you be forced into spending funds that were not allocated for?  You know Murphy's Law!

Just wanted to pass on some good advice, take it for what it's worth! But, I have always found out the hard way that Cheap costs you twice!

Hope this helps-
Nick Badame-
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 07:02:18 PM by Nick Badame Refrig. Co. » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2006, 07:21:22 PM »

Nick,

Good advice!

After my first breakdown on the road I walked around the coach and did the "What If" game.

What if that was damaged, how would I fix it.

I am slowly building a kit of spare brake lines, fuel ines, splices, caps, relays, wire etc...

It came in very handy when I had a fuel fitting crack.  I was able to bypass the primary filter and get on the road.

That fix was a unique one, duct tape wrapped around a straw for my sons sippy cup to make it large enough to seal the fuel line with three tye wraps on each end to hold it.  Worked until I got to NAPA.

Now you know why I am building this kit up.

Mcgyver's got nothing on us busnuts.

Cliff
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2006, 07:29:03 PM »

Cliff,

I have a whole bay full of WHAT IF'S!   Now I don't know where to put the lawn chairs! LOL

 Mabe I don't have a place to sit but, I can sure fix just about anything with my 1100lb tool chest!

Boy, If you ever watched McGiver, The A Team, or Tool Time, you know that Duct tape is the million dollar tool in the box!

Nick-
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 07:31:27 PM by Nick Badame Refrig. Co. » Logged

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Dallas
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2006, 07:59:46 PM »

Cliff,

I have a whole bay full of WHAT IF'S!   Now I don't know where to put the lawn chairs! LOL

 Mabe I don't have a place to sit but, I can sure fix just about anything with my 1100lb tool chest!

Boy, If you ever watched McGiver, The A Team, or Tool Time, you know that Duct tape is the million dollar tool in the box!

Nick-

Nick and Cliff,
I remember the 'OLDEN' days before duct tape. Just about anything could be fixed with baling wire and bubble gum. Now we have high tech fixes like zip ties and duct tape.
On the bus I'm working on right now, I had to laugh when I opend the engine room door. Hanging in plain sight was a small roll of baling wire!
Things never change! LOL
Dallas
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2006, 08:13:36 PM »

Never underestimate the value of a good roll of bailing wire.

Of course, now I have the "High Tech" stainless bailing wire.

I remember making hose clamps out of it.  Ya have to get the wrap and twist just right!

Cliff
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2006, 08:24:05 PM »

This thread reminds me of the scene in the movie Apollo 13. The guy at Mission Control walks into the room and dumps a bunch of stuff on the conference room table.  Then he tells the engineers, "Okay guys this is what you have available to build the CO2 scrubber adapter. Now get busy"   Grin
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2006, 10:58:25 PM »

If you want to become a real duct tape expert be sure you watch the Red Green Show every week on most PBS TV stations.  Red calls duct tape "the handyman's secret weapon" and demonstrates a lot of practical applications for it.  He also provides marital advice on the show.

I haven't picked up any ideas for the bus from him, but I keep hoping.


Dave
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 03:41:21 AM »

Duct tape = Kentucky Chrome, Red Green is the best salesman around when it comes to fixing something with duct tape!  I wouldn't leave home without it! 

Now about this Hi Tech Stuff, I'm hooked on it also, but using the K.I.S.S. method is probably the smartest thing you could manage on your bus!  I watched last year when HGTV had their show on RV's, some of the electronic equipment they were installing was mind boggling!  Putting electronics in one of the two worse environments possible, the other being a boat!  The wiring harnesses alone were overwhelming, those sure are beautiful busses, but in 5 to 10 years not even mentioning 20, someone is going to be pulling their hair out trying to figure out what goes where, and cussing the invention of PLC's in buses. Technology is awesome, but it is new and the learning curve is expensive, now I know that working on the bus is just as much as taking a trip for some of us, and yes I like it too. But when I get in the bus, I want it to make it from point A to Z without any or few headaches!................
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Pat

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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2006, 04:13:33 AM »

"The handyman's secret weapon,,, Duct Tape"

"Remember - if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy"

"I'm pullin' for ya.  We're all in this together"

"I am a man, but I can change, if I have to,,, I guess"


 Cheesy  Red Green.  The finest Canadian export, except for Labatt's,  and maybe Pamela Anderson.
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2006, 04:37:04 AM »

I hadn't noticed the roll of bailling wire in my engine bay until Dallas pointed it out.  I believe that I am going to have to upgrade it to stainless. Grin
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JackConrad
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2006, 04:44:59 AM »

A couple thoughts. First, preventative maintenance. Check such things as belts, hoses, fuel lines, brake lines at lrast once a year, preferably more ofter. Much easier to replace a part sitting in your yard than along the road. Second, in addition to the items already mentioned, carry an assortment of brass plugs and caps. They can be used to block off a leaking air line to enable you tp limp in to a repair location.  Jack
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2006, 04:52:56 AM »

Don't forget the Visegrips..Duct tape, baling wire and Visegrips..don't leave home without them.

Len Silva
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Dallas
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2006, 04:58:02 AM »

A couple thoughts. First, preventative maintenance. Check such things as belts, hoses, fuel lines, brake lines at lrast once a year, preferably more ofter. Much easier to replace a part sitting in your yard than along the road. Second, in addition to the items already mentioned, carry an assortment of brass plugs and caps. They can be used to block off a leaking air line to enable you tp limp in to a repair location.  Jack

Those are excellent words to live by Jack. Too many of us think that once we get home, it's time to relax and forget the cares of maintenance. It's a lot more fun to figure out ways to make the engine more powerful or get the house batteries to last a couple of hours longer.
I have to admit that I'm as bad about that as probably anyone here.
Thanks for reminding us.
Dallas
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gumpy
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2006, 05:10:10 AM »

Don't forget the Visegrips..Duct tape, baling wire and Visegrips..don't leave home without them.

Len Silva

You said it, Len.

I keep having to buy new ViceGrips because my old ones become permanent installation.

I drove a 52 Chevy in High School (no, I'm not that old, but it was the coolest truck in our small school). Never got the interior fixed up, so it was pretty rugged. One night the throttle cable broke at the pedal, so I reattached it with a pair of small ViceGrips. I haven't driven the truck in many years, but those ViceGrips are still there, holding that cable in place!  Roll Eyes

A couple years ago I went through the aisle of Home Depot and noticed a zip strip of ViceGrips. They were doubles, with one large pair and one small pair. The small pair had the new fangled rubber grips on them, and the large pair didn't. The price was $7.  I passed it by and didn't really think about it until the next day, and realized that was a good deal. One pair of the large ones sells for over $8. When I went back that afternoon, I couldn't find them. They were not in the regular tool section, and nobody there knew where they were. I spent an hour walking the aisles looking for them. Finally found them. There were 17 sets on the strip. I bought them all! Sold a few to friends, gave a few away to relatives. Kept the rest for me, the kids, and the bus.

It's hard to find bailing wire any more. Everyone uses twine, now. I have a few strands hanging in my garage that I salvaged from the back of an old ranch truck several years ago while I was back in WY. It's like gold. I ration it very carefully.

 I'm going back out to WY over Memorial Day weekend. Hoping my buddy has some on his ranch so I can replenish my stash.

Duct tape is the high tech version of bailin wire. Personally, I don't like using it cause it leaves an awful residue, and it's hard to find good 70 mph duct tape. But sometimes it's just the best solution for a temporary fix. I'd never consider duct tape a permanent fix, like ViceGrips and bailin wire.

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2006, 06:06:25 AM »

 My  vote is don't if you can help it.

I own a 59 4104 which was rebuilt ground up by my folks and professionally converted.

Dad asked me a while ago what I would sell it for after a driver from the company who took delivery on it inquired if it was for sale.....

My reply:  Alot of $$.......Why, the bus is stone aage simple.......I can fix just about anything on the side of the road, it gets great MPG, no electrical/computer gremlins to worry about.

Everything is easily diagnosed as well.......heck even a V-730 is on the side of being too high tech......example:  Folks 4108 had trans failure in Fl a couple years ago.......part had to be shipped in, and required a trans pull and several days in the shop......even then something was not adjusted right which left them with another tow on a trip after they got home....

Never would have happened in the old 04.

That being said I also own a newer MCI product......but given the choice....the 04 is the bus chosen for my personal trips.
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2006, 08:39:03 AM »

Being an old owner/operator cross country truck driver, I do have a few parts with me.  Mainly fuel filters and oil.  I do carry plastic ties, silicone sealer, silicone tape (very cool-doesn't have sticky but sticks to itself.  Can even wrap a fuel line leak while it is leaking and it will seal!).  Electrical tape is usally more usuable than duct tape.  Changed my 12R-22.5 bus tires to more common 11R24.5 truck tires since they are more available on the road.  The rest of the bus is practically like a big rig truck, so don't carry any more than this.
As to the motorhome part, I bought name brands from Camping World, Home Depot, Graingers Wholesale, etc.  Rare is the time you go through any town now and a Home Depot isn't there.  There is a point where carrying too much just is loading you down to the point of having a measurable effect on your fuel mileage.  Last July coming home from Rickreal, Or, I took 299 from Redding out to Eureka.  While a beautiful drive, a mother of a road to drive (maybe try it once-in a sports car would be prime).  My remote mounted engine oil filter broke off and dumped 7 gallons of oil in a very few seconds.  Needless to say, shut off the engine immediately when the oil buzzer came on and swung into the oposite side of the road into a turn out.  Called the Detroit Diesel rep in Eureka and sent out a road mechanic with another similar oil filter.  Was down for 5 hours, then on the way.  Just about anywhere you go you'll be within 2 hour drive of some type of mobile mechanic.  Since the millions of trucks on the road don't carry hundreds of pounds of spare parts with them, I don't either.  If you keep your bus maintained properly and repaired the correct way, it will give you many miles of faithful performance.  Do you think the original bus operators of your bus carried anything more than fuel filters with them?  Just my opinion from 21 years of cross country truck driving.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2006, 04:52:03 PM »

On the bailing wire topic...I had a boy from Oklahoma working for me in the Campground...someone reported that the futon that makes into a bed in one of the cabins had been overloaded...busted the welds on the springs...it was the weekend and we did not have a welder so my Oklahoma hand went to his tool box and did the nicest wrap job you have ever seen on the springs and we were back in business...about two years later we had some super heavyweights use the futon/bed and I had to finally take it to the welder for the right fix.
Happy Trails,
Brent
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2006, 10:22:30 AM »

I always used biling wire and grass string - of course I live in the south and didn't know what bubble gum was  ;-)

Danny
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2006, 11:15:31 AM »

If you can not find bailing wire, a good substitute is a roll of tye wire for rebar, get it at any lumbar yard.
ED
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Ed Van
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2006, 12:11:56 PM »

When I had a sticks and staples I carried a starter, alternator and water pump in addition to the normal stuff. Does anybody carry hard parts like these for thier bus.
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2006, 12:21:07 PM »

I have a spare air compressor on board, just because I got a decent deal on it and it didn't make sense to leave it home when in all likelyhood it would fail on me when I'm not at home. Also carry a spare governor, again, because I have it, but that's not really a major part.

Of course, the big problem I had last year was the alternator, not the air compressor, which I didn't have a spare for.
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Craig Shepard
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