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Author Topic: Side view mirrors  (Read 3621 times)
Lin
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« on: March 16, 2008, 09:26:46 PM »

My MC5a has, what I believe to be, original side mirrors.  I find the driver's side one to be adequate, but the arm on the right side one seems to be too short to give a proper view.  Actually, I think it is nearly useless.  I have a convex mirror above it that is somewhat helpful.  Does anyone else have the same problem?  What have you done?  I thought of even cutting the arm and extending it with a tube or something, but figured there must be a "tried and true" method out there.
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2008, 10:38:04 PM »

Lin,

I found this post on "another site" http://www.rvbus.net/AEMCIMIR.pdf

I am pretty sure that your mirrors are very similar to what i have on my mc7 --

I did the same thing that was outlined in this pdf...but like you once i installed them i was not happy about the view down the curb side -- the mirror bracket is mounted ahead to allow the door to open as compared to the driver side -- so once i complete the upgrade -- i had purchase 1" OD tubing (from McMaster Carr in atlanta) i cut it on a 45% installed a 8 inch piece and welded it back up, thus using the same mount, the ball and socket joint is retained and the effective length is extended to basically get the mirror farther and ahead and outside the coach -- if all of this is confusing i can send you a couple of pictures -- shoot me an email and i should be able to do it tommorrow -

david@parkersystems.net
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2008, 08:28:36 AM »

On my bus, I completely eliminated the bus mirrors.  They are inferior in size and since I was a trucker put on what is referred to as West Coast Mirrors-heated Moto-mirrors with 8" convex beneath.  Most truckers including me will tell you that if they had to have only one mirror, they would take the 8" convex.  But having the standard mirror is also helpful.  The motorized mirrors help when backing.  Good Luck, TomC
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Lin
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2008, 09:05:40 AM »

Tom,
     It would seem that you have gone with the most practical setup.  I had not really considered those because of the appearance though.  Do you think there is much of a sacrifice there?
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tekebird
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2008, 09:08:29 AM »

my 8 has the stock mirrors with convex above....doesn't bother me at all, they are the same size as the 5's......never had any issues with the 04's either....

it's all about having them positioned correctly
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kyle4501
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2008, 09:13:19 AM »

If you get GOOD convex mirrors, you won't look at the others. That is my experience. The field of view is huge & it is nice to see EVERYTHING. I used the flat mirror to see where the tires were & to get one last look at something before I ran over it  Grin

& mine are only 6" diameter, I'll bet 8" are in my future  Grin
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 09:15:07 AM by kyle4501 » Logged

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Lin
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2008, 10:05:33 AM »

Tekebird,
     It is certainly possible that I am just not positioning the right mirror correctly, but I seem to find that the arm is too short to get it where I want it.  About how long is the arm of your right mirror?  The arms on both of mine are the same.
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Dallas
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2008, 12:14:19 PM »

Could be Lin..

I drove trucks back in the 70's that had no more mirror than a 4" round swing out.

My 4103 has been changed to a MC5 mirror, and I love it. I don't use convex mirrors at all, I actually move in my seat to see if there is something coming up on either side.

Both of the MCI mirrors are the same length, I would almost guarantee you that from the MC4 to the MCDL that the mirrors haven't changed in 40 years.

Yes they put a convex mirror on top of the standard mirror, but, in my experience, if you will move around in your seat just a little, you'll see anyone.

One thing to think about, .... if you move around in your seat, you burn more calories... you won't be as fat and the wife will like you a lot more.

Dallas

Tekebird,
     It is certainly possible that I am just not positioning the right mirror correctly, but I seem to find that the arm is too short to get it where I want it.  About how long is the arm of your right mirror?  The arms on both of mine are the same.
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tekebird
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2008, 01:28:16 PM »

without taking a tape to them I would say same length arms.

I have my curb side set so I can see the rear wheels barely. and stuff further outboard.

Outside of backing the 6" or so convex on that side lets me see anything of  consequence
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Lin
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2008, 01:39:39 PM »

Dallas,
     I am anxiously awaiting your exercise video.  I am not adverse to some movement to scan the sides.  Also, someone here suggested I get better convex mirrors.  The ones that are currently mounted above the regular mirrors are about 5 inch round and are highly convex.  I find the area covered to be too large and the items in it to be too small.  A less convex mirror may be really useful.

Teke,
     I will try the settings you suggest along with a better convex.  If all else fails, I may attach a square tube to the pivot on the bus and re-attach my current arm to a pivot point at the end of that.  If done right, it might not look bad, would extend the mirror out, and give it another articulation.  However, it would be nice to keep it simple.
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Hi yo silver
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2008, 05:59:03 PM »

WHAT DALLAS SAID!  Move around in your seat.  Don't think of that as cheating or being uncool.  In a recent issue of National Bus Trader, the safety guy, Ned Einstein I believe, referred to the procedure as "rock and roll".  He was referring, of course, to leaning forward to get a better view of the blind spot alongside the bus, as well as spotting pedestrians who might have walked into a blind spot created by windshield posts.  The statistics he quotes are borne out by local history here in SW Virginia.  There have been two pedestrians struck by city busses in the last few years.  One was killed and the other permanently disabled, if my memory serves me correctly.   Now that I have found and bought a bus, I will keep my subscription the that magazine just to follow his column, which is excellent. 

It seems, the older I get the better I was...i.e. the more I require reminders and help from you guys to keep me safe.

Dennis
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Lin
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2008, 10:25:08 PM »

In doing research on convex mirrors, I've come to think that I am having a problem using mine because they are not merely convex, but they are fish eye.
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2008, 11:08:17 PM »

Lin- they should not be fish eye-that's too much angle.  Check out an 8" convex that truckers use- it is the best combination of wide angle and still being able to see the end of the vehicle.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2008, 12:20:50 AM »

Lin (and others) -

Thousands of GMCs and MCIs used the same mirror arm (and mirror head, for that matter) on the RH side, including the 4104, 4106, MC5, 7, 8 & 9.  That's over 19,000 units combined, and hundreds of millions of miles of use in revenue service.  They work fine when properly adjusted, even better with a 5" or 6" convex mirror on top.

And that's the key - proper adjustment.  So, since nobody's covered it (Doug just touched on it) here's the procedure to do so:

First - use some PB Blaster or similar to allow the arm and mirror head to move after being loosened.  Can't adjust them right if you can't move them.  Soak them good - time and crud takes awhile to break free.

Next, sit in the driver's seat in your normal driving position, and look at the RH mirror.  Just move your head to look at this point, not "rock & roll" as somebody else mentioned.  Is the lower RH corner of the mirror right in the very lower corner of the RH windshield?  If so, great.  If not, then move the mirror arm whichever direction needed to align the mirror as noted.

Once you get the mirror head positioned so that the lower RH corner is also in the lower RH corner of the windshield, tighten up the set screw for the arm.  Not so tight that it won't move if it strikes something, but tight enough to prevent movement under normal operating conditions.

Now to adjust the mirror head.  First, make sure it's level - amazing how many drivers have mirrors that are off-kilter. . . (Does that say something about their personality??)  Rotate and adjust the mirror outward far enough that you only see about 1/4" of the side of the bus in the LH vertical edge of the mirror when seated in the driver's seat.  That's right, just barely see the side of the bus in the edge of the mirror.  You don't need to be looking at the pretty graphic paint job on your coach - you need to be looking for the idiot four-wheeler sneaking up on your right side.

After getting the mirror adjusted so you can barely see the side of your coach, tilt it down just enough so that you can see the TOP of the drive axle wheel well in the lower LH corner of the mirror.  You don't really need to see where the tire touches ground from the normal seated position, you just need that quick visual reference when turning.  And the more miles you get under your belt, the less you'll use that reference, except in oddball situations.  Once set, tighten up the head to prevent movement from road vibration, but allow it to move should it be struck by something.

The above procedure gives you the proper initial mirror adjustment.  As your skill level behind the wheel improves, adjustments can be made, but usually they're minor from this point.

(Tip:  If you still have the cab light above the driver, there's a quick short-cut to getting the initial mirror head adjustment.  Turn on the cab light, then go outside, closing the door gently, and standing at the vertical centerline of the RF wheel.  Look in the mirror - can you see the cab light?  Adjust the mirror head so that you can just barely see the cab light in the upper LH corner of the mirror when standing at the wheel.  Climb back inside and check, then make your final adjustments.  Works every time - it's a trick that's been taught to Greyhound drivers for years, especially helpful if they're picking up a coach at the garage that's just been run thru the bus washrack and the mirror's are all askew!)

Might also suggest that you re-adjust your LH mirror so you can just barely see the side of your coach in the RH edge of the mirror - opens up the field of vision quite a bit more on the LH side, too.


If all else fails, Ramco makes longer arms and larger mirror heads, including heated, electrically adjustable, turn-signal and camera-equipped models.  http://www.ramco-eng.com   But keeping the lower RH corner of the mirror glass in the lower RH corner of the windshield is still the key to proper RH mirror placement.   

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink


PS:  Driving tip:  When changing lanes to the right after passing another vehicle (and you are NOT pulling a toad), never move over until you can see the curb-side headlight of the car you just passed in your RH mirror - not the convex, but the flat mirror.  Any sooner, and you'll have an unhappy motorist behind you. . . BTDTHTTS.

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RJ Long
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2008, 02:09:02 PM »

And go back and read Russ's post again...

The concept is you want your flat mirrors pointing down and out as far as you can get them while still being able to see the side of the bus and the horizon. Convex mirrors, same idea, down and out, seeing the relationship between the bus body and the ground from just back of the mirror mounting to the horizon and beyond.

Down and out, while seeing yourself and where you've been.

Many folks with only a car driving background also expect things from the flat mirror on the curb side of the bus that simply will not be available to you.

You are too far from that mirror for a flat glass to show you much on that side, no matter how big a mirror you practically try to put on there.

Convex mirrors are your best friend. They keep you from burying things into the baggage doors down the right side, if you watch them while you turn. They keep you from changing lanes on top of the car that has been driving alongside, just back of the door, in your shade, for the last 10 miles.  As noted, bigger is better.  Depending on your age, eyesight, previous driving experience, concern for the aesthetics of oversized mirrors... Stock 5-6" or go with the 8" for the trucks, whatever you get or have, aim them right and you're more than half way there.

Another trick, looking from the other end from Russ's, you want the mirror face to be only just outboard of the bus body, when viewed from behind. Look up the side of the bus like sighting a rifle, and the mirrors should be just clear of the side, without any space, or the barest sliver, showing. If any of the mirror is inboard of the side of the bus, you're wasting some of it. Further outboard, you're inviting it to be torn off on something.

Mirrors are a driver's best friend.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



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Dallas
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2008, 03:30:46 PM »

Dallas,
     I am anxiously awaiting your exercise video.  I am not adverse to some movement to scan the sides.  Also, someone here suggested I get better convex mirrors.  The ones that are currently mounted above the regular mirrors are about 5 inch round and are highly convex.  I find the area covered to be too large and the items in it to be too small.  A less convex mirror may be really useful.

why would yo need an exercise video?

You are piloting a 40' long, 8' wide vehicle that is unlike anything you ever drove before.

If you like sitting still, try this.. put on a pair of shorts, look down at your legs. See any purple veins? See any raised ridges that look like a can full of blue or purple worms?

That is from you sitting on your behind and not allowing blood flow to the lower body.

No one said that you had to be a jumping jack, but you really do need to move around while you are driving.

Where to do you think blood clots originate? How large a blood clot will it take to make you critically dead?

Good luck, get bigger mirrors, don't adjust them correctly, drive, hit someone, sit on your big behind and die.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound too hateful, but I have watched 80 year old women that work on farms and in cafes that have legs as nice as the hottest 20 yr old you ever saw.
I've also seen 30 year olds die from blood clots.

I'm not a fitness nut by any means, (I'm as fat as a well fed Vietnamese Potbellied Pig), but when you push a button, I'll respond.

Too many people are enamored of sitting on their bottoms and letting the world work for them.

We don't want to lose any of our friends, of which, even though I haven't met you in person, consider you one.

Bottom line, anything you can do to get better vision of your driving is great, but get off your asss and don't expect some piece of machinery to do it for you.

Dallas
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RJ
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2008, 06:29:30 PM »


Dallas,  I am anxiously awaiting your exercise video. 


why would yo need an exercise video?



Dallas -

I think, if you re-read your initial comment about moving around in the seat burning calories and Mama liking you better for it, Lin was responding to that in a somewhat "adult tongue-in-cheek" manner - an attempt at humor that fell slightly flat, altho I got a chuckle out of it.


Lin -

If I guessed right and Dallas missed the joke, let me be the first to apologize for him. . . he sometimes misses my oddball humor, too!

Anyway, try adjusting your mirrors the way I and Buswarrior suggested, then take the coach for a ride - an not just around the block!  Drive it 50 miles or so, making lots of RH and LH turns, tweaking the initial adjustment slightly as necessary, then let us know the difference, if any, from before.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink

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RJ Long
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Lin
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2008, 07:09:27 PM »

Russ,
     My attempts at humor are often not appreciated, but I keep trying anyway.  I think that my sense of humor was partially responsible for my failure as a high school teacher some years back.  School administrators generally lack a sense of humor.  I thought that when I told an unruly class that just because their parents slept together did not make them special, I was offering a valid fact in a humorous way.  The officials thought that I was not sensitive the their self esteem.  By the way, it was a horrible job and I did much better at my next one which was teaching murderers and other felons in a state prison.  They were actually much better students. Anyway, I will try the adjustment methods given.  I will also get better convex mirrors.

Dallas,
     Sorry if my comment offended you.  I thought that, given your note about losing weight by shifting in the driver's seat,  that you did not mind joking around.  For the record, I do move around quite a bit to extend the utility of my side view mirrors,  however feel that my starting/neutral point should be better than it is.  Also, although I do not mind you telling me to get off my fat @$#, I am not really all that fat.  Most would probably tell you that my fat head is more of a problem.  "After all," they would say, "you did buy a bus."
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Dallas
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2008, 02:08:31 AM »

I apologize, Lin,

sometimes my warped sense of humor is plumb curlyqued and I can't see the obvious.

And please believe me....my @$# is fat enough for any 3 of us! And generally needs a good kicking at times

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Lin
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2008, 09:26:19 AM »

Yo! It's all good, man.

One question about the mirror adjustment sequence.  In the first step, one is supposed to line up the lower RH corner of the mirror with the lower RH corner of the windshield by moving the arm.  How should the mirror be oriented when you start this?  It would be different if the mirror was parallel to the driver or at a right angle, or any angle for that matter.
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« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2008, 01:16:33 PM »

hope this might show
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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2008, 07:30:43 PM »

Hello Lin.

Focus on the end result. You want to see down the side and beside you.

You do whatever it is you have to do to see what you gotta see.

The tricks Russ and I suggested are to help you do that, they are not the ends, they are somewhat the means, so the mirror isn't hiding behind the windshield pillar.

It isn't about adjusting the mirrors to some rules, or following some gurus, it is about seeing, so you don't hit things.

I'll try to wade through the snow on the weekend and take some pictures.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Lin
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2008, 07:38:38 PM »

Thanks,
   Pictures won't be necessary.  I'll use the method described and adapt.  I think I have generally either moved the arm too far out or gone the other extreme.  Your rule of thumb method should get me to get it right.
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2008, 07:53:48 PM »

I don't know about the rest of you, but in my bus I can't really see anything out the curb side without using the mirrors.  The passenger windows are so far above the driver that the driver can't see out those windows.  If I'm at an intersection where the streets meet at a severe angle I actually have to remove the seatbelt and stand up to be sure there are no cars coming.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.  I don't know.  My mirrors are very well adjusted and have both flat glass and convex glass so I just use the mirrors any time I switch lanes or otherwise need the mirrors.
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2008, 07:55:21 PM »

No shoulder checking in a bus or truck, belfert.

You're doing fine. Use the mirrors.
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« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2008, 08:52:25 PM »

Too many people are enamored of sitting on their bottoms and letting the world work for them.

That appears to be the "new" American way. Why do anything for yourself when you can get someone to do it for you for cheap, or even free.

- John
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