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Author Topic: bus not level when air up  (Read 11168 times)
zubzub
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« Reply #90 on: May 06, 2008, 06:19:18 AM »

I don't have an mci or tags so this is more general knowledge re rusted up stuff.  As I don't have a schematic of the tag assembly bear with me.  Grease will not unstick stuck stuff.  Providing there is some way to take these apart later I would try forcing kerosene or some other light oil through the grease zerks.  Maybe unscrew the zerks and use some kind of pressure adapter.  wear goggles as I have no idea where the stuff is going to spray out.  I suggest this because you are pretty stuck and from what I've read if you don't get it loose you will be replacing them.... Also never underestimate the potential progress of even the smallest amount of movement.  I would get an air assisted bottle jack and try moving it/the bus up and down looking for the smallest amount of movement.  IF you get .5 mm of movement that is great , go the other way then back etc etc etc . If you do use light oil /penetrating oil to unfreeze them, spen a good amount of time making sure you clear it out and replace it with grease later.  Also if there are no places to get oil in at the top of the assembly, and you have a schematic, maybe you can safely drill yourself a spot. BTW some folks remove the tags completly on some buses, this might be a possibility, if you start a new thread on that I'm sure you will get plenty of opinions (I'm not sure which buses this is OK on).
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compedgemarine
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« Reply #91 on: May 06, 2008, 08:14:54 AM »

I agree that any movement is something. you say you cannot pry them down, have you tried putting a jack under them and lifting them a slight amount? if you can get it to move up a little then try prying them down. if you have a buddy at the local volunteer fire dept see if they have a jaws of life they could bring over. they fit in tight areas and have a lot of power. that or a porta power if you have room for it. if it is really stuck prying is not enough, you will need hydraulics. worst case is you damage it but if it doesnt move now it is junk anyway so cant hurt at this point to get macho with it.
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NJT5047
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« Reply #92 on: May 06, 2008, 08:24:21 AM »

Heat.  Lots of heat.  Work on one side at a time.   F
FIRST, call Luke or Sam and verify that this is not unsafe or contraindicated for sundrous reasons. 
High grade explosives come to mind...but perhaps this should be a 'last resort' idea.
If heating is OK, find a torch with a big rosebud.   
Get a load on the tag and maintain it.  The extended tag could utilize the weight of the bus...block the tag an inch off of the other supports.  Use the tag as a support point.  You could install the wheel and block it so that the weight of half  the rear weight of the bus is on the tag. 
Once weight is applied to the tags heat the H*#% out of the side you're working on.  The tags axles are two separate shafts in the tube.   Just heating and cooling several times may free up the axle.  Heat streches the metal quite a lot. 
Heat may have a deleterious effect on the metallurgy of the tube.  I dunno.  I would guess that heat wouldn't damage the axle. 
That's one of the reasons I suggest discussion of this project with Luke at US Coach or Sam Caylor.  How far is Rantoul, Ks from you?   
If the tags free up, they may do so with vigor...something's gonna move once they are hot enough.  Keep the chassis blocked sufficiently to stay safe. 
The tags really should be disassembled and cleaned if they break loose.  They are full of rust and crud.
If you have a bus recycling business nearby, that's would be a good place to look for a tag assembly.  Most of them are crushed and not worth more than the scrap value.   
In any event, if you use the fire wrench...keep a charged hose nearby.  Steam cleaning the are first, and using a sheet of thin steel as a heat guard would help prevent fires.

Good luck, JR

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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

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bowmaga
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« Reply #93 on: May 06, 2008, 11:07:00 AM »

Well, I think I've recruited a little help, a seasoned truck driver/farmer is now in my corner and willing to throw some advice and help my way, plus he has the shop and tools and a little time.  The heat will be my first step on Saturday.  Tonight I'm going to get my 12 ton jacks under the lifting points of the tag Assembly's and let the weight of the bus over the next few days ease down on them and seem if they will move.  If the weight of the bus won't break them loose, I think my only other option and/or hope is the heat.  I called US coach and Luke wasn't there and Mike no longer is with them.  There is a Bill there that must know something to, but he wasn't there either. I called Sam Caylor, but he wasn't there either but the guy I was talking to said they did have some tags for my MC9 and could ship them to me.  God knows what that will cost....but they have some.  We have a guy hopefully closer that may be helpful on parts to, but we haven't got a hold of him yet either.  I will keep everyone posted....or just got on here to vent some more.  Good news is....I think I've lost 10lbs of weight....just from worrying about this bus! Hard to eat or sleep when you have a 15 ton hunk of steel sitting in your driveway being really stubborn.  I even gave her a bath sunday thinking she'd perk up and act a little better....I think it just made her more mad.  Thanks for your guys help...
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Greg Bowman
1979 MCI MC9
bowmaga
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« Reply #94 on: May 09, 2008, 05:07:15 AM »

If anyone out there hears any loud screaming and cussing.....followed by a loud explosion, its just me, working on my tag axle tomorrow morning.  The loud explosion will be me blowing up my bus, which will allow me to just collect the insurance money and then I won't have to worry about the tag.  If by noon we have no luck getting it to move, with heat, we are cutting it off. And if i don;t blow it up,  I can get parts from Luke, and/or Sam Caylor, who I have talked to both.  anywhere from 1000-2000for a complete assembly.  Super Betty has me in a corner and is throwing body punches wearing me down...maybe with some new assisting legs under her, she'll start acting better.  I'll be back.....
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Greg Bowman
1979 MCI MC9
bowmaga
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« Reply #95 on: May 10, 2008, 03:13:51 PM »

Our luck has changed....we got our tag unstuck, broke loose, and operational.  Goes down with its own air pressure from the air bag.  We can dump the air, jack it up and the bag will push her back down with force.  I think I couldn't be happier.  We were so close last weekend.  It just took a little more today, didn't even have to apply heat.  I think it was mostly rusted and froze up under the split clamp holding the assembly together.  Wither way, she works and she's leveled up.  I think the unlevelness was mostly caused by the ride height valves just not be worked up and down. 

We are in business.

on another note, we got $97 dollars from just recycling the stainless steel air flow vents that run down the bottom interior on each side.  Just those 6-8 pieces. 

Happy all around, time to drink fun beer rather than depressed beer!
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Greg Bowman
1979 MCI MC9
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« Reply #96 on: May 10, 2008, 03:38:46 PM »

 Grin Grin Grin  See what happens when you don't give up!  Grin Grin Grin

Glad to see Ol' Lady Luck turn up every now and then
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Brandon Stewart - Martinez, GA
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« Reply #97 on: May 10, 2008, 06:48:12 PM »

Hallelujah and congratulations, all is right with the world again! Grin Grin Nothing worse than depressed beer! Wink
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NJT5047
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« Reply #98 on: May 11, 2008, 07:16:17 PM »


Congrats on freeing up the tags!   Grin Grin Grin
We've been gone (playing in the rain! Angry) and was wondering how your project was coming along. 
Now grease the he** out of those tags on a regular schedule...and all other grease fittings.
I've got one nasty bus to clean up before Gene's Busnut rally this week.  Gads.  They're calling for more rain on Thursday....drove home in major rain today...you oughta see my golf cart! 
If towing anything smallish, I recommend an enclosed trailer! 
Oh well.  At least my new $200 driver's wiper decided to work.  I really dislike air wipers.    Cheesy
JR

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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

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bowmaga
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« Reply #99 on: May 12, 2008, 06:31:06 AM »

Thanks for everyone's input on my problem.  I'm super happy on finally getting her loose and working and now I can move on to a lot more fun bus conversion stuff.  I guess to explain what i did for futrue bussers with this problem....here goes, and maybe this will help.

Mind you this is a very frustrating process.

1. Build a set of 6x6 ramps and platforms to back the bus up on to get it another 6-8" off the ground, cause you can get into anything or under anything as it sits there.

2. remove the tag tires.  We hired and trucking company with a big air on a work truck to bust the nuts loose.  I got 4 out of 20 off in 2 days and gave up.  They had the next 16 off in 5 minutes. 

3. we then removed the shocks.

4. Grease everything on the tag assembly.  should be 4 zirts.  We had to remove grease zirts and clean them up and then just replaced them.  Bought a pack of 10 at tractor supply store for $5.  Then  we new it should take grease.  Knowing that, let us know that the grease zirts weren't the reason it wasn't taking grease.  We went through 10 tubes of grease on just the tag Assembly.

5.  On the MC9 there is a clamp down on the axle that is 2 halves and has 4 bolts holding it together and 5th bold holding the top half in place.  We removed this and it was all rusted up inside.  This major corrosion wouldn't allow grease around the inside of the clamp.  This clamp holds the tag axle to the bus so that it does walk out of the bus when you are going down the road.  It also pivots in this clamp and i think this is where is was froze fast.  Or at least this was %50 of the problem.  We used penetrating oil, multiple cans on the assembly that was underneath the clamp to clean it up and help the process.

6. There are 4 bolts on each side that hold the tag axle to the frame.  A few of ours were rusted bad enough they didn't look good.  SO we torched them off and replaced them.  That just gave me peace of mind that they were good new bolts.

7.  There is no good place to jack the tag tire straight down.  We took a 12 ton bottle jack and stuck it in between the shock mounts.  Not the shock studs, but the A frame mounts that are welded to the assembly.  You have to put it in at an angle, but its possible andthe best place to get good pressure with out removing the air bag or anything else.  There isn;t a good place to pry anything....its just a pain.  We then took another small 12 ton bottle jack and stuck it horizontally between the frame and back side of the tag arm. We did this to maybe push the tag assembly out of the axle, just ever so slightly to put some sheer force on it to bust the rust loose and to break the bond of the assembly that was under that split clamp we took off.

8.  We then began to jack on the the bottle jack in between the shock mounts....we got some good pressure on it and then used a really big persuader, a 3lb sledge and a 5lb sledge and cracked on the tag where we could with out hitting a grease zirt breaking anything.

9.  And then the loudest POP you could possibly hear happend.  At that point either something broke....or it broke loose.  None of us new.  We were beyond the point of stopping, cause we didn;t have any other choices...so i gave the bottle jack a fem more pumps....and CRACK...one side busted loose....some more pumps, the more she moved.  Moved hard, but moved.

10.  Jacking it down was one thing, but then we had to get it up.  Put and air assisted 20 ton jack under the jacking post on the back side of the tag assembly and started lifting.  We lifted the entire bus.  That's when i thought we were screwed.  3lb sledge on the same area were were hitting before and CRACK...she went back up.  All was good.

11.  We repeated this up and down process on both sides until we could jack it up, then throw the manual dump valve shut to air up the tag bag, and then bag had enough of its own power pressure to push it down with ease.  We don't have an lift UP on our tag, its basically down all the time unless you want to dump the air for traction.

12.  Put some anit-seize on the lug posts, put the tires back on and we were in business.  We took some back country roads home, at a nice slow and steady pace.  The up and down roughness of the roads here in Ohio gave the tag assembly a good 3"-4" work out up and down for a 20 mile ride.  Had good enough down pressure we never locked up the tag breaks. 

Next will probably replace the air leveling valves on the back.  I think by driving it around it has helped, plus prior to moving it this weekend, I jacked it up off the ground pretty high.  I think i had the rear bumper about 42" off the ground.  I think extending the levelers, gave them some action they hadn't seen in years.  Must have excited them, cause when i let it back down a couple days later and aired it up......she was all but level.  Level enough for me.

Now we are on to more.  I'm sure i have more questions.  Thanks for everyones input again.

Greg - Bowmaga
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Greg Bowman
1979 MCI MC9
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