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Author Topic: I'm still thinking about a re-power....  (Read 3999 times)
Chaz
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« on: April 30, 2008, 08:26:22 AM »

Ok guys, to start off, I have no idea how my bus is supposed to run. This is the first DD I ever drove so I have nothing to compare to. I know some have you said in the past that if she will start....RUN IT!!  Grin  And to drive it like you're mad at it. (I really like that idea!!  Cheesy Cheesy)
But I would just like to know if it might be a good idea to do an in-frame. Is there things I can check for?

Here's what I can tell ya: I seems like it is a bit of a "dog", and I get 6.2 mpg.
I already had the rack run and been adding injector cleaner (and trany fluid). She is also a little tough to start at 50* or so, so I understand there may be some cracked rings. She can kill LOTS of 'skeeters when she starts until she gets a couple blocks down the road. She can run around 70 or so down the highway (but it's a guess- no speedo)

I'm thinking I should have a compression check and I was also told about some sort of inspection covers on the side of the motor that you can look in and see the........ cylinder walls??

Is there anything else I can do or check for??  I understand there is a couple places on the net I could get some info from, but I would rather trust real world info from guys I know.

By the way, reason I am a little concerned is I want and need to take her on about 8 trips this year. Work and play. The work part is important.

So what do you think?? Any help or suggestions??

Thanx,
   Chaz
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008, 08:52:26 AM »

The hard starting and the excessive smoke are indicators that something may be wrong, especially after a tune up.

A compression check is in order and there are several other pressure checks that can be done (air box, exhaust, etc.

As for your speed, my experience is that you are probably going faster than you think.  I know I scared the hell out of myself the first time I hit an off-ramp much faster than I thought I was going.

Len
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 09:06:31 AM »

My 4903 gets 6.5 mpg at 65mph. Any faster, I start losing. Go to wally world and get a hand held GPS, or better yet borrow one and check your speed and miles. My gps is exactly twice as fast as my speedo, but hub meter was only 1 10th mile off in 500 miles. I get a little smoke on start up , and have been 85 mph when not paying attention . Check your speed.  big john
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 09:24:50 AM »

sounds like it's time to look at a little engine work. Mine starts on a 30 degreee day just fine and no smoke after startup. It gets 7 MPG at 65-75 mph with 24.5's on the drive axle. Jerry
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 12:37:40 PM »

Chaz, Auto or Spicer? My old 4905 got 7.5 to 9.5  flat land or hilly made the difference. 8V71 with 4 speed Spicer. If your gonna do an inframe that would be a good time to do your veg oil conversion also.
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Rick Brown
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 01:39:00 PM »

Here's what I did while repowering my 4905
http://home.att.net/~intermountainac/BusRepower.html
RickBrown in Reno, NV
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 02:58:27 PM »

hard start and excessive smoke at 50*.....needs rebuilt.

mileage seems OK, a DD 2 stroke will run well after it is worn out.
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 03:22:20 PM »

Sounds like your engine is on the worn side.  Might be cracked rings-can check through the side inspection air box plates by rotating the engine until you can see the rings in the intake ports-then you can rotate the rings with a sharp ice pick type tool to see if they are cracked.  I realize that the 8V-71N is a very reliable engine, but it is out of production (as of 1998) and it isn't very fuel efficient (it was in its' day) compared to the newer engines now.  Instead of spending the big bucks to overhaul your engine, you might consider installing a Cummins 8.3 or ISC mechanically injected engine with the reverser gear.  Your fuel mileage will increase to around 10 mpg and will be able to have it serviced wherever anyone knows Cummins engins.  These engines will have around the same power as your 8V-71N (what injectors do you have?).  If you want to go electronic, you could use the Cummins ISL that puts out up to 400hp and 1200lb/ft torque-which you would love.  Also, the Cummins L10/M11/ISM can be used with the reverser gear, but is much bigger.  I would stay with the mechanical 8.3 liter for simplicity.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008, 04:27:21 PM »

with brand new military surplus 8v71's cosyting around 5k I would not do a repower......not even taking into acount the headaches it MAY cause.

worst case is you get an engine that is turing the wrong way and you make it go the correct way.....not that difficult, and swap all the bolt on stuff onto it.....and then slap it in.

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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2008, 06:29:38 PM »

Reversing the direction would involve at least a partial teardown. Why not just stick with what you have? ~$2K for the parts needed for a rebuild & fewer surprises too.

What is the oil consumption? If not bad, I'd consider running her another year while you line up things to rebuild it later.

Not everyone here believes you have to run new equipment or professional grade.  Grin  Cool
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2008, 08:09:15 PM »

Yeah, I agree with Kyle.
If your bus idles with any oil pressure, runs on all cylinders when warmed up, and you can add oil faster than it burns (or leaks) out...may I suggest that you run it.
Unless you're a pro-mechanical wizard (one of those things where if you have to ask?), it'll cost much more than the bus is worth to repower.  Estimate $15 to $20K if you pay for a DD dealer to rebuild your 8V71.  You do have an 8V71?  Right? 
Don't expect large gains in fuel mileage or power.  Your engine only makes 2
Install a block heater.   That valuable accessory will enable it to quickly fire up in zero degree weather.  As long as the engine doesn't run out of oil, and isn't allowed to overheat, and is not in a death rattle, it'll run for a long time.  Probably.
Not sure what sort of trips you have planned, or how far you wish to drive?  70 MPH is about what they do, and 6 MPG is sorta what you would expect from an automatic 40' coach with an 8V71.   
Not trying to be cheap (I tend to that end of the continuum),  but you'll have plenty to do with your conversion without adding another year or so of 'repowering' effort.
No doubt your engine is worn out. But it ain't dead....yet. 
Buying a RH engine and reversing it is about as much work as rebuilding yours.  Figure a complete teardown, changing oil orifices, main seals, fuel pump, oil pump, cams, gears...and the list goes on!  Reversing an DD is more comlicated than most realize.  It obviously is possible.
In today's market, you could buy a later coach with a known good engine for considerably less than repowering your bus.   
That's my opinion....keep us updated on the repowering project!   Wink
The possibility exists that our buses could become about useless if the fuel costs continue their upward spiral.  We could (I don't believe so, but?) be witnessing a sea-change in our leisure-time vehicles. 
And lifestyles.  I'd move slowly on the major engine work until the rest of the bus is ready to use and you know that you for sure wish to travel as anticipated.  And can afford and obtain fuel for such purposes. 
Are you aware that there are transverse S-50s with reversers?  Would make a nice item once completed!  There are a good many takeout 6V92TAs around too.  These make great  cheap repowers.  Watch for a LH engine though. Cheesy
JR



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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 05:58:45 AM »

Chaz...I hope I don't get in trouble here with this post but here goes.

It appears it is running now.  The block heater thing JR talked about would take care of the starting when cold.  (He didn't mention the part about some of them can runn the light bill up as high as diesel!LOL  MIght want to plug it in several hours of the night before a trip.)

A lot of these smoke a little before taking off.

So it appears you have a somewhat tired dog?

Like Kyle said, run it a while, then decide on a repower.

Now here is where I might get in trouble;

I see all these guys wanting these big turbo powered, tricked out motors and think about the first time I saw a 'Cigarette' boat.  I didn't know what they were, I just know they were realy long, really loud and rreeaallllyy fast!  I casually turned to by friends wife and said, "What's that?"  She said, "Oh, that's a penis extention!" Grin

Jack

PS...back in my cross country truck driving days, we had a team that ran 60MPH when we ran 80MPH plus.  (I'm not telling what the 'PLUS' part is, I don't think the statute of limitations is over yet!)  That team always beat us to LA...ALWAYS!  They just stayed out of the truck stops and kept on running.
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 06:15:38 AM »

I run my 4104 with 6-71 for at least two years with compression so low that I had to use a small squirt of ether most of the time to start it. Always on the first start of the day, regardless of the outside temperature. I eventually had it re-built with 4 valve heads. I never really saw any difference other than it was much easier to start.

Richard
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 07:28:54 AM »

Hey Thanx Guys!! I appreciate all the advice and PM's too.
 The coach is already converted but I am bringing things up to snuff right now. So I have been using it for about a year and a half. I will keep an eye on the oil consumption on my next trip. I had just been keeping it toppped off until now.

  Oh, and Jack, a Cigarette isn't the only way to get one of those. My friends wife says a Corvette is one too. I guess (hell, who am I kiddin, I KNOW) I need one!! Plus I like both of those modes of transportation!  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy But sadly, my other 10 vehicles will just have to suffice.

I already have a block heater and it does work well. It's just that all of my starts aren't always planned. But it does work well.

I'm pretty sure I can get into a rebuild for around 4-5K. So my mechanic has said. I'm not really wanting to, but if it would be a good idea, I would do it. Reason being - if I have something I usually hang on to it. Hence the 9 other vehicles.  Grin (I've had my '56 29 years, my '46 Harley 28 years, my '39 truck 26 years, etc. And they are drivers, not dust collectors.) So in that regards, it may be worth it. The Cummins swap sounds interesting, and altho I am only about an hour from where their office and factory is, I doubt I can get any kind of deal on one.  Undecided  Plus, i have no idea how to do it........or even anyone who would.

Thanx for the info Rick. Interesting setup!

 Charley, She's an auto which I know sacrifices some mpg. But..........  Undecided  Regardless what I do, I won't do both at the same time - in case there is a problem. I know so little about it, I wouldn't know where to start troubleshooting. I learned many times- the HARD way- that it's easier for me to do one thing at a time. (Rick mentioned an air leak in his fuel, on his site, that might have caused him some grief. That would be my luck.)

Looks like I will take her in for a "Check-up". Compression, inspection, etc. If the guy doesn't mind me hanging around, I may stick around for a "School Day". I'll let you al know what I find.

I really appreciate all the help and insight!
  Thankfully,
      Chaz
     



 
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 08:38:54 AM »

Watch your oil level as it drops. From full, does it use the first half gallon fast & then takes a while to drink the next half? If so, you're over filling it & that's easy to fix, just don't put so much in.  Grin


When I got my first bus, it had 2 block heaters & weak coolant. So when the first big cold snap came, instead of buying 13 gallons of coolant, I just plugged her in, Yep, both of 'em. Then the power bill came for 2 weeks of use, HOLY COWS! Yep, more than one!  Shocked That was more than the 13 gal of coolant! I learned that you don't leave them plugged in all the time! I also learned that with 2 of 'em going, the radiator was also protected from freezing.  Cool

So, if you had 2, I'm guessing it wouldn't take much time to warm her up. Probably no longer than the pre-trip inspection you are supposed to be doing.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 10:21:32 AM »

If you are getting white smoke, you have unburned diesel. Could be low compression (broken rings or just worn-out) or it be bad injectors. I would have the compression checked and have the injectors tested at the same time. Bad injectors will hurt starting and mileage. A little water in the fuel will take the tips right off. Nice thing about 2 cycle DD's they don't pump oil pass the rings like a 4 cycle as they have no suction stroke to pull air into the cylinder.
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Chaz
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 11:05:04 AM »

Thanx Lee. I've had my suspicions about the injectors for some time. But it's just suspicions. I don't have anything to base it on. But either way, I get the white smoke in start up so I guess there are ring issues.  Cry

Kyle, thanx for learning the hard way and passing it on!  Grin Grin Grin I only have one, but if two would heat a block up in that short of time, it's worth looking into!!

By the way, what "pre-trip inspection"??  Grin Grin  LOL
You know, that might make another good thread. I do go over a few things, but a concise, simple and thorough list would be a good idea. I am sure there is probably a thread on here somewhere about it, but maybe another one would be good to start.

Ever learning,
   Chaz
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008, 03:20:54 PM »

Chaz, I talked to a retired trucker that has a rebuilt 8/71 with new heads for 4500.00.  No injecters, he was running 270hp w/55 injecters before rebuild. This would be a right hand engine. I have no intrest in this.  Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2008, 03:50:48 PM »

Chaz,

A couple of questions...

After talking to you on the phone awhile back you indicated the mechanic who ran the rack on your engine was a true 2 cycle Detroit man. Was he satisfied with the way the engine was performing after he did the tuneup? What were his thoughts at the time?

BTB, I may have forgotten... what injectors does the engine have in it now? If they are the wrong ones for your compression and timing, you'll get lot's of smoke. If the modulator is in bad shape, you'll also get lot's of smoke.
If you idle for a bit... (half to one hour or so), you'll get lot's of smoke. If you idle for a bit while playing with the bus... more smoke.... you will see smoke for 50 miles or so until the unburnt fuel in the exhaust has burnt itself out.

In order to look at your pistons, cylinder and rings all you need to do is look at the little stamped metal covers that are underneath the exhaust manifolds. Remove the bolts and the covers and get a good strong light You will need to turn the engine over by hand to be able to view each cylinder's innards.

An easy fix, that will probably keep your power up, your smoke down and your engine strong is to just replace the rings at this point.

If you want a complete inframe or out of frame Overhaul kit, they run about $12-1400 for a custom put together set.

Try and find the engine serial number and rebuild tag then post them here.

Good Luck,

Dallas
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2008, 09:07:15 PM »



By the way, what "pre-trip inspection"??  Grin Grin  LOL
You know, that might make another good thread. I do go over a few things, but a concise, simple and thorough list would be a good idea. I am sure there is probably a thread on here somewhere about it, but maybe another one would be good to start.




Chaz -

What you're looking for is not here on the MAK BBS, but here (has been since 2001):

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/12262/16203.html?1167072614


Also, Kyle mentioned watching how fast the oil level drops and the possibility of overfilling.  With that in mind, you might want to check to see if your dipstick is accurate.  The "Full" mark should be one inch below the oil pan/engine block interface.  This can be checked by placing the dipstick alongside it's tube on the outside, and noting where the markings are.  Wouldn't be surprised if it's off, especially if it's been repaired.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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Chaz
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2008, 11:18:52 AM »

Thanx Tom!! That sounds to me like a good price, from what little I know, but I'd still have to get it here, etc.  I think my engine is still rebuildable so I would rather go that route instead of venturing out into the unknown.  Wink

Dallas,
  He never took it for a ride or anything like that. But I think he felt it was still "ok".
  The injectors are "brown"?? Apparently, they are what they are supposed to be. Hw mentioned that they could/should probably be checked. He couldn't do it then as he had no place to put the bus at the time. (winter) But I think they should also be checked. BUT......... by the time a person spends the time and money to do that, wouldn't you be just as well off to just go ahead and replace them?? It would be my gues that if I need a couple it would work out to about the same money. (??)
  I get smoke right off the bat and it doesn't clear up until I get about a half mile or so down the road. Then it's not bad.
  I'd like to look inside the cylinders sometime myself, but would rather get an experienced person to follow the first time. I'm always willing to learn and not to proud to let someone show me the first time.
  I'll look for that tag. Is there anyplace I should start or where it might be. My motor is not totally filthy, but it is a DD!! Wink Wink Wink
  By the way, I guess I would need to figure leakage in on the oil consumption??!!??  It does mark it's spot, but not too bad, I don't think. I'm use to it since I ride a 1946 Harley!! LOL  Grin

Thanx Russ. I printed that out for future reference.

  Many thanx,
     Chaz
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Dallas
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2008, 11:26:31 AM »

Chaz,

Here's how to find the serial number for your engine:

The engine serial number and model number are stamped on the cylinder block in the following locations (as viewed from the flywheel end). The left side, upper front corner of current 6V and 8V cylinder blocks and the right side, upper rear corner of current 12V and 16V blocks and former 6V and 8V blocks. An example of a Series 8V71 serial number is 08VAXXXXXX.

You may not have a rebuild tag if it was never overhauled with OS/US bearings/liners etc.

I'll try posting a photo of the serial number location on some engines.



By the way, those rectangular covers above the serial number are the air box covers.
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Chaz
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2008, 01:06:17 PM »

Thanx Dallas,
  When it quits raining - probably tomorrow - I'll go out and check it out. Those air box covers look easy enough too. I'm assuming they are on both sides of the engine?? Do I need gaskets when I open them up? If so, I'm not sure where I can get'em if NAPA doesn't have'em. I could probably make'em if I have to tho.
  Thanx again,
     Chaz
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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2008, 04:08:49 PM »

Chaz,you will not rebuild the 8v71 for $2000.00 you are going to need machine work on the heads and block and $2000.00 will just buy you after market parts not DD parts plus you will spend another $1000.00 on special tools to rebuild the engine.I would figure $4 to 5 thousand for a rebuild   fwiw
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2008, 05:42:43 PM »

Thanx "two stroke". That is what I was figuring. I believe that is the popular belief unless you have Detroit do it. They are probably pretty good, but also pretty proud from what I understand.

    Chaz
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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2008, 05:52:54 PM »

The local Detroit dealer charges around $10,000 for a full rebuild of a Series 60 including a 300,000 mile warranty if the engine is under 10 years old.  I would bet a full rebuild of an 8V71 would be even more.
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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2008, 06:59:12 PM »

I would bet a 2 stroke is a cheaper rebuild than a Series engine.

Heck I just located 3 brand new ones for under 9k complete with warranty.

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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2008, 10:19:57 PM »

Just because you can find brand new engines for a certain prices doesn't mean a Detroit dealer is going to be able to do rebuilds for less than that.

I am just guessing that a 2 stroke engine would cost more to rebuild than a 4 stroke at a Detroit dealer because folks here have said the 2 stroke is more complicated than a 4 stroke.  Most Detroit dealers don't have a lot of mechanics skilled in 2 strokes so I wouldn't be suprised if they charged a premium for a 2 stroke rebuild.

I'll have to ask what a complete rebuild costs for an 8V71 the next I have to get a part at the Detroit dealer.
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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2008, 06:10:16 AM »

A 2 stroke is far less complicated than a 4 stroke.....I don;t know what "people" are talking about.



as far as a DD dealer not having or having fewer people who know a 2 stroke, that is true, however they are not going to charge a premium..shop time is shop time.

Besides, one would be an idiot to go to a DD shop that didn;t have someone that knows 2 strokes.

Frurthermore, I do not think I would go to a DD dealer for a rebuild, there are hundreds of DD specialist shops accross the country......with there bing bunches of 2 strokes running gensets, pumps and boats there wilol be 2 stroke guys around for the extent of my lifetime at least.

Now I don;t know what a rebuild costs on a 2 stroke......and I am sure you will get different prices different places......and I would expect 10k is about correct at the shop rate a DD Dealer charges.......

But why would you rebuild when you can get a new warranted Engine and just slap her in there

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« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2008, 08:42:32 AM »


Heck I just located 3 brand new ones for under 9k complete with warranty.




Doug -

LH or RH??

 Wink
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« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2008, 07:42:41 AM »

1L and 2R's
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« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2008, 09:29:17 AM »

Chaz- although some have opinions on how hard a two stroke is to overhaul compared to a 4 stroke, here are a few comparisons.  2 stroke has a blower-to properly set up a blower you need to make sure the blower lobes are have the proper clearance between both of the lobes and the blower case-along with proper end play.  Add to that if you have a by pass valve in the end plate.  On 71 series, you have to size and fit the dry cylinder liners.  On my bus, the liners were not sized properly, so only 65,000 miles after the bus company overhaul, I had to replace one cylinder head and have the block bored .010 over to use .010 over cylinder liners (that's on the outside, the inside bore is still standard for standard pistons).  Also, if you install the pistons into the cylinders wrong, the rings will either break or wear out prematurely.
Now let's go to a 4 stroke.  First, they have no blower.  Installing pistons and liners involves just oiling up the O rings with veggie oil, installing the pistons much like a car and pushing them in (and checking for deck height).  To me, an overhaul of a 4 stroke is easy compared to a 2 stroke.
If you do try to tackle the 2 stroke overhaul, make sure you get da book on 8V-71 overhaul.  Also is suggested you have a 2 stroker mechanic fit and install the cylinder liners and pistons-makes all the difference between a long lived engine and a engine that will be done before 100,000 miles.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2008, 10:09:55 AM »

Thanx Tom. That info is appreciated. I would never attempt an overhaul without someone to at least help me. And even then, I would more prefer to just help and learn. I have plenty mechanical knowledge but prefer to learn the easy way.  Wink
 The mechanic I have used is a guy who has worked on them his whole life. He works as a mechanic at a stone quarry (s) and also has a shop on the side. If he would let me hang out and help I'd be more than happy to. Then maybe in the future I would attempt a little work on it myself.
  Either way, I need to schedule a "check up" using all the info you guys have offered. I appreciate it!!!
   Chaz
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