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Author Topic: Successful bus run home 1000+ miles in a pd4104 with toad.  (Read 1667 times)
zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« on: September 05, 2008, 06:17:20 AM »

Went out to Duluth MN with my 6 (almost 7 ) yr old son,  to pick up the '53 4104.    Once I attached a punk tank to my $99 1" impact from HF I had no problems doing the wheel work I needed to, especially as I also bought the air over Hyd 12 ton bottle jack.  Speaking of HF the cheap $35 IR sensor I got really calmed me down on the many many safety checks I did on the way home.   Other than electrical, electrical, electrical everything worked very well.  The system seems to have a big drain/short somewhere that drains batteries fairly quickly, so much so that a 10 amp charger can't keep up.  So now I have a 50 amp charger that I ran with my generator and that rig got me home.  Other road side fixes,  I had a no start after lunch one day, starter was totally dead on a sunday.  A good thing really as my first thought was just to buy a new one.  Instead I took it out, cut back the commuter and sanded it Voila it spins again.  At some point the electrical situation started getting worse, I could no longer control the starter or the reverse solenoide from the dash, so I ran new wire to the relays at the back and I have to confess that for the 2nd half of the trip the starter and reverse were engaged by touching bare wires together.  BTW the reverse wire has an unpleasant  jolt to it but the starter never shocked me.  I will be running all new wire on this bus as i have no interest in playing with the frayed remnants that are shorting willy nilly... especially after the headlights shorted and I had no lights at 55 mph in the middle of a moonless night.  That is about as dark and horrifying as it gets.  Rewired the headlights but can't trust them anymore and now run a flashlight at the same time in case it ever happens again.  Otherwise the bus ran great, engine used no oil and even after some hard 5 hour runs on 30 C. + days the engine hubs and dif never reallt heated up.  The Dif the most so as once I read 65C on it, the engine even after a series of 2nd gear climbs barely registered 85C. Hubs must have been serviced some time in the recent past as they never got hot maybe 5C above ambient at the most.  Unfortunatly the esthetics of the bus are rougher than I first thought and all the little rough bits are really grating on my so I will try to set it up to pass safety here in QC and then we will have to see about sharpening it up.  I have to say that when I first drove this little monster I found the handling terrifying but after 1000 miles I am used to it, but now interested in Sheppard steering and whether or not this feels a little tighter.  There is very little slack in the steering linkage  it just feels vague somehow. The power steering works great though as it seems to l have a neutral spot while in a straight line and this helps road feel on the highway.  The brakes are awesome.  I had to make a couple of smoking stops (road construction)  And other than some kind of suspension clunk under hard braking (bushings?) I was very impressed with their power.  I have posted some pics but as usual didnít take that many as I was busy and greasy.
 Thanks to all the info here and elsewhere online I actually had enough info on driving this thing to make it home and  I even stayed out of the black smoke most of the time. I will post a link to some pics I took.  Patrick.

http://s392.photobucket.com/albums/pp3/zubzub_photos

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Paso One
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 06:45:25 AM »

Good Job!  I love those get it home stories Grin   looks like a great project.
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68 5303 Fishbowl 40' x 102"
6V71  V730 4:10
junkman42
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 06:49:44 AM »

Great job, I am really impressed at your can do spirit.  I am sure that Your copilot will never forget the adventure!  Thanks for sharing and good luck with Your project.  John
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TomC
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 08:15:07 AM »

Great story!  Once you get it rewired, you should have a very reliable bus to work with, considering no electronics (like mine too). Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 08:15:55 AM »

Your PD-4104 is a ex Greyhound if you will post the serial/VIN number I can tell you which Greyhound company got it new from GMC in 1953.
jlv
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fe2_o3
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2008, 12:27:32 PM »

Patric; Good job and congrats on getting her home. You were lucky. Ours lost the motor on the way home, but that was years ago and the old girl has been a dream come true ever since. "Sofar..Sogood" is a 1953 4104 also. She come from Peerless Stage Lines of Oakland, Cal. I hope your coach gives you as much joy and adventure as ours does...Cable
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Sofar Sogood
1953-4104
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Everett, WA.
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2008, 04:58:35 PM »

Great Story!

Nice coach you have to work with. Actually 4104 is one of my favorite models. Nice to hear you had problems getting home, I thought I was the only one. HA

Good Luck and please be safe and post your progress.

Happy Trails,

Paul
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gus
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2008, 09:26:04 PM »

Patrick,

I've spent countless hours on my 4104 electrics and have to agree that they are a nightmare. On the other hand, rewiring will be a real nightmare, maybe a worse one. If the bus is stripped it will be much easier but this is still a monumental job.

I found the worst problem to be corroded connectors at the two electrical boxes and often the wire just inside the connectors. Often a circuit could be awakened simply by loosening the terminal nuts slightly and moving them back and forth enough to rub off the corrosion. The ultimate solution was to cut some of the wire ends, install new connectors, polish the terminal bases and replace all the steel nuts with brass. I then lubricated all these connections with Corrosion X. This solved most of my problems.

I did have to replace some of the wires completely but not many. Anytime I had to change a circuit I went ahead and replaced some of the accessible wires since the insulation is pretty shot on most of them. I made generous use of shrink wrap also.

My electrics have now been very well behaved for the past two years.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2008, 03:10:23 PM »

Hi Gus, you've mentioned how much wiring there is on the 4104 before and how hard it would be to replace.  Certainly the front wiring panel is a bit of a bird's nest, but I've been thinking that all told I would need maybe 16 wires to the rear, 16 from the dash to the wiring panel, and by then I would have just about covered everything.  My thoughts on this are that without all the emergency shut down features(long ago disabled), the wiring really isn't that bad, so if run basic controls and gages the rewire would be reasonable.  My '53 also grew up in in New Mexico so maybe the heat did more of a number on my wiring, as well as this being as old as a 4104 gets.  While I'm at it has anybody run new wires down the old cable race?  Is it a straight run? Right now my extra wiring is in an extension cord running along the floor to the rear firewall,  I don't think this is a look I want for the long term.
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JackConrad
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73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida


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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2008, 03:35:26 PM »

If you need 16, plan on at least 32. You will find things later that will need additional wires. Don't ask how I know this.  Jack
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Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
Arcadia, Florida, When we are home
http://s682.photobucket.com/albums/vv186/OBS-JC/
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