Another Day in the life of a Bus Nut……..

As most of you know, the life of a bus nut is never dull. Well, this was one of those days. We were to move our bus to Buck Creek RV Park last Thursday……Not! I haven’t fired it up since I did the electric wiper install last October. I don’t like to idle it for a few minutes, as it does more damage than good.

We had the bus packed and ready to move it about 15 miles to the park. There was still stuff in the house that we either needed to move to storage or sort through to put in the bus. Not much left as we had really done a great job of purging, you know, getting rid of stuff that just collects dust or has no use anymore. Gave lots away to Good Will, friends or trash. It really felt great to downsize our treasures……again.

I did my trip pre-check, felt all was good to go. Went to fire up the Detroit, no go. Tried it again, nothing. It would spin but not lite up. So, I start checking the first things that come to mind. Is it getting fuel and air, must be one of the two. Checked the fuel filters, primary was down very little, secondary was full to the top, hmmmmmm. While the batteries were charging I scratched my head and decided to pull the air filter, clean, no obstructions. Well now, this is interesting. I pulled the fuel line from the pump to the primary, bone dry, this is not a good sign. I have a small diesel 12v pump that I can plumb to get prime, hooked it up and let it run for several minutes. It was not getting any fuel, crap.

I couldn’t see the shut down cylinder at all to see if the rod was moving when the key is turned on, great. Our Eagle is not friendly when it comes to getting to the top of the engine. The only way is through the inside of the bus, under the bed, which if full of little treasures that we can’t do without. But this time it was getting late and I was bone tired. Decided it was best to wait until the next day after a nights rest and a few cups of coffee. So we ordered a pizza from Papa John’s and relaxed for the evening. As we only had a 20 plug to power up lights and TV we hunkered down for the night in the driveway.

Friday morning came and it started raining around 8 am. We moved the stuff from under the bed so I could check out the shut down cylinder and the top of the Detroit for any signs of critters. Everything looked normal, thank goodness for small miracles.

Checking out shut down cylinder

Paul, “Down Under”

So now I go outside and try to determine what is going on. It’s not getting fuel and I need to find out why. The rain is not helping my attitude at all. Mind you, this all took some time to do and it was getting late in the day. I decided to add some fuel to out diesel tank as it was about 1/4. That didn’t help one bit. I thought maybe it was below the pickup tube, not. I know it’s best to park with a full tank, but after our last trip to Durant for a bus rally, I didn’t fill it up. I was soaking wet by now and figured I needed to dry out and hit it again Saturday morning. At least I wouldn’t have any rain to deal with, although we sure could use a good soaking, Abilene, not me though. All this time, poor Becky was in the house doing last minute stuff. Back and forth to help me when needed.

I went to the auto parts store to get some 3/8″ rubber fuel line as I was going to see if the engine fuel pump was doing it’s job. I couldn’t get it primed up to see if it would work, darn it anyway. By this time I had exhausted what little gray matter was between my ears and made a few phone calls. I talked with a bus buddy of mine in Washington state seeking some advice, maybe I missed something in my haste. We went over the scenario and we felt I was on the right track. Fuel pumps hardly ever go out on these beasts, so felt good that it was not the problem. I had replaced the fuel line from the tank to the primary filter last year so felt that was not the problem.

By this time the day was about shot. I was about shot too!

Sunday morning I decided to prime my 12v pump and leave it on for about 10 minutes to see if would grab some fuel and fire up. I went inside the bus to grab a cup of coffee and saw that Becky had the TV on and was listening to the Sunday service of the First Baptist Church of Abilene. Maybe, just maybe this will help to calm my nerves. I was saying a little prayer while I was listening to the sermon.

Well, it’s now or never. I checked to make sure the batts were at full charge, left he charger plugged in and left the fuel prime pump on. Turned the key, hit the start button and the old Detroit sprung to life! I didn’t get to excited as I wanted to make sure this was long term, not for a few minutes of a two stroke making song. The bus had lost it’s prime after all of that. I will find out why as it’s supposed to have an inline check valve to prevent that. I don’t remember ever seeing one, so will have to add one. It all looked great after about 10 minutes, so I told Becky to make sure everything was ready and latched down. This is a good sign.

We left the house with Becky following me in her car, headed to fuel up the bus at the closest station. I chose the station that had a place for trucks to fuel up with the double hoses. Our bus has only one fuel inlet and it’s on the curb side. So I had to use the pilot hose, which I noticed had been run over. As I was watching the pump do it’s thing, I also noticed how slow it was going. What the heck now! Turned the bus around so I could use the hose at the pump, Now at least it’s pumping normal. Whew!

We left there and proceeded to I-20 east to Exit 294. Bus ran great and it felt good to stretch her legs. I wanted to keep on going, nothing like hitting the slab behind the wheel of our coach.

We arrived at the rv park around noon, shut it down and got hooked up to the pole and water.

Ah, life is good. A few little bumps in the road just gives us character, at least that’s what I’m told. I have plenty of character at this age believe me! lol

Now for the next adventure, stay tuned!


Filed under Bus, Bus Conversion, Camping, Detroit Diesel, RV Park

4 responses to “Another Day in the life of a Bus Nut……..

  1. This is why I try to start mine at least once a month or sixty days tops. Weather is good, I will run it out on the Interstate, pull down 75-80 and then bring it back home.

    You lose your prime on a bus or your life, it aint no good thang, eh Paul?


  2. Baby steps, my friend. LeRoy went through all that with our generator engine this year. Glad you got it taken care of.

  3. Jerry

    Well written, Brother Paul. But, I don’t believe you were on I-10 on this trip. Lost again! Damn!

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