Thinking about a Bus/RV

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    In my experience, this is very likely the cause.

    -Skip
     
  2. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    So to be clear, the main bulbs themselves still are 1156/7s and I'm going to keep them that way. However yes, I may need either a new blinker relay or else an in-line resistor if the marker light resistance influences things somehow.
     
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  3. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Correct, which is why I said "might", lol. You never know what shared grounds or funky wiring decisions may come into play. I'd just swap to LED turn signals as well, since you're going through the hassle anyway. The LED blinker relay is generally readily available at your local auto parts store.
     
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  4. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don’t forget to change the blinker fluid to a spec that’s compatible with LEDs. :D
     
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  5. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Sold in a combo package with LED muffler bearings.
     
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  6. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Are these muffler bearings chrome, they gotta be chrome!

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
     
  7. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Especially if he’s got the chromium plated, fully-illuminated, gen-u-wine accessory shift knob. (For those of you who remember C.W. McCall)
     
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  8. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Better hit 2nd, Earl.
     
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  9. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Passed recently
     
  10. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Saw that. Age 93, so not too bad.
     
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  11. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    re bad grounds - unlike house wiring, the beautiful thing about automotive wiring is that an intermittent ground doesn't matter much. Or in other words, just start bonding things together until it works. It really doesn't matter much where the problem is, because none of those lamp loads are very high, and having multiple current paths doesn't matter.
     
  12. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I’m going to shotgun the thing and modernize/upgrade it at the same time. New LED marker lights going on, new taillights arrived, and I ordered new light sockets and pigtails for them. The pigtails aren’t supposed to arrive until Sunday so I’ll finish the taillights up sometime next week. But, started some progress on it. The smoke lenses update the look a good bit and it’s still brighter with the LEDs vs the old incandescents with crazed lenses etc.

    099A26F9-15C6-4A40-B08E-1AD786C7BBEF.jpeg
     
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  13. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    Just curious - if everything worked perfectly on that thing, you'd just be bored, correct? :) Not saying that's a bad thing.
     
  14. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Oh no! He'd be upgrading parts.
     
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  15. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    I worked with an IT guy like that. I like systems that just run, and that you didn't have to do anything to. He thought that was boring. He sought out the weird broken stuff, and tried to make it better. When I found weird broken stuff, I tried to surplus it.
     
  16. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I recently started using Jira (free for under 10 users) to keep track of my projects. If the bus was perfect I’d have no shortage of other things to do. :)

    Really there is nothing I have to do for this trip, just some minor things that I’m wanting to get done to improve it.

    But yes you’re right I’d get bored and probably buy a project Prevost before long.
     
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  17. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Yesterday I managed to finish up the LED marker lights. It seems like my issues were related to a connection in that right side marker. After replacing the old one with the new LED, everything works now. I’ll keep monitoring but I know where to look if I have more issues in the future.

    I also added some sound absorbing/deadening foam behind the generator access panel. I’ve decided that I’m not going to attempt anything more severe for this trip besides the dynamat clone on the generator itself and some sound deadening on the fiberglass access cover. However looking at how the sound waves should bounce around, I’d think that this might do something. And at least it’s cheap.

    I also started looking more at the forward AC I want to do. I soldered on a fitting (need to find another) and I got started on the Mount for the compressor.
     
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  18. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    Oh man.. I never thought of that. We use Jira for software projects, but I hadn't thought about using it for PM'ing home projects. EUREKA!
     
  19. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Yeah, it was something of an epiphany, and I'm really liking it so far.
     
  20. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I'm not starting a thread on it, but I just upgraded the calipers and SS braided brake lines on the Excursion this weekend. Quite a weekend project since I did the "while I'm in here" items like replacing both parking brake mechanisms and rear axle bearings since they have to be pulled to do the parking brakes. SSBC 8-piston front and rear calipers w/EBC rotors and yellowstuff pads. The factory brakes were barely adequate, and the rear calipers on the SuperDuty trucks are known for seizing up after a while.

    Here's the rear passenger setup, didn't take a picture of the fronts installed but there's a the new calipers and a stock pad vs new pad comparison:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  21. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pattern Altitude

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    I wanted to put this comment here for reference(obviously Ted knows this already)
    If you have a fast-flash problem the solution will not be to put a resistor in series with the bulb(cut wire insert resistor) but to put the resistor across the bulb to lower the resistance. The CPU or Flasher sees the LED resistance as too high and thinks the bulb burned out(which would be infinite). A resistor in series will increase the resistance and make it worse. A parallel resistor acts like the old bulb and wastes a bunch of power to keep the flasher circuit happy. You'll see 'no-fast-flash' or 'canbus' LEDs with a bunch of tiny resistors on them, this just makes them waste extra power to keep the computer happy. Obviously if your car doesn't need them then you'll save a ton of electricity if you use the 'normal' kind... For 'ton' equal to a few watts.

    Also, when you do get the resistors, if they have to go on a circuit which is on a lot(like brake lights in LA) make sure to mount the resistor to a nice solid metal surface for it to dissipate its heat.
     
  22. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Yes, that is a good correction. Thanks for that. I did know better, but was not braining at 100% capacity. :)
     
  23. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    That looks like a good upgrade! I agree, brakes on the Excursion were never all that great and it was the only part of the truck that required regular maintenance when I had it.
     
  24. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    My main reason for it was that the wife had a couple of panic stops where she complained about the brakes, although I think it was just her being used to driving vehicles that weighed 2K lbs less. However, I bought this SSBC setup a few months back and had been waiting for a free weekend to dedicate to install. Lo and behold, I had a rear caliper seizing up which started making noise this past week as one of the pads had worn down to the backing plate. Having the larger calipers and SS brake lines is very confidence inspiring. I did 3 test runs of 60-to-0 on the old brakes prior to the seized caliper to use as a reference point, which yielded an average stopping distance of 152ft. Motortrend magazine tested a 2000 model at 172ft, so I'll chalk my slightly-better numbers up to the Powerstop rotors/brake pads. Hoping to run an "after" test in a week or two after the pads have worn in a bit to see what actual improvement was made.
     
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  25. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    If I think about vehicle improvements over the past 20 years, better brakes as standard/commonplace are some of the top among them. That said I pretty much never upgrade brakes beyond pads/rotors.
     
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  26. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    upload_2022-5-16_18-10-13.png

    This is what I’ve been working on for generator sound insulation. This is sort of a tough one since most of the sound is coming out of the air inlet for the engine and cooling fan, pointed down. However, the big front open area by the generator and access panel serves essentially as a reverb chamber. So, I added some dynamat to the generator and some sound absorbing foam to the access panel. I don’t think it will make any huge difference, but it should do something noticeable. I need to keep thinking about strategies to quiet it otherwise.
     
  27. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    Looking good!

    So, is it time to splice in a litle CVT between the engine and generator, to slow down the engine when loads are low while maintaining generator shaft speed??

    Sort of a "why not" inverter workaround?

    :stirpot:
     
  28. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    Your post is reminding me of the crash of a stretched Excursion a few years ago, about 40 miles from here. Killed 20 people. They had 18 people in it, and I believe other than the stretch is was generally stock.

    Re the generator, does it have it's own exhaust? Maybe I'm imagining it, but I could swear I've heard of someone taking an RV generator exhaust and running it through the big muffler for the truck itself.
     
  29. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Yeah, the Excursion was quite the choice for limousine conversions through the 2000s. Already on a 1 ton frame, so stretching the frame wasn't to difficult. I highly doubt there was any upgraded braking on a limo package since there really aren't any options for better brakes that don't involve axle swaps from newer SuperDuty trucks. The SSBC kit I bought was about $2K and doesn't use bigger rotors, just longer calipers with common heavy duty GM pads to match. Aside from the extra pad material, the additional braking is mostly due to a more even pressure applied across the pad with 8-pistons instead of the factory 2-piston fronts. No floating caliper/slide pins to flex or seize, either.
     
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  30. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Nah... if I wanted to use the engine to drive the generator, it would make far more sense to use a hydraulic pump/drive of some sort. There's already a hydraulic pump on the engine and hydraulic hoses going up front for the power steering (I hope those never break...). Now that I've gotten the heating working well using engine heat and put on the 270A alternator to feed the inverter, I really only run the generator while driving if I need AC. Once I get my forward AC working (probably not for this trip, unfortunately) I'll be able to get some level of air conditioning without the generator running, but that won't be enough for summer days.

    The real issue I'm trying to solve is the noise of the generator while parked, not while driving. Nobody likes the sound of a generator, even the people who are benefitting from its output.

    The generator has its own exhaust. Its actually remarkably well muffled from what I can tell, and I don't hear very many dB coming out of it (I've put my ear right up to the thing). Tying it into the factory exhaust would probably have some practicality issues, just because the generator is in the front and the engine is in the back - so you're talking ~40 feet of exhaust piping to route.

    I'm sure the newer designs are quieter all around, this is a 2000 model year bus with technology that was contemporary at the time. No diesel was truly quiet back then.
     
  31. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    Making things quieter has always seemed a bit of an art to me. GE had some people that worked nearby, friends of friends that we'd go out to dinner with. They never talked about what they did, except it was pretty clear that it was "making things quieter", and the things were made out of metal and operated at depth.
     
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  32. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    Any chance you could get a small foldable fence that you cover with a moving blanket that you can throw up around the base of the RV when you get parked? Or maybe something like this with Home Depot foam insulation board (paint to match, of course. ;)):

    [​IMG]
     
  33. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I've seen more permanent-mounted trailers do that, especially 5th wheels. But I hadn't thought about the idea of a more temporary setup to block sound on the ground (pink foam insulation aside). The two things that I'm trying to avoid are restricting airflow to the generator for obvious reasons and also trying to not add anything to the set up/take down time since we never spend much time anywhere. Something to think about...
     
  34. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    The engine has just been good, so I didn’t have to do anything to it besides an oil change. But @NealRomeoGolf will be happy to see me doing something related to our favorite engine manufacturer. :)

    1D6B9CDF-92E3-4B50-943D-4774C9B06A84.jpeg
     
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  35. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    Not the big engine.

    I've got an 8KW gasoline unit I use around the house that is ear-shatteringly noisy running at 3600 rpm or whatever it's doing.

    I've been half seriously kicking around using a racing go-kart CVT between the generator and engine on mine, so it's not running at full RPM 100% of the time maintaining 60HZ, even when the load is low. Looks like they go up to 30HP or so.

    A completely impractical (and likely poor performing) inverter substitute.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
  36. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Ok, I see now.

    I have an Onan QuietDiesel, which varies its rpm based on load. So when low load is demanded it'll idle fairly slowly and isn’t so bad. It’s really annoying at full bore running both air conditioners.
     
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  37. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    Got it. Plus, I suppose you don't want to be "that guy" in the campground. :confused:
     
  38. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    We try to be courteous with our generator use to minimize our disturbance to others. I especially try to be courteous if we're next to tent campers, who I imagine are annoyed enough being next to a Class A. I suppose whatever we're doing must overall meet with what others find reasonable enough, because we haven't received any complaints.
     
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  39. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    Over the years I've done both tent camping and trailer camping. Where I went most campgrounds used isolate the big full hookup sites from the tent sites, so as a former tent person I'd be more annoyed at the campground than the RV guy. But that said, everybody loves a quiet generator.
     
  40. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Normally if we're staying at an established pay-for campground we're getting electric. In fact, I think there's only one time we've been at a campground with no hookups at all.

    Boondocking - that's another matter. Of course no hookups there, and our preference is always to be where nobody else is if we can. On more than one occasion we've had to be near a tent camper is, and try to be extra courteous towards them.
     
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