Different Wisdom

Discussions about all things to do with buses, trucks, and the homes made within them.

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LuckyChow
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by LuckyChow »

Jim, why'd you have to go and post that biscuit picture. I'm trying to lose weight over here and that picture ain't helping!
Darryl
Smyrna GA
2000 Gillig Phantom

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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by Lostranger »

Welcome aboard, my friend. Glad to finally have your inestimable presence on the most civil and helpful BB I have experienced.

Please do all of us the honor of starting a thread on your Phantom. Even though I've seen it in person, I'd like to know more of the process that got you to this point. I know you have photos, so start from the beginning, and spare no details. These fine folks will love it.

Take consolation from the fact that no one ever gained an ounce from a virtual biscuit.

Jim

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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by Lostranger »

New muffler arrived today, pre damaged thanks to UPS. I still want them to merge with Federal Express and call the shebang FedUp.

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Hope to have an installation report tomorrow night.

Jim

LuckyChow
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by LuckyChow »

Jim, have you decided what you're going to do yet on the muffler?
Darryl
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2000 Gillig Phantom

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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by Lostranger »

New muffler is mostly in. Many distractions have kept me from finishing the installation and from posting about it. I'm pleased with the way the Donaldson truck muffler fits the space and the way it sounds. We can't tell that it's any louder than the original, but it will have to flow better. All I lack is minor fabrication on a stabilizing shock mount at the top of the muffler and modifying/reinstalling the original stainless steel outlet pipe.

Hope to get that done AND post the procedure sometime Saturday.

Thanks for asking, Darryl. The thing I like best about the approach I'm taking is that any future muffler replacement would be fast, easy and inexpensive.

Jim

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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by LuckyChow »

Okay, how about that muffler update? Did everything work out? Is it as quiet as a Honda Civic now?
Darryl
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by Lostranger »

Muffler installation took 8 days. Wasn't working on it all that time, of course, but it took 8 days. Probably not such for you guys, but in my life, the urgent often crowds out the important. But enough whining.

Finished bolting up the new muffler about 7 tonight, and we took Sophia out to a local barbecue joint. I could not be more pleased. The long, round truck muffler fits the space better than the stock muffler did. New one weighs about 15 pounds compared to close to a hundred (I'm guessing on both, but I'm not far off). Looks much better — only when the hatch is open, no change in outside appearance. It's a tiny bit louder, which I like, and best of all, the acceleration is dramatically improved. Maybe the stock muffler was partially plugged, and that's what caused it to blow a hole in the side. I'll be looking forward to seeing the effect on MPG.

I spent most of a day (spread over last Thursday and Friday) getting the old beast off. Can't begin to describe that frustration, so I won't try. I grew up in a muffler shop, and I know a little about exhaust work. Clipped all the bolts with a torch, except that one. You know, the one tucked back in the L/R corner. I realized at some point that this bolt had been installed before the rear cap went on. That made it make more sense, but it did not make it any easier. That one bolt took at least 5 hours and involved two different trips for hardware. I finally worried the head off with a Sawzall. The rest of the removal was no problem. Here are a few shots:

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Sorry that most of my photos are autorotated 90 degrees left. I can't help it.

Bolt in the last photo is the one that took so long. Next shot is the beast finally lying on the ground.

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Next shot is the roof hole where the original muffler tip exited, and two after that show the square hole I cut to aid the new installation:

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Here is the first test fit of the new muffler. A little synthetic grease helped it slide all the way into place on the next fit:

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I used the new muffler to mark a hole for additional clearance in the SS floor of this compartment:

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If I had known that the local NAPA had this clamp on the shelf, I would have saved the time I spent removing the original in shape to reuse. Our NAPA changed hands about a year ago. The new management is much easier to work with, but I'm just getting back in the habit of stoping there.

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Don't appear to have a shot of the new clamp in place.

My new upper mount bolts to the roof framing with those wonderful Gillig Tee nuts:

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NAPA also had this lovely rubber isolator. It has 1/2" holes. I cut it in two to make the cushions in my new, upper mount:

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Here are most of the new upper mount pieces wearing 4 coats of Duplicolor engine primer/paint:

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The original tail pipe looked like this:

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I cut off this much to use again:

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Here is the new upper mount in place. Came out well, and yes, those are grade 8 bolts securing the cross bar:

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New muffler as seen from the rear hatch:

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And from the side access door. You can see the new clamp here:

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With that door closed, the exterior look is exactly as before:

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This job took more time than it should have — BUT — any future muffler replacement will be quick, easy and inexpensive.

I bought this muffler NIB on eBay for $70. Shipping was about 25 more. I have about $120 in this job, maybe $130 counting Sawzall blades. I didn't even bother asking Gillig what an original would have cost, but you can bet it would have been many times more than what I spent.

Now, if I can just find out when my class is racing behind Moondoggy's Diner....

Best to all,

Jim
Last edited by Lostranger on Fri May 08, 2015 10:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

LuckyChow
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by LuckyChow »

That was a pretty big job ---- much bigger than I would have expected. Great pics by the way. Glad to hear it runs out better. I'm guessing the old muffler did not have an oxygen sensor downwind of the muffler, right? If not, you shouldn't have any codes to worry about.

I think we need to start a new club ------- call it the Gillig Irregulars. I have to give you the Gillig Irregulars two thumbs on on this job. :thumbup: :thumbup:
Darryl
Smyrna GA
2000 Gillig Phantom

ol trunt
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by ol trunt »

Looks good Jim but I still want to see a x section of the old one. Jack

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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by Lostranger »

LuckyChow wrote:I'm guessing the old muffler did not have an oxygen sensor downwind of the muffler
No O2 sensors in or beyond the muffler. I would have tried this approach even if it had a sensor in the pipe. Would have welded in a bung and hoped for the best.

Jack, I won't be able to saw the old muffler until next week, but we will see it exposed.

Darryl, the veterans might take offense if we call ourselves GIs, but we Gillig guys must stick together. I appreciate the thumbs. I'm thrilled to have that little job behind me. Now I can get back to building a new door, finishing the destination sign conversion and other paint prep stuff.

Some of you might be interested in seeing my toad:

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It's a 1995 Cannondale T400 that I bought new. Only original parts are frame and fork. That was the next-to-last year for Cannondale's classic touring frame. Tigged and heat treated aluminum. Handmade in Bedford, PA.

This bike has been in mothballs for a while, and I've been hauling a slightly older and lower capacity Cannondale. I recently had this one down to (almost) bare frame and did a complete overhaul. Most of the moving components are sealed, but the French-made Stronglight Delta roller bearing headset got cleaned and repacked.

Too many neat features to start talking about (like a German-made front hub dynamo that powers a state-of-the-art LED headlight and taillight) , but a loaded touring bike makes a wonderful commuter and resupply vehicle. My Madden handlebar bag is not shown. You'd be amazed at the variety and quantity of stuff I can haul. I once carried a 100 lb car battery on the rear rack. I cut two pieces of 3/8" plywood to match the battery footprint and sandwiched a piece of foam rubber between them to cushion the shock. Bungeed the assembly to the top of the rack and hauled the old one in and the new one 14 miles home.

We have a Cannondale tandem from the same era ('94), and Bev says she's ready to start riding it again. I may have shots of it soon. Then the problem will be figuring a good way to carry a nine-foot-long bicycle. That will probably force the trailer hitch issue.

Oh well, I needed something to do.

Jim

LuckyChow
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by LuckyChow »

That's a really nice Cannondale. It's nice to see a bike for fork mount panniers. I do hope we can do some riding sometime this summer. The way things are going, it may not be a long trip. I've yet to see any saddle time this spring. Building a house bus has a way of comsuming all your time!
Darryl
Smyrna GA
2000 Gillig Phantom

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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by Lostranger »

Almost got new tires for the L/R today, but thanks to LuckyChow, I checked the manufacture dates and discovered that they're already two years old. The warehouse did not call back right away, and I missed the tire shop guy's call this afternoon. I don't yet know if I'm getting two new tires this week. We'll see. I'm gonna also change the R/R tires before we get very far from home. One should not rush through pain as intense as buying new tires. I want to spread it out and savor it.

That ten mile trip on the interstate was a first up-to-speed test of the new muffler. A few on another list are concerned about excess heat with the single wall muffler. When I pulled into the tire shop, I went back to feel the side access panel directly beside the new muffler. It was barely warm to touch. Same thing back at home, but I also opened the rear hatch and felt the inner part of the panel next to the muffler. Again, barely warm to touch. No indication yet of excess heat.

One day this week I'm going to pick up steel for my new door. My Sikaflex 252 will not be here until first of the week, but by then I may have the new frame welded up and the new door latch installed. I'm using 22g cold rolled sheet for both inside and outside skin. The temporary door is 18g with only an outer skin. I suspect that two sheets of 22g bonded to a frame of 1-1/4" square tube filled with polyiso board insulation will be both strong and solid. The new, heavier-gauge SS piano hinge is standing by.

Once the new door is in place, all that keeps me from painting the curb side and front will be minor body work on the door surround and finishing the destination sign window removal. Working on that window this weekend.

Jim

LuckyChow
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by LuckyChow »

Sorry Lostranger for being the cause of some disappointment today my friend. Buying tires is a big deal, not to mention a wallet lightener.

In RV service we never seem to wear out a tire. It usually ages out first. For me, that means I won't buy a tire that has already lost a significant percent of its life due to age. Sometimes finding them young is hard to do. Shops that normally service large trucks don't think anything about a tire that's a year or two old, as the trucks will wear one out in a year or two. Hopefully your guy will be able to get something really new out of the warehouse for you tomorrow. Fair notice on this topic, there will be others that think I'm full of rubbish on this, fwiw. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I've got two Michelin 305R 22.5 tires in the basement that are new and free to anyone that wants them. They are 6 years old.
Darryl
Smyrna GA
2000 Gillig Phantom

ol trunt
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by ol trunt »

I fall in the same camp as LC. The tires that came with my Isuzu truck frame were 4 years old and showed no wear. However, from being parked severely under inflated (necessary to get the bus into my garage) for a couple of years all 6 tires showed heavy sidewall cracking. When inflated they looked OK but there was no way I'd have gone on the road with them. I insisted that the tire shop cut the sidewalls on my old tires before I'd pay for the new ones--they did. During my working days I saw many examples of the mayhem caused by tire failure and I'll do what I can not to add to the statistics. Jack

Mark R. Obtinario
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Re: Different Wisdom

Post by Mark R. Obtinario »

Our church purchased a ten-year old bus that had just over 10,000 miles on the clock.

Needless to say the tires looked great with all kinds of tread left. But the plan was to replace the tires ASAP due in large part to the fact the bus was geared to a top speed of 47 MPH. I figured going from the donut tires to regular sized tires we could raise the top speed.

In the process of getting the bus ready for service I was running it around town to different vendors to have "additions" and "corrections" done to the bus.

After one of those excursions I was under the bus for some reason when I noticed a patch of the inner side wall of the front curb side tire was missing a patch of rubber the size of a piece of paper--8x11.

Suffice it to say, the next stop for "additions" and "corrections" was the tire shop.

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