Monday, September 30, 2013

Fun Bus Stuff


While we were having great tent revival service last week in Richton we were also fighting a coolant leak on the BoggsMobile. I think I mentioned that I added a small amount of coolant on the way to Mississippi from Missouri. I thought the coolant sensor that I replaced in July might be giving me a false reading.

But when I started to leave Ellisville on the way to Richton the low coolant light came on again. I could see no leaks and nothing on the ground. I added 4 or 5 gallons of coolant until I could see coolant in the sight glass before we left Ellisville. That let me know there was definitely a leak but I could not see it any where. 

When we arrived in Richton I found the leak. It was leaking pretty badly toward the front of the bus. That can not be good because the engine is in the back of the bus. I actually have two loops of engine coolant going toward the front of the bus. One of them is for heat as we roll down the road and the other loop goes to my Aquahot unit.

The Aquahot is our diesel fired water heater/interior bus heater/engine block heater. It has its own closed loop coolant system plus the engine coolant runs through a heat exchanger in the unit too. The two coolant systems do not mix although they run through the same unit to heat domestic water. Lost yet? Don't worry it was a steep learning curve for me 5 years ago.

The engine coolant cycles through the Aquahot while we are running so that when we arrive some place we have instant hot water for showers without having to run the water heater. I can also preheat the engine coolant on cold mornings by running the water heater before I start the engine. It is pretty cool. At least it was pretty cool until I discovered a leaking hose full of engine coolant inside the Aquahot.

I lost a bunch more gallons of coolant because it just kept running on the ground until I found the source of the leak and turned off the valves back at the engine. I fought with that a few days but I think it is under control now. The leak is not repaired yet because some of the hose is nearly impossible to get to without removing some of the Aquahot. I will deal with that later.

After the tent was down Saturday we drove the bus back to Ellisville and I discovered another leak. This one was very small and it was in the loop that goes forward in the bus for heat. It was a very small leak and I was able to tighten a clamp and stop it for now. I will be keeping a very close eye on it for a while though. I can turn valves off to that if I need to as well.

While I was messing with that Saturday evening one of my bay latches quit working. I have one bay door on each side that swings out instead of lifting up. It was a swing out door that quit latching. That means there was no way to keep the door closed while going down the road so that had to be fixed right then. I guess I could have screwed a barn door latch on the outside but I did not think Kelly Jo would approve.

I took the latch apart and found a spring just laying inside. I figured out by trial and error how to attach the spring and now it is holding again. I was racing against the sun the whole time and was putting away my tools as the sun went down.

Some days/weeks owning a bus are not very fun, especially when you are as mechanically disinclined as I am. 

But there is a bright side. At least I am not pastoring a church! Praise God!


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