Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The BoggsMobile In Vonore, Tennessee

We rolled into East Tennessee Luxury Coach on Saturday March 21st for our third visit to Jeff Rowe's shop in Vonore, Tennessee. We were there in March of last year to have a window replaced and back in June to have the air bags, Norgren valves and brake chambers replaced. Mr. Rowe is one of the few people I trust completely with the BoggsMobile and I hope he stays in business for many years.

This visit was made for a few various repairs and maintenance items. The most pesky item was a small but persistent air leak in the front end. Some times when we are parked on a slope I need to raise the front end. If the suspension is leaking, the front end will settle and the nose will be pointing severely downward by morning.

Jeff found the problem was a defective fitting on the driver's side front air bag. It is now holding air and you can see proof in the pictures below where we are parked on quite a slope at First Pentecostal Church in London, Kentucky.

I also needed to have the coolant drained, flushed and refilled. This is more of a maintenance issue and it was time to do it.

While the coolant was drained, they replaced the engine block heater. The old one is below and had shorted out a while back.

Since I replaced the front tires last April and moved the front tires to the back I have been having balancing problems periodically. Some days they ride as smooth as silk and other days it is horrible. With a single tire costing nearly $1000 retail it is important for it to be balanced!

There are at least two predominate ways to balance big tires. They can spin balance them or they can balance them by putting bags of a material (Equal or Counteract) inside the tire the balance it. This is relatively cheap to do while the tires are being installed

Weights get thrown off and then it is costly and time consuming to remove the tires and have them spin balanced again. I have tried this with the bus tires but it seems the good balance never holds for long. I have also tried the Equal. The first time was perfect. This time the tires seemed balanced only part of the time at best.

There is a third way to balance big tires that is gaining ground. There are a couple of companies that are making balancers that slide on over the lugs and balance the whole wheel assembly as it is turning. One of the companies is called Centramatic and I had Jeff put those on the bus. Saturday's ride was smooth as silk but I will report back later on the long term ride.

Here is a picture of one on the tag axle hub.

Jeff also replaced a bushing in the tag axle pivot on each side. I did not get any pictures of the repair but the bushing is inside this assembly.

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While I was in Vonore Bro. Scott, Sis. Kim and Rylee Morris stopped in for a quick visit on their way to the mountains. It was great to see them for a few minutes!

Here is another bus getting the airbags changed. I am going to make a set of these ramps for my bus and keep them at the barn. They are as handy as a pocket on a shirt!

You see the brown bus in the back ground of this picture? It is an unusual coach.

It is unusual in the fact that it has a mid door like the BoggsMobile does. Can you spot the mid door in the picture below?

There are VERY FEW mid door Prevosts and it was pretty neat to have them both on the same lot at the same time. This is not the first time however. I spotted this bus at Prevost in Nashville a couple of years ago while we were there.

Another thing Jeff replaced was the mini air bags that place tension on the belts in the engine compartment and a regulator in that system too. These can be a source of persistent leaks and it was good to get these changed out.

Here is a close up.

Kelly Jo and Odie were not with me at the bus during the day because they were at the motel in Oak Ridge. Since Odie was not there she did not get to see Mr. Jeff Rowe until we picked up the bus on Wednesday. She was smiling so big because she loves people that spoil her and take up for her!

I think God brought Jeff Rowe into our lives and we are thankful for it. Nobody said owning and operating a bus would be easy or cheap but having somebody I can trust sure helps a big bunch.

Thanks for reading.


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