Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The BoggsMobile Repair Story

This is a bus post. I assume that a bus repair post may bore some of you to tears. However, these posts are exactly why some people come here. I understand that too. When I have a bus problem I love to read about how other people made it through the repair. If bus stuff sends you into a coma, please indulge me for one more day.
1995 1996 Prevost XL Detroit Series 60 Wiring Harness Failure
For the beginning of BoggsMobile saga go HERE. That is the link that will give you some background information about our breakdown Thursday, January 24 near Spring, Texas just north of Houston.
Inject Resp Time Long 
The Diagnosis and Repair
Monday morning, January 28 Mark from Mid Coast Diesel came to Prevost Houston and hooked the computer to the BoggsMobile. The bus computer was showing the code that corresponded with the alert the Detroit Diesel Monitor had given me when the bus quit Thursday night, Inject Resp Time Long. He began heavily leaning toward the wiring harness, but he looked diligently for other causes too.

After he cleared the codes, cleaned some grounds and cleaned some of the wiring harness plugs, he asked me to crank the bus and it started. Yay! In a few minutes, it was purring like a kitten. He checked all the fuel injectors and all was well on the computer. After running for nearly an hour he went back to the engine and started messing with wires. When he touched the wiring harness from the computer to the fuel injectors, the engine almost died. Bingo!

He had duplicated what the computer was telling him and that is a positive thing. We could not want to go through the expense and hassle of replacing the harness without some confirmation.

While he was telling his bosses to locate a new harness I set about clearing out from under the bed to see if the engine could be accessed from the floor. After several hours and several people looking it over, it was determined to be a no go. If I was somewhere more familiar with conversions, it could have been done, but not at Prevost Houston. Pulling the engine was going to be a better option. I can not even believe I am saying that pulling the engine was going to be better.😓

A plan was set in motion over the next few minutes. Prevost would pull the engine and put it back in. Mid Coast would do the engine work.

I had some decisions to make by the next day. Mid Coast recommended I change the fuel injectors while the engine was open since I have 350,000 miles on the bus. The original ones were working fine, but if one went out 6 months from now, all the work would have to be duplicated.

I have a hard time making a decision like that and I certainly did not know what was best. My wife reminded me of our long standing policy. When we do not know what to do, we go with the advice of the person we trust that has some level of expertise in that specific area. Jeff Rowe is that guy for us and he said with the mileage and age, he would lean toward replacing the injectors. 

I trust Jeff, not only because he knows much more than me, but he also understands quite a bit about where we are in the grand scheme of things. He knew without me telling him that this repair was going to stretch us beyond our limits and he would not recommend something just to hear himself talk. Decision made.

Prevost did not want to remove the engine without the parts and Mid Coast did not have the parts in hand until Wednesday. They pushed the bus into the shop Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning Henry from Prevost began taking out the engine in earnest. I liked Henry immediately. 

 Bus repair in Houston, Texas

This was an unsettling sight.

The bus sure looks empty!

By Friday morning it was time for Mid Coast to come and do their magic. Meho from Mid Coast jumped right in. I liked him a lot too. The valve cover came off first.

 Those are Jacob Brakes on top of the engine in the picture below.

He removed the Jake brakes and then the rocker arms.

This little $332.13 part was the whole problem!

This is the replacement.

Then Meho replaced the injectors one at a time.

It was about this point when Meho found the shop towel in the engine that I told you about last week.

The shiny round objects below are three of the new injectors. The springs around them are the valves.

Each injector has a number. That number must be entered into the computer in the correct injector spot for all to run properly. The injector below is 11.

Then the rocker arms when back on and Meho took his time adjusting the valves.

 The new harness is in.

The Jakes are on.

The harness is plugged into the computer.

The rocker cover is on and it is ready to be bolted down and then install the valve cover.

Meho was finished by Friday afternoon and Henry started putting in the engine Monday morning.

He repaired an oil leak in the alternator.

The engine was ready to crank Tuesday. We cranked it and let it run for about 20 minutes. That is when he noticed an oil well gushing on each side. OOPS!

This is the amount of oil on the ground after 20 minutes and much more on the engine.

You can see the inside of the engine underneath the gray gasket in the picture below. That gap was about 8-10 inches long and there was a smaller one on the other side of the engine.

Meho came Wednesday morning to program the injector numbers into the computer and to check the oil leak. He loosened the rocker cover bolts and tightened them several times, but he could not close the gap. To everyone's disappointment, it was obvious the engine had to come back out.

Meho called his boss to tell him the news and that he thought he should stay and help with the removal, fix the problem and help with the insertion. His boss agreed and so did Chris from Prevost.

About one hour and fifty minutes later, the engine was out and the valve cover was removed. Wow!

The troubleshooting begins.

Empty again!

Meho tried a new gasket and then began to suspect the rocker cover was warped. After repeatedly going over everything that had been changed, he eventually hit on the culprit. The bolts that secure the rocker cover have a bushing. He had changed them per his normal procedure. Once he compared the new bushings and the old bushings, he discovered the new ones were slightly shorter.

The part number on the new bushings were the correct match for the serial number on my engine, but they were not correct. It was an honest mistake.

I thought I took a picture of the bolt and bushing, but I can not find one. These are similar bushings from the internet.

The sleeve of the bolt is designed to bottom out and the bushing holds the rover cover tight against the gasket and the motor. The shorter bushing allowed the bolt to bottom out without pressing the bushing against the cover. Problem found and solved.

I am not disparaging Meho or Mid Coast Diesel at all. An honest mistake was made and they rose to the occasion. I would not hesitate one moment to have Meho work on anything I have. He is knowledgable, skillful and has a great work ethic and attitude. I really like him personally too.

They pushed the motor back in at 1:21 on Wednesday and began to hook it up. They cranked it at 3:00, one hour and forty minutes later. Wow again!

By 3:25 the leak is confirmed to be repaired and the bumper is back on. 

I could have test driven it then, but Houston rush hour was heating up and I decided to drive it the next day. They also needed to replace the temperature sensor on the transmission fluid and that would not be in until first thing Thursday.

You pretty much know the rest of the story. If you missed our adventures from Thursday, you can read all about that HERE.

When we test drove the bus Thursday morning we drove by the place we broke down two weeks before. I snapped a picture for the record.

Well, that is the mechanical side of the story. The rest of the story is that God helped us miraculously throughout the whole process. Most of you know that  I have a horrible case of bus psychosis that nearly paralyzes me when the bus is having trouble. Even though I was at Prevost Houston most days, I was calm, cool and collected through the whole ordeal.

The Lord helped me and Kelly is such a marvelous manner that it is almost unbelievable how calm we were from beginning to end. We did not worry, we did not fear, we did not meltdown and we did not come apart. We were able to have revival and minister to the church in Sweeny like we had good sense.

Friends, I am not joking or exaggerating when I say we experienced and witnessed a miracle. I never worried about the final outcome, the money or anything else. I prayed fervently that the men would be skilled, knowledgable and wise in their work, but I never once worried about the incredible weight of the whole thing.

The miracle extends even farther than God's amazing peace in our spirit and mind. It also includes God's amazing provision. Through the kindness of a few families and churches, the funds will soon be in place to cover the total bill. If only you could know how miraculous that is.

It told you Friday about the glitch we had on the road Thursday and what we did in response to it. Friday we cranked and ran 395 miles with no problem at all. Saturday afternoon we had another small glitch.

Saturday we started fine and drove about 40 miles, parked in a lot and walked to lunch. I usually do not even turn off the bus when we stop for an hour, but with recent events, I did not want to be away from it while it was running so I shut it down.

After about an hour I turned the key and it cranked, but did not start. The second time, it cranked, but did not start. I walked to the back to look things over and on a whim, I reached up and flipped the switch to rear start and pushed the button. It instantly roared to life. Kelly turned the key on up front, I flipped the rear switch to normal and finished my short drive for the day.

When we arrived in Foley and leveled, KJ shut it down. For kicks and grins, I asked her to start it again. It fired up like normal.

Could be an ignition problem, could be a loose connection, could be something else. I have some of the best minds working on it. I will report back.

That brings you up to date. Thank you for reading all the way through it. Thank you for praying all the way through the ordeal.


I took pictures from the stickers on the side of the rocker covers in case I ever need the information. I will save the pictures but I am posting them here just in case.

This one is from the transmission.

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