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SP (Single Axle Pusher Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your SP model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it....List your SP parts here too.

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  #1  
Old 02-17-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Default SP problems?

I had a group member call me asking what problems the SP series of coachs have.
the only thing i could think of was the rediator getting oily and dirty.
is there any other consistent problems with an SP?
Randy
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2008
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Juergen Juergen is offline
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Hi Randy
Consisting Problems with the SP?
One is when the Transmission ECU is not reprogrammed and the engine will start to lug before it will downshift on hills. Must keep watching the RPMs, should shift at 2000.
There are many things that go haywire, but most are not consistent. But it takes a lot of instrument scanning, and then understand what the instrument is trying to tell you.
Would be nice if all SP owners would briefly describe mechanicals encountered and how it got fixed.
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2008
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Hi Juergen,

On our 88 FC with the ZF , there is a kick down button / switch under the throttle, I think all the ZF, FC's had this option, and possibly the Sp's did not ..????...

It was good to meet you and your wife hanging out in the parking lot
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2008
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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So far, I have not found any probems I would consider to be 'flaws' in the SP.

I CAN, however, think of certain things that could cause unique issues:

-There is insufficient space for a proper bank of house batteries. 4 is the max.
-The engine is more difficult to work on than a PT du to the rear radiiator.
-Speaking of radiators, other membes have had issues with overheating. I have not (yet) experienced this. It is important to keep radiator clean.
-Also, the generator's radiator is UNDER the coach, requiring the removal of the genny for service. I DID experience this issue.

This is not to say that I dislike my SP. Quite the contrary. I actually think it is a very very well made Bird, and more manuverable than a PT.

Hope this helps.

-Robert
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91 SP36
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Linden, Michigan
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Old 04-21-2008
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Juergen Juergen is offline
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Hi Robert Glover.
True, there is very limited space for house batteries
True, Engine is hard to work on
Funny, i keep my radiator clean as I can, but I removed that big heavy Rubber thing from the rear of my bus and the whole thing runs 10-15 F cooler.
Never had to work on Gen Rad. Changed fluid once and that was B......ch.
Yes, I still like my coach.

And Hello Bill
It was a pleasure to meet you. My wife is still impressed how quickly you pointed to that solenoid or valve in that schematic I showed you. I try to tell her that Birders know their coaches.
No, I do not have a kick down switch under the throttle. The 91 SP's did not get any.
Now I talked with george Witt about mountain driving and i found out one trick, but it might get a little lengthy.
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Old 04-21-2008
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i did the same on my sp after i got it!!!!....
i was looking at a GMC diesel rv group and all the guys had taken the rear rubber flap off and gotten increased cooling....also i have to try it on my sp.....there is a old timer who worked when they build the gmcs and they found the best cooling with a full width flap after the rear wheels not just a mudflap....
i am hoping for my scoop for the air breather with increased airflow pressure will help with fuel mpg and less smoke.....HINT RANDY!

i also have added a fuel pump by the racor but lost the fitting and hose sizes..anyone else did that mod got the short list???

i also ran the ft shocks up to full setting and like it much better.

has anyone else not found out the top drawer in the middle of our seats is reversible and is a factory cut out for cupholders!

take out the onan chargers and get the 45 amp intell chargers.

also the rear hitch is built weak for my big trailer.imo!.beefed it up..
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2008
Jim Magowan Jim Magowan is offline
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A month or so back the toilet started leaking at the flange. There was some kind of wax ring that had deteriorated and I replaced it with the new foam ring. It still leaked. I had noticed a amall crack on hte flange. When I removed the toilet again the hold down bolt where hte small crack was had broken the flange all around the bolt.

The flange would not come off the drain tube so I removed the entire drain. I got a new flange from a local RV shop. Unfortunately the new flange had a male thread and hte original was a female thread. In order to use the original female thread they had to cement a threaded piece of PVC into the 45 elbow and hte threaded piece was not too straight. The dealer did not have female threaded flanges so I bought two 3" 45's a piece of straight PVC and a threaded cleanout adapter at Lowe's. The cost of the material was about $15. The original drain was not very well fitted but, by measuring and trimming I got the new assembly so it matched the length of the old, but with a male flange.

They used a thin plywood ring, apparantly as a spacer under the flange. This disintegrated due to being soaked by the leak. I cut a new ring from a thick piece of rubber and so far it seems to be working.

If you must replace the flange on an SP I recommend removing the entire drain and building a new one. The old adage is measure twice, cut once. I found the ratio is more like ten to one. I had to put the drain together and take it apart many times to trim and improve fit until it looked right. Once everything looked good I glued it and installed it. So far, so good.
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90 36 SP
Anchorage AK
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2008
Jim Magowan Jim Magowan is offline
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One of the more vexing problems with the 90 SP is the fluorescent lighting. Our interior is oak and the covers over the lights are a challenge. We finally got the cover off the light over the counter. Once the screws are out the cover must be rotated over the bulb which allows the cover to tilt enough to come off. I am hoping this will work with the cover over the table. The problem is that the mirror is in the way.

The real problem is with the lights over front cabinets. So far it looks like the front end pieces of the cabinets (over the driver and passenger heads) must be removed to get the light covers off.

If anyone has removed the covers and has suggestions they would be appreciated.
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90 36 SP
Anchorage AK
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2008
Jim Magowan Jim Magowan is offline
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Battery drain in hte SP is a constant problem for us. Even without using heat about hte longest we can park without running the generator is seven hours or so.

There is a marked improvement in battery performance since getting rid of the converters and putting in a Xantrex inverter/charger. With the converters the batteries never got fully charged and this is one reason the coach 'ate' batteries.

Learning the hard way: The rear electric heater 'quit.' In the process of tearing things apart to track down the problem I learned one helpful thing. The rear Electric Heat on/off switch under the thermostat operates a 'contactor' located on the side wall under the bathroom sink (you must remove the side panel in the cabinet to see it). There is another contactor, somewhere, for the front electric heat. The contactor is closed by a 12 v. electromagnet. Even when the electric heaters are not running, if the electric heat switch is "On" the electromagnet is on and drawing current.

After hours of chasing wiring it dawned on me that there was one other 110 appliance in the rear; the air condidioner (which we use every year or two, but, not this year). It was also not getting power. I then remembered a pair of switches I never use. At the top of the left most dash panel there are two switches labeled Heat/Air conditioning.

The rear switch was 'Off.' We always block the front seats to keep the dogs from jumping up when people come close to the coach. We didn't get them blocked soon enough the week before last and the dog had turned off the switch.

The good news is that those switches will now be used a lot. Turning them off stops the 12 v. drain of the contactor magnets.
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2008
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I am surprised about your current drain issue. Do you have an inverter constantly running? What type and quantity of batteries do you have?

Personally, my coach can sit, with Xantrex inverters on, for at least a good 48-72 hrs at a time before recharging if not being used. When drycamping, I would recharge once per day.

I agree about the little phantom loads like the thermostat relays. There is another identical relay that I discovered. It is used to turn off the overhead TV while the coach ignition is on. Blue Bird installed it backwards though. The relay is energized whenever the ignition is OFF! (thus allowing the TV to be turned on). Needless to say, I removed that relay when I installed my LCD TV.

There is also a small 12v relay that is always energized if the left/right spotlight switch is in the wrong position. Even if the spotlights are off. I don't recall which position energizes it. I would have to go and check my coach.

After finding these phantom loads and switching to 6v golf cart batteries, I think my coach has a good amount of reserve power.
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