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  #1  
Old 12-10-2011
Debbie.Grey Debbie.Grey is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Houston
Posts: 381
Default "Always" wanted a Bluebird

And now I have a 1985 PT40. Hi, all, I'm Debbie the Latin Teacher.

It would have to be in the late '60's or the early '80's that I crossed paths with a Bluebird to have "always" wanted one. My parents towed ever-larger Mobile Scouts over much of the American West, and my dad worked on cars and a/c's. I've camped for 30 years, 5 of them driving a VW bus all over Texas to referee bicycle races, most recently in a Trail Manor 2720. All told, I'm the dangerous sort of coach owner, I "kind of" know what everything is and what I'm doing. Now, WHERE things are....

So the trailer is now sitting at PPL Motors in Houston and we picked up The Bird To Be Known As Festina Lente on the Saturday before Thanksgiving from Mr. Oliver's in McKinney. [I've seen at least one other mention of them in the fora.] I'm still plowing steadily through the Blue Box. Pat Rigual was the original owner, Bill Hudson in 1996, Don Abert from 2000 through at least 2005. James Alnsworth is the last name I find.

And wouldn't you know it, the last receipt in the Box is for an electrical issue. We got her to Houston and parked near Hobby at a storage lot - and left “the 12V master behind the left upper front load center” on. Houston had its first real temperature drop the night of 11/27. Saturday the 3rd, no power. Four brand new Interstate marine deep cycles in the back. In the fora here I learn about the diode which the Aux Battery switch bypasses, and the generator battery’s ability to drain the mains. But the genny won’t start either – aha, the generator battery is swollen. Brand new matching Interstate for it, still wouldn’t start. Meanwhile, I now know a great deal more about power systems than ever before, and as soon as I can find the pestilential diode I will replace it.

So the four shiny Interstates are now out of the coach and on a remote shore charger, and we’ll run her the short hop over to Bob Jones RV in South Houston on Monday. The journey down from Dallas was made epic by what the fora have revealed as a known issue – the generator drawer ram. [Now where did I put that Grainger part number?] The dash light that indicates an unlocked generator tray was unlit. Meanwhile, I need power to see if the Digitell will wake up. [OMG THE BUS TALKS! And I thought the musical Horn was the epitomy of coolth!!] So Chris at BJRV suggested upgrading to an Onan generator, and that would now loom as Job One. [Note to self, go to Search page and type Onan….]

Sadly, we can’t make it to Lone Star Birds rally at Stonewall, due to a prior commitment from before the Bird-catching trip became a possibility. With my schedule, it’s going to be weekend trips only until Spring Break, and those will be at the expense of stripping this house out for sale. But come summer, it’s
“Saturday morning, when this school year’s over, we’ll drive away.
Twenty tons of singing big Blue Bird, I’ll drive away.
We’ll drive away to Kerrville, and points beyond.
Diesel needs to push and Birdies need to fly, we’ll drive away.”

Meanwhile, any comments on the power situation would be MOST welcome.
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Debbie Huffman Grey
Finally full-timing / Kids in Houston, Texas
1985 PT-40 "Festina Lente"
1993 Toyota Pickup "Phoenix"
FMCA 424082 VB 1639 SKP 112690 GS Life Member
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2011
White Hat Guy's Avatar
White Hat Guy White Hat Guy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Oneonta
Posts: 2,638
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Debbie:

Welcome aboard - you are at the right place. Your situation was sorta like ours. We owned an Itasca and then a Travco back in the 70's. We used to see BlueBirds on the road and would drool, perhaps lust, that one day we might own one.

Green as a gourd I bought our 94 WB 4 years ago. We've spent a lot of money, but have never regretted it. The good folk on the WOG have saved me $$$$$$. Even taught me how to "reset a fuel gauge" (don't fall for that one by the way - I did and I'll never live it down). Some even think I should name our bus "Reset". Retired now we usually travel 4-6 weeks then back home for a while.

The guys and gals on this forum are the best. Be assured there are no dumb questions anymore because I've asked them all. Anytime you need help, they're here. Please try to make some of the Rallys, particularly RATS in October.

Welcome to the site or welcome to the "zoo" as some will say. Membership here will lessen the pain of the learning curve.

Godspeed and happy travels.
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1994 WLWB 40/2001 Honda CRV
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2011
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is online now
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Welcome Debbie, the Latin teacher,
"More haste, less speed", is a very fitting name,

The batteries will drain with the DC switch in the "On" position in a few days, So dead new batteries may be normal.

Do not change the gennerator until you post the problems, it can probably be repaired
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2011
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Rick Rick is offline
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Welcome Debbie. Listen to Bill and don't be to hasty to throw out the old genny. Not many of the systems can't be repaired.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2011
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JD33 JD33 is offline
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Debbie, welcome. I don't want to state the obvious but you are pre heating the generator prior to starting? If you didn't know you depress the "off" side of the switch for up to 30 seconds then hit "start".....that is assuming that it is turning over?
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2011
trystero trystero is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: austin
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Excellent! Welcome! We are sort of like related! My coach is an 86 PT... What excellent taste you have if I do say so myself! I did extensive work on my bus to get the battery/power situation under control. There are some pics in an album of mine on this site... I should add a few more. In any case, welcome! No stupid questions! If that was the case I would have been booted years ago! What fun! Good Luck!
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1986 PT40
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Austin, Texas
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2011
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irmagoo irmagoo is offline
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Location: washington
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welcome debbie
hope to meet up with you somewhere down the road!!
mike and connie
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2003 LXI
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even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2011
cemjam cemjam is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Hey Debbie
Welcome to the group. You will find everything and anything you need to keep your bus in tip top shape. It seems that I learn something new every time I log into the forum.
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1982 FCSB
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2011
Debbie.Grey Debbie.Grey is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Houston
Posts: 381
Question Number of batteries?

Morning, All, and thanks for the welcomes. "More haste less speed," indeed, although it stems from Robert Heinlein's "being in a Martian hurry." So more like "you hurry slowly now, y'hear?

And speaking of slowly going through diagnostic steps -- So the "4 brand new Interstate marine deep cycles" [SRM-27 600CCA 750MCA] with which we left Dallas spent the night on a shop charger and the tester never got above 11.2. Back in the coach, the DD6V92T tried and failed to turn over. That bought-brand-new-in-Houston matching battery in the front, nada. Pre-warm the glow plugs, check. Item, I have yet to locate the charger/inverter. FWIW, I have the reversed floor plan with the galley curbside.

Meanwhile, back to the search function here to understand batteries better. Rusty [Elite RV Road Service] said what I already knew: switch the deep cycles for starter batteries. [And figure out where/how to add more cells and partition them for house vs. starter. Which begs the question of why I have 4 12V's instead of 3, all interconnected.] Lucky us, Interstate has a corporate hub here in Houston, and we are to talk to "Bill" at that office. So tomorrow we'll cotillion the batteries.

Next cycle, start in on the generator issue. I have a shop recommendation nearby, and will not rush into anything. [I did find the one lucid discussion about replacing the Kohler generator head with a Winchester [?] and keeping the Perkins engine.] The dial says it has 2938 engine hours, which seems low for 116,000 miles.

Minor problem - my Owner's Manual is missing Figures 10-10 and 10-11. I'm gonna need those eventually.

Meanwhile, academia calls, and I need to pull diagrams for the domestic laundry stack and look for a blown fuse - dam' but I need a remedial course in electricity REALLY bad.

Happy Sunday, All,
__________________

Debbie Huffman Grey
Finally full-timing / Kids in Houston, Texas
1985 PT-40 "Festina Lente"
1993 Toyota Pickup "Phoenix"
FMCA 424082 VB 1639 SKP 112690 GS Life Member
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2011
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie.Grey View Post
Morning, All, and thanks for the welcomes. "More haste less speed," indeed, although it stems from Robert Heinlein's "being in a Martian hurry." So more like "you hurry slowly now, y'hear?

And speaking of slowly going through diagnostic steps -- So the "4 brand new Interstate marine deep cycles" [SRM-27 600CCA 750MCA] with which we left Dallas spent the night on a shop charger and the tester never got above 11.2. Back in the coach, the DD6V92T tried and failed to turn over. That bought-brand-new-in-Houston matching battery in the front, nada. Pre-warm the glow plugs, check. Item, I have yet to locate the charger/inverter. FWIW, I have the reversed floor plan with the galley curbside.

Meanwhile, back to the search function here to understand batteries better. Rusty [Elite RV Road Service] said what I already knew: switch the deep cycles for starter batteries. [And figure out where/how to add more cells and partition them for house vs. starter. Which begs the question of why I have 4 12V's instead of 3, all interconnected.] Lucky us, Interstate has a corporate hub here in Houston, and we are to talk to "Bill" at that office. So tomorrow we'll cotillion the batteries.

Next cycle, start in on the generator issue. I have a shop recommendation nearby, and will not rush into anything. [I did find the one lucid discussion about replacing the Kohler generator head with a Winchester [?] and keeping the Perkins engine.] The dial says it has 2938 engine hours, which seems low for 116,000 miles.

Minor problem - my Owner's Manual is missing Figures 10-10 and 10-11. I'm gonna need those eventually.

Meanwhile, academia calls, and I need to pull diagrams for the domestic laundry stack and look for a blown fuse - dam' but I need a remedial course in electricity REALLY bad.

Happy Sunday, All,

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