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Bottomend Sun Sep 05, 2004 4:40 pm

I ran into these threes surfer dudes yesterday and today I'm under thier bus ( that they bought the day before!) trying to get it running for them.

It's a 78-79 camper with all the stock fuel injection system. I have duel carbs so I dont know much ( anything!) about this system.

The starter didn't work so they were bump starting it all the time. Got that fixed.

Shock were shot. Fixed that .

No brakes. Well, they have brakes but it's like the booster isn't working. It's a REALLY high effort to stop. I'm still trying to figure out why.

Spark plugs are all different colors. humm.....

Wipers dont work.....

Three out of four CV boots were dry as a desert. I'll get my chance to do another set!!!! yea!!!!!!!!!!

So, the top priority is the brakes. I traced the line from the booster in the front of the bus to the rear. Everything looks connected well enough though. I checked the one way valve and it worked fine. Any idea?

We need this info quick. Thanks.

cknman Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:31 pm

7 long haired friends of Jesus in a ..... microbus...

Gary Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:23 pm

Bottomend wrote: I ran into these threes surfer dudes yesterday and today i'm under thier bus ( that they bought the day before!) trying to get it running for them.

It's a 78-79 camper with all the stock fuel injection system. i have duel carbs so i dont know much ( anything!) about this system.

the starter didn't work so they were bump starting it all the time. Got that fixed.

Shock were shot. fixed that .

no brakes. Well, they have brakes but it's like the booster isnt working. it's a REALLY high effort to stop. trying to figure out why.

spark plugs are all different colors. humm.....

wipers dont work.....

three out of four CV boots were dry as a desert. I 'll get my chance to do another set!!!! yea!!!!!!!!!!

So, the top priority is the brakes. I traced the line from the booster in the front of the bus to the rear. Everything looks connected well enough though. i checked the one way valve and it worked fine. Any idea?

We need this info quick. thanks.

We need a specific question to be posed regarding the brakes before an answer can be offered. Are you implying there is no braking action?

Bottomend Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:27 pm

Sorry. there is almost ZERO brakeing action. it feels like the vacuum assist from the brake booster is not functioning or adjusted or hooked up properly. I traced all the lines and they are intact.

is there an adjustment somewhere? We looked a the MUIR diagrams but i dont know ANYTHING about FI. Thanks.

Randy in Maine Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:31 pm

I was waiting for the punch line....

Possible that the vacuum booster unit is leaking vacuum or sucking in brake fluid through a bad seal. Somebody here once said that mor ethan an inch in there is death fo rthe booster. They are a couple of hundred for a new one. Test the engine vacuum at idle and see if stepping on the brake does much to it.

Is the check valve on backwards? THere is lettering on the valve that says "motor this way" with an arrow.

The plugs are different colors because the injectors are at various stages of efficiency due to poor spray pattern and different flow rates. Time to send them off for cleaning and calibration. Change out the hoses also.

Bottomend Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:46 pm

Thanks Randy. I've been running up and down my hill all day ( Amskeptic will know what I'm talking about). I made sure the check valve is on the right way. I can blow through it in only one direction.

Like I said, there is ZERO assist from the vacuum booster thingy. It's like trying to slow a 747 down from a full landing. I cant use the idle up or idle down check procedure to tell whats going on. They boutght this thing two days ago and dont know anything about it. They did tell me that they heard some 'hissing' from the engine. Could it be a leak some where? Any help apprieciated. I'm just about to the CV's and start cleaning them. It's gonna be a loooong night....

Gary Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:58 pm

Bottomend wrote: thanks randy. i've been running up and down my hill all day ( skept will know what I'm talking about). i made sure the check valve is on the right way. i can blow through it in only one direction.

Like i said. there is ZEOR assist from the vacuu booster thingy. it's like trying to slow a 747 down from a full landing. i cant use the idel up or ilde down check procedure to tell whats going on. they boutght this thing two days ago and dont know anything about it. they did tell me that they heard some 'hising' from the engine. could it be a leak some where? Any help apprieciated. I'm just about to pulll the CV's and start cleaning them. gonna be a loooong night....

Follow Randy's advice and you'll do well. Do you have a manual? Those are very helpful. At least you're doing the work yourself. I have a lot of mechanical experience, but there are some aspects I've never touched, like CV joints. Did the CV's on my old Mazda, but I actually took them in for exchange. Getting that driveshaft out was a be-yotch.

Keep us posted, but I'd still check the booster. Never skimp on brakes!

Bottomend Sun Sep 05, 2004 7:50 pm

I would check the booster but I dont know how. What is the procedure?

i did my CV joints a month ago and really enjoyied it. lemme at 'em!!!!!!

Bottomend Sun Sep 05, 2004 7:53 pm

I would check the booster but I dont know how. What is the procedure?

i did my CV joints a month ago and really enjoyied it. lemme at 'em!!!!!!

<<Somebody here once said that mor ethan an inch in there is death fo rthe booster. >>

Randy, do you mean to say that when the brake pedal is pushed down, that the rod leading into the brake booster will only insert to a depth of an inch or less?

Sorry about all the typos, i'm completey greasy and tired.

Bottomend Sun Sep 05, 2004 11:12 pm

<<The plugs are different colors because the injectors are at various stages of efficiency due to poor spray pattern and different flow rates. Time to send them off for cleaning and calibration. Change out the hoses also.[/quote]>>

Where do these injectors get cleaned? Do they have to be sent some where?


I've NEVER seen an engine this dirty in my life!!!!!!!!!! The inside of the heads actually had DIRT inside them! Wassup with that!? I also took the taco plate off and found about 1/4 teaspoon of METAL!!!!!! I'm not just talking about small flakes but actual metal CHUNKS. What would you guys recommend to do to clean this thing? Engine flush ect???

We've decieded to take those leaky seals out and change 'em. the push rod/valve covers/ dip stick tube and rear main seal. Can the rear main seal be taken out if I take off the fan shroud/ fan ect? It seems like I should be able to get at it pretty easily, right?

thanks eveyone!!!!!

Randy in Maine Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:41 am

You might do a search here but I think Karl said once here that if brake fluid gets sucked into the booster unit from the master cylinder to a depth of 1" in there, the booster servo goes to junk. All of these real mechanics would know better than me. I only play one on TV.

I sent my injectors off to www.cruzinperformance.com at ratwells suggestion and I was very pleased with the service. I also sent off the cold start valve for cleaning. About 10 days. About $85. I had a poor spray pattern and poor delivery giving me a lean and hot running condition. He also did my Jeep Comanche injectors and I was very pleased with those.

Classic leaking spots are, the "Y" fitting for the brake booster line (one from decel valve to the Y, one from the air plenum to Y and the booster line). Also where the check valve connects to the booster line is a rubber sleeve on each end to make it fit nice in the hose. That is NLA so I used one wrap of electrical tape and then reclamped it. Check that one first as it is a likely suspect.

You already know about the other likely places for leaking vacuum:

vac hoses anywhere old or missing
decel valve could have an internal leak
the 4 manifold runner hoses
there is a seal between the air plenum and the throttle body that gets hard and stiff
the line going from the auxillary air regualtor going to the air cleaner has a little boot and small metal pipe that gets the hose going to the air cleaner to throttle body "S" hose. Check that boot and use a electrical wire tie on any that look iffy.
There is a plastic fitting in the S boot for incoming hoses. Make sure that one fits without leaking.
Also the fuel pressure regulator in the fire wall behind #1 has an important vac line going to it.

Use your propane or gumout vac leaking test kit. You will find them.

Have a look for the accordian hose for the dipstick, I will be it is gone. Easy place for cud to enter.

Before you change out the oil filter, I think I would go buy the cheapest oil you can find, put it in there and get it good and warm for 20 minutes and then change it all out. Somebody once said that running a quart of marvel mystery oil in the oil mix will act as a good cleaning agent. Muir suggests using a quart of diesel or kerosene. Whatever it needs to get clean in there and that would include the hydraulic lifters

It probably has front and rear main seal leaks (including the cooler seals) which is why it is so dirty to start with. A dirty engine is a hot engine.

Go get them!

steve74baywin Mon Sep 06, 2004 8:42 am

I'm not a mech, but I think the problem could be something other than the brake booster, I think this cause once I got my 74's brakes working good, I drove it for a year before I realised the brake booster was bad.
There is a way to test it in Bentley if I recall. Something about noticing any diff in brake pedal travel when engine is running vs not running.

Bottomend Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:24 am

Just woke up... time to start all over again....

Steve, a person CAN tell the difference the brake booster has on engine performance while pumping he brakes. We're WAY beyond that point. There is ZERO effect of brakeing action to the engine.( Echo, Echo, Echo.....)

Randy, I dont really know all the componants you mentioned but I checked all the lines and hoses for loose conection and found only one. I put a new clamp on it and now hope for the best.

The dip stick tube seal will get Skept's fuel hose method. I'm pulling the fan shroud shortly. Nothings opened today but but I'll get everythng pulled apart so I can buy the seal tomorrow and hopefully get these guys going.

I tried to get the torx bolts off the CV's last night and had zero luck. I didn't own a Torx wrech set and the only place that was open was Auto Zone. I bought thier set and the tool stripped out on the very first bolt.. and took the bolt with it!!!! I'm hopeing Sears is haveing a Labor day sale or something so I can get a good tool.

Heres something funny.... One of the guys was puttering around on the passenger side down under the heat exchanger and I was on the oppisite side doing something. He keeps saying something about a sponge filled with oil and ask's me if it should be there and if he should take it out or not. I kept asking him what he's talking obut and finally I crawl over to see what the heck he's talking about.... He pushed on the foam engine seal and oil POURED from it!!! Not dripped off... I MEAN POURED down from it!!!!!! I couldn't believe it! How could THAT much oil get UP into the foam seal? ( pouring down from somewhere?)

Thats when I started to tell these guys the truth.... This engine was soon found to have been a rebuilt motor. I starting finding RTV EVERYWHERE!!! Who ever did this should go back to fixing tricycles!

As I wrote above, I didn't think it was possible to have DIRT inside the engine. The rocker arm areas were amazing....! I dont even wanna tell you about the oil screen. I found CHUNKS in here too!

The oil drain bolt appears to be cross threading so I abandonded ship and retightened it. It's probably the only place that isnt' leaking so I think we're safe for now.

They told me they had bought this bus on E-bay and needed to come pick it up and drive back to Illinois. Initially they were gonna have the owner ship it to them but then they decieded to make the trip to the west coast. When the seller heard that they were showing up in person he sent the bus to a storage facility and left a key for them. Sounds fishy? read on....

They show up and of course all the pictures they had viewed were only of the "good areas" of the bus. Rear was caved in on the drivers side, nose punched in, Pop top is totally ripped down one side.

The thing wouldn't start so the guy at the storage biz loaned them a battery and it still wouldn't start so they bump started it and got it "running". The seller was no longer answereing his phone....

I found them at a gas station looking kinda bewildered. They probable think I'm like the Prophet and the Anti-Christ rolled into one. I'm telling 'em like it is and we're making slow progress. I dont know how far they wouldv'e made it into thier trip back home.....oh yea, did I mention that it has NO brakes? They have already reluctantly learned to avoid hills and following other cars too closely.

DurocShark Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:22 am

Holy crap Batman!

I bought my bus on eBay, but was able to inspect it before handing over the $$. The seller was pretty darned honest in the description and the followup phone conversations. He even loaned me his dealer plates so I could get it home. I overnighted the plates back to him the next day.

Then I hear this crap. Honestly, I would have turned around and walked away if a seller tried this crap. On the other hand, I can completely understand the eagerness to buy. :D

RTV? Ew.

Your description of the brakes (sorry if I'm misreading) sounds like you're just not getting the assist from the booster, but the bus still stops and is building up he-man muscles on the right leg? If they can handle the brakes like that, then just seal off the vacuum line to the booster and move on. It sounds like there's plenty to fix.

If you can get it started, run it till warm, drain oil. Fill. Repeat a few times changing with a Fram filter each time. (You can use the ceapest crap oil and filter at K-Mart until the last fill.) That will hopefully flush out any crap.

Do the propane/carb cleaner check for vacuum leaks. FI is way less tolerant of leaks than carbs. Also check for worn, frayed or broken wires. A shorting or broken wire will send the computer into a frenzy. ;)

I know this is kind of like closing the barn door after the horses have left, but I would ABSOLUTELY file complaints with everybody involved in this eBay transaction. eBay, obviously, paypal if they paid that way, credit card company, etc. People like that seller need to be taken care of in every legal manner. (Too bad I can't recommend illegal manners.)

Randy in Maine Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:35 am

Quote: Randy, I dont really know all the componants you mentioned but i checked all the lines and hoses for loose conection and found only one. I put a new clamp on it and now hope for the best.


Thank you Richard for your website (again)! http://homepage.mac.com/ratwell/VacuumHoses.html

Quote: I tried to get the torx bolts off the CV's last night and had zero luck. I didn't own a Torx wrech set and the only place that was open was Auto Zone. I bought thier set and the tool stripped out on the very first bolt.. and took the bolt with it!!!! I'm hopeing Sears is haveing a Labor day sale or something so I can get a good tool.


Think triple squares or xyz as they are called someplaces. Not likely to be torx.

To quote James Garner in "Return to Lonesome Dove",

"It might rain whores, but it ain't likely".

That applies to torx CV bolts also. Make sure you re-torque them in a 100 miles or so.

I don't know what kind of cash flow these guys have, but the smart money would be to pull the engine, replace the front and rear main seals along with setting the crankshaft endplay to the Bentley specs. Then you could have a good look at the clutch plate which is probably soaked with oil and otherwise won't make it to Wyoming on I-80. Replace the oil cooler seals and the push rod tube seals after you get the engine clean enough to see if the words "GEX" in on there.

I think they are going to have to pull the brake servo and see if it is all loaded up with brake fluid and at least dump it out to see if the servo is good anymore. Brakes would be an important thing to have along with clean and tight electrical connections. Check that Temp Sensor II over by #3 and show them how to clean and tighten it.

If they make it back to IL they will be lucky.

Bottomend Mon Sep 06, 2004 3:45 pm

I amitted defeat with the CV bolts. I went to Sears and got the good tool. No luck. Started to strip out. Went to the hardwear store and bought a blow torch. Nice. fun. cool. but again, no luck. We're goin ghetto on this one. Heres the idea I came up with... Fasten a hose clamp around the remaining part of the rubber boot and stretch it down the lenght of the shaft after loading it up with grease. No warrenty included....

Rear main seal looked very good. Oil cooler wasnt leaking either. I think most of the oil was comming from the dip stick boot and the push rods. I'm gonna do Colins method of the dip stick boot and we'll get push rod seals tomorrow.

Greasy and hot and VERY dirty, Bottomend.

Randy in Maine Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:04 pm

Note to self:

Beware of musicians offering to re-pack CV joints.

Bottomend Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:49 pm

Just finished up for the night. ahhhh...a nice 15 hour day. 10 of which was spent under a fouled up bus four of which was spent running around looking for parts on a federal holiday and one of which was spent doing things like explaining to the cops (that someone called on us) that we are sorry for the HUGH oil leak running across the road. ( they were not happy but told us to get things going ASAP. I think they sorta understood due to the breaking down part of the story...) I wish other people besides Colin could experience how utterly nice my neighbors are around here. It's been interesting to watch the two prostitutes and thier two pimps watch us....

We got the clamps on the cv boots. I have no idea if it'll work. i had one of the other guys do it ( I've got thier personalities sorted out by now. More on that to follow...) and when I went under to check on it after we was done, I just started laughing like a maniac. It was SOOOOO wrong!!!!! I cant believe I thought of this! I hope it holds...

We degreased the engine after I took off the fan shroud. It left a spill the width of the road.. not good. Cops wern't too long after that.

The fan shroud only had two bolts holding it togather. Can you believe it!? this was like... the 5th time we had to stop work and go find stuff at the store. These guys are on foot so I'm doing all the driveing..... anyway, I have never actually seen what the inside of a fan shroud looks like. Not much going on in there... oh welll.

My proudest moment of the day had to have been when I figured out how to make a dip stick boot out of two pieces of hose that were the wrong size. Heres how I did it...
I put an 8mm ID hose over the part that comes out of the case and cut it to about 1.5 inches. Then I took an 5-6 mm ( I cant remember which) and put that over the tube that protrudes from the fan houseing. RTV'd the hose and put a clamp on either end and in the middle. It sure looked good, so we'll wait and see what happens. You should seen these guys when I told them that we HAD to use RTV. I've been bad mouthing the very exsistance of this stuff from the moment we started. They were getting a little doubful of my motives at this point...

There is tons more stuff to talk about but I'm a wreck at this point and now we have the cops breathing on us so I've GOT to get the back part of the engine put togather ( we ran out of day light ...even though I tried for about 30 minutes to do it in the dark with one dull flashlight..) and get those push rod seals installed in the AM.

Two of these guys are brothers and they have a friend. Here are thier personality types. The leader ( older brother ) is very enthuseastic but knows NOTHING about cars. Heres a sample of our conversation on the fourth run to the store today.

" so , you mean VW's dont have a radiator? I dont even know what a radiator is but why dont we have one?"

the friend is very helpfull and I think his dad has some car knowledge. There is much drug residue to deal with ( he's totally clean now) focus, Zak focus.....

the younger brother doesn't care. He likes sleeping in the bus while we're working. He did find his calling though. It was late into our day and I needed someone to provide a spotlight for me. This guy can track like a hawk. All I have to do is THINK about looking a certain direction and the light is already there! I guess everybody is good at something. He is also the only one who can actually shift the thing into gear. Oh yea, he seems to be the guy who eat's all the food and takes up the most room sleeping...

I'm dead.

Bottomend Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:56 pm

oops. I forgot something...

Can anybody tell me if this engine is hydrolic vales or standard?

fan shroud # GE 03000739

body # from engine compartment 2382124147

I'm litterally too tired to try and research this. I need to do a valve adjustment in the morning but if its a hydro motor then I'm released from duty. It'll probably be the only time I'd ever be happy about finding out this kind of information. ( I'm not a member of the hydrolic lifter society)

If someone post's back, saying I should do a search for this info, I will send hundreds and hundreds of hippys in green bus's to your town/city and you will be tormented FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( help a guy out... just a simple yes or no answer will be adaquate. thanks)

Randy in Maine Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:10 am

GE engine code came from the factory with hydraulic lifters.



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