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Everything posted by Brill_C-37M_Bus

  1. I’ve been wanting to post a bus update for a while, but each work day saw just a couple minor fixes. Well, today it all came together, and I finally racked up a mile on the odometer. The Brill runs, and I haven’t forgotten how to drive her! The goal so far this year was to get the bus running well enough to drive out to the street, get loaded on a trailer, and drive a few blocks from the trailer to my new driveway. While trying not to do anything too invasive to jeopardize my upcoming move, I went just a little further: - Filled and bled the long hydraulic line to the rebuilt clutch cylinder (above) - Finally found and fixed a short in the gauge wiring (see photo below) - Replaced temp gauge by reconditioning a rusted original, which sat unused since the mid-60s - Replaced stuck thermostat to fix overheating problem - Replaced low air switch to fix low air warning lights (also see photo below) - Installed a rebuilt carb, tried to adjust it, couldn’t get the idle adjust to work - Traced the throttle controls from the front of the coach to the back, lubed everything, fixed an AWFUL misaligned yoke at the bellcranks on the carb end - Put stronger spring on carb, idle adjustments worked this time! With all that and a load of inspection work done, I’ve cautiously tested things, and found that so many of my fixes over the past 2 years have paid off. At one point, only 2 gauges and 2 panel lights worked. Now 4 out of 5 gauges (darned fuel gauge...) and all 6 lights work! The amount I had to learn to get this far seems crazy, looking back. You really can’t beat these good old reference books. I can get so lost in them, and always come away smiling. I took the bus for a lap around the neighborhood today. I was so focused on driving, I forgot to even stop to take a photo. So here she is as she cooled off after some exercise. This stateside Korea vet turns 70 this summer, and I hope to do more to mark that milestone. Like maybe paint the other side... here’s hoping! -Steven
  2. On the mobile app, there’s been no change to search criteria. I can still search as I always have. I don’t see why that would be different from the desktop version. Above I did a quick search for a kind of Stewart-Warner sender, and got the results I would expect from using an * wildcard. I may have accidentally found the right sender to fix my current gauge mismatch problem, too. So thanks! -Steven
  3. That makes two of us making progress on our RD-450 engines today! Way to go on that thorough inspection, and I’m looking forward to seeing the engine painted. It’ll be a while before I can do anything that in-depth, I just need mine to move short distances for right now. Good luck with the rest of your rebuild, Mike! -Steven
  4. The countdown to starting my bus’s engine has started, and the plan is to fire her up this Saturday. In prep for that, my dad helped me fill and bleed the loooong hydraulic clutch line, then my wife worked the brake pedal while I inspected the air brake chambers for travel distance and smooth operation. I have a small air leak at the gauge to fix, but otherwise everything looks as good or better than last time the bus ran, in October 2019. Wish us luck! The photo shows the shiny rebuilt clutch slave cylinder (thanks, White Post Restorations!) now full of fluid, and the big battery slooowly charging back to full. -Steven
  5. That’s a very neat setup! I’m about to move and have a couple options of how to set up my new workspace, so seeing your work is very motivating. For now I’m working on my brain... cramming in as much Bendix-Westinghouse air brake hardware knowledge as I can find. It really feels good to reach the point where learning about one system (say, air door valves) makes me realize new things about the other systems (like electrical). It takes a while, but it’s all starting to come together!
  6. Did someone ask for green? Got plenty of that color!
  7. I want to finally get my bus ready to drive, at least locally (being ready for longer trips will take even more time and money!). So I’m starting with some electrical troubleshooting. The wiring diagram for a ‘51 Brill C-37M is incredibly simple compared to the electric streetcar diagrams I’d learned from before, but I’m guessing it’s still big compared to car diagrams of the ‘50s. I have persistent shorts in the gauges, so I pulled the panel out to bench-test it. While testing the wires leading to the gauge panel, the old temp gauge sending unit broke just from loosening the nut on top, so I swapped it out with one I fortunately had in my spare parts stash. The new one is on the left. I still need to find the missing wire to the other sending unit, which powers a high temp warning light and alarm bell. Overall, this was the best day of wrenching on the bus since summer 2019. Not to discount all the paint workdays of 2020, but this felt great to be making progress again! -Steven
  8. For me it can be anything from ‘30s-‘40s swing to ‘60s surf rock, or as modern as ELO and Queen. But any tunes are always a welcome addition to the workday! -Steven
  9. This thread is interesting to me, coming in from the electric railway museum scene. One good question is, what does “restoration” mean to you? How complete a scope, how big a budget, or how perfect a finish are expected from a “typical” restoration? Or, what is just a slight cleanup compared to a full restoration? And do you think that meaning has changed over the years? That might lead to some answers to the question in the thread title, but I’m not near experienced enough to suggest any myself. That meaning of “restoration” sure changes from collector cars to mass transit preservation. Where I stand, restorations take years unless you’re ready to throw down at least a quarter million AND one of the few worthy shops in the world are available for your job. So 95% of the time, you get your volunteers (or if you’re lucky, your paid shop staff) to pick away at the restoration punch list. For years, even over a decade sometimes. Good project management can halve your project budget and timeline, bad management can easily double both. And often work moves at the same pace as your fundraising efforts, so good social media and fundraising people can sometimes make more difference than highly skilled craftspeople. But you better have both! Everyone who’s hands-on tries to take tasks they have some skill in, and you try to build others’ skills where possible. Some tasks nobody is good at already, so someone steps up (or “gets volunteered”) to learn. In my case, that was putting stripes on a 1922 Wason Car Co. streetcar painted for Johnstown, PA circa the 1950s. No one had much experience with the new stripe tool, and if I could put decal stripes on 1:160 scale passenger cars, I guess the restoration head figured I could handle it. Multiply that one example task across all the different systems and their individual steps, and that’s how you fix up a derelict trolley car for which there is practically no spare parts market. I don’t see why that sort of spend-time-to-save-money approach wouldn’t work for something as small and simple as a car. At least, I sure hope that model will work, because that’s what I’m doing on my bus. It’s slow going, but it’s working so far. So add one young 30-something restorer to the tally. Or, maybe don’t count me, since I really don’t care much for cars! 😝 -Steven
  10. Hey Lump, I’m glad that info was useful. Here’s the answers you asked for: Question 1: I haven’t used quotes except to search for an exact phrase with one or more spaces in it. It doesn’t help emphasize words within a search. Question 2: In a comma-separated list, there is no need for a space after each comma. Some of my searches have so many things to include or exclude, they end up so long that I’m hitting the limit for how long a saved search can be! So leaving the spaces off saves on length. And yeah, eBay will recognize the comma or parethesis as a separation point and not part of the word you’re searching for, even if there’s an * right next to it. Question 3: This should be an easy fix! Just do a comma separated parentheses list, with a minus sign just in front of the open paren. So, in your case, it’d be -(brochure,literature,flyer,ad,paper,manual,manuals,etc) And yeah, those cheap sales-boosting tricks are obnoxious. I guess I’m lucky that ACF-Brill Motors parts and related items are too obscure for those shysters to show up in most of my searches. The best trick, though, is to make a search and observe what words are common to most of the annoying irrelevant results. Then add those words to a minus list as shown in Question 3. You can’t really put common words like “fits” in there, but pick a common but irrelevant kind of car, and exclude that. For example, I almost always have to exclude VWs from my bus searches to keep hippie hauler stuff out of the results. Keep refining your search, and once it returns mostly good items, SAVE IT. A good saved search takes some refinement, but I keep about 40 different searches for bus, trolley, railroad, and model train things, and I almost never miss a rare item I want. I highly recommend that approach to buying on eBay. Good luck! -Steven
  11. Thanks BearsFan315, that sounds like a solution that covers nearly every item I’m looking for, with bonus points that I’m already familiar with the software. I hadn’t thought of the feature to send a map planned on a computer to my phone, but that’s perfect! I do wonder if anyone will ever come out with a sort of “touring” or “antique car” mode for a navigation app, but this will do in the meantime. -Steven
  12. I agree with your frustrations, and it does take some work to get around those issues. I’ve had a lot of success using special characters in long searches, and saving the search. I’ll try to describe it for any computer skill level. My saved searches usually are a series of sets of parentheses. eBay only shows listings that fit the conditions in EVERY set of parentheses; if it doesn’t match just one, I’ll never see it (which is usually good!). For example, I use this to look for Auto-Lite parts for my bus: (autolite,auto lite,auto-lite,prestolite,presto-lite,presto lite) (vrh,*vrh,vrh*,gdj,*gdj,gdj*) -(denso) The two comma-separated lists in parentheses tell eBay “show me any item containing at least one of these phrases”. The first list is synonyms and common misspellings of the manufacturer. The second list is the letters of part numbers, such as VRH-4104D1. I put asterisks after some part IDs to return any part that starts with the letters before the *. You can use an * anywhere in a word, like to search for an unknown prefix, suffix, both, or even the middle of a word. With the list set up this way, I’ll find the item if the seller spells it as VRH 4104, VRH-4104, or VRH4104, or any number of letters or numbers after that. The last parentheses set is arguably most important. By putting a minus sign before the first parethesis, it tells eBay to not show you any item that contains any word in that parentheses set. If you put in more than one word, separate them with commas, just like before. In my case, I’m just excluding one word common to most of my irrelevant results, but remember to think of and exclude relevant synonyms, misspellings, etc. And that’s how I found most of the very rare parts to restore my bus. I hope this is helpful to somebody in the weird world of eBay. Good luck, and don’t hesitate to ask if any of what I wrote isn’t clear. -Steven
  13. I’m looking for suggestions of a GPS navigator app with some features friendly to classic or antique cars. I’ve tried a couple Internet searches, but I don’t see many app websites or list articles relevant to my search. Some features I’d like are: - The app MUST have the ability to manually place waypoints or customize the route. The standard Google and Apple map apps lack this. Especially since my classic is 30 feet long, there are certain very specific road features I’d like to detour around case-by-case, not with some algorithm that doesn’t understand my situation. - Showing elevation on the route, or at least marking steep grades. Many bike directions apps show this, but I haven’t seen it for car apps yet. - An app with live traffic overlay on the map, or even alerts, would be nice to avoid sitting in traffic wherever possible. I’m sure there are other features that could be useful to the classic car community, like favoring roads with lower speed limits. It would be nice to come up with ideas for a Google/Apple Maps “antique car mode.” But for now, I’d just like to find something that does waypoints like my old GPS device did. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! -Steven
  14. I started a new tradition this year: decorating my Brill bus for the holidays. Lights, ornaments, and a retro-style bus stop sign rounded out this first year’s display. I took cues from both Trailways and Greyhound ads and signs of the 1940s and 50s for my sign. Their old ads are such wonderful works of art! I hope I can get near their level someday. -Steven
  15. I just cleaned up this spare interior builder’s nameplate after seeing a fellow bus fan with a Christmas tree covered in different bus builder’s badges. The badge is a little rough, but it cleaned up well and could be used as originally intended, if needed. But that’s not likely, my bus still has her original nameplate, plus I have a couple cleaner unrestored spares. Might as well enjoy this one! -Steven
  16. The forecast was right on here. Predictions said anything from 1-3 feet, and we got pretty much exactly 2. I had already cleared a little around the bus, not to take her anywhere, but to make the decorations visible. The storm made my Brill look like she was wearing a fluffy winter hat! -Steven
  17. I always enjoy reading updates on the Lombard and its history. Thanks Terry! The news on the ACF-Brill military coach is all about paint this fall. Knowing outdoor painting weather is nearly gone, I made the most of the past few warm spells to get a LOT of painting done. Everything from the windowsills up, plus the entire driver’s side, has been painted. It’ll need finish sanding and buffing, but I love the look! -Steven
  18. The pictured bus isn’t the exact one I’m restoring, but one of her 601 sisters. But if he rode one ACF-Brill military coach during his time in the Army, the King of Rock n’ Roll might very well have been on my bus, too! I’d like to know more of the stories of all the soldiers and their families that rode my bus, but so far I haven’t found much specific. Someday, I hope! -Steven
  19. Beautiful work! And I sympathize with the PA antique paperwork issues. There was a straight up clerk handwriting mistake on my antique registration, which took a while to fix. But considering the vehicle I registered as an antique had been a commercially inspected bus from 1951-2016, it’s certainly strange they would ask you for specifics on gross or unladen weight, when nobody asked me. Good luck, I hope the plate comes in time. Now your photos gave me the motivation to go check some more wiring on mine. Thanks for sharing! -Steven
  20. I’m also working on wiring. Lots and lots of wiring! I’m chasing a short in the gauge lights or sender circuits. And that means crawling underneath. It’s actually kinda nice under my bus, the ground clearance means I can even sit up in some places. I gave the old stateside Korea vet some subdued decoration, and the best occasion-appropriate message I could think of, for last Friday’s somber anniversary. Trying to draw block letters in pseudo-cursive was strange, but it got the feel I wanted. -Steven
  21. I could look for a different replacement, but I’d have to know more about this relay to do that. For instance, at what voltage does it trip and turn off the NOT GEN light? I’d prefer to learn more about the numbering of these different relays, so I can tell if the Cadillac part is the same relay, but repurposed. This listing I found on Delco-Remy’s website doesn’t say much, but does describe it as a “continuous duty” relay, though I’m not sure exactly what difference that makes. http://www.delcoremy.com/find-a-part/product-details/1116845
  22. My ‘51 ACF-Brill has a 12v relay from Delco-Remy. If I understand right, it’s supposed to close and send power to a dashboard “NOT GEN” warning light when the voltage from the generator armature drops below a certain level. There is a short circuit somewhere in this relay or its wiring, so I’m looking for a replacement. The Delco-Remy part number stamped on it is 845, or the longer form of the same number is 1116845. Here’s an edited bit of the wiring schematic showing both kinds of relay in my bus. The 845, on the right, is what I’m wondering about. My question is, I see Delco 845 relays (also shown as 15-845) listed on eBay as a/c relays for ‘70s Cadillacs. Their terminal layout looks different, but are these functionally equivalent? Where is a good place to look for old 1950s Delco-Remy relays? https://www.ebay.com/itm/184409088016 I appreciate any pointers you have to offer. I’ve found spares of the other relay I need, number 797, but can’t find any 845 relays. -Steven
  23. I’m curious too. Since the Red Diamonds (formerly called FBC engines) were production from ‘41 to ‘74, there were a couple incremental changes over the years. Here’s my 1951 RD-450. Lots of the accessories got changed over its service life, but it’s still original. If you find any good sources for new or old stock parts, I’d love to know about it. I’m always looking, and would gladly pass on any leads I find, if I ever get that lucky!
  24. Good luck with the Halloween goal! Personal deadlines like that always seem to work well for me. My project has an RD-450 also, it was a real pleasure to listen as yours make its lap around the block. -Steven
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