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Inspecting an Eagle

This is a public forum to discuss Eagle related technical issues. If you are having a problem with your Eagle, this is the place to find help.
Inspecting an Eagle
Sun May 17, 2015 6:23 pm


LeRoy asked me in an email if we had a thread on how to inspect an Eagle. I did a bit of searching and found this excellent post by Joe Laird. It was buried in thread in the general Eagle chat forum. I thought I would start a thread in the Eagle Tech section. Hopefully folks will add their thoughts and then we will move this thread into the Technical Archives forum.

Here is Joe's list:

INSPECTING AN EAGLE

Walk up to the Bird and open the lower access door under the drivers window. If it is all rusted out close it and thank the owner for his time.This is a good indicator of things to come.

If it looks ok, open the upper access door above it. This is the forward electrical compartment. Have a good look at the wiring for corrosion and hopefully the Eagle wire numbers are still on the wiring which will make identifying the circuits easier. If you are real lucky the inside of the door will have a readable wiring diagram there.

Sight down both sides of the bus skin. Is it buckled or wavy?

Remove the front bumper and crawl up in the spare tire compartment. Look at the steering box and look for previous damage or rust.

Crawl under the bus and look at the metal under the drivers compartment.

Look at the front torsilastics.(BIG MONEY) Is the rubber hanging out of the ends of the tubes? How much thread (adjustment) is left on the adjusting rods? check the condition of the brake lines.

Look very carefully at the inside wheelwell, especially against the outer side above the tire for rust.

Open all of the bay doors. what is the condition of the bays? Are the tunnel covers there? Take them off and look at the things inside.

Look under the baggage bays. Are the longitudinal steel tubes in good shape? Is the tube under the door rusted out?

Is the fuel filler tube in good shape? Does it seal when closed?

Is the bogie out of alinement?

Check the rear torsilastics and wheel wells for the same things as the front.

Open the air compressor door. Is the bus air still there? If so I recommend you get it removed if you buy the coach.

Open the engine door and both corner doors. Hopefully the rear electrical compartment will still have the dust cover. It may also have a readable wiring diagram. Check the corner doors for operation and the wiring for condition. Look at everthing you can see. Does the engine or miter box leak?

Crawl under the bus and check the engine and transmission for leaks. Also check the cooler hoses from the engine and transmission for condition.

Open the radiator door. Does the radiator have corrosion? Damage?

Work your way up the left side checking the same things you checked on the right.

If the bus has an automatic, pull the dipstick. The fluid should be the color of transmission fluid and not have a burnt smell.

Go inside the bus and remove the access panel in the floor above the top step. Look at the stuff inside and evaluate.

Go to the inside rear of the bus and remove the engine access panels (both) and the panel just forward of them. Look at the blower and valve covers and everything else for leaks. Look at the fan hub and idler. Look at the power steering pump and air compressor and the rest of the hoses there.

Now start the bus, does it smoke? what color? does it clear up right away? Remove the oil filler tube cover. Hold your hand over the opening. Is there pressure (blowby)?

This is in no way a complete inspection but if you know the basics. tires, brakes, leaking shocks, steering wheel play, etc it may help
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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beltguy
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Re: Inspecting an Eagle
Sun May 31, 2015 8:30 am


I hope others will build on this thread.

For today I would like to discuss Torsilastic inspection.

On the front and drive axles, you look for the thread remaining on the adjustment bolts (see attached photo). The thread length you are looking for is on the outside of the lock nut. For each one inch of remaining thread, you get approximately 2 inches of lift. There are "extended" adjustment bolts available, but most folks avoid them from what I have read.

Part of the inspection is to evaluate the current ride height of the bus. That can be measured at the top of the wheel arch, or at the bottom of the body. I prefer the bottom of the body. The ideal height is 14 inches for an empty bus. If it is converted (chassis loaded by the conversion material/parts), it can be between 12 and 14 inches.

Model 05 and 10 Torsilastics are available (used and some rebuilt ones), but very costly. The 01 springs are very hard to find.

There is no way to "measure" the "remaining adjustment" on the bogey axle.

Jim
Attachments
Torsilastic Adjustment Screw with note.jpg
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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beltguy
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Re: Inspecting an Eagle
Sun May 31, 2015 6:22 pm


Do you have an attachment that shows the upper right hand corner of that one better?

Cary
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Re: Inspecting an Eagle
Sun May 31, 2015 8:07 pm


Here are a couple of photos of my adjustment bolts.

The front is easy to inspect.

Front Torsilastic adjustment bolt.jpg


The rear is a bit more difficult. You need to get low to the ground and look up to see the remaining thread (bolt points towards the center of the bus and the remaining thread is closest to the center of the bus.

Rear Torsilastic adjustment bolt.jpg


Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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beltguy
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Re: Inspecting an Eagle
Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:31 am


When inspecting any bus that is for sale, the owner often states that the tires have great tread left. While that sounds great, the buyer needs to determine how old the tires are. It makes a huge difference. If the tires need to be replaced due to old age, the cost will be in the $400 per tire range (some brands being twice that much).

So how old is too old and why do we care?

When I was doing safety seminars at various conventions/rallies one of the subjects that was the most controversial was tire safety. I did a lot of research and, at the time (early 2000s) there was no documented industry/regulatory position on acceptable life of truck/RV/bus tires. In 2006 Michelin published a document (attached) that stated that the maximum life of a truck/RV/bus tire was 10 years with the caveat that after 5 years they should be inspected by a tire dealer every year (I highlighted the specific paragraph).

So why do we care? A blown tire is a horrendous event -- more so with the tires we use on our very large vehicles. A tire "explosion" can, at the minimum, result in significant damage to the wheel well area up to a crash which can result in injury or worse. At our booth, we would hear many horror stories about tire failures and it really gets your attention.

Because of the replacement cost, lots of folks use their tires well beyond the suggested 10 year limit. Most have no problems, but they are at risk.

All of our tires have a date code on them. The attached bulletin shows how to determine the date the tire was manufactured. Briefly, it is a four digit code with the first two digits being the week and the last two digits being the year of manufacture.

Jim
Attachments
Michelin Tire Technical Bulletin of service life.pdf
(65.74 KiB) Downloaded 369 times
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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beltguy
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Re: Inspecting an Eagle
Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:25 am


I thought that I would bump this to the top again. We have some new members that are looking for an Eagle.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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beltguy
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Re: Inspecting an Eagle
Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:11 am


Time to bump this up again.

This thread is a good start to what could be a very strong tool for potential new Eagle owners. Hopefully, our members will add to this thread.

I was recently asked if there are models of Eagles to avoid. My answer is a qualified no. Any Eagle can be rebuilt into a very functional/safe vehicle.

That said, the one caution that comes up often is the Torsilastics on 01 Eagles. They are no longer available and used ones are probably getting towards the end of their life. Air springs have been added to both the front suspension and drive axle (I have not seen the tag - or bogey on other Eagle models - modified for air bags). The air springs can be used to supplement the Torsilastics or as the primary suspension.

The other question that often comes up is parts availability. With the exception of the 01 Torsilastics, most parts are available. There are still some great parts vendors http://eagles-international.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4352&sid=000966ce2e2c1e185a146113bb40324c

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
User avatar
beltguy
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