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Old 09-15-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
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Rexhall Owners Group
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1991 Affinity with 350HP Detroit Diesel

Looked at this coach today and was impressed by the sound of the engine and generator, a 7.5 Onan diesel. The coach needs a thorough cleaning but I'm thinking it might make a first class coach. Don't know much about the 6V92 but a limited search suggests it's a decent engine.

The coach has about 75,000 miles. The generator about 2200 hours. The air conditioners cool the coach adequately in the close to 90 outside temperature. It needs tires, a motor for the entry steps and some minor work on the screen door.

One thing that concerns me are the air brake. For the entire time I was there, maybe once every 5 minutes the brakes would release the pressure. I'm not familiar with air brakes so don't know if that's normal. The owner said they do that to keep from building up too much pressure.

I'd appreciate any information anyone has on these older country coaches. I looked at one a year ago that was pristine but wasn't able to work a deal with the seller. I can buy this one for $13,000 and think for another $10 to 15,000 I would have a decent coach.

Thanks for your thoughts.

GaryB
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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The air brake system will build pressure to about 120 PSI, then the Air Dryer valve will release air and allow the cycle to repeat to avoid excess pressure. So what you heard is normal.

You should manually discharge the air system to see if any water is left on the ground. If so, the Air Brake Dryer may need to be serviced. Letting it go too long could invite dessicant to be discharged into the air lines. This would be an expensive repair.

Look for the DOT Air Brake Pre-trip Test online and try it on the target rig to see if all is working well. It is a good routine to practice for all air brake operators.

If a motor for the Kwiki entry steps is truly needed, a Ford power window motor is commonly used for replacement. Much of the time the problem is in the door switch, or the wiring to the motor, or in lubrication of the step slides. Examples will be found on the Web.

If the rig is on a Gillig Bus Chassis, you should be pleased with its performance and ride. You may find the front axle is overloaded and the tires under sized for the weight being carried.

If the bus has the Over The Road Air system, the dash AC switch will also run the bedroom AC which is driven by the engine compressor. This is a nice feature going down the road.

A series of three article were published by Country Coach a few years ago titled Caring for the Mature Country Coach or similar. They can be found on the Web.

Here is a link to Mike Cebula's recap of the first article. Mike owned a 1995 Magna. http://users.sisna.com/cebula/CCTechTopics.pdf

Even though copies of some are available on the Web, the Manuals for my rig have proved to be invaluable. Get them for yours if possible.

Above all, big money can be spent on Water Intrusion damage, engine failure, and transmission failure. Condition is the key to a good purchase as usual.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:50 PM   #3
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It may have a ride height valve slightly out of adjustment on the internal part that allows a tiny bit of air to escape.

If not moving it should air up and be good, no blast at all for at least 20 minutes or longer.

Driving down the road will short cycle due to suspension moving.

Simple test is to idle to get up to ride height, then drop thd jacks and manually lift all 4 corners just a touch, do this with manual control, when you feel the coach move let it go just a second more.

This will insure all valves should de closed on the lift side and open on the lower side.

If it now takes longer for blast then drop one corner at a time until it returns to short cycle.

The adjustment is easy, just hard to reach, we have detailed post instructions here someplace.

You will be happy with that coach, but check closely for leaks and other stupid stuff.

Check the floor boards under any storage where water lines are, if it has gray stuff it could be PB that can be a problem, changed all of ours, was a pain but not a deal breaker, but price changer.

Get skme photos
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
The air brake system will build pressure to about 120 PSI, then the Air Dryer valve will release air and allow the cycle to repeat to avoid excess pressure. So what you heard is normal.
This is what the owner said.

Quote:
Look for the DOT Air Brake Pre-trip Test online and try it on the target rig to see if all is working well. It is a good routine to practice for all air brake operators.
I did that. There are many articles on the subject.

Quote:
If a motor for the Kwiki entry steps is truly needed, a Ford power window motor is commonly used for replacement. Much of the time the problem is in the door switch, or the wiring to the motor, or in lubrication of the step slides. Examples will be found on the Web.
The owner did that. But I think he said it was from an Oldsmobile. It worked for a while and then quit.

Quote:
If the rig is on a Gillig Bus Chassis, you should be pleased with its performance and ride. You may find the front axle is overloaded and the tires under sized for the weight being carried.
It is on a Gillig Chassis. I think the tires are 275 x 22.5

Quote:
If the bus has the Over The Road Air system, the dash AC switch will also run the bedroom AC which is driven by the engine compressor. This is a nice feature going down the road.
How do I determine if it has an Over The Road Air system?

Quote:
A series of three article were published by Country Coach a few years ago titled Caring for the Mature Country Coach or similar. They can be found on the Web.

Here is a link to Mike Cebula's recap of the first article. Mike owned a 1995 Magna. http://users.sisna.com/cebula/CCTechTopics.pdf
Downloaded the article.

Quote:
Above all, big money can be spent on Water Intrusion damage, engine failure, and transmission failure. Condition is the key to a good purchase as usual.
There doesn't appear to be any water damage. I'll have it inspected for drive train issues. My biggest concern is the general condition and the fact there are no service records. When I see a coach with an interior as dirty as this one, I wonder about all the systems that may not have been maintained properly. My feeling is that mechanical maintenance parallels how the coach looks on the inside. I looked at this coach because I saw a similar coach two years ago. That one was like new on the inside. This one looks like it has been through the war. Doesn't make sense for a coach with a sticker price of $325,000. It has $50,000 of options including a solar package, hydra hot and many I don't recall. Then again with 2200 hours on the generator, it may have been used a lot more that the 75,000 miles indicates. I'm thinking I should pass on this one but I'm not sure. I just turned 70 and don't have any experience with motorhomes or their systems and this might be a project well beyond my ability. Still, it could be a diamond in the rough and a fine coach.

Thanks for your response.

Gary
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
If not moving it should air up and be good, no blast at all for at least 20 minutes or longer.
. The coach was parked. It may have been longer than 5 minutes, but it wasn't 20.

Quote:
Simple test is to idle to get up to ride height, then drop thd jacks and manually lift all 4 corners just a touch, do this with manual control, when you feel the coach move let it go just a second more.
This coach does not have jacks. It is leveled with air bags. Would that explain it.

Quote:
Check the floor boards under any storage where water lines are, if it has gray stuff it could be PB that can be a problem, changed all of ours, was a pain but not a deal breaker, but price changer.
I didn't look closely. What is PB?.

Quote:
Get skme photos
Wife didn't take any pix. Don't think she was very enthusiastic. Only one photo in the add. Attached is similar coach from another add.


Thanks for your comments.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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If you have over-the-road A/C in the beroom, there should be a fan switch that turns on a fan located over the bed. Once the dash A/C is on, you will feel cold air from the fan in the bedroom.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
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PB is the gray plastic pipe used before pex.

Look under sinks and see what color it is.

Dean may be able to comment on it, ours is 1989, had PB and needed to.be replaced.

Good cleaning with compressed air gets a lot of crud from carpets then a shampoo, not a show stopper, but a price adjuster...

Have it inspected and take it for a drive.

Check for freon type, if sticker indicates R12 old, if R134 then current and better.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyb1st View Post
I just turned 70 and don't have any experience with motorhomes or their systems and this might be a project well beyond my ability. Still, it could be a diamond in the rough and a fine coach.

Thanks for your response.

Gary

Gary, I am just a year behind you but have run my rig for 11 years and have done many repairs. My experience was in fixing household things like AC electric wiring and plumbing etc. My career was behind a desk on the phone or on an airplane.

I have had fun learning to do the MH repairs and replacements but I started with a low mileage rig which was in great condition.

If you have a place to routinely work on the rig and are reasonably mobile, you might enjoy the project as a hobby type thing.

If you will contract the work done, you probably cannot buy the rig cheap enough......
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
Gary, I am just a year behind you but have run my rig for 11 years and have done many repairs. My experience was in fixing household things like AC electric wiring and plumbing etc. My career was behind a desk on the phone or on an airplane.

I have had fun learning to do the MH repairs and replacements but I started with a low mileage rig which was in great condition.

If you have a place to routinely work on the rig and are reasonably mobile, you might enjoy the project as a hobby type thing.

If you will contract the work done, you probably cannot buy the rig cheap enough......
Dean, the main reason I'm hesitant to buy the motorhome is, I don't have a place to work on it. My background is very similar to yours and while I've learned a few things since buying our first trailer a few years ago, the many systems of a luxury motorhome would be new and well beyond my skill level. If I new someone who lived in the area and was willing to help, I'd be inclined to give it a go. Gary
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:26 PM   #10
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engine

Do you recall the color of the 6V92 DD engine? If it is green in color then it is an early design and had it's share of problems in many large fleets. If the color is silver you have a later edition with some of the early problems corrected such as pistons coming apart, leaks, piston ring failure and the list goes on and on. I came from a fleet of about 5000 of these things and they were not a long life engine. When the series 60 in line came out it too had some early issues but nowhere near the headaches of the 92, both 8v92 and 6v92.

Some will say I'm nuts and some will agree with my comments for what they are worth.

Good luck with the project.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:48 AM   #11
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The air brake pressure release sounds normal. On many motor homes you have to crawl under and open a valve to drain water out of the pressure tank from time to time, on better ones,, they do what you described.

Now you said it's a 350HP Detroit Diesel.. DD makes many engines.. The Series 60 Detroit Diesel does one thing better than just about any other engine built, in fact as far as I know it is better than any other engine built.

It passes filling stations.

That engine has the best MPG of any Diesel out there.

Of course, I don't know if that is what you have or not.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #12
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what you are hearing in the air system is normal. what is not normal is the reasons given or the frequency. you have a compressor, air governor, air dryer, wet tank, air cans slack adjusters, s cams then the shoes. just on the brake portion of the air system. the air governor lets the compressor build air in the system to approx. 120psi then shuts the system off. At this time the air dryer "sneezes" purging itself of any moister that it has taken out of the hot air coming out of the compressor, not to equalize or bleed the pressure down in the system or to cycle it all over again. When your system pressure drops to approx. 90 psi the air governor tells the compressor to bring the system back up to 120 psi. what the sneeze is telling you is the system has once again hit the 120 psi mark,the governor has shut the compressor off, and it has once again purged itself of any moisture.

The rate at which yours is cycling at says you have a serious air leak somewhere. This could be at a wide array of locations. At the rate yours is cycling you should be able to sit and watch the air gauge in the dash go down.
On MHs that don't have a air dryer about once every 700 to a 1000 mi. of driving you should manually drain the wet tank, the air dyer does this for you, but even with that you should manually drain the wet once a yr. as moisture left in the wet tank will eventually rust the bottom out since they are steel tanks.

For the owner to tell you what is happening and what,why you are hearing it simply says he doesn't understand the air system. scary. ajmo.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:34 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your great responses. We've decided to pass on this one and keep looking.

Gary
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:14 PM   #14
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laj correct on air system

laj is correct on the air system except if the air dryer has not been services in a long time there are a few valves inside that may not be checking and that will allow the govenor pressure to leak of instantly when it is sent to the dryer to purge. So, when the govenor reaches the 120 PSI it unloads the compressor and sends govenor pressure to the dryer to purge the dryer. What happens though is the when the dryer purges it also dumps the govenor air pressure and the govenor resets and so the compressor come off unloaded and starts to pump air again. This all happens in about 1 second. So, then the air pressure actually never gets to fall to the 90-95 psi it normally would fall to when the govenor would reset normally, but the air system has lost 5 psi or so and the compressor makes this back up in 5 minutes or so and the whole thing starts over again.
Easy way to test this, remove the air line at the govenor that goes back to the dryer and plug the line and the port. Pump the brakes till the air pressur drops to about 90 psi. Remove the hose that feed to the compressor air inlet so you can hear when the compressor unloads. Fire up the engine and wait while it builds air pressure. Watch you gauge and you should hear the compressor unload at about 120psi and just stay there if you have no air leaks anywhere and don't need air for the air suspension. The coach could actually sit there idling for 20-30 and never have the compressor come off unload. If it works like this then you probably have to service the dryer by putting in a rebuild kit and desicant unit. Can be done fairly cheap, IF the dryer is in a good spot. Mine is not.

Sorry for the long wind.
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