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Made it.......barely!

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Made it.......barely!
Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:41 am


Some of you may have been following the misadventures of us moving my restored Silverside from Vancouver, WA to Mill Spring, NC. The purpose of the trip is to install a new engine and transmission (6L71TA, DDEC II) at Russell Diesel Service. I bought the core engine and complete power pack from my friend Dan Holter in Minnesota several months ago and had it shipped down to Gene Russell. He owns a Silverside and has repowered his with the same unit, a real Silverside guru and great guy (and a lifetime rebuilder of 2 strokes). We are also installing power steering and maybe a new high speed differential out of a 4104.

Anyway, it has been an adventure getting it here but we arrived yesterday, a day later than planned due to a near disaster. About 90 miles out the bus caught on fire. Motoring down the freeway I noticed smoke at the right rear and thought I lost a rear wheel bearing. Pulled over quickly and flames and smoke were pouring out of the transmission door louvers. Now, I usually carry both a 10# and 20# extinguisher, but left the big one home due to the bus being packed full. By the time I got the bay open and got back there to fight the fire it was starting to go pretty good. Coming from the parking brake drum, which of course had been oily from a leaky trans output seal. Knowing I only had the one extinguisher I just used short bursts trying to save all I had on the 10 pounder. Kathy got the important stuff out of the bus and started bringing me some water from the sink. Got it out just as the last of the chemical was used up. Burned up one of my new beautiful wiring harness sections but luckily only got to chassis stuff and not house wiring. While all this was going on I noticed a small fire in the median about 1/4 mile back. After the tear down, what happened was that a chunk of old, brittle brake lining broke off and became lodged between the drum and shoes and then got red hot, igniting the oil, then moving on to the wiring above it. Part of the lining flew off into the median. Just wet grass, no issue there, just smoke. After evaluating things, the starting circuit still worked, so I backed the brake clear off, started her up and with cops and fire truck escorting made it up to the next exit where I spent a couple hours fixing up some temporary wiring and testing things and removing the entire parking brake assy. The cabin had a lot of smoke in the back end so we spent the night in a hotel while it aired out, then came on in to Gene's yesterday without further problems. Enough excitement for one day, yup. The old girl wanted to let me know that she wasn't going to give up her old powerplant without a fight I guess, lol.

This was seconds away from being a total loss. I urge all of you to think about what YOU would do, and have a plan. We talk about it frequently, and have a plan, but seconds count. I will never again travel without all my extinguishers. I know a lot of you travel with just one little 5 pounder. One of the problems with a Silverside is that you have to crank open the bay doors with a baggage crank, and that takes more time, but have your extinguishers readily available.

Now on to the next chapter of the rehab. Saw my new engine and heard it run (it's in a donor bus for prefitting). What a nice unit. You can see it at the Blytheville, AR vintage bus rally in April.

To be continued......
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Boomer
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:12 pm


Geez Mark. . .you guys know how to keep a trip exciting!! Glad you were able to get it extinguished with minimal damage--and I hope it didn't mess-up any of your beautiful exterior or interior work. It's stories like these that make me want to put one of those extinguisher systems in the engine and generator bays!

At any rate, glad you guys made it safely in one piece (except for the brake lining), and can't wait to see your new engine install!

Safe travels
Art Wales
1988 Eagle 15
6V92/740
Riverside County, CA
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:00 pm


Wowzer, your trip has been one that not only tests the metal of an old ride but that of the owners also.
Glad all is OK.
We will see ya'll in Blytheville. We just recieved the registration form today.
LeRoy
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:02 pm


Oh My! Glad y'all are OK!

That is always something on the back of my mind, fire! I know we are not well prepared, something we need to rectify!

I hope the rest of your journey in re-power and travel will go well.
Becky & Paul Lawry
Dreamscape
1968 Eagle 01 #7443
Silver 8V92 HT 740

Dreamscape Eagle Travel Blog: https://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/

Dreamscape Build Blog: https://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:57 pm


Paul will you still be in TX in the spring? If so come on over to Blytheville, it's going to be a great time. Going to be a big event. Need some more Eagles there.
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:59 pm


I thought I saw smoke in the distance yesterday!!! I';m glad you got it put out quickly!! I am one of those who use to carry the little extingusher. When you have one of those pucker flames I call em, you will get the biggest available! I'm ready to study them curves as we say in the south!!! Give me a call. My shop is about 30 minutes from Gene.
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:07 pm


Eric, wait a couple weeks and come on over, I will show it off and buy you a beer buddy. Just to walk around Gene's property is worth the price of admission. Everything from a restored 1939 D6 to six Silversides and everything in between.
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:15 pm


Last time I was at Gene's place we searched for a two pc. valve cover for my 60. We never did find one. I got completely lost looking at the old buses trucks, and mustangs. The tour was better than finding a brand new cover!! LOL Made me want an even OLDER bus, know what I mean!! You have my number when you get caught up!!
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:29 am


Mark, thanks so much for creating a thread for you travels in that marvelous vehicle!

What a scary event you faced. I can't begin to imagine what was going through your mind.

When we were in business I heard a great many RV fire stories and most of them make us cringe (some make us puckeer :shock: ). Your story falls into the latter category.

Since the subject of fire extinguishers was mentioned here, I would like to get on my soap box for a minute. Mac McCoy and I were "friendly' competitors and there was a lot we did not agree on. However, the main subject we did agree on was that dry powder fire extinguishers are very marginal and can cause a lot of secondary damage.

After we closed the business, we left most of the website on the server - mainly so that I could reference folks to information that might be important to them. One fo the pages I left was about handheld fire extinguishers. Here is the "back door" link:

http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/Handheld%20Fire%20Extinguishers.htm

That page, and the article linked in the page, explain why I feel very strongly about the use of "modern technology" for fire extinguishers.

To give you a feeling about the reputation of Cold Fire, a couple of years ago, the IRL mandated that every team had to have at least one 2.5 gallon fire extinguisher in their pits and the extinguisher must be charged with Cold Fire (and labeled as such). A J Foyt Racing contacted me right after the mandate and ordered quite a bit of equipment. A few weeks ago they bought another 5 gallons of concentrate from me.

Even though we are out of business, I am still recognized as a Cold Fire distributor by the company. While I do not "advertize" it, I can sell the extinguishers (and have a few still left in my old inventory).

I apologize that this is a bit off subject and sounds like an advertizement, but I just want to make sure my Eagle friends have access to the best protection possible.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
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Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net (Please email me rather than use the PM process)
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Re: Made it.......barely!
Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:55 pm


That's something I have been thinking a lot about Jim. If this had been a total loss and it most certainly could have been in a few more seconds, then I would have been semi responsible for not being better prepared. I was in a hurry, heavily packed and chose to leave my big extinguisher behind. Just goes to show you, never ever cut corners on safety. I am going to read up again on your subject . It's good to know I can still get one from you. Thanks for the info.
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