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Come Fly With Me --- Broken Eagle

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Come Fly With Me --- Broken Eagle
Fri May 22, 2009 5:30 am


MONDAY, MAY 4TH, 2009
The Dream is realized … Drove to Sanford Florida (outside Orlando) to pick up our bus … A 1983 Model Eagle. The next time I rent a car, I am going to specifically request an automobile with a “Texas Lic. Tag” so I can drive like a wild-man and bully people around. Give me a big Malibu with Texas tags and attitude.

Found the coach dealer on Sunday.

Pulled the sticker price off the windshield, and there I noticed my first indicator of things not being all that right. The driver’s side windshield has a crack in it at the top, it will be in need of replacement. Body is straight, no notable dings or dents, and it appears to the naked eye, to be “in good shape.”

For its age, I find the coach in incredibly good condition and my first hand impression, it is in “good shape”, surprised, I pleasantly discover after a long drive that it is love at first sight.

The next day is busy. Get the paperwork out of the way, return the rental car, have lunch and I am on my way. Bus is reluctant to start in Florida, they tell me it is “because it has been sitting for awhile” not to worry about it, if memory serves me well I believe "it will straighten out once you get it on the road” was what was said? Which I find out later on is part of a bus salesman fantasy or reoccurring mental impairment.

So naturally when four AC systems on the coach, or in other words, all but one fail, I am reassured because I KNOW that there is NO real reason for concern. Please excuse my skepticism and forgive me for not being a believer at this point in time.
I stop to think about the “investment in this thing” and all the money I have spent just getting here to pick it up and I am sick.

Rental car expense alone was $717.00 three motel rooms and that was also considerable. Money seems to be practically worthless anymore. Close to one thousand dollars just to come here, rent a car, hotels, meals, it is mind boggling and at the same time, depressing as all get out.

TUESDAY MAY 5TH, 2009 The Happy Bus Owner is now on the road.

It is extremely hot and muggy in Florida and I am glad that I have bought a coach with some five air conditioners. Unfortunately this new found jubilation is short-lived. It is miserable, the Florida sun beats down on the old buggy and I am trucking up the interstate towards Jacksonville, Florida traffic is light.
Something is definitely not right in River City. I start to sweat and I pull over, to see what the problem might be, thermostat reads “90” and you have to remember, this is inside the coach.

It now appears that out of the five AC units, I now am down to just the two in the front (drivers air) and that is it.

Forging on, I enter the Atlanta area around 10 p.m. grab the by-pass and head out west of the city towards Birmingham and Interstate 20. Unfortunately buses, any kind of bus, doesn’t run well without diesel fuel, and I appear to have used all of mine up. This I soon discover, turns the dull and mundane to “Critical Mass” very quickly.

She stalls on a hill and I deftly get her off the interstate at the first opportunity that presents itself. 11:35 P.M. I am now broke down some 30 miles west of Atlanta the mechanic on the case is charging me $125 per hour, out of fuel, patience, and just about everything else if you want to know the truth.

The coach now sits a mere 10ft off the interstate (where it died) and a truck rolls by about every two and one half minutes, it rocks side to side, sort of like a beached whale, to the point of almost making me car sick. Me and my new friend, Shamu or the Jolly Green Giant are not doing well, we are not doing well at all.

Good News! My southern born, illustrious inbred Mr. Goodwrench seems to think he has it nailed down, which is always good to hear and uplifting at 4:30 a.m. in the morning. In his professional opinion the problem seems to be a starter relay ($67 and some change), and he drives off looking for a replacement, seems sure that when he locates this item, he can get me back on the road. Unfortunately, I will not see him again for approximately two to three more hours.

The sun is breaking on the eastern horizon, the flashers on the bus grow faint as the remaining batteries die a slow and certain death. I am tired, I am sick, I am sorely disappointed in all of this, it is extremely hard to focus on the good side of this, if there is truly one to be found.

Mechanic just called and he has located the part, it is another $67 and some change, wanted my credit card # over the phone and I told him no way. He doesn’t seem to understand the technology of “radio transmission of credit card numbers” and my reluctance to provide him with same.

I call the previous owner he seems to want to lay all of this off on just plain “old bad luck.” In all honesty I do not blame the previous owner of this coach, and I don’t think he misrepresented anything to me, I am however, really upset with myself for placing myself in this precarious position.

In my mind I form a fantasy that it is not really my fault, that this bus, inherently female in nature, has decided to punish whoever it is that buys her, because she is mad at Larry for selling her off to a stranger. Yeah, that is it, that makes sense, uh huh, sure.

Meanwhile, I am parked some 10ft. off the intestate, and this thing is lurching from side to side like Moby Dick the whale and I am about half car sick. Last night someone came down the interstate and sideswiped the mechanic’s truck and took off his mirror.

Could have been a lot, lot worse.

The sun comes up and I realize another bonus. Truckers have cracked the drivers side windshield and now chipped the passenger side too, so there is something else that should have to be replaced when I get home. Tuesday, May 6th, 2009 and that is the way it goes … First your money and then your clothes.

Broke down I-20 30 miles west of Atlanta, I now find myself sitting just 10ft. off Interstate 20 west of Atlanta Georgia. “The don’t worry about it, it will straighten out when you get it on the road,” has now turned very critical and the prognosis for improvement is not very good.

I am tired, very disappointed and sick.

Mechanic says that he cannot diagnose the problem and resigns from the work, hands me a bill for over $540 and asks for payment. Now I say, “That my friend is not going to happen” and he asks “why?” So I enlighten him as best as I can … “Take a look around you, I am still here where it was that you found me, you have not improved my lot in life, I am not leaving and you want to be paid hundreds of dollars for a job that you did NOT do?”

Time to call the wrecker, it takes a big hook to move a bus, this is going to be interesting. It takes over two hours to hook it up and get it ready to move, have to remove the driveline, pull the u-joints, it is a chore. The coach is now pulled to a diesel truck shop in the south part of Atlanta, over 53 miles at the astounding rate of $3 per mile. Towing fee …. $507.00 Are we having fun yet?

Diesel shop reports that three of the starter batteries are shot and have to be replaced. Two of them are breaking down and they are arcing across, they recommend that I replace them. Cost $167.00 each you can do the math, any way you add it up, the amount is not good. The starting problem has not yet been addressed and there isn’t anything on the garage ticker tape about that, could be electrical and it could be a new starter, either way, it is not going anywhere today that is for sure.

It looks like it will be tomorrow. Broke down and alone at the Best Western. Even the dog-gone ice machine is not operating and the front desk doesn’t seem to care, why am I not surprised? I am trying hard to just stay focused and positive on all of this, hell, any of this, but what can I say?

Hook, line and sinker, I bought into this, and now I am saddled with the expense of not only making it mechanically speaking a sound bus, but a good move on my part. Having spent over a thousand dollars (very close to two thousand actually) to make it this far, I see the futility of that last statement clearly.

Making this coach solid mechanically and a good investment … Both equally hard in their own right, is going to take nothing short of a miracle it seems to me. The owner of a second-hand bus, knows how hard it is to drive a bargain. Believe me.

Counting up this morning and I have a little less than $450.00 of the $900.00 in cash that I brought with me, not a good omen. I have been putting a lot of it on the credit card, it is showing a $1,600.00 balance (it was zero when I left) and I am sure that is not right, it is higher, much higher.

A good night of sleep, took a “couple of hot water baths and laid in the tub and soaked and thought about things in general, now it is time to walk down the hill and eat some breakfast. Day #2 in Atlanta, or three, depending on how you look at it. I am now eating three meals a day at the Waffle House, and of the firm impression that I might not want to EVER SEE ANOTHER WAFFLE HOUSE again, at least not in this lifetime.”

Coach is now out of the shop and the repair order came to $1,198.00 and some change, expensive to take them in it appears, $400.00 in parts and over $600.00+ in labor charges. This trip is going to exceed $3,000 easy. Dropped a hundred dollar bill in it for fuel (43.6 gallons) and heading out, trying to make it to Alabama to see some friends and eventually home. The transplanted Arab owner of the store was so happy to sell a hundred dollars in fuel, he gave me a “free diet soda” things are looking up. But I am still very ready to leave the Peach State and Atlanta behind.

Our next wonderful segment in the life of Happy Bus Owner occurs right on schedule. Good Hope Alabama (North of Birmingham) generator goes the way of other things, and it is now NOT working, taking along with it, “the last of the air conditioning” the coach has nothing now, and it is hot.

I find myself somewhat discouraged and out of sorts, but I try my best to keep an optimistic mood about me, but believe me, this is not easy. I sit on a rock, placed there not for comfort but more for decorative purposes and watch the smoke pour out of the generator compartment and contemplate a warm tub of water, some candles, soft rock music and a razor blade for my wrists.

I am not a happy camper, no way.

After spending the night in Old Miss. With the windows open and about every misquito in three counties, I get up early and head for home. Making good time I hit Little Rock right at Rush Hour and cross another big river and head west.

The Oklahoma Line appears on the horizon, the road turns to one gigantic pot-hole and the wind starts blowing a fifty miles per hour, a side wind of course, and driving becomes difficult at best. It is hot, I am tired, and I didn’t need this knuckle-head shooting up my right side, when I had already passed him and was fixing to come back over. Okies are idiots and if idiots could fly, there would have to be an airport nearby. I scan the countryside, but I cannot locate it.

Home at last, what a trip, all total about $4,000.00 approximate and that aint cheap! Fuel mileage figures are “miserable” at best. Figuring in the first 974 miles and what total fuel figures I had, it appears to be about 4.0 mpg over all (if that, it could quite possibly be lower), and that is not all that good. Total miles on the trip figure in at about 1,312 miles. 974 into Russellville, Ark (last fill up) and the gallons used as best as I can figure it was about 285.9.

Okie City Oklahoma …… Drove it to the storage yard, put it under the big roof, and letting her rest. Have to start throwing together some kind of tool box for it and getting that lined out. Next step is Jefferson Bros. bus repair, generator problem, AC work (replacing both roof airs) and two (replacement) windshields that have rock damage. Paint shop after that, but I am not driving it to Indiana without AC that is a given, not this time of the year, I aint.

Time to sit back take it easy, check last night’s Lottery results and drink a cup of coffee. Who knows? I might have won enough to buy me one of them big Prevost’s with the “Maui-Wowie-Teaky Wood” inside” and two fancy bathrooms.

You Never know.

Feel free to insert a smiley face anywhere you wish.

<><><>
BoxcarOkie
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 7:42 pm




Wow, great story! Are you smiling yet? ;)

I can't even compare the journey I had when I bought our Eagle, living in SoCal, flying to Ohio, driving back to Burbank. That's another story! :lol:

You need to submit that to BCM and have that put in the magazine for a good read!

Thanks for the inspiration that life is good anyway!

~Paul~
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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Dreamscape
 
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Hi,what a compelling story,one worthy of part 2 .I too have(and still am)suffered at the hand of an ill-inspected purchase,heck next month will make a year(still can't believe it)since I brought it home.
What I have managed to accomplish during this endeavor ,is to find this absolutely wonderful community of Eagle owners who have welcomed me in with out stretched wings.
Currently I am waiting in line LOL to swap out my old engine for one with more vigor ,Having replaced ,the fuel pump,fuel lines,new batt's,radiator,1 set of new heads,elec primer pump,and now a replacement engine(6v92ta).
Now don't get me wrong,Had thought about one of them there Preveo's,or an Msceedoodles,all nice coach's ,but I am RED WHITE and BLUE kids ,and boy nothing trips my trigger like a silver Eagle.
All that being said,the dream continues .looking forward to the next chapter in which all the hard work will eventually pay off for us.
welcome to the world of bus owner ship,we all look forward to hearing part 2 of your story .the members here are very knowledgeable and well versed in anything Eagle,and some of the finest conversion craftsman around .so sit back,grab your favorite beverage,and let the good times roll.good luck and welcome again to the family.good luck,and a great first post ,keep them coming and post some pictures and your vin #'s so we can get the history of your bus.Van
van
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Re: Come Fly With Me --- Broken Eagle
Fri May 22, 2009 11:15 am


I am trying hard to figure out a way to keep smiling it is not often easy, but I usually make it thru the day.

Can someone point me to the proper way to answer a post individually or do you have to collectively answer all of them at once? I would post some photo's, I have them, but right now I don't know how to do it.

Not that I am stooooopid or anything like that, just "old school" and not quick on all this tweetering, widgets, computerized monkey business.

On the Information Highway you will quickly recognize me, sitting on the on-ramp.

Here is the VIN on "Daddy's Hobby" it is: 1ESAN6B14DBO50018. The only history that I personally know of was it was purchased from an older couple in Norman, Oklahoma by a guy who lives outside Nogales, Arizona. He bought it from them, I bought it from him.

83 model 10-S, Big Detroit 8v something or rather with a turbo, allison world 6 speed, takes about $450 to fill it up and an an hour and one-half to empty it, depending of course on traffic conditions.

It is nice to know the story was well received and if you want any more of my non-sense or twisted sense of humor, you can find it on my webpage at Creative Endeavors, www.boxcarOkie.com at Wordpress.com ....

Not really sure if there will be a part two, but there are going to be developments materializing from time to time as the checkbook will allow.

Come early and get a good seat, the fun it appears, has just begun.

BCO
BoxcarOkie
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 7:42 pm


Re: Come Fly With Me --- Broken Eagle
Fri May 22, 2009 11:31 am


van wrote:Hi,what a compelling story,one worthy of part 2 .I too have(and still am)suffered at the hand of an ill-inspected purchase,heck next month will make a year(still can't believe it)since I brought it home.
What I have managed to accomplish during this endeavor ,is to find this absolutely wonderful community of Eagle owners who have welcomed me in with out stretched wings.
Currently I am waiting in line LOL to swap out my old engine for one with more vigor ,Having replaced ,the fuel pump,fuel lines,new batt's,radiator,1 set of new heads,elec primer pump,and now a replacement engine(6v92ta).
Now don't get me wrong,Had thought about one of them there Preveo's,or an Msceedoodles,all nice coach's ,but I am RED WHITE and BLUE kids ,and boy nothing trips my trigger like a silver Eagle.
All that being said,the dream continues .looking forward to the next chapter in which all the hard work will eventually pay off for us.
welcome to the world of bus owner ship,we all look forward to hearing part 2 of your story .the members here are very knowledgeable and well versed in anything Eagle,and some of the finest conversion craftsman around .so sit back,grab your favorite beverage,and let the good times roll.good luck and welcome again to the family.good luck,and a great first post ,keep them coming and post some pictures and your vin #'s so we can get the history of your bus.Van


So, if'n I was wantin' to answer up, this is how I would do it.

Jus checkin y'all.
BoxcarOkie
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 7:42 pm


Re: Come Fly With Me --- Broken Eagle
Fri May 22, 2009 12:35 pm


Hey Don,you got it now,you can answer each post individually by clicking the reply tab in the upper leftcorner(yellow).
van
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Re: Come Fly With Me --- Broken Eagle
Fri May 22, 2009 12:39 pm


Don, call Amador Stage Lines in Sacramento Ca they owned the bus new and may can answer some questions for you.
BTW your bus had 6v92TA engine from the factory good luck and welcome to the Eagles group we have a club and there will be a rally in Kansas this fall so come see us and join our group we have a lot of fun and will be glad to help with any problems you have with your Eagle
Clifford
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luvrbus
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don look at the exhaust manifold,3 or 4 ports?also(not always the case)the pulley should say 8-V or 6V,once you get situated take a picture of the mill and post it we are pretty good at the sherlock holmes thing,gotta go finish building the harleys new exhaust,so keep us posted (always wanted to say that,cool 8-) )
http://s457.photobucket.com/albums/qq29 ... C01485.jpg
Image
mine says 6V-92
van
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Don,

Adding to what Clifford posted, your bus, Serial no. 50018, was originally sold to Amador Stage Lines in Sacramento, CA. on 4-6-1983. The production manufacturing number was 83-008 which means it was the 8th bus produced in 1983. Amador Stage Lines bus number was #1031. It was delivered with a 6V92 Detroit and an Allison HT740 Automatic.
Daniel Lenz
Brownsville, Texas


The work of an unknown good man is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground greener.
SmoothJazz
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Brownsville, Texas




Welcome to as Dave galey calls it "The Joys of Busin".

Your learning curve will soar in proportion to the thinning of your wallet.

Nothing sounds too serious, you'll get plenty of help here. Most of us would have got by a lot easier if these boards had existed when we got our buses.

Great story!

Does anyone remember the story by the guy in SC or close to there a few years ago when he bought the gutted Eagle in Yuma and drove it home with plywood over the front where all the skin had been removed? Now that was funny!







s
Joe Laird
'78 05
Sioux Falls, SD
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akroyaleagle
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