Category Archives: Silver Eagle Bus

Detroit Diesel 8V71N Removal

Well, the removal process has begun. We’ve had some snow and very cold weather, so it’s not happening as fast as I would like. I was hoping to have it out this week, but with the cold weather it’s a slow process.

At least everything is pretty easy to remove as I installed this back in 2012, making it much easier to remove nuts, bolts etc. It sure is great to have a nice concrete slab to work on and a forklift to help pull it out.

Everything has been sold! (Updated 12/29/16)

I will have the following gently used components For Sale after it’s all removed and cleaned up. $3500.00 with no warranty offered or implied. This is a undocumented low mileage engine. I believe it has less than 20 K miles on it since complete rebuild. Previous owner had the paperwork but since has discarded it.

  • Detroit 8V71N with air throttle.
  • Allison HT740 with shift tower and fairly new cable.
  • Radiator that is in very good shape.
  • Driveline that has only about 4 K miles on it, was new when I installed it back in 2012, flanged both ends.
  • Set of Jakes, missing one drone and a set of high valve covers. These are not installed.
  • Two mufflers.

The reason for the swap to an Silver 8V92T with Jakes is this, I was made an offer I just couldn’t pass up. It has less than 2 K miles on a complete, documented rebuild. Along with a new cooling system that was designed properly to keep the Detroit within operating temps.

Along with this transformation I will install a lot of new wiring, power steering, a new to me Kubota genset and the removal and swap of a complete differential. The current one has a leaking seal and a worn spindle, so this will remove that problem from my situation. The new rear end also has size 36 brake cans on it, which is a bonus for stopping this beast.

The HWH hydraulic leveling system is almost finished. I installed the rear jacks a couple of weeks ago, just need to finish installing the hoses and wiring after the engine hole is empty.



Filed under Detroit Diesel, HWH Leveling, Silver Eagle Bus

HWH Hydraulic Leveling

I have finally finished installing the front kick down leveling jacks, wired up the Leveleze and warning lights along with some work on the front axle. Remember, this complete system came from a Silver Eagle 01 donor coach. The previous post showed what I removed and had to obviously clean up and prepare for the installation.

I had to make the LED and switch panel from some aluminum and mount it near the ticket window so I have easy access to it when leveling. The green lights will tell me when the coach is level when all of the lights are out. It works off a sensor that I mounted in one of the bays under the main floor of the kitchen. I tested the Leveleze prior to installation to make sure it worked and was pleased to find out it did. It was previously mounted over the drive axle and looked like it had been through a rough life. A pretty crude looking test but it was successful.


Here is the panel that I made, with lots of time polishing to make it look acceptable. The button on the left was the original pump start switch. I checked out the micro-switch that is on the main hydraulic levers and it is functional, but decided to go ahead and prewire this as a backup in case of switch failure. In other words, when you move the lever to extend the jack, the pump with start and feed fluid to the jacks. The toggle switch to the right is connected to the green lights on the bottom. This is used during the leveling process to let me know which low corner to raise first, when the LED’s are off, the coach is level. The red LED’s above are connected to the switches on each jack, if the light is on, that jack is not in it’s fully retracted position. I’ve since used some SS screws to secure the panel.


I removed the front wheels to have better access to the installation and found some grease zirks that needed attention. Two were missing and one on the curb side connecting rod had been knocked off due to it’s location. I spent some considerable time removing the rod, drill and tap for the new zirk and reinstall it in the proper location. Someone in it’s previous life flip flopped the rod and the zirk and been knocked off. One dust cap was also missing which will get replaced. I had never noticed it before when greasing, so glad I discovered it. Thanks to Daniel for letting me use some specialty tools to fix the problem!

I mounted the pump in the old spare tire compartment. This will give me a good area for any future maintenance and it’s protected from the elements. All cabling, wiring and plumbing is finished with the exception of the rear jacks which will be done after they are installed. Those hoses and wires will be run through the tunnel from front to back.

Here is what the front jacks look like now. I used a 1/4″ thick, 4″ x 2″ x 48″ long upper capped steel beam with lots of angle for bracing for the various side loads.  I spent some time measuring everything to make sure they would be installed in the correct location. I hate welding upside-down, but it’s done and not going to fall off! lol

Driver side.


Passenger side.


Don’t look too close at the paint job, a little over spray here and there but it will be taken care of. Just had to add some color to remind myself of the work that was done. lol It’s also missing one grease rubber cap that will be installed soon. What do you expect for a 48 year old bus! lol

The rear jacks are going to be more of a challenge. I have to remove the tag wheels and tires, make the jack mounts and secure them to the frame. That process will take some time so don’t expect me to post the progress anytime soon. lol I’m really only archiving the work I do on our coach for further reference and and to help me remember what was done.

I took the day off yesterday to enjoy Veteran’s Day. We went to Viginian City to view the parade and was not dissapointed. The town may be small but they are very patriotic when it comes time to honoring the Vet’s! One little girl about 6 or 7, stopped and gave me a paper heart that she had colored and thanked me for my service to our country. I was very touched by her thoughtfullness. We also enjoyed some free meals at a couple of casino’s, which was very nice. It was a very good day!


The weather has been perfect and unseasonably warm for this area, so I was able to really get a lot of work accomplished. I’m told that that is about to change in a few days. In other words, get out the long johns! lol

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Filed under HWH Leveling, Silver Eagle Bus, Uncategorized

New Upgrades for our Silver Eagle 01

We have spent the last year traveling from Abilene to Washington State visiting family and friends along the way. We attended the North West Bus Nuts Rally In The Gorge last month and had a blast. It was great to see old friends and make new ones. We spent the summer in Bend with my brother and his wife, fishing and sightseeing. Such a beautiful area to explore. So, not anything was done to Dreamscape, until now.

We are in Gold Hill, NV for the next several months staying with our friends Paulette and Daniel. I was presented with an offer on our last visit that I couldn’t refuse. The list is quite long and will take several months to accomplish them all. So here is what will be changed, modified and added to Dreamscape.

A Detroit Diesel 8V92T with Jakes, and approximately 2,000 miles on it. It has new factory heads and bunch of new internal parts. Along with a new radiator and custom fan to provide ample cooling. I’m told it’s roughly at around 470 hp, which is a bunch more than our 8V71N. I fired it up before I started the removal and it sounded sweet with no smoke on a cold start. It is coupled to an Allison HT 740 with a Stone Bennett, air over electric to do the shifting.


(The blue box is a cruise air that I’m not using.)

I will also install an HWH hydraulic leveling system, Bendix Cruise Control and a Kubota 12kw generator to replace our air cooled Onan 12kw genset along with some other modifications. For the first time in it’s 48 year old life, it will have power steering! Yea!

All of these parts are being removed from a Silver Eagle 01, which should make it a very easy, but time consuming transfer. The Ross steering box I already have, I bought it 4 years ago and have been waiting for the right time, this is it!

I’ve already removed and installed the Bendix Cruise with the exception of hooking up the speed sensor to the donor Allison. That will be done when I install the 8v92.


I finished removing the HWH jacks today along with the wiring, hydraulic hoses and pump. They aren’t pretty but the bones are good. I’ll clean them up and throw some paint on them before I design the mounting brackets.


Stay tuned for further updates as we move forward. I promise that the next serious of pics will be nicer to look at! lol

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Filed under Allison HT 740, Bendix Cruise Control, Detroit Diesel, HWH Leveling, Silver Eagle Bus, Stone Bennett

Wipe New Application

A very good friend of mine, Sonnie Gray, used this on his Eagle and had very good results. His aluminum siding had spots on it from a truck wash and it made them disappear.

Works great to bring back the color.

Works great to bring back the color.

I went to Walmart and bought one bottle to try it out. I first used it on the plastic lenses and was amazed at how much better they looked. Went back and bought one more bottle to have enough to do the siding.

Wipe New Kit

This is the kit to use.

I cleaned the siding real good with Dawn and water, let it dry and started applying it following the directions. I was really impressed on how easy it is to apply it. You just have to be careful not to get it on anything painted. It hides the milky appearance that many old Eagles have on their siding. It covered the ghost lettering so good you can’t even see it. It leaves a very slick surface, water beads up, dust does not cling to it.

I applied this in August and it still looks great in November. It’s supposed to last a couple of years, we’ll see.

Wipe New on the right, covers the hazy aluminum on the left.

Wipe New on the right, covers the hazy aluminum on the left.

Wipe New applied to anodized aluminum siding.

Wipe New applied to anodized aluminum siding.

I still have some left of the second bottle. So for 40 bucks it was a great investment.

In the past I have tried brake fluid, WD-40 and PB Blaster. It looked good for a day or two but they collected dust due to the oily residue.

Our 46 year old anodized aluminum siding has new life!


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Filed under Detailing Exterior, Silver Eagle Bus

Paint Prep Thoughts

I thought I would share some information that I hope is helpful. I sanded the entire bus with 320 grit using a DA sander. I bought the sandpaper at Harbor Freight, trying to save a few bucks. The last batch I got from my paint supplier here in Abilene. The cost was a little over double for the same count, 100 on a roll. They are PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) discs. My experience was this. I should have used them from the beginning. They last over 5 times longer and don’t plug up. End result, better finish in much less time. The box shows holes in them, mine was a solid pad, therefore no holes. I guess they use the same picture on all of their sanding products.

wpid-img_20140703_102628988.jpg 320 Sanding Disc


Filed under Bus Paint, Paint Prep, Silver Eagle Bus

Front is Finished

I was able to polish the mirrors and install them along with painting the wiper arms a satin black. She is starting to look like an Eagle now!

Front is complete

We had a very severe hail storm on Thursday evening that did significant damage to parts of Abilene. Hail as large as a tennis ball were reported. Parts of Abilene just got rain, we got hail! I’m estimating that this stone was much larger as we didn’t arrive home until 45 minutes after the storm had left the area. Can you imagine the damage it can cause, Wow!

Hail size


We did incur some to the bus. Several dents on the roof, barely seen from the ground. Roof marker light destroyed along with a marker light lens on the rear cap, our front and middle A/C shroud did not survive. They were very old and brittle, they will get replaced. I fixed the marker lights, will leave the dents alone for now, may not even worry about it.

I tried to clean off the silicone from a previous owners installation and failed, broke 3 or 4 light assemblies in the process.


Why anybody would do this is beyond me.

Why anybody would do this is beyond me.

I did install new side marker lights/turn signals, both sides. I chose Grote LED’s to improve the functionality and brightness of them.

Grote LED

Here they are in action. I had one license plate light out, it has been replaced so all lights are operational! Yay!



Filed under Bus Paint, Silver Eagle Bus

Getting Sanded and Banded………..

After several years with no trim, it finally happened. I found some 1/16″ x 1 1/2″ flat aluminum stock at the local Bible Hardware store. A lot of measuring and drilling but it really came out great. I have about 85′ to go to wrap the bus. The OEM trim I removed was so beat up it had to go.

Front Banding Left Side Finished

Front Banding Start


Front Banding Complete

I’ve been spending the last several weeks using a DA sander to sand both sides and doing some body work on the rear. It’s getting there. I’m taking my time to get the prep work done to my satisfaction. She sure looks all beat up in this shot.

Bus Side

I’m glad I have a place to do all of this work. Don’t have to worry about waking up the neighbors!

We are getting closer to finalize the main color along with some trim colors. I still have some sanding to do over the next few days, then I can start masking it off and preparing to spray it in sections. I will do the curved section of the roof on both sides first, then cover it up with plastic. I left about a 5′ section in the middle from the front cap to the rear cap that will get a fresh coat of roof coating after the bus is painted.


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Filed under Paint Prep, Silver Eagle Bus

Paint Prep Work

Roof Coat Removal

Removal of Roof Coating on Curved Portion of Roof

I have spent the last two weeks removing the elastomeric rubberized roof coating from the curved portion of the roof. I applied it back in 2004, so it’s been on for 10 years. I’ll say one thing about the product, it’s hard to remove! I’m leaving about a 6′ wide strip down the center, front to rear. I’ll re coat that after the bus is painted. I used a heat gun and a wide scraper to carefully peel it off. I did have to use my orbital sander with 60 grit on the rear cap roof. It wouldn’t scrape very easily for some reason. It also took about two or three previous layers of paint. I had thought about removing it down to the bare aluminum, but I might just sand it before I apply the sealer primer. The primer that is there is in pretty good shape. I do know there are several coats of paint/primer underneath.

This is going to be a long process getting it ready. I’ll have to use a D/A sander with 320 to scratch up the blue I put on 7 years ago. I have lots of time and it’s a good project to keep me busy for a while.

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Filed under Paint Prep, Silver Eagle Bus

Another New Year To Celebrate

The weather has decided to finally cooperate! The freezing cold has left and it has been replaced with some very nice weather. The high today is supposed to be around 76°.

I have started to prep the coach for paint and removed the patio awning yesterday. That was a job for two people but there is only one of me. I got it done and didn’t bend or break anything! It took a couple of hours, but it’s off the bus.

I have had this voltage problem for quite some time and thought I would address it this past Thursday. In doing some troubleshooting I determined that the regulator is the problem as I could not make any adjustments at the potentiometer. I just happen to have a spare one that I have been carrying around ever since I’ve had the coach. Not knowing what condition is was in I took a gamble and installed it. The circuit board looked completely different although the model numbers are the same. I’m happy to report that the voltage remained at a steady 13.84, with no load or a load on the system. I was very happy with the result as the head lights are so much brighter and the turn signal is much faster. Finally we now have constant correct charging voltage.

Here is the a photo of the two regulators. The old one is on the right.


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Filed under Silver Eagle Bus

Old Pictures

I thought I would post a couple of pictures showing what our bus looked like when the Dixie Echoes had it and also what it looked like when I bought it. Also included is what it looks like now



This what it looked like when the Dixie Echoes owned it. They purchased it new in 1968.

Purchase Pic

The picture is not the best as it was scanned from my purchase page on eBay back in 2003.

BCM Albany TX 009

This is pretty much what it looks like today. A few things are different, removed the satellite dome and changed the front grill to original. This was taken in Albany, TX in front of the county courthouse.

I hope the next transformation will bring a better, more appropriate look.


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Filed under Silver Eagle Bus