After much consideration and recommendations we decided to install the Air Force One brake system on our bus and towed.
Air Force One – SMI
This installation is for a coach with air brakes. I wanted a proportional system and they are the only ones that provide that.
I installed the necessary hardware on our 2011 Buick Enclave last week and finished installing everything on the coach today. I found several YouTube videos that were a great help. It does come with instructions but watching a video is a great way to see what is involved.
Each towed car is set up different, so you need to decide where the controller and the air tank with the metering valve should go.
I mounted the controller behind the front panel covering the radiator on the Enclave. I decided that would be a good place out of any weather and heat. The toughest part was running the 1/4″ DOT air line through the firewall. They don’t make things easy anymore on these newer cars. I cut into the steering wheel boot and ran it through there. Then I attached the cable for the actuator cylinder just below that. Being careful not to drill into anything, like brake or A/C lines. It worked out just fine.
I called the manufacturer today to ask them if it was necessary to mount the Total Coach Protection tank and valve where they suggested, by the brake valve for the rear axle. The bulkhead was pretty full and everywhere I tried it just wasn’t to my satisfaction. Hoses and suspension parts were way to close for comfort for me. They said I could mount it anywhere, fore or aft. I chose aft. I chose a spot that would be easy for any necessary repair work, although I’m sure it will last a very long time. I installed it in the old A/C compartment next to the engine. I ended up buying more 1/4″ DOT air line due to the longer run.
I will test the system shortly to make sure everything is in working order. I’m confident that it will work as I was very careful during the installation to make sure there would be no hiccups.
Here are a couple of pics showing where the Air Force One Operating Unit is located and also the Total Coach Protection assembly.
Mounted in a 2011 Buick Enclave
Total Coach Protection tank and valve assembly
I finally got around to installing our new dash we bought last year. I tore out the old one and redid some of the wiring to fit the new location of the gauges and switches. We had to also choose a color to go with our interior theme. I really wanted to cover it in vinyl, after talking with a few bus nuts I decide that it was beyond my capabilities. I don’t like saying that but sometimes you have to just say so.
When I first got the bus it has a dash that someone had made our of plastic. I didn’t like it so I built one. That was one of the first things I made out of oak, and you could tell. Becky said it looked pretty good to her, but I’m a guy that likes things to look better.
I could not fit our back up camera monitor in the same area as the stereo so I mounted it overhead above the driver. I think I will like the new location better as I don’t have to move my head to view our toad, just move my eyes up a bit. It’s an older B/W model that is pretty deep. The new ones are a flat screen but I couldn’t justify making a purchase when the old one works just fine.
I will say this, the new dash took a lot of work to get it to fit. I still have a few things to do to finish it off, but it will be just fine for now.
We also will install new vinyl on the inside of the entrance door. I’ll post a pic next week when after we finish it. Along with a new bulb seal to eliminate any air infiltration. The old one is shot and needed to be replaced anyway. I’m also going to design and build a door stop. Right now we have two straps to stop the door from hitting the curb side mirror. We’ve broken two pieces of glass from the wind catching it. It has worked good but with the new bulb seal extending all the way down on the hinge side, a new idea had to materialize.
I also purchased a dash cam for recording our travels, which I hope we never have to use for evidence in case of an accident.
Here is a couple of before and after pics.
I am trying to accomplish a few things before we leave Abilene next month heading to AZ and CA, visiting family and friends along the way. We’ll spend the winter in Murrieta, just north of San Diego and then next spring we’ll make our way up to Bend, Oregon. It will be nice to be closer to our Mom in Salem and also my brother and his wife in Bend. We are looking forward to this journey. Spending the winter closer to our kids and grands will be fantastic! They might get tired of seeing us more often! HA
Besides, Becky retires on October 14th! Hot Dang! No more alarm clocks to wake up to!
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.
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.
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 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!