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'SAN DIEGO TRANSIT LINES # 517'
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:55 pm    Post subject: 'SAN DIEGO TRANSIT LINES # 517' Reply with quote

Pictured below (upper) and awaiting restoration by the Pacific Bus Museum is ex San Diego Transit Lines fleet number 517 - a 1957 GM TDH 4801 and one of thirty (501 to 530) delivered to the company between 1956 and 1957.

The 37 foot long, 102 inch wide TDH 4801's, of which a total of 547 were built between 1953 and 1958, were specially made for California operators due to axle weight regulations that prohibited 40 foot buses in the state at that time (that law was rescinded by 1959).

I have often talked of the structural problems that GM encountered in the later paired window Old Looks concerning an inherent weakness in the roofs in the area of the rear and emergency door sections.

Of note in the photo are the rusted steel panels that were factory installed on an otherwise all aluminum body to solve the problem.

Another interesting mystery about this bus which has been seen on other 4801's is the missing engine air intake over the side passenger quarter window which this writer has no explanation for.

In the lower photo below, we see #517 completely restored and carrying the flag of the Niles Coach Lines in a livery that is not too dissimilar to that of DC Transit of the era.

#517 has a long and interesting history;

After its career with San Diego Transit #517 was sold to Yuma Bus Co. in Arizona and then to an individual in the area where it sat for nearly 20 years in storage.

It was then purchased by a southern California bus collector who moved it to San Diego area where it was eventually bought by another fan.

The opportunity to acquire a complete and operable GM Old Look by the Pacific Bus Museum as a back up or reserve bus for their Niles train shuttle came in the fall of 2006, and with the TLC that this museum gives its buses, you can be sure that #517 will be around for years to come!

Information and photos thanks to PBM.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York


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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Mr L" -

Superb use of (what seem to be exact) color chips used by DCTS, and on the earlier "Demo" coach...
What a great piece of work. Guess this may be another one that went thru the shop, somewhere up
around Williams, CA?

"...Another interesting mystery about this bus which has been seen on other 4801's is the missing engine
air intake over the side passenger quarter window which this writer has no explanation for..."


What is bothering you here? Can't say as I have paid much attention to this missing, "spotting feature"
noted. Do you happen to have a photo which displays this air intake, on comparables?

..................Vern.................
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vern,

I think I can help you there;

The scoop (as shown) that appeared on each side of virtually every GM Old Look paired window model circulated fresh air to the engine compartment.

That's why it's a mystery to me when I see a paired window job without them!

Older squared window models had them built into the tops of the frames of the quarter windows and were all but invisible.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr L -

Many Thanks! Indeed! A "now that you mention it moment"! Guess we could speculate and conjecture endlessly.
Why the intake doesn't appear on this 1957 GM TDH 4801 example? Clearly unusual. Guess it is too late to catch
up with the guys who designed it?

....................Vern..................
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MOVIEBUSES



Age: 53
Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Riverside, Ca

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject: Old Look air intakes. Reply with quote

This question has already been answered. The engine air intakes were moved to the interior of the bus.
www.rts-regionaltransitservice.com
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott,

The question may well have been answered but had never reached my ears until now.

Now comes the follow up question;

Why would they have moved the intakes to the interior, and by interior I presume that you mean the passenger compartment?

Aside from the fact that the air inside the bus would certainly not be as fresh, I would say that that could become a deadly mixture under certain extraordinary circumstances.

Granted that in tropical climates, the inside of the bus might be a tad cooler than the outside but not by much and certainly not improved by air conditioning because most GM Old Looks were not so equipped.

I would certainly hope that any such alteration of the system would have included check valves to prevent back flow from the engine compartment.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr "L" - Scott -

Agree! The thought of an in cabin air intake for the power plant does get a bit unsettling.
As Spartan as the old VW Bug heating system. Hmmm... When in doubt, use check valves?

On a related line of thought on this: Do I recall a series of GMC coaches, where the small
side windows at rear had an inward slope at the top? Which introduced a small area for
an air intake, presumably routed back to the engine?

.....................Vern.................
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vern,

You are one hundred percent correct in your recollection;

All GM 'squared window' Old Looks from 1940 to 1949 had the slightly tilted passenger quarter window with hidden intakes in the framing at the top.

The example of the tilt can clearly be seen on a junked ex Triboro Coach/Reading Bus Company 4507 sitting in the weeds in Pennsylvania.

In the paired window era, the intakes were moved to the body over the window.

I'll tell you that when I drove those buses I noticed the angled quarter windows and never really knew (or cared) why at the time!

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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MOVIEBUSES



Age: 53
Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Riverside, Ca

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: AIR INTAKES FOR CA 4801'S Reply with quote

Hey Guys,
I was at the yard on Sunday and got some pictures of the engine air intakes on both LATL/SCRTD 2363 and KSTL/ACT 2102. Both buses were original orders to CA

2363 has air intakes on the interior. This was to allow much cleaner air for the engine air filters. There is no leaves and major dust/dirt floating inside of the bus. This practice continued on to the TDH 5301's and 5303's for SCRTD. The 5000's were nick named the "Hoover liners" as the sound on the interior was much like a vacume.

I think some of the Flx New Looks were ordered this way also.

2102 has exterior air intakes and is as boring as can be.

I took alot of pictures but dont know how to post them. If someone wants to post them, please email me directly and I will send them to you to post.
www.rts-regionaltransitservice.com
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MOVIEBUSES



Age: 53
Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Riverside, Ca

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:36 am    Post subject: 4801 engine air intakes Reply with quote

One of you guys emailed me about the pictures I took of the 4801 engine air intakes. I deleted that email from my phone and now cant find it on my computer . Please resend your email to me so I can get you the pictures.
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to MOVIEBUSES of Regional Transit here in Riverside, Ca. for a couple of good shots of interior engine air intakes found on some GM TDH 4801's.

Notice that they are located almost exactly in the interior where they would normally have been on the exterior just over the passenger quarter window.

The particular bus photographed was ex Los Angeles Transit Lines/Southern California RTD # 2363 which is in preservation at Regional Transit.

Enjoy,

Mr. 'L'


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fishbowl



Age: 70
Joined: 01 Sep 2010
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Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent and interesting information! Thanks!

Now (if this isn't too trivial)... Is there any significance to the fact that the outside air intake was modified on air ride versions (4512, 5105, etc.) to a "half shell," eleminating the louvered lower half of the intake? Greater, unobstructed airflow, maybe? I've always disliked the design change, because the older, full version was so art-deco-y!

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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

F.B.,

That's a good question and the only answer that I can come up with is that by eliminating the bars below the cowl, which was already in evidence with the introduction of the 5104's in 1952, it might have afforded greater intake of air to the engine compartment.

Air Suspension would have had nothing to do with it because the 5104's were spring suspended.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

F.B. - Mr 'L' - All -

BAH! That cheap sci-fi film, again: "Revenge Of The Bean Counters!" The kid who suggested
the change must have gone far in the GM organization!

Scolding Du Jour: The bus shown coulda' been done a bit better with use of Kodachrome,
and with camera on a tripod! I can't read the ID of the operating line. Note there is a regulatory
permit number displayed just behind the steer axle. Can't read it, either...

The paint colors are startling, but they seem to work, IMHO...

..........................Vern.....................
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fishbowl



Age: 70
Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Posts: 62
Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Linsky wrote:
Air Suspension would have had nothing to do with it because the 5104's were spring suspended.

Just to clarify... I wasn't thinking that the change to air ride had anything functional to do with a redesigned, more open air intake, just that the two changes occurred concurrently... which, as Mr. L points out (thanks!), they didn't. So, even with a clarification, I'm still wrong. D'oh!

The turquoise buses were in the fleet of the Suburban Transit System of Oak Lawn, IL. The number behind the front wheel was an ILL CC (Illinois Commerce Commission) permit. Maybe this photo will help (then again, maybe not)...

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