Our 1985 Eagle 10 Bus Conversion Project

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Adding a third roof air

New muffler system

Treadle valve for air-over-hydraulic clutch system

Since our maiden voyage in March, 2006, I continue to upgrade the bus. 

For one of our summer trips, I added a third roof air.  We had hoped that the two front units would be enough to cool the bus while driving.  It turns out that the huge amount of glass, and significant air leakage around the door (and other areas) coupled with very high outside temperatures proved that we need to add dash air.  The addition of the third AC really allows us to keep the bus cool under the worst conditions while parked.  It also gives us some flexibility as to which AC to use under various conditions. 

I had previously discussed the muffler that I had planned to use and then ended up building my own baffle system.  That system turned out to be unbearably loud.  At the Pomona FMCA rally, I purchased a high performance stainless steel muffler that would fit into the rather limited area I had to work with.  It is still rather loud, but acceptable.

The last photo shows the beginning of an air-over-hydraulic system that I hope to perfect for the bus clutch system.  The Volvo clutch pedal and master cylinder I used ended up causing problems.  I have installed an automotive master cylinder that currently is operated by a hand lever.  I have tried using the brake treadle valve  shown, along with an air brake chamber to activate the clutch.  My first trial did not give me the control I needed for smooth/predicable engagement.  I am again using the hand lever until I get a chance to rework the air-over-hydraulic system.



Screen Capture of Silverleaf Engine Computer Datalogger/GPS computer


One of the best additions to the bus is the Silverleaf VMSpc software which captures the engine information from the Series 60 DDEC computer system.  The software is free (http://www.silverleafelectronics.com/).  The "black box" adapter which connects to the DDEC diagnostic connector must be purchased from Silverleaf at a cost of about $400.00  I use a laptop and divide the screen into 1/3 Silverleaf and 2/3 Delorme Street Atlas GPS system (see above).

When I first installed the system, I thought I was just adding a toy to feed my insatiable need for data.  However, it has now become my complete dash.  It provides all of the information I need to monitor the engine variables and driving information.  I find that the speedometer and tachometer are very accurate and easy to read.  The speedometer is of particular value on tight twisty roads where the "advisory" speed signs must be adhered to!

The fuel used is measured by the DDEC and is very accurate.  I use that as my fuel gauge.  The odometer on the left is reset at each fuel-up.  This odometer makes it very easy to monitor fuel used since the last fuel stop.

I have four odometers to keep track of various situations.  The two shown are for the fuel-up information and the trip information.  In addition, under the map, I have two additional odometers (one for total miles, and one for daily miles).

The Silverleaf is also very good at providing error codes in plain English terms.  It keeps a complete history of the PID and SID codes which can be a great help in diagnosing intermittent problems.  It stores codes that the DDEC  does not retain according to some users.


Dash Air Conditioning/heating information:


RedDot R-5045

Top view showing defrost duct connections

Back view showing defrost duct connections



I wanted to document the dash AC/heater system I installed.  The dash unit I selected was a RedDot R-5045 shown in the photo shown above (click here for a spec. sheet).   This unit is rated at 33,000 BTU cooling and 46,000 heating!

I have the heating hooked to one zone of my Aqua-hot and it really does the job! Nice part about it is that it will defrost the windshield before you even start the engine!!!

The Cooling is fabulous. I hooked it to the truck compressor that was on the Series 60 engine. The compressor is Climate Control ET-210L-25150.

The BEST part of the evaporator is that there is a control to divert the air from the front outlets you see in the picture to a rear opening. That opening in an ambulance or armored car diverts the output from the front to the back (or through wall). For our application, you can make a manifold with tubes to hook to the existing defroster hoses (see photo above). Viola, you have defrosters AND heat/AC.

For the AC I used R134 barrier hose all the way (expensive, but I got a good deal from a company that wanted to get the older inventory out of their system). I used -8 (1/2 inch) for the pressure side and -10 (5/8 inch) for the suction side.  Here is the system I used:


For the heating part of the system, I also used hose to the Aqua-Hot and then to the dash heating unit. The hose I used was very heavy duty Aeroquip FC332. The brochure for that product line is found at:


I used hose for both applications partly because of my background (retired as Chief Engineer at the Gates Rubber Co) and partly because I had some good sources. Also, it is much easier to run hose as opposed to copper tubing.

There is not much variation of AC hose other than it must be R134 capable with a barrier shield. Most AC hose sold today will be of the variety.

When it comes to coolant/heater hose, there are huge differences. You always want to use what is called wrapped hose (several plies of fabric) as opposed to the knit construction that your get for your car. Gates Green Stripe is a good hose. The wrapped hose will have a texture on the outside that looks like a fabric.

For our application this is a SUPER system! It is a bit expensive (I was able to find an old stock slightly damaged unit for quite a bargain), but it is simple and really works!


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