Inspecting an Eagle Coach
Perley Jay Benson
“Several have inquired about a pre-purchase inspection. Here’s a checklist I posted on the Eagle Board a few years ago. I made the Inspecting an Eagle list and hope it helps.”
Inspecting an Eagle Front Electrical and Air Panel
- On Model 05 and Model 10, walk up to the coach and open the lower access door under the driver’s window. If it is all rusted out this is a good indicator of things to come. If it looks ok, open the upper access door above it. This is the forward electrical compartment. Have a good look at the wiring for corrosion and hopefully the Eagle wire numbers are still on the wiring which will make identifying the circuits easier. If you are really lucky the inside of the door will have a readable wiring diagram there.
- On the Model 15 and Model 20 the process is the same but there is only one larger door that will need to be opened.
- You can learn more in the Eagle Manuals. Section 10 in the parts manual covers the electrical systems of the Eagle coach.
Inspecting an Eagle Body and Skins
- Sight down both sides of the bus skin. Is it buckled or wavy?
- Inspect the leaderboard (metal above the fluted siding). Look for waves and bubbling. Wrinkles underneath the first window or near the rear windows can indicate bulkhead fatigue. Those same issues may also manifest in the car line between the 2nd and 3rd window.
Inspecting an Eagle Spare Tire Compartment
- Remove the front bumper and crawl up in the spare tire compartment.
- Look at the steering box and look for previous damage or rust. A tech bulletin was released pertaining to the power steering mount. Make sure that the mounts are solid and not displaying rusting or cracking.
- Inspect the metal under the entry stairs for rust.
- Check the steering draglink for movement/play.
- If driver HVAC equipped check, inspect the condition of the core, fan, and wiring.
- Check the condition of airlines under the driver’s area.
Steer Axle Area
- Crawl under the bus and look at the metal under the driver’s compartment. Look at the front torsilastics. Is the rubber hanging out of the ends of the tubes? How much thread (adjustment) is left on the adjusting rods? Check the condition of the brake lines. Look very carefully at the inside wheel well, especially against the outer side above the tire for rust.
- Check Bulkheads for rust or fatigue
- Inspect central casting mounts for rust.
- Inspect air tanks and airlines for condition.
- Check the brake chambers for comparable distances on the rods.
- Check the gap between the brake pads and drums. While parked the pads should not be in contact with the drum.
Inspect Eagle Baggage Bays
- Open all of the bay doors. Do the bay doors lift evenly? Are both struts and safety lock are present on each bay door. Do the bay doors close firmly and securely?
- Sit in the bay door facing outward. Look up and inspect the ceiling. is the wood in good condition? Is there any dry rot? Is there any moisture? Inspect the metal above the bay door openings for any rust. Inspect the bay lighting switches and wiring.
- What is the condition of the bays? Are the tunnel covers (Aluminum panels running the length of the bay at the center of the bay) present?
- If possible, remove the tunnel covers and inspect the contents. Are all of the wires and hoses in good condition? How clean are the tunnel covers.
- Look under the baggage bays. Are the longitudinal steel tubes in good shape? Is the tube under the door rusted out?
- Is the fuel filler tube in good shape? Does it seal when closed?
- Is the bogie out of alignment? Check the rear torsilastics and wheel wells. Is the rubber hanging out of the ends of the tubes? How much thread (adjustment) is left on the adjusting rods? Check the condition of the brake lines. Look very carefully at the inside wheel well, especially against the outer side above the tire for rust.
- Open the air compressor door. Is the bus air still there? If so I recommend you get it removed if you buy the coach.
- Open the engine door and both corner doors. Hopefully, the rear electrical compartment will still have the dust cover. It may also have a readable wiring diagram. Check the corner doors for operation and the wiring for condition. Look at everything you can see. Does the engine or miter box leak?
Crawl under the bus and check the engine and transmission for leaks. Also, check the cooler hoses from the engine and transmission for condition.
- Open the radiator door. Does the radiator have corrosion? Damage?
- Work your way up the left side checking the same things you checked on the right.
- If the bus has an automatic, pull the dipstick. The fluid should be the color of transmission fluid and not have a burnt smell.
- Go inside the bus and remove the access panel in the floor above the top step. Look at the stuff inside and evaluate.
- Go to the inside rear of the bus and remove the engine access panels (both) and the panel just forward of them. Look at the blower and valve covers and everything else for leaks. Look at the fan hub and idler. Look at the power steering pump and air compressor and the rest of the hoses there.
- Now start the bus, does it smoke? What color? Does it clear up right away? Remove the oil filler tube cover. Hold your hand over the opening. Is there pressure (blowby)?
This is in no way a complete inspection but if you know the basics. tires, brakes, leaking shocks, steering wheel play, etc it may help.
You can learn more about the unique history of the Eagle coach by going to our historical achieves.
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