Bus Conversion Magazine Bulletin Board

Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: blank on August 29, 2010, 07:25:46 AM



Title: 4104's
Post by: blank on August 29, 2010, 07:25:46 AM
  Okay. So after rolling down the road in Ricks 4104 and doing some research, I have had my head spun around a few times and am seriously considering on of these old hounds. Forgetting conversations about power or whether it could climb up my driveway, I would be interested in hearing how they are to live with.

  I downloaded the manuals, and note that the bus is filled with many antiquated electrical relays, circuit breakers, magnetic switches, buzz boxes and voltage regulators. I know all those items were made of very high quality and gave good service, but how do they hold up today, and are all those items readily available and inexpensive, or, are there good options to replace them or eliminate them altogether? Has anyone converted to 24 volt, and if so, how hard is it?

  I am still very interested in basement air conditioning using as much OE equipment as possible. Has anyone incorporated the OE condensor, evaporator and heater core into a modernised HVAC system?

  I'll have more questions, but these should be a good start for now.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Len Silva on August 29, 2010, 07:51:24 AM
As far as I am concerned. the best bus ever (over) built.

You will not likely find one that has any remnants of the original A/C, so forget that.  No reason to convert to twelve volts, that old 6-71 will start very easy with a decent battery.
All of those old relays are easily replaced with cubes if you wish.  Some OEM parts are still around, but there is always a way around any problem.

The original generator and regulator should be replaced with an alternator, belt drive conversion is done all the time and probably the best solution.

One of the best looking buses of all time as well.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on August 29, 2010, 03:13:03 PM
Everything Len says + search the two main forums for "4104".

This should give you enough reading material to keep you busy for a good long while.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on August 29, 2010, 05:14:31 PM
Everything Len says + search the two main forums for "4104".

This should give you enough reading material to keep you busy for a good long while.

  I have been busy with searches. But to be honest a great deal of threads are about minor issues and modifications.

  Some of the questions I need answers to are about the driveline. Like what is a short or tall block 671. How easy can you repair one out on the road, including, how hard is it to pull a liner. How heavy is the head. Is it worth putting a 4 valve head on. Questions about the LS governor. What kind of parts should one have along if they were going on a 20K trip to SA. And how would you prepare the bus for that kind of journey.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Len Silva on August 29, 2010, 05:37:45 PM
Well, that's a whole nuther animal, going to SA with it.

The 4104 would be a great choice for it's simplicity and reliability.  The angle drive, transmission and rear axle may well prove to be a major problem in the hinterlands. (I'm guessing here)

Perhaps a better choice would be a Crown or Gillig school bus because of the more conventional driveline and extensive use of truck parts.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: zubzub on August 29, 2010, 08:58:51 PM
I was just in Bolivia and Peru...If you stayed on the main roads you might be able to use a '04 there but even the main roads are mighty rough sometimes were the wash out from the mountains happen...also most of the cool places to stay/park/ camp/ explore are down very challenging dirt roads.  I agree with previous post a nice crown twin screw with air suspension would be how I would do that, plus the crowns often come  with 7-10 gears.  The have higher clearance as well.  If I wasn't so attached to having a rear engined bus I would have a crown, and if I ever see an air sprung crown with a rear engine might go for it.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on August 29, 2010, 09:42:04 PM
  No, I would never drive to SA. But I might just go to Alaska someday. Mostly im trying to see what kind of general problems they have, what kind of common repairs a guy should be ahead of or planning for, and if need be, how to rig things well enough to get you home, or to better (or any) facilities.

 


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on August 31, 2010, 10:07:17 AM
  After a lot of reading and looking at pictures, and that youtube video, I really think this is the direction I want to go. Does anyone have a link to the thread on checking one out? I saw it earlier, but I cant find it now that im looking for it.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 02, 2010, 08:08:37 PM
  Bump.

  I cant find the thread on 4104's that has a list of items to check when your looking one over. I was looking at it, but no way can I find it now. Thanks in advance.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: luvrbus on September 02, 2010, 08:22:55 PM
I like the 4104 we have a couple of friends that have upgraded the old 6-71 to a DDEC 330 hp inline 6-71 quite the little rockets with great fuel mileage around 12 mpg


good luck


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 03, 2010, 05:43:26 AM
  12 mpg? Ive even heard a few claim up to 14, even some with 4106's. And thats not just today, I was hearing that from multiple sources back in 1988 when we first became busnuts. Then you hear others say 8 mpg is max, that anyone claiming more is smokin crack. This old timer I spoke to laughed about all that. He explained that while it may be possible to get above 10, many drivers arent able to do it, and because they cant do it, they cant understand how anyone else can either. Myself, I dont know what I'll get, I havnt had any real experience herding a Bus around. But.

  I have a 1986 Mercedes 190 diesel. Ive averaged 44 mpg over the last 10 or 12 tanks of fuel. Now I admit ive made some slight mods to it, but the EPA average is 26, and most claim up to 35. I have driven it and done 35, but I have to drive it hard to do it. I drive everything else hard, but not the diesel. Thats not to say I hypermile it, I drive the speed limit, and I try to get it moving off smartly, but I ease up after im moving. I drive with a very light foot, and I dont change power abruptly. I know that stepping on the throttle like a Bass drum pedal destroys any hope of decent fuel economy. And so does driving with your foot planted to the floor all the time.

  With the knowledge that 7 to 8 mpg is the worst they do, it would make sense that some might be able to extend that if they drove it easy. How far that is is open to debate I suppose, but we may never have any facts one way or another as long as people keep saying its impossible.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: luvrbus on September 03, 2010, 06:43:23 AM
12mpg is good for a 330 hp 2 strokes and the Silverleafs in their buses are a little different than people they don't lie,but they could probably get 14 these are western buses pretty good climbs out here all I know for sure with the DDEC inline 71 they run with the big dogs up hill or downhill made no difference


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: buswarrior on September 03, 2010, 09:39:57 AM
Fuel mileage claims all need some qualification:

Using what method to measure distance traveled?
Over how many tank fulls?
How do you fill the tank consistently?

And then some sense of a margin for error.

For instance, if you stop filling when the pump shuts off.... there may be space for another 10 gallons in there, or it might be 2 gallons for that pump nozzle, every filling station is different.

And, are they using US gallons, or Imperial gallons?

Lots of Canadians on here with bigger numbers, but the same fuel economy.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: uncle ned on September 03, 2010, 10:12:38 AM


I don't understand all this about fuel mileage.  My 04 with a 6v92 and 730 gets between 13 and 14 mpg all the time.
Between 6 and 7 going and 6 or 7 coming back. that ends up being between 12 and 14 all the time.

Seriously I have 2  04"s and one is a 6/71 and 4 speed and the other is the 6v92.

The 6/71 gets quite better fuel millage and seems to run down the interstate better.
but the auto and great pickup outways the fuel mileage. besides us old people are lazy. If i want to change gears i drive my MG.

Starting the   4 speed on the hills and in campgrounds here in the Blue Ridge get tough at time

uncle ned

PS  who would kill all the mosquitos if I drove the old 6/71.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on September 03, 2010, 04:01:13 PM
The idea of getting over 10mpg raises my skepticism considerably!!

I can get 10 on level ground and with moderate speeds with my 671 four speed if the hills are few, mountains lower it to 6-8 which still isn't bad.

First gear is too high for any serious rough terrain,  and hills.

Ground clearance is nil, I've dragged both bottom and rear numerous times. It is pretty tough though so little damage done.

My impression is the engine will run forever even if severely worn, which I think mine may be!!


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: John Z on September 04, 2010, 08:20:08 PM
Yep, Gus is right about them seeming to run forever. I have put on over 21,000 miles on mine the last few years, and it just keeps getting better and better with each trip. 10 mpg is not hard to do, if you are not in a hurry, we don't have the big hills up here they do out west. Plus, to me this is what a bus is supposed to look like,,, not a motorhome clone. G R E A T   B U S !


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Kevin on September 05, 2010, 12:04:49 PM
I love this bus!

I bought our '60 '04 ten years ago and we drive it to the Mojave desert for off-roading adventures all winter long and to the coast for beach camping as often as we're able during summer months.

I was originally attracted because of the roundy ol' timey look of it, but have come to love and appreciate the simplicity and ruggedness of construction. This is a very reliable vehicle and I would not hesitate to drive it anywhere. As far as off-roading, well, suffice to say that I have subjected this poor beast to terrain that would disintegrate a lesser vehicle. Please understand, this was not by choice and not something that I would ever willingly repeat, but I made some wrong turns and got us into a "no way back" type of situation that forced me to bash through some areas of the desert that I honestly believe my IH Scout would have not liked. Made it through though and eventually found a spot to turn around, then got to relive the entire nightmare in reverse, as this was the off-road culdesac from Hell!!! To add to the fun, I was towing a motorcycle trailer and it was after midnight.  :-[

Yes, they do suffer from low ground clearance and a very unforgiving first and reverse gear ratio (as in quite tall) but if one is very careful and drives smart, slow and thinks ahead, these rigs will get you where you need to go off-road.

My mileage tends to be in the 7-9 range as I am typically wringing 'er out, and also live in the So Cal High Desert with lots of mountainous areas. I've taken this 'Ol Girl up over 7000' to Kennedy Meadows on numerous dirt-biking trips, and even had to wait at the top (for over an hour) for my buddy in his brand-spanking new Duramax pickup 'cause he had to stop three times to let his transmission cool. ;D Heh, heh, heh.

Bottom line, the venerable GM 4104 may be a bit of a dinosaur, but it is a wonderful vehicle that will serve you well indefinitely - if cared for properly - looks completely cool (trust me, you will get lots of attention!) and, yes, many parts are still available. Plus one also has the option of upgrading to a more modern engine and/or auto trans (not my cup of tea, but..) so it is definitely still a viable option, in terms of a quality coach selection IMHO. ;)

Cheers!


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 05, 2010, 02:47:49 PM
  Sounds like you needed the rare 4 wheel drive off road version.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: RJ on September 05, 2010, 02:55:48 PM
Art -

The PD4104 is The Tortoise of Aesop's Fable Fame.

'nuff said, eh?

 ;)


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 05, 2010, 05:32:12 PM
  Slow isnt so bad as long as you get there.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 06, 2010, 10:08:10 AM
  RJ, or anyone else~

  Now that I am pretty sure I wouldnt make it up the bottom part of my driveway, and that a winch system is probably in my future, I started thinking about the rest of the journey. Once I crank it up above the concrete, I will be sitting stationary on an 11% grade. I am concerned that maybe there isnt any Bus made that could get moving on that steep of a grade from a dead stop.

  I was going to talk to the county about reworking the drive down at the road. I thought that if I could extend it farther along the edge of the road I might be able to approach the drive with the Bus wound tight in first gear, but it sounds like you guys still think it will still stall out before I can make the 200 feet of steepest grade. Maybe I should just consider winching it all the way?


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on September 06, 2010, 02:58:11 PM
The only buses for that grade are those with AT or some hybrid conversion with a ten speed or better manual.

You will only have burned out clutches and stalled engines on that grade with a four speed.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Iceni John on September 06, 2010, 08:18:32 PM
I agree with previous post a nice crown twin screw with air suspension would be how I would do that, plus the crowns often come  with 7-10 gears.  The have higher clearance as well.  If I wasn't so attached to having a rear engined bus I would have a crown, and if I ever see an air sprung crown with a rear engine might go for it.
FYI, my friend just bought a Crown tandem with a 6-71 and Fuller 10-speed  -  because it's got mountain gearing it only gets just under 10 MPG at 55 MPH, but it can easily climb steep hills in first gear with the engine at idle (albeit very slowly!).   I've not heard of an air-suspension Crown with lockable twin-drive (as opposed to the tag-axle tour buses like the Atomic Crowns), but because every Crown was built to order there may well be some out there.   Even with the standard suspension and being empty it rides well, so if it were converted and closer to its 48,000 GVWR I'm sure it would ride even better.   My pusher Crown doesn't have air suspension, but it rides really well, especially now that I made a spare tire mount under the nose.   Bremerton in WA is/was selling some of its 36-foot Super IIs which have air suspension, but they have Cat 3208T and MT643.   As regards ground clearance, I have at least 14" everywhere except under the differential, and I've heard stories of school drivers taking their Crowns full of kids up steep narrow dirt roads in the San Gabriel mountains to reach remote campgrounds, so if you want to get off the beaten path a Crown or Gillig tandem can do it!


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 06, 2010, 09:50:09 PM
  I really have my heart set on a GMC coach. As some of you may know, I initially wanted a 4107. But I toured Ricks 4104 and did some studying, and really like that Bus, if for nothing else, its simplicity and economy. Thats not to say I couldnt be convinced to change, you guys already killed my 4107 idea. Though I am still thinking of a 4106.

  As far as making it up this driveway, if I want it up here bad enough I can figure it out no matter what Bus I decide on. It would take a bit of cable, or moving the winch up as I go, but that is probably the safest way to get one up here without burning it up.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Rick59-4104 on September 07, 2010, 12:23:24 AM
 Have you thought about renting a place to park? I checked into a fenced locked storage area in Harrison so I would not have to pull Gaither Mountain every time we go somewhere with my 4104, they give you a number to get in the gate, cost quoted to me was $35.00 a month. I am probably going to rent a spot next spring and keep the bus part time there and part time here at the house next summer, It would knock 20 miles off about any trip I make as I go in that direction about anywhere we go in the bus.

Rick


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 07, 2010, 04:34:51 AM
  Rick

  Parking it somewhere off the property is something I have considered. But I would still want it up here to work on it. So I am thinking to have a off site storage set up first, then work on getting up here. Who knows, it might just grind right up and all this talking about it was for nothing. Of course, we could always try it with yours first, lol.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: zubzub on September 07, 2010, 04:41:09 AM
just so you know....there were some 4104s with a splitter, don't know which way it split though.  Presumably gave lower ratio.  Quite rare, no longer have parts available, I believe there is some info on the yahoo gmbus forum


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 07, 2010, 05:28:09 AM
  Lower gearing in low would sure help.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: 4104GA on September 07, 2010, 07:40:31 PM
I know of one 04 that has a two speed rear end installed.  He said it is really nice in the mountains.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on September 07, 2010, 07:42:45 PM
I can't picture a stock 4104 making it up an 11% grade under any circumstances, but it might. It will never move once it is stopped though.

That first gear is probably the number one problem I've had with mine over the years. I have gotten myself into some tight spots and lucked out.

I hate to rain on your parade but those are the facts. I love this bus but you need to do some serious thinking about how to do this. A good heavy farm tractor might be one answer.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 07, 2010, 08:16:12 PM
I know of one 04 that has a two speed rear end installed.  He said it is really nice in the mountains.


   That is something I would like to pursue, can you find any more info on it?



Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: RJ on September 08, 2010, 12:21:29 AM
I know of one 04 that has a two speed rear end installed.  He said it is really nice in the mountains.

   That is something I would like to pursue, can you find any more info on it?


Art -

I believe what 4104GA is talking about is the option between 1958 > 1960 known as the Hydrashift.  Basically a planetary gearset controlled by a push-pull knob on the gearshift lever.  It was mounted in the clutch area on the 4104s.  The results, when used properly, was an 8-speed gearbox.

Unfortunately, they are VERY, VERY, VERY rare, and also not the most reliable, per various industry sources.

As for the common "two-speed axle" that others have been talking about, I've never seen or heard of one being built by Timkin (early) or Rockwell/Meritor (late & current) for the V-drive configuration used by GMC. 

FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;) 


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Len Silva on September 08, 2010, 05:21:14 AM
There was indeed a two speed axle, made by an unknown builder in California in the fifties.  I have what little info there is posted here;
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/gmc-busnuts/files/GM%20Two%20Speed/ (http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/gmc-busnuts/files/GM%20Two%20Speed/)


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 08, 2010, 10:16:24 AM
  I think I will just stick to the winch idea. Cheaper, simpler, less to go wrong


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: steve wardwell on September 08, 2010, 10:32:13 AM
OK so you will need 2 of the same buses, a long cable and pulley all attached togather...so when you want to go up you just drive the extra bus down the hill while wifey drives the good bus up ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: bevans6 on September 08, 2010, 10:37:47 AM
Art, if your overhangs allow the bus to approach the grade in the first place, why not consider a tractor to tow it up?  Low gear, 3 mph, lots of traction, those things just don't stop.  I  have in mind a fabricated tow bar that could almost be permanent on the tractor if you wanted, connected to fabricated mounts on the bus.  The tractor would be able to  steer the bus, you  wouldn't need anyone in the bus to steer but you might still want someone in the bus to work the brakes if it started back down the hill.  It would almost be like docking an airplane...

I was just thinking of how to work a winch in that situation, how heavy it would have to be, how much cable you would need, two people minimum needed, and a tractor seemed a lot easier.  Unless  it was snowing,, I guess...

Brian


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on September 08, 2010, 05:07:52 PM
This think is getting crazier by the minute, but I admire your tenacity!!


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: steve wardwell on September 08, 2010, 05:33:27 PM
Well we are afterall "nutz"


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: RJ on September 08, 2010, 06:19:23 PM
Art -

Art, if your overhangs allow the bus to approach the grade in the first place, why not consider a tractor to tow it up? 


A D-9 Cat should do it!

Nice hefty tow rope attached to the towing eyes underneath the front bumper, and away you go!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;)


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Barn Owl on September 08, 2010, 06:50:14 PM
You need to make a compromise that works. Look for a 4104 that has been converted to a V730 or go to a 4106 with the same. If you find one with a 6v92 all the better. I have  a very steep driveway and the v730 is the only practical solution that I can think of that one could live with. Raised on a farm in the hills I have towed and winched a few things in my life, and don't understand how that could be considered.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Hard Headed Ken on September 08, 2010, 08:08:11 PM
My 4104 came with a Hyradrashift. It was a reliable transmission after I discovered the service manual that had the updates for the clutch plates in the plantery gears. The updated metal plates were thinner allowing one more metal and one more friction plate to be used in the stack. If I remember correctly the update was for the high side (overdrive) clutches only. Of course no plates were available, but I did have some extra stock plates. Using those as a pattern and the thickness specs from the manual I had new metal plates (drive and driven)  laser cut and harden. Then I sent the metal plates that needed the friction coating to a company that used Kevlar on their clutch plates. Now after all that it worked like it should.  Impossible for anybody to drive but me and still under powered. Then I installed a 6V92 and V730. It really made driving more of a pleasure than a chore.  I'm in agreement Mr Barn Owl. If you find something with a V730 don't forget to check the top speed or diff ratio. The ratio should be 4.125 or 8/33 I don't think you would happy with any lower gearing.

Ken


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 08, 2010, 08:47:35 PM
   If a GMC Bus cant make an 11% grade, I may not have to keep thinking about this much longer. Nothing is posted anywhere that ive seen, but there are a few grades coming out here I believe may exceed 11%, and in the next few days I will try to measure some of them. Its a state highway, I just assumed if a road had grades that certain vehicles couldnt pass, they would post it?? No signs anywhere saying no Busses.  

  As far as getting up the driveway, provided I can get this far, a 10 or 20 ton winch will be the cheapest option.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 08, 2010, 09:16:11 PM
You need to make a compromise that works. 

  No kidding. This discussion has really opened my eyes to these busses capabilities. I never would have thought a GMC Bus with a Detroit couldnt climb a reasonable grade. My Uncle has a place in NC with a road up to his place that exceeds 15% for about 1500 feet. Hes had 4 S&S motorhomes make it up there, Ive had two of mine up there, no problem. I doubt he would believe me if I told him a Greyhound couldnt make it. My Parents rode a Bus from Minnesota, through Colorado out to Cali in 1942 that followed what is now I 70. My Father cant believe me telling him a Bus would not only not make it up this driveway, but probably not even make it out the highway this far.

  Glad I found this forum and asked about this before I jumped in with both feet. I wont drive an automatic. If a GMC cant climb the grades around this part of the country, I'll look into something that will.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: happycamperbrat on September 08, 2010, 09:17:56 PM
My gmc rts has the 6v92 and 730 allison (automatic). I would NOT want to try your driveway...... but Im a big chicken too! I can do steep grades though. I did one in virginia city nevada! This was a side residential street and only about 20 or 25 feet from a stop sign it became VERY STEEP (almost straight uphill). I tried going up hill to the stop sign from a 5mph speed and the bus actually rolled BACKWARDS before finally getting enough umph to make it!!! NOT good, but can be done


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Barn Owl on September 09, 2010, 06:36:52 AM
My bus will climb grades greater than 11% but that is only possible with the v730. Remember an automatic transmission gives you what is known as a torque multiplying effect. "The torque multiplier effect means that a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission and torque converter will output more torque to the drive wheels than the engine is actually producing." (http://www.tciauto.com/Products/TechInfo/torque_converters_explained.asp) If you are going to do it for any length of time you have to be able to keep it cool. That means an oversize radiator. 


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 07:37:25 AM
My bus will climb grades greater than 11% but that is only possible with the v730. Remember an automatic transmission gives you what is known as a torque multiplying effect.


  I understand how automatics work, ive even rebuilt a few. I dont want one in a Bus. There are grades back around in here that I am sure are at least and possibly more than 11%. And these grades are on state highways. I have found it hard to believe that GMC Busses with manual gearboxes from the 40's to the 80's could not have driven through this part of the USA without getting stopped on these grades. But if those are the facts there isnt much to do about it than change horses. And these grades out here are nothing. There are some over in NC between Waynesville and Franklin along 441/23 that I had a hard time with in the Bounder. If the Bounder can out climb a Bus, then by the sounds of it a Bus couldnt make it along 441 even with an auto. If these things cant make 11% grades I dont think id want to try one on US 62 through Eureka Springs either.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: uncle ned on September 09, 2010, 07:46:33 AM


I have two 4104's  One with a 6/71 and 4 speed.  The other with a 6v92 and a 730. 

I am a british car person and love my MG"S with good handling and 4 speeds but guess which bus I drive.

The extra power and the ease of getting around makes the auto great.

By the way have been over all those roads in western NC you talk about.
Our good friend NC Bob lives in Franklin  NC in the summer.

MY toad is a S10 Chevy with the v6 and 5 speed. a baby corvett that can haul my british bikes.

uncle ned

PS if I was full timing and on a limited budget the only thing would I drive is the 6/71 and 4 speed. I think it is the most reliable bus made. Know of one that broke in Wash. St but limped into NC to get fixed. used a lot of oil and water getting here but made it. It got a 6v92 and 730 also


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: flyingbuttress on September 09, 2010, 08:27:34 AM
Art, I have a 4104 with 4 speed. I live in a hilly area. I climb a 12 percent grade in 2nd gear with a run at it. In first gear you should not have any problems. I do avoid stopping on a hill if possible. When these old gals were in service they had to go up and down hills. As long as you don't feather the clutch when starting in 1st. you will be OK.
Good luck on your choice, Wayne


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 08:36:15 AM
  My Aunt & Uncle live in Franklin, NC.,the roads there are the steepest I have ever driven a Motorhome. I goofed once and took a wrong turn towards Maggie Valley. I dont know what the grade percent is, but that highway is STEEP. I thought I was gonna burn it up before I could turn it around.

  Maybe I can convince Rick to drive over this-a-way with his 4104 and try these roads around here and measure the grades. But maybe hes been convinced now he will get stuck and not be able to get out??

  Ned, or anyone else, has anyone ever not been able to make it up a grade somewhere in the US?? We have a stretch along here through Hobbs called Van Winkle Hollow, I dont know the grade angle but its pretty steep on both sides. If you couldnt make it up once you got down in there, you would need help.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: bevans6 on September 09, 2010, 08:47:21 AM
I have two 12% grades where I live, and 2nd gear on the governor works just fine.  for one, I start at the top of third gear and half way up I downshift, and I have pulled it in third all the way with no towed car.  I think the point is stopping and starting, not running at speed.  An automatic is far better at starting on a grade, all else being equal.  On interstates I think the grade maximum is 6%, I recall reading that somewhere.  After four or five miles of 6% I'm on the top of second gear watching the birds fly past, interstate or no.  Right in line with all the trucks.

Brian


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 08:49:02 AM
Art, I have a 4104 with 4 speed. I live in a hilly area. I climb a 12 percent grade in 2nd gear with a run at it. In first gear you should not have any problems. I do avoid stopping on a hill if possible. When these old gals were in service they had to go up and down hills. As long as you don't feather the clutch when starting in 1st. you will be OK.
Good luck on your choice, Wayne

  Hmmmm. some say I wont climb 11% at all, some say 12% in second? Thats quite a disparity.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Len Silva on September 09, 2010, 08:56:18 AM
Easy solution here.  Find the bus you like and tell them cash on delivery to your property.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 09:09:06 AM
Easy solution here.  Find the bus you like and tell them cash on delivery to your property.

  Lol.

  I dont have any way to know how a Bus would go up this driveway without discussing it, and I wouldnt expect anyone else to try it either. But if some of these guys are maintaining speed in second gear on 12% grades, I think I have a good chance to make it up in first. Its not like id want to get it up here every day, just a few times a year.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Barn Owl on September 09, 2010, 10:21:54 AM
My driveway is very steep but I don't know what % grade it is. Without dragging around a tape measure and a level is there a quick easy way to determine % grade.

I saw in an old Bus Conversion Magazine classified section a 4104 that had been converted to a T-drive. It had to be stretched a bit to make it happen. I know that is not practical, but interesting nonetheless.



Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 11:41:58 AM
Without dragging around a tape measure and a level is there a quick easy way to determine % grade.



  You need to reference level to find slope accurately. I used a 72 inch level and a tape.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Len Silva on September 09, 2010, 12:39:18 PM
Here is an online calculator.
http://www.csgnetwork.com/inclinedeclinegradecalc.html (http://www.csgnetwork.com/inclinedeclinegradecalc.html)


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 12:52:00 PM
Heres another

http://www.1728.com/gradient.htm (http://www.1728.com/gradient.htm)


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on September 09, 2010, 04:35:11 PM
I've driven all around Eureka Springs, Mt. View, Mt Home and many others a number of times and had no problems.

I don't stop on US62/412 but I do stop in a driveway.

However, driving on the highway and climbing a driveway are two completely different things.

Highway grades are not the problem, I drive through the Rockies all the time as well as the Ozarks and many others in both east and west.

Simply put, if you keep moving you're fine, if you stop you're dead.

An AT can do a lot of things a high geared 4-SP can't do. I sure wish I had an AT in my 4104. I love manuals when they're geared right, I own many vehicles with anything from 3-10 speeds but they are geared properly. A 4104 is not.

Those Greyhound and Trailways drivers didn't have to worry about their clutches, I do.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: RJ on September 09, 2010, 06:36:36 PM
Art -

Any of the GMC bus's will climb an 11% grade, the V8s easier than the six, but this is from a "run at the grade", not starting from a dead stop.

The biggest problem, from your description, is that you've got no room to get rolling before you start pulling the grade.  Forty feet of "get going" is barely enough to get the clutch fully engaged, let alone get it up to the governor in 1st.

Perhaps, if you're serious about getting a highway coach, you should look in to reconfiguring this driveway to improve it's accessibility.

The second thing to reconsider is you're insistence on only having a manual transmission.  So far, all you've said is that you won't have one, without really going into the reasons why.  If your concern is that you've got no braking effect w/ an automatic, that's what Jake Brakes are for - and they're VERY effective in a GM coach.

As numerous folk have mentioned, over and over several times, you wouldn't be in such a quandry about your driveway if you'd accept a slushbox.

Third, if the reason you don't want an automatic is because of the fuel mileage difference vs a manual, then perhaps a bus conversion is not for you. 

FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;)




Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 07:40:06 PM
Art -

Perhaps, if you're serious about getting a highway coach, you should look in to reconfiguring this driveway to improve it's accessibility.

The second thing to reconsider is you're insistence on only having a manual transmission.  So far, all you've said is that you won't have one, without really going into the reasons why. 

Third, if the reason you don't want an automatic is because of the fuel mileage difference vs a manual, then perhaps a bus conversion is not for you. 

  I am going to rework the driveway to allow a better run, I dont like automatics simply because they often fail without any warning, and fuel economy is very important and should be to all of us. Not so much right now today, but its already been close to 5 bucks a gallon, even higher after 911, so it could easily double or more overnight under the right/wrong circumstances. I can afford 6-7 mpg today with fuel at $3 gallon, but at $10 per gallon it could get pretty cost prohibitive to go somewhere. Im thinking of the future. 10 plus mpg would be pretty nice if fuel costs become staggering. Perhaps some have incomes where none of that would matter even if fuel was $30 gallon, but im not one of those people.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on September 09, 2010, 07:41:27 PM
 In 04 we came down 62 into Eureka Springs with our 5A with an auto tranny and towing a Jeep. As we came to town the road split and i had to make a snap decision, right on the truck route or left into the historic district. I went left......all of the way to where the road ends in the hotel parking lot. :(  Had to unhook to get turned around and get out of there. Curbed the jeep twice on the way in. Lots of narrow streets and short 90 degree corners. Tightest place i have ever been into with the bus. Plus to all this is now i don't get too stressed about some of the other places i go to. After the Springs every thing else is easy. ;D


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on September 09, 2010, 07:48:08 PM
Art, go to the other board and look at the recent post about fuel mileage and the figures i gave for the last 6 years. Pay attention to my lowest price, my highest price and then the average price paid over all of that time, plus the number of miles traveled and the total cost of fuel. It might help you out a little.  And i ain't rich or retired yet. :)


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Barn Owl on September 09, 2010, 08:09:16 PM
Is there a device that can sit on the dash that tells % grade? At one time didn't the Mitsubishi Montero or an Isuzu trooper come with something on the dash that did that? Some kind of artificial horizon looking thing with three instruments in it?


If fuel hits $10 anytime soon what types of buses we drive and what kind of fuel mileage we get will be the least of our worries, but I don't want to throw us off topic. If you do vacations trips like those of us who are still working then fuel is a big expense that is absorbed in a short time frame. If you full-time, then that expense gets spread out and is a much smaller part of the budget. I would not base my bus purchase on fuel mileage. I think you will find that there are many expenses one just doesn't realize until owning one for a little while, I wish the fuel bill was my only budget concern. I fall into the working stiff class that keeps me from living the high life, and I don't get to take the bus out that much, but I have hope that one day I can. Our monetary system is not looking very healthy, and if things don't change quickly, we might never get to realize our dream.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 08:13:25 PM
In 04 we came down 62 into Eureka Springs with our 5A with an auto tranny and towing a Jeep. As we came to town the road split and i had to make a snap decision, right on the truck route or left into the historic district. I went left......all of the way to where the road ends in the hotel parking lot. :(  Had to unhook to get turned around and get out of there. Curbed the jeep twice on the way in. Lots of narrow streets and short 90 degree corners. Tightest place i have ever been into with the bus. Plus to all this is now i don't get too stressed about some of the other places i go to. After the Springs every thing else is easy. ;D

  We came down here in March of last year on vacation. First I had been back to Arkansas since 1969 when I was 11 years old. We got into Bella Vista and hung a left towards Pea Ridge, out onto 62 and headed east, right through Eureka Springs. My wife went and hid in the bathroom, our daughter sat in between my Father and me, and with three jaws hanging open we pushed the Bounder down the road. I was laughing, my Dad was VERY quiet, and the kid just hung on and kept saying "Oh my God!!!". I dont think the rest of the country has a clue what these roads are like unless they have actually been here, they are pretty wild. I dont know if any of the steeper grades exceeds anything in the smokies, but the turns thrown into them make for quite demanding driving. Out west I seem to recall longer grades but not to many really steep grades. Really never thought I would be living where I am today, last year.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 09, 2010, 08:26:58 PM
Is there a device that can sit on the dash that tells % grade? At one time didn't the Mitsubishi Montero or an Isuzu trooper come with something on the dash that did that? Some kind of artificial horizon looking thing with three instruments in it?


 I think you will find that there are many expenses one just doesn't realize until owning one for a little while, I wish the fuel bill was my only budget concern.

  Ive put over 45K miles on this Bounder since we bought it in '05. Mechanically its been good, no big expenses, so after depreciation, fuel has been the biggest cost. I havnt kept real close tabs on it, just checks here and there. I figure its averaged about 7 mpg overall. Thats more than a tanker truck of fuel. If I could increase it to 10 mpg, thats a free trip around the world. If the cost of fuel doubled to $7 gallon, the same amount of fuel would cost $50K. Even a 1 or 2 mpg jump could pay off smartly, either in more $ left in your pocket, or more miles rolled under the windshield.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: RJ on September 09, 2010, 10:16:33 PM
Art -

Gist Road, off Hiway 17 between Los Gatos & Santa Cruz CA, is 1.5 miles long and has eight hairpin turns on it - lots of fun in a 914, impassable w/ a bus.

Hiway 1 along the CA coast between Monterey & San Simeon is a 94-mile-long beautiful drive - for the passengers!  The driver is way too busy to enjoy it, especially SB.  BTDTHTS!

I-80 between Sacramento CA & Reno NV has a nice, long climb to 7,339' Donner Summit - 70 miles of 4, 5 & 6% grades.  Back east is more like speed bumps, comparatively!

We've got our share on the West Coast, believe me!

I don't like automatics simply because they often fail without any warning.

This is certainly NOT the case with the HD Allisons found in the most common coaches used by busnuts.  ALL of the various models will give you ample warning that something's wrong before they go down.

The most severe use for a bus is in transit service, and the V-730 stood up to that better than anybody else's V-drive automatic, be it Voith or ZF.  At the transit property I spent 15 years at, we never had a V-730 fail - but we sure had a LOT of grief with the Voiths!

The T-drive HT-740 is virtually bullet-proof, probably THE most dependable transmission ever built.  Even with the thrashing that Greyhound drivers gave them, the 740s saved the company a ton of money compared to repairing/replacing the manual gearboxes and clutches used before.  And that includes the slight fuel economy penalty.  In most cases, this transmission will out-last the bus (with proper routine maintenance, of course)!

What you should consider is a 35-foot MCI MC-5C, with a 350 hp 6V92TA coupled to an HT-740 powertrain.  That little bus will scoot right up your driveway w/o batting an eye.  From a dead stop.  And if you drive it conservatively (Ha!), you can sneak 7 - 9 mpg out of it.  (Don't get a Saudi two-door model, tho!)

Your continuing comments about fuel economy, and the cost involved, reminds me of the couple who went into a Mercedes dealership a few years ago to purchase a 500S sedan.  All throughout the salesman's spiel, the wife kept asking about the car's fuel economy.  Finally exasperated, the salesman told her "Mrs. Jones, if you're so concerned about the fuel consumption of this car, you cannot afford it."

The wildly fluctuating price of fuel is more of a political discussion better left to the "Off Topic" section of this BBS.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;)



Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: happycamperbrat on September 10, 2010, 12:09:08 AM
Quote
Gist Road, off Hiway 17 between Los Gatos & Santa Cruz CA, is 1.5 miles long and has eight hairpin turns on it - lots of fun in a 914, impassable w/ a bus.

Hiway 1 along the CA coast between Monterey & San Simeon is a 94 mile beautiful drive - for the passengers!  The driver is way too busy to enjoy it, especially SB.  BTDTHTS!

I-80 between Sacramento CA & Reno NV has a nice, long climb to 7,339' Donner Summit - 70 miles of 4, 5 & 6% grades.  Back east is more like speed bumps, comparatively!

We've got our share on the West Coast, believe me!

BTDTHTS! And WDIA (will do it again!)


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: happycamperbrat on September 10, 2010, 12:13:33 AM
About the fuel usage of these big ole beasts....... it sucks!! Expect about 5 mpg give or take 1 or 2 depending on what you get (not a big difference IMO) But with the older DDs look into running them on biodiesel, wvo, wmo to supplement your fuel bill.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Nusa on September 10, 2010, 04:49:06 AM
Is there a device that can sit on the dash that tells % grade? At one time didn't the Mitsubishi Montero or an Isuzu trooper come with something on the dash that did that?


Googling for "inclinometer" would get you lots of hits. Standard stuff in the aircraft industry. 4WD types use them sometimes. If you don't mind ugly, you can find them in the construction industry. Or you could just make something, many variations on the theme. Weighted piece of string hanging on the sidewall of the bus with some degree markings measured with a protractor would work.

4WD gauge: http://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-791005-Clinometer/dp/B000E3BVVA/ (http://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-791005-Clinometer/dp/B000E3BVVA/)

Construction tool: http://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Level-Tool-700-Magnetic/dp/B00004T807 (http://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Level-Tool-700-Magnetic/dp/B00004T807). You just have to figure where and how to mount it.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 10, 2010, 05:46:43 AM
  Thanks for all the helpful comments. Ive driven through every state in the US except Wahington state, Maine, and New Mexico. As was said, a couple of the roads in California are off limits to busses, makes no difference. But I didnt know we started a contest for who had the worst or best roads or the hilliest or steepest. I was simply commenting that many people around the country have no idea what its like around here, and I appologise for pretending we have any hills or turns around here.  ;D

  Maybe instead of arguing about it, ya'll need to start a hill climb rally for Busses somewhere, in a place where the grade is actually measured, instead of guessing about it.
 


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 10, 2010, 09:46:36 AM

Your continuing comments about fuel economy, and the cost involved, reminds me of the couple who went into a Mercedes dealership a few years ago to purchase a 500S sedan.  All throughout the salesman's spiel, the wife kept asking about the car's fuel economy.  Finally exasperated, the salesman told her "Mrs. Jones, if you're so concerned about the fuel consumption of this car, you cannot afford it."

  I was going to make a different comment, but have thought better of it, Suffice it to say that what I can afford, and what I want to afford, are two very seperate things, and really, nobody else's buisness except my own.

  I will say though, if it takes you over 40 feet to get your foot off the clutch, I can see why you drive automatics. Clutches wont last long if they are slipped alot. I watched Rick drive his 4104, I doubt he moved 3 or 4 feet before he had it fully engaged and was accelerating. He even tried it on a slight grade, maybe 4-5%. He kicked it into high idle and eased it out, and again, we probably didnt roll more than 4 or 5 feet before full engagement. 


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: kyle4501 on September 10, 2010, 10:21:12 AM
My allison locks up in 1st gear & stays locked up all the way into 5th. The only difference in fuel mileage will be due to the parasitic load of the oil pump.

The V series is different & I haven't looked into them.

The GM buses are generally lighter weight than the other makes.

After reading all this, my opinion is that if funds are limited & you already have a solution that works (your bounder), you'd be better off sticking with the tried & true. Trying to make a bus work will likely cost way more than you think - so far, that has been the case for most.



Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: zubzub on September 10, 2010, 10:33:26 AM


After reading all this, my opinion is that if funds are limited & you already have a solution that works (your bounder), you'd be better off sticking with the tried & true. Trying to make a bus work will likely cost way more than you think - so far, that has been the case for most.



Hey where's the fun in that?  I could have bought a SS myself, but I wanted a bus, pretty sure you understand that. ;)
ALso IMHO a bus is more reliable than a cheap SS, and both cost $$ to repair.  SS everything is buried , so it's time and less money, bus easier to get at but some parts more expensive....even if the equation is skewed favoring SS for the practical, they aren't buses.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 10, 2010, 10:38:15 AM
  I want to thank everyone for their opinions and suggestions, and the guys pushing the 4104's especially. After talking to several people, including Luke at US Coach, I am going to pursue this. From all these discussions I feel I have a better than 50/50 shot at driving it right up here to the house, and if not I have some ideas to help accomplish it. First stop is the county highway dept to talk about reworking my driveway. Again, a big thank you to everyone.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: zubzub on September 10, 2010, 10:49:33 AM
Please get someone to video  it.  Good or bad (my money is on good) it will be informative.   Oh yeah have wheel chocks on hand, especially if you don't have spring brakes.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: happycamperbrat on September 10, 2010, 11:05:45 AM
Good Luck Art!! You truely have heart  ;D Please do video tape it all!!


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Kevin on September 11, 2010, 11:53:44 AM
As Gus said, all you need is a bit of a running start.

If the RPM's fall-off, you're dead. You'll stop (like it or not!) and either back to the bottom - or needlessly smoke your clutch - and then back to the bottom.  :'(

You mention revising your driveway entry a bit. Do it in a way that will prevent your bashing the under-the-front-bumber apron during transition to the driveway incline. In other words, make for the smoothest possible transition from road-to-driveway incline. Then, with as much head start as possible, foot-to-floor a' blowin' mass smoke and a "not-takin'-NO-for-an-answer" attitude, wheel 'er on up. You should be fine. The coach could care less as long as you're not slipping the clutch or bouncing the living poo out of the suspension.

As mentioned in another thread, I once regrettably subjected my '04 to some seriously brutal terrain and inclines, all off-road, the worst of which included first having to drop into a severely undercut sandwash, plowing the 75' across with foot to floor in 1st, rear tires spinning (honest to God, as I could feel the rear of the bus slightly "fishtailing" as it fought for traction in the very soft and deep sand) and then (Ouuuuch!!!) bashing into the opposite "wall" in order to keep the RPM's up enough to pull what seemed (at midnight) a near vertical incline.

My then 13 year old daughter Sarah and friend Monica, seated on the sofa, actually banged their heads on the ceiling upon "impact". My wife Kathryn was white-knuckling it, swearing under her breath in the copilot's chair. I was literally sick to my stomach, visions of a Chinook helicopter lift-out in my near future. 

The "road" dead-ended at a massive crevice. Luckily there was room to turn around so we could do it all over again in reverse. We were pulling the motorcycle trailer and both bikes were lying on their sides, but luckily hadn't bounced completely out! ::)

I wondered how the air bags ever held, and noticed the next morning (when it was light) that I'd crumpled the apron under the front bumper. That misadventure occurred many years and many, many miles ago, however, and the bus still runs and drives perfectly. I did have a thorough look at the undercarriage, including both front and rear suspensions after the misadventure.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that it'll probably do it - just as long as you can get a bit of a run at it. Say, would you like for me to drive yer brand-new toy up yer driveway for ya?! Heh, heh, heh!!! ;D  I'm a real good driver!


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on September 11, 2010, 12:54:17 PM
Kevin has a good point about the incline. I've never had a problem with the front but the rear is a different story.

I have to cross a small creek to get to my house and more than once I've dragged my trailer hitch receiver on the creek bottom. I built up the bottom of the incline with some crushed limestone to solve that problem but it is still pretty close.

The only good part of this is that the trailer hitch saves my exhaust pipes from being demolished, I have enough problem keeping them tight as it is without dragging them.

A 4104 is LOW.

You cannot afford to bounce the bus at the incline because it will drag and hit hard, the incline must be smooth at the bottom to avoid this. My incline is so short I don't need any extra speed to make it.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 11, 2010, 01:09:36 PM
  I should be able to stretch the entrance out along the road farther, that will ease the transition. I tried to post a pic the other day but it came out to white for some reason, i'll have to try again. Anyway, from up the road it looks more like a runaway truck ramp than it does a driveway, lol. If I can grade it back far enough I should be able to hit the drive with the Bus wound out tight in first. If it can make the 18% part without slowing down too much, I shouldnt have any trouble making it to the 12% part. Time will tell.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Mex-Busnut on September 11, 2010, 01:29:24 PM
Quote from: happycamperbrat link=topic=17232.msg186563#msg1
[/quote
BTDTHTS! And WDIA (will do it again!)

Excuse my ignorance: What is the meaning of "BTDTHTS"?  ??? I went to http://www.sharpened.net/glossary/acronyms.php (http://www.sharpened.net/glossary/acronyms.php) and did not find it.

Thanks in advance!

Dr. Steve, central old Mexico


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Nusa on September 11, 2010, 02:02:36 PM
Quote from: happycamperbrat link=topic=17232.msg186563#msg1
[/quote
BTDTHTS! And WDIA (will do it again!)

Excuse my ignorance: What is the meaning of "BTDTHTS"?  ??? I went to http://www.sharpened.net/glossary/acronyms.php (http://www.sharpened.net/glossary/acronyms.php) and did not find it.

Thanks in advance!

Dr. Steve, central old Mexico


BTDT = Been There, Done That
BTDTGTTS = BTDT Got The T-Shirt
BTDTHTS = BTDT Have The Shirt

Google search probably would have got the answer for you...but I didn't have to look it up.




Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Mex-Busnut on September 11, 2010, 02:09:13 PM

BTDT = Been There, Done That
BTDTGTTS = BTDT Got The T-Shirt
BTDTHTS = BTDT Have The Shirt
Google search probably would have got the answer for you...but I didn't have to look it up.
[/quote]
Thanks for enlightening me! Believe it or not, I DID put BTDTHTS in Google and did not find the answer.

Dr. Steve, central old Mexico


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: RJ on September 11, 2010, 08:02:31 PM
Art -

Some points of clarification on my comments are in order:

1.  Roads & Grades.  I wasn't starting some type of contest.  I simply was pointing out the difference between the short, steep grades that are common east of the Mississippi River, compared to the long steep grades found from the Rockies to the Pacific.  That's why I affectionately call eastern mountains "speed bumps."

2.  Clutch engagement.  I know perfectly well how to do a Dead Throttle Start with a coach - I taught school bus and charter bus drivers how to do it.  And I taught them how to do it without spilling the red wine, too.  What I should have clarified is that it takes more than forty feet to get the coach rolling and up to the governor in first gear.  Oops!

3.  Mercedes fuel mileage joke.  Which is what it was, albeit w/ a little bit of truth behind it.  Over the last 10 -12 years that I've been participating on these discussion boards, time and time again I've seen a newbie come on and start asking lots of questions, and often complaining about the "poor fuel economy" of a bus.  Either that, or they want to know how they can go from 5 mpg to 10 mpg in a forty-foot, 18-ton vehicle @ 70 mph.  So the reason for the joke is to bring a little bit of reality to the discussion, because the biggest expense operating these beasts is fuel.  When that sinks in, some newbies finally accept that fact, others simply "disappear" from the forums, never to be heard from again.  So it was a humorous attempt at a reality check, that's all.  Was not, in any sense, meant to flame.


Now that that's out of the way, I think your focus on getting the slope of the drive revised with the help of the local infrastructure folk is a good one.  Then all you'll need is one of the really nice 4104's that are out there and available, and you're good to go!  I think I mentioned in the other thread that the '04 was the workhorse of the industry during the 50's and 60's, with a well-deserved reputation of being virtually indestructible with decent preventative maintenance.  5065 of them were built between 1953 > 1960, the most of any highway coach until the MC-9 came along.  They're a good choice for those who aren't in a hurry (Aesop's Fable again), not to mention their virtually timeless, classic look.  At least those that haven't been capped front and rear, anyway!  (LOL!) 

Good luck on your search for one!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;)



Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 11, 2010, 10:10:52 PM
   RJ.

   I do cherish your opinions, even if I dont want to accept them at the time. Just dont gloat if it proves I cant drive the darn thing up my driveway. I think I can, but its iffy. Hmmmm, what would a shot of propane do for a 671??

  That will be the next part, finding a good one at a decent price that isnt on the opposite side of the country with an owner that isnt tough to deal with. Probably have time to work on the driveway. LOL.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: happycamperbrat on September 12, 2010, 06:36:02 AM
Possibly a shot of propane for the bus and a shot of burbon for you?


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: Kevin on September 16, 2010, 05:55:36 PM
Hey RJ, in reference to your last post,

I "capped" my '04 front end, only it was under the bumper!!! (LOL!) :o Put a pic or two of my coach up on the gallery couple of days ago. The damage done to the under-bumper apron is actually minimal, and not really even noticeable in the photos (and to date, not repaired, either) :'( but it still breaks my heart. I really do love this bus. Driving it (when I'm not bashing the poo out of 'er!) is like therapy for me. 

Only abused her the once, and definitely learned from the experience, poor Baby! It does remarkably well off-road as long as one balances adequate engine RPM/vehicle momentum with careful negotiation of desert-y off-road obstacles such as whoop-de-do's, sand washes, rocks and etc. I also try to minimize passenger-side-to-driver's-side body 'twist' while encountering the extreme camber changes which inevitably occur. If one is very careful and takes one's time, she'll get there in one piece, no worse for wear and tear.

I feel the love that so many of you folks have for this worthy bus, and smile to myself reading all the supportive opinions. I wouldn't trade 'er for another, but then she truly suites my particular needs. We were made for each other! :)

Cheers!

 



Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 16, 2010, 09:56:54 PM

 Put a pic or two of my coach up on the gallery couple of days ago.

  Nice looking Bus Kevin, wouldnt even know you went boonie bashin if you hadnt said.

  Has anyone come across a 4104 with a 4 cyl GM diesel driving the OTR air conditioner, one diesel fuel tank, AC engine also driving a generator? Supposedly this is all original???  Also may have the rare high speed axle, says 80-85 mph is "no problem". Plausible??


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: TomC on September 17, 2010, 08:04:04 AM
The 4104's A/C came 3 different ways.  Most popular was a Continental 4 cylinder gasoline engine powering the A/C.  Later they went with a Perkins 4-108 Diesel to power the A/C.  The last models had the same set up as the 4106 powering the A/C off the engine-but few were made this way since the 6-71 didn't have an over abundance of extra power-unlike the 8V-71 in the 4106 where you barely felt it when the A/C was on.  Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on September 17, 2010, 03:11:59 PM
Art,

You're missing the point about the 671 and clutch. Making the 671 more powerful by any means will only result in destroying the clutch quicker.

The problem is lack of low speed gearing and torque, not power. The 2-stroke DDs have very little low speed torque unless geared very low. Cummins, DD 4-strokes and Cat engines all have high low speed torque and would probably make your grade with no problem. 2-strokes are different animals and depend on higher speed for power, just like chain saws and leaf blowers.

High engine speed when the clutch is engaged while stopped means burned out clutch.

The proper way to start any stopped diesel is to engage the clutch at idle and accelerate after engagement. Unfortunately this only works well on level or downhill ground. This is not so with clutches on gasoline engines which can be slipped without great harm.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 17, 2010, 04:01:07 PM
Art,

You're missing the point about the 671 and clutch. Making the 671 more powerful by any means will only result in destroying the clutch quicker.

  I think you misunderstood what I meant,  I probably said it wrong.

  What I meant was, if I am already headed up a steep grade on the governor, and the Bus slows down from lack of power (torque), because the grade is too steep for the available power, if I had a slight boost in power I wouldnt slow down, or, maybe wouldnt slow so much I couldnt make it over the top.

  I wasnt going to try starting out on a steep grade, I am trying to maintain speed (power) on the grade.


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: gus on September 20, 2010, 03:08:11 PM
Yes, I did misunderstand. I'm sure more power would help in that case.

A 671 has a lot of pull when wound up in first gear, but it does not like low RPMs. I've never faced a slope I couldn't pull in first with the engine wound up.

Please keep us posted on the final outcome of this saga. Curiosity is rampant!!


Title: Re: 4104's
Post by: blank on September 20, 2010, 06:32:40 PM


A 671 has a lot of pull when wound up in first gear, but it does not like low RPMs. I've never faced a slope I couldn't pull in first with the engine wound up.

  I'm just looking for a lil insurance to make it up here, something simple, like a shot of gas near the steepest part of the grade in case it thinks about slowing down. So any thoughts or knowledge on propane would be of interest.