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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: harleyman_1000 on September 23, 2012, 07:07:27 PM



Title: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on September 23, 2012, 07:07:27 PM
 I am brand new to this forum, and am in the process of going fulltime and have decided to fulltime in a bus. I am at a loss for knowlege of which bus is better? I am looking at the older buses, and looking to spend under 25,000. I know everyone has their favorite make, but I need to know the good and bad about each make and model.  For example I have heard that the Eagles rust? Thank you for your knowlege in advance.
 Scott


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on September 23, 2012, 07:26:51 PM
I have had about all makes of buses except a GM never cared for that bus personally and it was a great bus all buses have the good, bad and ugly a west coast rust free Eagle is a fine bus most parts except the suspension are off the self at any truck dealer

The MCI is a good bus so is a Prevost but the older ones rust just as bad as any bus or Eagle,the best buy I have saw latey are the Neo's at Northwest Bus Sales he is asking 19,000 but will bargain on the price 

All have new 4 stroke Cummins installed new in 2010 I think ? check those and they don't have millions of miles either 

good luck in your hunt


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Dave5Cs on September 23, 2012, 07:42:21 PM
Welcome to the board, you might tell of how many will be in the bus, what you intend to do with it what are your abilities to work on the bus, electric, plumbing, wood work, etc. Some like the Eagle is possible to put in slides and a lot easier than in a MCI because of the frame. So those kind of things may limit what you want to look at. Just some thoughts.

Dave5Cs


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Barn Owl on September 23, 2012, 08:27:41 PM
Simple rule of thumb. GM is the best and then there are all the rest. How can you tell? Look at all of the 4104's still plowing down the highway. See any others from the '50s doing the same? This is on the straight up and up because I am not even biased.

Here is a good link from Bus for sale guide to help you get started on a basic list of pros and cons for each manufacture: Bus Make and Model Charts (http://www.busforsaleguide.com/bus_make_model.htm)

To better answer your question and narrow the search:

- How much money can you really spend, 25k to own title and then how much to fix and maintain it?
- How are you going to use it?
- How much work are you going to do yourself?
- How good are you at fixing old broken buses?
- Full timer?

Try searching the archives, there is a tremendous amount of information on this topic there.




Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on September 23, 2012, 08:44:02 PM
Like the term "plowing" BarnOwl lol sounds right to me


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Barn Owl on September 23, 2012, 08:50:35 PM
Plow in the field, plow in the sheets, plow down the road....... useful little word isn't it?


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: TomC on September 23, 2012, 09:45:32 PM
If I were buying a bus for full timing, I would buy an MCI 102C3.  They are 40ft, 102" wide, have huge windows (I like to look out) and have 6'10" headroom.  They are available since they are 40ft and most operators now want 45ft. 

As much as I like the old 2 stroke Detroits, try to find a bus with a 4 stroke engine.  Some of the better choices would be Cummins M11/ISM, Caterpillar C12, Detroit DD13 (would be a very recent repower).  Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: John316 on September 24, 2012, 06:19:34 AM
Welcome aboard, Scott.

You ask a tough question ;D. If you are going the bus route, then MCI's probably have the most readily available part supply. If nothing else you can pretty much always get parts overnighted in from them. They have great tech support, and our D model is pretty easy to work on.

A few things. Listen to what Luvrbus says. He is one of the most knowledgeable guys on here. You can go to the bank with what he says.

You mentioned your 25K budget. If I was you, I would step back and evaluate this whole bus idea (sorry bus guys). You start with a decent bus at maybe 20K, that is already converted. The generator doesn't work, so you have to rebuild/replace that, maybe $1500 (just throwing numbers out). Then you have small things like a water pump, and other such, to replace. Adds up to $500. Brakes need to be checked out and redone. $1500 (could be way more or way less). Then you drive it for a while and something happens to the transmission. If it is a B500, you might get a rebuild for as cheap as $8K. Then what about the fan clutches on the rad and charge air cooler? $800 $1500 each.

And the list goes on. Of course, a lot of this is worst case scenarios. But that could be reality when you only have 25K to spend. Everything adds up very quickly. You can't just go to the most truck shops and get what you need (sometimes you can). We needed a new pulley to go on our alternator. I called MCI, and they wanted about $300 for it. I found it from another source for $40 each. Problem is if the others wouldn't have had it, then we would have been stuck with MCI.

Buses are expensive. Make sure you count the cost. Look through the archives at breakdown story's. Bobofthenorth had a complete engine rebuild done (I think it was him) at one of the best bus shops in the country. Ask him, but I think it was more then he hoped, but he could afford it.

Are you at all mechanical? Can you get yourself going with a minor breakdown, or do you have to call a tow?

All things to think about. Not to throw water on your bus fire, but at least you can figure this stuff out now.

Now, everybody can disagree with me ;D :D ;D

FWIW, YMMV

John


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: roadrunnertex on September 24, 2012, 06:22:17 AM
Barnowl:Right ON!
When the rest of the various make Coaches are in the scrap yard you can drive up and take those MCI,Prevost and Eagle owners back to their home in a GMC PD-4104. ;D

A lot of good GMC and other make coaches are for sale.So buy a converted coach one that is finished and you can enjoy it the next weekend.
Yes I own a 1974 GMC P8M4905A conversion.
Roadrunnertex.



Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: robertglines1 on September 24, 2012, 07:00:45 AM
You ask what is best bus;Question should be what  is best for you? Single retired is one type. Married 4 kids another. Just you and wife/girlfriend.?  I have owned MCI 8 and liked it had a great time with it. Parts available good. 8V71 automatic 6.5 mpg   Then a 89 prevost 8V92  automatic 5 mpg more if you could keep you foot out of it up to 6. Part service good. Most local or next day from MCI or Prevost.  Both 2 stroke motors.      Now own a 98 prevost 45 ft 4 stroke 60 series with 10 speed autoshift looking for 7 to 9 mpg maybe more out of it. yet to be determined.  This was a salvage rebuild my total cost will be under $25 grand plus labor.      It really depends on your skills and time frame.   A already converted coach might be the route for you.   let us know your area of country and first name and we can share more.   Bob


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on September 24, 2012, 08:02:03 AM
Part of it depends on if you want a mechanical bus or an electronic bus. ;D   Also the reason there are so many older GM buses still around, is that GM and Flx's were about the only ones in mass production at the time.....MCI did not really get into the US market until the mid 60s. Still a lot of the 5 series around even though their production numbers were only about 1/4 of the GM numbers and the later MCI buses.


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Ericbsc on September 24, 2012, 09:02:04 AM
I agree Tom. The 102 is the most bus for the money, late model and a lot have four strokes. Dosen't look like an EAGLE, but a lot less work . This one is on ebay now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Eagle Andy on September 24, 2012, 09:21:46 AM
He's my two sense for what its worth. We went into the Bus world with only S/S experience owned 3. Sold them all and decided to Buy a Bus went on line and found our Eagle. That my friend was the beginning of the best adventure i have had in the RV world. I will admit we are very lucky for buying the Eagle that we bought. There are alot of Buses out there with  less than stellar history's. so what you are doing is the right thing to do. Listen to these guys on this board and the Eagle broad as well as the others, Do your home work and my God Bless your Trip it is going to be Different to say the least  8)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Van on September 24, 2012, 09:29:41 AM
... And if you are really handy (most Harley guys are ;D), there are some bargains to be had across board ;) Remember " If women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya Handy" ;D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOeZAhaOgoE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOeZAhaOgoE)

 Welcome to the madness ;D
 Best of luck!
   Van


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: lvmci on September 24, 2012, 10:23:47 AM
Harleyman, you might want to look at san diego craigslist (RV then bus search), there's a guy with a MCI9 for 6K, might be a great starter bus for you 40' making it into a master bedroom might be the easiest job on a conversion, plus you get to choose your bed, 35' I think is easier to start with, but this is a deal If no rust, lvmci...


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Seangie on September 24, 2012, 10:24:59 AM
Scott,

The best way to figure out which bus suits you is to start looking at buses and drive them around.  I think I looked at and drove about a dozen buses before I decided on one I liked.  Be courteous and offer to pay for fuel.  But make sure before you buy it you give it a good run.

-Sean


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Dave5Cs on September 24, 2012, 12:01:58 PM
Scott,
Thanks Ed and Remember that MCI and Prevost are still in Business.
Whats that GM and Eagle guys? Oh I thought Not.LOL

Dave5Cs ;D 8)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on September 24, 2012, 12:11:57 PM
 Well I am kind of leaning towards the older Gm's  I found a 4106 already converted for 6000, and the Gm's look like they would be easier to work on? The Gm's look smaller? Are they? I had my own contracting business, and have taught myself to do wiring, plumbing, and just about anything else that needed to be done. I have also been working on my harleys over the years, so I can pretty much do enough to get by. The Gm 4106 for sale is a manual without a jake brake. I will be having a jake brake added before I drive it cross country back to my home in Missouri. Someone told me the rear hatch will need to be cut so that the jake brake can be added? Is this true?

 This is the first bus that I found on ebay and really like it

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1963-GM-Bus-Conversion-4106-/130769305572?pt=Buses&hash=item1e72753fe4 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1963-GM-Bus-Conversion-4106-/130769305572?pt=Buses&hash=item1e72753fe4)

 Oh and before I forget. My name is Scott, I live about a hour south of St. Louis in Missouri. I am single, and will be fulltiming alone, unless one of you can tell me how many stamps it will take to get me one of them thare Mail order brides.........


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: robertglines1 on September 24, 2012, 12:24:36 PM
Only comment after looking at listing is make sure sale is after mechanical verification. Make sure it runs and don't smoke and transmission is smooth. Ask how old tires are? could be a quick 5 grand out of pocket if they are over 8yrs old.  Most all tires are done after 10 yrs max ;some sooner-no matter how good the look.  Coach looks great.  Bob


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on September 24, 2012, 12:32:03 PM
 Oh and I forgot to offer some advise. After looking into the mpg of these buses, Im thinking we could all attach a snow plow to the front of the bus and make some gas money ;D


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Mex-Busnut on September 24, 2012, 12:49:11 PM
I am brand new to this forum, and am in the process of going fulltime and have decided to fulltime in a bus. I am at a loss for knowlege of which bus is better? I am looking at the older buses, and looking to spend under 25,000. I know everyone has their favorite make, but I need to know the good and bad about each make and model.  For example I have heard that the Eagles rust? Thank you for your knowlege in advance.
 Scott

Welcome Scott, to our awesome forums! You will learn a lot here. I know I sure have!

And be warned: Owning a bus is an incurable mental disorder...

This is a great time to buy an already-converted bus, as the economy is producing a lot of people wanting to sell their buses (and RVs and boats.) As others have said, it would be good to know in what part of the planet you are located. There are always people on here who can tell you what is available in your area. Check out this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418)

Also, how many people will be full-timing? Ours is only 35 feet long (a 1981 Mexican-made Dina Olímpico, which is a clone of the American-made Flxible Flxliner). We have a master bedroom in the rear, and a bunk room. Plus our sofa and dinette each make into a double bed. And one baggage bay is a grandkids' room.

Another option you might keep in mind: There are a lot of great school bus conversions out there for a whole lot less than highway coach conversions. Some look very good! (See forums here: http://www.skoolie.net/ (http://www.skoolie.net/)) Skoolies typically have very good maintenance records for child safety. Just make sure (if you go this route, as some on these boards have) to choose one with air suspension. Our Ford B700 skoolie (not a camper) has leaf springs and the ride is pretty rough.

My two pesos' worth.
  


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on September 24, 2012, 01:05:46 PM
      I live in a town called Bonne Terre Missouri. It is a hour south of St.Louis Missouri.
Thank you all for all the advise so far. I am thinking that I want to buy a already converted bus, since my health will keep me from converting a bus. I can redo a already conv erted bus though.
 Can someone tell me what is involved in adding solar power to a bus? Do they sell complete kits? How much will it cost for a system that will run everything?
 Is any of you living fulltime in your buses? If so, do rv parks and work camp places give exceptions to the 10 year or newer rule for buses?


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Dlsnow on September 24, 2012, 01:30:54 PM
I'm new to busses - picked up an MCI7 in November and converted over the cold Wisconsin winter.
We picked MCI after alot of reading on this site and others-
Were on the road with it now and couldnt be happier (other than an ocassional on the road repair)
-faulty injector ($75 injector, $150 labor, $300 for having my mechanic drive 150 miles to deliver the injector and install)
-lost fuel prime (<$100 to build a prime rig and replace filters)
-new thermostats ($114 thermostats, gaskets and seals)
-hissing parking brake ($? - just found this one)

all in all it is a different kind of experience, more like an adventure

Two best pieces of advice I have had before getting into busses...
"they (old busses) are great as long as your not in a rush to get anywhere"  -  PO
"The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that's when adventure starts" -Yvon Chouinard

Hoping to start my next adventure quickly


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Dlsnow on September 24, 2012, 01:45:45 PM
As to your solar question - I built mine with off grid full duty rated equipment (24x7x365 operation)
I tried to fit "everything" into my solar solution - heres what I have

1. Solar Panels CanadianSolar 255Watt panels (1020 Watts in total) (gets between 800 and 900w on a good sunny day - if they are clean) about $1 per watt with mounting equipment
2. OutbackPower FLEXmax 80 MPPT Charge Controller > keeps voltage and amperage for battery charging optimized
3. DEKA 8G8D 265AH Batteries - enough to cover your usage - i tied mine together for 12V (about $520 each) and are seald AGM / no maintenance
4. OutbackPower Inverter (fx2012) inverts the battery power from 12V to 120V for appliances - size this for your loads

I do have an AC unit that runs off this solar setup - Coleman Mach 3 PowerSaver 10.9 Amps - it "dips" into battery if it runs all day - a juggling act really

It takes some juggling (no AC while using the blender, no washer while using heater...)

picks of this and our conversion at https://adsnow.tumblr.com  <  just noticed I havent updated in a while - will do so now with new AC and fans and such


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Seville on September 24, 2012, 02:03:11 PM
Sounds very exciting! Your in for a fun ride!

My advice is buy an already converted bus. I got mine as a shell. It took 3 long hard years to get it where it is now and there is still much more to go!
When I think about how much time, money and hard work I put into it, I get a little bummed out.

For the money alone I put into mine, I could have bought a fully converted later model coach with a modern 4 stroke engine!

Oh well, I still love my bus! I wish I could full time in it but I'm still stuck in the work a day world :)
I do get away at least one weekend a month!

Good luck and Happy Bus Shopping !


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Mex-Busnut on September 24, 2012, 02:10:36 PM
Scott:

This guy full-times in a solar-powered fifth-wheel, and has a lot of great detailed information on this subject.

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/the-rv-battery-charging-puzzle-2/ (http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/the-rv-battery-charging-puzzle-2/)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: gus on September 24, 2012, 02:19:07 PM
The 4106 is probably the best bus on the road unless you're a full-timer, then it is probably too small.

Since it is 35' it can be driven into some surprisingly tight places. With the 8V71 DD it is a hot rod. I have the same engine in my 4107 but it is so much heavier than the 4104 that there is little difference in performance.

It is also the easiest short bus in which to install an Allison AT. The manual first gear is not low enough for a lot of conditions. You do NOT want to ever slip the clutch unless it is the only option1

The 4104 is even better because it is almost all Al whereas the 4106 has some steel mixed in which could be a corrosion problem. However, the 4104 is not easy to convert to an AT.

Whatever you get make sure it has full-time PS. Many GMs, including the 4106, have factory power-assist steering but it is really a manual system until the wheel is turned quite a bit. Going down the road it is manual. It is really good in parking and city driving though. However, unless you are an old guy like me, the PS part may not be that important.


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on September 24, 2012, 02:44:27 PM
One thing buy a bus with a flat floor the Mci 5 and Gm's are a PITA to deal with the wheel wells then the MCI slopes from the back to the front,with a MCI you have to deal with the 24v stuff and it is not cheap to replace

good luck


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Rick59-4104 on September 24, 2012, 03:13:09 PM
 The style of bus that catches your eye will probably determine the right bus for you....I personally like the style/ look of my 1959 4104, and like the look of my 1952 4103 even more. The fact that the older GM's may be shorter and slower is a tradeoff I am willing to take. I also am very happy with the 10MPG I get with the old Detroit 671. I have the high rearend ratio and 73 MPH down the interstate works for me. The 4104 has all the original windows, no caps, original marker lights. The boxier, longer MCI's, Prevost and later buses may be great and more practical than the older GM'S but are just not what I want to go down the road in. Your user name tells me you may be a little Retro also...

 I second the advice to buy a converted bus, there will be plenty of things you will want to change to keep you busy. With a converted bus you can use it and enjoy it as you make the changes you want. I am about 45 minutes south of Branson and you are more than welcome to come down and look at and take a ride in my buses.

Rick


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: bobofthenorth on September 24, 2012, 03:39:59 PM
I hadn't seen that one Van.  Thank you.


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on September 24, 2012, 03:42:28 PM
Scott i am going to give you the best advice that you will get here! ;D   Don't buy anything until after you have gone to the bus rally that will be in Blythville AR. this coming April.!!!!!  Not that far away from you and i have a feeling that this is going to turn out to be a big get together. Check out the posts here about it. ;)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on September 24, 2012, 03:47:06 PM
Forgot to mention that there will probably be a few there that are for sale too. :)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Runcutter on September 24, 2012, 03:58:15 PM
Scott, Ed has a very good suggestion, attend a bus rally.  There's one coming up even sooner, the Texas Bus Roundup - northeast of Fort Worth, this coming weekend.  http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=24325.0 (http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=24325.0)

Take a look at the options, get some ideas.  I'm also sending you a private message, so check your incoming messages.

Arthur


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on September 24, 2012, 04:01:53 PM
Ah hell I would buy a Eagle rust and all lol


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: robertglines1 on September 24, 2012, 04:20:03 PM
couple big rallies in Branson area soon. Eagle and Prevost.  If you want to kick tires. I think I heard Eric and Rusty  are making trip.  Bad for the fever.   The one you posted could be the one! never know.    Bob


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on September 24, 2012, 06:02:15 PM
The Branson Rally for the Prevost Prouds the dates are Sept 26-30 I doubt you will do any tire kicking there the rally fee is 1000+ bucks
 
The Eagle Rally in Branson the dates are Oct 3 -10 they welcome lookers and wannabees, no beer drank from crystal there at that rally it is straight from the long neck or a solo cup a red one too lol


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: DMoedave on September 24, 2012, 08:46:31 PM
You like the older gm's check out a few, arcardia at New Years is a great place. A 35' is awesome to drive and manuver, a HD fixer would be right at home. the GM's are truck simple for the most part. Plenty of room for a single guy in a 35 footer and can tow a bike no problem. Pickup with abike in it, that would be a problem. Dont get in a rush. LOTs for sale.


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Dave5Cs on September 24, 2012, 10:49:00 PM
Scott, all seriousness aside. You can Buy one of those cute little buses that are mostly pink inside or one of the Beluga looking Whales with the wings,

or get yourself a real Bus "MCI" by the way has always been the safest bus on the road, but don't let that sway ya non and did i mention they are still in Business (Clifford, Opps I mean Scott).

And the 5's are actually the most popular 35'. We can get in when the other buses need help or need one of their parts!...

The wheel wells raised can be covered by the coach anyway, on one side and we keep extra parts for the GM and Eagle guys under the other side, LOL

Dave5Cs ;D :D 8)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on September 24, 2012, 11:56:14 PM
 Hmmmmmm, and I am planning on towing a trailer with my bike and a car or small truck in it? Any suggestions? Would this bus handle it? And if so what is a good price to offer for it?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1960s-Silver-Eagle-Bus-reconditioned-/290776624449?forcev4exp=true (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1960s-Silver-Eagle-Bus-reconditioned-/290776624449?forcev4exp=true)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on September 25, 2012, 06:01:28 AM
Give the Eagle guys a break Dave I have sent more drop box parts to MCI 5 guys than I have my Eagle friends lol,I like the 5 I owned 1 years ago but they have their share of problems without spending big bucks it is 6v71 with a auto or 8v71 with a 4 speed manual for power

 ps I never liked 4 couches one in each corner


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Melbo on September 25, 2012, 06:22:43 AM
Also check out the Jersey Roundup that will be in Dixon MO right around the corner from you in October.

Melbo


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: rusty on September 25, 2012, 06:23:16 AM
Scott, The last I heard there is 29 buses signed up at the Eagle rally in Branson. It will be mostly Eagles but I think a couple of Prevost will be there. You are welcome to come over and look around.

Wayne


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Dave5Cs on September 25, 2012, 02:40:46 PM
Clifford, You don't like my couches. We call them The Bumps.  ;D LOL



Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on September 25, 2012, 03:59:50 PM
 How do I find the imfo on the different rallys?


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Melbo on September 25, 2012, 06:29:31 PM
They used to be posted at the top of the page in the upcoming events BUT no one seems to take care of that anymore so you have to kind of know what events are regulars and watch for the NRG (non rally gatherings) that pop up.

Here is a link to the Dixon Rally

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=24341.0 (http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=24341.0)

The others will have to put up their links for the rallys they mentioned.

HTH

Melbo

Hopefully it will get posted in the rally section at the top of the page. ::) ;D


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: John316 on September 25, 2012, 06:32:49 PM
And some people even think to post their gatherings in the Calender section on the board :o

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?board=3.0 (http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?board=3.0)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Chopper Scott on September 25, 2012, 07:23:32 PM
Glad you all cleared that up!  ;D A converted bus at a limit of 25 grand basically leaves you in the 2 stroke range and regardless of history and the best of minds checking it out, it's still a risky adventure basically so beware. Not scaring you away. Just want you to know. Most folks on these type of forums do the majority of their own work and sometimes take it for granted as do I. Best of luck and ask questions.


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: chazwood on November 23, 2012, 07:57:37 PM
I agree Tom. The 102 is the most bus for the money, late model and a lot have four strokes. Dosen't look like an EAGLE, but a lot less work . This one is on ebay now.


Hey look...my bus!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418 ([url]http://http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418[/url])


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: belfert on November 24, 2012, 07:04:26 AM
Scott,
Thanks Ed and Remember that MCI and Prevost are still in Business.
Whats that GM and Eagle guys? Oh I thought Not.LOL

How much support is MCI really going to supply for a 30 or 40 year old bus?  I've read recently about MCI not being able to supply wiring diagrams for MC-9s anymore.  How likely would it be for MCI to have doors and body panels for these older models?  Yes, you can get them from IBP, but then why do you need MCI?

I have a bus that was sold by MCI and is supposed to be supported by MCI.  MCI is basically out of any parts that are unique to my bus.  About the only unique item they still have is windshields.  MCI's tech support doesn't know anything abut my bus.  Either they don't know, or they give answers based on other MCI products and I know the answer is wrong.


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on November 24, 2012, 07:29:31 AM
Same with other buses like Belfert said Northwest bus sales has some nice Neo's 1992 models with new Cummins engines very little support or parts for those either, Luke probably has more parts for a 1960 GM and Jefferson for the Eagles than you could find for the 1992 Neo


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: TomC on November 24, 2012, 07:41:44 AM
Any bus that has a V drive is restricted to either a 4spd manual, one of the older VS/VH Allisons (2 or 3spd), the Allison V730 3spd, some with Voith or ZF transmissions which I would not suggest because of lack of parts availability. With the other buses with inline drivetrains you can choose from most any engine or transmission-as long as it will fit-and use a power plant straight out of a truck. MCI's are nice since the radiators are up high to get out of the way of the engine compartment-but have to contend with the big fan belt (sometimes a huge triple V belt). Others with low radiators have the advantage of having more interior room since the high radiators eat into the interior space, but with a more crowded engine compartment. Nothing is perfect-and all buses are much harder to work on then a big rig truck-that's why I'm using my Kenworth Aerodyne cabover for my next motorhome.  Good Luck, TomC


Title: Crown Supercoach Ex Schoolies Are/Were The Very Best
Post by: HB of CJ on November 24, 2012, 05:34:51 PM
No doubt about that.  Even others must agree.  110% concensus...maybe more even.  Aluminiumumm body, custom crome moly steel perimeter frame.  Pancake admidships  International, Hall Scott, then Detroit or Cummins mills.  Later models had a choice of Fuller 5 speed or 10 speed Roadrangers or the appropriately sized Allison.  Leaf or air ride.  Jakes optional along with rare A/C.  Heaters to suit.  Seatbelts offered; rarely ordered.

Factory 20 year and 200,000 mile warranteee, bumper to bumper, parts and labour.  16.5 brakes all around, optional shoe widths up to 10".  Flat or curved windshields.  1.125" redwood floors.  Crown made school buses mostly, but also some weird stuff along with fire apparatus.  Lots of tire chain room.  Auto chains and sanders optional way back in 1970.  Trunks and fuel tank locations varied to need.  Every bus was semi-custom.

Crown Supercoach went $broke$ back in 1991 or soosss.  Their product was about 2X as expensive as the cheapo school buses.  The bean counters won.  If you grew up in the L.A. CA area during "the day", you probably have ridden in a Crown Supercoach.  Used off the shelf Class 8 parts for the most part.  A few Crown specific engine parts.  Most Crowns today remain rust free.  A steel body cost more.

A Crown Supercoach make a difficult, but doable bus conversion.   Several on this forum have done sooss.  They suffer from lack of underfloor storage space and only 75" headroom.  My Crown would do 85 mph, others slower.  Lots of surplus Crowns still available in CA.  Smog laws forcing them out.  Out-of-staters can get a one way outta-dodge trip permit.  I did.  Supurb handling and braking.  Wish I still had my '74 10-wheeler. VIN 37317 HB of CJ (old coot) :) :) :)

Just hit Yahoo with www.crownbus.com (http://www.crownbus.com).   Or j hit Crown Supercoach for more.


Title: Re: Crown Supercoach Ex Schoolies Are/Were The Very Best
Post by: Iceni John on November 24, 2012, 08:43:48 PM
A Crown Supercoach make a difficult, but doable bus conversion.   Several on this forum have done sooss.  They suffer from lack of underfloor storage space and only 75" headroom.
If you want a simple well-built bus that has probably been maintained much better than most superannuated tour buses on the market now, don't ignore Crown Series 2 Supercoaches like mine.   Rear engine, so they have useful underfloor storage, but still built to Crown's legendary standards.   Just two axles, but with huge brakes all round so they stop better than almost anything else.   Mine has the same engine and transmission as a MC-9, but with much simpler ancillary systems to cause less headaches later.   Rialto and Los Angeles are still running fleets of them, along with Fresno and some other San Joaquin Valley districts.   The shop foreman at Rialto told me they'll run them as long as they can because they're still working well in daily service there.   Alliance Bus Lines in Ontario CA has four  -  if he couldn't make money with them he wouldn't have bought them.   However, all the 6V92 ones have to be retired by 2017 to meet CARB rules, so some of them will be coming onto the market in the next few years.   If the district is getting grant money to replace them with clean-air buses they will have to be scrapped (don't get me started on that . . .), but if not, like mine was, they come up for sale every now and then, sometimes through Interschola.

Just my tuppence-worth.
John


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on November 25, 2012, 04:39:44 AM
The Needles Ca School District is selling off their Crowns 10 wheelers and the 6 wheelers a recycle guy here in Az bought 4 and is trying to sell with no luck( he is asking too much) yet so they will be scraped out.

It is my understanding from the school district the buses cannot be to a Ca resident I had too fill out end users papers stating I was not a Ca resident and they would leave the state before placing a bid

Fwiw they do look like it would be a nightmare to convert one,the Crowns the collage had in Northern AZ looked like a regular bus they were neat what ever model they were 

JMO but I would not buy the school bus type and try to do a conversion


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Lin on November 25, 2012, 09:07:40 AM
As you can see there are lots of opinions.  None of them is wrong; it all depends on what you are looking to do.  Ed's suggestion of going to a rally is a good one since the more coaches you see and learn about in depth, the less mistakes you will make.  I would start with the first most basic question, which is what length to you want.  Obviously, a 40' has more room, but a 35' is easier to maneuver and will go places a 40' can not.  If your plan is to say on main roads, developed campgrounds, and the like, the 40' is fine.  If you want to haunt state and federal parks, you are better off with a 35' as the availability of those places diminishes as length grows.  We have an MC5a, which is 35'.  We have been going to Forest Service campgrounds as of late and find that even though many of them rate sites at 35' and 40', the internal roads make is ridiculous to try to get to the space even if it is technically long enough.  We have also been on mountain roads that are a real challenge for a 35' and may not be passable in a 40'.  If you decide on a 35', that narrows the field quite a bit to old coaches.  Although you would find mainly GM 4106 and the MCI 5 series, there are others, even Eagle and Prevost-- just not as numerous.  If you plan to go on unpaved roads (I am not talking about off-roading of course) you may want to look at schoolies.  They have far better ground clearance.

One thing I would strongly recommend is an automatic transmission.  The cost of getting a converted coach with an auto is not much more the a manual, but the cost of converting from manual to auto is way up there.  There are people here that say they love their Spicer, but we got rid of ours; I personally think it is a real dog.  You will often hear about guys looking to upgrade to an auto but never hear of anyone that wants to go the other way.  There are even guys hear that are life time truckers, certainly more adept at manual shifting than most, but they go for auto in the RV.  This is not supposed to be work!

One thing I have noticed is the people with 40's tend to waste more space than those with 35's.  On the one hand, 5 for extra is a nice addition.  However, if you take up 2+ feet to have a more spacious feel in the bathroom and do the same in the bedroom, you really haven't gained much.  The point is that no matter which you choose, look for one that optimizes the use of the space.

You also need to decide whether you want a frame or not.  GM and MCI do not have frames.  Eagle and Prevost do.  You can tow with all of them, but the framed coaches can tow more and are easier to set up for towing.  Also, some tire shop is less likely to screw up your frame coach.  The monocoque coaches can only be jacked in specific spots.  Trying to do otherwise can cause serious damage.  If I go to a tire shop, I tell them where to jack and stay to watch they do it right.  I bet there are many coaches from this board with bent engine cradles from some idiot trying to jack from there.

Another suggestion I would make in buying a converted coach is to look for one that has been done professionally.  They are less likely to suffer from someone's "brilliant innovations."  There are lots of professionally converted Prevosts, but they tend to be higher priced than the budget you mention.  However, Wanderlodges, probably mid to late 80's, could be gotten in your range.  They are well made, framed, and have good community support and generally good documentation.  Check out some of their forums too.  Newell is another professional coach but may tend to also be expensive.



Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: belfert on November 25, 2012, 10:46:46 AM
There are certainly advantages to 35 foot buses, but 35 foot buses are really getting old for the most part.  Is there a 35 footer beyond the last of the GMCs and the MC-5?  I suspect national parks were built for a vehicle and trailer that is 40 feet long which can handle windy roads a bit easier.

MCI did make the F3500 around the late 90s, but they are basically a Dina with an MCI nameplate.  I suspect parts are going to be as scarce or more scarce than a Dina.  (There are some Dinas being parted out.)  The Dina and the F3500 do use the same windshields and seals which helps.


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Mex-Busnut on November 26, 2012, 06:25:50 AM
Is there a 35 footer beyond the last of the GMCs and the MC-5?  I suspect national parks were built for a vehicle and trailer that is 40 feet long which can handle windy roads a bit easier.

The Flxible Flxliner is 35 feet long.

And most national parks (as others have noted above) are not friendly to 40-foot RVs.

Ours is a Dina Olímpico, which is a Flxliner clone. 35 feet long.



Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: belfert on November 26, 2012, 07:35:08 AM
The Flxible Flxliner is 35 feet long.

What I meant was anything newer in age than the MC-5 and the last of the GMs.  I know there are other 35 footers out there that are getting up there in age.

35 footers have their advantages for those who like to stay at older or smaller parks.  Older doesn't have to mean problems if well taken care of.  There are quite a few newer 40 footers and some 45 footers that are rolling scrap heaps even though they are newer.


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Geoff on November 26, 2012, 04:57:14 PM
I guess I am going to be the first to suggest an RTS.  35' or 40' at 96/102" width.  Not low floor so underfloor storage and tank space available.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/RTS-bus-nuts/ (http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/RTS-bus-nuts/)

--Geoff


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: robertglines1 on November 27, 2012, 06:38:56 AM
I'll say it : 45 ft prevost 3 slides. That's the way I slide. Fits my life style. pole to polee with the ability to stay off grid  for short stay. Many camp grounds $350 t0 400 a month in warm places. Yes I have had shorter buses and enjoyed them:at this point in life it makes more sense for me to have a more fuel saving 4 stroke and more room . It is a personal choice.We have 5 bays with 4 of them free for treasures. Bath and 1/2. Total investment under $25grand.  Lots of disadvantages! but fits us!  Just as at the time the other coaches we had fit then. We stay at a nice gated site in winter in Fla for $395 plus elec a month 6,000 ft site with 80 ft concrete site with toad parking pad and patio.  So what I'm saying if it fits and you feel you can keep up with maintance on it ----GET IT!...  We all don't drive the same color cars . I    would say run from Sticks and Staples.  A basic older bus will out do most new ones of them. MY opinion only.   Bob


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: luvrbus on November 27, 2012, 07:33:13 AM
When you can buy Prevost 1990's to 2000 at pennies on the dollar why worry about converting a old bus makes no sense to me spending the same amount of money and working for hours converting when you can turn the key and drive into the sunset JMO,shop and you will find Prevost from the 80's at good prices under 50 grand easy


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: lvmci on November 27, 2012, 08:07:59 AM
Scott, the biggest rally is the Qaurtzsite and its free, I was driving my champion ultrastar when I confided in a neighbor there about my interest in bus conversions and was then invited in to see two, began my search for the italian greyhound then. Considering, from the history of owners on the board, a lot start out with a conversion and the go on to another. My plan was to buy the best I could proffesional converted, then change what I didn't like, then, try a self conversion later, same advice I give prospective bikers, I got an 1986 pro conversion of a 66 MCI5A, freshsioned up in 2003, and have been working on it since. I think your gonna always work on them, so why not start out on your first one a little farther ahead, lvmci...


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: pd4501-771 on November 27, 2012, 10:23:02 AM
Hi Scott

You are only 3 hours away from Blytheville, Arkansas. Event is called "Ghosts of Highway 61 - Dixie tour 2013" . If you want to see various older coaches upclose, this would be a great opportunity for you. This will be a very well attended national antique bus show April 4-6, 2013. Check these links for more info:

http://www.ghostsofthehighway.com/News/tabid/874/Default.aspx (http://www.ghostsofthehighway.com/News/tabid/874/Default.aspx)

http://tomsgarageonline.com/ (http://tomsgarageonline.com/)

If you want to haul bikes, I know guys that like the GM Scenicruiser (yes....besides me). The baggage bins are large enough to haul bikes. No need for that trailer ! Here's a runner on ebay right now. Bit of a project, but loads of potential http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1955-GMC-Greyhound-PD-4501-Scenicruiser-693-NO-RESERVE-/160927912940?_trksid=p5197.m1992&_trkparms=aid=111000&algo=REC.CURRENT&ao=1&asc=14&meid=3760928258283521749&pid=100015&prg=1006&rk=1&sd=160927912940&&forcev4exp=true (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1955-GMC-Greyhound-PD-4501-Scenicruiser-693-NO-RESERVE-/160927912940?_trksid=p5197.m1992&_trkparms=aid=111000&algo=REC.CURRENT&ao=1&asc=14&meid=3760928258283521749&pid=100015&prg=1006&rk=1&sd=160927912940&&forcev4exp=true)

Please consider the Blytheville trip. I would look forward to meeting you. Take care

Tom


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on December 07, 2012, 02:24:44 AM
 Is there a link to the Qaurtzsite rally? When is it? Do you guys and gals show your busses to people like me?


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: lvmci on December 07, 2012, 06:59:12 AM
Hi Scott, just type in quartzsite in your search, then select rv show. Rvers are friendly types, my visits in the open desert areas, like rice ranch are full of bus conversions, they had always invited me in, one even saved my 14' awning when the wind whipped up and was fully extended, while I was at the big tent, thanks again to him, lvmci...


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: Van on December 07, 2012, 07:19:52 AM
Scott here's the official announcement from the man with the plan.
 

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=24771.msg271923#msg271923 (http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=24771.msg271923#msg271923)

We will not be attending in Jan, but if you find yourself in the LV area, you are more than welcome to come and look at ours and pic my noodle for any info you might need.
 happy hunting! ;)
    Van 8)


Title: Re: What are the differences between the different buses?
Post by: lvmci on December 07, 2012, 11:17:32 AM
Scott, on craigslist las vegas, an 82 mci9 6V92 from SF bay area, 40' no rust, a homey kind of conversion, I'd strip everything from interior except fridge, seems to be in good shape, saw it start and air up, asking $15K worth around $7K, another is a 61 bluebird asking $10K great interior, gas 454. Primer exterior, all new, come to LV to see, lvmci...