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Author Topic: Buying first Bus  (Read 2891 times)
harley86
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« on: June 22, 2006, 08:04:10 PM »

Hi everyone I am new to this forum and started looking at motorhomes a few months ago then got hooked on bus conversions. No stick and staple rig for this boy.  I have decided to build my own conversion as I am very mechanicly inclined and have a huge shop and plenty of room on my farm.

I have narrowed my choice down to 2 buses either an Eagle bus or an MCI 9. I have heard that the eagle has more room in the storage bays but has some corrosion problems. I would like to be able to put 2 harleys underneath the bus if possible I figure that if a belly car will fit a bike would also. Years ago I used to drive a truck for a living so a manual trannsmisson would not be a problem. I have noticed that buses with a  manual transmissons are about 5K cheaper to purchase on the front end and get an extra mile or two better fuel millage I know the resale suffers but if I ever sell it I would just convert it to a allision at that time.

I was thinking of looking for a bus with a bad engine then converting it to a cummings 350 or 400 will this fit and how difficult would it be. Any advice or direction would be appriciated. 

Thanks Kerry
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2006, 08:09:21 PM »

Hello Harley86,

Welcome to the MAK BBS,

You have made some good choices. But, If you want room for bike's, you might want to check out VanHools or Neoplans.

Both very tall bay's.

If you need any help with the board, Just hollar...

Nick Badame
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2006, 08:14:58 PM »

Those bikes sure would look good in a Scenicruiser. Lots and lots of bay space.
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2006, 09:21:25 PM »

It is verrry expensive to convert from one engine type to another in most cases.  I seen  quotes from $30,000+++  on up to replace a 6v92 on an MC9 with a newer, 4 stroke engine & new trans.

If you are doing the work yourself, or own a shop, or have those $$$, that is another matter...  Else, it would be a lot less expensive to just buy the bus in good running condition.   

I would not recommend the MC9 if you want to put a motorcycle or two in the bay.  The bay height is further dimished in the center by a fairly good sized wiring chase.  I think mine drops about 9 inches into the bay, and is about 1 foot in width.  Though I may be of by a few inches here or there..  I can give exact dimensions if that would help.

I don't think the eagle has that limitation, or the GM mentioned in an earlier post.  Don't know vanhool.

Hope this helps - and welcome aboard!  Phil
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Northern Arizona / 1983 - MC9
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2006, 10:03:13 PM »

You guys are kill'n me! Ouch, go ahead an kick me again! LOL! What about my beloved Setra's with the tall bays! And superior ride, also built by Kassbohrer the Parent Company of the Eagle! Man ya'll sure know how to make a guy feel left out! Sad
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2006, 10:13:59 PM »

Since I sell Freightliners and Daimler/Chrysler owns Setra, if the more recent models have a flat floor, that would be one of the ways to go.  My favorite is still the MCI 102C3-not the cheapest, but BIG inside with BIG bays.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2006, 11:18:57 PM »


You guys are kill'n me! Ouch, go ahead an kick me again! LOL! What about my beloved Setra's with the tall bays! And superior ride, also built by Kassbohrer the Parent Company of the Eagle! Man ya'll sure know how to make a guy feel left out! Sad


Hey Knuckle -

Setra 217s are cool, I'll agree, much better than the 215s, except for the darned dropped center aisle.

OTOH, the new 417s have a nice flat floor, but methinks they're a little out of the price range Kerry's looking at.



Since I sell Freightliners and Daimler/Chrysler owns Setra, if the more recent models have a flat floor, that would be one of the ways to go.  My favorite is still the MCI 102C3-not the cheapest, but BIG inside with BIG bays.  Good Luck, TomC


Hey Tom - Can you use your D/C connections to see if a Setra 417 is available as a shell???  That will give Knuckle something to really drool over!

 Grin
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2006, 11:41:58 PM »

Kerry, don't forget that the GMC Buffalos have massive bays... like 400 c.f. on the 40'ers (4903/5s), very tall, and only two axles. I bought a 4108 (the 35' Buff) a few months ago and can fit all six of my family's bicycles upright, plus assorted gear in the front bay. You can pick up a conversion, partial, or seated Buff these days for next to nothing.

No matter what you buy... if you slow down and enjoy the view you won't have to worry too much about a repower... and that giant sucking sound on your wallet.  Cheesy

Brian Brown
'78 4108-216
Longmont, CO
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2006, 05:02:56 AM »

Hey Brian,  I'm a 4104 owner myself.  Just how tall are the bays in that Buffalo?

How tall are the bays in a Scenicruiser Phil?  It looks to me like a 4501 could swallow a Super-Glide without even folding the handlebars down,,,

Kerry,  I'm an old truck guy myself, and I found a great deal on an old GM product.  Beautiful piece of equipment - simple, easy to work on, tougher'n nails, great on fuel (I get an honest 11mpg).  I made the transition from and R-model Mack to a 4104 and it was almost like going back home.

If Brian's buffalo bays are tall enough for your scooters I'd recommend that you take a good look at the old Jimmies before you make your final decision.  They're great, they're cheap, they can't rust (at least not most parts of 'em) and most parts are available.

FWIW-YMMV

Casper
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2006, 06:45:28 AM »

Casper, I think they're 39" tall or so and neck down to about 34" at the center channel. I was shocked at how much taller they were than my '06 when I first climed into one.

bb
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2006, 06:51:41 AM »

I think my bays are 48" tall but I will measure to be sure
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roadrunnertex
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2006, 09:07:06 AM »

For the money a GMC Buffalo P8M4905A is a better buy than a MC-9 or MC-8 of that era.
When GMC was building the Buffalos had more features like Shepard power steering than the MCI coaches of that era.
I have owned a 1974 P8M4905A for many years and it's been a good bus/conversion.
The trick is to find a good Buffalo series coach.
And yes the baggage bins are 39" tall on the Buffalos.
Also don't be fooled about the MCI coaches have a stainless steel structure below the floor yes above the floor no and yes they rust below the windows to the floor very badly.
Also I am not going to make mention of other make or model coaches I like those GMC's.
jlv

 

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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2006, 09:47:41 AM »

Oh boy. Now 'ya've done it, JL.  Grin Ya might as well post something like this...

Before the flames get TOO high, this is just a joke.  Cheesy  And I apologize well in advance for offending anybody.

Besides... It's Friday
bb
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2006, 11:39:03 AM »

TGIF you are correct.
Does It means toes go in first? I have been told that it also means Thank God it's Friday!
I have seen the same cartoon with the word Prevost instead of MCI.
Have a good weekend folks be safe!
jlv

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kyle4501
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2006, 01:40:11 PM »

If you are going to repower, look for a transit bus with the engine/ tranny combo you want & buy the whole thing. If you get a Scenicruiser or other T-drive bus, you could even repower from a truck, (I've heard there are some municipal units available that are good donors).

If you get a Scenic, people may not notice your Harleys  Grin.

A cheap bus doesn't exist (unless you aren't using it). You pay up front or you pay much more later, most of us paid up front and are still paying lots later.

If you find a solid (rust free) Eagle, it would be easier (as opposed to a GM coach due to the type of shell construction) to modify for larger bay storage or a roof raise.

Welcome to the insanity!
kyle4501
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