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Author Topic: Hello from a new member....  (Read 4445 times)
turbobrat930
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« on: November 16, 2008, 12:48:07 AM »

Hello from the Macon, GA area...

I joined this board for a few reasons...

I want to learn as much as I can about these busses.I am involved with road racing, and attend numerous high profile races throughout the year. as such, I am getting sick of depending on freinds to see if they are going with their RV's...or if their RV's are out of the shop. I have always wanted an RV, as it id getting increasing more difficult as I go through life to make a road trip in a sportscar!! I am from Michigan originally...and travel to there from GA a time or two a year.

I really am turned off by the manufactured RV's that are on the cheaper end of the scale... the end of the scale which I can afford!!

I know there are numerous brands to choose from...MCI, Eagle, Prevost, GMC....the list goes on. Right now I am leaning more towards a MCi or an Eagle...but only time, research...and a good deal too good to pass up will tell.

I am probably younger than most of you on this board....35..and our first child on the way.... but that is fine. I plan on doing tons of back reading of the 441 pages just on this part of the board alone!! I am sure I will have some dumb questions along the way...but I figure...the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!!

I do all my own work. I am a certified master auto mechanic (ASE), and an aircraft mechanic....heavy aircraft. I am a licensed pilot, and also have built my own racecar. My hobbies are going to switch once my child gets here...but i will still do some work out in the shop.

It would be nice to have a good bus to take to the races, and then use the same bus to travel with my family to various parts of the country visiting friends and family.

Well, thats all for now...thanks in advance for the help you guys and gals will be giving me...

Regards, Brad
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2008, 04:54:29 AM »

Hello from the Macon, GA area...

 I am sure I will have some dumb questions along the way...but I figure...the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!!
Hi Brad, welcome!!  You are kinda right about your comment but I think the only dumb question is the one you ask AFTER you did it wrong first.   Grin  You will learn quickly how many of us know this from experience.  Ask all the questions you want. Sometimes  you may ask something that we never thought of and we will all learn from your asking. 

One of the main things we will all tell you is to have someone that knows buses check out any bus you find before you buy.  It can save you a fortune that way.  They will know where to look for rust, flaws, danger zones and let you know if it is safe for your family and your wallet.  If you get a chance, go to bus rallys, no bus or camper required, and check out the work done to other conversions.  You will be amazed at what some people have managed to do with their "babies".

Join in, come to the chat room when you can, have fun and, again.....Welcome!
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2008, 05:19:50 AM »

Welcome Brad!!
    Its going to be fun and rewarding this new adventure that you have begun. Be carful" bus conversion" could take over your hobby (you know the one that the bus could make it nice and convenient to get to). All jokes aside this is one of the more enjoyable pastimes (the wife says I can't have another hobby) and this board the most helpful.
    Again welcome,    Danny
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2008, 05:34:15 AM »

Hi Brad,
   Welcome and ask away.  You will not find a nicer, friendlier, more knowledgeable bunch of busnuts anywhere.  Jack
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2008, 06:11:18 AM »

Brad,
Welcome to the madness.  I'm in Dearing, GA, and we also make trips to MI, lived there for 20 years, wife's from Midland.  Ask away, I guarantee someone will have an answer.  Sometimes it may not be related to what you asked but you will get an answer.  Grin 

John V.
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2008, 06:43:18 AM »



  Hi Brad,

   Like Jack mentioned , there isn't a better bunch of guys that you will find with more knowledge then the ones here! 

   Good luck on finding your dream bus.


   Steve 5B..........
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2008, 07:06:17 AM »

Welcome to the asylum. 

If you are considering buying an already "completed" conversion then you could not possibly have picked a better time.  And that would certainly be my advice - if you enjoy working on these things there will be no shortage of work to do on any unit that is "finished". 
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2008, 07:10:13 AM »

please do tell morebout the car ,chasis typemotor tranny etc.
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2008, 07:43:21 AM »

Welcome to the nut house, the bus nut house.  You will be amazed how much knowledge on this board.  You would not meet a nicer group of nuts.

Bill
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2008, 08:07:16 AM »

welcome to the funny farm...lol
lots of great ppl here and lots of great info
and if you are 1 of the lucky few that join in the chat room ...you will have hrs of fun
we actually sometimes even chat about buses
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2008, 08:40:04 AM »

Welcome, Brad
I am also fairly new to this group of off the wall but great bunch of bus nuts. I'm sure you will enjoy the banter that goes on here, some subjects can lead to a heated debate but it's all in fun. There is several hundred years of valuable information rattling around on this site so take advantage of it. Welcome and please share your knowledge.   
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2008, 09:34:51 AM »

Brad, welcome to the bus nut family here.  As othes have said, there is immense knowledge already in the forums and even more knowledgeable folks ready and willing to help answer your questions.  Your idea of reading back through the postings is a great one.  Several have done it and been amazed at what they learned, both in technical knowledge and in awareness of just how nuts we are.  Wink

If you are going to be reading through the forum, how about helping with the Bus Conversion Wiki project by taking a specific group of threads at a time and pointing out particularly helpful posts in them.  For more information click here.

See around the forum and chat room.
Mike
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2008, 11:32:00 AM »

I was 35 when I bought my  '77 AMGeneral 10240B transit.  It was a harder conversion since I had to create all the mountings and storage underneath.  While the transit does not have the storage of the bigger over the road buses (I have a 66 x 99 x 22h space that stores alot), I do have 130gal Diesel, 130gal water (inside under the master bed), 85 gal gray, 45 gal black, 20 gal propane, 10kw Powertech Diesel gen, 3 roof top airs, 2-10 gal elec water heaters, 9ft kitchen counter top, enclosed bath with 36" x 36" shower and outside access to the bathroom (built around the rear door).  I originally bought the bus for $4,000 and have spent towards, $90,000 on it (compare that to a new 40ft sticks and staples motorhome) mainly because I both rebuilt the engine, then later had it turbocharged and the transmission overhauled.  Everything in the engine compartment has been overhauled, or rebuilt, new air bags on the suspension, converted the air steering to full power, etc.  It took me 6 years to build, mainly because of paying as I went.  My point- while you can buy a cheap bus, like a transit for under $5,000 and can be a perfectly viable conversion, you may, like me, have to spend more on it to get it to what you want.  If you spend more like in the $20-40,000 range for a bus already converted, especially with the engine/transmission you want, you'll keep your overall cost lower then what I spent on my conversion.  There are dozens of ways to go-just have to choose, and then just go for it!.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2008, 12:36:20 PM »

  Brad
  WELCOME aboard !!! I hope you will find this board is like an extended family. Most are very good with help on about any subject you need  insight with.This is a good time to to be in the market for a bus(buyers market) Please take your time,ask all the questions you want,jump in and don't be shy with a reply!!!!!!!!  And with most large families you will find a lot of good caring people here and maybe a few sore heads Roll Eyes Roll Eyes, remember its your dream do it for you and your family and what works best for you!!!!!!!!
    Dwayne
   P.S. side note :my wife knew I had lost my mind when I bought our bus Shocked, but now she thinks this is the best thing we have done Grin!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2008, 01:23:26 PM »

Brad,

With your background and training I am sure we also will benefit from your participation.  You aren't alone in having a tournament selections of skills, experience and interests.

Welcome,

John
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2008, 02:09:51 PM »

Brad -

I'll echo the others in saying welcome aboard the madness.  Bus Nut Fever is, as of now, incurable - once you've got it, it stays with you forever (I got it when I was 3 years old, myself. . .)!

Seriously, seriously, seriously consider purchasing a unit that's already finished.  There are a LOT of great buys out there right now, due to the depressed economy.  But shop carefully, it's very easy to buy a bus, but much more difficult to sell a mistake!  Did I mention to seriously look for a finished unit?

Buy the newest unit you can stretch to afford, with an automatic transmission.  The cost of converting a manual to an automatic is far greater than the additional upfront cost of buying one already equipped.

You've got one little one on the way right now. . . how many more are you & Mama planning?  That may have some bearing on what you should look for.  My daughter & her family need sleeping accommodations for seven, whereas a lot of busnuts live by the rule "seats eight, feeds four, sleeps two." 

Unless an incredible deal pokes it's head up in your area between now and January, plan on making the trip to Jack Conrad's big bus rally in Arcadia, FL over New Year's.  There will be over 100 coaches in attendance, and every busnut there will gladly share their war stories with a newbie, and frequently give you tours.  Make sure you've got a digital camera along - invaluable for remembering those "neat ideas" that this creative bunch can come up with, especially in terms of space utilization.  Well worth the "investment" of your time for the trip.

Keep doing your homework, too!  Besides the pages and pages of stuff on this BBS, be sure to check out the other major, www.busnut.com  In addition to a huge archive of material, there are also a large number of "Articles of Interest" that cover a multitude of conversion topics you'll find worth reading.  Also, within the Yahoo Groups community, there are also some brand-specific groups (MCI, Eagles, GMC, Prevost, etc.) that have active bbs's, files and photos.  There's a vast amount of material available to help you with your fever.

And don't forget that the only dumb question is the one that hasn't been asked yet! 

(Of course, on this board especially, you'll frequently get humorous dumb answers, too!)    Grin

Again, welcome aboard!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2008, 03:46:24 PM »

Did anyone say Welcome Yet?  Roll Eyes

There is not much left to say after all of the previous replys! Grin

Hope you find the coach that has your name on it!

Happy Trails,

Paul
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2008, 05:21:16 PM »

1. Welcome

2. Buy a nice already done bus so you can spend time with the family.

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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2008, 06:43:21 PM »

Hi Brad,
   Welcome and ask away.  You will not find a nicer, friendlier, more knowledgeable bunch of busnuts anywhere.  Jack
Diddo from Will and Wife
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2008, 10:28:01 PM »

Thanks for all the welcomes and kind words..!!

I more than likely will be more interested in getting a bus that has already ben converted. So, I can enjoy it now, and modify things when I have time. I just want to make sure that the previous owner(s) did things right...so that would be my only hang up. But, If I end up changing the whole interior out down the road... It might be more cost effective to star from scratch..and do it the right way, the first time.

Like I said, I am new to the bus as a form of RV. I have a friend who has a 84 Wanderlodge, that i ahve driven a time or two. That is what got me hooked instead of buyng a prefab class A RV... like a bounder, etc. it was so quiet up front in the Wanderlodge. Even though it is a relic of the 80's and even still has the close to shag brown carpet...LOL

I will post more once I get more time... In a day or two...

Circusboy90210, Are you referring to the racecar?
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« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2008, 05:29:21 AM »

 Smiley Cheesy Wink Grin Roll Eyes Tongue Cool yes i[m making reference to your race car. I love cars even more than busses. ;-) used to hang out in nascar fabrications facility's asa kid. (banjo matthews asheville nc.,) & dave marcus racing shop. they still make alot of race engines for nascar teams @ barnes & reese down the street from my house. not to mentino that there are probably 10 team shops within 50miles of my house.  John finger hillclimbing racer is 6 miles away in greenville. Jammie james motorcycle racer used to work out at the spa lady 2 blocks away, not to mention quite a few other people in my neighborhood.
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« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2008, 06:43:05 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Brad. Like others have said, there are lots of great deals on already done buses. And if you can find one that is built kinda like what you have in mind you can probably get a great deal on it. But with your credentials, I don't know that you might not enjoy building one just for you, just the way you want it. I looked at a couple of already done buses. I decided to build my own because I don't find many built the way I want mine to be. Yeah, it'll take longer but in the end it will be exactly what I want and I will know every wire, fastener, and circuit in it. There is something rewarding about that.

Have fun and welcome! No matter which bus you pick, it will be much better than any S&S you could have picked up.
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« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2008, 07:00:07 AM »

Brad, welcome 35 is a good age to start you may be finshed by the age of 62 as for bus makes and models they have yet to make one without sins so no matter what you buy be prepeared to deal with it.    good luck
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« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2008, 02:13:15 AM »

Smiley Cheesy Wink Grin Roll Eyes Tongue Cool yes i[m making reference to your race car. I love cars even more than busses. ;-) used to hang out in nascar fabrications facility's asa kid. (banjo matthews asheville nc.,) & dave marcus racing shop. they still make alot of race engines for nascar teams @ barnes & reese down the street from my house. not to mentino that there are probably 10 team shops within 50miles of my house.  John finger hillclimbing racer is 6 miles away in greenville. Jammie james motorcycle racer used to work out at the spa lady 2 blocks away, not to mention quite a few other people in my neighborhood.


Well, I am not into Nascar... ( Cant undersatnd how someone can enjoy just taking left turns!! LOL  Grin Grin )... But I can understand how one could get into it. Esp, if as a child, you got to hang out in the fab area of a raceshop.. that would have been awesome.

I am into Formula 1 and have friends that race in the Grand-Am's Rolex series (GT division) and also the SCCA, and PCA club racing.

I turned my racecar back into a streetcar, as racing was just getting to costly and time consuming (gas alone was close to 10 to 15 bucks a gallon!). Here are a few pictures of the car, and the motor that I just got done rebuilding. I have about 160 Hours alone into the crankcase just in polishing! I still have to build the header system for it, nd purchase a few more items and them it will be back on the road. Stock this car had about 300Hp and weighed in at 3200LBS... Now it will have about 700 to 750 HP...and weighs only 2000 LBS... should be a rocket!. Over half the car is C/F (carbon fiber)...

Notice the sfety wire around the case halves..... just a nice added touch....

I also have posted a few pictures of my Jeep rock crawler that I built. I still have it and is one of the toys that I will sell to finance the bus purchase... It took me a little over three years to build the Jeep from the frame up.. To include lengthing the frame one foot, and installing a corvette motor with 330 HP.... enjoy....



















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« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2008, 04:44:17 AM »

TurboRat,
   I just have 1 thing to say WOW!!!!   Beautiful work on both vehicles!  Jack
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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2008, 05:35:54 AM »

Brad, run very fast away from the bus disease!  It is not possible for a motor head like You to own a detroit.  There is not time in ones life to clean it to the level that You operate on!  LOL  I once had a engine like Yours, I just could never understand a engine without head gaskets!  And I can assure You that after the cam gear fiasco I never touched it again.  Welcome to the madness,We old people need fresh minds.  John
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« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2008, 12:19:16 AM »

Brad, run very fast away from the bus disease!  It is not possible for a motor head like You to own a detroit.  There is not time in ones life to clean it to the level that You operate on!  LOL  I once had a engine like Yours, I just could never understand a engine without head gaskets!  And I can assure You that after the cam gear fiasco I never touched it again.  Welcome to the madness,We old people need fresh minds.  John

John, yes... you understand my pain.. I would definitely try to make a DD as clean as the Porsche motor. i keep on reading about how they love to leak oil... how they "sweat" oil..and if one is not leaking...it must be out of oil!..

If I did purchase a bus with a DD... I would "attempt" to make it clean. Question is... Why do they leak so much? Is it just age? Are the parts not machined good enough where there are gaskets? Is it just because most have been neglected over the years?

Is it even possible to make one leak free?

My goal on the vehicles that I have built is to be able to check all the fluids in the engine compartment while wearing a suit and tie. Once I can do that... it is clean enough.

Once again thanks for all the warm welcomes...and for the compliments...

Brad
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« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2008, 04:36:18 AM »

welcome, and fear not, somewhere out there there is a guy with a very sharp scenicruiser.  Powder coated suspension bits and all.  Can't find the link right now.  That being said if you can find conversion that is already in good shape you will move along faster.  It is amazing how long it takes to do stuff on a bus compared to a car, just walking back and forth from the engine to the cockpit takes another bite out of the day......
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« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2008, 05:05:42 AM »

If I did purchase a bus with a DD... I would "attempt" to make it clean. Question is... Why do they leak so much? Is it just age? Are the parts not machined good enough where there are gaskets? Is it just because most have been neglected over the years?
Brad

Probably all of the above.  DD uses copper washers on certain bolts for sealing as well as O rings in addtion to gaskets. Some mechanic to not install these properly and some may need retorqued as time passes.  Jack
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« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2008, 05:24:47 AM »

welcome, and fear not, somewhere out there there is a guy with a very sharp scenicruiser.  Powder coated suspension bits and all.  Can't find the link right now.  That being said if you can find conversion that is already in good shape you will move along faster.  It is amazing how long it takes to do stuff on a bus compared to a car, just walking back and forth from the engine to the cockpit takes another bite out of the day......
my guess is this is why somebody invented "remote"starters & guages. Tongue Roll Eyes Grin Smiley Wink Cool
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« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2008, 08:06:13 PM »

If I did purchase a bus with a DD... I would "attempt" to make it clean. Question is... Why do they leak so much? Is it just age? Are the parts not machined good enough where there are gaskets? Is it just because most have been neglected over the years?

Is it even possible to make one leak free?

They don't have to leak - I got me one that doesn't leak and runs cool.  I'm gonna wash it this weekend for the first time in 2 years.  Its dusty but really doesn't look that bad.

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« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2008, 09:14:01 AM »

I've parked for up to 6 months at a time (sad times they are Sad) and never seen a single drop on the ground. The engine and trans have 108000 miles on them and are still relatively clean looking. Non-leaking DD's do exist Dorothy  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2008, 03:43:12 PM »



.... My goal on the vehicles that I have built is to be able to check all the fluids in the engine compartment while wearing a suit and tie. Once I can do that... it is clean enough.

Once again thanks for all the warm welcomes...and for the compliments...

Brad

Just make sure its a black suit  Cheesy  and you dont want to have a tie around that rotating equipment Cheesy

welcome to the madness, it's a fun that can support your other fun

and yeah kid time is important, don't under estimate how much it takes.  Get a converted bus and you will still be able to fill your need to tinker.  plenty to do, and keep it usable.  My bus is not ideal or fancy, but it is usable.  If i was really ambitious i would make it so you could hose the inside down to clean it.

 if you get a picture of Jerry Campbells engine It is quite clean.  and series 50 too


the other thing is that the duallys just kick up a lot of road grime, so you will have some ting to deal with.  I'm confident you will work it out judging buy your other impressive projects.  ( i wanna ride!! Cheesy)

ask alot of questions before you spend and keep us posted how it goes.
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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2008, 03:32:42 PM »

Brad,

Want to trade the "P" car for an MCI-9?

Just thought,

Bill
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