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Author Topic: New to the Board - Searching for 1rst Bus  (Read 7616 times)
PDXGREENBUS
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« on: November 24, 2008, 02:09:29 PM »

Hello all.  I am new to the board and wanted to say hi.  I am very excited to be starting the search for my first coach conversion.  I have spent countless hours already reading and studying the posts and wealth of information available here.  There are so many choices out there but I have narrowed it down to either an MCI or Prevost. The coach will be used for personal travel as well as for traveling to various promotional and company related events.  I own a marketing and printing company here in Portland and a coach with a full vinyl vehicle wrap rolling down the road and parked at events could prove to be an amazing marketing tool. 

I am going to have a veggie oil system installed on the coach with the ability to collect, filter and dewater veg while on the road.  I have several other diesel powered vehicles I have run on WVO for some time now with great results. 

As far as my choice between coaches go it seems that the MCI is a great product for a number of reasons.  First and foremost they are still in business and parts are readily available.  One question I have is how essential it is to do a roof raise for optimum usability? I am 5'10 and donít anticipate having a bunch of tall people on board but am curious if it is a good choice to do the raise from the standpoint of overall resale and just general usability?  My other question is layout.  Has anyone found a particular CAD style program that they have used to work with layouts to find the best one for them?  I am like most in that I would like to find as new a coach as I can for the money.  Ideally I would like to find a coach that already has the roof raise done as well as has already been converted as it is my understanding that it's much easier to modify a coach that is already converted as opposed to starting from scratch.  If anyone has links or information on anything for sale that they would not mind posting I would really appreciate it.  I am glad to be here and can't wait to move forward with the project.
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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: November 24, 2008, 02:16:05 PM »

Hi PDXGREENBUS,

WELCOME!

It sounds like you pretty much know what you want. That's a great start.

Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like. Our members are always willing to help another Bus Nut on board.

Good Luck with your purchace.
Nick-
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Whatever it takes!-GITIT DONE! 
Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
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4905 doc
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008, 02:38:49 PM »

I may be mistaken, but making your bus a marketing tool will remove the rv status. it now becomes a commercial vehicle. opens up a whole new can of worms.
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PDXGREENBUS
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 02:45:22 PM »

The only real use for the company would be having my company graphics on it.  I am not sure what that would do to the RV status vs bus status.  My grandparents Prevost has a wrap on it with the company graphics and their insurance agent has no problems with it what so ever.
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usbusin
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 03:35:47 PM »

I think what 4905 doc is talking about is:  You now have a commercial vehicle and the driver's licensing requirements, vehicle inspections and log book to go with it.

Just my 2 centavos.
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Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
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Will & Wife
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 03:42:29 PM »

Hey Portland, Glad to have you here! Grin I've said it before and I'll say it again-this is a collection of the finest, most helpful bunch of nuts (sometimes too honest LOL) anywhere. Ask lots of questions and when you get your bus, post pictures (a few here have a hard time with the printed word  Shocked Grin) Goodluck, Will & Wife
PS-spent more than 20 years earning a living in PDX-love that overgrown hicktown!
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 04:48:43 PM »

Welcome to the board  Grin  As it's been said, the amount of help here on the board is beyond compare.

What kind of money are you looking to spend on your project?

Bill
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Kwajalein Atoll, RMI
kyle4501
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 05:01:08 PM »

Some of MY thoughts & opinions :
Don't get in a rush to buy one, it's a buyers market now.
Build it to suit YOUR needs.
Don't worry about what the next owner will think about what you did.
Age isn't as important as condition or the area it was operated in.
Re-powering is expensive, so it's usually worth the extra $$$ to get a good one.

They ALWAYS cost more than you planned!  Shocked  Sad


PS, learning cad can be a challenge in itself. The grid paper with the little squares can be of great benefit, you just have to keep up with the numbers the old fashioned way.  Wink
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 05:03:32 PM by kyle4501 » Logged

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Dreamscape
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 05:52:15 PM »

My buddy in Vancouver WA just bought an MCI 102A3 and loves it! Now all he has to do is convert it! Grin He and his wife are having a ball and take it out every weekend to get used to it. They will have fun making it their coach.

Hope you can have the same luck in finding yours.

Happy Trails,

Paul
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
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John316
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 06:50:26 PM »

PDX,

Welcome!!! We are glad to have you aboard. I will give you my thoughts on which bus to buy, since you have narrowed it down to a MCI or Prevost. First off, you don't just drive a bus, you experience a bus (can I hear some Amen's please  Grin Cheesy Grin). What do I mean by that? Well a bus is a lot like an airplane. It has complex systems, on it, namely the electrical, and air (of course there is the power train and things like that). If it is a bus, it will fail...on rare occasions Grin. With that said, you want a bus, that can be diagnosed, and fixed, in the shortest amount of time. My recommendation would be a MCI DL3. I say that because, that is the first model, that was a forty-five footer, which means more room, less maneuverability, etc. Second, it isn't as computerized as a E model or later. I have heard that with an E, if something goes wrong, then you replace a three hundred dollar part, then a seven hundred dollar part, and then, when all else fails, you replace a two thousand dollar computer. With a DL3, if something goes wrong, you troubleshoot the failure and fix it. Also the parts are fairly readily available from MCI.

If you are concerned about the looks of a DL3, which doesn't look as pretty as a E or later model, there are cosmetic things that you can do. An R&M upgrade kit for the front, which is a huge challenge to install, looks great when done. You can also raise the roof, making it look more imposing (of course you would raise it for the extra room right? Grin Cheesy. The paint job is also critical to making it look fancy (if that is what you are going for). If you want the new MCI look, it is fairly simple to paint around the windows black, and swoop it down to the drivers window. The bottom line is, I would consider a DL3, if you need the forty-five footer. MCI also has some other great buses, but they don't have the extra five feet. One other thing that I have loved, about ours, is the Detroit Diesel, Series 60 engine, that we have. That engine, coupled with an Allison B500 tranny, is a great powertrain setup.  

If you have any more questions about a DL3, let me know since we have one, and I love it.

Remember, all of this was if you were going to get a forty-five foot MCI. If you are going with a Prevost, or another MCI, I really don't have much insight on those. I do know that some of the other guys here have excellent advice on them, so keep your ears open. Like others have said, your bus will end up costing you far more than you planned...but then again isn't that the goal??!! Grin Grin Grin

My post is not to scare you off, just to let you know about somethings . You will love your bus...except for rare occasions...and this board is a great place to learn.

Enough for now.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
PDXGREENBUS
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 07:21:34 PM »

Welcome to the board  Grin  As it's been said, the amount of help here on the board is beyond compare.

What kind of money are you looking to spend on your project?

Bill



I am looking to stay around 60-70K if possible.  I dont mind spending the money but I have a tendency to go a bi overboard with projects so I need to set a budget and from my research it seems that this might be a realistic scenerio.   What do you guys think.  I have come to the conclusion that I want an MCI with a 6V92TA DDEC motor.  Here is a thread about I have going over on Frybrid.  If it's unacceptable to link to other forums I apologize in advance.  http://www.frybrid.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12807
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cody
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2008, 06:51:23 AM »

MCI and Prevos are great buses but don't rule out eagles entirely, the torslastic suspension is well worth taking a look at, we've had ours for 6 years now and the bus has performed flawlessly with the minor exceptin of a gasket that was a whopping 10 bucks to buy.
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grantgoold
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 07:56:36 AM »

60 to 70 Gs!  Buy one already done and make some of us really jealous! Grin

I know of several high quality conversions that are selling for that kind of money. Why wait several months or years Angry Angry in order to enjoy the benefits of a converted bus unless you really have no social life and your "non-nutty" friends have all abandon you!

60 to 70 grand, can I be your new friend?

Welcome


Grant
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
Way in Over My Head!
Citrus Heights, California
PDXGREENBUS
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 08:04:49 AM »

60 to 70 Gs!  Buy one already done and make some of us really jealous! Grin

I know of several high quality conversions that are selling for that kind of money. Why wait several months or years Angry Angry in order to enjoy the benefits of a converted bus unless you really have no social life and your "non-nutty" friends have all abandon you!

60 to 70 grand, can I be your new friend?

Welcome


Grant

lol, thanks for the welcome.  I would love it if you have time to post a few links to some of the things that you have seen for sale.  I have been all over the web looking and have yet to find what I would consider a really strong deal.  It would be great to go ahead and get my bus so that I can get the veggie conversion done and hit the road.
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kd5kfl
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 08:05:24 AM »

Quote
The only real use for the company would be having my company graphics on it.  I am not sure what that would do to the RV status vs bus status.


What matters is what Officer Friendly thinks, standing beside the bus, ticket book in hand. If what you think and what he thinks does not coincide, he will cite you and let you, the judge and a lawyer work it out.

My advice: Put the graphics on the bus, but not advertising graphics. Put "Graphics by _____" with no indication that you are _____

I wouldn't sell Tupperware out of an RV for just this reason. ( I wouldn't sell Tupperware anywhere else either, but I had to make my point )

Quote
I would love it if you have time to post a few links to some of the things that you have seen for sale.  I have been all over the web looking and have yet to find what I would consider a really strong deal.


Use my Backflip:

http://www.backflip.com/members/kd5kfl/10959942/sort=0/
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 08:11:40 AM by kd5kfl » Logged
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