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Author Topic: Help with the value of this bus....  (Read 3209 times)
NJT5047
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« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2008, 01:36:41 PM »

The bus is also a DDEC 1, 6V92TA limited to 270 HP @1800 RPM...unless someone has changed the EEPROM. 
The bus you are looking at isn't a NJT proper livery bus...it looks like it has a restroom.  If it does, it was used by one of the Port fleet charter companies.  NJT maintained most of the fleet coaches.
"Real" dailey use NJTs didn't have restrooms.   
The "Barney" (purple) engines are NJT inhouse rebuilds. 
The speedo mileage is probably engine mileage.  It's said that when NJT changed engines out, they changed out the powertrain (engine and trans).  Then they installed a speedo with zero miles. (So I hear  Wink)  Most '87 9s seem to have about those miles showing.  Total chassis miles is probably in the 700-800K total.  NJT didn't use the 9s at night, and often only during peak hours.
It has a 50A Vanner...that's a nice item. 
The bus is probably in better condition than most used buses...but it'll have issues.  You'll find some rust.  The bifolds have to be replaced, may still have air starter (it did originally), and the butt-ugly front caps.  Still, standard MC8/9 sedan doors fit the door opening.   R&M makes 102 style caps for 9s. 
And tires. They were aged when NJT sold the coach.  Probably all with '90s dates...even though they may look good.   
Any part you need for an MC9 is cheap (relatively) and available. 
Most 87 NJTs have good wiring. 
NJTs were rather well maintained.  I'd bet that the brakes are like new, good wheel bearings, good brake chambers and hoses.  Most 87 NJTs have new fuel tanks, and fuel primer pumps.
It'll have a kneel feature too...I'd leave that alone.  You may find that it kneels and can't get back up.   Kneeling feature should be removed, or disabled. 
As with all coaches, have someone check the engine and drive the coach to verify that it functions as expected.     
While it's a buyer's market, nice straight buses that have been pretty well maintained are not all that common.  Consider what repairs cost when compared to other buses. 
I'd guess that anything less than $10K would be good.  $5K would be a steal.  probably.
If you live in an area that requires chassis inspections, watch out for air leaks.  It may leak down pretty quickly.  This can be repaired, but it's tedious.  Not expensive if you can do the work. 
The bus won't have a fuel guage.  It holds 140 gallons of fuel, but only 125 gallons is useable.  Don't operate the bus unless you have 1/4 tank of fuel.  And don't park it with the street-side downhill.   DDECs are a PITA to prime...even with a primer. 
It you buy the bus, try to register it as a motorhome.  Even if this requires losing all the seats before you take possesion.  The seats can be removed easily.  The parcel racks aren't quite so much fun.  They are heavy.
The engine likely no longer has a block heater, so if you plan to start it in cold weather, take some starter fluid.  There's a small cap on the turbo inlet for that purpose. 
Make sure that the surge tank has coolant indicated in the window.  If not, the engine may start and shut down.  It won't run with low coolant.
If the bus still has the air starter, take a big compressor with you too.  If the starter has been changed to electric, two good 8ds will likely fire it right up.  Even with the old diesel fuel. 
Using a flashlight you will be able to see the condition of fuel and the bottom of the fuel tank thru the filler. 
I've got an 87 NJT and it's proven to be a good choice.  Bought it in Dec 01. Paid $12K.
BTW, the performance will be on the slow side.  This is easily upped by changing the EEPROM in the DDEC ECM.  This is the only DDEC 1 advantage that I know of.  Luke was selling the EEPROMs. 
JR

« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 01:55:27 PM by NJT5047 » Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

Ayn Rand
turbobrat930
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2008, 02:31:30 PM »

JR, Thanks for your post. I really dont know where the bus came from originally. I just remember hearing about the purple engine and that being synonomus with NJ Transit and their rebuilds. I do know that the bus was purchased from the owner that has it now from ABC bus company in FL. It would be nice to know some history on it... It does have a restroom in the right rear corner of the bus.

I would probably go with the caps from Rm in the 102 style. As far as tires go.... I will use the ones that are on there while I do the conversion, work, moving it around, etc. And then when the bus is road worthy, I would buy a new set of tires, to know where I am at safety wise.

The kneel feature I would like to get rid of...totally rip it out of there if I can ( I have no idea what is involved with that process...yet!!)

As far as registering the bus as a motorhome... I would title it in my name, but GA law requires you to have insurance on a vehicle with current tags, so I would probably not tag it until it was ready to be on the road. Since I live in the middel of RedNeck GA...LOL, There should not be a problem registering it as a motorhome.

I thought that ALL diesels were a PITA to prime...Huh

And what is this 50A Vanner that you speak of? Some sort of converter?

As far a chipping the DDEC ECm, what kind of performance advantage will I see? Can I swap out the injectors for bigger ones as well? How about a bigger turbo, or one that is more suited for performance? Or, am I just wasting my time? Would this bus see 70 MPH on the highway? Or is that pushing it? I would possibly need to get to the races...not in a hurry, but not a sight seeing trip either. And then when the family and I go camping or on a road trip, 60 MPH will do just fine....

Brad
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NJT5047
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2008, 06:12:31 PM »

Brad, living in Ga is good for bus-building!   Some fewer rules.   Wink
Regarding the purple engines...an NJT mechanic told me that the in-house rebuilds (purple engines) came about after a string of Reliabuilt (Silver engines) failures.   
As an aside, NJT also used silver colored DD Reliabuilts and blue colored ceramic engines.
The bus was used and serviced by Port a Authority leasee.   ABC probably bought the bus directly from NJT as one of a lot of MC9s retired from service.   Most of the 87s were still in service in 2000.  Almost all were retired by the end of 2001.
R&M caps look good on MC9s.   If you buy the bus and install caps, if at all possible, get the rear cap under the roof tin.  Really makes a nice looking mod.
The 'Vanner' is a battery equalizer.  It will allow you to tap a right good bit of 12V from the rear battery, yet the load will be equalized across both batteries.  This unit was installed by NJT to power the 12V page and radio system.   Always disconnect the ground lead first when removing battery leads with an equalizer in the circuit.  Another thing about MC9s is keep up with what wiring goes on each battery post.   Wallet shrinking events will may occur if leads are attached to the wrong posts. 
An 87 NJT MC9 has a top speed limited to about 63 MPH.  It is road speed limited...which is sorta good because you have cruise control enabled. 
The bus is both road speed limited and RPM limited.  If the speed goes over the limit, the throttle is electronically disconnected.   That makes the bus feel slow because you cannot 'spool' up for hills. 
If you change the EEPROM, you gain about 30 to 40 HP, increase your redline to 2100 RPM, and the road limit will be removed.  The new top speed will be about 72 MPH @ 2100 RPM.    The ability to climb hills will be remarkably improved...due to the ability to turn up the turbo before you need the power.   
No 6V92TA is going to bust hills.  But you'll be able to pretty much maintain 65 on most interstates...as long as you don't forget to throttle up before you get to the hill.  This is a natural habit for truck drivers, but not so much for car drivers.   It comes to you quickly... Smiley
NJTs have transmission retarders that are controlled by a dash switch.  Retarders are great.  Almost as good as Jakes.  It normally stays 'on'...if you turn it off, a small light located on the RH front just above the RH front turn signal will light up (if it still works).  This feature was for NJT supervisors to tell who turned off the retarders. 
The only time the retarder should be turned off is when driving in slick conditions.   Could cause the drive axle wheels to come unglued.   
The retarder is monitored by the ATEC ECM so heating up to the point of damage is unlikely...
Brad, are you going to Arcadia?  Good place to see a ton of nice coaches.  You may already have some ideas of what you want, but you'll see things you want to avoid and constructs that you'll definitely want to emulate. 
We are not going to make Arcadia this year...bummer.  Terri lost a kidney two weeks ago (major bummer) and while she's up and about like a bandit, I'm not comfortable taking her on any long trips yet.
There will be a bus rally in Cleveland, SC, in the middle of April that we will attend.  This is just North of Atlanta, Ga.   Not exactly sure where "Redneck" Ga is located, but maybe it ain't too far away. 
Do a search for Palmetto Cove Campground you'll find CG info. 
You're right about all diesels being a PITA to prime...but, DDECs can be a real PITA to prime as you cannot open the injectors to purge air from them. They'll purge, but you better have a good primer and batteries.
The bus you're looking at probably still has a primer pump just inside the fuel filler door at the upper left area.  The ball valve above the filler is used to prevent pumping back into the tank. 
Well, this is more info than you may want, but...hope it's useful!
JR

     
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

Ayn Rand
Charles in SC
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2008, 06:35:16 PM »

Hello and welcome to the busnut world. I see you are going crazy very nicely like the rest of us. With that said I wanted to mention a few things that I picked up from this thread. First off let me say I have a GMC not an MCI but I am not biased and this post is just food for your thought.
My bus is governed to 72 mph and I wish it was a lot faster sometimes. It seems fine to cruise along at 60-65 here in cyber space but go out on the interstate and try it while slowing down to about 55 on the hills. I am in the upstate of South Carolina, I do not know what part of Ga you are in but I will assume you would have to hit I-95 or I-75 somewhere on your way to Daytona. I have been both ways and feel like I am backing up going 70.
The other thing I wanted to say is that I think you should go to the DMV and ask them what you will have to do to change your title to motorhome status. This is something you need to learn about before you buy. In some states it is easier said than done.
I am not trying to discourage you, only trying to make sure things go smoothly. I converted my bus and love it, I hope you do too!
On my last trip I got 8.5 mpg pulling a 5000 lb trailer. I stayed 4 nights and it was cheaper than renting a clean motel.
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2008, 06:41:20 PM »

JR, I am sorry to hear about Terri... Seems like cancer, organ failures and other things happen to the best of people.. but A drug pusher can get shot 5 times by a .45 cal gun, and live to push drugs another day ( I have seen it happen)... Just another question I have for the Man, when I see Him...

Wife and I will keep your family in our prayers.
As far as too much information...heck NO!!!  This is what I am looking for.. you and others post and tell me as much as you want. I am soaking it all up and hopefully if I do get this bus...or another one, I will have enough info soaked up to make an informed, educated decision.

What do one of the EEPROM chips run nowadays? I will probably not be able to make it down to Arcadia this year. We are also expecting our first child (son), in the first week of April. I will be taking a whole month off of work after our son is born. I would have the ability to come to the Cleveland, SC bus rally. I will look for all of you guys there. ( I am an hour South of Atlanta, GA)

I have a few newbee questions for ya....

1. This bus has dead batteries. Is there a way to jump it off using a car? Or is there no way to isolate the 24v system in order to do that?

2. Raising the roof.... Do you really need to? I am 5'8, wife is 5'10... Other than adding insulation (which I probably will do) Does the -9 offer good head room when converted without the raised roof?

If I do buy this particular bus.. I will probably be asking you tons of questions. I have been reading Gumpy's site all night tonight.

I have been bitten by the busbug.. I cant even fall asleep without dreaming about doing the conversion...and using the finished product. To me, the conversion is half the fun!!!
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« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2008, 06:48:59 PM »

Hello and welcome to the busnut world. I see you are going crazy very nicely like the rest of us. With that said I wanted to mention a few things that I picked up from this thread. First off let me say I have a GMC not an MCI but I am not biased and this post is just food for your thought.
My bus is governed to 72 mph and I wish it was a lot faster sometimes. It seems fine to cruise along at 60-65 here in cyber space but go out on the interstate and try it while slowing down to about 55 on the hills. I am in the upstate of South Carolina, I do not know what part of Ga you are in but I will assume you would have to hit I-95 or I-75 somewhere on your way to Daytona. I have been both ways and feel like I am backing up going 70.
The other thing I wanted to say is that I think you should go to the DMV and ask them what you will have to do to change your title to motorhome status. This is something you need to learn about before you buy. In some states it is easier said than done.
I am not trying to discourage you, only trying to make sure things go smoothly. I converted my bus and love it, I hope you do too!
On my last trip I got 8.5 mpg pulling a 5000 lb trailer. I stayed 4 nights and it was cheaper than renting a clean motel.

Charles, thanks for the hearty welcome!  Yes, I do realize that on both 75 and and I-95, going 70 is almost like creating a traffic hazzard as most of the traffic is going 80 to 90MPH. But, I understand that this is not my Porsche either. I am not getting into this bus hobby, lifestyle, or whatever it is.. to go fast. ( I can not believe I just said that!! Am I growing up?? Holy Cow, I just sounded like my dad in that last statement!!HAHA)

My Goal would be to have a bus that will do 70MPH all day if need be, but most of the time, I would probably keep it at 65MPH or so. Would rather see the sights, and spend time with the people I love while driving. Plus, It will keep my roadrage in check!!!

As far as the DMV goes, I am in Law Enforcement, so I know what the legalilty of getting it plated as a motorhome. Should be no problem..but thanks for the heads up... You made a good point. Before I do buy a bus, I will check just to make sure....

and 8.5 MPG while pulling a trailer is not that bad at all.... especially since the majority of our busses are not sporting the lasted and best diesel fuel efficent engines...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 06:52:45 PM by turbobrat930 » Logged
John316
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2008, 05:20:01 AM »

Turbo,

Our DL3, with a Detroit and a S60 and a Allison B500, will do 80 easy. Faster if necessary. So that's were your money comes from...Law enforcement...LOL Grin Grin Grin (JK of course)

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
NJT5047
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2008, 07:03:34 AM »

What do one of the EEPROM chips run nowadays? I will probably not be able to make it down to Arcadia this year. We are also expecting our first child (son), in the first week of April. I will be taking a whole month off of work after our son is born. I would have the ability to come to the Cleveland, SC bus rally. I will look for all of you guys there. ( I am an hour South of Atlanta, GA)

I have a few newbee questions for ya....

1. This bus has dead batteries. Is there a way to jump it off using a car? Or is there no way to isolate the 24v system in order to do that?

2. Raising the roof.... Do you really need to? I am 5'8, wife is 5'10... Other than adding insulation (which I probably will do) Does the -9 offer good head room when converted without the raised roof?

If I do buy this particular bus.. I will probably be asking you tons of questions. I have been reading Gumpy's site all night tonight.

I have been bitten by the busbug.. I cant even fall asleep without dreaming about doing the conversion...and using the finished product. To me, the conversion is half the fun!!!

Thanks for the kind words Brad.  No cancer or life threatening issues.  She's doing great!     

EEPROMs were under $200...not sure of the exact 'today' price.  They are cheap for what you get.

Raising the roof for your height isn't necessary...but it does make for a nice conversion.  A roof-raise adds considerably to the conversion process.   The flat interior ceiling that a roof raise gives you makes for much easier interior build-out. 
You'll be able to function comfortably in a non raised coach.  9s have adequate headroom for most folk under 6'.   
Another thingy with roof raise is you'll get into height issues if using rooftop ACs.  Basements work great, but are far more intensive to install.  Unless you're in the HVAC business...?
If you wish to use the bus in this lifetime, consider leaving and converting the 9 as is.  If you want more interior height, pass on the 9 and find a 102C3 or D3.   A C3 will give you both 102" width, and additional interior height.  Albeit, at some extra cost up front.

Assuming that the coach has an electric starter, you won't be able to start with jumpers.   You'll need two group 31 batteries at a minimum.  Preferably installed in the bus. 
You may find that the batteries will charge up enough to crank the bus.  You can charge them with a 12V charger by clamping onto each separate battery terminal.  If you question what I'm saying here get some help. 
If anyone has a truck or bus..or boat running  8ds, borrow them.   Farm equipment uses Gp 31 batteries.  On a warm day, two grp 24 car batteries might start the bus.  If it doesn't light right up, 24s will be dead in seconds.
Resist the urge to remove fuel filters and such until you've started the bus on ether.  Removing the fuel filters will assure issues.  Get it running, then make a determination about how well it runs.  Opening any part of the fuel system will make trouble.  The engine should start even with the old fuel. 
Obviously it wouldn't hurt to add some fresh fuel.

Gumpy (Craig S.) has a great web site.   But there are a couple of differences between Gump's 9 and an '87 MC9.  The air system and the suspension are the major differences.  An 87 9 has newer single front airbags, and simple two-bolt rear air bags.  Much easier to replace than the older "air-beam"
suspension. 

Regarding max speed.  With a 3:73 rear drive, 1/1 transmission, and 2100 RPM max, about 72 or so is it.  If you want to go faster than about 70, the 9 isn't what you want.   You cannot find an EEPROM that will allow cranking above 2100. As John sez, an S60 will.   So would an 8V92TA with a 3:33 axle.  At some additional operating costs!  Roll Eyes 

If you enjoy the 'conversion process,'  you'll love converting buses!  I've been converting since 2001...and still not finished....although, totally useable!  Wink

Best, JR


 

 


« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 07:11:18 AM by NJT5047 » Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

Ayn Rand
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