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Author Topic: Cost of Recap and smooth side?  (Read 3677 times)
pickpaul
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« on: January 10, 2009, 04:00:48 PM »

Hi,

I really like the MCI 8/9's that have been smooth sided with the Renaissance caps. So that I can compare apples to apples when I am looking at ones without, what would the approximate cost be for installing the front and back caps and smooth siding? From the R&M website, it looks like about $4k in parts. I understand a paint job will be additional too, any idea on a basic gloss black paint job?

I figure with the economy the way it is I could find someone who knows what they are doing to do it at a reasonable cost. This way I can look at a number of buses that meet my needs and then do this as a separate job later as funds allow. To confirm, this isn't the type of work I'd be happy doing myself without working with someone who has done it before being paid to help.

Do you think giving access to my beer kegerator in the bus could reduce the hourly rate??? or would I just end up with a wonky installation Cheesy Anyone like homemade fresh organic unpasteurized stout? I'm an experienced brewer that makes my own and have been told it's close to the taste of Irish Guinness!!! As soon as I get my bus and make the first meetup, I'll happily share my beer for all the help you bus nuts have already given me, just me sure to park up for the night and don't think about driving  Grin

Cheers, Paul.

P.S. I normally have a bottle of Jameson's on hand too.
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John316
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2009, 08:05:34 PM »

The installation of the new front end (headlights and upgraded look) is very difficult. It takes quite a while, so don't plan on it being a Saturday morning job... Grin Wink Grin Sorry I can't say how much it would take.

HTH

God bless,

John
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 08:32:08 PM »

You are heading in the right direction, do your own smooth siding and front/rear facelift.

I am always suspicious of why a coach's skins, and especially face, have been removed, money having been spent, by an enterprise trying to make a profit... there was something wrong with the stock coach, rotten, smashed up, or the owners didn't have a clue what really sells their business.

Either way, the job may be hiding a rotten structure, the job may have been done on the cheap, or otherwise, there's likely to be trouble a short way down the road. Read about de-laminating siding on the store bought RV's?

Starting with a coach of known condition, keep the workers sober until after the day's efforts are done, and you will be pleased with the results!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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pickpaul
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 09:32:53 PM »

I am always suspicious of why a coach's skins, and especially face, have been removed, money having been spent, by an enterprise trying to make a profit...

Good point but I assumed the main motivation is that customers want to be transported in modern buses and that they are built so well that their looks become dated before the vehicle has finished its useful life.
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buswarrior
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 09:49:55 PM »

Customers (those who make the real money, not the individuals in the chairs) quickly caught on a decade ago about bus companies dressing up a 96 inch wide coach to make it look like a wide body coach.

Nobody gets fooled twice. The difference in a seated coach between a 96 and a 102 is noticeable at the hips and shoulders, and nobody wants to go back.

Only the very BOTTOM of the market played these games, and they did it at a price point that denied quality workmanship.

Buyer beware.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 07:44:52 AM »

Hi Paul,

I did fiberglass fenders and caps but, I chose to reskin the sides with .080 aluminum because I think it's a much

smoother finish.

I wouldn't go with Black as youir finish because it's HOT in the summertime. My bus was in black primer for a year

before the final paint. On a 85 deg day my black surface was 180 degs and a white car next to me was 112 degs. Big Difference..

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 07:55:19 AM »

Hi Paul....Don't know if you have seen these but here are some prices taken from one of the converters sites

Roof Raise w/ new front & rear cap   $16,000.00
One piece window blank out sides  $4,500.00
Rebuilt  6V92 Detroit diesel motor   $12,000.00
Interior insulation   $1,500.00
Interior plywood ,floor, walls, ceiling    $3,000.00
RV slider windows  $2,800.00
 
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pickpaul
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 08:30:34 AM »

Roof Raise w/ new front & rear cap   $16,000.00

Unfortunately that figure doesn't help me because I'll be buying a finished conversion with an interior I am happy with so whether it has a raised roof or not it will be staying that way, this would just be for external aesthetics. I understand that the roof raise is the most expensive part of that number.
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pickpaul
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 05:09:56 PM »

I just found a sweet MCI-8 with a great interior so I'm revisiting this issue. Any leads on anyone on the East Coast who installs R&M Caps and smooth sides and a rough idea on labor cost?

Cheers, Paul.
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 05:31:01 PM »

Call Virginia Custom Coach, Christiansburg, VA

Mike Fitch

540-381-0609
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 08:30:49 PM »

I have a friend that wants to sell his MC-8 with a complete smooth side kit all the way around.  It's a very nice conversion and the fiberglass was done by Richard at R&M, who originally owned the bus.  Nice one color paint and Heil windows. It has a nearly new 8V92TA and this is no BS, I was there when it was done. Polished alum wheels all around. Knowing how it was used, I would guess the engine has only accrued around 10,000 miles.  Maybe less.  He would want waaaaaay less than the cost of the conversion parts.  I can put you together with him if interested.  It's currently in Yuma.
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pickpaul
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2011, 09:01:30 PM »

Yes please, I'd love his contact info.
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JohnEd
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2011, 10:12:15 PM »

Picpaul,

Listen to Nick(the HVAC expert) as he deals with AC problems for a living.  Reread his numbers for skin temps in the sun.....should scare you right into a white exterior.  With poor insulation and single pane windows I don't think you could stand to stay in a bus in 85 degrees direct sun if you had only three roof top AC units and it had a black exterior.  Insulation is a critical issue unless you will never stay in high heat zones and double pane windows are a must for hot and cold weather.

HTH,

John
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 05:07:57 AM »

Paul,

I definitely respect all of the suggestions about the black paint, and the same was given to me before we painted our bus last spring. We still chose to do it our way, painted almost black (almendine black metallic) with white roof (only about 5' strip in middle so you can't see it from the ground). It was red before, and could not tell the difference with the darker paint with 3 roof airs. Last summer was a hot one for sure, but I could keep the interior of the coach below 70 if I wanted it that cold. All single pane windows as well.

The real draw back for me on the darker paint, is how well it shows the dirt! I love the color, but hate washing the bus all the time.

We have R&M front and back caps as well as the fenders. Love the caps, but the fenders suck when you need to remove a wheel.

If NC is not too far for you, check with Central Carolina Body Works, Sophia,NC (336) 861-4487. They did my caps and such when my bus was converted in 2000 for the PO. All they do is bus body work and paint.

Brandon
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 08:01:46 AM »

Now, I thought that the exterior stainless and aluminium skin of a MC8 or MC9 was structural.  That it formed the monocoque skin and was only stiffened by the interior framing.  That the skin in fact formed the significant structural frame of the bus?

Not so?  you can take the stainless and heavy aluminium exterior structure off and replace it with glued on fiberglass?

Brian
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pickpaul
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2011, 08:03:48 AM »

Interesting points on the paintjob. I like the white roof solution but I have another. I could live with the idea of silver paint with the solid black stripe that runs the length of the windows area that drops down at the front like the stock Renaissances have. I live in DC and have some cool plans for urban boondocking so blending in with all the tourist busses is important :-) Cheers, Paul.
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2011, 08:59:39 AM »

Now, I thought that the exterior stainless and aluminium skin of a MC8 or MC9 was structural.  That it formed the monocoque skin and was only stiffened by the interior framing.  That the skin in fact formed the significant structural frame of the bus?

Not so?  you can take the stainless and heavy aluminium exterior structure off and replace it with glued on fiberglass?

Brian

Brian the stainless is on the lower portion where the baggage compartment doors are right?
Doors open & close right? So while the upper skin is structural, I see no way that the "stainless" on the lower part could or would be.

Now keep in mind I have absolutely NO EDUCATION in ENGINEERING, & I'm not listed in any registries (except maybe the photos on the wall @ the post office) and really can't back up my opinion. But I feel safe in saying there is no way that the lower stainless is "structural"!
FWIW JMHO ! Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2011, 10:02:31 AM »

Quote
Now, I thought that the exterior stainless and aluminium skin of a MC8 or MC9 was structural.  That it formed the monocoque skin and was only stiffened by the interior framing.  That the skin in fact formed the significant structural frame of the bus?

Not so?  you can take the stainless and heavy aluminium exterior structure off and replace it with glued on fiberglass?

The lower stainless areas are simply the baggage compartment doors and serve no structural integrety. The aluminum "Sign Board" area above the baggage doors and below the windows do serve as a major stuctural member. Many will also contend the interior aluminum panels also serve as structural members.

When making smooth sides out of an MCI8/9, the aluminum panels are left in place and skinned over with a very large one piece fiberglass panel held in place with an adhesive. R&M makes and sells these panels. If I remember correctly when talking to R&M, they have a video that goes through the process of installing the smooth sides.  Kenny
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2011, 10:56:39 AM »

BK, the monocoque structures that I work with most, which would be race cars, have big holes in them...  Mostly, where we insert the driver...    Grin

Brian
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2011, 11:36:53 AM »

Do you think giving access to my beer kegerator in the bus could reduce the hourly rate??? or would I just end up with a wonky installation Cheesy Cheers, Paul.

Yes and as the night went on you would see the change in the siding as it progressed along the side..
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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2011, 04:10:17 PM »

BK, the monocoque structures that I work with most, which would be race cars, have big holes in them...  Mostly, where we insert the driver...    Grin

Brian

Brian my point asactly! Replacing the stainless over them holes ain't gonna make bit of difference.

And yes many many moons ago I have been through some of them holes. But it's been many a yr since I scared even the most seasoned drivers when they'd see me at the gate heading out onto the track for the figure 8 race of the night. (most prayed that I broke or crashed during "hot laps", qualifying, heat races or the feature before the figure 8.)
But on those nights I managed to last through to the night long enough to start the "8" I know many a driver thought about returning to the pit, loading up, just watching the "show", as they knew it was going to be "exciting" w/me on the track and most of them didn't want to be in the middle of my excitement!
Never won a figure 8, but sure had fun trying. And after about a yr or so I actually did finish a couple.

I did win some heat races, and several features, but was just too young, crazy and wild to win a figure 8. (I'm sure I could win one now that I'm older and have a little sense!)
Grin  BK  Grin
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2011, 04:47:24 PM »

What Huh   Have little sense?  I don't get it Roll Eyes  I quit because I realized that I would never acquire, develop or git the sense required to survive my "little sense" Grin

John the unbreakable
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2011, 05:00:11 PM »

Pickpaul, here is what I know about the bus:
 
It was converted by a good friend of mine, early 2000's.  He bought it from Richard at R&M, who used it to create his first MC-8/9 smooth side kits.  The roof was raised, don't see many of these with a raised roof.  It has the full, complete fiberglass kit; front cap, rear 102 type cap, bumpers, sides, and cafe doors.  My friend put a new 8V92 natural in it but wanted a little more power, so had it removed and rebuilt into an 8V92TA. I was with him when this was done, so can verify it, along with the documentation.  About 10,000 mi, maybe a little less on this rebuild. Has Jakes. HT740 auto.  The air bellows are plated and it has a cab controlled air leveling system.  It has large nice RV sliding windows made by Hiel (competitor to Peninsula).  Diesel gen, don't know what size but I think 8KW.  I believe it has a 2500W inverter.  3 roof airs and satillite and GPS. 11X24.5 (fronts are brand new) Michelins on polished Alcoas.  I think it has a Webasto, not sure, and a Norcold refridge, so has propane.  Might be a propane cooktop also.  It is one solid color, off white kind of creamy ivory.  No graphics of any kind. No damage. Looks very good.

My friend built it to travel a little, but right after he finished it had the oportunity to buy a house at a steal in Yuma so the bus sat ever since plugged in next to his place there.  About 6 months ago he sold it to another gentleman in Yuma.  He drove it to Vegas and back one time and decided buses were not for him, so he wants out of it.  I spoke with my friend a little while ago and he said the current owner was asking $49K.  If that interests you, call me at five four one, nine nine three, 2220.

Mark
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2011, 05:35:22 PM »

The skins on a MCI are part of the structure. I called MCI before converting mine. The 8" roof raise only cost me about 100 dollars more and an extra 8 hours of time than just doing new caps and skins. It is so worth it !!!!! Try to find someone to visit that has a MCI with a roof raise and you will not go with out. The extra height is not just for headroom but to add 2-3 inches of insulation. I sprayed foamed my bus with 2-4 inches of insulation and now I can heat the whole bus with 1 electric kick toe heater and 2 under 30 degrees. 1 rooftop A/C keeps it cool in 100 degree summer.   
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