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Author Topic: 1960 GMC 4104 I am looking with an older 1980's restoration from Oregon  (Read 15807 times)
irstaxhelp
1960 GMC 4104
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1960 GMC 4104


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« on: February 25, 2009, 08:54:14 AM »

What should I be looking for and what should I pay.  It has no history but the engine compartment looks clean.  Starts right up with no funny noises.  No generator.  Solid wood cabinets inside.  4 speed tranny.  New tires.  No gas guage?


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« Last Edit: August 25, 2009, 09:42:45 PM by irstaxhelp » Logged

Ednj
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 10:02:29 AM »

Thatís some tuff questions.
Welcome to the board.
May be you could look at it in a different way like,
Tires =$2000.00
Inverter=$2000.00
Paint $2000.00
Interior $2000.00
Bus=$2000.00
ECT.
 Huh  Huh  Huh
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MCI-9
Sussex county, Delaware.
See my picture's at= http://groups.yahoo.com/group/busshellconverters/
That's Not Oil Dripping under my Bus, It's Sweat from all that Horsepower.
----- This space for rent. -----
Tenor
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 11:01:27 AM »

Things to look for:

Dry rot on: hoses, tires, air bags, radius bushings, window gaskets

Dents.  Skins are getting harder to come by for a 50 year old bus. 

Cracks in the bulkhead forward of the engine.

Any wierdness done to the engine cradle.

Wiring issues - this will have cloth wrapped wiring.  If it has been wet for years, expect to do some work.

Good luck!

Glenn
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Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
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1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
8v71
4 speed Spicer
BigDougInOregon
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 11:06:36 AM »

And make darn sure it has the original cooling system on it.  I learned this one the hard way.  If MacGyver owned the bus, steer clear. 

Where is the bus in Oregon?

FWIW

Doug
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johns4104s
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 11:40:41 AM »

I have a 1960 04 great coach

Tires =$2000.00
Inverter=$2000.00
Paint $2000.00
Interior $2000.00
Bus=$2000.00
Gen=$2000.00

John
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 11:57:07 AM »

Forgot to add - ask about how it is insulated!  I'm pretty sure with that old of a conversion it won't be adequate for real hot days.  Does it have air conditioners?  Do they work?  Propane system?  Removable tanks or mounted to the chassis.  Some places won't fill the mounted ones.

Glenn
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Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
www.threemenandatenor.com
1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
8v71
4 speed Spicer
Sammy
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009, 12:19:21 PM »

I recommend having it checked out by a bus mechanic before you buy it.
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Tom Y
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 01:05:52 PM »

Taxhelp, $5,000 and up. Look on Ebay, Craigslist, RV Trader, and also BNO classified. Look at prices and pics. You may have found one worth $50,000, but not likely. If you can put pics on here some will help find the pitfalls. Goodluck.  Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
gmpd4104
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2009, 04:44:48 PM »

not near enough info to give you any kind of idea.  might be a scrap value unit or 50k as stated.

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gus
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 07:26:32 PM »

Drive it, see if the engine runs well. Oil press at least 50psi, cooling temp at least 180*. If it runs cold see if the original shutters in front of the radiator still work. You will be very lucky if they do. After a good hard drive check for oil thrown on the rear engine cover. Any oil probably means leaking front or rear engine main seals.

Make sure it has the original power boost steering or a new integrated power steering system. You don't want to have just manual steering.

See if it shifts reasonably well. If not the rod ends and pins are probably worn out. Same for the clutch. This is one of the hardest machines to shift smoothly I have ever driven but you feel really good when you do!!

Check that you can shift from neutral to any gear with the engine running without grinding gears. Don't laugh, this is very common.

See if the rear wet air tank is still connected. Many of them aren't because they have rusted through. The easy way to find out is ask the owner to drain the tank for you. If no air comes out the tank has been bypassed. Don't ask me how I know this!!

Signs of exhaust leaking into the rear of the bus, these mufflers are designed to rust out at the top out of sight. They start very nice fires in the bedroom!

I wouldn't pay more than $15 - 25K for any 4104 without an AT or in VERY exceptional condition. They are great and I love mine but that is all they are worth.

They have the real advantage of being constructed almost entirely of Al so you don't have the dissimilar metal corrosion problems of a lot of others.

The air suspension system is a real pain in the rear but nice riding when in good condition. Make sure it inflates and levels the bus within 10 - 15min when the air tanks are completely empty. Make sure it holds air pressure at least an hour or two. Anything over that is a bonus!!

Air spring parking brakes are much preferred, the old manual brake isn't much good.

The post about insulation is good advice. The 4104 ceiling insulation isn't much and the normal rooftop AC will not do the job. It takes a minimum of two and they both should be as near the driver as possible. Believe me on this!! The top should be painted no other color than white.

The wiring will be a mess if original and probably nothing like the original wiring diagrams because it will have been altered so many times.

Make sure the rear escape door is clear and works. You don't want to get caught in the rear by a fire. The original side windows swing out from the top for emergency escape but too many of them have been blocked by conversion. Check them out.

See if the original bus heating system works, it is great if it does but not critical if another system has been installed. Make sure the front W/S defroster works. This thing ices up like crazy without it. The wipers need to work well too, parts for the wiper control valves are not available and parts for the motors are not easy to find.

Check for cracks in the corners at front and rear W/S, if they are cracked the body is probably sagging and cracked somewhere else.

That is probably enough to keep you busy for a while!!
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 05:54:42 AM »

Post some pics here so we can see what you are looking at.  I saw a beautiful '04 the other day listed on an estate sale only $2000 with all the house systems etc intact and the bottom half was still good looking unpainted undented aluminum.  Very nice bus for the price.
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irstaxhelp
1960 GMC 4104
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1960 GMC 4104


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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 04:32:48 PM »

I have to admit I have this fixation for an old bus.  I love the way the look and sound.  In this economy though it's scary to by buying a money pit.  I am so grateful for the advice.  I have read each one and will apply them.  

I just saw one on ebay that might be a good find.  http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170305416244&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT&viewitem=

What do you say?  Ebay item number Item number: 170305416244

Not a gmc but???

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« Last Edit: August 25, 2009, 09:43:05 PM by irstaxhelp » Logged

dvrasor
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2009, 07:15:15 PM »

 If you are going to buy a GMC bus I think one
 of THE MOST IMPORTANT issues is the condition
 of the differential! It took the combined parts of
 three rear ends to accumulate enough good
 hard parts to rebuild a good unit. Bearings alone
 are in the 600.00 range.
 You will also need to build fixtures to hold components
 for proper torqueing and assembly if you do it yourself.
 I did mine according to the book and it was no small job.

 Dave Rasor 4104-2375
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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 10:30:45 AM »

This board has recently seen a case of someone leaping before they looked.  Personally I believe a 4104 is a very good choice, they are get decent milage and are easy to work on.  They can also be bought for very little $.  But it really doesnt' matter what you get you need to do research in advance....MCIs have their problems, Eagles have their problems, all the rest as well (can't remember what BK spent on the rear end for the Setra just remember I could have bought a running 4104 for that much$).  If you like the looks of a 4104 that's as good a reason as any.  Just be warned there are unforeseen expenses with any bus, that's why we're called busnuts, it doesn't make sense...but it makes sense...no it doesn't....maybe I'll drive 30 miles to my bus and crawl around in the snow and put in the new air tank.....maybe I won't...seems like a good idea, it's only -15.....at least there aren't any mosquitos....
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johns4104s
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2009, 05:39:24 AM »

With good deals I ended up with three 4104,s one 57 and two 1960,s. my first purchase was 25 years ago. All rear ends,engines,transmissions are in great shape. The 4104 is very easy to maintain, all the engine parts are easily assessable, ( except for the mufflers)
The 04 is a great bus,

John
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