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Author Topic: 4104 or 4106  (Read 4104 times)
JohnEd
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« on: March 22, 2009, 03:05:50 PM »

I know that the 04 has a muffler that will burn the house down when it fails.  What else differentiates these two great old buses?  Why would I want one over the other?

John
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 04:03:20 PM »

John,

I fixed the muffler problem once and for all by getting mufflers without the top ridges. I had to do a bunch of welding but it was worth it.

The 4106 is a hot rod and the 4104 is a slug.
The 4104 is all Al and the 06 has steel attached to Al in the body.
It is much easier to install an AT in a 4106.

They are both great buses, the same size and except for the above are very much the same.

I shopped for both and bought the 4104 mostly because it was the first one I found that I really liked and was a reasonable price.
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LarryN 4106
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009, 04:11:39 PM »

to me, the 04 has the best looking "bus look" of any bus, and by the far the best looking bus "butt".
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johns4104s
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2009, 06:33:35 PM »

John Ed,

I have three 4104,s. All I can say is you will have to work on whatever you buy, the 04 is the easiest to work on.
I have never heard of a fire from the mufflers,Thant not saying it could never happen. the 06 is prone to bulk head cracks, all that power, its the sports car of buses,
John

PS You need to buy one of mine.
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buswarrior
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009, 07:38:42 PM »

FWIW, the old highway men around here, when given a choice in the snow, would choose the "round back" GM over the "flat back" GM.

"They held the road better" was the best I could be told, my father was one of them.

There are some things that might be better left unexplained and left at face value?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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johns4104
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2009, 09:56:43 PM »

To add a little to the above.
The 4106 had a rear anti-sway bar the 4104 did not.
The 4106 used the rolling lobe bellows for the air ride and the 4104 used a standard bellows and air beams.
Also I don't think you would want to add a auto trans to the 4104 and give up any more power.
The 4106 did not have the emergency door, which you gotta admit is pretty cool on the 4104.


John
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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2009, 07:32:04 AM »

When I get to worrying I sometimes wish I had an '06.  The chance of using more readily available engines and difs in the case of an engine failure is the main reason.  On the other hand I find the straight six config to be so easy to work on, when I look at the 8v71 stuffed into the rear of the later GMs it reminds me too much of working on late model GM vans (very tight). On a '04 everything is right there, there is enough power if you're not in a hurry...(I plan to add propane boost in the future to get up the big ones) and it's true the '04 butt is much nicer (the '06 looks a little like a transit...not that there's anything wrong with that).  Also the '04 gets better mileage. 
If I was doing it again it would come down to what was best $ and shape and nearest to me, but if I found 2 in the same shape for the same money right down the block, I would probably choose the '04.  I guess I'm in love Undecided
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johns4104
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2009, 08:33:31 AM »

Zubzub,
I found out from another bus nut 4104 owner that the rear axle is the same.
On the 4106 it is just turned upside down. now the center section however is at a different angle.
Now as far a fuel milage goes. the 4104 has a 1 to 1 angle gear on the trans where the 4106 uses a over dirve of .808 to 1 so if driven carefully the 4106 can get apprx the same milage.
as far a working on it I would much rather change a starter on the 4104 than the 4106!!!!


John just lovin my 04
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uncle ned
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2009, 12:21:23 PM »



The rear axle on a 04 and 06 is the same but the pumpkin or center section is different.  Takes a little work to put the 06 pumpkin in a 04 but it can be done.

That is what needs to be done to put a 6v92 or a 8v71 and v730 auto.

makes a nice bus

uncle ned
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2009, 04:29:42 PM »

Slowly I am beginning to understand.  From what I read above...if my dif fails in the middle of nowhere I can use a "06 pumpkin. 
Does that mean I could use the pumkins from other V drive gms....maybe even a transit dif (providing the ratio was right).
 Yada yada yada, guess I'll find out IF mine ever fails.....It's weird really with all my old rigs I have usually sourced a spare engine and a spare dif and yet I have never needed them. I  have had only one $$$/inconvenient engine failure years ago in a Renault 5  that car was quite a lousy POS, fun to drive though.
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gus
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2009, 07:15:03 PM »

Zub,

That 04 rear end is not likely to fail if you keep it oiled, those things last forever.

I can live with the lower speed, we  seldom travel more than 60 mph. My theory is we get to see more that way and I'm sticking to my story!!

I've never wished for an 06 but have thought about a 6V92 turbo with AT. The cost of such a mod has kept my enthusiasm down!
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PD4107-152
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RJ
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2009, 07:20:59 PM »



Slowly I am beginning to understand.  From what I read above...if my dif fails in the middle of nowhere I can use a "06 pumpkin. 
Does that mean I could use the pumkins from other V drive gms....maybe even a transit dif (providing the ratio was right).
 Yada yada yada, guess I'll find out IF mine ever fails.....It's weird really with all my old rigs I have usually sourced a spare engine and a spare dif and yet I have never needed them. I  have had only one $$$/inconvenient engine failure years ago in a Renault 5  that car was quite a lousy POS, fun to drive though.



Zub -

The answer to your thoughts above is yes, no, and maybe!

Yes in the sense that the stock 04 and 06 both use the same ring & pinion ratio (4.125:1).  There were a couple of additional ratios available as options, but those are very, very rare nowadays.  I'm not really up on transit ratios on the older stuff, I only know you used to be able to order a 4:10:1 R&P from Rockwell/Meritor to fit the RTS pumpkins.

The major difference between the two, however, is that the differential pumpkin is off-set to the driver's side in the 04, and to the curb side on the 06 (and later) model coaches.  This was done when they moved the transmission bevel gears from behind the gearbox in the 04 to between the clutch & gearbox on the 06 and later models.

As you already know, the other major difference is the 04 uses an air beam in conjunction with (originally) convoluted air bellows, while the 06 and later GMs use rolling lobe air springs.

Uncle Ned hit the nail right on the head with his comment that you must install an 06 or later rear axle if you want to upgrade (?) your 04 to an automatic.

OTOH, the 04 falls very, very neatly into that classic children's fable: The Tortoise & The Hare!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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johns4104s
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 06:33:23 PM »

25 + years ago I had friends that ran and maintained a fleet of 4104,4106,4905 and Eagles. They all without a dought re comended I look for a good 4104 to convert. There reason was that with help I could run and maintain the 4104. I have to say they were right. But I had an awful lot of help from Luke and fellow bus nuts.
The company I purchased my first 4104 from ran 04,s 06,MCI 8,s,9,s, Eagles and Van H. The owner Albert Hotard From New Orleans also said that the 4104 was the easiest to maintain.
I ended up with three 4104,s.

There are an awful lot of rough zero maintained 04,s and 06,s. Be sure you have someone look them over. Buy one converted ,then up grade it.

John


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Old4103
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2009, 06:45:36 PM »

See if you can find and buy a PD4103, get rid of half the problems that any air ride bus has.
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gus
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2009, 08:23:35 PM »

Glass is a problem with old buses.

I don't know about 4106 glass but the 4104 rear window is not available but the front windshield is.

The 4103 windshield is not available and probably not the rear either.

3751 and 4151 are the most beautiful and classy but I doubt that any body parts are available.
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PD4107-152
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HB of CJ
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2009, 09:36:32 PM »

Would you be happy going up that grade at 35 mph.....or 55 mph?  Also, for whatever it may be worth, I think that the Detroit 671N sounds very cool...but the 8V71N sounds absolutely bitchin'!!!   Your decision in the end.  Enjoy the pleasant process!  HB of CJ Smiley Smiley Smiley

4101 vs 4106 Post
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johns4104s
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2009, 06:15:39 AM »

Gus,

I know 4104 owners that have replaced the rear glass with plexi, looks great cost $150.00

John
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JohnEd
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« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2009, 11:04:49 AM »

My glass guy said he could cut laminated glass sheet stock to any window shape I wanted.  I saw them run a cutter down both sides and then tap it to spread the "crack" then just bend it off without a hitch.  They cut of corners and then grind it down to precise dimension.

Plexiglas you can do yourself with a jig saw.  Just tape off the surfaces where the jig saw will contact.  I think you would rather go with "poly carbonate" from my scant experience.  Maybe there is a superior material to that that is now available even.
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johns4104s
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2009, 12:14:35 PM »

Johned,

You are probable right with material.

John
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Len Silva
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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2009, 12:29:35 PM »

The glass guy can cut any of the flat glass in the side windows, but the back glass is curved.

If you have the back glass, in any condition, then you can use plexi (actually Lexan I think) by placing a piece on top of the back glass and heating it very carefully with a heat gun to curve it to the same shape.  Then cut it out and install.

The 4104 is three pieces but I think you might be able to do it with one piece but getting the shape right would be tricky.

You could also fabricate a frame for the opening and use flat glass or plastic.

None are simple answers.
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2009, 12:38:55 PM »

I believe the 04 has a three piece for a reason, the "straps" between the windows hold up the engine, so I dont think a one piece rear glass is do- able.>>>Dan
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Utahclaimjumper 
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gus
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« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2009, 07:19:47 PM »

I've given serious thought to plexiglass but this stuff moves so much when heated and cooled that it can't be tightly sealed. You have to give it plenty of space to move around in the gasket.

I've had quite a bit of experience with it on aircraft. It is easy to work with and bends easily with heat.

Lexan is "poly carbonate" but needs special treatment for UV and weather resistance. I've never used it but do know it is tough stuff. It is also not very scratch resistant.

I suppose that once I run out of glass I have no choice but to try something else.

There is no reason not to install a one piece rear window in a 4104. Those braces ("straps) dividing the two smaller end windows are behind the window and have no effect on mounting. I've become an "expert" on this installation after doing it two times in one year!!

I have no problem with topping grades at 35mph, I've done it in second gear much slower a few times. I'm in no hurry, the scenery is half the trip. Anyway, what you lose going up you regain going down!!
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« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2009, 04:11:37 PM »

Gus,

How do you access the mufflers on the '04 to replace them?  I have to do mine in a couple of weeks and am thinking of cutting an access through the rear of my bus.  I got replacements through Luke at US Coach but remember someone mentioning a while back that you can get smaller ones than the old standard.

ZubZub,

Great lines on your '04, wish mine still had 'em.  The guy I bought the old girl from wanted to fit in better at the high end parks so put caps on front and rear.  Too bad.

Cheers.

Aron.
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« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2009, 04:27:18 PM »

P.S. has the standard 6N71/Spicer combo for power.
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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2009, 05:06:15 PM »

Aron,

If I remember you use the access door inside over the back of the engine. If I remember they will pull up and out. I had a blown head gasket 2000 miles from home at a rally in Costa Mesa CA. I didn't see any of The rally, but with the help of a bus nut I found what I needed Had a guy run the rack and came home. The only mistake I made was I did not do as DDA re comends changing out all the fuel cross overs. They never seat right the second time and I had a little diesel leaking into the oil pan on the way home.

John
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johns4104s
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« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2009, 05:15:23 PM »

Aron,

Maybe you have to pull the radiator( not bad Tami and I chaged a radiator out in 4 hours, the hub holding the fan let loose and the fan went though the radiator) ( it is advised to check the fan to hubevery few weeks), disconnect them from inside and slide them out the radiator side.

John
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gus
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« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2009, 07:03:13 PM »

Aaron,

The mufflers have to come out the top of the engine compartment. There is a bolted down lid there that was probably behind the rear seat when it was a passenger bus.

There is also a heat shield between the mufflers and firewall that needs to come out. It may be possible to remove the mufflers with it in place but I finally gave up and removed it.

Some of the clamps and manifold bolts/nuts can be loosened from the transmission side if you no longer have the manual parking brake and original monster generator. If those are still in place I don't know if you can reach anything from there.

The removable lid over the engine is just barely big enough to wrestle those monster mufflers out. You need to be strong or have help. This is a real pain and made me so mad I made my own smaller mufflers. It is still a pain even then but a much smaller pain.

Since you've already gotten those expensive, huge original mufflers you can look forward to all that fun!

If you can get help you will be way ahead but I had to do mine alone and I'm an old wimpy guy.

You may be able to get to the mufflers with the radiator removed but I doubt it. Anyway, I think it is easier to go through the inside lid than remove all that radiator stuff and drain the engine.

If you have any other questions let me know. I have photos I made during the process which show both the old and new mufflers which I can send you by email.

PS,

My son works at Boeing Everett.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 07:05:25 PM by gus » Logged

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Len Silva
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« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2009, 07:35:59 PM »

I never did the muffler on mine but I'm sure that when Greyhound was doing it, they just rolled out the whole engine.  Probably took 30 minutes with the proper equipment.
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« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2009, 11:25:23 PM »



I never did the muffler on mine but I'm sure that when Greyhound was doing it, they just rolled out the whole engine.  Probably took 30 minutes with the proper equipment.



Len's right.  With a cradle dolly or a forklift, you can pull the entire powertrain in about an hour and a half.  Then you can work on pulling the mufflers standing up, w/o having to tear apart the interior to get to them.

Greyhound used to actually have complete powertrains sitting on cradles, ready to go, in their main shops.  Assigning two technicians to a coach, they'd do TWO complete powertrain swaps in an eight hour shift on the V-Drive GMCs.  T-drive models, be it the old Senicruiser or MCIs, would take two guys one day to do - half as productive, so to speak.  Of course, this was back in the days before the Hot Dog Salesman took over the company and dialed in disaster. . .

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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gus
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« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2009, 07:52:43 PM »

That would be nice but I don't have a forklift, a pit or dolly wheels.

My guess is that the bus companies changed the mufflers when they had the engines out for other jobs.

It wasn't too bad getting to the lid but it was hell getting the mufflers through the hole! My lid was behind the bed so all I had to do was peel back the carpeting, remove some insulation and there it was.

Anyway I solved all those problems by using smaller, cheaper and better designed mufflers.
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« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2009, 11:33:56 AM »

Thanks guys,

I've had the rad out after a little incident in Mexico last year, it is fairly straight forward.  As far as accessing the muff from there, next to impossible 'cause of limited access.  I'll take a look throught the access panel then.

Gus,

I'll PM you with my e-mail address, would appreciate the pics and info.  What division is your son in at Everett?  60 of us from Air Canada took a tour of the triple 7 and 787 last year.  My confidence in Boeing equipment increased from high to very high after meeting the guys down there.  Nothing like American know how when it comes to building airplanes!!  Like they say..."Airbuses are built by stupid people for smart people to fly, Boeings are designed and built by smart people for stupid people to fly." Grin

Aron.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2009, 11:37:14 AM by Flyboy » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2009, 07:56:57 PM »



I have changed out the complete cradle, I don't re comend you do it.. I have not checked the access though the radiator side but it only takes 2 or so hours to pull it by yourself.

John
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