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Author Topic: What MCI would you pick to convert and why?  (Read 2474 times)
Chariotdriver
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« on: July 09, 2006, 06:41:28 PM »


 I've been taking a look at MCI coaches and see that there are so many variations as far as year, engines, transmissions, width etc,.
 If you could put together the perfect coach to start with, and all the planets were in alignment, what you would you select as a perfect MCI to start with?
   Thanks
 Phil
     
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Phil Webb
Pass Christian, MS
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2006, 07:06:14 PM »

Phil.......I've always been a GMC person,so I don't know anything about MCIs,but their is one that caught my eye a long time ago,only because it was an unique.Its 40 feet long,unusal look to it in a way,got more power then you can shake a stick at,has a 102""wide wheel  base to it,and not to many people own them,mainly because they only made a hundred of them,its called a  MCI MC -6,you ask why would I want one,because they are so rare,and with the 12 cyclinders,they move real fast,of course you'd be real lucky to find one with the 12 cyclinders,as most of them have the 8 cyclinders.........Frank 4501-082
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Hartley
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2006, 07:06:53 PM »

Hard to answer that really.

One that you like and can afford is usually the predominant answer....

I would like a new(er) one, but my budget only buys 20+ year old project buses.

 Cry
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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2006, 07:26:07 PM »

You didn't set a $ limit, so the perfect coach would be a brand new E4500 designed as a shell.

More realistically, a 102A3 or 102C3 would be a good choice if you can find one with a Cat or Cummins L10.  I just don't like the 6/8V92 engines.  I think MAK bus sales has one with a Cat engine for sale right now.  If you really want to spend some money, A 102DL3 with Series 60 and B500 tranny would be a great combo.

Brian Elfert
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 07:33:28 PM by belfert » Logged
Chariotdriver
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2006, 07:31:09 PM »

 To take a stab at it, I would look to spend around 20,000 and I guess this would depend on how much it would take to get one converted for me.
  I know that is opening a whole new can of worms.
 Someone told me to get someting nice to build on as it takes just as much to convert one on a nice shell, as it does on a ratty one.
   Is there people, individuals that could, would, HAVE converted them for others that do not have the time or know how?
 Thanks,
 Phil
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Phil Webb
Pass Christian, MS
Dallas
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2006, 07:51:20 PM »

I also predominantly like the GMC's, But, if I had to pick an MCI, I think I'd go with the 102A2.... It's a 2 axle and actually has a greater GVWR than the 102A3. plus it has more bay space than the 3 axle.
I've never really figured out what the tag axle did for those coaches.
The drawback is that it has a 5' larger turning radius than the A3.

Dallas
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Beatenbo
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2006, 07:52:58 PM »

I have had 5 GMCs and 5 MCIs. First thing is how much cash ya got?  just a few tidbits, The MC9 is one of the best deal out there. So are the A series now If you want newer look 96A 102A or C taller windshiels taller windows. much harder to cool and heat  Had 8V71s   bullet proof  400,000 plus mile engine What RVer drives that much. 92 series? had both. less milage engine but I'll take the pullig power any day. Love to have a 60 series, Nice 95 DL3 about 80-100 grand. B-500 world trans replace at about 10-12 thou. Old bullet proof 740 about 3,500 loaded Huh?. Happiness is ownig bus instead of one of those RV things These days I would like to have a bus that gets 35mpg city 45mpg highway wiith A/C that blows 55 degree air and what else can I think of.................
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NJT5047
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2006, 08:28:46 PM »

Most bang for the bucks is an MC9.  Cheap to buy, cheap to fix, EASY to fix (typically), new and used parts are readily available. 
Tons of take-out engines and trans around.   
The "best" conversion would be the newest bus you can find...late Prevost or MCI would be a lot nicer.  But, if you're on a budget like most of us'ns...you've got to think about what it will cost to repair the later powerplants and transmissions.   B500s and 60 Series failures may cost more than most of our conversions.   If you do all of your own engine work, this may not be such an issue..but if you don't...stick with a 6V92T, 8V92T, or 8V71T.   An S50 would be nice, but, a nice S50 coach (shell) will be up in the $30Ks.   Plus you get away from the 2 strokes and you begin to bid against charter companies.   
Keep in mind that you'll spend more on the conversion costs than you will on the shell...you don't want to get these things too far out of balance.  A late Prevost or MCI would be worth spending $100K on converting (or more), but an MC9 or GM would not give you a return on such an expensive conversion.   
Another good item is GM coaches...they drive well, are quite durable, but, you'll be limited in powerplants and transmissions. 
I'd avoid manual trans...autos will resell better. 
As already stated, 102A3s and up make nice shells, but a nice 102 will bring $25K and up.  There are lots of coaches for sale that would be a liability to own...in other words, if someone gave one to you, they're doing you a disfavor.  You were looking at one recently that I would have put into that category.   Pretty much, 20 or 30 year old conversions need to be re-mechanicalled...as in new ACs systems, some electrical components, fridge, etc.  This stuff has a finite lifespan and often is difficult or impossible to repair.
And there may not be direct fitments for old components.   
The plan that I used was buying a straight bus for 12K (87 MC9) and used all new RV components.  Ended up with a dependable, cheap conversion that has worked remarkably well.   And I can work on it.  Nothing's easiier to repair than an MC9.   Having pulled the engine and trans, installed airbags, and done a lot of other minor maintenance, I still feel the same way.   May I add, that I pulled the engine and trans with getting inside the bus...most other brands require considerable interior work to remove an engine...just keep the bed ready to sleep in!  This is great!   When building you don't want to permanently cover the access hatches, but some coaches require them be available.  My 9 does not. 
One other item....MCIs have SAFE exhaust systems.  They aren't known for starting fires!   Easy to access, easy to replace if something does fail. 
I didn't mention Eagle, which is without argument,  one of the best looking coaches going, because they have rust issues that cannot be readily ID'd.  You'll have to take a good bit of time buying any Eagle.  And the torsilastic suspension must be verified as serviceable or get the $$$ ready.   You'll need a real bus guy to evaluate an  coach you look at...Eagles must be more carefully evaluated.  All buses may have rust, most will, just have to know what you can deal with and what you cannot. 
There's lots more.   Keep the group apprised of what you want to spend and you'll get a good bit of excellent advice.  Even your idea of what you want will change as you study your budget and get a feel for what's available. 
Good Luck, 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
NJT5047
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2006, 08:37:45 PM »

I also predominantly like the GMC's, But, if I had to pick an MCI, I think I'd go with the 102A2.... It's a 2 axle and actually has a greater GVWR than the 102A3. plus it has more bay space than the 3 axle.
I've never really figured out what the tag axle did for those coaches.
The drawback is that it has a 5' larger turning radius than the A3.
Dallas

Yep..pay attention on the turning radius.  5' is a huge bit of belly over the curb.   The A2s are difficult to manage in tight areas.   Consider the tags as two spare tires too. 
My thoughts would be go with an A3 for the shorter turn radius. 
The only guy I know that owns an 102A2 has issues about the turning radius. 
Drive it and see what you think!
Cheers, 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
TomC
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2006, 08:46:30 PM »

I now have an AMGeneral transit that was harder to convert than a highway type.  While you can get a transit for about $5000 in decent shape, they are harder to convert and obviously have limited under storage-although I can carry everything I need and have big tanks to boot.
My next conversion will be a 102C3 since it has about 6'10" head room, really big windows (will take the biggest windows possible since that's what we're out here for-to look around!  Then later will worry about heat or cold) and it is 102" wide.  Even though they might have an 6V or 8V-92TA, they are both reliable powerplants that the only reason they are not used anymore, is because of the 2 stroke design that can't be cleaned up emission wise.  Granted, a 4 stroker is nice with the electronics, but then you are at the mercy of those electronics.  The only time I was ever on a hook in my truck is because I spun a water pump.  Anything with the injection can usually be jimmied to the repair shop.  Call the tow truck with an electronic engine.  It is so bad now, we automatically add at least 1 year of warranty tow to our new big rig trucks unless the customer doesn't want it (and this applies to all makes and models of big rigs). 
6V-92TA is sufficient power with the 8V being much nicer.  Series 50 or 60 would be nice, with a Cat C12 or Cummins ISM, M11 not to bad either.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Danny
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87' MCI 102A3 - getting there...


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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2006, 09:17:15 PM »

I am a new kid on the block, however.  I just got a 87' 102A3 back in the winter and am in the process of converting it.  I don't know much about the others out there.  I looked at several model years and types and decided to go with this one.  You can find them starting about 18K.  If I had the money I would have went with the 102C3 for the extra headroom amoung other things.

Danny
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I have heard it said, "life comes at you fast".  I didn't know it would be in the shape of a bus  :-)
grantgoold
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2006, 08:05:28 PM »

I love my 1984 MCI 9. I hunted for two years until I found just the one I wanted. I love it and have yet to have serious chest pain over parts. The 9 is just about at the end of it's commerical life and parts are still very available and in many cases still provided by MCI.

For my budget and family the 9 was a serious blessing and upgrade.

Check your wallet and determine your pain threshold and then buy until it really hurts. Shocked

Good luck! Grin

Grant
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
Way in Over My Head!
Citrus Heights, California
Devin & Amy
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1980 MC9 8v71 4spd man. Fulltiming family of 6




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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2006, 09:15:54 AM »

Hi all,
I did something a little strange. I went to the Memphis bus terminal and asked about 10 professional drivers (greyhound-Jefferson) what bus they would buy, and the overwhelming response was the MC9. They all said that MCI made the 102's in the 9's image and had some problems. I don't know if that is true or not, but I love my 9. I have a 1980 so it is a bit old, but the clutch that I did was possible for a newbie. I like the look of the eagles, but the suspension scared me some. The predominant suspension in over the road trucking is the airbag suspension, so it made more sense to me. Also I work all over the country around the timber industry, and 8v71 parts and mechanics are common. this is just my opinion. I would really like the extra six inches in width that comes from a 102.
It really does depend on the money, what you want in 8-10 years, and personal preference.
who's the mechanic?
who's the converter?

Devin
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Devin, Amy, and the kids!!
Happily Bussin'!!
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