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Author Topic: E series MCI Coach  (Read 3367 times)
paul102a3
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« on: October 11, 2009, 10:37:15 AM »

Hi All,

I have the opportunity to purchase an E series MCI coach and was wondering if anyone has any feedback on the quality of the base coach. Are there any known issues with the E series coach and would it be a nice platform to convert.

Thanks,

Paul
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2001 Prevost XL II
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2009, 03:38:30 PM »

Hi Paul,

Great coach for converting.  Only one thing, stay away from the 1998 and 1999 years because they are electrical nightmares.....

Everyone I have talked to says the same thing. Could be why they are so cheap compared to others of the same year.

Good Luck
Nick-
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Chuck Newman
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2009, 10:03:33 PM »

We spent quite a while at the local casino talking to a driver of a J4500.  Don't know the year.  She said it had 5 computers on board and nothing but problems.  Mostly connector problems.  She showed us it would neal, and raise the front or back nearly 20 inches if necessary.  I think it even had turnable rear wheels.  She also showed us cracks in the lower corners of the windshield due to twisting of the bus.  Too much glass and too little steel in the front.  But it sure looked nice.

Saw one on BNO a few weeks back.  A fully converted J series.  Only 220K miles.  I don't recall the year because I was so taken by the price -- $150K.  VERY nice looking inside and out.  The paint job alone had to be $30K or more.  It might have been a wreck electrically, but I was really tempted.

If you have an electrical background, have the money, and not planning to die on the next couple of years, go for it.  You can tell us all about it at the rallys.

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1989 MCI 102A3, Series 50, DDEC III, Allison 740D
johns4104s
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2009, 05:00:57 AM »

A few months ago I discussed new and old MCI,s with a Bus Mechanic, He said the relay,s (there are 10) in the MCI 9 cost $90.00 each. While the new MCI,s are solid state etc etc and cost $1200.00each.

John
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John316
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 05:36:41 AM »

We had the opportunity to go with a E model. We decided to go with the D because of the lack of computers. The D's are so much simpler, but still complex. The E's, from everybody I have talked too, are tons worse as far as electrical troubleshooting. I don't remember whether it was the E's or J's, but one feller I talked with said that they could turn on a dime, but that you couldn't keep steer tires on them. I thought that would be bad. Tires are expensive.

What's the price that they are asking? Who would you get it from? What year? How many miles?

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 07:25:26 AM »

FWIW If you love spending LOTS of time tracing and trouble shooting "phantom" electrical problems buy it!
If it's a '98-99 ask them how much $ they will give you to take it of their hands!
The '98 & '99 were real headaches and mucho problems with any & everything electrical!
As said they have 5 computers controlling the electronics (even the suspension is electronic & when it goes bad you have a "Dancing Bus" Get someone to be Mr. Green jeans & you could be Capt'n Kangaroo!)
Those computers are notorious for having "issues" and also as said $3,500-$5,000 each.
I know a guy who has 2 of them and hates them with a passion, but has too much $ in them to trade them off!
But it is a matter of preference, if you just gotta have that "$tyle" go for it. You'll look good in the resort park as long as you shut down the power to the factory coach systems while parked so you don't come back to an audience of people watching your coach jumping up down and side to side while the computer has a fit on it's own!
Grin  BK  Grin

also FWIW, my friend was warned before he bought them of the problems and ignored the warnings thinking "that others were just jealous that he could afford to buy 2 superb coaches like that!"
Also FWIW it's worth the latest coach he bought was a "C" model he is like us and runs a small charter company of 7 coaches!
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 12:12:54 PM »

Once again, I'm going to offer an alternate view to the prevailing wisdom here.

IF you can get the coach at a low price, consider that, during the conversion process, you will be in a perfect position to ELIMINATE electronic subsystems.  For instance, the electronic suspension can be "unrigged" by putting in an older mechanical leveling valve for $40, thus killing any problem from sensors, wiring, connectors and computer.  If you are removing the factor OTR aircon system, you can remove the factory environmental computer.

In other words, start with a late-model coach for the shell design and engine, then turn it into a 1970 GMC as far as subsystems, lights, etc.

The cool part about this is that you can probably get a good price for all of the electronics that you yank out, from commercial users -- possibly as much as you pay for the coach, from a seller who is tired of chasing gremlins.
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Jeremy
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2009, 01:33:27 PM »

I had exactly this policy with late '80s / early 90s Range Rovers. As they took it upmarket Land Rover added more and more electric toys to the vehicle, all of which were of dubious design and reliability - in other words, typical Lucas Prince of Darkness stuff. But the basic vehicle was totally proven and had not changed in years, so it was possible to buy a late model Rangie, remove the unreliable-but-not-yet-broken stuff, and sell it for lots of money to those people who's bits had just broken. Companies still offer conversion kits for those Range Rovers to replace the air suspension systems with conventional springs and the like.

Jeremy

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paul102a3
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2009, 07:02:39 PM »

Thanks everyone for the input. The last thing I want or need is electrical problems so I think I will pass on this model and look for another platform.

While there is nothing wrong with my 102a3, I would really like something a little more contemporary, disc brakes, electric wipers, 4 stroke, etc.

Any suggestions on a more up to date platform to convert would be appreciated.

Paul
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2001 Prevost XL II
John316
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2009, 07:11:51 PM »

Well, you just about cut the MCI's out of it. The D's only have the four strokes, out of your list. I don't think that you want to spend as much as a D4505.

Prevost might be your best option, but I have no idea about those.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
lostagain
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2009, 07:34:55 AM »

You can get an MCI D now for in the $40 000s. Great basic coach, all stainless steel, the S60 is an awsome engine.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
John316
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2009, 07:44:13 AM »

I agree, you can get a D, but it doesn't have electric wipers, disk brakes (some have them I think), or the other more "contemporary" stuff. Also, you would probably need a roof raise, like we did.

The stainless is great, and I love the powertrain. However, we had to add Jakes to ours, which meant rebuilding the floor to allow for the extra space.

FWIW

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
belfert
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2009, 07:48:57 AM »

Doesn't the D series like the C Series have 6'10" interior height?  I thought that is an advantage of the C and D series by not having to raise the roof unless one is extraordinarily tall?

I am 6'2" and can get around fine in my Dina, but I would like to have a drop ceiling to make wiring and such easier to run.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2009, 09:59:52 AM »

The "D" might not be the latest and greatest, but I think it would be pretty good value. Even better next Spring when a whole bunch of buses flood the market after the Olympics, and prices go down some more. I drive and maintain a D3 for our Junior Hockey team. The S60 has the Jakes built in. That engine is the most common engine in trucks and buses in N. America, so is easy to get worked on anywhere. Not that it needs anything: I just do the preventive maint. and it has never given us any trouble. It pulls really strong: like driving a car. It has a Webasto that came OEM, and that is the greatest invention since buses were discovered! It has only one computer, the DDEC IV on the engine, and that has never given us problems either. As a matter of fact, it tells you what's wrong so you know what to fix. As much as I love the old 2 stroke in my Courier 96, this is so much better. The interior head room is lots; I wouldn't do a roof raise. I would get one with the B500 auto. trans. so my wife could drive it. Great bus for the money! The only rust is a little bit starting to show up on the galvanised smooth siding between the baggage tanks and the windows. The frame won't rust for a long time: it is all stainless. Doesn't MCI still make the "D", with fancy looking fr. and rear caps?

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2009, 10:40:44 AM »

The Series 60 comes with/without Jake brakes.  I believe John316 said he had to modify his DL to add Jakes to his Series 60.  I was lucky to have Jakes on mine from the start, but I would prefer the optional Telma retarder.

The D series is still being sold in four different models.  D4000CT, D4500CT, D4505, and D4005.  They are all updated with disk brakes and other new stuff.  The D4500/4000 models are commuter (transit) models and still have the traditional front cap, but they have the new rear cap.  The D4505/4005 have a front new cap that appears to match the J4500.

I have no idea why a charter operator would order a new D series unless they needed a 40 foot coach.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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