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Author Topic: Looking at a 4106  (Read 1914 times)
thejumpsuitman
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« on: October 16, 2009, 12:10:14 PM »

Hello again everyone.  I decided to pass on the 4104 from my earlier post that needed completion.  But have found what seems like a very good deal on a '64 4106.  The story is that a small charter company basically rebuilt the brakes, replaced the clutch, tires, air bags, suspension bushings, etc to make it fresh again for service.  The company spent a lot of money on it then went bankrupt having only put about 15,000 miles on the bus.  It was sold to a man who wanted to do a conversion.  He did the basic interior systems and carpentry and had the engine rebuilt.  He also made a point to tell me there were NO air leaks.  There is documentation showing around $20,000 of work, mostly spent on the chassis. Since the rebuild, the gentleman's health has deteriorated.  He has put what I think is a very reasonable price on the bus, less than half of what has been spent on the chassis alone. 

I do plan to have a bus mechanic look it over, but in general, what are the impressions of the model 4106?  What are it's positives and negatives?  I have certainly gravitated to older buses in my searching and am looking forward to hearing opinions on this model, especially from those who own one or have owned one.  This would be my first bus.

Thanks,
Marc
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Slow Rider
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 12:16:05 PM »

According to the old timers when the 4106 was put into service it was called the sports car of buses.  It had a V8, much improved handling and good brakes.   It is a classic and when in proper running condition it will do you proud.

At least that is my humble opinion........

Frank

Note: The biggest complaint was the high gearing.  It makes it hard to do a dead throttle start on a serious hill and you have to be careful to not burn a clutch when backing up an incline.


Again, this is what the old timers say, I don't have a clue Smiley
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belfert
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 01:54:51 PM »

You don't say how long ago the rebuild was, but rubber parts such as airbags and hoses will age even if not used.  Some rubber items age even faster when not used.

Other than that, I know nothing about 4106s.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 02:24:34 PM »

You don't say how long ago the rebuild was, but rubber parts such as airbags and hoses will age even if not used.  Some rubber items age even faster when not used.

From what I understand, it's all within the past 3-5 yrs.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 08:12:12 PM »

Marc -

Send me a private message (my email addy is in my profile), I'm very familiar with the 4106 since I own one!

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 08:26:15 PM »

Marc,

Take RJs advice and talk to he who owns one!!

Older buses are fun, mine is a lot older than this one and I've never had so much fun!!

I have never found parts to be a great problem except for rear windows and that may not be a problem for a 4106.
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 04:05:05 AM »

I've owned my "sports car" for 13 years, there is a REASON for its populararity.>>>Dan
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 04:39:14 AM »

Marc, Sorrry can't help with info. But to the GM owners;  Why is it a sports car? Are they lighter? Just higher gearing? Eagle and Prevost made a few 35s. Mci made a few more. Are the GMs truly faster, or just the first ones on the market?    Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 09:32:49 AM »

The arrival of the V8 in the 4106 was the same kick in the pants, performance wise, that the turbo 4 strokes were to the common carrier, here in more modern times.

Drivers loved it.

The offerings from MCI and Prevost were heavier.

For the 4106, you need to know how and where to check the bulkheads, or you can end up with a project ending repair on your hands, depending on your abilities and/or cash reserves.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 04:56:21 PM »

I took my first look at the bus today.  The body and interior were a little rougher than I expected based on the pics, but I found out the pics were a few years old.  Some rust out at the driver window post, some floor rot in the driver floor. 

The  interior was very basic and not done very smoothly at all.  Side aluminum panels and basement doors are very straight, but looks like almost all the window rubbers will need to be replaced at some point.  They skinned over a couple windows with sheet metal and rivets, but didn't paint the panels...  Wish they hadn't skinned it, I like the stock look. 

There is some surface rust around the rear post and on the front cap.  Major house systems are in place, but it will almost have to be gutted again.  It looks like they recycled some used motorhome components.  The shower, toilet, fridge & stove and they do show age.  Does have a combo washer/dryer, but it is just sort of sitting there.  Not a very well thought out floor plan, but I think it could be reworked without disturbing the LP gas lines or moving the fridge or stove.  The 7500W generator was never installed, but it comes with it.  Generator needs work, won't start.

I took my Dad with me for the ride.  He does not work with his hands, is not at all mechanically inclined and doesn't even want to know how things work...LOL...  He thought it looked like crap and wasn't impressed at all, but the money has been spent where it really counts.  He said he spent $6,000 on the engine rebuild alone!  Does that sound right? 

The tires look good, but are about 7 years old.  How long does it take for the UV rays to destroy sidewalls on those big tires?   

I will give it some thought and prayer, and if I decide to look at it again and drive it, I will make sure to take a bus mechanic.  I liked it and definitely saw potential, but it is will be a big job. What does this tell you veterans?  He is asking $5,000.

Marc
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Melbo
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2009, 06:38:34 PM »

No matter what the previous owner did you will have to take it apart and put it back together to understand it or at least spend some time just studying what it is to know why he did it. All the stuff that is done may or may not need to be redone. I guess what I am telling you is don't plan on adding to the project as you see it plan on redoing EVERYTHING with maybe the exception of the mechanicals that have been done BUT you will have to learn how they work and what they did even if you don't have to redo that stuff.  The price you pay for the bus is not even a consideration because that is only the down payment on the project. Plan what you want to do and figure the costs from there.  I am just giving you my experience. I bought a mystery novel in the form of a started bus conversion and I haven't come close to finding the final chapter or the conclusion BUT I have loved every minute I have been working on it. I got a real good deal ( because it's my bus ) and when you find what you want it will be a good deal for you too.

Melbo
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thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2009, 09:02:32 AM »

No matter what the previous owner did you will have to take it apart and put it back together to understand it or at least spend some time just studying what it is to know why he did it. All the stuff that is done may or may not need to be redone. I guess what I am telling you is don't plan on adding to the project as you see it plan on redoing EVERYTHING with maybe the exception of the mechanicals that have been done BUT you will have to learn how they work and what they did even if you don't have to redo that stuff.  The price you pay for the bus is not even a consideration because that is only the down payment on the project. Plan what you want to do and figure the costs from there.  I am just giving you my experience. I bought a mystery novel in the form of a started bus conversion and I haven't come close to finding the final chapter or the conclusion BUT I have loved every minute I have been working on it. I got a real good deal ( because it's my bus ) and when you find what you want it will be a good deal for you too.

Purchase price is a down payment... That is a very interesting perspective.  When my Dad was looking at the bus with me with such skepticism, I kind of chuckled and said to him... "A project like this is a long term endeavor.  And the process is to be enjoyed, not just the final product."  As anyone who enjoys the RV/Bus lifestyle knows, the journey is often best part!  He is not at all like me.  LOL.  He is more impressed with the overpriced and flimsy (but pretty) RV's at the dealership. I think he might be starting to see the light, though, now that his '96 Coachmen Catalina is rotting away under the fiberglass skin.

Provided everything is as the seller says mechanically (to be verified), I think this would probably be as good a bus as any to jump in with, especially as straight as the body panels are.  I will continue to think and pray about it.

Thanks,
Marc
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lostagain
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2009, 09:48:09 AM »

If the drive train is good, and you need to verify the engine "rebuild", (receipts), and the body is ok, then 5 grand is a good price. Was the engine done by a professional, reputable shop?

JC
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JC
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2009, 08:20:10 PM »

4104 and 4106 series buses are very easy to work on and learn on. I can take my 4106 everywhere anyone else can times three. Old state parks with length and height restrictions, to the tops of the highest mountains passes, to the lowest valleys onto dirt roads. I wouldn't hesitate to drive my wheezer all over the country to the most inhospitable places for a bus you could think of. Oops! I forgot, I already did that! Find yourself a 4106 that you can live with and then enjoy life to its fullest. You will turn more heads with your antique bus than if you had a $600k rig. The only time my 4106 kept me from making good time is when there was a line formed out the door for interior tours. We hosted everyone from park rangers to French tourists who couldn't speak a lick of English. Heck, even RJ got to see it (My kids like RJ, he buys the pizza!). One last thought; I don't care how nice a bus you find, there is one constant in everyones equation: Bus nut = Money pit nut. You do it because you love it, otherwise a pop-up would serve you better. Happy hunting!
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2009, 08:32:59 PM »

Just a side note from what I've observed in bus listings, all buses for sale have a recently rebuilt engine, it's just something that people seem to do or thats the claim, to invest an enormous amount into a bus they are selling, for what it's worth lol, some may have but from what I can tell few are the recent rebuild thats claimed, it's just scary for a newcomer to the diesel world to look at an engine with the kind of miles that most have so to ease their mind the 'recent rebuild' helps, if it has been rebuilt then the documentation should be available too.
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