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Author Topic: Give a newbie your input  (Read 4987 times)
philiptompkjns
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« on: October 30, 2009, 07:45:17 AM »

I guess I should introduce myself.
I've been lurking  here for a while, looking  at  buses on ebay and  CL.
I've looked at about 10 of  them so far and found one  that I looked at  yesterday that I am going to make an offer on.

It is a 1990 102A3 that is totally stripped but it has the rear lav. The motor sounds perfect, no blow-by comming  from  the crank case. It has the automatic transmission as well.

The bad: 
It is not titled as a motor home (florida)
It has one flat tire (tag axle)
It has some rust around the baggage door laches and under the baggage areas, the engine  cradle just seemed to  have surface rust.
The two airbags on the same side of the drive axle were not inflating. I did not hear a leak, maybe it  is a  clogged valve?
The brakes do release and it does move, won't it not even move if the air bags are blown?
The  millage on  the motor  is 172,000

What do you guys think this bus is worth? 
This is the only 102 incher that I've seen in my price range.
Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 08:03:01 AM »

Title was no problem in Pa. Need to talk to someone in Fl.
Flat  tire no biggie, watch for left hand threads ( not sure on somthing that new )
Look for metal rotted away, are the sides straight?
Maybe 1 blown bag? Did you listen for air after it was shut down? No air maybe vave, a cheap fix.
You can move a bus setting on the stops.
Motor smokes on start up?
Whats it worth? A buyers market. I paid 8k for a "80" 6.5 years ago. Not a 102 but what I wanted. Prices started falling after that.

Wait for more advice here, it will come.    Goodluck   Tom Y
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 08:08:58 AM »

I am just a newbie myself, but I learned that price range also includes immediate repairs to get home.
First question is does it stay in your price range factoring in the cost of those repairs?
What is it worth, your price range.

Titles in California no big deal.
I am sure the ride will be rough with the air bags not inflating on one side.
Others will chime in soon.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 08:11:07 AM by Adarian » Logged

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philiptompkjns
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 08:15:14 AM »

My price range is $1-10,000,
The engine smoked  the least of any DD's  that I've looked at so far (maybe I should make sure it is not out of oil  Cheesy )
and the body is 95% straight with no visible rust on the body.
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 08:23:43 AM »

Phil, a 102a3 is worth from 8,000 to 15,000 depending  with a auto and 8v92 they are around the 15,000 if in good shape but check the rust close they do rust.
If it has a solid engine and drive train and a 8v92 I would start at 7,500 or less the other problems are not that expensive to repair. Motor home titles are not that hard in Oregon where I do some a Coleman Stove,and a bed (army cot) you have a motor home.
I saw one with a BBQ pit at DMV passed as a motor home lol  



good luck
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 08:29:01 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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philiptompkjns
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 08:50:35 AM »

It has a 6v92 and an auto.
Does anyone from florida want to chime in on the title change process?
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cody
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2009, 08:55:31 AM »

We all seem to have names for our buses, if the air bags on one side don't inflate then would a name like Ilene be appropriate?  sorry, somethings I can't resist lol.
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2009, 08:57:28 AM »

We all seem to have names for our buses, if the air bags on one side don't inflate then would a name like Ilene be appropriate?  sorry, somethings I can't resist lol.

 Grin Grin Grin

That is very funny Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2009, 10:13:19 AM »

Philip

Found this on Fl's DMV website, on page 5 of this link:

http://www3.hsmv.state.fl.us/Intranet/dmv/Manuals/DMVProcedures/BTR/tl/TL-13.pdf

Seems like it might be pretty straight forward:

STATE OF FLORIDA
Florida Motor Vehicles
PROCEDURE # TL-13
SUBJECT: CERTIFICATE OF TITLE REQUIREMENTS FOR RECREATIONAL
              VEHICLES, MOBILE HOMES AND OFFICE TRAILERS
F. Conversion Affidavit:

In the case of an individual converting their own vehicle and requesting to have the identity changed on the title in order to have it registered and licensed as a recreational vehicle, the customer must submit an affidavit to the tax collector. The affidavit must certify that the unit has been converted to the extent to include one of the aforementioned items to qualify it as a recreational vehicle.

EXAMPLE:

This is to certify that I, ______________, owner of a (Year) __________, (Make)_______, (VIN) ___________________, hereby request the vehicle be classified as recreational vehicle for the following reason:

( ) Installed 110 volt electrical wiring
( ) Installed LP gas piping
( ) Installed plumbing system

HTH

Bob

PS. Cody, I'm impressed that in the midst of all your troubles, your sense of humor remains intact.
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2009, 10:25:56 AM »

You go Cody!!!!!
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2009, 10:43:20 AM »

As to price for me it would depend on circumstances of seller.  If possible, since it is not road worthy I would start low.  If you're not bidding against another buyer, start below $3,000 and fight every dollar rise.  You're going to need them for your conversion.

By rear lav, do you mean it has a bus lav?  That should lower the price since you have to deal with that too.  (At least I believe converters tear them out because of problems.)

Good luck.

Mike

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philiptompkjns
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2009, 10:54:41 AM »

well that is one thing that I wondered about, why is it so important to destroy the rear lav?  Is there any reason you can't just use it in your conversion?
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2009, 11:06:03 AM »

Well,
There are a lot of problems to deal with in trying to keep the original bathroom.  First is tank capacity.  They hold VERY little! and there is almost no fresh water.  The next is location.  Most people want to put their bedroom in the back.  The bathroom just gets in the way, or people have to walk into the bedroom to use the toilet in the middle of the night.  Now, where do you want to put the shower?  It won't fit in the original bathroom.

In a bus conversion, you want to squeeze out every 1/4 inch of space you can get!  Welcome to the madness!

Glenn
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2009, 11:07:32 AM »

If you do to keep it, change the seat!  GROSS!!!
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2009, 11:28:14 AM »

One of the main reasons is the smell.  RV toilets have a seal to keep the "perfume" from the black tank in the tank.  If you look at the lavatory on a bus it is a straight shot and you get to experience all the wonderfull aromas. 

I guess if you were willing to put up with the tank size and placement you could rip out the bus toilet ( read into that lots of metal work ) and replace it with an RV type toilet.  But why bother?  For the amount of work involved, just take the lav out and put the toilet where you want it.

Just my 2 cents,

Frank
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2009, 03:38:25 PM »

Don at Choo Choo has a couple of really nice buses for sale at his place. Not 102, but, they are in really good shape, and the price is right.
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2009, 03:58:19 PM »

He has his heart set on 102" and I don't blame him at all. Ask anyone-does 6" really make that much difference? LOL
It's Cody's fault, he got me started Grin
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2009, 05:38:36 PM »

Philip,
I don't know much about MCI's or buses in general. But first off just because it's a 102" wide does not make it a pot o' gold!
OK lets start with the not airing up on one side! OK there are any # of reasons it might not air up. OK could be as mentioned one or both bags, leveling valves, plugged line (doubtful!), or the most likely rusted out air beams! (air beams are the big boxy looking things over the bags many people confuse as "the frame."
That said even if it is the air beams, it ain't the end of the world! Just lots $ and time to repair. But still better yet (still $ & time) but less of each, replace with rolling lobe airbags! (good ride and fixed for good!) Of course still less $ and about the same amount of time is "plating the bags." Which is where a special block off plate is mounted between the air beam and airbag and the air goes into the bag thru the plate! OK fix, but harsher ride (do to the low air volume of the small bags), and the plates do eventually wear down and start leaking!
OK we got that out of the way!

Now for rust 4 main areas to look! In rear luggage bay rear wall near bulkhead! If it's rusted through (holes you can see thru) or has fresh paint (like it was just repaired), look farther!
OK well look farther anyway! Check in the blower area above the engine bay. Pay close attention to the supports that run front to back that the surge tank brackets bolt to. If they are rusted out, look out! If they show signs of fresh paint/repair be weary!
Next check the front compartment under the front electrical panel (outside under drivers window!)
If it's rusted out completely, again look out! (while in this area check front electrical panel area! If it's really nasty and scary looking with cut. loose or bare wires everywhere. MOVE ON NOW FIND anonther bus!)
Place #4 is not so much about rust as stress cracking, and is hard to check without getting at least part way under both sides of the engine cradle! Pay close attention to the area where the engine cradle meets up and is mounted to the bulk head! If you see major rust or cracks here, don't walk away, "RUN, RUN FOREST RUN!" Also check the rest of the engine cradle for cracks, if there are any it can be welded, just means more time & work.

Last even though you could move it forward and backward, does not mean there is not a low air or leaking air problem (bags, valves!)

In today's low market I'd offer $3000.00 or less! You can always go up, hard to go back down!
FWIW!

Keep in mind "I know nothing. I am merely a messenger!"
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2009, 05:50:55 PM »

OH yeah if ya didn't like the name "Ilean" you could maybe use "Lean'a"
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2009, 07:57:27 PM »

If it's a Japanese bus, you can call it "Irene"

Greg
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2009, 08:23:16 PM »

Philip,
I don't know much about MCI's or buses in general. But first off just because it's a 102" wide does not make it a pot o' gold!
OK lets start with the not airing up on one side! OK there are any # of reasons it might not air up. OK could be as mentioned one or both bags, leveling valves, plugged line (doubtful!), or the most likely rusted out air beams! (air beams are the big boxy looking things over the bags many people confuse as "the frame."
That said even if it is the air beams, it ain't the end of the world! Just lots $ and time to repair. But still better yet (still $ & time) but less of each, replace with rolling lobe airbags! (good ride and fixed for good!) Of course still less $ and about the same amount of time is "plating the bags." Which is where a special block off plate is mounted between the air beam and airbag and the air goes into the bag thru the plate! OK fix, but harsher ride (do to the low air volume of the small bags), and the plates do eventually wear down and start leaking!
OK we got that out of the way!

Now for rust 4 main areas to look! In rear luggage bay rear wall near bulkhead! If it's rusted through (holes you can see thru) or has fresh paint (like it was just repaired), look farther!
OK well look farther anyway! Check in the blower area above the engine bay. Pay close attention to the supports that run front to back that the surge tank brackets bolt to. If they are rusted out, look out! If they show signs of fresh paint/repair be weary!
Next check the front compartment under the front electrical panel (outside under drivers window!)
If it's rusted out completely, again look out! (while in this area check front electrical panel area! If it's really nasty and scary looking with cut. loose or bare wires everywhere. MOVE ON NOW FIND anonther bus!)
Place #4 is not so much about rust as stress cracking, and is hard to check without getting at least part way under both sides of the engine cradle! Pay close attention to the area where the engine cradle meets up and is mounted to the bulk head! If you see major rust or cracks here, don't walk away, "RUN, RUN FOREST RUN!" Also check the rest of the engine cradle for cracks, if there are any it can be welded, just means more time & work.

Last even though you could move it forward and backward, does not mean there is not a low air or leaking air problem (bags, valves!)

In today's low market I'd offer $3000.00 or less! You can always go up, hard to go back down!
FWIW!

Keep in mind "I know nothing. I am merely a messenger!"
Grin  BK  Grin
Wow, a lot of info in there.

First off the bus is not a total rust bucket. none of the baggage compartment areas were rusted though.  The engine cradle  did  not look bad either.
I did not check the electrical panel yet though, thanks  for the heads up on that one.

I did not know about the air beams though.  I should  look at them  closely and see if air  is escaping them.
Also, if there is a serious air leak in the bags/beams, wouldn't the leak not allow the brakes to release? 
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2009, 08:35:13 PM »

also, assuming worst case scenario, what do the parts cost to replace an air  beam?
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« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2009, 12:01:42 AM »

Quote from: philiptompkjns
Wow, a lot of info in there.

First off the bus is not a total rust bucket. none of the baggage compartment areas were rusted though.  The engine cradle  did  not look bad either.
I did not check the electrical panel yet though, thanks  for the heads up on that one.

I did not know about the air beams though.  I should  look at them  closely and see if air  is escaping them.
Also, if there is a serious air leak in the bags/beams, wouldn't the leak not allow the brakes to release? 

OK Philip,
First I wasn't trying to imply the bus was a "rust bucket", but sometimes even when they are unsuspecting buyers learn a hard lesson.

OK the place I am referring to in the luggage bay is the back wall not the floor, but rather close to where they meet.
Next Remember to open the compartment above the engine compartment where the squirrel cage blowers for the radiators are. There will be 2 metal bars (about 1.5" wide) that run front back and hold the surge tank in place. These are very often rusted bad.
Now the airbeam? NO the air systems operate off different tanks and the brakes are off the first tanks in the system, and the suspension is off the last! Therefore the air is filling the tanks that the brakes operate off before any others! (sorta a safety thing)
Also sometimes the air beams are leaking in a place where you normally wouldn't hear them leak, especilly if it is running! FWIW Grin
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2009, 12:03:29 AM »

also, assuming worst case scenario, what do the parts cost to replace an air  beam?

Trust me you don't want to replace an air beam! But rather bypass it and the best way off doing that is the rolling lobe air bags! Grin 
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2009, 05:22:03 AM »

  Like BK said go to the self contained air bags. I did and really didn't notice a difference ( MCI- 8)Is air pressure coming up on the dash gauge to 120 lb range?..My MCI 8 air beamed leaked and that's what I did..Tires over 10 yrs old?  Set a value to all then make a decision. As far as the bath room if it just you fine but put a lady in the mix forget it!!!When all of the advice comes in and your on the way to becoming insane like the rest do it your way...Buses are good.....
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2009, 07:46:53 AM »

 Like BK said go to the self contained air bags. I did and really didn't notice a difference ( MCI- 8)Is air pressure coming up on the dash gauge to 120 lb range?..My MCI 8 air beamed leaked and that's what I did..Tires over 10 yrs old?  Set a value to all then make a decision. As far as the bath room if it just you fine but put a lady in the mix forget it!!!When all of the advice comes in and your on the way to becoming insane like the rest do it your way...Buses are good.....
no, the air pressure is  only coming up to 90 psi.

And I've read a lot of information  on there about MC-8/9 suspension upgrades  and parts, are the 102a3's parts (air bags, rolling lobe kits, block off plates) interchangeable with the MC-9?
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2009, 08:30:51 AM »

There are several places to look for a solution when you can't hear air leak ..If the rest of the coach is what you want go for it .To replace air bags with rolling lobs about 3 to 350 for both. leveling control valve under 50 if that's the problem.. I would not let this be the killer of a deal but would use it for leverage. maybe couple of thousand off check tire age tires run from 400 to 650 each. My rule is 4yrs when I buy not to be run for a total of 10 years from mfg date..Big topic of discussion.....BK knows about engine cradle.He has one with the problem very expensive fix.
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« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2009, 04:44:16 PM »

no, the air pressure is  only coming up to 90 psi.

90 PSI is pretty low.  Could be a major leak somewhere, or it could be something easy like the compressor governor or air tanks that haven't been drained.  I would lean towards a leak.

A major leak off of the suspension/accessory tank should still allow the brakes to operate.  There is a pressure protection valve or similiar that cuts that suspension/accessory tank from the main air system at a certain PSI so a leak there won't kill the brakes.
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« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2009, 07:20:28 PM »

As noted, there's a big leak in the auxiliary, your listing suspension being the obvious culprit.

Over the model years, the pressure protection valve settings have crept up.

Your 90 lbs sounds right for the conditions you describe.

Broken/worn out mechanicals can be repaired, rust is like cancer and must be cut out to make it go away.

As noted, you are in a good bargaining position, as long as it is cancer free....

happy coaching!
buswarrior

 
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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2009, 07:56:24 AM »

Yes the air suspension hogs the air until it reaches 90 PSI once it has the suspension filled to the required amount then the rest if the system and gauges go on up from there!
FWIW Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2009, 10:19:11 AM »

so does anyone know about the 102a3's air suspension parts compatibility with the mc9's? Or if someone could point me in the right direction as far as where ya'll get parts that would be awesome.
If I could figure out how much the air beam block off plates were going to cost it would help me come up with a price and budget.
Thanks
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« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2009, 10:27:09 AM »

Most of the parts for a 9 vs 96A & 102A3's  will be a different, but not all! We get our parts from several sources.
MCI, C & J Bus Repair (Bloomington, MN), Caylor's Supply Rantoul, KS), Mohawk, US Coach (Vinewood, NJ), International Bus Parts, and more. These are just some of the most commonly used and Busnut friendly ones!

If it were me I'd spring the extra $ and go with rolling lobe bags over the block off plates! Smoother ride, better performance, and about the same amount of time/troble to install! FWIW!
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2009, 02:29:45 PM »

I  am no expert by any means but...... I think that it would be alot of work to install air beams in a 102 since they don't have air beams to start with.
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« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2009, 05:09:46 PM »

bruceknee is correct, 102's do not have air beams. They use the rolling lobe style air bag. The bodies are stainless from the bay floor to the bottom of the windows. That does not mean every part is stainless. The axles, suspension components and some smaller parts like door latches, ect are not stainless.

Ken
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Link to my engine swap slide show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxAFFBcoTQI
philiptompkjns
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2009, 06:28:41 AM »

I  am no expert by any means but...... I think that it would be alot of work to install air beams in a 102 since they don't have air beams to start with.

hahaha, ok. Thanks. That explains a  whole lot.
After I mentioned the air bags not inflating someone mentioned that it was probably the air beams and sort of led me astray.
Allright, so it has to be the bags, or a valve.

Thanks.
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1990 102a3... Just got started, don't  know  what I'm doing.
robertglines1
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« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2009, 01:16:49 PM »

well.....did you buy it?Huh
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
steamguy56
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« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2009, 03:54:42 AM »

Philip,
    It seems that the great state  of  fla. also has an Inspector her instructions to me was to document allllll that you do to your conversion. Hope it is easier   for you in your county. 
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philiptompkjns
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« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2009, 06:41:29 AM »

well.....did you buy it?Huh

I'm still negotiating, trying to get a  new tire or two  Grin
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1990 102a3... Just got started, don't  know  what I'm doing.
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