Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
October 26, 2014, 01:25:16 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: You can zoom in to make the text larger and easier to read.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: "It has a rebuilt engine"  (Read 3081 times)
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« on: November 03, 2009, 06:54:07 AM »

Over the past months, I have looked a countless buses and ads for buses.  Most are older conversions or former Gospel group buses, and of course, almost all of them are said to have a rebuilt engine...

There is a lot of cynicism about that claim, but I have a different view...  Consider this fictional scenario and tell me if it so far fetched.

CASE A:

In 1979, Herman and Henrietta are 61 and 58 respectively.  Their dream of a retirement on the road in a bus conversion.  Henry will retire in 4 years, which will will give him plenty of time to get the conversion done.  

They buy a retired Trailways bus and the first thing Henry does is have the engine rebuilt.  Over the next 4 years, they work on the conversion on weekends

They hit the road in early 1984 to live their dream.  They stay in Florida until early June, then head West, basically spending the summer driving months touring the country and visiting friends and family.  5 months and 8,000 miles later, they are back in Florida for the winter again.  This basically becomes a trend for the next 8 years and they enjoy every minute of it.  

But one day, Herman has a heart attack.  Their son, Robert flies to Florida to be with them and ultimately help drive the bus back home to Ohio.  Herman never fully regains his strength, and Henrietta is terrified to hit the road again like before because of Herman's health.

The bus sits, virtually unused for the next 4 years.  Herman passes away at 77.  The year is 1996.  The bus has 60,000 miles on it since the conversion.

The bus is used very little over the next 10 years.  From time to time, Robert uses it to camp with his family, putting very few miles on it.  The year is 2006.  

Henrietta passes away at the age of 85 and the bus is considered part of the estate.  Since he has 2 sisters, Robert feels it is best to sell it to sell the bus and settle the estate.  All the records and receipts have been lost over the years, but it does have a rebuilt engine "with about 75,000 miles."

The next owner wants to update the conversion and have it repainted, but can't seem to come up with the money or the time.  He finally decides to sell it 3 years later.  The year is 2009.


Doesn't that sound reasonable?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 09:13:17 AM by thejumpsuitman » Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 07:10:28 AM »

Here's another one for you...

CASE B:

It is 1995.  Ed and Sarah are in their late 50's.  Ed is a successful business owner.  His dream is to do a first class conversion, sell the house and hit the road full-time!  Problem is, That's not Sarah's dream.

He finishes his project by 1998, (rebuilt engine and all) and is ready to put the house on the market...  That's when he discovers the will of iron he never knew Sarah had.  NO WAY!  They are not selling the house "to go wandering aimlessly!"  This is one battle Ed will not win.  They use the coach as an RV, and put a mere 30,000 miles on it.

They sell it in 2005, and it is sold again in 2009.  Just "50,000 miles"
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 09:18:46 AM by thejumpsuitman » Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
Busted Knuckle
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6447


6 Setras, 2 MCIs, and 1 Dina. Just buses ;D


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009, 07:47:29 AM »

Yup, sure enough! I can assure you that is the way it is ALWAYS  Grin !

I'm not trying to be cynical, but the claims of "just rebuilt engine" are different than "engine rebuilt with just 75,000 miles, that we have kept accurate mileage records on even though the rebuild receipts got lost!"

Now if you don't believe it, we can find you some prime ocean view real estate in AZ cheap!

Shoot buy Clifford's Eagle and he may even throw in his AZ swamp land with it! Grin
Grin  BK  Grin

Seriously not try'n to bust yer chops, and yer scenarios are possible, but unlikely! (at any rate without it really being a recent rebuild, it should not be advertised as such!) Things go bad just sitting as they do by being properly run & maintained! FWIW!
Logged

Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2009, 07:51:01 AM »

Here's another one for you...  Very probable around here.

CASE C:

Some good folks from down in Dixie decide to start a traveling Southern Gospel group.  They buy a tired old $1,500 bus and do a very basic conversion.  They get sponsored by the West Dingleberry Baptist Church who has a member who owns a truck repair shop.  He is willing to donate the labor if they can pay for the engine rebuild kit.  Several yard sales and bake sales later, the group hits the road.  They use the bus for 5 years, putting 70,000 mile on the undocumented rebuilt engine.
Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
rv_safetyman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2199


Jim Shepherd


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 07:51:17 AM »

There must be a question in these posts that I missed Smiley

Yes, you see a ton of ads that say the engine is rebuilt.  

First of all, there is a huge variation in what constitutes a rebuild.  Next, is the situation where the owner who bought the bus and was told it was rebuilt, and is just "passing on" the information.  Lastly, the next big issue is when it was rebuilt and how it was treated since the rebuild.  Folks look at numbers like 500k life and think if their engine was rebuilt 100K ago, it is a fresh rebuild.

As far as I am concerned, unless I could see the documentation (and compare engine serial number against the ticket), I would put almost no value in the "rebuilt engine" declaration.

Jim
Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 08:00:30 AM »

Believe me, I am as cynical as anyone.  I owned a car lot for a while and dealt with the lowest of the low class.  But I have also looked at a bunch of buses with such sad stories. 

Like one in Florida who had the engine rebuilt first, it has 25 hours on it...  Then he dropped dead. 

A guy here in NC spent $6,000 on an in-frame rebulid, then had 2 heart attacks and got pneumonia.

Another guy in Florida who was almost done the conversion and lost his wife.

A guy in Arkansas who lost his leg to diabetes halfway through the conversion. 

There are so many stories like that that I am certainly willing to listen before dismissing the claim of a "rebuilt engine"

There are plenty of scumbag liars out there, but I am sure there are a lot of legitimate stories also.

After all, if you see an older conversion for sale, say 25-30 years old, what do you suppose their first order of business was when that project was started back then? 

And as far as documentation goes, If there are many people out there like me, I would actually be surprised to find comprehensive documentation very often.  Especially after that period of time.
I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached.
Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
loosenut
Confidently Ignorant
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 407




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 08:03:04 AM »

Not sure what your asking so I may be completely off base.

If your asking, is it possible for a bus to only have 60,000 miles on a 30 year rebuild?  It is easily possible.  It is frequently reported that 5,000 miles per year is average usage.  As you pointed out taking time out for converting and for life unfold it is easily possible.

If you asking, is the engine good with only 60,000 miles on the rebuild?  That is a big, 'who knows'.  During my search I noticed many an ads that stated, "rebuilt detroit engines" with less than 100,000 total miles on the bus.  In some cases, operator error led to the rebuild and in others it was an over statement of work done. 

The correct response is to have the engine looked at by a trustworthy, knowledgeable mechanic.  You never know.  However, when I faced a similar situation I purchased without inspection.  The fever was in full bloom.

Mike
 
Logged

Sold 85 Neoplan 33ft 6V92ta, sadly busless
philiptompkjns
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 193




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2009, 08:08:32 AM »

Either you've heard some good stories from sellers or you've got a busy imagination.
I am in the same boat  as you  right now, I just look for stuff like cold starts, exhaust smoke/color, blow by from the oil fill, coolant color/condition.

I your own judgement should hold way more weight than what the owner says the previous owner said about the bus, ect.
Logged

1990 102a3... Just got started, don't  know  what I'm doing.
bevans6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4764


1980 MCI MC-5C




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 08:11:53 AM »

Mine had a rebuilt engine.  What that turned out to mean is that it had a oil pressure problem, PO took it to a shop for diagnosis and they decided to diagnose it by rolling in new bearings...   then, 5 years and 25K miles later, the blower bearings failed, it got a reman blower and the rack run, and jake solenoids fixed.  Then I got it, it still had low oil pressure but the owner said "it's always like that, it's fine with 30 psi hot".  I have no documentation of anything other than that, so my belief is that it's still on the original liners and pistons, it has a new bottom end, and the heads have never been off.  Not my idea of a rebuilt engine, for sure...

The low oil pressure issue turned out to be a missing restrictor in the oil line to the alternator.  Disconnect and plug the oil line to the alternator, which is run from the same manifold as the oil pressure gauge, and the oil pressure went up to 60 PSI.  I put in an restrictor and the OP is now 45 - 50 hot at speed.

brian
Logged

1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009, 08:14:15 AM »

I think you hit it on the head, Mike.  What was the quality of the rebuild and how has the engine been maintained or treated since?  I don't really question that most buses do indeed have rebuilt engines... Rebuilt when and to what extend is the real question.  Exaggeration is another issue.  Throw some forgetfulness and selective memory into the mix as well, and you really have to be careful.  

Of course it's better to get documentation.  All I am saying is that I don't think you should throw out the baby with the bathwater.  Wouldn't you say most Greyhounds or Trailways buses still in existence would have to have had a rebuild at some point?
Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
cody
Guest

« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2009, 08:18:44 AM »

My thoughts on this are pretty simple, put half your trust in your gut feeling and the other half in the opinion of a good bus mechanic, I've always felt that every bus that hit the market had a fresh rebuild in it and thought it was nice to know that, but when I give a trusted mechanic a couple of hundred to take his time while crawling around under a bus, around the engine of the bus, to be looking at the brakes and the air lines and what ever his heart chooses to look at and then for him to take an oil sample and send it out, tells me much more than the faulty memory of the guy that is selling his prized completely redone like new coach.  I know that each bus has a story to tell and most have several, your future bus will be no different but my take is that before you take the word of the seller, take the word of YOUR mechanic on it.  If it's the bus you want, with the right engine and tranny, and set up the way you want and if you got the right price and the thumbs up from your mechanic, I'll have a cup of coffee waiting for you at the next rally when you roll in with it.
Logged
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 09:52:09 AM »

My thoughts on this are pretty simple, put half your trust in your gut feeling and the other half in the opinion of a good bus mechanic, I've always felt that every bus that hit the market had a fresh rebuild in it and thought it was nice to know that, but when I give a trusted mechanic a couple of hundred to take his time while crawling around under a bus, around the engine of the bus, to be looking at the brakes and the air lines and what ever his heart chooses to look at and then for him to take an oil sample and send it out, tells me much more than the faulty memory of the guy that is selling his prized completely redone like new coach.  I know that each bus has a story to tell and most have several, your future bus will be no different but my take is that before you take the word of the seller, take the word of YOUR mechanic on it.  If it's the bus you want, with the right engine and tranny, and set up the way you want and if you got the right price and the thumbs up from your mechanic, I'll have a cup of coffee waiting for you at the next rally when you roll in with it.

I would say that is probably the best outlook to have on the subject.
Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
kyle4501
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3145


PD4501 South Carolina




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2009, 09:54:06 AM »

What cody said.

It's past is not as important as the condition it is in NOW.

I have seen engines smoking before 30k miles. I've also seen engines with over 300k that don't smoke or use oil. Heck, I've seen brand new rebuilds that you couldn't bar over.
Some can do a great job rebuilding one, but I don't think you'd want one I did the work on - even if it was fresh.  Wink



The stories may be entertaining & even plausible, but I wouldn't base a purchase decision on them. I'd use them as a guide to where to look first. If ALL the physical evidence backs it up, then it is a good story- otherwise it is merely a fairy tale distraction.
Logged

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2009, 10:10:38 AM »

What cody said.

It's past is not as important as the condition it is in NOW.

I have seen engines smoking before 30k miles. I've also seen engines with over 300k that don't smoke or use oil. Heck, I've seen brand new rebuilds that you couldn't bar over.
Some can do a great job rebuilding one, but I don't think you'd want one I did the work on - even if it was fresh.  Wink



The stories may be entertaining & even plausible, but I wouldn't base a purchase decision on them. I'd use them as a guide to where to look first. If ALL the physical evidence backs it up, then it is a good story- otherwise it is merely a fairy tale distraction.

I certainly agree.  My point was that I don't really understand the eye rolling whenever it comes up that an engine has been rebuilt on a bus for sale.  Honestly, I would expect just about every bus on the market to have had some kind of rebuild during it's second life.

On a side note...

How much value would you place on a factory rebuild by Detroit Diesel?  I was looking at a bus that had the rebuild spec tags hanging from the engine.  They reset the odometer at that time, and it shows 75,000 now.  What I mean is how much more value would that have than one done at a regular shop?
Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
bevans6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4764


1980 MCI MC-5C




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2009, 10:48:51 AM »

My feeling is that after your example of 75K miles, the fact that it had a rebuild is almost irrelevant.  All that matters after that time and distance is what condition is it in now?  Maybe if it had 5K miles would where it was rebuilt be a really important thing.

Brian
Logged

1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2009, 11:00:41 AM »

Perhaps I'm starting to understand...  It's not so much that an engine rebuild is so unbelievable, but that it's relative importance is so overshadowed by many other factors...  Ahhh...

I am but a humble learner... LOL.
Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4570

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2009, 11:27:58 AM »

If they say the engine was rebuilt and is still under warranty, that would be a big deal.  I was considering a bus with a Series 60 in it.  They said they had replaced the turbo and rebuilt the head.  Don told me that something else was wrong to have caused the failures, and that the original problem had not been dealt with.  Some months later I came across the same bus for sale with a rebuilt Series 60.  I spoke to the guy that had bought it.  He said the engine failed on the way home.

Further, I think some of us old folk have a fuzzy perception of time.  I sometimes reach for a flannel shirt that looks pretty worn even though I have been thinking of it as new for 20 years now.  For our use, time may be a better standard then mileage.  Boasting about a 15 year old rebuild is sort of absurd.  It's like my saying that my Toyota had a brand new engine just 50,000 miles ago.  It's true, but that's when it was first purchased in 2000.
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
kyle4501
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3145


PD4501 South Carolina




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2009, 11:38:54 AM »

Yes, many variables involved - including operator actions.

One should also be aware that if you drive a 2 stroke like a car, you could kill it on the first hard pull up a long grade.

The engine will be ruined if you run it hot enough, it won't care who rebuilt it, what parts were used, or how many miles are on it.
Logged

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
busshawg
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 490





Ignore
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2009, 12:17:43 PM »

Now for my 2 cents worth, As mentioned almost every bus has a rebulit engine in it. In my eyes none of them are rebuilt until I see the documentation , and then at that point I can determine if it is actually rebuilt or patched. I believe there are a lot , if not most only patched. I also believe that most church buses or "non profit" organizations have had sub standard work preformed along the way. I doubt ALL are like this but most. When I bought my bus BW told me if it starts in cool weather (around freezing) and doesn't smoke too bad it'll be alright. I bought it and then months later I found a reciept in a scribbler that the PO kept for over 10,000 dollars worth of motor work. Rebuilt?? No , not what I would call rebuilt, but rather an in frame. So when it comes to the term rebuilt, definitly take it with a grain of salt !  I also believe that my bus will have less miles on it than my car will over the next 10 years, so it is definitly possible to have an old bus with little conversion miles on it. Rather look for maintence issues, such as grease fittings, have they been lubricated? etc etc. If the bus has been maintained then the motor probably has been as well, if it starts right up sounds good, doesn't smoke too bad it'll probably be ok. With the price of buses beeing so cheap right now maybe a nice maintained bus with a weak motor might not be the end of the world anyway. There are elements to a converstion that cost as much as a "rebuilt engine anyway".

Grant
Logged

Have Fun!!
Grant
buswarrior
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3571


'75 MC8 8V71 HT740




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2009, 02:11:40 PM »

There seems to be a somewhat unspoken misunderstanding in this thread.

In all but a couple of exceptional cases, our 2 stroke buses have had MANY rebuilt engines since the factory. The engine in it now is just the latest one.

How would the dogbus get a 2 stroke bus to do 3 million miles?

Some have estimated the horribly under capitalized greyhound MC9 fleet was up over 5 million....

Same as any other vehicle purchase, you have to know the vehicle, or trust the seller, or spend some cash getting it evaluated by trustworthy professionals.

Or, have the cash to replace the major system problem.

rebuilt engine and numbers matching...two terms that make little sence and are a waste of ad space.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

Logged

Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area
Hard Headed Ken
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 310


1988 Prevost Angola Conversion Repowered With 14L Series 60 & Eaton Ultrashift


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2009, 06:32:30 PM »

I guess, I'm looking at the other side of this. I would rather buy a bus where everything else was in great shape and the engine was bad or worn out. Don't forget about brake shoes, brake drums, wheel bearings, air bags, air lines, brake chambers, king pins, shocks, tie rods, radius rod bushings, steering gear, transmission, differential, radiator, alternator, starter and who knows how many other things. To me, the engine is the easy thing to figure out. The cost of the other stuff could easly exceed the cost of an engine.

Ken
Logged

Link to my engine swap slide show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxAFFBcoTQI
josephgranzier
4106 fan
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 39


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2009, 06:56:22 PM »

Ken
well said  - all those "misc" sure do add up
not to count the time spent away
all the trips back to the shop

whew  -   

let me find that bus w/ documentation
Logged
luvrbus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12772




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2009, 07:03:54 PM »

You got that right Ken my son in law had his 4060 Allison go bad and W.W.Williams charged him over 14 grand to rebuild it.
Most of the time a engine can be repaired to run for years the secret is to find a mechanic and not a parts installer  


good luck
Logged

Life is short drink the good wine first
busnut104
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 211




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2009, 07:50:22 PM »

I know it is possible, how about 10 year and less then 1000 mile on a new eng.
Logged
kyle4501
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3145


PD4501 South Carolina




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2009, 05:10:39 AM »

I know it is possible, how about 10 year and less then 1000 mile on a new eng.

Then I'd be concerned with dried up seals & o-rings.
Rubber doesn't like to sit still - it needs to be exercised to maintain it's best sealing properties. . . . Not to say you will have excessive leaks, but you should be aware that they are a possibility. . . .


Always something, no free lunch.

I don't place much faith in documentation. I believe the performance as I'm inspecting it & test driving it.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.  Sad
Logged

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
luvrbus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12772




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2009, 05:33:58 AM »

I am with you Kyle on the documentation, testing on all liquids not just the engine are your best friend and don't lie and be very cautious of a old bus with all new oils and coolant.     




good luck
Logged

Life is short drink the good wine first
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!