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Author Topic: Opinions on MC-7 Custom Coach  (Read 4941 times)
luvrbus
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« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2009, 11:02:12 AM »

I wasn't trying to be negative about the bus just trying to inform you with info about the transmission.
But to anyone thinking they can buy a older converted coach in perfect condition shame on them if you like the coach and it fits your needs, budget and knowing about what repairs are needed go for it buying a used bus is like rolling dice sometime 7-11  or the double 6 

good luck on your new venture
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2009, 11:06:59 AM »

I didn't find out till after i bought mine that it had about 3 million miles on the body. That would have made me think twice about bidding on it if i had known.(ebay)   Having said that, and 6 years later, I know that the body could probably go another 3 million miles. Grin  However, if i was ever going to get another bus i would try to find one that had been converted new from the factory. I think this bus could turn out to be a sweet deal.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
Fredward
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« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2009, 11:10:11 AM »

Jumpsuitman,
I think what you're seeing here is a compilation of everything that each contributor has seen happen when buying a used bus. Not that all those things will happen to one coach. Each one of these machines has a different story to tell. Sitting is almost as hard on them as regular use; but in different ways. You're doing the right thing going to inspect it because rarely does a bus look as good as it did in the pictures.

The MC-7 is a pretty old bus; I have a 1965 MC-5 thats even older! I think what you got going there sounds like not a bad deal as long as you're not afraid of doing some work and spending some money. If you pay to have everything done it can get real expensive. If you tinker with it yourself and use the resources of this board then the parts bus is of some value because body parts and windshields are becoming hard to come by for those things. I like the idea of a coach that was converted new.

I don't know you're mechanic's qualifications but I think you need a bus mechanic who understands MCIs. Just like if you were looking at an Eagle or a GM you need someone who knows the peculiarities of those manufacturers. Each one has unique issues.

I looked at an MC-7 with Gumpy one time that the hub odometer read 375,000 miles. I called the bus company that sold it to the private party I was talking to and they said they never sold anything with less than 700K on it.

Fred
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Fred Thomson
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« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2009, 11:10:22 AM »

I wasn't trying to be negative about the bus just trying to inform you with info about the transmission.
But to anyone thinking they can buy a older converted coach in perfect condition shame on them if you like the coach and it fits your needs, budget and knowing about what repairs are needed go for it buying a used bus is like rolling dice sometime 7-11  or the double 6 

good luck on your new venture

I wasn't talking about you, luvrbus.  Actually, yours IS the kind if opinion I am interested in.  The nature of that model.  Someone else said they are more prone to overheat than other models, that is helpful.  The list of things to check is helpful.  But for someone to just say, "it is going to need a lot of work" or "It will probably need a new engine soon" is not that helpful.   Smiley  

Thanks
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mikelutestanski
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« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2009, 11:12:54 AM »

Hello:    
My 7 has been reskinned and rebuilt from the bottom to the top.  The NY state salt took its toll on the steel  and poor mainteneance.  I replaced alot of steel in the rear, sides, and top. I have  a bunch of pix of the beginning showing the bus with the sides off however I need to see how to get these into the computer.. A scanner I suppose
    I would take the parts bus in any case including a tow bill because the parts are not replaceable and custom parts are expensive.
    I love my mci 7 and have spent many many hours under and inside the bus repairing and replacing ...
  Oh by the way examine all the aluminum skin above the lower rail for bubbles in the paint; look especially at the rear of each window and follow down to the top of the lower rail.   Most coaches have leaky seals on the windows and the water follows down the inner rails and rots the botom off the support going up to the top.  
   Now if this is custom coach job that is a plus because they usually did better work around the windows..
   Like I said before    I like this bus and you may have the deal of the lifetime however my  experience has been.  I learned more and had to develop more new skills whilst working on the bus..   ANd as some of my friends have quoted it kept me off the streets and out of bars..
   ANd I went thru the trouble to convert to a 740 auto tranny and rebuilt the engine.   Later I changed the engine and tranny to a Cummins so I am a glutton for punishment..
      Modified my post because I did not read all of the other posts..  having got caught up the 70 series  you mentioned means the wiring for the auto is in place and the rear ratio is 4.625 and possibly the engine has jakes onboard which is a real plus.      The 70 series was way ahead of its time and Allison did not have much luck with sales so it ended .  
    MCI built 7s for other companies.  my bus came from S&O coach lines in NYstate who purchased at least 25  that I know of.  

    Good luck anyway        
    Regards and happy bussin      mike   352 489-1581     (if more info is required)      
      
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 11:30:13 AM by mikelutestanski » Logged

Mike Lutestanski   Dunnellon Florida
  1972 MCI 7
  L10 Cummins  B400R  4.625R
thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2009, 11:16:26 AM »

Hello:   
My 7 has been reskinned and rebuilt from the bottom to the top.  The NY state salt took its toll on the steel.  I replaced alot of steel in the rear, sides, and top. I have  a bunch of pix of the beginning showing the bus with the sides off however I need to see how to get these into the computer.. A scanner I suppose
    I would take the parts bus in any case including a tow bill because the parts are not replaceable and custom parts are expensive.
    I love my mci 7 and have spent many many hours under and inside the bus repairing and replacing ...
  Oh by the way examine all the aluminum skin above the lower rail for bubbles in the paint; look especially at the rear of each window and follow down to the top of the lower rail.   Most coaches have leaky seals on the windows and the water follows down the inner rails and rots the botom off the support going up to the top. 
   Now if this is custom coach job that is a plus because they usually did better work around the windows..
   Like I said before    I like this bus and you may have the deal of the lifetime however my  experience has been.  I learned more and had to develop more new skills whilst working on the bus..   ANd as some of my friends have quoted it kept me off the streets and out of bars..
   ANd I went thru the trouble to convert to a 740 auto tranny and rebuilt the engine.   Later I changed the engine and tranny to a Cummins so I am a glutton for punishment..
    Good luck anyway         
    Regards and happy bussin      mike   352 489-1581     (if more info is required)    

Thanks Mike,

Your opinion is highly valued.  BK told me you know a "7" inside and out.  I will have a full report tomorrow night on what is what with this thing.   
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« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2009, 11:45:05 AM »

Sorry if you felt my post was unfairly negative.  I was partially commenting on your statement that a 260,000 mile engine still has 1/3 of it's life left.
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thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2009, 12:03:09 PM »

Sorry if you felt my post was unfairly negative.  I was partially commenting on your statement that a 260,000 mile engine still has 1/3 of it's life left.

No problem, wasn't even my original statement.  Actually, negative is fine... and sometimes even necessary if there is a specific point.  I just think perhaps the core questions tend to get lost on some of these posts, (especially potential purchase posts) because of painful flashbacks to unexpected problems people have had to deal with.  I say the way to not have unexpected problems is simply to EXPECT problems.    Wink
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bevans6
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« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2009, 12:30:51 PM »

OK, I am going to post what may seem to be a contrarian view...I think that is a lovely bus, and could be an excellent starting point.  Heck, I'd just get the maintenance up to speed, fix whatever is wrong with the house stuff and use it!  I even like the decor - people pay a lot of money for new stuff that looks that kitchy, and I think it's kind of cool.  the body looks nice and straight, you obvioulsy know how to check for rust, you have a mechanic coming to inspect it, that is one cool bus in my book!  I even like the rear nook, reminds me of 1960's Playboy Mansion decor!

There, I said my piece!   Grin

Brian
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kyle4501
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« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2009, 12:47:52 PM »

I think the 7 is a good looking bus.
If you like the looks & when you walk away, you find yourself stopping to look at it again. . . . you may as well go on & pull the trigger. Many here have spent lots more on much worse, I have  Shocked. But, it looks so cool!  Cool

As for the spare bus, GET IT! you will be amazed at how usefull it will be when it comes to figuring out how something works without having to tear into the 'good one'.  Wink The little spare parts will be of great benefit too. My comments concerning towing costs were to enable you to make an informed decision - nothing sucks worse than expecting a $300 tow Bill & being presented with a $700+ fee.

For me it is all about vanity - do you like the looks? If you don't, then it will be difficult to keep your enthusiasm up when the clouds of problems come.

If not for vanity, I'd have bought a late 80's MCI-9. That's what I was looking for when I found a 4501.  Grin

Knowing the potential pitfalls will help in your evaluation.

Good luck.
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thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2009, 01:03:46 PM »

I think the 7 is a good looking bus.
If you like the looks & when you walk away, you find yourself stopping to look at it again. . . . you may as well go on & pull the trigger. Many here have spent lots more on much worse, I have  Shocked. But, it looks so cool!  Cool

As for the spare bus, GET IT! you will be amazed at how usefull it will be when it comes to figuring out how something works without having to tear into the 'good one'.  Wink The little spare parts will be of great benefit too. My comments concerning towing costs were to enable you to make an informed decision - nothing sucks worse than expecting a $300 tow Bill & being presented with a $700+ fee.

For me it is all about vanity - do you like the looks? If you don't, then it will be difficult to keep your enthusiasm up when the clouds of problems come.

If not for vanity, I'd have bought a late 80's MCI-9. That's what I was looking for when I found a 4501.  Grin

Knowing the potential pitfalls will help in your evaluation.

Good luck.

Kyle,

I think I am probably a lot like you.  I do like the looks of the mc7 much more than than any other MCI.  Actually, MCI's weren't even on my radar at all when I came across this.  I was set to get a 4104 or 4106, and still may.  To be honest, I don't think there is much to distinguish any of the later buses... (Unless you want to call a Buffalo a later bus)...  No offense to newer bus owners.  Cool old stuff is just my thing.  By the way, I think the Scenicruisers are the coolest buses ever.  Too bad they made so few of them.   But I'm right there with you as far as the styling goes. 

Also, I didn't even think about being able to mess up the parts bus before messing up  my own! HA!  Grin

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brando4905
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« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2009, 01:21:39 PM »

Howdy Neighbor! Looks like a nice bus to me at a decent price, can't beat the parts bus. It will be handy!! Wish I had a parts bus.

Anyway, I too bought an already converted machine, and I think I have replaced half of it in 2 years. No biggie, still a little ahead of starting from scratch!

The bus market now certainly is in the buyers court, I paid twice what your looking at just 2 years ago. I think it's a deal if the mechanic likes it.

Brandon
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thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2009, 01:26:49 PM »

Howdy Neighbor! Looks like a nice bus to me at a decent price, can't beat the parts bus. It will be handy!! Wish I had a parts bus.

Anyway, I too bought an already converted machine, and I think I have replaced half of it in 2 years. No biggie, still a little ahead of starting from scratch!

The bus market now certainly is in the buyers court, I paid twice what your looking at just 2 years ago. I think it's a deal if the mechanic likes it.

Brandon

Hi Brandon,

I certainly value the fact that it is already converted and usable.  No doubt some updates and upgrades will be needed, but it certainly beats steel tenting.
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« Reply #43 on: November 05, 2009, 02:29:56 PM »

Looks alright to me. Of course you will have your issues as everyone has mentioned but I don't think you'll find one out there that doesn't, especially in that price range. I spend way more than that just doing the conversion,and I'm not done!! As mentioned by some of the other members here, rust is a big thing. You can replace bags etc but if it is too far gone it will be an issue. It looked to me like the side skins had some corrosion around the vertical rivots. Don't be scared to go over to that area and give it a good push, if there is any movement you will know the structure on the inside is roughted. You also have to remember these things were over built in my opinion, good buses. As mentioned if you enjoy doing some grunt work go for it, you will have to with any bus of that era, even if it looks good. As far as the parts bus goes, if you were to suggest to him you aren't interested he would probably drop the price for you just to take it. It may be of some use to you , but would be nothing but a pain in the *** to him if you didn't take. Start complaining about the price just to get it home, I would just bet he'll work with you.

Grant
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« Reply #44 on: November 05, 2009, 06:56:01 PM »

While I can't comment on the MCI itself I can give you some thoughts on the conversion. I have an MCI 102a3 that was converted from new by Custom Coach in 1988. The bus now has 220,000 original miles.

I spent most of this past summer upgrading and/or modifying many of the systems, flat screen TV, refrigerator, holding tank dump valve, and much much more. I can tell you Custom Coach built the interiors to last and used top quality materials. We did a 4000 mile trip this fall and the only rattles in the coach were the dishes. We had one squeak that drove me nuts for five days until I traced it to small plastic piece in one of the RV style sliding windows.

The only weak area you may need to look after is electrical system. In my conversion, they used miniature switches located in a center console to energize relays mounted in a large enclosure in the first bay. Several of the relays used in my bus have failed and the replacements are about $25.00 each. I looked into using cube relays which are a lot cheaper but it would have been a lot more work to mount them so I stuck with the original style.

I had a gentlemen stop at my house this past July and told me he was the shop foreman for Custom Coach for a few years. I was talking to him about the electrical system and he stated each conversion was wired differently and without the wiring diagrams for the exact coach it was going to hard to figure the thing out.

On a positive note, Custom Coach ran multiple wires throughout the coach and tagged each one with a numbered tag. I have no less than 7 sets of unused pairs of wires in the liquids bay coiled up with sequential numbers. The down side is I have yet to find the other end of the pairs although I am sure they are in the wiring enclosure.

If you decide to buy the bus, be aware that Custom Coach used black and white pairs for the 12 and 24 volt systems. Black is positive and white is negative. Drives me nuts having to remember that black is positive when hooking up a voltmeter..

I would give high marks to Custom Coach for the work they did on my conversion.

Hope this helps.
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