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Author Topic: Can I please ask for some opinions please. Should I chose an RST or a 4108?  (Read 6258 times)
Nellie Wilson
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2010, 10:45:03 PM »

Dutch -

Seeing as you sound like a mechanically savvy sorta guy, I'm gonna throw this out. There's this fellow in Virginia about to dismantle / scrap a perfectly beautiful MCI - 5A (35', two-axle OTR coach). A bunch of us tried to talk him out of this, but he's kinda stuck.

This bus is already converted and looks quite livable as is.

The kicker: It needs a rear end and drop box. Very pricey to hire it done, but not bad if you can DIY - and you sound like a guy that could?

BTW, I have no stake in this. In fact, suggesting it is contrary to my own self interest (I've earmarked some of the parts for myself).

But I would much rather see this baby preserved than see it cannabalized for a few free bits and pieces.

If you have any interest, please indicate here (or email me) and I'll get you all info.

Nellie Wilson
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Had to change a tire... Angry  got to put it on backward... Undecided  still trying to fix it on photoshop... Huh Roll Eyes Huh
zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2010, 11:07:04 PM »

You can insure a schoolie and if you are going backroading that is what you need.  For all buses you register them as RV then go insure.  Finally 4108 is not a good tower (don't know about RTS), can't handle much tongue weight.  Read this entire forum and you will will learn something.
p.s. nothing wrong with an RTS I like the head room and stainless construction,no baggage bays perhaps, but he roof looks like it could hold some gear.
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TomC
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2010, 07:49:17 AM »

Both buses uses V drive and an engine cradle-which is great for an 8 hour engine/transmission change, but not good if you want to tow anything over 5,000lbs-since the trailer hitch is attached to the engine cradle.  A bus with a T drive will afford you more structure for a heavy duty trailer hitch. 

This is where a schoolie would be good since it has a full length truck frame (usually).  And since they have more ground clearance, better for going on dirt roads.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2010, 08:02:06 AM »

with the use clarified, I'd say a skoolie is the ticket. full frame, ground clearance, off-roadable, plus, I've used them to move cross country several times. hard to beat. there are other companys that will insure a skoolie.
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2010, 08:40:01 AM »

Sounds like a job for an 8-wheel drive Crown with mid engine. My 2centavos, Will
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BG6
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2010, 09:19:34 AM »

I'm currently looking at two 2 cycle buses one is an intercity 1978 4108 buffalo, and an innercity 1980 RST, both 35 foot long.

Both are overpriced.

Both are also too short -- why buy a 35 footer with so many 40s on the market?  Unless you are planning to do a lot of driving in tight quarters (such as downtown in some city), the more length the better.

A transit or skoolie is not welcome at most RV campgrounds (even if it's better inside and out than the sticks and staples rig that pulled in ahead of it), and even some storage yards won't accept them (too many people walk away from them, leaving the yard with a 10-ton paperweight).

If you use crazedlist.org (a craigslist shell) you will find plenty of better choices out there if you do a search on bus conversion.
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WVA_NATIVE
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2010, 09:21:59 AM »

Dutch, first I am sure we can help you make the right choice as there are a lot of guys here with a lot of knowledge.

First things first though, first we will need to know where you are finding this gold? If you can provide exact GPS coordinates that would be best.

Secondly what kind of quantity of gold are you finding per ton of earth moved?

Thirdly have you filed a claim yet?

I'm sure you understand that the decision on the type of bus is a big one and the more you can help us with the information we need the easier it will be for us all.

WVaNative
And the new BusNuts Gold Mining  Coop of America
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BG6
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2010, 09:41:11 AM »

Hi Guys,
 Hmm I'm not entirely sure I'ved defined my needs

Now that I've read this, I'm going to suggest that you forget the coach idea altogether.  Your need is for a good diesel 4x4 pickup or Suburban with a strong trailer hitch.  If you can find a good used diesel dually with all-wheel-drive, you have it made!  There is no shortage of cheap used trailers on the market, so you can buy one and store it near your hunting grounds when you're not using it.

This will be your all-around best choice, giving you the most options and the least cost, AND gives you the best resale value.  You can also do the "haul-for-pay" idea (which would be unworkable with the bus).

Instead of starting with a $7000 project, you can get away with a ready-to-go package under $5000.  I bought a 1994 diesel Suburban 4WD from a craigslist ad for $2300 a couple of months ago, and while I was doing my MCI conversion last year I lived in a 24-foot a travel trailer that I bought for $800.  Now that the coach is done, I keep the trailer near some land that I own in Nevada and pull it out there when I want to spend a few days, rather than risking the coach on muddy roads. 

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Dutch106
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2010, 10:11:42 AM »

Hey WVA,
 First you go to Baker City turn left drive a hour turn right and there you are! It averages about 30 ton to the color (the smallest bit that is gold color to the human eye)
 I finished last year with about $2500 in equipment and 20 or so grams of placer gold (about 6-700 dollars worth) and its hard physical work. After spending all my free time last summer. SO its about the same wage I made in the army about .33 an hour not counting buying the equipment.
 So we come to converting buses to RV's hmm could be there a familiar thread in this, Gee I know not a particular strong brain.

So I have maps and equipment for sale for proven gold mines. Cheap really! All have gold (most just not enough to pay your gas costs of running the dredge unfortunately)

On the same (silly) Note the great Cornucopia mine in the Blue mountains in North Eastern Oregon is up for sale. Just 4 million. Its even been worked in the last 20 years. so the water is not all the way to the surface. Cheap!

  On a much more serious note: there really is gold to be found, its relatively easy to find tiny little specks called color with just a 10 dollar gold pan. If anyone is looking for an excuse for a vacation that is very doable and the blue mountains are really beautiful, the air full of spruce and pine. Sassy fish. I spend way to much time chasing small fish away from the mouth of the dredge.
 Hells Canyon is just around the corner.
Most of the time not all that many people. Particularly back in the toolies.
 Shoot for you guys I'll even teach you to use a gold pan.
Hmm its starting to sound like I need to look around for a diesel schoolie or two to drive. I notice the gassers around for 1.5K a lot it seems like the diesels aren't two much more. I think I even saw a schoolie with a basement!

 Perhaps after making my big score (you know a nice pocket with a hundred ounces just sitting there) I can come back and rebuild a nice intercity.
Cheers,
Dutch

PS Nellie I'm out on (nearly) the west coast fixing a bus on the east coast sounds like to much of an adventure for even me, Sorry.
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2010, 10:18:59 AM »


On the same (silly) Note the great Cornucopia mine in the Blue mountains in North Eastern Oregon is up for sale.


No thanks, I don't need to buy a water mine.  Wink
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Iceni John
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2010, 12:48:02 PM »

I recently posted a response here about Gillig transits  -  like my Crown, they're tough and have a full-length frame, but unlike my bus thay probably have airbags and slightly less under-floor space.   As others have suggested (if you can withstand the social stigma of being associated with the Skoolie crowd!), a school bus is the only bus able to handle poor roads  -  Blue Bird even has a factory in Guatamala to make that country's chicken buses!   A pusher skoolie will have a full-length frame strong enough to attach a tow hitch to without any problems, unlike most monocoque OTR coaches.   Someone mentioned a 10-wheel Crown  -  excellent off-road ability because both axles are driven, and there is also an inter-axle differential lock to improve traction;  however, all mid-engine Crown and Gillig skoolies (all the ten-wheelers are mid-engine) do not have a full frame running all the way to the back.   The mid-engine buses have a huge luggage compartment under the back seats which serves as a crumple zone to protect the occupants if the bus is rear-ended by a car, but the bodywork there is not structural.   If you attach a hitch back there it would tear off!   With enough ingenuity a frame can be made to connect a hitch to the main frame rails  -  look on the Skoolie forum how others have done this.

Some rural CA school districts ran their Crowns over unpaved desert roads for many decades, so a heavy-duty bus like that should easily handle what you need.   Simple, tough, good ground clearance, standard class-8 truck parts  -  sounds like it may work for you.

John
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 06:15:21 PM by Iceni John » Logged

1990 Crown 2R-40N-552:  6V92TAC, DDEC II, HT740, Jake.      Hecho en Chino.     
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Dutch106
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« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2010, 03:49:23 PM »

Hi Guys,

Hey WVA no guts, no glory (also no late night conferances with the SO about how you spend your money)

So is there any better place to find one of these 10 wheel Crowns? I don't know I have ever seen one? are they any more diffacult to maintain or rebuild? Sounds like were you put the radiator would be tough?
 
There was a schoolie Gillig up North of here cheap under a grand that was gone when I Called to ask questions about.

  My Real dilema what do I offer this guy and how do I tell him his price is too high?

 The Guy with the 4108 has the accelerator cable in and wants me to go take a look and drive it. Several folks have said that $7.5 K is to high a price for a stripped 1978 4108, the exterior is pretty rough as well at least paint needed most of the windows have been removed and skinned and the roof excapes replaced with vents (in rough shape) whats it worth? assuming the engine, transmition and basic running gear in descent shape (and how do I tell)?

Please help oh great and wise busnut minds, help the poor bus virgin out!!!!!  Grin
Enquiring minds want to know. Roll Eyes
Dutch
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Dutch106
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« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2010, 03:55:07 PM »

Hi Guys,
 Here is the verbage from the craigslist Addy the pictures didn't make it across for some reason? It feels really strange as he's the one who pointed me at you guys.
Dutch


This is a 1978 GMC P8M4108A motor coach. It is a 35’ single rear axle coach. It is powered by a supercharged Detroit 8V71 diesel pusher with an Allison 4 speed manual transmission. All the seats and passenger related equipment have been removed. The floor has been removed and replaced with marine grade ¾ “ plywood. It is ready for you to convert it to the floor plan of your choosing. There is a 4000 watt generator with less than 10 hours on it, two new batteries, a brand new permanent mount LP tank, brand new Alcoa aluminum wheels for the front and rear, two new Michelin tires up front ($450 each) and boxes of manuals, brochures and parts catalogs. It has auto load sensing self adjusting air ride suspension, air brakes and power steering. There are two very large luggage compartments below as well as compressor and generator bays that you don’t get with “stick and staple motor homes’. This is a serious piece of equipment designed for millions of miles of service. I drove it here from Wisconsin 2 years ago and it has been sitting ever since. Everything on this bus works, the engine can sit for a year and it starts immediately and idles smooth without smoking (more than a diesel should). You should expect 9-10 mpg no mater what you put in or behind it and it motors up the passes with no trouble at all. You won’t find this much for this price anywhere else. I just don’t have the time for it and feel it should be passed on to someone who does.


 
 

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kyle4501
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« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2010, 04:04:46 PM »

I'd look for a Crown. They were made in CA, so not too far away. . . .
Very sturdy buss with unique looks.

The diff lockout is indeed a handy thing to have when off roading. . .

Roof raises can be done, but then you'd need a larger hole in the woods . . . BTW, how much time are you standing up inside the coach?  Roll Eyes

The biggest 'issue' with a crown is the engine having to be on it's side. Limited selection of engines that will accommodate the special modifications required - But, there are several to choose from.

For your planned use, I'd stick with a bus that has a real frame under it - makes trailer pulling so much easier to do without loads of reinforcing.
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« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2010, 05:40:06 PM »

Hi Guys,
 Here is the verbage from the craigslist Addy the pictures didn't make it across for some reason? It feels really strange as he's the one who pointed me at you guys.
Dutch


This is a 1978 GMC P8M4108A motor coach. It is a 35’ single rear axle coach. It is powered by a supercharged Detroit 8V71 diesel pusher with an Allison 4 speed manual transmission. All the seats and passenger related equipment have been removed. The floor has been removed and replaced with marine grade ¾ “ plywood. It is ready for you to convert it to the floor plan of your choosing. There is a 4000 watt generator with less than 10 hours on it, two new batteries, a brand new permanent mount LP tank, brand new Alcoa aluminum wheels for the front and rear, two new Michelin tires up front ($450 each) and boxes of manuals, brochures and parts catalogs. It has auto load sensing self adjusting air ride suspension, air brakes and power steering. There are two very large luggage compartments below as well as compressor and generator bays that you don’t get with “stick and staple motor homes’. This is a serious piece of equipment designed for millions of miles of service. I drove it here from Wisconsin 2 years ago and it has been sitting ever since. Everything on this bus works, the engine can sit for a year and it starts immediately and idles smooth without smoking (more than a diesel should). You should expect 9-10 mpg no mater what you put in or behind it and it motors up the passes with no trouble at all. You won’t find this much for this price anywhere else. I just don’t have the time for it and feel it should be passed on to someone who does.


 
 




RUN as FAST as you can, The guy offering the bus has no idea what he is trying to sell.

There is NO allison 4-speed manual transmission, Like there is NO such thing as a supercharged Detroit Diesel 8V71. Seriously this ad sounds bogus already.

An 8V71 has a blower as part of it's air intake system. (looks like a supercharger) But isn't.
The 4-speed Manual is probably a Spicer 4-speed non-synchronized type as typical with Buffalo's.

The First and Reverse Gears are So tall that you can't get rolling easily on hilly terrain and will eventually suffer clutch failures which are not pretty or cheap to fix.

As to applicability for going into remote places. Neither the RTS or the Buffalo will work due to limited ground clearance issues. Sand and Mud are your worst enemies. These busses will get stuck at the hint of getting off paved roads. You can't just yank them out with a pickup truck either!!! Takes a BIG Class-C (30 to 50 ton) wrecker to pull them loose.

You need an all wheel drive schoolie with loads of ground clearance and a big winch on both ends.

Good Luck...
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