Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
October 24, 2014, 11:51:15 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: It arrives at least two weeks before the First Class printed magazine.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Thinking of Buying an MC8  (Read 4679 times)
ToppDog
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 12:23:48 PM »

The air conditioning is not working right now.  Apparently the reason they had to get the engine rebuilt was because a driver kept overriding the system that shuts off the air conditioning in order to cool the engine during a long trip to a very hot region of Washington State, & the engine fried as a result.  He thinks they might not have hooked the air conditioning back up when they put in the new engine because everything was working fine prior to that & now nothing seems to work at all (blowers, etc.).  The wires to the fan that vents the restroom were also disconnected & we could see it hanging down.

I'll try to post some pics in a bit.

Thanks again,

Don
Logged
bevans6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4762


1980 MCI MC-5C




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 01:19:42 PM »

The thing about OTR air is that even if it works, it doesn't always keep working, and it is such a huge system that it can be expensive to maintain.  An awful lot of people take it out rather than fuss with it, myself included.  For me, it would just be a bargaining point, I wouldn't actually care if it worked or not.

What I would care about is how long the suspension holds air, if the air brakes pass a DOT test and inspection, and if the engine is smoking or slobbering excessively.  Along with all the rust issues you have been told about already. 



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
BG6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 642




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2010, 01:55:15 PM »

check the date code on the tires, one of the worst things you can let a tire do is sit in the sun, they'll dryrot and become unsafe, you can figure in 300 to 500 per tire to replace them,

Check truck stops, school districts, bus companies etc -- there is no shortage of good used tires for sale, sometimes these folks are almost giving them away.  

Don't be afraid to bargain, either.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 01:57:58 PM by BG6 » Logged
ToppDog
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2010, 02:24:40 PM »

Thanks again.  Here is a link to the pics I took yesterday:

http://s962.photobucket.com/albums/ae105/ToppDog/MC8/
Logged
ToppDog
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 04:09:13 PM »

Oh yeah, I live in the Seattle area... forgot to answer that Smiley

The bus apparently was a Grey Lines Tour Bus in the Seattle area, & then went up with Grey lines & was in Seward, Alaska, before being bought by the current owners & brought back down to Seattle.  The current owners never knew the actual mileage.  The driver said the hub gauge reads 300,000 plus, but that the hub gauge could have been put there anytime.  Maybe the pics will reveal something I missed.  I mainly noticed the rust & damage in the spare tire area, where it also looks like it has been taken over a curb or two & pushed the floor up on the drivers side.  Not by much, but enough to make opening that compartment a little tougher.
Logged
gumpy
Some Assembly Required
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3266


Slightly modified 1982 MC9


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2010, 04:57:47 PM »

The air conditioning is not working right now.  Apparently the reason they had to get the engine rebuilt was because a driver kept overriding the system that shuts off the air conditioning in order to cool the engine during a long trip to a very hot region of Washington State, & the engine fried as a result.  He thinks they might not have hooked the air conditioning back up when they put in the new engine because everything was working fine prior to that & now nothing seems to work at all (blowers, etc.).  The wires to the fan that vents the restroom were also disconnected & we could see it hanging down.


I don't understand what he's talking about. I'm unaware of any system that shuts off the A/C to cool the engine. The A/C compressor is run off the engine crank shaft. The fans are
electric. Obviously, shutting off the A/C will reduce the horsepower and may reduce the load on the engine, and hence, may allow it to not run as hot. But I know of know system that does
that automatically or could be overridden.

I'm not sure I'd trust everything this guy is telling you. I think he has a vested interest in selling you a bus.

Logged

Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
Dreamscape
Dreamscape
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3306


1968 Silver Eagle Model 01 8V71 Allison 740 #7443


WWW
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2010, 05:21:42 PM »

After viewing you PB album, I've seen a lot worse. It really doesn't look that bad, but picutres can be deceiving.

Take a hard look at the major mechanicals. Like others have said, engine, tranny and the condition of the brakes. It costs and arm and a leg to replace that stuff. If the drums are too far gone, that's some big money. These need to be looked at by a certified bus mechanic or bus nut. People usually get rid of something because it would cost some serious money to keep it in service.

I'm not trying to disuade you at all. Buses are neat but also can be expensive.

Anything from a damp climate needs to be disected with a fine tooth comb.

I hope it works out for whatever you decide, really I do!

Paul
Logged

Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
______________________________________________________

Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.
gumpy
Some Assembly Required
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3266


Slightly modified 1982 MC9


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2010, 05:39:38 PM »

Well, I looked at all your photos. The body of this bus is surprisingly in good condition. However, there are some serious water leakage issues inside and I can pretty much guarantee that you will have
rust issues in the wall framing, so plan for that. Even if you don't hear rust falling, it's gonna be bad. Also, because it's an MC8, you will have problems in the front end framing, too. May not be a priority
but the rust will be there.  But, the body looks too be in pretty decent condition. Minor rust in the suspension, but looking at the rear bay photos, there will be considerable rust on the tops of the air
beams. If they are not leaking now, they will eventually.



Logged

Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
Chopper Scott
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1301


MCI 7




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2010, 06:47:51 PM »

Any MCI bus of that era will have air beams leaking if not sooner then later. Add the roughly $1600 for the conversion to eliminate the bags less your labor. My 7 lived it's life in the Phoenix area and I had a rear beam start leaking. I own my own welding shop and did a temp fix but looking long term I did the conversion. Wise decision. If you have the ability to do the conversion then add that to your expenses some day. I bought my bus blindly but also had the resources, shop, and friends with knowledge that eliminated a bunch of my concerns. I couldn't even buy all the stuff in my bus for what I gave for it and it was all basically new. You will get an overwhelming amount of advise here. The price they are asking is not much and probably valued right. All the advise you are getting is how much more it could and will cost you down the road. If you have the ability to do much of the labor then it's a no brainer. If you don't have that and the resources to handle such a job then you may want to look in a different direction. You have to admire those that build ground up busses but they have been around the block for years and want more than to save a buck. If all you want is something to throw an air mattress and a portapotty into and camp out 20 miles away or you want to full time in makes a big difference.
Logged

Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
Fredward
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 624


MC-5A #5401 8" roof raise 8V71 with MT647




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2010, 07:51:39 PM »

I think from looking at your photos this is a pretty clean bus. I'd guess the hub odometer might have been replaced when (if) the engine was rebuilt so that means its about half used up. Tires look good and like a matched set; thats a plus. Like Craig said you may find some rust issues, but this bus looks nice and straight and the rust issues I would say are probably manageable. But if its leaking that really sucks because unless you find the leaks you're going to end up with a moldy/mildew smelling coach.

The work involved in taking it from this stage to a useable conversion is probably 10x what you are currently thinking. I have a buddy who is converting an Eagle here at my shop and what he thought would be a 10 month project is going to be considerably more than that I think. Unless you're going to hire substantial portions of the work done. I agree with other posts here, you might want to wait and find something already done or partially done. These things can literally eat you alive financially or they can treat you pretty well and just nickel and dime you all your life.

Still it looks pretty safe to me and aside from some water leaks I think you've discovered a pretty darn nice MC-8.
Fred
Logged

Fred Thomson
WVA_NATIVE
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 98




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2010, 08:21:36 PM »

I'm no expert but this bus looks very nice, all the rust I saw in the baggage bays looked like just surface rust. The electric box looked like it was almost new. I've seen a lot worse but the first thing you need to do is find a bus mechanic and have him go through this bus. The owner needs to get it insured so you can take it out and get her good and hot, then take an oil sample while its hot. Then have him pull the wheels and check everything, bearings, air system, air bags, and the engine. This will cost you a few hundred dollars but when he's done you will know what needs to be fixed and be able to estimate how much it will cost to fix. Plus you will be able to negotiate a better price based on what the mechanic finds. A good bus mechanic will know what he's looking for and if he says it's a keeper then get it, If he says walk away then run.

WVaNative
Logged
bevans6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4762


1980 MCI MC-5C




Ignore
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2010, 06:47:02 AM »

I confess that I don't understand buying a bus for $4K when for three times that you could buy a converted bus with a known history and usable now.  That's actually exactly what i did.  You lose the personal touch of stripping it and starting from scratch, on the other hand you don't need to strip it and start from scratch...  Just a contrarian view.  You can only lose money on a bus conversion, the comment about figuring the cost of doing the conversion at 10X what you think it might be rings a little true, and I would frankly wilt at the timeframe that many take to do all the work.

I restore old race cars for people, not the kind that are worth a million bucks.  My honest advice is usually that if you start with a free, complete running race car, by the time I get it safe, fast, pretty, and right - it will cost about twice what it's worth.  In other words, it has to be a labour of love...

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
roadrunnertex
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541





Ignore
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2010, 06:57:05 AM »

Well,I noticed on the rear engine compartment access doors that some one has installed some aftermarket louvers.
I bet this old bus has a serious engine/radiators cooling problem.
A- Radiators tubes are clogged with rust and scale need to be reccored and or cleaned.
B-Seals around the two radiators are missing so the cooling air for the radiators is going around the outside of the radiators and not through the core.
Lot of issues you need to look at before money changes hands good luck!
jlv
Logged
cody
Guest

« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2010, 07:05:47 AM »

Brian is right, the cost of building or buying a bus conversion is an example of how to loose money and lots of it, you have to approach it from the idea that the cost gets repaid in other ways, for some it's the value of getting away with family, for some it may be the value of getting away from family lol, for many the love of just traveling and meeting new people is enough to make the whole adventure worthwhile, I even know of one family with a bus that hits small campgrounds and the lady of the bus sits outside and drinks Boones Farm wine out of cut crystal stemware while her hubby fishes lol, each person has there own reason for buying and using a bus and there are all the right reasons as long as it works for them but to think that a person can recoup their money at some time down the road is probably not going to happen, it's a personal thing that each person has to justify for themselves, but for us it's a way of creating memories that are worth far more than the bus cost.
Logged
ToppDog
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2010, 01:21:33 PM »

Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the advice.  I wasn't thinking about looking at conversions because I have some specific floorplan ideas & I'd be afraid of having to redo it all.  If I do this it will take me many years I'm sure.  My son is almost 4, & I figured it could be a long term project we could work on together.  I'm just scared to take the next step, lol.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3   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!