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Author Topic: How Many Bus Conversions Have You Owned/Or Built?  (Read 3840 times)
Dreamscape
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1968 Silver Eagle Model 01 8V71 Allison 740 #7443


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« on: July 10, 2010, 10:26:36 AM »

After reading so many posts lately with some of you building one or on their 6th! Wink

I was wondering if you would provide the following information:

How Many:
       
      Year:
 
      Make:

      Model:

And why? Too big, too small, different style, different coach etc.

Detail as much as you would like. It does not matter if the current coach if finished or not, most aren't! Roll Eyes

I think it will be interesting to find out the answers, don't you! Wink

Thanks a bunch fellow Bus Nuts!

Paul
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 11:09:50 AM »

3 buses owned 2 converted by us.

Started with a 67 gmc 4107 mini buffalo already converted

Sold it and

Bought a 65 Eagle model 01 completely converted by us

Sold it after purchasing our present bus as a shell which is a 92 Prevost H3-40 and I would say it is about 90% done.

Would I do another? Yes if the guy with the H model shell with slides sitting in his yard going to h--- would come off his rediculous price! Other than that, were happy with what we have now!
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Ace Rossi
Lakeland, Fl. 33810
Prevost H3-40
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2010, 11:18:40 AM »

I'll start...thomas school bus 655 Cummings auto--first jump very simple---2nd 78 Mci crusader.. nice coach ozite ceilings upholstery walls oak cabinets....Wanted slides...purchased 89 Prevost Xl 40 ft has granite floors with brass strips between tiles..buttoned ultra suede ceilings ,two slides 15 ft in front 8 ft in bed room,island kitchen 3 refers one large box and a small one just for drinksand one in entertainment bay out side,basement air----now doing a 98 45XLE Prevost ,will have three slides bigger engine,Eaton auto shift.much more,bath and 1/2--washer drier...well why...I Like to build     Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2010, 12:37:53 PM »

I have owned one.  Bought five years ago.  MCI MC9 that was already converted into a cross between an RV and a day coach.  I have added an 8.8cf ref/freezer, some counter tops with cabinets underneath and closets.

Looking for this ones successor right now and was motivated to do so only when my mechanic told me that this on is rusty enough that I need to think about retiring her.  She was a hound in PA when she was young.

As long as I am going to switch I am looking for something with more power than this 8v71.  Would also like to move up to a 102 with a jake or retarder and would LOVE to get into a cummins or a 60 series but cost of that may end up being prohibitive.

I full time in mine most of the year.
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86 MCI 102A3  MI/CA with SoCal being primary. 6V92 with Allison 740 Auto
82 MCI 9 8V71N with Allison 740 Auto..soon to be parted out or scrapped
Just Dallas
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2010, 02:41:21 PM »

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« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 06:29:08 PM by Now Just Dallas » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2010, 03:45:39 PM »

When i was 9-10 my dad bought a Chevy or GMC shorty bus from the 1940's i think. I remember helping him take out the seats and building the interior out of plywood and 2X's. We only had it for 2 summers and then he sold or traded it away.  7 years ago we bought our 68 MCI 5A that was converted in late 83. Have made some updates since then and always have a few things that i want to do/change as time and money allow. We have fulltimed since Jan. of 04, and i still work during the summers. If something were to happen to this bus i would buy another 5A already converted......would just have to find one i liked. Grin 
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2010, 06:39:05 AM »

My one and only,1985 Prevost,40ft.XL.I bought it in 1999, and started fulltiming in 2003. During the conversion we said this would be are one and only conversion so we put a ton of money in it.At this point I would loose to much to sell and we do not have a place to convert another.My wife would like slides and I would like a series 60 but I do not think that will happen.We love fulltiming and do not regret the decisions we made. We just did a remodel of the interior and we figure it is cheaper than starting over.Also it keeps my wife happy.
    Don
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2010, 12:36:38 PM »

We love fulltiming and do not regret the decisions we made. We just did a remodel of the interior and we figure it is cheaper than starting over.Also it keeps my wife happy.
    Don


Way to go Don.  I hope to full time, too, someday.  The happiest day in my life will be the day I sell my lawnmower, (already bought and sold the boat).

Back to the thread:
1985 Houston Metro Eagle 10, 6v92, bought in 2000, completed in 2003.  60k miles so far. 
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=2547.msg590#msg590

This will be my only one to convert.  I can't see myself ever doing another one.  Way too much work and way too much cost.  There are too many out there already completed that can be bought at a fraction of the cost, and you can spend the "conversion" years traveling instead of, well, converting. 

Like Don said, remodeling would be cheaper since I have a good platform to work with.   There isn't much one can do differently with a different bus.   They are all about 320 square feet. 

I have future plans for a digital flat screen TV.  It will require a total rebuild of the front cabinets, but for now I continue to use the converter on the old analog set.  I hate to discard something that still works. 
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2010, 12:43:04 PM »

I converted a 1973 MC-7 in 1993, sold it 2004 and bought a 1986 MCI 102A3. I was  going to do it myself but decided to have it professionally converted. It turned out great.

Gary
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2010, 02:03:30 PM »

This will be my one and only bus unless it gets totalled somehow.  Even then I don't know if I would do another.

If I started over I might do a truck conversion because it is so much easier to work on the engine and to find places to do service.  The bad part about a truck conversion is I don't know if I would have enough interior and cargo bay space.  If I had to sacrifice 5 to 10 feet for the engine bay I wouldn't have enough interior room unless maybe I stacked bunks three high.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2010, 04:32:43 PM »

I've had 3 buses over the years and a few other kinds of motorhomes, I've got no idea how many interiors I've worked on over the years, a bunch I guess, some I did a few repairs on, some I did the majority of the work, some I did some of the work, some I wished I hadn't done lol.
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2010, 04:45:16 PM »

My first and it was already converted. With what it had I got it for 30 cents on the dollar not counting labor. Slowly but surely I have been making it mine and eliminating some of the crude work but still have a ways to go. I already had a 16' enclosed Haulmark trailer that I converted into a modest toy box that I can pull behind the bus and haul bikes in and also others can sleep in.  If I was to ever do something on my own it would be a truck conversion with a trailer. Starting out with an almost 40 year old bus with a Detroit and thinking you are saving money probably isn't a wise move. Newer buses cost a lot but there are a lot of trucks out there for sale.
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2010, 07:49:51 PM »

One, 16+ years in our 4104.  http://usbusin.blogspot.com/

Chopper Scott said; "If I was to ever do something on my own it would be a truck conversion"

I wanted something new, but a bus shell was out of the question, so I went this route  http://www.ustruckin.blogspot.com/

I really enjoyed converting our 4104, but we really wanted something new for our music ministry and at my age I just didn't want to spend the rest of my life doing another conversion.  So, we designed our new rig and had it built to our specifications.  As TomC knows, specing out the truck was a blast!  Got everything we wanted.

Nine years and 115,000 miles. Heading from California to Indiana to South Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Oregon in two weeks.  Leaving at 3:00 AM to cross the Mojave desert to Las Vegas and on across I-70.  The first two days will be real hot!
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Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2010, 12:59:20 AM »

My wife and I have owned and converted three coaches over the last 34 years. 
Our first was a 1952 Beck converted in 1976.  Beautiful stainless exterior! Made a side aisle.  Great fun for two 20 year old kids!  Used whatever material we could scrounge! 2x4's and 16 penny nails! We thought it was the most beautiful coach ever!
Our second was a 1961 4106 converted in 1986.  We did a much nicer job on the '06 than the Beck. Oak interior with grey and mauves, a real 80's rig. 
Our most recent is a 1984 Prevost Lemirage.  Our dream coach for many years. Now in our middle fifties we're having the most fun ever with this coach!  Building all the things we wished we could before.  I think the most fun part of these three projects has been working together, fashioning a dream that very few people understood except us two.     

Is this our last coach to convert?  We hope not!

   
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 05:36:17 AM »

I'm not even finished converting my first!.................Would I do this again?...........Hell no!  I know there are many, many levels of conversion I'm convinced that its a total and incurable sickness!  If the urge ever hits me again (if I get this one finished) I'm going to stick my hand in the door and slam it about a dozen times or until I hollar "uncle"!   It's to late to turn back now.......go back it's a trap!

After serveral day's of reflection, I came back to change this, (i dropped a piece of sheet metal on my toes in the shop, I have to stop wearing sandals I'm going to lose a toe) toes are much better and my outlook on the bus is much better today! Grin  Another tip while bus building, try wearing sandals while you are welding.......its darn near impossible!!!!
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 07:24:23 AM by muddog16 » Logged

Pat

1982 Prevost LeMirage
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2010, 06:42:01 AM »

In my opinion life is far too short to repeat yourself, especially when there are so many other 'projects' (boats, cars, aircraft, houses...) out there, plus other worthwhile things to do with your life (establishing businesses, competing in sport, traveling...) that can more than fill any spare time you might have around normal family and work life.

So I've no intention of doing another bus conversion after this one is finished - but I'm trying hard to be as ambitious as I can with this one (four slides, roof deck, fully-enclosed awning etc) so that I won't have any regrets or motivation to do a better one next time.

My next big project will be a river boat, but to have enough space to do that I will first have to buy a bigger property, which no doubt will be a project too.

Jeremy

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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2010, 06:56:20 AM »

Two
1970 4108. started in 1993. finished 1999 (well almost), Sold 2007. Had a dinette when first done. Ripped out when youngest went to college. Kept her bunk. Nice coach. Decided to upgrade to an auto when offered money for the Buffalo. Put the V730 in the bay for the new owner.
Used the money to buy a 1986 102A3. Almost done with the conversion. Still have to finish trim in the bedroom. Front end is partially done. New dashboard is made but not installed. Have replaced 6V92TA with a Series 50. Torque is wonderful. Fuel mileage is great. Running a Trace4024, 4 solar panels, 6 8D AGM's, 102V refeer, washer/dryer(gas), satellite on roof (auto).
Worked on 4104's both interior and electrical.

Suggestion: use the thermal pane windows, insulation is critical for both comfort and noise reduction,

Bill
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Bill & Lynn
MCI102A3, Series 50 w/HT70
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2010, 07:17:15 AM »

Well....lets see.....1st an old chevy school bus bought for $250...2nd..an Amarillo city bus fueled on propane.....3rd..an old Continental Trailways ACF-Brill with a Cummins pan-cake diesel....4th...a Continental Trailways GMC 4103 with a 671 motor........and presently....a Silver Eagle  1975 Model 05/10 with 8V71 engine....."stick a fork in me, Mabel, I'm done"....In Dec. I will be 80 yrs old....still working as a relief pharmacist for WalMart....so I guess the Eagle is our final product....boy!!!! do I love the Eagle!!!.........Our FMCA # is 571....been a member for a while (1964 or 65)_....During all this time....the Sticks and Staples guys took over our  FMCA....it is now so watered down with FACTORY MADE STUFF...there a no real He-man members any more...way back when our 5 kids were young....a bus was the only way to see the world.....even now...when we all get  together.....we rehash all the old memories of our trips.....Oh yes....we did all the conversions ourselves.
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2010, 08:53:15 AM »

two

mid 70's 4905 which was the greatest money pit the civilized world has ever known (other than politics)
and our current smoking hot beautiful beast of an MCI 9. We are happy with the old girl.... she's a runner.

Rick
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2010, 09:57:00 AM »

 Only converted one so far 1983 MCI 9, Would I do it again? maybe one more time on a newer shell with updated driveline.
2 cycle engines are not for me. Learned a lot about what to use and what not to even think about again.
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JackConrad
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2010, 06:05:42 AM »

Owned 2 and converted 3 others. When we got our MC-8, part of the deal was that I had to promise Paula this wouls be our last one. I said "OK, but let me know what you want inside the coach before I start, because I only want to do the interior 1 time". Work out OK, we did a 5 month trip last year and are in the middle of an 8 month trip this year.  I also converted 3 coaches for other owners. Jack
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« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2010, 07:26:13 AM »

I have one bus and it's all I want to have.  Bought semi-converted, for about 50 cents on the dollar, and I'm slowly getting it closer to right.  I like it, my wife loves it, we will use it for probably the next 15 years or so, and then retire to a nursing home   Shocked

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2010, 06:04:35 PM »

It is nice to have those that have been through experiences to help us Brian. As far as the nursing home situation it will be nice to have someone like Jack giving us all tips down the road!! Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2010, 10:00:36 AM »

Quote from: Chopper Scott
It is nice to have those that have been through experiences to help us Brian. As far as the nursing home situation it will be nice to have someone like Jack giving us all tips down the road!! Cheesy Cheesy

Ouch! Wink
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2010, 02:19:59 PM »

In 1969 I purchased a 67 vw westvalia camper, inproving the interior. Installed a dual port 1600 dual carb Weber's and towed my Harley all over the country. I lived in this little camper in southern Calif and lake Tahoe while working.  Then I found a 1956 dual speed rear end ford 28 foot bus with a blown engine. Installed a Lincoln 262 engine and off I went (stored my vw) I owned and lived in this bus for 10 years always wanting a true, "over the road bus."  Then one day in Oxnard Calif I found a 1958 retired crown  school bus from the school system there that they had to retire. It was powered with a Cummings engine that they installed. What can I say I redid the inside to suit me installed a turbo and traveled finally ending up in Tucson AZ where I worked and lived in it for 3 years. Left there and traveled to Okla to settle since it was cheap living there, lived in my Crown in a trailor park for 3 years. Purchased a home, first one in my life I was 65.  Found a part time retirement job driving a charter bus for a local company and purchased my final bus a 74 MCI and converted it to my finest conversion with everything I learned from the past conversions.  Owning a home is a new experience and I do not travel as much as I have but I have my motorcoach is the desire strikes...So I guess you could say I have had 4 conversions and loved everyone of them...
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