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Author Topic: 4104's  (Read 10113 times)
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« on: August 29, 2010, 07:25:46 AM »

  Okay. So after rolling down the road in Ricks 4104 and doing some research, I have had my head spun around a few times and am seriously considering on of these old hounds. Forgetting conversations about power or whether it could climb up my driveway, I would be interested in hearing how they are to live with.

  I downloaded the manuals, and note that the bus is filled with many antiquated electrical relays, circuit breakers, magnetic switches, buzz boxes and voltage regulators. I know all those items were made of very high quality and gave good service, but how do they hold up today, and are all those items readily available and inexpensive, or, are there good options to replace them or eliminate them altogether? Has anyone converted to 24 volt, and if so, how hard is it?

  I am still very interested in basement air conditioning using as much OE equipment as possible. Has anyone incorporated the OE condensor, evaporator and heater core into a modernised HVAC system?

  I'll have more questions, but these should be a good start for now.
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Len Silva
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 07:51:24 AM »

As far as I am concerned. the best bus ever (over) built.

You will not likely find one that has any remnants of the original A/C, so forget that.  No reason to convert to twelve volts, that old 6-71 will start very easy with a decent battery.
All of those old relays are easily replaced with cubes if you wish.  Some OEM parts are still around, but there is always a way around any problem.

The original generator and regulator should be replaced with an alternator, belt drive conversion is done all the time and probably the best solution.

One of the best looking buses of all time as well.
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 03:13:03 PM »

Everything Len says + search the two main forums for "4104".

This should give you enough reading material to keep you busy for a good long while.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 05:14:31 PM »

Everything Len says + search the two main forums for "4104".

This should give you enough reading material to keep you busy for a good long while.

  I have been busy with searches. But to be honest a great deal of threads are about minor issues and modifications.

  Some of the questions I need answers to are about the driveline. Like what is a short or tall block 671. How easy can you repair one out on the road, including, how hard is it to pull a liner. How heavy is the head. Is it worth putting a 4 valve head on. Questions about the LS governor. What kind of parts should one have along if they were going on a 20K trip to SA. And how would you prepare the bus for that kind of journey.
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2010, 05:37:45 PM »

Well, that's a whole nuther animal, going to SA with it.

The 4104 would be a great choice for it's simplicity and reliability.  The angle drive, transmission and rear axle may well prove to be a major problem in the hinterlands. (I'm guessing here)

Perhaps a better choice would be a Crown or Gillig school bus because of the more conventional driveline and extensive use of truck parts.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 05:40:07 PM by Len Silva » Logged


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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2010, 08:58:51 PM »

I was just in Bolivia and Peru...If you stayed on the main roads you might be able to use a '04 there but even the main roads are mighty rough sometimes were the wash out from the mountains happen...also most of the cool places to stay/park/ camp/ explore are down very challenging dirt roads.  I agree with previous post a nice crown twin screw with air suspension would be how I would do that, plus the crowns often come  with 7-10 gears.  The have higher clearance as well.  If I wasn't so attached to having a rear engined bus I would have a crown, and if I ever see an air sprung crown with a rear engine might go for it.
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2010, 09:42:04 PM »

  No, I would never drive to SA. But I might just go to Alaska someday. Mostly im trying to see what kind of general problems they have, what kind of common repairs a guy should be ahead of or planning for, and if need be, how to rig things well enough to get you home, or to better (or any) facilities.

 
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 10:07:17 AM »

  After a lot of reading and looking at pictures, and that youtube video, I really think this is the direction I want to go. Does anyone have a link to the thread on checking one out? I saw it earlier, but I cant find it now that im looking for it.
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 08:08:37 PM »

  Bump.

  I cant find the thread on 4104's that has a list of items to check when your looking one over. I was looking at it, but no way can I find it now. Thanks in advance.
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 08:22:55 PM »

I like the 4104 we have a couple of friends that have upgraded the old 6-71 to a DDEC 330 hp inline 6-71 quite the little rockets with great fuel mileage around 12 mpg


good luck
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 05:43:26 AM »

  12 mpg? Ive even heard a few claim up to 14, even some with 4106's. And thats not just today, I was hearing that from multiple sources back in 1988 when we first became busnuts. Then you hear others say 8 mpg is max, that anyone claiming more is smokin crack. This old timer I spoke to laughed about all that. He explained that while it may be possible to get above 10, many drivers arent able to do it, and because they cant do it, they cant understand how anyone else can either. Myself, I dont know what I'll get, I havnt had any real experience herding a Bus around. But.

  I have a 1986 Mercedes 190 diesel. Ive averaged 44 mpg over the last 10 or 12 tanks of fuel. Now I admit ive made some slight mods to it, but the EPA average is 26, and most claim up to 35. I have driven it and done 35, but I have to drive it hard to do it. I drive everything else hard, but not the diesel. Thats not to say I hypermile it, I drive the speed limit, and I try to get it moving off smartly, but I ease up after im moving. I drive with a very light foot, and I dont change power abruptly. I know that stepping on the throttle like a Bass drum pedal destroys any hope of decent fuel economy. And so does driving with your foot planted to the floor all the time.

  With the knowledge that 7 to 8 mpg is the worst they do, it would make sense that some might be able to extend that if they drove it easy. How far that is is open to debate I suppose, but we may never have any facts one way or another as long as people keep saying its impossible.
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2010, 06:43:23 AM »

12mpg is good for a 330 hp 2 strokes and the Silverleafs in their buses are a little different than people they don't lie,but they could probably get 14 these are western buses pretty good climbs out here all I know for sure with the DDEC inline 71 they run with the big dogs up hill or downhill made no difference
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2010, 09:39:57 AM »

Fuel mileage claims all need some qualification:

Using what method to measure distance traveled?
Over how many tank fulls?
How do you fill the tank consistently?

And then some sense of a margin for error.

For instance, if you stop filling when the pump shuts off.... there may be space for another 10 gallons in there, or it might be 2 gallons for that pump nozzle, every filling station is different.

And, are they using US gallons, or Imperial gallons?

Lots of Canadians on here with bigger numbers, but the same fuel economy.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2010, 10:12:38 AM »



I don't understand all this about fuel mileage.  My 04 with a 6v92 and 730 gets between 13 and 14 mpg all the time.
Between 6 and 7 going and 6 or 7 coming back. that ends up being between 12 and 14 all the time.

Seriously I have 2  04"s and one is a 6/71 and 4 speed and the other is the 6v92.

The 6/71 gets quite better fuel millage and seems to run down the interstate better.
but the auto and great pickup outways the fuel mileage. besides us old people are lazy. If i want to change gears i drive my MG.

Starting the   4 speed on the hills and in campgrounds here in the Blue Ridge get tough at time

uncle ned

PS  who would kill all the mosquitos if I drove the old 6/71.
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2010, 04:01:13 PM »

The idea of getting over 10mpg raises my skepticism considerably!!

I can get 10 on level ground and with moderate speeds with my 671 four speed if the hills are few, mountains lower it to 6-8 which still isn't bad.

First gear is too high for any serious rough terrain,  and hills.

Ground clearance is nil, I've dragged both bottom and rear numerous times. It is pretty tough though so little damage done.

My impression is the engine will run forever even if severely worn, which I think mine may be!!
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PD4107-152
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