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Author Topic: 4104's  (Read 19546 times)
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« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2010, 07:37:25 AM »

My bus will climb grades greater than 11% but that is only possible with the v730. Remember an automatic transmission gives you what is known as a torque multiplying effect.


  I understand how automatics work, ive even rebuilt a few. I dont want one in a Bus. There are grades back around in here that I am sure are at least and possibly more than 11%. And these grades are on state highways. I have found it hard to believe that GMC Busses with manual gearboxes from the 40's to the 80's could not have driven through this part of the USA without getting stopped on these grades. But if those are the facts there isnt much to do about it than change horses. And these grades out here are nothing. There are some over in NC between Waynesville and Franklin along 441/23 that I had a hard time with in the Bounder. If the Bounder can out climb a Bus, then by the sounds of it a Bus couldnt make it along 441 even with an auto. If these things cant make 11% grades I dont think id want to try one on US 62 through Eureka Springs either.
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uncle ned
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« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2010, 07:46:33 AM »



I have two 4104's  One with a 6/71 and 4 speed.  The other with a 6v92 and a 730. 

I am a british car person and love my MG"S with good handling and 4 speeds but guess which bus I drive.

The extra power and the ease of getting around makes the auto great.

By the way have been over all those roads in western NC you talk about.
Our good friend NC Bob lives in Franklin  NC in the summer.

MY toad is a S10 Chevy with the v6 and 5 speed. a baby corvett that can haul my british bikes.

uncle ned

PS if I was full timing and on a limited budget the only thing would I drive is the 6/71 and 4 speed. I think it is the most reliable bus made. Know of one that broke in Wash. St but limped into NC to get fixed. used a lot of oil and water getting here but made it. It got a 6v92 and 730 also
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« Reply #47 on: September 09, 2010, 08:27:34 AM »

Art, I have a 4104 with 4 speed. I live in a hilly area. I climb a 12 percent grade in 2nd gear with a run at it. In first gear you should not have any problems. I do avoid stopping on a hill if possible. When these old gals were in service they had to go up and down hills. As long as you don't feather the clutch when starting in 1st. you will be OK.
Good luck on your choice, Wayne
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« Reply #48 on: September 09, 2010, 08:36:15 AM »

  My Aunt & Uncle live in Franklin, NC.,the roads there are the steepest I have ever driven a Motorhome. I goofed once and took a wrong turn towards Maggie Valley. I dont know what the grade percent is, but that highway is STEEP. I thought I was gonna burn it up before I could turn it around.

  Maybe I can convince Rick to drive over this-a-way with his 4104 and try these roads around here and measure the grades. But maybe hes been convinced now he will get stuck and not be able to get out??

  Ned, or anyone else, has anyone ever not been able to make it up a grade somewhere in the US?? We have a stretch along here through Hobbs called Van Winkle Hollow, I dont know the grade angle but its pretty steep on both sides. If you couldnt make it up once you got down in there, you would need help.
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« Reply #49 on: September 09, 2010, 08:47:21 AM »

I have two 12% grades where I live, and 2nd gear on the governor works just fine.  for one, I start at the top of third gear and half way up I downshift, and I have pulled it in third all the way with no towed car.  I think the point is stopping and starting, not running at speed.  An automatic is far better at starting on a grade, all else being equal.  On interstates I think the grade maximum is 6%, I recall reading that somewhere.  After four or five miles of 6% I'm on the top of second gear watching the birds fly past, interstate or no.  Right in line with all the trucks.

Brian
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« Reply #50 on: September 09, 2010, 08:49:02 AM »

Art, I have a 4104 with 4 speed. I live in a hilly area. I climb a 12 percent grade in 2nd gear with a run at it. In first gear you should not have any problems. I do avoid stopping on a hill if possible. When these old gals were in service they had to go up and down hills. As long as you don't feather the clutch when starting in 1st. you will be OK.
Good luck on your choice, Wayne

  Hmmmm. some say I wont climb 11% at all, some say 12% in second? Thats quite a disparity.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 08:53:14 AM by artvonne » Logged
Len Silva
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2010, 08:56:18 AM »

Easy solution here.  Find the bus you like and tell them cash on delivery to your property.
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2010, 09:09:06 AM »

Easy solution here.  Find the bus you like and tell them cash on delivery to your property.

  Lol.

  I dont have any way to know how a Bus would go up this driveway without discussing it, and I wouldnt expect anyone else to try it either. But if some of these guys are maintaining speed in second gear on 12% grades, I think I have a good chance to make it up in first. Its not like id want to get it up here every day, just a few times a year.
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« Reply #53 on: September 09, 2010, 10:21:54 AM »

My driveway is very steep but I don't know what % grade it is. Without dragging around a tape measure and a level is there a quick easy way to determine % grade.

I saw in an old Bus Conversion Magazine classified section a 4104 that had been converted to a T-drive. It had to be stretched a bit to make it happen. I know that is not practical, but interesting nonetheless.

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« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2010, 11:41:58 AM »

Without dragging around a tape measure and a level is there a quick easy way to determine % grade.



  You need to reference level to find slope accurately. I used a 72 inch level and a tape.
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« Reply #55 on: September 09, 2010, 12:39:18 PM »

Here is an online calculator.
http://www.csgnetwork.com/inclinedeclinegradecalc.html
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« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2010, 12:52:00 PM »

Heres another

http://www.1728.com/gradient.htm
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« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2010, 04:35:11 PM »

I've driven all around Eureka Springs, Mt. View, Mt Home and many others a number of times and had no problems.

I don't stop on US62/412 but I do stop in a driveway.

However, driving on the highway and climbing a driveway are two completely different things.

Highway grades are not the problem, I drive through the Rockies all the time as well as the Ozarks and many others in both east and west.

Simply put, if you keep moving you're fine, if you stop you're dead.

An AT can do a lot of things a high geared 4-SP can't do. I sure wish I had an AT in my 4104. I love manuals when they're geared right, I own many vehicles with anything from 3-10 speeds but they are geared properly. A 4104 is not.

Those Greyhound and Trailways drivers didn't have to worry about their clutches, I do.
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« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2010, 06:36:36 PM »

Art -

Any of the GMC bus's will climb an 11% grade, the V8s easier than the six, but this is from a "run at the grade", not starting from a dead stop.

The biggest problem, from your description, is that you've got no room to get rolling before you start pulling the grade.  Forty feet of "get going" is barely enough to get the clutch fully engaged, let alone get it up to the governor in 1st.

Perhaps, if you're serious about getting a highway coach, you should look in to reconfiguring this driveway to improve it's accessibility.

The second thing to reconsider is you're insistence on only having a manual transmission.  So far, all you've said is that you won't have one, without really going into the reasons why.  If your concern is that you've got no braking effect w/ an automatic, that's what Jake Brakes are for - and they're VERY effective in a GM coach.

As numerous folk have mentioned, over and over several times, you wouldn't be in such a quandry about your driveway if you'd accept a slushbox.

Third, if the reason you don't want an automatic is because of the fuel mileage difference vs a manual, then perhaps a bus conversion is not for you. 

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink


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« Reply #59 on: September 09, 2010, 07:40:06 PM »

Art -

Perhaps, if you're serious about getting a highway coach, you should look in to reconfiguring this driveway to improve it's accessibility.

The second thing to reconsider is you're insistence on only having a manual transmission.  So far, all you've said is that you won't have one, without really going into the reasons why. 

Third, if the reason you don't want an automatic is because of the fuel mileage difference vs a manual, then perhaps a bus conversion is not for you. 

  I am going to rework the driveway to allow a better run, I dont like automatics simply because they often fail without any warning, and fuel economy is very important and should be to all of us. Not so much right now today, but its already been close to 5 bucks a gallon, even higher after 911, so it could easily double or more overnight under the right/wrong circumstances. I can afford 6-7 mpg today with fuel at $3 gallon, but at $10 per gallon it could get pretty cost prohibitive to go somewhere. Im thinking of the future. 10 plus mpg would be pretty nice if fuel costs become staggering. Perhaps some have incomes where none of that would matter even if fuel was $30 gallon, but im not one of those people.
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