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Author Topic: 4104's  (Read 19559 times)
Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #60 on: September 09, 2010, 07:41:27 PM »

 In 04 we came down 62 into Eureka Springs with our 5A with an auto tranny and towing a Jeep. As we came to town the road split and i had to make a snap decision, right on the truck route or left into the historic district. I went left......all of the way to where the road ends in the hotel parking lot. Sad  Had to unhook to get turned around and get out of there. Curbed the jeep twice on the way in. Lots of narrow streets and short 90 degree corners. Tightest place i have ever been into with the bus. Plus to all this is now i don't get too stressed about some of the other places i go to. After the Springs every thing else is easy. Grin
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #61 on: September 09, 2010, 07:48:08 PM »

Art, go to the other board and look at the recent post about fuel mileage and the figures i gave for the last 6 years. Pay attention to my lowest price, my highest price and then the average price paid over all of that time, plus the number of miles traveled and the total cost of fuel. It might help you out a little.  And i ain't rich or retired yet. Smiley
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
Barn Owl
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« Reply #62 on: September 09, 2010, 08:09:16 PM »

Is there a device that can sit on the dash that tells % grade? At one time didn't the Mitsubishi Montero or an Isuzu trooper come with something on the dash that did that? Some kind of artificial horizon looking thing with three instruments in it?


If fuel hits $10 anytime soon what types of buses we drive and what kind of fuel mileage we get will be the least of our worries, but I don't want to throw us off topic. If you do vacations trips like those of us who are still working then fuel is a big expense that is absorbed in a short time frame. If you full-time, then that expense gets spread out and is a much smaller part of the budget. I would not base my bus purchase on fuel mileage. I think you will find that there are many expenses one just doesn't realize until owning one for a little while, I wish the fuel bill was my only budget concern. I fall into the working stiff class that keeps me from living the high life, and I don't get to take the bus out that much, but I have hope that one day I can. Our monetary system is not looking very healthy, and if things don't change quickly, we might never get to realize our dream.
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« Reply #63 on: September 09, 2010, 08:13:25 PM »

In 04 we came down 62 into Eureka Springs with our 5A with an auto tranny and towing a Jeep. As we came to town the road split and i had to make a snap decision, right on the truck route or left into the historic district. I went left......all of the way to where the road ends in the hotel parking lot. Sad  Had to unhook to get turned around and get out of there. Curbed the jeep twice on the way in. Lots of narrow streets and short 90 degree corners. Tightest place i have ever been into with the bus. Plus to all this is now i don't get too stressed about some of the other places i go to. After the Springs every thing else is easy. Grin

  We came down here in March of last year on vacation. First I had been back to Arkansas since 1969 when I was 11 years old. We got into Bella Vista and hung a left towards Pea Ridge, out onto 62 and headed east, right through Eureka Springs. My wife went and hid in the bathroom, our daughter sat in between my Father and me, and with three jaws hanging open we pushed the Bounder down the road. I was laughing, my Dad was VERY quiet, and the kid just hung on and kept saying "Oh my God!!!". I dont think the rest of the country has a clue what these roads are like unless they have actually been here, they are pretty wild. I dont know if any of the steeper grades exceeds anything in the smokies, but the turns thrown into them make for quite demanding driving. Out west I seem to recall longer grades but not to many really steep grades. Really never thought I would be living where I am today, last year.
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« Reply #64 on: September 09, 2010, 08:26:58 PM »

Is there a device that can sit on the dash that tells % grade? At one time didn't the Mitsubishi Montero or an Isuzu trooper come with something on the dash that did that? Some kind of artificial horizon looking thing with three instruments in it?


 I think you will find that there are many expenses one just doesn't realize until owning one for a little while, I wish the fuel bill was my only budget concern.

  Ive put over 45K miles on this Bounder since we bought it in '05. Mechanically its been good, no big expenses, so after depreciation, fuel has been the biggest cost. I havnt kept real close tabs on it, just checks here and there. I figure its averaged about 7 mpg overall. Thats more than a tanker truck of fuel. If I could increase it to 10 mpg, thats a free trip around the world. If the cost of fuel doubled to $7 gallon, the same amount of fuel would cost $50K. Even a 1 or 2 mpg jump could pay off smartly, either in more $ left in your pocket, or more miles rolled under the windshield.
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RJ
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« Reply #65 on: September 09, 2010, 10:16:33 PM »

Art -

Gist Road, off Hiway 17 between Los Gatos & Santa Cruz CA, is 1.5 miles long and has eight hairpin turns on it - lots of fun in a 914, impassable w/ a bus.

Hiway 1 along the CA coast between Monterey & San Simeon is a 94-mile-long beautiful drive - for the passengers!  The driver is way too busy to enjoy it, especially SB.  BTDTHTS!

I-80 between Sacramento CA & Reno NV has a nice, long climb to 7,339' Donner Summit - 70 miles of 4, 5 & 6% grades.  Back east is more like speed bumps, comparatively!

We've got our share on the West Coast, believe me!

I don't like automatics simply because they often fail without any warning.

This is certainly NOT the case with the HD Allisons found in the most common coaches used by busnuts.  ALL of the various models will give you ample warning that something's wrong before they go down.

The most severe use for a bus is in transit service, and the V-730 stood up to that better than anybody else's V-drive automatic, be it Voith or ZF.  At the transit property I spent 15 years at, we never had a V-730 fail - but we sure had a LOT of grief with the Voiths!

The T-drive HT-740 is virtually bullet-proof, probably THE most dependable transmission ever built.  Even with the thrashing that Greyhound drivers gave them, the 740s saved the company a ton of money compared to repairing/replacing the manual gearboxes and clutches used before.  And that includes the slight fuel economy penalty.  In most cases, this transmission will out-last the bus (with proper routine maintenance, of course)!

What you should consider is a 35-foot MCI MC-5C, with a 350 hp 6V92TA coupled to an HT-740 powertrain.  That little bus will scoot right up your driveway w/o batting an eye.  From a dead stop.  And if you drive it conservatively (Ha!), you can sneak 7 - 9 mpg out of it.  (Don't get a Saudi two-door model, tho!)

Your continuing comments about fuel economy, and the cost involved, reminds me of the couple who went into a Mercedes dealership a few years ago to purchase a 500S sedan.  All throughout the salesman's spiel, the wife kept asking about the car's fuel economy.  Finally exasperated, the salesman told her "Mrs. Jones, if you're so concerned about the fuel consumption of this car, you cannot afford it."

The wildly fluctuating price of fuel is more of a political discussion better left to the "Off Topic" section of this BBS.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink

« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 12:13:57 AM by RJ » Logged

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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #66 on: September 10, 2010, 12:09:08 AM »

Quote
Gist Road, off Hiway 17 between Los Gatos & Santa Cruz CA, is 1.5 miles long and has eight hairpin turns on it - lots of fun in a 914, impassable w/ a bus.

Hiway 1 along the CA coast between Monterey & San Simeon is a 94 mile beautiful drive - for the passengers!  The driver is way too busy to enjoy it, especially SB.  BTDTHTS!

I-80 between Sacramento CA & Reno NV has a nice, long climb to 7,339' Donner Summit - 70 miles of 4, 5 & 6% grades.  Back east is more like speed bumps, comparatively!

We've got our share on the West Coast, believe me!

BTDTHTS! And WDIA (will do it again!)
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« Reply #67 on: September 10, 2010, 12:13:33 AM »

About the fuel usage of these big ole beasts....... it sucks!! Expect about 5 mpg give or take 1 or 2 depending on what you get (not a big difference IMO) But with the older DDs look into running them on biodiesel, wvo, wmo to supplement your fuel bill.
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The Little GTO is a 102" wide and 40' long 1983 GMC RTS II and my name is Teresa in case I forgot to sign my post
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« Reply #68 on: September 10, 2010, 04:49:06 AM »

Is there a device that can sit on the dash that tells % grade? At one time didn't the Mitsubishi Montero or an Isuzu trooper come with something on the dash that did that?


Googling for "inclinometer" would get you lots of hits. Standard stuff in the aircraft industry. 4WD types use them sometimes. If you don't mind ugly, you can find them in the construction industry. Or you could just make something, many variations on the theme. Weighted piece of string hanging on the sidewall of the bus with some degree markings measured with a protractor would work.

4WD gauge: http://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-791005-Clinometer/dp/B000E3BVVA/

Construction tool: http://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Level-Tool-700-Magnetic/dp/B00004T807. You just have to figure where and how to mount it.
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« Reply #69 on: September 10, 2010, 05:46:43 AM »

  Thanks for all the helpful comments. Ive driven through every state in the US except Wahington state, Maine, and New Mexico. As was said, a couple of the roads in California are off limits to busses, makes no difference. But I didnt know we started a contest for who had the worst or best roads or the hilliest or steepest. I was simply commenting that many people around the country have no idea what its like around here, and I appologise for pretending we have any hills or turns around here.  Grin

  Maybe instead of arguing about it, ya'll need to start a hill climb rally for Busses somewhere, in a place where the grade is actually measured, instead of guessing about it.
 
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« Reply #70 on: September 10, 2010, 09:46:36 AM »


Your continuing comments about fuel economy, and the cost involved, reminds me of the couple who went into a Mercedes dealership a few years ago to purchase a 500S sedan.  All throughout the salesman's spiel, the wife kept asking about the car's fuel economy.  Finally exasperated, the salesman told her "Mrs. Jones, if you're so concerned about the fuel consumption of this car, you cannot afford it."

  I was going to make a different comment, but have thought better of it, Suffice it to say that what I can afford, and what I want to afford, are two very seperate things, and really, nobody else's buisness except my own.

  I will say though, if it takes you over 40 feet to get your foot off the clutch, I can see why you drive automatics. Clutches wont last long if they are slipped alot. I watched Rick drive his 4104, I doubt he moved 3 or 4 feet before he had it fully engaged and was accelerating. He even tried it on a slight grade, maybe 4-5%. He kicked it into high idle and eased it out, and again, we probably didnt roll more than 4 or 5 feet before full engagement. 
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« Reply #71 on: September 10, 2010, 10:21:12 AM »

My allison locks up in 1st gear & stays locked up all the way into 5th. The only difference in fuel mileage will be due to the parasitic load of the oil pump.

The V series is different & I haven't looked into them.

The GM buses are generally lighter weight than the other makes.

After reading all this, my opinion is that if funds are limited & you already have a solution that works (your bounder), you'd be better off sticking with the tried & true. Trying to make a bus work will likely cost way more than you think - so far, that has been the case for most.

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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #72 on: September 10, 2010, 10:33:26 AM »



After reading all this, my opinion is that if funds are limited & you already have a solution that works (your bounder), you'd be better off sticking with the tried & true. Trying to make a bus work will likely cost way more than you think - so far, that has been the case for most.



Hey where's the fun in that?  I could have bought a SS myself, but I wanted a bus, pretty sure you understand that. Wink
ALso IMHO a bus is more reliable than a cheap SS, and both cost $$ to repair.  SS everything is buried , so it's time and less money, bus easier to get at but some parts more expensive....even if the equation is skewed favoring SS for the practical, they aren't buses.
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« Reply #73 on: September 10, 2010, 10:38:15 AM »

  I want to thank everyone for their opinions and suggestions, and the guys pushing the 4104's especially. After talking to several people, including Luke at US Coach, I am going to pursue this. From all these discussions I feel I have a better than 50/50 shot at driving it right up here to the house, and if not I have some ideas to help accomplish it. First stop is the county highway dept to talk about reworking my driveway. Again, a big thank you to everyone.
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #74 on: September 10, 2010, 10:49:33 AM »

Please get someone to video  it.  Good or bad (my money is on good) it will be informative.   Oh yeah have wheel chocks on hand, especially if you don't have spring brakes.
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