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Author Topic: What I want to build/convert (take a deep breath)  (Read 2896 times)
mdainsd
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« on: September 01, 2006, 02:32:47 PM »

OK, let me preface this whole thing with the following disclaimer:

I am a nut for all things mechanical, especially things you can drive and enjoy. I am an Engineer by trade. I have designed my own off road trucks with ideas at the time deemed "too far out", but now are common place. My quad (4 wheel av) only has the factory engine/transmission, spindles and brakes. Everything esle including the shock absorbers were built by me. I always strive to have something very unique.

OK, enough of that.

After investing alot of time researching and inspecting anything I could get my hands on, I have decided I want to go with a Prevost. The problem is, they dont make the model I want, so I guess I have to do it myself. It starts with a garden veriety H5-60. The plan is to cut the rear most portion of the "trailer unit" and graft it onto the back of the "main portion"

WHY would anyone in their right mind even concider doing that?Huh Shocked

lets take a look:

First a rendering of the stock H5-60



Then I took the liberty of modifying Mr McLaughlan's illustration, into my "artist rendering":



Now the pros and cons:

Cons first:

8V92 power plant (dont get cranky, I would just prefer a series 60 Wink)
mid engine layout, servicablity issues not to mention the eventual engine change out.
a LOT of work to pull this off. But you guys encourage me, so you need to share some of the blame!

Pros:

Price of base buss, you can buy alot of H5-60 for not a whole lot of money, as I dont think they are very easy to get rid of.
mid engine layout, excellent weight distribution.
two full dual rear axles and two front axles make for less weight on each tire. I love roughing it in the dessert, so off road performance is important to me.
The rear portion of the main unit is made as a tow point so its conversion to trailer hith in that area should be second to none.
UNIQUE conversion, and that is what I wanted from the onset.
Spare bay doors  Grin
Nice high ceiling already, look at all that work saved...

Im sure there will be more to add to both lists as you guys reply. I have fairly thick skin so let it fly. Constructive criticism is also accepted.

Let me know your thoughts guys!

Mark

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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 02:42:43 PM »

Cool! I like it!!! But hey now while we got the plasma cutter, sawzall,welders and such out lets stretch the main part by a bay or 2! Now that would be cool to have the first 45'-50'-55' single unit quad axle bus! I've been told I was nuts for wanting to take an H5-60 and make the back half into a "garage for the toad & toys" BK  Grin
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mdainsd
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2006, 02:46:50 PM »

Cool! I like it!!! But hey now while we got the plasma cutter, sawzall,welders and such out lets stretch the main part by a bay or 2! Now that would be cool to have the first 45'-50'-55' single unit quad axle bus! I've been told I was nuts for wanting to take an H5-60 and make the back half into a "garage for the toad & toys" BK  Grin

We need to get together!!! Grin
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2006, 02:50:10 PM »

Mark,

I think it is a COOL idea! Cool

If you have the skills, time and money...Go for it! Grin

Keep us informed.....

Cliff
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2006, 03:50:10 PM »

Looks something like the special, 4 axle Neoplans built for Kennedy Space Center

What'cha gonna do to deal with the 45' length limit?

Keep your speed to 55 and go with flotation tires for desert use may get you time and $$ ahead.

Bob Sheaves designed such a beast  a RTS- 4WD, 4W steer for GM  MVO.

IIRC, since you're an engineer,  it's modeled in CATIA,  Should be available somewhere!

Onward and Upward

Marc Bourget
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centrix29
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2006, 03:51:33 PM »

Sorry to put water on your fire but the H5-60 isn't know as a very reliable machine.  Service is hard to do because of the mid engine design.  Unless you want a rear access coach and a rear garage, I suggest you look at the H3-40 that's for sale on E... right now.  Nice bang for the buck.  I'd put my money in increasing the suspension and axels like they do with the newer conversions rather than working on a H5-60.   There is a reason why these coaches did not stay on the market for a long time.  I wanted to buy a burnt MCI Renaissance.  Now that my 1980 XL is running, I'm sure glad I didn't.  I'm sure I saved a whole lot of dollars and time.

Only my two cents...  Good luck!

Pat
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Jeremy
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2006, 03:53:04 PM »

Yes, it's cool...but it's not long enough; as it is, most people (normal people, not Busnuts) would not look twice at it as it looks too much like a regular production coach (sure quad axles are unusual, but not unique). Having done all that work you want it to look really special, so make it as long as you can practically and legally get away with.

One of my own coach's antecedents is the Bedford VAL, as made famous in the 'Italian Job' movie. They are very collectable over here - there is certainly something very cool about having twin steer axles



One thing which I haven't yet seen done in coach conversion circles is a full-on conversion of a double deck coach, with living quarters upstairs and bedroom or office or whatever downstairs. I guess the problem is whether you would have sufficient headroom on both floors.

Jeremy
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2006, 04:15:33 PM »

Looks like a great idea!!! But befor you get into it. Take this pic to your insurance agent and see if it will be insurable.
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2006, 04:17:50 PM »

Jeremy,  I have wanted to do a full on conversion of a Double decker also,  I have seen a few in the UK and this FMCA member coach profiles website  of a neoplan spaceliner  http://www.OurOdyssey.us/   Shocked
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truck26
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2006, 04:23:54 PM »

Jeremy have a look here http://www.usbusco.com/Index.asp they are working on it.
Mark Mega Cool, please keep us posted on progress and trouble.
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Jeremy
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2006, 05:05:43 PM »

eglluvr:

Yes, I have looked at Odyssey before, but that is not a true double decker - there are no passengers on the lower deck, only the driver. I am talking about something like this:




truck26:

Yes, but those are buses, not coaches. Double-deck buses are dirt cheap to buy in the UK, and are the preserve of hippies and new-age travellers (or Cliff Richard wannabies, if you know the film 'Summer Holiday').

One of the British hot-rod clubs are famous for having done a double roof-chop (upper and lower deck) on a Routemaster bus (classic 'London bus'). Very silly and very cool:



Jeremy
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2006, 06:17:40 PM »

I LOVE THIS THREAD!!!

That is one of the reasons this is such a cool, and INSANE,  hobby !!

Great discussion guys! 

Thanks - this really brightened up a not so good day.

Kind Regards, Phil


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mdainsd
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2006, 08:39:56 PM »

Sorry to put water on your fire but the H5-60 isn't know as a very reliable machine.  Service is hard to do because of the mid engine design.  Unless you want a rear access coach and a rear garage, I suggest you look at the H3-40 that's for sale on E... right now.  Nice bang for the buck.  I'd put my money in increasing the suspension and axels like they do with the newer conversions rather than working on a H5-60.   There is a reason why these coaches did not stay on the market for a long time.  I wanted to buy a burnt MCI Renaissance.  Now that my 1980 XL is running, I'm sure glad I didn't.  I'm sure I saved a whole lot of dollars and time.

Only my two cents...  Good luck!

Pat

Could you please elaborate on this??

Thank you,

Mark
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ceieio
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2006, 08:56:23 PM »

Mark - sounds fun if you've got the time!  There are all kinds of reasons to get into a hobby and being able to be creative is one of them.  I like to fiddle with the bus as much as use it.  It needs lots of little odds and ends (so say I) and it gives me excuses to learn new things and knock the rust off of things I know from the past.

I think your idea is interesting and has lots of challenging "how am I going to do that" moments in it (a real plus for me).

Good luck on it and be sure to keep us up to date!

Craig - MC7 Oregon
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TomC
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2006, 09:32:28 PM »

I have seen the H5-60 up close and it is a mechanical disaster.  You have to cut some of the structure out to get the engine and trans out then reweld them in-real good planning.  But-overhaul the engine and trans to start (so you don't have to do the cutting out anytime soon) and it would be a unique bus.  You do realize they only run outside singles on the tandem drive axles?  I would think that 315/80's up front and 445/65's in the back would keep it on top of the sand.  What would really be cool would be to make it all wheel drive.

Personally, if I had unlimited funds, I'd buy a 40ft double decker, raise the bottom floor ceiling to 6'6" and then raise the roof to make the overall height of the vehicle 13'6".  The top floor would then only have about 60" of headroom.  I would then have the entire roof on hydraulics to raise it another 24" when at camp for 84" headroom upstairs.  Then you'd have about 70ft of floor space, or about 560sq/ft (most 40ft'r have about 280sq/ft of usuable space).  This is already being used on race trailers made by Featherlite.  So not so out there.  Most important-have fun with it!  Good Luck, TomC
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