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Author Topic: MC5  (Read 12130 times)
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MC5
« on: January 26, 2011, 10:40:34 AM »

   Well guys, I have come across an MCI 5 that I hope to look at next week. If its something I can make work this could be the one. What I know so far is this Bus might have never been a seated coach. The seller says its an older conversion and has sat for quite some time. He was told it originally belonged to Mel Tillis, but nothing proof positive. Its a bunk bus, so maybe just for band members. The seller really knows nothing more about it, I will have to figure out the rest on my own. And myself, I know didly squat about a -5, I dont know if I have even even seen one in person. There are tons of sites telling me what to look for on a 7-8-9, but nothing about a -5.

   I dont yet know what engine or gearbox it has, and neither does the seller ("its a diesel"), but I am assuming 8V71 w/4 speed manual. Many of you know I have a heck of hill to climb to get up to my house, so I am not sure this big old dude can make it with the 4 speed, but installing a 7 speed is doable if need be and I could park it off site for a bit till I can alter it. At any rate, I have a feeling I can make it so we wont talk about that for now.

   So onward through the fog...I know these are said to have rust issues. Does anyone know where to look to see if its a problem? Any site I can go to that describes where to look and what to check?

   I know enough to check the big stuff, steering slop, look for integral steering, etc., but a good primer on a -5 would be very helpful. I'll get more information from the seller, but if y'all have any specific questions I should ask I am all ears. I dont want to get my hopes up, but I am kind of excited to see it.  Heres a pic.

   
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lostagain
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 11:00:01 AM »

5s are great buses.

Most of them came with 8V71/4 speed Spicer. That is geared fairly high and won't make it up your hill.

My 5C with 6V92/HT740 is great and will go up a cliff.

I don't know if there is enough room in a 5 to fit a 7 speed.

Check for rust on the frame at the front in the spare tire compartment.  Check the frame and cradle around the engine. Also up above the engine around the rads. It will have rust below the windows because they always leak.

You can fix anything if you get it for the right price.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 11:26:11 AM »

Art that looks like a 5A. Most did have the 8V-7 with a Spicer 4spd. Some were changed Like mine to 654 or 648's Automatics.
Mine is a Saudi Bus 5C so it only has the 6V-71 but the a's have the eights.. I agree below the windows if they are original which they look like yo  will have rust depending on were it has been. You can tel by looking down the side to see if it is wavy or not or look for big spots bubbling paint etc.

Check front for rotted air bags if t has been sitting. Engine compartment up where blowers are will probably have some rust. Have someone check the drop box at the rear end if you can. They are very expensive to fix and or replace. Check wiring in side river outside panel. Is there a lo of disconnected wires or broken etc.

Bay rubber door seals and hinges springs or lifts. They are good coaches and only 35 feet.

Dave
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 11:37:24 AM »



     I'm not for sure but that looks just like the one that sold a few years back on the MCI'RS web site. I'll do some research

    and post later.  I too have a 5, 5B great bus so far.

     Steve 5B.....


   
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 12:53:19 PM »

   Ive heard many references to drop boxes, but I dont really know what it exactly refers too. Can someone clue me in? show a pic? Any way around it?  I'm not opposed to working on it if its reasonably salvageable, but if its got too much going on I'll pass on it. It has some fuel leak in the head or something, said a guy told him something like $400 to fix it, but it starts and runs. The stuff mentioned so far dont scare me. Air bags dont scare me. But frame rot scares me.

   Would I be looking for the same kind of issues that plague the MCI 8's and 9's? I was looking on Bus 101, they show places to look for rust, up above the bay doors, the bolts coming through the floor, the spare tire bay.....

 
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 02:34:54 PM »

The MCI 5 and the 96A2 were the only MCIs with the dropbox.  Picture the rear axle facing forward like a truck, then bolt on a gear box over the pinion shaft. So the drivshaft connects to the rear end above and drivers side of the axle. Moves the connection to the rear end forward by a foot and a haft? The engine and trans set  at a slight angle. Goodluck
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 02:58:18 PM »

I have some good photos of a drop box and a line drawing from MCI of the same (which I can post when I have access to them).  I had a 5a (8V71 and Spicer 4-Speed). 
I would agree with the stated ratio of first gear being too fast for a steep incline, and backing up an incline is even worse.  You can't rely on slipping the clutch to make up for the gearing unless you like replacing clutches.
I know about the drop box all too well, as the failure of mine was the deciding factor in me scrapping the bus.  I was initially given prices of $500-$1700 for the parts, but when I went to execute on that I found that $4k-$10k in parts was more realistic.  I spent $1200 to have the failed dropbox removed, and re-installation would have been that amount again.  Additional costs which I didn't get quoted would be to have the axle carrier flushed and axle bearings re-packed.
In a Post-Mortem, it was determined that I did not have any leaks or externally measurable bearing play - and it was suggested that a bearing 'just failed'.  This sent debris into the drop box which tore up three gears which comprise the drop-box, and it is assumed that the pumpkin was also affected.
The other issue which I had was locating a windshield for the bus.  I received very reasonable prices on the windshields from many sources, however when I went to order the glass I was told it was no longer available (I didn't even have luck finding used glass).  I was told that if it was a 5b or 5c then the glass would be obtainable.
I will say that the bus was enjoyable to drive and easily maneuverable.  I don't mean to scare anyone away from a 5a (IMO a very nice looking bus) based on my experiences but would like to share my perspective. Perhaps some of the eagle owners or other 5 owners can share the best methods of preventing failure of the drop box.

I did replace the 5a with a 9 (6V92T/HT740) and have noticed that there is considerably more room in the engine/trans area to work.
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Anything worth doing, is worth OVERdoing.
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6V92 HT740
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 03:49:24 PM »

Been reading your posts on your driveway and decided to post my to cents , you said something about a 20 percent incline on your drive way, well i have a 4106 GM and never could do it with the 4 speed, my drive is 22percent for 90 ft, as soon as i put in the 730 tranney, was amaved at its performance in climbing, i guess that why they call it the GREAT MOUNTAIN CLIMBER. The draw back is i went from 9 miles per gallon to 7 , had my bus for 25 years and pretty well attached to it.  Thats my to cents worth.
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 03:55:09 PM »

The only reason I said check out the drop box was because you said it had been sitting a long time. Whats a long time and is the rust setting in and or why is it sitting as is the drop box already gone and to expensive to fix or is it worth taking a cover off and having someone check it out or if it is running drive it up on a ramp block and then jack up the drive wheel and see if it spins or needs some attention or doesn't move at all frozen. Are the bearings needing replacing. Just makes me wonder why it has been there doing nothing.

The reason the 5C's are easier to find parts especially for the front is because that part was fashioned after an MC 8 caps front luggage bay doors although 1 less and larger doors. but they lift straight up instead of hinged like 5A's. The only difference is less SS on the C's which I like better on the A's.

Ed H is a great source to ask about a  68 5A he has a nice one!

Art if the guy said it was Mel Tillie's Bus  just Start the motor and see if it Stuttersssss sis sis sis

Dave Cool
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 08:52:46 PM by Dave5Cs » Logged

lostagain
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 04:47:54 PM »

A fuel leak in the head is probably from the fuel pipes to the injectors. Not hard to fix. The problem is, the fuel goes into the oil and if the engine has been run for any lenght of time like that, the rod and crank bearings will be shot. If you like the bus, have an oil sample analyzed. Take a look at the bearings. You can replace bearings and fuel pipes for less than $1000, plus labor.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 04:52:41 PM »

  From what i have been told the windshields are the same as in the 7 and are available from MCI for  $250 each.  A few years ago a now deceased 5 owner lost his dropbox here in Yuma and it took a while, but he got it rebuilt or replaced in El Centro CA. for about $4000 if i remember right. If i had to replace my 5 for any reason, my first choice would be another 5. Grin
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2011, 05:53:12 PM »

Ed, I think the 8 has the same windsheilds as the 5.  Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2011, 08:13:16 PM »

If critical parts are that difficult to get even though the manufacture still makes buses I would stay away from it. This is a good example where even though GM is no longer making buses, you can still get parts for them thanks to the fact that so many transits where built using the same components over several decades. I need to measure the grade on my driveway. It is very steep, twisty and long. It would at least give me an idea of what my bus has to pull and might help others who are having the "which bus will get up my driveway" question.
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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 08:56:24 PM »

Tom I know for a fact the 8 will fit the B and C don't know about the A's though. The front are more curved I think may be wrong.

Dave
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 09:21:53 PM »

  Its probably best to say 18% for just over 100 feet. After I rework the entrance I am hoping to be able to run at it at a pretty good clip, like wound out on the governor in low gear. If I can get past that it levels off to 11-14% which shouldnt be any problem. Anyway, I just am not going to worry about that for now.

  I dont know why it was sitting. Why do any of these sit? I think maybe they are intimidating to most people, and except for a Bus nut the rest of the world wont even try to move one. One a Bus nut parks one, only another Bus nut might feel confident enough to do anything with it. Its like some big wierd airplane. OMG, it doesnt have a key? What to do, what to do, lol.

  Sitting a long time could let things like rings and pinions and transmission gears rust on the topside. Though I would tend to think that problem increases as you travel north, more than south. If there is a cover on the differential drop box, how hard is it to drop it?
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