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Author Topic: Technomadia Update - 4106 Contender in Yuma, AZ  (Read 4401 times)
zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2011, 09:18:04 AM »

Looks pretty clean, the house systems seem clearly installed.  Bus looks good, FYI all buses are money pits.  Are only the fronts split rims?  Looks nice in the engine bay. 
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luvrbus
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2011, 09:59:19 AM »

You pretty much covered the bases I have no idea what a mechanic can tell you about the 8v71 without tearing into it if they start easy and not much blue or white smoke after warm up that is about all you can say regardless it may run for 2,000 miles or 200,000 if the oil leaks are from the tubes drive the puppy it will clean up what I am trying to say there is no guarantee even with a mechanic inspection, but do a test drive me IMO I think you are trying to buy a 1st class bus for little money if want that then you part with some big bucks
Look at the bus Tim found the power train setup is worth 10,000 that is a rare setup for a 4104

good luck
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2011, 10:08:12 AM »

I will second ZubZub's comments.  It looks to be a really special bus.  

About tires:  There has been sooooo much discussion on here.  I wonder that more hasn't been said about it other than size....and that was a gem.  We don't wear out tires.....ever.  I think buying new tires to throw away with 75% tread in 7 years is a shame.  You can find "take offs" of nearly any brand for cheap and they can be had with enuf tread to last you 7 years.  You just NEED to check the date of manufacturer code on EACH tire.  A tire that has run a year on a truck is pretty much proven to be a good tire and some new ones fail after lkittle use and there is never a warranty you can count on though some here seem to have gotten satisfaction.

The tires on a dual need to be closely matched in diameter and brand/model.  A miss match in size and the tires eat each other....close doesn't count.  Any recap that works in Az is good enuf for me and there may not be any of those.  Most only buy "new" tires for the fronts, if they but new tires.  The duals from side to side should also match in diameter between the duals or the diff turns excessively.  Tires that have an excessively high load range rating ride very poorly....read dental work in jeopardy.  As the industry turns away from 24 inch tires there are a lot of aluminum rims available used.  You need to shop.  Also, the rims come in "hub centered and stud centered" models.  They are not interchangeable.  The rims also wear out and need to be inspected carefully.

There is a tire balancing system that mounts with the tire called Centramatic.  Search it and read the most recent threads.  They are rim size specific so they are out there used as well.  All info is that that balancer is "the way to go" and it saves tires and somehow adds MPG besides it purpose of comfort.

Go to a DD factory shop with a dyno AND A TWO STROKE MECH to have your engine evaluated.  They also go thru your transmission while they are at it.  They "can" do there best job.  A really good independent shop with an experienced two stroke mech must be every bit as good but without trusted referrals from here I would go with the DD shop IF they have a 2 stroke guy.

Never get under a air ride suspension bus until it has been blocked up properly.  Death awaits those that don't heed that advice....I am told.

HTH,


John
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luvrbus
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2011, 10:16:58 AM »

JohnEd, you are not going to find a DD dealer that will put a 50 year bus on a Dyno if they do a out of frame they will on their rebuild on the engine only.
if don't mind me asking what is the 2 stroke guy supposed to look for if it starts easy the compression is good and you cannot check the oil rings from the inspection covers so what does one check without tearing into it not much my friend it is all done by the smoke a compression test would cost a couple of grand.
If the engine has 5 lbs of oil pressure at idle on hot engine and 30 lbs at 1800 rpm you are good to go
 
I thought about driving to Yuma a guy that is in touch with the buyers ask me last night and told him if they like bus buy the damn thing and roll the dice.
I will not give advice or a inspection on a old bus just to make a couple 100 bucks just not my cup of tea to have somebody pissed when something happens and sh** does happen

good luck
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 10:47:55 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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TedsBUSted
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2011, 10:35:29 AM »

. . .Here are the issues we discovered with the bus:
1) There is a substantial air leak in the bay under the drivers seat, seemingly coming from the fitting on the back of the pressure tank.
2) The wheels are split rims, and need to be replaced ASAP, as well as all new tires. . . .

. . . considering the air leak and wheels / tires we didn't take it for a test drive.


The multi-piece rims themselves aren't an issue and by the pictures the rubber doesn't look so bad. Sure, tubeless rubber would be nice, but if the  tube-type tires  aren't badly worn or aged, then tires wouldn't have to be at the very top of the list; certainly not high enough on the list to preclude a test drive.

Engine certainly looks fresh and workmanship appears to be tidy. I'm with lurbus on engine evaluation; start it cold, open the oil fill to check "puffing" there, warm it up and run it hard, buy it.

As to the substantial air leak, I don't believe there was originally any plumbing "behind" the reservoir located below the driver, although there is some plumbing towards the inboard side. Possibly the reservoir's drain valve is open?

Ted
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 10:40:02 AM by TedsBUSted » Logged

Bus polygamist. Always room for another, especially ‘04 or ‘06 are welcome. NE from Chicago, across the pond.
Cary and Don
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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2011, 10:49:08 AM »

When you buy a cheap bus that the owner bought to flip you are rolling the dice.  You had better plan on having bought a fixer.  Remember that most mechanics charge from $75 to $100 an hour.  There are a lot of decent priced quality buses out there with some sort of reliable history.  Yet they have chosen a pig in a poke.  If they like it they can buy it and hope for the best.  This is why so many new bus owners end up never making it home.

Don and Cary
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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2011, 10:52:38 AM »

oh yeah under the driver's seat on the GMs is the aux air tank.  Things that leak there are , aux air cut out valve, low air alarm sensor, brake light switch, and if no one has been draining it either the aux air tank (rusted out) or the front air tank (same)  All these leaks are easy fixes, just a little awkward.  BTW my '04 has an access panel for the aux air cut out valve in the cockpit.   This allows servicing of the aux air cut out valve from above, much easier than from the side door.  Other source of air leaks would be front airbags/supply lines.
The other 4104 with the Cummins Diesel LTA 10 sounds pretty good as long as the install was good.  Speaking of which you need to see the paperwork on either the L10 or the 8V71 engine to get an idea of what was done.  the L10 seems like a nice repower, but if it is a bagged out engine with fresh paint and/or the install was done badly it will be more trouble than the 8V71 IMHO. 
Just looked at the craigs ad again, that L10 4104 seems like a sweet deal.  The fact that it has been running working in the last 2 years makes it a more known quantity....good thing I don't have 10K to spare right now.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 11:03:34 AM by zubzub » Logged

technomadia
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2011, 11:17:32 AM »


 
I thought about driving to Yuma a guy that is in touch with the buyers ask me last night and told him if they like bus buy the damn thing and roll the dice.
I will not give advice or a inspection on a old bus just to make a couple 100 bucks just not my cup of tea to have somebody pissed when something happens and sh** does happen



Totally agreed on this, luvrbus.  For the record, we had actually asked the gentleman who called you for recommendations on resources within range of Yuma that we could get the bus to should we encounter problems after leaving Yuma.  We were not specifically having him to seek someone to drive to Yuma with us for an onsite inspection.   (Although, if there does happen to be a busnut or DD mechanic in Yuma that could look things over with us, we would love to have a learned set of eyes & hands go over things with us).   

We would never expect to pay someone advice/inspection and have that convey any sort of promise or guarantee - we clearly know there is no such thing on something of this age.  We look at that as more paying for education for our own reference.  We are simply accessing what our resources are should we choose to roll the dice and things go badly. As we are not finding many resources in Yuma itself this time of year, we're looking for resources within reasonable towing range that we could get the bus to for work if/when it needed it.   

If you are open to it, luvrbus (and we do choose to roll the dice on this one), we would still love to talk with you and see if you might be open to us bringing the bus up your way and having you go over things with us.  Not to make guesses about the condition of things, but rather to teach us for things to look out for, maintaining it and spotting anything that might need more immediate addressing.  And of course, if you have the time and availability - if it does need work before moving out of AZ, we would love to know if we have a resource to bring the bus to for work. 


As to the 'getting it home part', Cary & Don - we are home the moment we buy our bus, whether it's happily running, plugged in at a campground or awaiting tow on the side of the road.  As full time travelers for 5 years now with no physical home base - we are in no rush to get anywhere, and nor do we have anywhere else to be.  If the bus ends up needing extended work.. so be it.  We find a reliable mechanic, pack our backpacks and head off for an adventure somewhere.   We're adaptable.


Thanks again all for all the wonderful advice, tips and cautionary tales.  We are soaking it all up, taking notes and doing our best to go into this eyes wide open.

 - Cherie (and Chris)

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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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JohnEd
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2011, 11:21:27 AM »

ZubZub,

Me too!
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luvrbus
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2011, 11:31:18 AM »

Bring it on I am about 200 miles n of Yuma off 95 in Mohave Valley I will be glad to help you get road worthy that's not a problem and you can use my shop and tools to do your service work also and I have 50 amp service for electricity and we have a local tire guy JR that will treat you right on wheels and tires new or used you are welcome anytime


good luck
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technomadia
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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2011, 11:34:15 AM »

Just looked at the craigs ad again, that L10 4104 seems like a sweet deal.  The fact that it has been running working in the last 2 years makes it a more known quantity....good thing I don't have 10K to spare right now.

We didn't go look at that 4104 because we aren't fond of the front-kitchen layout.  But we did happen to run across the former owner who had done the L10 conversion, and who is now selling his 4106 that he bought when he sold the 4104.  

He shared that he had had many overheating issues with his 4104, and that he wasn't overly happy with how the repower worked out.  Perhaps the new owner worked all the bugs out, but if anyone who is interested in the bus wants the contact info for the previous owner who did the repowering to learn more about it - let me know and I'll pass it on.

Cheers,

   - Chris
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JohnEd
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2011, 12:06:45 PM »

Clifford,

I completely disagree....respectfully, of course.  You must know that I have never turned a wrench on a DD or any other D for that matter.  And the prospects are dimming for that to ever happen.

As far as shiX happens, it is to minimize that prospect that we work and all the while knowing that we can't eliminate it.  Still, our time isn't wasted. Especially if there is a $15K penalty.  "Roll the dice" must be music to the ears of any charlatan that is peddling a junker.  I have heard engines start that sounded like they had gravel inside....rough and really noisy....and they didn't smoke.  I have heard others ran like oiled clocks and they didn't smoke either.  i agree that if they smoke they are worn out almost certainly but that may be fuel although that isn't likely.  My gaser had a dose of bad fuel and it smoked so badly I thought it must be on fire and I stopped to put that fire out.  Bad gas!  Till it ran on fresh gas I still didn't believe the engine hadn't had a catastrophic failure.  My experience and one that makes me humble when making decisions automotive.

I did look at a bus that had a destroyed engine.  The "brand new owner" had looked over the "in-frame" overhaul documentation and decided he knew enuf and "rolled the dice".  He didn't know shiX from Shineola about D's either.  Well he made it about a hundred miles and the engine decintagrate, so to speak.  Turns out the guy that overhauled it, the shop, didn't adjust the valve timing gear circuit and the alternator or one of the gears stripped off and dumped "teeth" in the rest of the gears.  I was told by the shop owner that that almost always takes out the entire engine with great finality.  I can't swear to that on my own.  I asked if an in-frame shouldn't include a lot of tests and adjustments other than only cylinder replacements and the answer was "HeXX yes".  Specifically I asked if the present owner couldn't have told that there was a problem without tearing into the engine and, again, the answer was "yes".  I didn't press for details on how to do that inspection but I guess there is an access plate to adjust the cam drive train without a major disassemble of the engine as it is a PM inspection I imagine.  Regardless, an experienced 2 stroke mech would probably hear that drive train that was on the edge or maybe he would have needed a stethoscope....I don't know.  I believe what I was told about it being discoverable prior to failure, though.  The shop owner where the bus had come to rest said "only probably needs a few valves, John".  He is a card.  I asked if the engine was recoverable and was told that "the failure occurred on a hill with the engine up against the gov. and the trans is a stick so prospects are none".

I will say that you assist and guidance to techno is a true Godsend of an opportunity that he should take advantage of post haste.  And if he looses the engine I am sure (no joke) that you have or know of a replacement he could have for free or less.  You have done more for others you knew less well that I have first hand knowledge of.  And that was on a Xmas eve and you needed to drive hundreds of miles to help a stranger on the side of the road.  All things considered i guess techno should go for it and only be concerned that he reach your "ranch".  And i say that in all sincerity.  Do you have your ears up Techno?

Be well Clifford, you have earned your rep.  I take back nothing I have said.

John

Posted while Clifford and Tech were posting.  Seems all is well in River City.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 12:09:31 PM by JohnEd » Logged

"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
luvrbus
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2011, 12:18:48 PM »

Sounds like something David  @ SOD would say I saw one of his 8v92 rebuilds last 340 miles lol Mr H the owner made him go to DD and buy him a engine would not let him try and repair it about that time they decided not to work on buses anymore wonder why  

good luck  
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 12:27:02 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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RJ
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2011, 03:38:42 PM »

Chris & Cherie -

Was looking at the photos of that 4106 again, when something caught my eye that may be part of the air leak in the front exterior compartment under the driver:

The air-ride seat.

Yup, check the plumbing for the seat.  I recently helped another busnut fix an air leak that was traced to a split air line coming from the aux tank under the driver up thru the floor to the seat.  Fix was inexpensive, just had to be somewhat of a contortionist.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink

PS: Check your private messages.
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RJ Long
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Geoff
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2011, 04:39:33 PM »

The thing i think about when buying a home conversion is trying to figure out what is wrong when something quits working.  It looks lile the guy did a nice job but what is behind all those panels?  Everytime you have a problem is it going to cost you mega-dollars to find the problem.  I built my own bus so I know if there is a problem I know exactly where to look.  That is the benefit of buildiing you own conversion 'till you die then it is someone else's problem. 
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Geoff
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