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Author Topic: GM 4106 for a conversion  (Read 3461 times)
Txstraveler
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« on: September 26, 2006, 09:37:52 AM »

Considering the age of any GMC bus that comes up for sale on  E-Bay or other sites, is the 4106 still a good choice for a low cost conversoin, assuming it is mechanically sound etc. In regards to parts availability, repairs etc. Any reply will be appreciated
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kyle4501
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2006, 09:51:34 AM »

Personally, I'd say yes! But you might not get any good advice from me since I bought my bus off eBay without even seeing it in person!

An interesting discussion was had on the BNO board a while back:

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/2988.html

Good info to get you started.

Good luck with your choice!
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2006, 09:57:09 AM »

Hi There:

We travelled extensively in a converted 4106 last year. They are brain-dead simple to work on and I had no trouble finding parts for it. MPG was good too, for a 35'er (between 8-9 usually). They're very fun to drive, and pretty nimble.

We sold ours for an automatic coach once we started wanting to do more camping, skiing, and beach-going. The 4-speed Spicer is too limited for "nudging" your way around a campsite, and is very limited when backing up any kind of grade. For a superslab-only coach, the 4-speed would be fine. You'd have to examine your RV lifestyle to make that determination.

You can occasionally find GMC parlor coaches that have been converted to autos. Most will have been converted already and have price tags to match.But in the end, it's almost always cheaper to buy one of those than convert it yourself. To do a full-blown conversion, I would start with a newer shell than any GMC, honestly. I may catch flak for saying that, and I love the GMCs... but that's what I've come to believe after a few years of bussin'.

Good luck!
Brian
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006, 10:19:01 AM »

I have to agree with Brian.. I love my GMC's but for ease of conversion and parts availability, I'd have to say that one of the MCI's would probably be a better bet.

Which ever one you choose, make sure you know what your getting yourself into. Each kind of bus has it's own inherent problems to be aware of.
Things like, GMC's aren't subject to rust as badly as other coaches, but are limited as to the engine and transmission you could put in them.

Eagles have a  tendency to rust through all the framing, but have a torsilastic supension that gives a nicer ride.

Different models of MCI's have rust problems, but many are made of stainless steel for the frame.

Just check around, and have any coach you look at checked by a qualified service center.

Good Luck, and I hope you stick with GMC!

Dallas
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 10:31:20 AM »

The 4106 is still a good choice.

There was alot of them produced and parts are available.

They are very nimble and the 35' length makes them an easy coach to manuver.

I think as you asked, Yes you can get one at a low cost or buy one for a reasonable cost already done.

The only downside is future engine/transmission choices, but the ones you have are easily rebuilt and should outlive all of us.

The majority of them have the 4 speed Spicer in them, some have the Auto.

If you don't want to learn how to shift them(takes some practice) or really want an auto(easier for most to drive, even with an auto some have still run into there homes Roll Eyes† †Wink ) that would be the way to go.

But primarily the choice of a shell or already converted depends on what you want from it, what are your abilities to change or fix it,
and how deep your pockets are. † All things to consider.

Above all have it checked by a reputable Bus garage before purchase.

Best of luck in your search.

Cliff


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TomC
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2006, 12:08:23 PM »

Personally- I'd go with the MCI since they are still made.  The 102C3 40ft'r is my favorite since it is 102" wide and has 6'10" headroom.  A good used one can be had for around $35,000-not cheap, but a good bus.  Look at the classified section here in this site. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
larryc
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2006, 01:53:09 PM »

I full timed in a 4106 for ten years. Had a ball!
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2006, 12:31:23 AM »

even with an auto some have still run into there homes Roll Eyes   Wink

Hey, Cliff, I resent resemble that remark!  Cheesy

I dare say, it's even easier to run into a house with your bus when it's got an auto tranny... you just let your foot off the brake and CRUNCH. With the clutch, you really gotta want to hit the house.  Grin

For those that haven't tried it... the house will win, every time!

bb

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Brian Brown
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 07:19:43 AM »

And that, gentlemen, sounds like the voice of experience!
Richard

even with an auto some have still run into there homes Roll Eyes† †Wink

Hey, Cliff, I resent resemble that remark!† Cheesy

I dare say, it's even easier to run into a house with your bus when it's got an auto tranny... you just let your foot off the brake and CRUNCH. With the clutch, you really gotta want to hit the house.† Grin

For those that haven't tried it... the house will win, every time!

bb


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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2006, 05:25:33 PM »

I have owened a 4106 for 20 yrs, it drives good is fast and the problems are minimal, mpg are great and it is a performer, also has a absence of belts to worry about. all i can say is i love mine, wouldnt want anything else
Frank Allen
4106  2626
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JimC
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2006, 06:58:08 PM »

YES, but I admit I'm partial.
No matter what you get, make sure the drivetrain is in solid condition  FIRST. (get it checked by a pro) OR, you will be digging very deeply into your wallet.
JimC  4106
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2006, 06:21:45 PM »

I think that any of the GM buses are a good way to get in and test the waters. The 4104 and the 4106ís are extremely inexpensive compared to the others. I would not convert one from scratch though, the low resale will cause too much of a loss if you sell it. On the other hand, if you are on the buying end of an already converted GM then you will probably get into this craziness at about the lowest cost possible. I love camping in the old, but very beautiful, state parks that are in my area. The lower height and 35í length makes that easier, and in some cases, itís the largest size possible or allowed. I started out to buy a large popup camper to replace the small one I had, but I found that I could buy a bus conversion cheaper! O.K., I know that itís not cheaper to operate than the popup, but I get so much enjoyment out of it that itís worth it. Another unexpected consequence of bus ownership is that it makes it easy to get to know your camping neighbors, it seems to bring out a lot of inquisitive questions, and is a good conversation starter. Mine still looks like an old bus on the outside so it looks quite retro, and is just so very, very, cool. I donít see parts being a big issue, whether its cost or availability, they seem to be plentiful and no more expensive, and sometimes less than the other makes. If you get one and you find that you do not like it, then you should be able to sell it, without much loss if any, due to the fact they have for the most part hit the bottom of the deprecation curve. Happy hunting.

L. Christley
4106-1063
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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NJT5047
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2006, 06:55:00 PM »

May I suggest that while you're considering buying a bus, you at least look at an MC9 or 102A3 (a 102A3 isn't really a "low cost" shell, but it's as inexpensive as it gets for a 102" shell) as a low cost shell...or even partially completed conversion.† †An MCI isn't any better built than a GM...may not be as well built, but it'll be a lot newer, and is, hands-down, the easiest bus to make mechanical repairs on...and find parts for.†
An MC9 shell wouldn't cost much more than an equivalent GM shell.
However, an MCI has a squarer roof-line and higher ceiling height which gives a good bit more interior room without raising the roof,† is longer (you may want more room?) at 40', and has a much more modern transmission in the Allison HT740s and HT748s.† †MC9s also have 6V92T engines.† This is good.†
GMs are nimble, and get a little better mileage.† †Both drive well if steering is tight.† †
All MCIs have power steering, and later versions have integral power steering...this is very nice.†
Don't want to confuse you, but at the risk of emulating Christy's experience by owning† 3 buses (first-bus, big-bus, and "temp-bus)...you gotta make some good decisions.† †
Shop around and see what options there are before jumping onto a coach.† †Find a bus get-together and check out what's available.†
Often converting a bus isn't something you do over and over until you get it right.† Usually want to get it right the first time....Christy excepted....she's rich.... and can do these things.† Roll Eyes
I have "practice bus" (an MC9) and doubt I could sell it for half of what the conversion parts alone cost.† Cry† This is more typical than otherwise.† †
Good luck on your quest! JR†

BTW, Mr. Barn Owl, reckon we'll see you in T'ville next weekend?  Roanoke ain't  too far away!  Come'on down!
 
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 06:57:16 PM by NJT5047 » Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2006, 08:46:25 PM »

You all have no idea how much I would love to go to Tíville or the one in Tenn. I want to see the faces behind the buses.† Iím still a working stiff and had planned my time off long before I bought my bus. I am going to show up to one sooner or later, the way my life is speeding by, next year seems like tomorrow to me. Thanks for the invite; everyone here has made me feel very welcome. God willing, and I live long enough, I will be at the rallies in the near future. I agree if you are going to convert a shell the MCI would be a better choice, if you are like me, time and money bankrupt, finding a GM that is already converted is a great way to get started. The least expensive MCI-7 already done coach that I have seen still sold for almost 50% more than I paid for my 4106. And my bus had been converted to an auto, spring brakes, Jake brake, Sheppard steering, oversize seven core radiator, air throttle and seven peninsula windows (five passenger, two D, and the drivers). Now itís not a creampuff, it needs a paint job, some things need fixing, but I can use it as is and work on those other things along the way. I still look at all of the places that one can find buses for sale; the prices seem to just keep getting lower. I also have gotten many cool ideas from looking at what others have done from those for sale buses. I might be making an assumption that I shouldnít, but if one is looking at the GM buses, price and cost must be figuring a lot into your decision; otherwise you would buy a Prevost, right?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2006, 06:27:57 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
Itís the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
Barn Owl
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2006, 09:12:20 PM »

About the time I started considering owning a bus I stumbled across these two sites:

http://www.extremefamily.com/thebus.htm

http://www.brownland.org/bus/index.htm

These two familiesí websites had a tremendous influence on my decision to buy a bus, I am somewhat attempting to emulate some of what they are doing (Special thanks to Brian Brown and family, I follow their adventures and they are doing what I want to do). I have children also, and felt I could relate to them. Brian, I have always wanted to ask if I could call and talk to you, I think you could help guide me in a few areas. Message me with your phone number if it is OK.

Thanks,

Laryn Christley
4106-1063
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
Itís the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
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