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Author Topic: Anyone keep a spare engine in their garage ready to be shipped to themselves?  (Read 3981 times)
Kevin Warnock
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« on: August 18, 2011, 12:52:10 PM »

I don't have a spare $20,000 I read I should have on hand to recover from a big breakdown. As a result, I don't venture more than about 50 miles from San Francisco, where I live.

From what I've read, about the worst thing that can happen is for an engine to blow up, resulting in a big tow bill and the price for an engine and labor. Since the shop will know they have you in a situation, I presume this is not the time to negotiate price.

What seems unfair is that I can buy an entire RTS bus with a Series 50 engine for under $5,000 most months, on EBay. That bus would have whatever parts I might need while on the road. I wouldn't want to pay to store an extra bus on the off chance I might need the parts, but I do have room to store an engine in my garage, as I have a large two car garage. I could certainly fit 4 Smart cars in there. Would it make sense buy a bus and take out the expensive parts: the computer, the engine, a few windows, the windshields, and then put them on a pallet in my garage?

If I was far from home and disaster struck, I could just call a shipping company to go to my house to pick up the pallet. I presume if I have the engine, a shop would only charge a couple of thousand to swap engines. Is that about right?

I could scrap the second bus after taking out the good parts to recover some of my purchase price.

Is this all just crazy thinking?

Thanks,

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog
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lostagain
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 01:06:03 PM »

Chances of completely blowing an engine and having to find a replacement is IMO, very remote.

More likely, a break down will involve smaller parts that aren't as expensive, and can be looked after on the road.

An engine is not going to totally crater so that you need a replacement shipped out. It will give you some warning that it is getting tired.

At worst, you'll be stranded somewhere waiting for a replacement transmission or rear end for a few days. Have good towing insurance.

Be diligent with your preventive maintenance at home, so that you know what you have for a road trip.

Drive the sucker across the country, via Alaska, LOL.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
chuckd
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 01:16:50 PM »

Kevin:

I am thinking along the lines you are.  Brian could not find a two stroke so he put in a Cummins M11.  That is a great idea, but since I have zero talent, that option is not available to me.  So I am kinda looking for a 6V92 silver, that I can have ready as a spare, just in case, and I do not want to have to find one in 3 days.

Chuck
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Brassman
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2011, 01:25:36 PM »

I posted this in another thread, but here are a couple of 6V92's one could play with and stash:

http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/auction/view?auc=604265.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 01:27:56 PM by Brassman » Logged
prevosman
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2011, 01:38:16 PM »

Please don't take this as a criticism but hopefully as constructive advice.

I am presuming most if not all of us are driving commercial buses rather than conventional motorhomes because they are significantly more stout and reliable. They will not only offer a longer life measured in hundreds of thousands (and maybe millions) of miles, but they offer significantly more protection in the event of an accident.

But their reliability is only as good as their previous maintenance and amount of use. If an engine is such that we lack confidence in it and are concerned about having a spare, my guess is the whole rest of the coach is in a similar condition. If that is the case before spending a penny on the house portion I would suggest efforts and resources should be put into the chassis, motor, transmission, differential, brakes, suspension, tires, etc. Unless and until I can have confidence in the reliability of the chassis there can never be a trip of any length in which I would be recreating. Just waiting for an air bag to let go, or a brake line to fail or an engine to overheat, or a transmission to fail I would be a nervous wreck.

It is one thing to be on a trip and have the house water pump fail or an AC to quit working. Stuff like that doesn't make us a danger on the highway and is an inconvenience. Issues with the drivetrain can leave us in the middle of a highway, a danger to ourselves and others. That crosses the line in terms of potential risk to ourselves or our family.

But to answer the question I seriously doubt a catastrophic engine failure will occur. The items I would most expect would be loss of coolant due to failed hoses, early warnings of potential problems like coolant of fuel in the oil, failed transmissions, or ruptured emergency brake diaphragms on coaches equipped with spring brakes.
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Jon Wehrenberg
Knoxville TN
1997 Prevost Liberty
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2011, 01:43:06 PM »

It is a superb idea.  The problem is KNOWING the condition of the engine.....for certain.

I would think that the concept of spreading the costs would appeal to some.  Say 4 Knuts go in on a engine they share and make sure of the condition and properly prepare it for long term storage with syn fluids and lubes.  Share all expenses and let the user that breaks his engine buy the others out when the time of need comes.  Make the shares sale-able with the approval of the remaining partners and with clauses.  Your risk would be reduced to 1/4 but your potential benefit would be 100%.

Don Fairchild, AKA The Don, comes to mind in this arrangement as the provider of storage and storage and prep.  For a fee, now.  Not suggesting he has adopted any of us or should. Grin

Make sure that one of the partners doesn't have a "dead but forgot to fall over" 8V71 with 650Kmiles "known".

John

John
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 02:28:35 PM »

Some buses have major components that are getting rare.  On an Eagle, the big issue is the drop box and the rear end ring and pinion. 

Our Eagle Chapter has a sort of informal supply system where we can get parts to a member reasonably quickly.

I think that having a spare engine is not a bad thought.  There are failures that can put you in a real bind (failed injector taking out a valve or piston, for example). 

You could look at it like you do insurance.  Hopefully you will not need it.  Maybe you can help save some stranded bus person. 

Some people subscribe to the thought that if you make the effort to be prepared you will never need the part.  In my case, Murphy is too close of a "friend" for me to believe that  Grin

If you buy a bus with a good running system and take the time to strip off the useful parts, you can then scrap the rest of the bus from some pretty good $$$  Big project, but might be worth it.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
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muldoonman
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 02:53:01 PM »

Hey Kevin,

 The way people talk about the bottom falling out on converted bus prices,  just buy a standby bus. I second the tow policies. I just hooked up with coach net.

Glen
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robertglines1
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 02:59:50 PM »

sounds like a good excuse to build hot rod engine! don't tell Judy ! 1000hp 60 series. Now which one to leave on the stand? All kidding aside.  Know your engine.  It is sad you here about failures on this board. I assure you it is only a fraction of 1 percent of the miles these guys drive. In several 100 thousand miles I have lost a fuel pump and had a few electrical problems. I do keep up on maintenance and and know my equipment. It happens and I could loose a engine any time but I know my bearing clearances and miles on oil change also keep a eye on slobber tubes on two stroke and listen for changes. Keep them happy and they are tough as nails.  A engine co-op would work if spread out across country. I know several guys that have extra 2 stroke sitting.  If you are concerned enough to not use your bus spend the $500 and have Detroit evaluate the condition of you engine.
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muldoonman
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 03:06:50 PM »

Good advice Bob. I wonder how fast that bus of yours would move with 1000 hp?

glen
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harley86
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 03:29:15 PM »

I was thinking along the same lines I found a bargain on a complete DD8V71 with a recent rebuild I was thinking about buying it crating it up ready to ship and storing it at a buddys business with a fork lift. Cheap insurance plus if I never had to use it I could sell it 10 years from now for a nicer little profit.

Happy Trails
Kerry 
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JohnEd
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2011, 04:38:29 PM »

Has anyone hear from The Don.  What would he charge for what services....inspect the candidate...store the crated engine.....lay it up for long term storage...ship it.  I don't know what all might be involved let alone what the charges might be.

I'll bet that when he travels he has someone that can access the shop and all.....ya think?  He just seems like the obvious choice to involve in this type adventure.  How about the HTRN on the east coast.  Choo Choo would seem to fit.

If we could get our arms wrapped around the cost to do this we might have a better chance of a "deal".  It might be doable with two or four or six.  This is contrary to the "spirit" that pervades this group in that we are comprised of frontier challenging entrepreneurial explorers and they don't "unionize" easily...if at all.  The flip side is we are simpatico and prone to selfless assistance.  Almost in conflict.

Ruminations, I suppose,


John
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"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
Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2011, 04:55:42 PM »

I should say that I believe my engine is in great shape. But I dread the thought of having to buy an engine on the road, where I might have to pay $10 or $15K for just an engine, when I can buy a whole bus for less than $5K.
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bevans6
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2011, 06:16:46 PM »

At some point you have to give your head a shake and ask if this is an obsession or a hobby.  For me, stashing rebuilt spare engines around the country, or in a warehouse, so that I can venture more than 50 miles from home, it's an obsession and I would run away and hide.  I hope I would, anyway.  I think my wife would make me.  I hope, anyway...

I will never, ever, under any circumstances, need to have a spare engine in my garage so I can have it shipped to me.

Brian
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buswarrior
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2011, 06:39:13 PM »

Let nature take it's course.

The weak and infirm get eaten.

The strong and cunning have half a chance.

The rest is good fortune, nothing more.

If you have no stomach for it, sell the coach now and stay home.

Spousal unit will thank you!

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area
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