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Author Topic: Converting MCI J4500  (Read 4939 times)
dougyes
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« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2012, 06:45:17 PM »

I drive one of these J4500's on a regular basis so here is the report:
It is the nicest driving coach I ever drove. Acceleration, stopping, suspension, ease of control and ergonomics are fantastic. The headlights and side spots make night driving a breeze. The engine bay is well laid out for daily precheck. Even the battery water in the power bay is checkable. The bays are huge. The frame is stainless steel and the body is fiberglass. That fiberglass scratches readily. Things that never leave a mark on an old coach make an immediate impression on fiberglass. All the insulated glass windows on the sides fogged up but were replaced under warranty. That glass is glued in. It regularly rains inside at the joints. The plastic bumper on the door fell off. Looking at the design, it was never made to stay on. The fiberglass frame on the entrance door is beginning to crack. Some things just have to be made of steel to work properly. So far the electronics have worked well. The J model has come a long way. When it was introduced the bumpers fell off, electronics failed, it caught on fire etc. That proves that given time, Canada can compete with China, except in Vancouver, which is already China.
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Jeremy
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« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2012, 12:33:57 AM »

That proves that given time, Canada can compete with China...

Perhaps, given a lot more time, they'll even be able to compete with Germany...


Jeremy
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Scott Bennett
Scott & Heather MCI-9
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« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2012, 04:52:49 AM »

Thats it. I'm writing Toyota and personally going to ask them to manufacture a single bus for me. 4WD with diff lock and I'll be happy. Speaking of which what is the most reliable bus one can buy? A skoolie?


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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TomC
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« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2012, 07:37:29 AM »

If the bus company is still building buses, they are built well.  ALL the new buses are terribly complicated with all the electronics necessary to run the engine, and the emission controls, transmission, ABS braking system, traction control systems, A/C, YFi, satelite TV and radio, etc.  Many new safety laws that have been implemented since the 60's and 70's also contributing to the buses gaining weight.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
chev49
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« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2012, 08:17:02 AM »

i like when i go to the car shows and talk to some guy with a 100k car who says he built it.. Then when i ask him how he built something like the 4 link system he can't answer..  Grin Grin Grin
This happens all the time.
My work is occasionally done more than once when i am doing it.  (sometimes even on customers stuff)
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belfert
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« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2012, 09:07:33 AM »

Thats it. I'm writing Toyota and personally going to ask them to manufacture a single bus for me. 4WD with diff lock and I'll be happy. Speaking of which what is the most reliable bus one can buy? A skoolie?

I would guess that an older non-electronic schoolie or transit bus might be the most reliable as long as all worn parts are replaced.  Some of the issues with older buses are electrical, but they can be rewired fairly easily.  I thought long and hard about rewiring my bus from the ground up, but with the electronic engine and tranny I decided it would be a nightmare to do.  There are wiring bundles the size of my arm going front to back.  There are also 40+ pages of wiring diagrams and they are 11"x17".

If you're talking most reliable new bus they all have tons of electronics these days.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
RJ
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« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2012, 11:47:13 AM »

Speaking of which, what is the most reliable bus one can buy? A skoolie?

Scott -

Probably the most simple, rugged and dependable highway coach ever built was the PD4104.

Crown gets the same kudos for their skoolies, especially the "twinkie" body in (rare) pusher configuration.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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Fresno CA
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« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2012, 12:13:15 PM »

Rugged reliability and high end luxury generally do not go hand in hand:  Skoolie vs Liberty Prevost, Humvee (the real one) vs Beemer.  Decisions, decisions, decisions!
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2012, 02:52:38 PM »

The most reliable bus there is, is one on a sales lot ANYWHERE!

Just ask the seller an they'll tell you "there is nothing wrong with this bus, I'd jump in it and drive it around the world." (they leave out the "but this thing had broke me so now I have no fuel $" part!)
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
Geoff
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« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2012, 06:09:07 PM »

My bus is from California and had no corrosion. . .

Geoff -

I'm having a senior moment right now. . . I seem to remember that your RTS is an ex-GGT coach?

 Huh

Yes, I have a Golden Gate Transit bus that was used for urban freeway commutes to San Francisco and Santa Rosa, it was called a Suburban rather than a transit because it was geared for the freeway, but had to meet the Federal Regulations for handicap travel thus the rear door with the wheel chair lift.  I believe there was 2x RTS made than MCI 9's making it the most produced bus ever made.  Parts are easy to get, the the bus is well made, and does not fall apart.  That is why Newy York kept buying them after GM dropped out of the picture-- It was the most durable bus made that could take the NY potholes.

I love my RTS-- the best bus ever  built.

--Geoff
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Geoff
'82 RTS AZ
RJ
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« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2012, 09:47:10 PM »

Geoff -

I totally agree about the build quality of the RTS, especially the second generation and later units, after GM got the "real world" teething problems worked out on the slope-backs.  Of course, the argument still rages on as to whether or not the IFS was better than the solid axle for ride quality. . . LOL!!

Back when I worked in transit, I was really good friends with the late Marcel Sales, the training supervisor at GGT.  He often told me if I was interested in an RTS, he'd pick the cream of the crop for me.  Alas, that never happened. . .

As you well know, GGT took exceptionally good care of their equipment, and their purchasing dept was intelligent enough to spec their vehicles appropriately for the type of operation GGT runs.  I think they were one of the few that ordered their Suburbans with highway gearing, an unusual order for most builders.  That and the non-reclining recliner seating to keep the "suits" happy during their daily commute into the City.

You and Pete Pappas are certainly two of the best cheerleaders for the RTS - even tho Pete's sold his.   Cry

One of these days I'll get down your way and we'll have a chat. . .

RJ
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
usbusin
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« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2012, 06:33:56 AM »

From 1964 to 1967 I was a "suit" commuting on Greyhound's 4103s and 4104s from Novato to San Francisco.   I believe they were 4103s, they had a steering column shift. 

Guess this was before GGT.  Never then did I know that 20 years later I'd have a 4104!

GaryD
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Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
Scott Bennett
Scott & Heather MCI-9
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« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2012, 07:16:49 AM »

Interesting reading your takes on reliable buses. It's interesting because I've pondered the money involved in keeping them up to snuff and felt in my heart a cringe for people like the Lord family and wondered what a good option is for someone looking for reliability and simplicity (never been a fan of electronics). But im learning that it somewhat comes down to realizing that these busses were hundreds of thousands of dollars when brand new and take that much to upkeep over their life span. I come along and see that I can buy one and convert it for less than $30k and am unprepared mentally for the constant care and $$$'s it requires to maintain it. Sometimes the tiny entrance fee belies the large upkeep fees. Love my bus dearly, but sometimes think life is simpler with a power stroke and fifth wheel


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
lostagain
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« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2012, 07:28:18 AM »

Anything can be made reliable if well maintained. It does, as mentioned, take money, but mostly diligence and a thorough PM program. And sometimes modifying a design flaw, such as, since Powerstrokes were mentioned, bypassing/deleting the EGR system in the 6.0 liter.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
Scott Bennett
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« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2012, 07:57:06 AM »

Good point. And please know that we are loving our bus, but it's old and wasn't in amazing condition to begin with. So someday I would love to get a coach maintained by one of you :-) and be able to start with a well maintained bus.


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
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