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Author Topic: Rate a GMG PD4104  (Read 6528 times)
Rube
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« on: April 20, 2006, 01:35:55 PM »

I am looking at a 1960 GMC 4104, already converted. It has an inline 6-71, 4 spd. std. tranny. How is this bus constructed? Chassis?, what do I look for in trouble areas? what kind of MPG mileage should I expect. How will it compare to my 6V71 powerwise? How is the ride compared to an MCI5C?.... thanks in advance for your answers.

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tekebird
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2006, 05:50:25 PM »

Construction 99% aluminum monocooque design.  Way overbuilt by todays standards..

Power wise depends on how tired the engine is. I'd put my 6-71 up against and 6v71 that is normally aspirated.

Good...no no great bus if you can find a nice one.

I like mine so much I kept it even after buying a MC-8 Custom Coach conversion that had 160k from new.

problem areas......corrosion in the suspension.....ride...i like gm better than mci


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tekebird
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2006, 06:02:51 PM »

Forgot MPG.......again depends on the condition of your engine...and how you drive.........

I ahve gotten a range from 6-almost 12 on the same route....depending on how heavy my foot is........doesn't really save any time......I gust like to blow past buses that are 40 years junior with my old low powered 6-71.

Beleive me...on a long trip...including grades.......I will win out on arrival time...and mileage......sure they may catch up....and even pass on a long grade.......but the "tortise" wins
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kingfa39
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2006, 06:11:41 PM »

My cousin operated a bus company for years and years, he had 140 buses and has operated everything out there, i asked him what was the best over all bus, he said the 4104, it is well built and ive seen them get as much as 14 mpg, of course there are a lot of varables like loading driving habits etc. look how many are still out there running, i dont think the mci is anywhere near as good of a reliable bus. . just an opinion. i never owed one but i condider my cousin a expert on buses for what its worth
Frank Allen
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Rube
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2006, 06:32:13 PM »

Well, thanks all. glad to get some replies. Tekebird - where do I look for the corrosion?
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Casper4104
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2006, 04:20:11 AM »

Rube,

Look for corrosion in the air beams (the big heavy looking guys the airbags rest on top of, 2 on each axle.).  Another thing to check for is any cracking or signs of fatigue in the big bulkhead that makes up the fron of the engine compartment.

Some troubles with the "Highway Traveler" are:
Some parts getting tough to find (I heard that there is not 1 new NOS trans left on earth, anywhere, period.  Definitely shopping used parts if you trash your trans).
Somewhat difficult to convert to auto trans, although it has been done.

I've had mine about a month now and I love it.  I've only done one serious trip, and that was bringing it home.  I got 11mpg even with the engine running a little cold.  Mine shifts easy, drives nice, adequate power.  I came through the mountains of western NC, western VA, all of WV and into southern OH, and never had to downshift to 2nd gear.  Pulled all those grades in 3rd at 40-45 mph.

Good luck, let us know what you decide to do.

Casper
PD4104-3103
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tekebird
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2006, 05:37:44 AM »

hard to find parts:

Curb side front corner marker lens
split pane driver and door windows
rear glass
thermostat housing
the backwards operation thermostat which allows the coach to produce heat before heating the motor


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roadrunnertex
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2006, 07:05:08 AM »

There were 5065 PD-4104's built which was a record for that model in production numbers.
The PD4104 is a good bus I know as I use to own one some times I look back and ask why did I sell it.
On ebay this week a PD4104 shell was bid up to $7000.00 this is more than some later model MC-9's are selling for.
I compare the PD4104's to a 1957 Chevrolet it will always get you home if you do the proper maintenance and up keep.
Previous post from tikibird are correct as he owns one.
Transmission and engine avaliability there is a complete engine and transmission on ebay this week.
$999.00 starting bid.
My advise go for it and learn all you can about the old 4104's get the maintenance and parts book to help you along.
jlv
 
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gus
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2006, 04:36:16 PM »

I wanted a 3751 for nostalgia reasons but found my 4104 at a great price and in good shape. I've done a lot of things and have a lot more to do to get it the way I want it.

I got it last Aug and drove it 4300 mi a month later. I'm now well into my second trip which will be over 5000 mi. It is fun to drive and is fast enough for me, after all one reason I got one is to see the country.

Things to check first thing;

Looseness of the fan hub.

Holes in the tops of the two mufflers (Or one, mine is a '54)).

Wear in the forks and pins in the clutch and shifter rod linkages, front to back.

The second is critical to your health and the first is critical to your wallet. The third could result in your being stranded in the boonies.

All and all a really great bus.  Use the serial number and the internet to find out the original use of the bus. Mine was a Trailways and I intend to restore the original Trailways markings and paint scheme while having the motorhome facilities, both worlds.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
tekebird
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2006, 06:49:38 PM »

Although repainting to original paint scheme is not an issue, I beleive Trailways would have an adverse and legally correct issues with you using their trademarked name.

It is possible to get permission to use it on a Restored seated coach.  However not for a motorhome.

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Dallas
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2006, 06:59:52 PM »

Doug, I had planned at one time to restore My '03 to Trailways Livery. I even got permission from them to use their old Logo of "National Trailways". They were so nice about it they sent me the paint numbers for the Creme and Red livery, and the Blue and White Livery plus a Full size PDF of the National Trailways Logo.
They were pretty easy to get along with on that, I don't know about the Continental Trailways logo.
Dallas
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gus
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2006, 08:59:16 PM »

I doubt that Trailways will object to one little ole 4104 that looks nice and original except for the ACs on top so I'll take a chance on it.

If it were a piece of junk they might not like it but I'm sure they have more important things to spend their time on.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
tekebird
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2006, 09:57:55 PM »

Sure, will likely not have a problem unless you have a problem.  Or someone decides they have a problem with it.

I would ask and be sure....... would hate to have you spend the time and $$ and then have them sue you to remove it.

Dallas were they going to allow you to put the big trailways letters on the roof?  I can understand the use of the old logo as it is or was not currently being used and assiciated with the operation  But big trailways letters...

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tekebird
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2006, 10:04:49 PM »

As for them ahaving better things to do with their time......

Big corperations...and even small ones with a bit of worth generally have attorneys that get paid even if they do nothing........these folks often fiddle with such things  for something to do and/or to justify their jobs.

now trailways is a bit of a small corperation.  greyhound on the other hand as well as lots of other companies, have significant issues with people using their name and or logo even if not for profit......and yes...even for fully seated restored coaches.

Do what you want but CYA and expect the worst.

Of trailways 04's.....I know of two seated restored ones.....one in the Museum of Bus Transportation that was restored by the owner of Capitol Trailways.  ANd the other was previoussly owned and currently owned by Trailways affiliates.

The third one was a restored seated coach in trailways colors but no logos or lettering........and beleive me the owner would certainly done it proper if he were allowed to.
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Dallas
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2006, 01:53:07 AM »

Doug,
They were going to allow the word Traiways on the top, but I don't remember if it was with the Natioanal or Continental.
I don't think they were using Continental in '1952.
Also, there was some question as to whether the original color had been White/Blue or Creme/Crimson because it was an Oklahoma coach. I finally took some of the silver siding off and found the Crimson underneath.
The only way to be sure about what they will and won't allow is to ask them. And get their answer in writing, not an email.
That wau you have done your CYA.
Dallas
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tekebird
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2006, 08:04:47 AM »

Dallas,  I beleive the roof lettering would have just been trailways on a 4103.....with Continental or National trailways on the Nose and tailgate. 

I have inquired with my trailways Corporate contact to see what the skinny is on this now days.

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Dallas
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2006, 02:32:38 PM »

Well, Doug,
We hijacked this topic!
I would really be interested in what you find out.
I've given up on the idea of useing the original stuff, except for the paint scheme, which will be modified to more of a IH tractor red with some metal flake and a clear coat, and the top and other white parts will be the Ford-Fergeson tractor white, also with a clear coat.
I've chosen the tractor colors because I can buy the paint at $25/gallon and it's available just about everywhere.
Sure, it's not Imron, but, I can paint the dang thing every 3 years or so for 21 years for what Imron would cost for 1 paintjob.
It'll still inspire memories of GI's going off to Basic, Dad going home to the family, The weekend trip to the beach, etc.
Let us know here on the board!
Dallas

Dallas,  I beleive the roof lettering would have just been trailways on a 4103.....with Continental or National trailways on the Nose and tailgate. 

I have inquired with my trailways Corporate contact to see what the skinny is on this now days.


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tekebird
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2006, 10:13:21 AM »

Just got word from the President of Trailways

They do not allow use of their logo or any branding on a privately owned vehicle.......and they will and do regularly sick the law dogs on people.....which they find unfortunate after someone has done it.....as it is their $$ that is going to be spent to take it off or overpaint it.

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Dallas
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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2006, 12:23:40 PM »

Doug,
that really odd.
I'll have to ask my wife where the paperwork is they sent so that I could put the logos on legally. Also, I wonder if the copyright is still good after all that time.
Dallas
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tekebird
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« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2006, 02:18:11 PM »

More of a trademark issue......which I think are issued in perpetuity sp?  well forever.

even a company that is no longer operating as such......you will  find that someone owns the trademark

and will expect you to honor that if they catch you.

This word came from the Current President of National Trailways.  Who my Dad happens to have a meeting with tomorrow.

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