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Author Topic: What are the differences between the different buses?  (Read 9335 times)
harleyman_1000
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« on: September 23, 2012, 07:07:27 PM »

 I am brand new to this forum, and am in the process of going fulltime and have decided to fulltime in a bus. I am at a loss for knowlege of which bus is better? I am looking at the older buses, and looking to spend under 25,000. I know everyone has their favorite make, but I need to know the good and bad about each make and model.  For example I have heard that the Eagles rust? Thank you for your knowlege in advance.
 Scott
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Scott 
St.Louis Missouri

1958 GM 4104 Extended 2 feet, with a 6v92 and 5 speed automatic

http://s783.photobucket.com/user/harleyman_1000/library/Gm4104%20bus?sort=3&page=1
luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 07:26:51 PM »

I have had about all makes of buses except a GM never cared for that bus personally and it was a great bus all buses have the good, bad and ugly a west coast rust free Eagle is a fine bus most parts except the suspension are off the self at any truck dealer

The MCI is a good bus so is a Prevost but the older ones rust just as bad as any bus or Eagle,the best buy I have saw latey are the Neo's at Northwest Bus Sales he is asking 19,000 but will bargain on the price 

All have new 4 stroke Cummins installed new in 2010 I think ? check those and they don't have millions of miles either 

good luck in your hunt
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Live each day like it was your last,one day it will be
Dave5Cs
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1979 MCI MC5Cs 6V-71 HT-740 Allison, Roseville, CA




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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 07:42:21 PM »

Welcome to the board, you might tell of how many will be in the bus, what you intend to do with it what are your abilities to work on the bus, electric, plumbing, wood work, etc. Some like the Eagle is possible to put in slides and a lot easier than in a MCI because of the frame. So those kind of things may limit what you want to look at. Just some thoughts.

Dave5Cs
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 08:27:41 PM »

Simple rule of thumb. GM is the best and then there are all the rest. How can you tell? Look at all of the 4104's still plowing down the highway. See any others from the '50s doing the same? This is on the straight up and up because I am not even biased.

Here is a good link from Bus for sale guide to help you get started on a basic list of pros and cons for each manufacture: Bus Make and Model Charts

To better answer your question and narrow the search:

- How much money can you really spend, 25k to own title and then how much to fix and maintain it?
- How are you going to use it?
- How much work are you going to do yourself?
- How good are you at fixing old broken buses?
- Full timer?

Try searching the archives, there is a tremendous amount of information on this topic there.


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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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luvrbus
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 08:44:02 PM »

Like the term "plowing" BarnOwl lol sounds right to me
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 08:50:35 PM »

Plow in the field, plow in the sheets, plow down the road....... useful little word isn't it?
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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!
TomC
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 09:45:32 PM »

If I were buying a bus for full timing, I would buy an MCI 102C3.  They are 40ft, 102" wide, have huge windows (I like to look out) and have 6'10" headroom.  They are available since they are 40ft and most operators now want 45ft. 

As much as I like the old 2 stroke Detroits, try to find a bus with a 4 stroke engine.  Some of the better choices would be Cummins M11/ISM, Caterpillar C12, Detroit DD13 (would be a very recent repower).  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
John316
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 06:19:34 AM »

Welcome aboard, Scott.

You ask a tough question Grin. If you are going the bus route, then MCI's probably have the most readily available part supply. If nothing else you can pretty much always get parts overnighted in from them. They have great tech support, and our D model is pretty easy to work on.

A few things. Listen to what Luvrbus says. He is one of the most knowledgeable guys on here. You can go to the bank with what he says.

You mentioned your 25K budget. If I was you, I would step back and evaluate this whole bus idea (sorry bus guys). You start with a decent bus at maybe 20K, that is already converted. The generator doesn't work, so you have to rebuild/replace that, maybe $1500 (just throwing numbers out). Then you have small things like a water pump, and other such, to replace. Adds up to $500. Brakes need to be checked out and redone. $1500 (could be way more or way less). Then you drive it for a while and something happens to the transmission. If it is a B500, you might get a rebuild for as cheap as $8K. Then what about the fan clutches on the rad and charge air cooler? $800 $1500 each.

And the list goes on. Of course, a lot of this is worst case scenarios. But that could be reality when you only have 25K to spend. Everything adds up very quickly. You can't just go to the most truck shops and get what you need (sometimes you can). We needed a new pulley to go on our alternator. I called MCI, and they wanted about $300 for it. I found it from another source for $40 each. Problem is if the others wouldn't have had it, then we would have been stuck with MCI.

Buses are expensive. Make sure you count the cost. Look through the archives at breakdown story's. Bobofthenorth had a complete engine rebuild done (I think it was him) at one of the best bus shops in the country. Ask him, but I think it was more then he hoped, but he could afford it.

Are you at all mechanical? Can you get yourself going with a minor breakdown, or do you have to call a tow?

All things to think about. Not to throw water on your bus fire, but at least you can figure this stuff out now.

Now, everybody can disagree with me Grin Cheesy Grin

FWIW, YMMV

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
roadrunnertex
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 06:22:17 AM »

Barnowl:Right ON!
When the rest of the various make Coaches are in the scrap yard you can drive up and take those MCI,Prevost and Eagle owners back to their home in a GMC PD-4104. Grin

A lot of good GMC and other make coaches are for sale.So buy a converted coach one that is finished and you can enjoy it the next weekend.
Yes I own a 1974 GMC P8M4905A conversion.
Roadrunnertex.

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robertglines1
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 07:00:45 AM »

You ask what is best bus;Question should be what  is best for you? Single retired is one type. Married 4 kids another. Just you and wife/girlfriend.?  I have owned MCI 8 and liked it had a great time with it. Parts available good. 8V71 automatic 6.5 mpg   Then a 89 prevost 8V92  automatic 5 mpg more if you could keep you foot out of it up to 6. Part service good. Most local or next day from MCI or Prevost.  Both 2 stroke motors.      Now own a 98 prevost 45 ft 4 stroke 60 series with 10 speed autoshift looking for 7 to 9 mpg maybe more out of it. yet to be determined.  This was a salvage rebuild my total cost will be under $25 grand plus labor.      It really depends on your skills and time frame.   A already converted coach might be the route for you.   let us know your area of country and first name and we can share more.   Bob
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 07:13:04 AM by robertglines1 » Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 08:02:03 AM »

Part of it depends on if you want a mechanical bus or an electronic bus. Grin   Also the reason there are so many older GM buses still around, is that GM and Flx's were about the only ones in mass production at the time.....MCI did not really get into the US market until the mid 60s. Still a lot of the 5 series around even though their production numbers were only about 1/4 of the GM numbers and the later MCI buses.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
Ericbsc
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 09:02:04 AM »

I agree Tom. The 102 is the most bus for the money, late model and a lot have four strokes. Dosen't look like an EAGLE, but a lot less work . This one is on ebay now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418
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Eagle Andy
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 09:21:46 AM »

He's my two sense for what its worth. We went into the Bus world with only S/S experience owned 3. Sold them all and decided to Buy a Bus went on line and found our Eagle. That my friend was the beginning of the best adventure i have had in the RV world. I will admit we are very lucky for buying the Eagle that we bought. There are alot of Buses out there with  less than stellar history's. so what you are doing is the right thing to do. Listen to these guys on this board and the Eagle broad as well as the others, Do your home work and my God Bless your Trip it is going to be Different to say the least  Cool
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1968 Model 05 Eagle # 7481 Miles City MT
Van
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 09:29:41 AM »

... And if you are really handy (most Harley guys are Grin), there are some bargains to be had across board Wink Remember " If women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya Handy" Grin


 Welcome to the madness Grin
 Best of luck!
   Van
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 05:51:59 PM by Van » Logged

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lvmci
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 10:23:47 AM »

Harleyman, you might want to look at san diego craigslist (RV then bus search), there's a guy with a MCI9 for 6K, might be a great starter bus for you 40' making it into a master bedroom might be the easiest job on a conversion, plus you get to choose your bed, 35' I think is easier to start with, but this is a deal If no rust, lvmci...
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MCI5A 8V71 Allison MT643
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