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Author Topic: What are the differences between the different buses?  (Read 12944 times)
Seangie
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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 10:24:59 AM »

Scott,

The best way to figure out which bus suits you is to start looking at buses and drive them around.  I think I looked at and drove about a dozen buses before I decided on one I liked.  Be courteous and offer to pay for fuel.  But make sure before you buy it you give it a good run.

-Sean
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'Cause you know we,
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Dave5Cs
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1979 MCI MC5Cs 6V-71 HT-740 Allison, Roseville, CA




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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 12:01:58 PM »

Scott,
Thanks Ed and Remember that MCI and Prevost are still in Business.
Whats that GM and Eagle guys? Oh I thought Not.LOL

Dave5Cs Grin Cool
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harleyman_1000
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 12:11:57 PM »

 Well I am kind of leaning towards the older Gm's  I found a 4106 already converted for 6000, and the Gm's look like they would be easier to work on? The Gm's look smaller? Are they? I had my own contracting business, and have taught myself to do wiring, plumbing, and just about anything else that needed to be done. I have also been working on my harleys over the years, so I can pretty much do enough to get by. The Gm 4106 for sale is a manual without a jake brake. I will be having a jake brake added before I drive it cross country back to my home in Missouri. Someone told me the rear hatch will need to be cut so that the jake brake can be added? Is this true?

 This is the first bus that I found on ebay and really like it

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1963-GM-Bus-Conversion-4106-/130769305572?pt=Buses&hash=item1e72753fe4

 Oh and before I forget. My name is Scott, I live about a hour south of St. Louis in Missouri. I am single, and will be fulltiming alone, unless one of you can tell me how many stamps it will take to get me one of them thare Mail order brides.........
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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
robertglines1
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 12:24:36 PM »

Only comment after looking at listing is make sure sale is after mechanical verification. Make sure it runs and don't smoke and transmission is smooth. Ask how old tires are? could be a quick 5 grand out of pocket if they are over 8yrs old.  Most all tires are done after 10 yrs max ;some sooner-no matter how good the look.  Coach looks great.  Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2012, 12:32:03 PM »

 Oh and I forgot to offer some advise. After looking into the mpg of these buses, Im thinking we could all attach a snow plow to the front of the bus and make some gas money Grin
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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
Mex-Busnut
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2012, 12:49:11 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

Welcome Scott, to our awesome forums! You will learn a lot here. I know I sure have!

And be warned: Owning a bus is an incurable mental disorder...

This is a great time to buy an already-converted bus, as the economy is producing a lot of people wanting to sell their buses (and RVs and boats.) As others have said, it would be good to know in what part of the planet you are located. There are always people on here who can tell you what is available in your area. Check out this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418

Also, how many people will be full-timing? Ours is only 35 feet long (a 1981 Mexican-made Dina Olímpico, which is a clone of the American-made Flxible Flxliner). We have a master bedroom in the rear, and a bunk room. Plus our sofa and dinette each make into a double bed. And one baggage bay is a grandkids' room.

Another option you might keep in mind: There are a lot of great school bus conversions out there for a whole lot less than highway coach conversions. Some look very good! (See forums here: http://www.skoolie.net/) Skoolies typically have very good maintenance records for child safety. Just make sure (if you go this route, as some on these boards have) to choose one with air suspension. Our Ford B700 skoolie (not a camper) has leaf springs and the ride is pretty rough.

My two pesos' worth.
  
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 08:19:26 AM by Mex-Busnut » Logged

Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2012, 01:05:46 PM »

      I live in a town called Bonne Terre Missouri. It is a hour south of St.Louis Missouri.
Thank you all for all the advise so far. I am thinking that I want to buy a already converted bus, since my health will keep me from converting a bus. I can redo a already conv erted bus though.
 Can someone tell me what is involved in adding solar power to a bus? Do they sell complete kits? How much will it cost for a system that will run everything?
 Is any of you living fulltime in your buses? If so, do rv parks and work camp places give exceptions to the 10 year or newer rule for buses?
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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
Dlsnow
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« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2012, 01:30:54 PM »

I'm new to busses - picked up an MCI7 in November and converted over the cold Wisconsin winter.
We picked MCI after alot of reading on this site and others-
Were on the road with it now and couldnt be happier (other than an ocassional on the road repair)
-faulty injector ($75 injector, $150 labor, $300 for having my mechanic drive 150 miles to deliver the injector and install)
-lost fuel prime (<$100 to build a prime rig and replace filters)
-new thermostats ($114 thermostats, gaskets and seals)
-hissing parking brake ($? - just found this one)

all in all it is a different kind of experience, more like an adventure

Two best pieces of advice I have had before getting into busses...
"they (old busses) are great as long as your not in a rush to get anywhere"  -  PO
"The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that's when adventure starts" -Yvon Chouinard

Hoping to start my next adventure quickly
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1972 MCI7 8v71 converted - 1kw solar on roof
Dlsnow
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2012, 01:45:45 PM »

As to your solar question - I built mine with off grid full duty rated equipment (24x7x365 operation)
I tried to fit "everything" into my solar solution - heres what I have

1. Solar Panels CanadianSolar 255Watt panels (1020 Watts in total) (gets between 800 and 900w on a good sunny day - if they are clean) about $1 per watt with mounting equipment
2. OutbackPower FLEXmax 80 MPPT Charge Controller > keeps voltage and amperage for battery charging optimized
3. DEKA 8G8D 265AH Batteries - enough to cover your usage - i tied mine together for 12V (about $520 each) and are seald AGM / no maintenance
4. OutbackPower Inverter (fx2012) inverts the battery power from 12V to 120V for appliances - size this for your loads

I do have an AC unit that runs off this solar setup - Coleman Mach 3 PowerSaver 10.9 Amps - it "dips" into battery if it runs all day - a juggling act really

It takes some juggling (no AC while using the blender, no washer while using heater...)

picks of this and our conversion at https://adsnow.tumblr.com  <  just noticed I havent updated in a while - will do so now with new AC and fans and such
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1972 MCI7 8v71 converted - 1kw solar on roof
Seville
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2012, 02:03:11 PM »

Sounds very exciting! Your in for a fun ride!

My advice is buy an already converted bus. I got mine as a shell. It took 3 long hard years to get it where it is now and there is still much more to go!
When I think about how much time, money and hard work I put into it, I get a little bummed out.

For the money alone I put into mine, I could have bought a fully converted later model coach with a modern 4 stroke engine!

Oh well, I still love my bus! I wish I could full time in it but I'm still stuck in the work a day world Smiley
I do get away at least one weekend a month!

Good luck and Happy Bus Shopping !
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New York City
1984 MC9 6v92T
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« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2012, 02:10:36 PM »

Scott:

This guy full-times in a solar-powered fifth-wheel, and has a lot of great detailed information on this subject.

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/the-rv-battery-charging-puzzle-2/
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
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« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2012, 02:19:07 PM »

The 4106 is probably the best bus on the road unless you're a full-timer, then it is probably too small.

Since it is 35' it can be driven into some surprisingly tight places. With the 8V71 DD it is a hot rod. I have the same engine in my 4107 but it is so much heavier than the 4104 that there is little difference in performance.

It is also the easiest short bus in which to install an Allison AT. The manual first gear is not low enough for a lot of conditions. You do NOT want to ever slip the clutch unless it is the only option1

The 4104 is even better because it is almost all Al whereas the 4106 has some steel mixed in which could be a corrosion problem. However, the 4104 is not easy to convert to an AT.

Whatever you get make sure it has full-time PS. Many GMs, including the 4106, have factory power-assist steering but it is really a manual system until the wheel is turned quite a bit. Going down the road it is manual. It is really good in parking and city driving though. However, unless you are an old guy like me, the PS part may not be that important.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
luvrbus
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« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2012, 02:44:27 PM »

One thing buy a bus with a flat floor the Mci 5 and Gm's are a PITA to deal with the wheel wells then the MCI slopes from the back to the front,with a MCI you have to deal with the 24v stuff and it is not cheap to replace

good luck
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Life is short drink the good wine first
Rick59-4104
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« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2012, 03:13:09 PM »

 The style of bus that catches your eye will probably determine the right bus for you....I personally like the style/ look of my 1959 4104, and like the look of my 1952 4103 even more. The fact that the older GM's may be shorter and slower is a tradeoff I am willing to take. I also am very happy with the 10MPG I get with the old Detroit 671. I have the high rearend ratio and 73 MPH down the interstate works for me. The 4104 has all the original windows, no caps, original marker lights. The boxier, longer MCI's, Prevost and later buses may be great and more practical than the older GM'S but are just not what I want to go down the road in. Your user name tells me you may be a little Retro also...

 I second the advice to buy a converted bus, there will be plenty of things you will want to change to keep you busy. With a converted bus you can use it and enjoy it as you make the changes you want. I am about 45 minutes south of Branson and you are more than welcome to come down and look at and take a ride in my buses.

Rick
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 03:25:09 PM by Rick59-4104 » Logged

NW Arkansas
1959 GM 4104  No. 4115
1972 Grumman Kurbmaster Stepvan Conversion
1957 Airstream 13 panel Overlander
bobofthenorth
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« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2012, 03:39:59 PM »

I hadn't seen that one Van.  Thank you.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
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