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Author Topic: What are the differences between the different buses?  (Read 12388 times)
John316
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MCI 1995 DL3, DD S60, Allison B500.




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« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2012, 06:32:49 PM »

And some people even think to post their gatherings in the Calender section on the board Shocked

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?board=3.0
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
Chopper Scott
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« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2012, 07:23:32 PM »

Glad you all cleared that up!  Grin A converted bus at a limit of 25 grand basically leaves you in the 2 stroke range and regardless of history and the best of minds checking it out, it's still a risky adventure basically so beware. Not scaring you away. Just want you to know. Most folks on these type of forums do the majority of their own work and sometimes take it for granted as do I. Best of luck and ask questions.
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« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2012, 07:57:37 PM »

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.


Hey look...my bus!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1992-MCI-102C3-Extra-Sharp-Edition-/280965198872?pt=Buses&hash=item416ad4b418
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1983 Eagle Bus Model 10
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belfert
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« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2012, 07:04:26 AM »

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

How much support is MCI really going to supply for a 30 or 40 year old bus?  I've read recently about MCI not being able to supply wiring diagrams for MC-9s anymore.  How likely would it be for MCI to have doors and body panels for these older models?  Yes, you can get them from IBP, but then why do you need MCI?

I have a bus that was sold by MCI and is supposed to be supported by MCI.  MCI is basically out of any parts that are unique to my bus.  About the only unique item they still have is windshields.  MCI's tech support doesn't know anything abut my bus.  Either they don't know, or they give answers based on other MCI products and I know the answer is wrong.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #49 on: November 24, 2012, 07:29:31 AM »

Same with other buses like Belfert said Northwest bus sales has some nice Neo's 1992 models with new Cummins engines very little support or parts for those either, Luke probably has more parts for a 1960 GM and Jefferson for the Eagles than you could find for the 1992 Neo
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 07:47:58 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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TomC
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« Reply #50 on: November 24, 2012, 07:41:44 AM »

Any bus that has a V drive is restricted to either a 4spd manual, one of the older VS/VH Allisons (2 or 3spd), the Allison V730 3spd, some with Voith or ZF transmissions which I would not suggest because of lack of parts availability. With the other buses with inline drivetrains you can choose from most any engine or transmission-as long as it will fit-and use a power plant straight out of a truck. MCI's are nice since the radiators are up high to get out of the way of the engine compartment-but have to contend with the big fan belt (sometimes a huge triple V belt). Others with low radiators have the advantage of having more interior room since the high radiators eat into the interior space, but with a more crowded engine compartment. Nothing is perfect-and all buses are much harder to work on then a big rig truck-that's why I'm using my Kenworth Aerodyne cabover for my next motorhome.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #51 on: November 24, 2012, 05:34:51 PM »

No doubt about that.  Even others must agree.  110% concensus...maybe more even.  Aluminiumumm body, custom crome moly steel perimeter frame.  Pancake admidships  International, Hall Scott, then Detroit or Cummins mills.  Later models had a choice of Fuller 5 speed or 10 speed Roadrangers or the appropriately sized Allison.  Leaf or air ride.  Jakes optional along with rare A/C.  Heaters to suit.  Seatbelts offered; rarely ordered.

Factory 20 year and 200,000 mile warranteee, bumper to bumper, parts and labour.  16.5 brakes all around, optional shoe widths up to 10".  Flat or curved windshields.  1.125" redwood floors.  Crown made school buses mostly, but also some weird stuff along with fire apparatus.  Lots of tire chain room.  Auto chains and sanders optional way back in 1970.  Trunks and fuel tank locations varied to need.  Every bus was semi-custom.

Crown Supercoach went $broke$ back in 1991 or soosss.  Their product was about 2X as expensive as the cheapo school buses.  The bean counters won.  If you grew up in the L.A. CA area during "the day", you probably have ridden in a Crown Supercoach.  Used off the shelf Class 8 parts for the most part.  A few Crown specific engine parts.  Most Crowns today remain rust free.  A steel body cost more.

A Crown Supercoach make a difficult, but doable bus conversion.   Several on this forum have done sooss.  They suffer from lack of underfloor storage space and only 75" headroom.  My Crown would do 85 mph, others slower.  Lots of surplus Crowns still available in CA.  Smog laws forcing them out.  Out-of-staters can get a one way outta-dodge trip permit.  I did.  Supurb handling and braking.  Wish I still had my '74 10-wheeler. VIN 37317 HB of CJ (old coot) Smiley Smiley Smiley

Just hit Yahoo with www.crownbus.com.   Or j hit Crown Supercoach for more.
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Iceni John
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« Reply #52 on: November 24, 2012, 08:43:48 PM »

A Crown Supercoach make a difficult, but doable bus conversion.   Several on this forum have done sooss.  They suffer from lack of underfloor storage space and only 75" headroom.
If you want a simple well-built bus that has probably been maintained much better than most superannuated tour buses on the market now, don't ignore Crown Series 2 Supercoaches like mine.   Rear engine, so they have useful underfloor storage, but still built to Crown's legendary standards.   Just two axles, but with huge brakes all round so they stop better than almost anything else.   Mine has the same engine and transmission as a MC-9, but with much simpler ancillary systems to cause less headaches later.   Rialto and Los Angeles are still running fleets of them, along with Fresno and some other San Joaquin Valley districts.   The shop foreman at Rialto told me they'll run them as long as they can because they're still working well in daily service there.   Alliance Bus Lines in Ontario CA has four  -  if he couldn't make money with them he wouldn't have bought them.   However, all the 6V92 ones have to be retired by 2017 to meet CARB rules, so some of them will be coming onto the market in the next few years.   If the district is getting grant money to replace them with clean-air buses they will have to be scrapped (don't get me started on that . . .), but if not, like mine was, they come up for sale every now and then, sometimes through Interschola.

Just my tuppence-worth.
John
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1990 Crown 2R-40N-552:  6V92TAC, DDEC II, HT740, Jake.      Hecho en Chino.     
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« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2012, 04:39:44 AM »

The Needles Ca School District is selling off their Crowns 10 wheelers and the 6 wheelers a recycle guy here in Az bought 4 and is trying to sell with no luck( he is asking too much) yet so they will be scraped out.

It is my understanding from the school district the buses cannot be to a Ca resident I had too fill out end users papers stating I was not a Ca resident and they would leave the state before placing a bid

Fwiw they do look like it would be a nightmare to convert one,the Crowns the collage had in Northern AZ looked like a regular bus they were neat what ever model they were 

JMO but I would not buy the school bus type and try to do a conversion
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« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2012, 09:07:40 AM »

As you can see there are lots of opinions.  None of them is wrong; it all depends on what you are looking to do.  Ed's suggestion of going to a rally is a good one since the more coaches you see and learn about in depth, the less mistakes you will make.  I would start with the first most basic question, which is what length to you want.  Obviously, a 40' has more room, but a 35' is easier to maneuver and will go places a 40' can not.  If your plan is to say on main roads, developed campgrounds, and the like, the 40' is fine.  If you want to haunt state and federal parks, you are better off with a 35' as the availability of those places diminishes as length grows.  We have an MC5a, which is 35'.  We have been going to Forest Service campgrounds as of late and find that even though many of them rate sites at 35' and 40', the internal roads make is ridiculous to try to get to the space even if it is technically long enough.  We have also been on mountain roads that are a real challenge for a 35' and may not be passable in a 40'.  If you decide on a 35', that narrows the field quite a bit to old coaches.  Although you would find mainly GM 4106 and the MCI 5 series, there are others, even Eagle and Prevost-- just not as numerous.  If you plan to go on unpaved roads (I am not talking about off-roading of course) you may want to look at schoolies.  They have far better ground clearance.

One thing I would strongly recommend is an automatic transmission.  The cost of getting a converted coach with an auto is not much more the a manual, but the cost of converting from manual to auto is way up there.  There are people here that say they love their Spicer, but we got rid of ours; I personally think it is a real dog.  You will often hear about guys looking to upgrade to an auto but never hear of anyone that wants to go the other way.  There are even guys hear that are life time truckers, certainly more adept at manual shifting than most, but they go for auto in the RV.  This is not supposed to be work!

One thing I have noticed is the people with 40's tend to waste more space than those with 35's.  On the one hand, 5 for extra is a nice addition.  However, if you take up 2+ feet to have a more spacious feel in the bathroom and do the same in the bedroom, you really haven't gained much.  The point is that no matter which you choose, look for one that optimizes the use of the space.

You also need to decide whether you want a frame or not.  GM and MCI do not have frames.  Eagle and Prevost do.  You can tow with all of them, but the framed coaches can tow more and are easier to set up for towing.  Also, some tire shop is less likely to screw up your frame coach.  The monocoque coaches can only be jacked in specific spots.  Trying to do otherwise can cause serious damage.  If I go to a tire shop, I tell them where to jack and stay to watch they do it right.  I bet there are many coaches from this board with bent engine cradles from some idiot trying to jack from there.

Another suggestion I would make in buying a converted coach is to look for one that has been done professionally.  They are less likely to suffer from someone's "brilliant innovations."  There are lots of professionally converted Prevosts, but they tend to be higher priced than the budget you mention.  However, Wanderlodges, probably mid to late 80's, could be gotten in your range.  They are well made, framed, and have good community support and generally good documentation.  Check out some of their forums too.  Newell is another professional coach but may tend to also be expensive.

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« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2012, 10:46:46 AM »

There are certainly advantages to 35 foot buses, but 35 foot buses are really getting old for the most part.  Is there a 35 footer beyond the last of the GMCs and the MC-5?  I suspect national parks were built for a vehicle and trailer that is 40 feet long which can handle windy roads a bit easier.

MCI did make the F3500 around the late 90s, but they are basically a Dina with an MCI nameplate.  I suspect parts are going to be as scarce or more scarce than a Dina.  (There are some Dinas being parted out.)  The Dina and the F3500 do use the same windshields and seals which helps.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #56 on: November 26, 2012, 06:25:50 AM »

Is there a 35 footer beyond the last of the GMCs and the MC-5?  I suspect national parks were built for a vehicle and trailer that is 40 feet long which can handle windy roads a bit easier.

The Flxible Flxliner is 35 feet long.

And most national parks (as others have noted above) are not friendly to 40-foot RVs.

Ours is a Dina Olímpico, which is a Flxliner clone. 35 feet long.

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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
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« Reply #57 on: November 26, 2012, 07:35:08 AM »

The Flxible Flxliner is 35 feet long.

What I meant was anything newer in age than the MC-5 and the last of the GMs.  I know there are other 35 footers out there that are getting up there in age.

35 footers have their advantages for those who like to stay at older or smaller parks.  Older doesn't have to mean problems if well taken care of.  There are quite a few newer 40 footers and some 45 footers that are rolling scrap heaps even though they are newer.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #58 on: November 26, 2012, 04:57:14 PM »

I guess I am going to be the first to suggest an RTS.  35' or 40' at 96/102" width.  Not low floor so underfloor storage and tank space available.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/RTS-bus-nuts/

--Geoff
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Geoff
'82 RTS AZ
robertglines1
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« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2012, 06:38:56 AM »

I'll say it : 45 ft prevost 3 slides. That's the way I slide. Fits my life style. pole to polee with the ability to stay off grid  for short stay. Many camp grounds $350 t0 400 a month in warm places. Yes I have had shorter buses and enjoyed them:at this point in life it makes more sense for me to have a more fuel saving 4 stroke and more room . It is a personal choice.We have 5 bays with 4 of them free for treasures. Bath and 1/2. Total investment under $25grand.  Lots of disadvantages! but fits us!  Just as at the time the other coaches we had fit then. We stay at a nice gated site in winter in Fla for $395 plus elec a month 6,000 ft site with 80 ft concrete site with toad parking pad and patio.  So what I'm saying if it fits and you feel you can keep up with maintance on it ----GET IT!...  We all don't drive the same color cars . I    would say run from Sticks and Staples.  A basic older bus will out do most new ones of them. MY opinion only.   Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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