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Author Topic: Help with buying a new used bus  (Read 1212 times)
harleyman_1000
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« on: October 22, 2012, 08:23:01 PM »

 Hi, my name is Scott. I live about a hour south of St.Louis in Missouri.  I have been thinking about buying a bus and will be fulltiming in it soon after. I am mainly looking at the Gm's because of the lower cost, and also because to me I love the looks. I have been mainly looking at the 4106, but now have a chance to buy a 1969 4903 which is a 40' with a auto tranny. Can you please tell me the good and the bad with the 4903? Why are there not more people with these buses? I was told that this bus is or was a hi way bus and has very large cargo bays which to me seems to make it a better bus for conversion? Am I missing something in why people don't convert these more? Since this bus has the same motor as the  5 foot shorter 4106, will this bus be under powered?
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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
jackhartjr
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 08:29:38 PM »

More than likely the reason there are not more of them converted is that there were not as many made.
What engine is in that one. There IA not a lot of weight difference in the 35 and 40 footers.
Jack
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Jack Hart, CDS
1956 GMC PD-4501 #945 (The Mighty SCENICRUISER!)
8V71 Detroit
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Hickory, NC, (Where a call to God is a local call!)
luvrbus
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 09:02:33 PM »

Greyhound never bought many 4903 they were sold mostly to operators it had problems only around 400 were produced the turning radius is 50 ft for 2 axle bus is a bunch not many 4903's around they have been scarped out over the years, they do have large baggage compartments 

The 24v system on the 4903's do require a lot of maintenance from what I have been told
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RJ
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 10:42:31 PM »

Scott -

The 4903 was the first of GM's 40' "Buffalo" models, along with it's 35' sister, the 4107.

As Clifford mentioned, only 400 were built in '68 > '69 before the model was superseded by the 4905 in early 1970, which is basically the same coach.  The 4905s are far more plentiful, as they were built right up until the end of GM highway coach production in July of 1980.

Two of the major differences between the 4903 and the 4905 is the far better OEM dashboard and Sheppard steering gear, which also tightens up the turning radius a little. Doing a Google Images search for the two will show the subtle evolution between models.

Biggest baggage bins of any 40' coach, as well as the longest wheelbase @ 318".  As a matter of fact, the coach has larger baggage bins and a longer wheelbase than several of the 45' buses on today's market!  Altho the large turning radius can be a bugaboo in certain situations, the coach rides like a dream on it's long wheelbase.  IMHO, far more stable in crosswinds than it's 35' sister, too. BTDTHTS!!

One reason the Buffalos have not been as popular as conversion coaches is due to the "stadium seating" in the first four rows.  Because of this arrangement, unless you level the floor, you lose valuable space.

OEM from the factory, manual gearboxed 40' Buffalos had a slightly lower rear axle ratio than the 35' models (4.375:1 vs 4.125:1).  This gave the coach similar acceleration characteristics, but for any given speed, you were turning about 100 rpm more.  Thus, lower top speed and lower fuel economy (altho better than some MCI models).  6 > 8 mpg is normal for the stick shift, YMMV with an automatic.

Automatics were not available as options from the factory until late '75 or so, and very few were so equipped.  Any earlier vintage with one, be it a VS or V-730, is a retrofit.  Look for a cobbled bulkhead opening on the curbside, and check for reinforcement.

Starting with the 4106, all of GM's highway models came from the factory with 8V71N engines tuned for 275 hp.  Regardless of the model, that meant 35 mph on the governor in 2nd gear climbing 6% grades.  (Same for Eagles, MCIs & Prevosts, for that matter!!)  If you don't try to drive it like a BMW, you'll be happy.  Think Aesop's Fable of the Tortoise & the Hare for the proper mindset of a coach pilot.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
harleyman_1000
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 10:42:48 PM »

 The bus has the 8v71 in it, but has had the auto tranny put in. What is the turning radious of the 4106 bus? Is the 4903 a bus that I would be better off staying away from?
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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
RnMAdventures
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 06:03:19 AM »

I think the turning radius for a 4106 is about 42 feet.

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Mike & Rosemarie
1964 PD4106-2626
DD8v71 & Allison v730
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 07:12:30 AM »

Heres a nice one for sale , don't remember the price,a few dings in the baggage doors, but a nice bus inside and out, sweet sounding 318. give him a call.
good luck Matt
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luvrbus
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 07:29:20 AM »

That is a Spirit Lake Idaho fwiw
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