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Author Topic: took a look at the dark side  (Read 2418 times)
sledhead
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« on: January 11, 2013, 06:15:45 AM »

Hi guys and gals. My wife and I are in florida for a winter break , took out a 2008 monaco camelot with a 400 hp cummings , a 6 speed auto in it . wow loved the power! Could not get over the rattles , shakes , and the fact that the generator had to run the whole time we were in it.I did like the 3 slides . My wife was sold on it. Know that I have had some time to think about it I remember why I built my own rv from a bus! I can eaisly add a 2nd slide to the bedroom to add some more space. But the problem is I have seen the dark side ( min 400 hp and more gears ) . I rebuilt my 6v92ta 2 years ago no leaks , runs great but what can I do about some serious power? The part I do not know about is if I change out the eng.,trans to a 4 stroke how will it work with the cruise control,all the other electronics. With my unit on trade its still about $70 k more for the sticks,staples.I am sure I could rebuild half the crap on it to make it better. I do have a mechanic buddy that would help with a change out on our old rv.  Now is it time to swallow my pride           and buy a s and s rv as I have about $110 k in my unit now ? And the resale on is only going to get worse                I need advice     thanks  dave
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 06:20:10 AM by sledhead » Logged

1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
bobofthenorth
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 07:07:11 AM »

My 2 bits worth - you can keep rebuilding the bus but the moho is designed to wear out and be replaced.  If you're OK with that regular replacement then go for it because the bells and whistles will be nicer.  If you're planning to rebuild the moho then forgetaboutit.  We got the "gotta have a new RV" bug out of our system before we bought the bus and we'd never go back.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 08:31:51 AM »


If you want to see a comparative coach conversion you need to check with Ken Arnold AKA hardheaded ken on the board.

His old Prevo conversion has a 60series with a 10 speed auto shift. Would not trade it for a new fancy s&s.

Wouldn't trade HUGGY either.

uncle ned
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4104's forever
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 09:52:10 AM »

I'm a complete newbie, have not even made one trip in our bus yet so many will say I should not comment on this but I felt the need......I really feel that a bus is more than a RV, there is just no point in even discussing the build quality comparison between the 2, the bus is a rock. I think there is more to it though, without even taking a trip, I know that there is a big sense of community with the bus and for sure, the bus is a hobby that will keep me interested for years.....I'm not sure you get this with a MH.

Wouldn't trade the bus for a MH......ever.   IMHO
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Bruce & Nancy Fagley
1973 MCI MC-7 Combo Freighter
450HP DD 8V-92T 2000 Reman
HT 740 Allison
Woodbury CT.
RJ
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 11:39:43 AM »

Dave -

Let me see if I've got this straight:  You've got an MCI 102C3 40-foot wide-body built out of stainless steel and aluminum that's designed for effortlessly cruising down the highway in quiet comfort and you think you'd be better off with a fiberglass & twigs box on a truck chassis simply because it's got a hot rod motor in it? 

You are kidding, aren't you??

All that HP sounds nice, but in reality, it only makes a 5 - 10 minute difference in travel time over a 400 mile run.  BTDTHTS.  For further clarification, re-read Aesop's Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. . .

You've already commented on the rattles, shakes and squeaks in the Monaco - they'll only get worse as the box expands & contracts over time in the heat and cold of normal weather patterns.  Your MCI is older and is still quieter, right?

Resale for ALL motorhomes right now is in the toilet, and will probably get worse if fuel prices continue to creep upward.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!

As for safety, just Google motorhome crash images. . .  Be sure to show them to your wife, too.  Read the related articles regarding fatalities & injuries.  Is that what you want to risk?  'Nuff said.

If your Detroit is a DDEC, there probably isn't much you can do to up the HP & torque settings, DDA's pretty paranoid about the EPA with the electronic engines.  If it's mechanical, you can easily bump it to 350 hp with just different injectors and turbo.  Clifford, Geoff or Don Fairchild can tell you how it's done.  The HT-740 is bullet-proof, as long as you do the normal routine maintenance on it, even if it's only four speeds.  Remember, Greyhound ran their fleet all over North America with your powertrain for years. 

So right now, I'd say if it ain't broke, then don't fix it!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 12:05:27 PM »

Not mention that the $70,000 difference in price will buy a lot of fuel in the years to come!
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 12:27:15 PM »

     Like RJ, MISSED the 15,000 pounds difference in weight, maybe you had NO cross winds,..
     I sleep commfy in 20-30Mph winds the MH rocks too much.
     Milage difference 5-6 mpg in my bus my frends 330hp 4 stroke he gets 7-8 on clear/low wind, oh yes he goes faster up hills.
     But if momma is not happy??? and your not, it's your money.
     Fortravels N Newlls are a much better value than what you drove!
     Back to hot rod vs bus weight means?Huh?
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robertglines1
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 12:33:59 PM »

Rule of thumb : accident ::Bus one big wrecker.  S&S  1 big wrecker several rollbacks and a flat bed or dumpster. Not that I have a opinion or haven't seen it several  times.  How many 20 yr old S&S or still in daily service?  Leave the S&S in campground spot and travel back and forth in bus.  But my opinion is only mine, your wife is the one that you have to sit next to.   Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 12:36:06 PM »

S&S just don't have a personality!! Like everyone else!!  Bob   I'm done
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
David Anderson
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 02:51:37 PM »

I think RJ stated it perfectly Wink

I've been running with my builder group since 2008 and we all do a lot of miles.   Some of them are on their second rig, some on their second truck to pull it with, and others are constantly making appointments at Camping World, etc. to fix something.  Yes, some of the rigs are bigger with all the slides etc., but they really tend to come apart after a few miles.

Keep the bus and go slow.  You see more that way.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 02:56:08 PM by David Anderson » Logged
sledhead
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 03:38:21 PM »

I really like the mci. over the years we have replaced most of the wear items new tires all 8 new brakes new air bags new shocks in front . I like the quiet ride . And yes RJ the s.s was a lot louder , rattles,wind noise,the fact that the front window was 1 pc and my wife thought it would be way to easy to fly out in a head on.    How about repower !         
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1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 04:21:40 PM »

I just got back from a 2,000 mile round trip to California and I totally enjoyed the ride.  Got 8 mpg towing my 4k pickup.  I can live with a 350HP 6V92TA, I could put in 9G95 injectors and get 400 HP, but I like having no smoke on takeoff and hills and the better fuel milage.  My bus turns 33 years old this year and it is solid as a rock and everything works the way I designed it.  NO rattles, no taking it to the dealer for repairs.  Its been 14 years since I bought it as a seated coach.  Modern look --stainless steel construction with fiberglass outside panels for that smooth look with a graphic paint job.

Monaco?  I don't think so.  I wouldn't even consider a Prevost or Newell.
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Geoff
'82 RTS AZ
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2013, 04:57:51 PM »

We lived almost 5 years in the early part of our marriage in a fifth-wheel trailer. It was one of the better made sticks and staples. It did not hold up well at all on our Mexican roads. The interior was very nice looking, but anybody who rode in it when we were going down the road complained of rattles and noises.

And we were in a major accident towing that trailer in central Texas. It fared much better than some others would have. But i would not trade our bus for a commercial RV. How many motor home owners can say their rigs are 30, 40, even 50 years old, and still safe on the road?
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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.
sledhead
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 03:00:21 PM »

Ok   how about a total repower eng. , trans ? In a spare no expence world ha ha !
What whould be the best combo for power (400-450 hp ?  ease of parts and reliability ,ok fuel mileage ) for a 1990 mci 102c3 loaded 37,000 lb plus a 3600 lb toad truck    any ideas would be great
    thanks   dave
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1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 03:35:49 PM »

I put a 400hp year 2000 cummins ISM with a 10sp Generation 1 Autoshift transmission in my 96A3.  I did not regear the differential which is a 3.33:1.  I think this combination is fantastic!  I get high 8s and low 9s for fuel mileage depending upon headwinds.  I did not extend the rear of the bus to accommodate the repower - it was tight!  I have over 40000 miles on the bus since I did the repower and can't imagine ever having to go back to the 6v92 I had in the bus to start with.  So, my vote is definitely for one of the smaller block big rig diesels since you don't need to modify the rear of the bus to fit it in.  I would probably vote for a 6sp Allison auto over the Autoshift just because of having to get a clutch put in for the autoshift.  If I had put the 6sp Allison auto in I would have had to regear the differential to be able to use the 6th gear.
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sledhead
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2013, 03:57:08 PM »

Brian  Thanks this is the idea I am thinking about ! Would it be easier to buy a complete truck for parts ! this way all parts would be there if needed and add a trans .My rear end is like yours 333.    thanks  dave
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1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2013, 04:13:25 PM »

Sledhead,

in a spare no expense world, I would look for a new bus with the drive train that I liked most. The late model engines and transmission choices are awesome. Forget about re powering what you have. Too much trouble and expense. And at the end, you would still have an old bus. This is my opinion, from a non emotional distance.

JC 
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
sledhead
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2013, 05:03:55 PM »

J C     Yes I agree with you about start again . But the work and time invested in our bus now would cost much more then a repower . I can't find much in a 40 ' bus I would buy to day ( at 40' we have now there are a lot or provincial , state parks that we don't fit in now ) so I like the size .I could go to a 1995 mci d with a 60 series or maybe a blubird  but after that they change to 45'     dave
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1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2013, 05:16:01 PM »

Brian  Thanks this is the idea I am thinking about ! Would it be easier to buy a complete truck for parts ! this way all parts would be there if needed and add a trans .My rear end is like yours 333.    thanks  dave

I did purchase the entire front clip of a Freightliner Century class truck to get my repower candidate.  This worked out fantastic and I think my repower ended being better in the end since I had access to so many parts to complete the swap out.

While I agree it might be better to buy a bus with the power train you want I also don't think this is for everyone.  I have literally many hundreds if not over a thousand hours in my conversion.  I could not justify buying a new bus to get a different engine and transmission.  The work to move the conversion and redo what I already have done is just not feasible for me at this point in my life.  Yes, I still have a 1985 bus, but the repower makes it feel like it is at least 10 years newer.  I have no regrets and while I put a lot of money into the repower, it was no more than if I had replaced the aged and dead 6v92 with a rebuilt 6v92.  So, I spent the same amount of money I had to spend to rebuild the dead 6v92 and got LOTS more power, better fuel mileage, and cruise control to boot!

Not everyone will be in the same situation I was in - hopefully! - so your choices may vary.

I have no regrets and after 40,000+ miles I'm almost half way to paying for the repower on fuel savings alone.   Gotta love that!
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robertglines1
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2013, 05:34:02 PM »

Ultrashift=no clutch same 10 spd. I have auto shift. Ken used ultrashift.  Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
RJ
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2013, 10:34:22 PM »

I rebuilt my 6v92ta 2 years ago no leaks, runs great. . .

Dave -

Before you commit to a repower project, do a lot more homework.  You need to find out how much for a ISM Cummins (the only 4-stroke that will fit your coach w/o extending the rear bodywork), a B500 Allison, all the various wiring harnesses, the approximate cost of labor for the install, etc. . . etc. . . etc.

Once you get all that added up, you'll have a better idea of the project's feasibility, vs keeping what you've got for now.

IMHO, based on your above quoted original statement, it ain't broke, so don't "fix" it until it does.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink

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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
sledhead
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« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2013, 11:06:17 AM »

R J     I think your right about reaserch. I told my son and he's like a pitbull when it comes to reaserch on the computer. Is there a better year to look for? say between 2000 and 2006 before the emissions crap ? and different hp ratings ?    thanks   dave
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1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
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« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2013, 06:00:20 PM »

Dave -

TomC will be the best resource for this info, he's been selling 18-wheelers forever, and is a walking encyclopedia of engine/trans technical data. . .

The Cummins/Allison combo was used in a lot of Gillig Phantom transit buses, btw.  Might be the cheapest way to pick up a powertrain, by buying a whole coach from a transit district at auction.  Most likely can also be found in Orions, New Flyers, Neoplans and other transits (but not GM or RTS, they used a V-drive.)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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