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Author Topic: Experienced advice requested  (Read 2830 times)
vonprum
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Here she is the day I bought it




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« on: February 07, 2013, 06:18:02 PM »

Thanks to all who read and replied to my newbi intro.  Very helpful. Coincidentally, this bus I looked at and rejected earlier has been re-listed at a much reduced price.

http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/rvs/3601513227.html

I made a tentative offer of $8k to the owner and he countered with $9k. It drives very well and has many upgrades to an older conversion. Batteries are one or two years old and look good, tires are at their half life, great looking holding tanks, newer inverters, new air upgraded air bags and leveling system, three year old Dometic fridge, two older roof A/C's but work fine. Suburban furnace, porcelain toilet, nice oak floor. New blower, clutch, power steering, and upgraded air cleaner. Well maintained by diesel mechanic although it's covered in oil, like most others I've looked at. Points of concern are, cracked windshield, poor fitting entry door, severely damaged compartment door and although most of the conversion wiring looks well done, there are a few odd wires here and there. There are a few other dents and smaller issues but from my description and what you can see when you click on the link above, is this a fair price or is this bus a turkey?

Any advice or info would be helpful.  Thanks.

Lance

I'll upgrade my profile ASAP
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Lance Von Prum
Vancouver, WA
1957 PD 4104
lostagain
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MC5C




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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 06:51:50 PM »

I am certainly no expert in GM buses. However this looks like pretty good value for the money. You can't build your own for that kind of money.

Nash Motorcycle Co. in Vancouver Wa. build really nice motorcycles:

 http://www.nmc.tru3.net/

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
chessie4905
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 07:18:04 PM »

 I had a 4104 for several years. Power steering? For that money, it looks to be a great beginning unit, without much loss if you decide in a couple of years that coaching isn't for you. Couple of things I would check though....how much play in steering, condition of brake lining and brakes, kingpins, radiator, condition of air bags, rear cross member and strut area for cracks or corrosion where the castings are bolted to body. Salt can get there and weaken, crack. Most of those issues aren't necessarily reason to reject, but might be negotiable on price.There are others, but after all, it is over 50 years old
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GMC h8h 649#028
Pennsylvania-central
bkelly1011
Brad Kelly
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Nope, not my bus.




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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 07:24:49 PM »

Lance -

It sounds like - at least from what you were told - a lot of the expensive stuff is covered. Alcoas a bonus!  There are some GM parts that are no longer available in the aftermarket (some rear windows are a good example) - but you should be able to address the windshield, entry door, and compartment doors pretty easily.  A good source for parts (in Berlin, NJ but ships) is Luke at US Coach - if you do get a GM please memorize his number - 1-888-262-2434.   Luke makes cameo appearances here on the board now and then.

As RJ said, if you go to see the bus please take a bus nut with you who knows GMs - there seem to be a lot out that way.  Each model has its idiosynchrasies.  You'll want an extra set of eyes, and they'll have good questions for you to ask.  Primary always is - why is the owner selling?

Also, if you can get the S/N on that 4104, please share when you can - Jon (siberyd) on this board tracks them in a database.  RJ can get you original delivery info to help figure out what its past life was like (was it always a West Coast bus, for example).

Take care,
Brad
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Busnut wannabe.
siberyd
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 07:40:29 PM »

Vonprum,

That is a good price on a converted 4104. Nice looking coach, and an average price. If you want a fancier coach it will cost more. If you got 29k I can point you to a 4104 you can eat off the engine its so clean. Nicer looking coaches 12-16k in California.
Yes the 04's are old, but they have classic lines. I got 1 and know a lil bit about them.

Siberyd
the guy tracking down all the surviving 4104's.

If you got 250k there is a pretty 4104 on the dupont registry.
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1964 White/Carpenter 35' RE 3208 Husky Camp
1957 PD 4104-2240 Converted Siberyd

http://s1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg498/26R13/
luvrbus
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 05:22:23 AM »

Unless you just want a 4104 I would expand my search JMO,some running around still have the old low block 6-71 with ICC brakes
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 06:31:44 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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John316
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MCI 1995 DL3, DD S60, Allison B500.




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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 06:07:39 AM »

Unless you just want a 4104 I would expand my search JMO,some running around still have the old high block 6-71 with ICC brakes

Welcome aboard, Lance. Glad to have you.

Honestly, I don't know much about old buses. That isn't my thing. However, if Clifford (aka luvrbus) says something, you can go to the bank with it. There are a lot of folks on here that have good thoughts, but if Clifford says something, sit up, listen, and heed his advice.

Cheers,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
robertglines1
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 06:30:51 AM »

tires looks---age means more.. last 4 numbers in Dot code = week and year of mfg ..they are toast at 9-10 yrs even if they look new. Figure $500 per tire to replace. FWIW  Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
TomC
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 07:53:53 AM »

Yes 4104's are classic GMC with it being the first 35ft bus with air suspension. But remember they are 53-60yrs old. The 6-71 is rather anemic as to power compared with newer buses. The 4spd is inherently weak because the angle drive is on the output end of the transmission, compared to the 4106 and all Vdrive automatics where the angle drive is on the input side. A 4104 that has a turbo 6-71 or 6V-92TA with V730 trans would make for a delightful hot rod to drive. I would suggest you find a 4106 if you're set on a 35ft'r.

Personally-my favorite is the MCI102C3. 40ft x 102" wide, large windows, 6'10" of headroom, big cargo bays, normal T drive which will take any engine you want, and is a modern design with parts readily available. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
RJ
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 10:07:47 AM »

Lance -

The 4104 is a good, solid old workhorse. 5065 of them pounded the pavement all over the USA for years, albeit slowly by today's standards.  With a stock powertrain, 65 mph is pretty close to "flat out."

Remember, they were designed back before the days of the Interstates, so they are at their best when you mosey along on the old highways and byways.  Not to say that you can't run the Interstates - just remember Aesop's Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare when you're behind the wheel and you'll be a happy camper.

Compared to the modern stuff, they're dirt simple to work on - like an old VW microbus on steroids.  Plus a whole lot less plastic, too.

I respectfully disagree with TomC in regards to his comment that ". . . the 4spd is inherently weak because the angle drive is on the output end of the transmission. . ."  GMC built that driveline configuration (6-71/4-spd) for over 24 years, starting with the Yellow Coach 718 in 1935.  It was only during development work on the much higher HP & torque output of the 8V71 / 4-spd driveline that dependability suffered, thus the design change before release.  So if you don't "hot rod" the engine, it will darned near run forever.

Chessie made a very valid comment - a converted 4104 would make a good "starter" coach, sort of like your first car.  It will give you a taste of what's what with a converted coach, allow you to get your feet wet and see if, indeed, this hobby is for you.

As I said before, DO YOUR HOMEWORK before plunking down your cash.  It's very easy to buy a bus, but awfully hard to sell a mistake.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
Utahclaimjumper
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 11:53:04 AM »

It sure is disapointing to see an item "for sale" and the seller won't spend 5 minuts to clean or tidy it up.>>>Dan
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Utahclaimjumper 
 EX 4106 (presently SOB)
Cedar City, Ut.
 72 VW Baja towed
lostagain
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 12:28:55 PM »

They obviously have lost interest in it, and just want to get rid of it. That is why it should be cheap.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
gus
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2013, 02:01:53 PM »

The 4104 is maybe the best bus of all except for the 4106 which has the extra 8V power and better air suspension, otherwise they are very much the same. The original hyd boost steering is a plus. A big plus is the mostly Al construction, almost no steel used in the body. The door can usually be adjusted if the original door closer handle is still in use. Hopefully it is because it is far superior to any type of add on latch.

It is a nice compact size and very maneuverable. I never towed, never saw any use for one.

$8-9K is a good price if it has no major mechanical problems. I paid twice that for mine and it is a modest conversion.

I strongly advise you pay to have the engine steam cleaned and then drive it or have the owner drive it out on the highway at least 60mph for at least 10 mi. This will quickly show up any major oil leaks and where it is leaking. If you find oil covering the rear engine door it is not a good sign. The 671 is an infamous oil thrower, at least mine was. If you can replace leaky seals yourself the expense is slight, to pay someone to do it is not so slight!

I put 64,000 mi on mine in six years, drove it coast to coast and it never let me down. The main reason I replaced it is I needed full-time PS because of my age and shoulders plus a blown front main engine seal. Otherwise I would still be driving it. Speed is not a biggie to me, the whole idea is to cruise and see the country from a nice high vantage point, not to see how many miles I can drive in a day!

Since so many of them were built parts are not a real problem, the only part I ever had a problem with was rear glass and I even found some of them used. Most people cover the rear glass anyway but I like it as original as possible, none of my glass is covered, and I like the sliding side windows.

Steering play adjustment is an easy fix unless it is tie rods or steering shaft U joints, then they have to be replaced.

The Onan gen, if it is anything like the one that came with my 4104, is a shaky, noisy monster. I got rid of it pretty soon because it drove me nuts!
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 03:22:58 PM »

I am 99.99/100% sure it's a Ex Greyhound PD4104 by the photo.
Give us old GM folks the serial number and RJ Long or my self can tell you which division of the Greyhound Corp. got it from GMC.
I have owned 2 PD4104's and they were wonderful old buses.
Wish I still owned one today but the 4905 that I have now will do just fine.
RRtex
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luvrbus
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 03:36:14 PM »

You still need to check the engine if still has the old 2 valve head they are not much on power less than 180 hp and not much can be done to help with more
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Life is short drink the good wine first
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