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Author Topic: Experienced advice requested  (Read 2849 times)
chessie4905
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2013, 06:18:18 PM »

Two valve head versions didn't run that bad and had better low end torque for starting out with the 3:55 rear. In any case, 4 valve heads with all parts are easy to score nowadays. Be nice if it had the newer high block. The low block had a one piece head gasket and lower compression from what I can remember. Ours came originally to us with a  high block and 2 valve head, with HV7 injectors. 4 valve head N65's and advanced timing made quite a difference. We had a Hydra shift in it for a couple of years until we had some problems and couldn't obtain clutch plates for it. With no internet yet, help and information was almost impossible to locate. We found a 4:55 chunk out of a city bus and installed it a short while. It would have been the perfect setup; you could back up at idle by just letting out the clutch and top speed was approx 80. Unfortunately, the ring gear had large pits in it and noisy and another chunk was not to be found, so the 4:11 went back in. It would run to 92 on the level Later years, we had Leid diesel rebuild it and add a turbo. It would  run with a 4106 and early MCI's then, before the 92's. What a difference.
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GMC h8h 649#028
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2013, 06:20:51 PM »

I am not a GM enthusiast. I have an MC5a, but do not consider myself to be necessarily loyal to MCI either, so I will only address generic concerns.  If you have a bus that is low on power, has a manual transmission, and may be difficult to get parts for, you live with, and work with those attributes.  However, if you are looking to buy a bus, you have the oportunity to get as many features as you want upfront.  Unless you really desire the joy of a manual transmission that is ill suited to RVing, look for one with an Allison.  Unless you want to be the absolutely most anemic vehicle on the road, look for one with more power.  Just so you understand, an 8V71 is underpowered unless it has a turbo.  The one joy you will have when slowly chugging up a grade with an 8 is the knowledge that at least you do not have a 6!  

The purchase price is really important, but is unlikely to be your biggest expense over the first couple of years.  It is far cheaper to get what you want to begin with, even if it costs a bit extra, than to try to upgrade later on.  For example, you may have to pay an extra thousand or two for an Allison and bigger engine when buying the bus, but upgrading will cost a prohibitive amount more.  
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Rick59-4104
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2013, 09:28:44 PM »

  I like the 9 to 11 MPG I get with the 4104. Mine has the high rear end ratio, 70+ according to the GPS on the interstate. Climbs the 7% grade up Round Top Mountain south of here in 2nd gear keeping up just fine with the trucks and never gets over 180 degrees with no water mister. Then I can turn around, drop off the mountain with the old Splicer in 1st gear, enjoy the view and never touch the brakes on the way down. I like the looks of the bus with all the original windows, the round front and rear and the bullet shaped exterior marker lights. I like the 35' length, it's very easy to get down the road and navigate thru a Wal Mart parking lot.  Its a 35' 23,000 pound bus, when I want to go real fast I drive the 70 Olds. Love mine.

  I think you will find that most of the folks on the forum that own or have owned one of the old GM's love and will sing praises to them,and most of the folks here who have something longer, squarer, with more HP/automatic transmissions/bells and whistles wonder why we do. Wink
 
 Having said all this I think the bus that appeals to you is the bus you should  buy.  I and several others here like the looks/style/simplicity of the old 671 GM's, (silversides, 4103's, 4104's) so we are content with less power and all the "shortcomings" of the 671 and the 4 speed Splicer. If more HP, getting there faster in a more modern looking bus is what appeals to you then you will probably not be happy with one of the old tortoises. But then again you might want to go back and read my first sentence.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.
Rick
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NW Arkansas
1959 GM 4104  No. 4115
1972 Grumman Kurbmaster Stepvan Conversion
1957 Airstream 13 panel Overlander
vonprum
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2013, 05:44:05 AM »

Thanks for all the info, guys.  You really helped make this decision an easy one. After having a mechanic look the bus over I bought it for $9k.  It has its issues but I build and restore custom cars for a living.  So, this is my custom car. I'm not concerned about the low power as I don't intend to drive it across country, just to the coast now and then, just 100 miles away.  And hey, when I get there I'll be home!
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Lance Von Prum
Vancouver, WA
1957 PD 4104
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MCI 1995 DL3, DD S60, Allison B500.




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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2013, 05:56:15 AM »

Thanks for all the info, guys.  You really helped make this decision an easy one. After having a mechanic look the bus over I bought it for $9k.  It has its issues but I build and restore custom cars for a living.  So, this is my custom car. I'm not concerned about the low power as I don't intend to drive it across country, just to the coast now and then, just 100 miles away.  And hey, when I get there I'll be home!

You da man! Glad to hear you did. Now for long life for the bus Grin

Enjoy...and don't forget to use it.

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
Rick59-4104
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2013, 08:49:38 AM »

 Congratulations and have fun with her, you are 10-11 gallons of diesel and under 2 hours to the coast with the old girl. And not a lot of $$ up front.

 Read up and get a good understanding of the air brakes, how the brakes work, and what if any modifications have been made to the original brakes on the bus. Not understanding how the air brake system on your bus operates or should operate could get you or someone hurt. Also never crawl under the bus without the bus being on run up blocks. If the air bags deflate not enought room between the bus and the ground for you unless your built like Twiggy.

Rick
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 07:01:44 PM by Rick59-4104 » Logged

NW Arkansas
1959 GM 4104  No. 4115
1972 Grumman Kurbmaster Stepvan Conversion
1957 Airstream 13 panel Overlander
RJ
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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2013, 10:16:34 AM »

Lance -

Congrats, you are now thoroughly infected with busnut fever!   Grin

So, what's the VIN on your new toy?  PD4104-XXXX?

If it's not on the title, look inside the exterior compartment underneath the driver, you'll see it stamped on the "frame rail."

Oh, and since you're in Vancouver, WA, you're in the same town as a major glass supplier to the RV hobby - Motion Windows, a division of Peninsula Glass.  They're on NE 121st, near NE 4th Plain Rd.  Strong supporter of our crazy hobby, btw.

Welcome aboard!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
chessie4905
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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2013, 01:50:54 PM »

if no maintenance or parts manuals came with the bus, find them now, before you need to start working on it. Look on Ebay or on this classifieds site or over on Busnuts.
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GMC h8h 649#028
Pennsylvania-central
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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2013, 03:31:48 PM »

I second the manuals post, they are absolutely necessary for these old guys.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
vonprum
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« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2013, 04:10:24 PM »

My SN is PD4104 2548.  Let me know what you find out.  I'm guessing it's an old Trailways because I see traces of original red paint, not blue paint.
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Lance Von Prum
Vancouver, WA
1957 PD 4104
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« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2013, 04:52:01 PM »

Congratulations on you purchase!

The guys who know these metal beasts will continue to give help when asked. A great bunch of free information to learn from. RJ and crew know what they are talking about!

Next time we are in Vancouver we'll look you up!

Have fun and be safe!
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.
RJ
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« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2013, 09:27:56 PM »

Lance -

Well, you're close, but no cigar.  It was a line-haul coach, just not a Trailways, at least when first delivered.

OTOH, you can now tell all your friends, enemies and relatives that you own a "jen-u-wine retired Greyhound bus."  Yup, that's right.  PD4104-2548 was delivered new in June of 1957 as fleet number E-3066 to Eastern Greyhound Lines, HQ'd at that time in Cleveland, OH.

Back then, Greyhound kept their coaches in the fleet for approximately 10 - 11 years before selling them off to second-tier operators.  Thus yours most likely was sold off after the 1967 or 1968 summer peak season, traditionally considered after Labor Day.

I don't have any further info on subsequent owners, you'll have to work backwards from the PO.

The red paint is most likely from a later owner.  If you poke around in all the exterior compartments, you might find some Greyhound markings, including the fleet number.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
gus
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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2013, 04:30:18 PM »

RJ speaks with straight tongue.

On the Al sides and front, when it is in bright sunlight, I can still see the shadow of the identifying signs the two Trailways bus Co owners put on my 4104.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
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