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Author Topic: Need Advice  (Read 842 times)
phunckie
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« on: July 02, 2013, 02:34:31 PM »

Hey guys,

 I haven't been here for a while, but I need some advice. I have a 1969 Eagle Model 05 that I purchased a few years ago. At the time that I bought it, the interior had been gutted and completely renovated. It is a 6 bunk entertainer style coach, and the interior is in fantastic shape.
 It has a Detroit 8v71 with a spicer 4 spd manual transmission, and has manual steering only.
 While on a trip some time back, the transmission went out, and we had to have it towed back to the house. It has since been sitting, while I tried to determine what to do with it. I had hoped to have an automatic transmission put in, then was going to convert the rear lounge to a rear stateroom. I have all necessary parts to put power steering on the bus as well. However, I am just not in a position to be able to keep the coach at this time.
 Obviously, with the transmission not functional, it's not sellable, except for scrap. But, it's a great bus, and I would hate to scrap it. It will cost $15-20k to swap the transmission and put power steering on the coach, and probably another $2-3k to finish the remaining necessary repairs to have it ready to go.
 So, I need some advice on what to do with the bus.

 1. If I scrap it, I will pull out the generator, roof air units, appliances, etc., then scrap the shell. Does anyone have any idea how much I could expect to get for scrap for the shell?

 2. I am trying to decide whether the cost of doing the transmission would be worthwhile. What are the chances that I would recover the repair costs in selling the coach?

 3. Would anyone on this list be interested in purchasing the coach as a project or parts bus? I have pictures available on request.

 Thanks in advance for your assistance.

 Eric
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 02:41:41 PM »

Wow! I can't imagine the tranny costing 15-20k!
I've seen replacement 730s selling for around 1-2k and installing them, as I understand it, is just a drop in replacement for the spicer tranny.

Even if not replacing it, I would think rebuilding it should be an option?

Others with considerably more experience will hopefully chime in, but I'd be really shocked if 15k is what one needs to budget for a tranny.
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1966 GM 4107
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V730
RJ
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 02:55:10 PM »

George -

An Eagle is a T-drive, the V-730 fits in the V-drive GMCs.

What Eric's talking about is either an HT-740 4-spd Allison automatic, or an HT-754 5-spd Allison, and if you re-read his post, that $$ amount is for both installing an automatic plus adding power steering.


Eric -

Scrap for the shell is about a dollar a pound, give or take a little.  Probably less if they have to come get it.  Thus about $2500.

If you do scrap it, save the rear axle & drop box - another Eagle or MC-5 owner will be grateful in the future!

You never, EVER get your money back out of a bus conversion - they're just like a boat or airplane in that regard.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 03:12:35 PM »

  Being a 1969, I'd be concerned about potential rust issues before you spend any money. Being an entertainer conversion with many bunks, how practical is that setup for you. Exactly what happened to the transmission? Sounds like you would be better off parting it out. At today's depressed prices, you could get a nice conversion for the money you would need to spend to have what you would ultimately like. Of course, your decision.
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GMC h8h 649#028
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 08:02:04 PM »

RJ, is the HT-740 much more expensive (or complicated) to install than a 730, or are my 730 numbers off? Or both  Grin

Just curious how much one should budget for a tranny...
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1966 GM 4107
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 08:30:18 PM »

 Here is another vote for saving that axle and dropbox!   Grin
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 08:52:26 PM »

A pound a dollar would be around $25,000.00-you're off by one. I had the complete conversion on my truck with Pedco (now IronMan) removing the 13spd manual and installing a rebuilt (that's all that's around since the HT740 is not made anymore) Allison transmission for $11,000. Was worth it. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 09:18:39 PM »

RJ, is the HT-740 much more expensive (or complicated) to install than a 730, or are my 730 numbers off?
George -

As I stated earlier, the HT-740 or HT-754 are for T-drive buses, like Eagles, MCIs, Prevosts, etc.  They will NOT work in a GMC 41XX or 49XX series unless you completely rip out the entire rear of the bus and reconfigure and stretch it from the OEM V-drive layout.  In today's market such a venture is totally a waste of hard-earned cash.  Seriously!!!

The only GMC coach that would easily accept one of the HT transmissions is a Scenicruiser (PD4501), because it was designed as a T-drive from the beginning.

Also, a V-730 has one less gear in it - it's only a three-speed, the HTs are four or five, depending on the model.  More gears = more flexibility when climbing Rocky Top.

If you really want to be able to play with different repower combinations, then don't waste your time on GMCs.  Spend the time and effort looking for an already converted T-drive coach with an automatic.  Altho not as common, there are 35-foot T-drives out there from MCI, Eagle and Prevost.  Not to mention TONS of 40-footers.

If you MUST have a GMC 41XX  or 49XX model, then accept the fact that your repower choices are extremely limited and live with it as the factory designed it.  Remember that thousands of these pounded the pavement all over North America with the OEM powertrain for over 60 years - treat it right and it will outlive you.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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wildbob24
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 09:40:43 PM »

A pound a dollar would be around $25,000.00-you're off by one.

I agree. My local scrap yard is paying $200/ton, which works out to 10 cents per pound. If I could get a dollar a pound, I'd seriously consider scrapping my bus.

Bob

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P8M4905A-1308, 8V71 w/V730
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 09:58:50 PM »

Thanks RJ, good info.
But my intent is not to try to repower a GM bus with a 740, Smiley
but rather to better get an estimate on what a transmission rebuild/replacement cost is in general.

I get that the 740 is somewhat more complex than a 730 and that it is physically dimensionally different, but it's just a transmission. I wanted to understand how that complexity compared to cost, as related to a 730; again to budget for a transmission issue similar to what the OP is experiencing.

15-20k seems high to me. I understand that he also wanted power steering. But not having power steering is not enough to send a bus to scrap, I wouldn't think.

Anyway, thanks for the info, good to get a better understanding about the different power options available on different configurations.
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1966 GM 4107
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 03:52:27 AM »

We replaced the Spicer with an Allison HT740 in our Eagle 01 last year. Keep in mind that the 05 has a drop box, so my experience is is different as the 01 does not have one.

I found an Allison from a fellow bus nut. Took it to a shop to do a Dyno test ($300). Once I got the results I was pretty confident that it would work just fine.

There are several things to keep in mind. You'll need a flex plate to fit the 8v71, a shift tower running the cable back to the Allison and the proper modulator for your throttle preference, whether it's an air throttle or manual. You will also have to have your driveline made to fit the new installation (Driveline Services, Portland, OR). I had to have a complete new one made up as the old parts were worn out, cost was about $900. New shift cable was almost $200 from Speedometer Services in Portland, OR.

The Allison bolted right up to the 8v71, as it was the correct bell housing initially.

I spent several months doing research before engine/tranny removal and new to me 8v71/Allison re-installation. As it was the first time I had tackled such an endeavor.

I have really enjoyed the performance of the new combination. It just takes time to do it.

I do have most of the parts to make the change to power steering, just need to locate the steering column of my choice. Another project for another time as I'm in no hurry to change it.

You will never recoup the cost, it's a bus conversion and you know what that means. We full time in ours, so it was a no brainer for us. My wife might tell you otherwise!  Roll Eyes

You just have to make a decision on what is best for you.
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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.
chessie4905
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 06:48:27 AM »

The V730 is basically a 740 without 1st gear and configured to be mounted in the GM's and Flxibles with crossways mounted drivetrain. The case is made with an angled output configuration. Other than some internal parts being interchangeable, they are completely different designs from Allison, owned by GM at that time, the manufacturer of the trans.
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