Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
August 28, 2014, 06:04:40 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription: It will not get torn up or crushed if you back over it with your bus.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Looking at a bus, Thoughts?  (Read 3368 times)
rydrman
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 32



WWW

Ignore
« on: September 18, 2013, 03:44:28 PM »

Hey Folks,

First post in the forums here.

I'm looking at an 1984 MCI-9 and am looking for some opinions on it:

1984 MCI MC9
-Detroit Diesel 8V-71
-Allison Automatic (4 speed)
-Driver & Passenger
-Driver and Passenger A/C
-Rear Mounted Restroom

http://www.nwbus.com/products/product_view.cgi?id_number=861120868564

It has just come out of service with ~700,000 miles. The seller is asking $8,800 but I's only pay up to 6.8k for it (preferably 5k or 6k).

I haven't seen it yet but I'm going out to take a look on Monday.

Any thoughts on the bus or things I should look for when I go down to see it?

Cheers!
Logged

tekebird
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2263





Ignore
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 04:09:24 PM »

it is a former Denver RTD commuter bus.  Expect corrosion.  I would not even bother going to look at it, there is a lot on the market right now that is in your price range.

Logged
rydrman
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 32



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2013, 04:35:22 PM »

Is corrosion the only worry? The video shows it in pretty good condition and I figured it'd be worth checking out. Where would I look to see the worst corrosion on a bus like this? I've been looking for quite a while now without much luck for my price range...
Logged

HB of CJ
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1241




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 04:54:04 PM »

Have you remotely consider the Crown Supercoach ex school bus?  West coast school districts, particularly in Southern California, are still placing out of service good condition Crowns.  The last batch I have seen at auction went for under $4000.00.  A few were just placed out of service and still have some time on the demanding CHP (Ca highway patrol) school bus inspection record. Smog laws are demanding their early replacement.

Frankly, they are a challenging  Bus Conversion candidate.  Not much room under the floor.  Admidships pancake Detroit 671T or a Cummins 855 inch NTC.  Trannies vary from Fuller T905 or 1105 M 5 speed manuals to 10 speed Fuller RT-RTO 910 or 11510 road rangers or Allision 640 or 740 type 4 speed electronic autos.  Huge air brakes with usual leaf suspensions.  Lengths range from 2 axle 35-37 footers to 3 axle 40 ft 10 wheelers.

Just a thought.  Lots of sites on the net where you can learn more about Crowns.  I loved mine.  HB of CJ (old coot) Crowns forever. Smiley
Logged
rydrman
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 32



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 05:09:42 PM »

I have actually thought about that but there's a couple of problems.

The first being that I don't want to drive a bus from Cali to Ontario, Seattle is about my limit for distance...

The main issue, though, is that NOBODY in Ontario will insure a Skoolie conversion. I've asked around and pretty much every insurance company will refuse you. On a rare occasion you might get a yes but only if you're willing to pay upwards of $5k / year in insurance... it's pretty ridiculous...

Thanks for the tip though, I'd absolutely love an old crown if I could pull it off!
Logged

opus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 488





Ignore
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2013, 05:38:52 PM »

You can get insurance easy on a skoolie.  However, its just liability and its like $245 a year for me I think.
Logged

1995 BB All-American - A Transformation.
Hobie
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 228




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2013, 06:02:50 PM »

Slight threadjack,... but I used to drive Crowns in a school district.  +1 to everthing HB says.  Plus, great ride.

  Heck, I've even thought of picking one up with a screemin' Jimmy in it just to drive around on Sundays and listen to the mill!!!!!   Gotta be a manual though...   If I only had room to park it.  ... 
Logged
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4861


Nick & Michelle Badame


WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2013, 06:51:33 PM »

Is corrosion the only worry? The video shows it in pretty good condition and I figured it'd be worth checking out. Where would I look to see the worst corrosion on a bus like this? I've been looking for quite a while now without much luck for my price range...

Hi Rydrman,

Look for corrosion at the front bulkheads of the baggage compartments, rear baggage compartments,
and the front air bag towers. The towers would be the most critical to worry about..
Look very close at the structural supports around the engine, trans & the drive axel too.

Good Luck
Nick-
Logged

Whatever it takes!-GITIT DONE! 
Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
Master Mason- Cannon Lodge #104
https://www.facebook.com/atlanticcustomcoach
www.atlanticcustomcoach.com
Timkar
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 300





Ignore
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 08:00:15 PM »

FYI...Pretty sure you cannot import a Crown into Canada unless it is pre-1971.
HTH...Tim
Logged

Cawston, British Columbia
Scott Bennett
Scott & Heather MCI-9
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1273


Scott & Heather


WWW

Ignore
Re:
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2013, 03:07:47 AM »

Ryderman, we own that exact coach model and year. I love our bus....a lot. But only recommendation I would make is be sure it's not rusty. The only place major rust can exist (since it's mostly aluminum and stainless) is on the rear around and under the engine and compartment as well as the mild steel skeleton and ribbing. Please take some photos of the engine compartment in decent lighting as well as some photos of the luggage bays inside. Post them and we can help you out. Just the color of the engine paint will tell us a story.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk. Clumsy fingers may contribute to mistakes.
Logged

Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
˙ǝɯoɔlǝʍ suoıʇɐuop ˙snq ʍǝu ɐ pǝǝu ʎlqɐqoɹd ll,ǝʍ 'sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı
Tikvah
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 528



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2013, 04:30:50 AM »

I love this forum, I really, really do.  I sincerely believe that every contributor has good intentions and usually good advise.  However, when you ask "what do you think of this bus, or this year, or this engine?" You will get all the opinions as diverse as the group itself.  No matter what you are looking at, the price is too high, you can buy it all day long someplace else for half that (yet, I never found that deal).  You will be looking at the wrong engine, you are considering the wrong brand, and the wrong year.   Yet, that MCI-9 must be one of the most popular buses on the forum.

Take the collective advise, go look as best you can, and if possible, take a bus nut with you.  If its not too much rust, if the engine is strong with little smoke, if the price feels right, then jump in - you're officially a bus nut!

But keep in mind, the moment the money leaves your hands, there will be a shinny red Eagle, with a brand new Cat engine with low miles, only driven to church by a little ole lady, for half the money you just spent.

Have fun, take your time, learn all you can, then jump in....no matter what you get, this group will support your project in more ways than you can imagine!

Good luck
Logged

I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
Jon
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 222




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2013, 05:13:02 AM »

Total the purchase price of the seated coach, then add in everything it will take to convert it. No matter how much you add in for parts double that because on any project it is the small stuff that really adds up. Then total your numbers.

My guess is if you (and everyone on here) are honest the number will be $50,000 and up. Really. Unless you are intending to have just an aluminum tent with a motor. Not making fun, but recognizing that even a bare minimum conversion is going to have a generator, batteries, shower, cabinets, flooring, lights, heat, air conditioning, at least one inverter, plumbing, holding tanks, TVs, microwave, stove, sinks, bed, furniture, etc.

With that budget amount in mind, start a search for a professionally built conversion. There are many internet sources, ranging from Craigs list to ebay to various RV sales sites. You WILL find a low mileage, professional conversion in good usable condition for that amount of money. No matter how small the total is. Then you can use your creative side and mechanical skills to alter that coach to more suit your needs, but you will be starting with the least abused coach and one with all your needs already in place, just waiting for you to upgrade it while you are using it.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1978-Prevost-Tour-Bus-NO-RESERVE-/251337756406?pt=RVs_Campers&hash=item3a84e5cef6#ht_798wt_1165
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 05:24:01 AM by Jon » Logged

Jon

Current coach 2006 Prevost, Liberty conversion
Knoxville, TN
bevans6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4591


1980 MCI MC-5C




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 05:36:09 AM »

I think that with Ryan in Ottawa, Ontario, and the bus in Seattle, the cost of going to look at it starts to become a significant portion of the investment.  Getting it home to Ottawa will add another $2K in fuel to the cost.  It's doable, but man...  Since it's a seated bus, Ryan will need an Ontario B or C class license with a Z (air brake) endorsement to drive it.  I know that Aviva insures converted buses in Ontario very reasonably (I was paying around $550 for my MC-5C when I lived in Ontario) but I have no idea what they would say about a seated bus that was going to be a motorhome but wasn't converted yet.  A RIVA inspection station (Canadian Tire has the contract) will need to inspect the modified bus as a seated bus to approve the importation into Canada but the dealer's website says they can assist with importation, which is a very good thing.  The modifications are quite simple - a speedometer that reads in KPH (a GPS unit leaps to mind, my bus has a KPH speedo from a five speed MC-9) and an odometer that measures in kilometers (I have a hub-meter that reads in kilometers).  Then you get a sticker with all the weight info in Kg.

As people have said, rust is the MCI killer.  The framework behind the front facade below the windshields, the dash if the windshields have leaked, the air beams where the air springs mount and the frame work above the air beams.  The engine cradle is mostly stainless steel but some parts are mild steel, the framework above the engine, the radiator and blower bay, the luggage bay framing is mostly stainless but odd bits are mild steel.  The floor of the luggage bay is aluminium.  If the windows leaked the mild steel framing above the belt line (floor of the interior of the bus and up) will rust, if there was condensation the fiberglass insulation will trap it and cause rusting inside the walls and roof of the bus (again mild steel framing that the aluminium skins are riveted to.  

8V71 is probably the lower power option for that bus, automatic trans is nice.  At 700K miles it probably either has a fairly fresh rebuild or desperately needs an out-of-frame rebuild, given average engine lifecycles.

My first question would actually be - is there a kind and knowledgeable soul in Seattle who could go do an appraisal/survey of this bus for me?  As noted, for all the risks it might be a great bus and MCI's are wonderful conversions!

Brian

Logged

1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
chuckd
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 278





Ignore
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2013, 07:39:53 AM »

In the Minneapolis craigslist list there is a 1980 MCI fully converted with the usual 50k on the engine.  They want all of $14,900 for it, looks nice, would not wate much time converting for that price.

Chuck
1979 Prevost
Stillwater Mn
Logged
lvmci
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 643





Ignore
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 08:06:33 AM »

Hi ryderman, look at the latches for the bay doors, especially in front of the rear wheels, also open the areas behind the radiators looking for rust, also tires (read the dot date), hoses and especially airbags not holding up, these are all immediate repairs, with all the good deals out there rust and rubber replacement would dictate a very low price, a few good deals on craigslists in LV & LA right now, lvmci...
Logged

MCI5A 8V71 Allison MT643
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!