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Author Topic: Introduction & Questions  (Read 1234 times)
Luke Wilson
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« on: October 13, 2013, 07:02:11 PM »

Hello everyone!

I want to start by saying thanks! If it weren't for this board and a couple others, I would have never had the confidence needed to buy a bus, embark on this grand adventure, and become a true bus nut at heart.

OUR BUS

We have a 1981 MC-9 with a little over 300,000 miles on it. 6v92 and Allison automatic transmission. Here's a photo: https://db.tt/LtzuHekr.

My wife and I will be full timing in the bus with our 15 month old son.

QUESTIONS

I've never been terribly active on forums, although I've spent many hours reading them, especially this one. I don't know if it's proper to open a new thread for every individual question, since some of them are pretty small. So here's a couple small ones to get me started: (mods, if I need to move these or separate them out to new threads, just let me know!)

  • I'm having trouble removing the drivers seat. I've broken the bolts loose, but now they're just turning. Are there nuts on the other side of the floor, and if so, how do I get to them? We're getting close to laying flooring, and eventually I want to replace that terribly uncomfortable thing anyway!
  • What have you done with the floor in the drivers area, specifically regarding around the pedals and the shifter for the transmission. I want it to match the rest, but obviously I don't want to screw anything up in those very essential parts! Descriptions are good; pictures are better!  Wink

Again, thanks so much and I can't wait to get to know people, maybe attend some rallies, and dig in and contribute to the community as best I can!
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Luke Wilson
1981 MCI MC-9
Traverse City, MI
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 08:18:59 PM »

Welcome! Can you give us an idea of what part of the country you are located?

Thanks

Grant
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
Way in Over My Head!
Citrus Heights, California
flynbanjo
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 09:06:55 PM »


  • I'm having trouble removing the drivers seat. I've broken the bolts loose, but now they're just turning. Are there nuts on the other side of the floor, and if so, how do I get to them?

    The bolts do extend through the floor with nuts on the back side.  You can get to them through the spare tire storage area behind the front bumper. 
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Steven
81 MCI MC9
Hudson, Florida
RJ
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 11:26:31 PM »

Welcome to the madness.  You are aware that busnutitus is incurable, but it can be controlled!

I'll second Grant's question.  As a matter of fact, help us help you by taking a few minutes to edit your profile to add a signature line similar to mine below (or Grant's).  Simply click on the Profile tab above, then, in the LH menu, click on Forum Profile Info and follow the prompts.  (Oh, and since Bing has long since sung his final chorus, how about your real name, too?)  By adding a sig line, we can better refer you to local assistance, both labor and parts.  In addition, you might just find out there's another busnut nearby!

Now, back to your questions:

You might also have to access the exterior compartment directly underneath the driver to reach the seat nuts, especially the LF one.

Are you familiar with the adjustments available on the stock seat?  Some folk aren't, and are amazed at how much more comfortable it becomes when adjusted to fit their body.  BTW, the most ergonomically comfortable and least fatiguing seating position is a 90o angle between a vertical line comprising of your ear, shoulder and hip, and a horizontal line created by your thighs.  Your thighs, knees and shins should also be as close to a 90o angle with your feet flat on the floor, too.  The seat should be close enough to the controls that you shouldn't have to stretch from "flat on the floor" to reach the top of either the throttle or brake pedal.  If you do have to stretch, you end up torquing your hips and lower back, causing real problems later on.  Don't sit on your wallet, either!!  (All this comes from a former driver trainer, who spent hours working with our operators teaching them how to prevent back injuries - the bane of all bus drivers.)

If you do replace the OEM equipment, be aware that if you have a manual gearbox and you install an air-ride seat, you'll spend countless losing hours attempting to find a setting that prevents you from fighting the clutch going down and the seat going up at the same time.

As for floor treatment around the driver's seat and controls, less is better.  I would not recommend putting something down that ends up raising the pedals - there's too much under the floor you don't want to screw up.  You also want that assembly accessible for maintenance, too.  Since the area attracts dirt, sand and grit, a low maintenance product is priority - hence the rubber floor and diamond plate OEM design.  (Sometimes it's hard to second-guess the factory!)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
Luke Wilson
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 04:54:46 AM »

Thanks guys! You'll notice that my name is different now, haha. I'm a fan of Der Bingle, so it's my standard online handle when I'm not myself. But you're right, it does make more sense to come out of the shadows here.

I've also added the signature with my info. I'm just south of Traverse City, MI currently.

RJ: Thanks for the driving help. I realize now that I was definitely stretching further than I should when I drove the bus - my back was killing me by the time I got home. I also drove 550 miles w/o stopping, so that might have something to with it, too!

I have the Allison automatic transmission, so thankfully reaching the clutch from a different seat isn't a problem. I'm going to try the ergonomically adjusted seat and see how much of a difference it makes before I go replacing anything now, anyway  Smiley

Flynbanjo: Thanks for the info, especially since we have the exact same model and year!
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Luke Wilson
1981 MCI MC-9
Traverse City, MI
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 08:13:16 AM »

Luke, for your safety be sure that your seat and seat belt anchor bolts are through thick plating or bus structure.  On a coach of this age, rust and corrosion is a problem especially in that area.  Anything you can do to enhance the structural integrity of the anchor points may save your life in a frontal collision.  DO NOT rely on bolts that simply go through the flooring.  There have been cases of drivers being ejected.  Same goes for the passenger side.  Lots of better seats available than the antique MCI seat.

It is possible to move the parking brake valve and shifter to the left side of the driver if you care to remove the panel they are mounted to.  Better yet, a Stone-Bennett electric shift kit eliminates the shifter altogether and allows precise shifting.  Really improves an Allison 740.  HTH

PS  Traverse City is beautiful country!

Mark
(ex-MCI fleet owner)
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'81 Eagle 15/45
'47 GM PD3751-438
'65 Crown Atomic
Vancouver, WA USA
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 08:21:14 AM »

Long live the Stone/Bennett the switch on the dash is the best thing since sliced bread or leaving home without the American Express card
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Life is short drink the good wine first
Luke Wilson
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 09:19:37 AM »

Didn't know the Stone-Bennett existed - I would love to make that switch, looks really nice.

Around how much does one cost, including installation? Or is it something I (reasonably handy) could install myself?
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Luke Wilson
1981 MCI MC-9
Traverse City, MI
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 09:24:12 AM »

Easy to install the S-B.  Last one I bought new was 1,400.00.  Don't know what they are now.  Gary Bennett (B&B Coach) sells them.  Maybe someone has a used one available.
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'81 Eagle 15/45
'47 GM PD3751-438
'65 Crown Atomic
Vancouver, WA USA
RJ
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2013, 10:22:39 AM »

Luke -

The SB is a great goodie, but I prefer the OEM shift tower & cable.

IBME that when driving in conditions that require frequent downshifting, there's more control with the OEM.  Sure, the SB does the same thing, but it's much easier to get a smooth downshift with the original. 

Of course, I live in an area that if I want to go anywhere, I have to go over 6% grades to do so.  This translates into lots of downshifting as you climb out of this valley.

If you live where it's flat, and only occasionally visit Rocky Top, then the SB is a good option.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2013, 10:39:49 AM »

You need to explain this to me RJ more control ? I have been all over the Rockies with my S/B it replaced the tower the S/B was a lot smoother and faster up or down to me

 Mine was the electric over air model but I will admit the electric over hydraulic model seems slower and not as smooth IMO  

The S/B was one improvement I loved I disagree with you on this one 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 11:00:46 AM by luvrbus » Logged

Life is short drink the good wine first
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2013, 10:53:39 AM »

Respectfully have to disagree with you on that one, RJ. The S-B electric is immediate and positive with the flick of the toggle switch.  No freezing up or breaking of the cable either.  Negatives are price compared to the Morse.
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'81 Eagle 15/45
'47 GM PD3751-438
'65 Crown Atomic
Vancouver, WA USA
Scott Bennett
Scott & Heather MCI-9
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2013, 04:10:02 PM »

Welcome welcome welcome!  Smiley

Have fun and know that we are all here to help!

My wife and I are also full-timers. No kids yet, (wife is 29, I'm 31) but soon hopefully. Let us know if you have any questions!

We are currently parked in Berrien Springs, MI

Scott & Heather
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 04:11:33 PM by Scott Bennett » Logged

Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2013, 07:53:27 PM »

Mark & Clifford -

I will agree with you both that the S/B shifts faster, both up and down.  Flick the switch and bang - you're in the next gear.

However, with paying passengers on board, I felt I could get much smoother downshifts with the cable shifter.  That glass of red wine in the hand of the lady with the white dress standing in the aisle talking to her friend always was in the back of my mind. . .

For RV service, such as Clifford's Eagle and Luke's MCI, the S/B is fine.

Make sense now?

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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