Jim, Would love to see pix of interior. Your Gillig looks a lot different than the low-floors run in transit service in NYC. In fact, the exterior of your bus is a lot better looking. - Seaton NY and NC
Seaton, my interior is nothing to see at this point. Incredibly crude so far, but it is a work in progress. We not only live in the bus, we are incredibly busy at the things which make our living: building stringed instruments and raising organic vegetables. Moreover, we lost most of what we owned in the period 2008-10, and we can only improve the bus as money comes available.
With that said, if you are still interested, my build thread is here: http://www.nomadicista.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2541
luvrbus, I can appreciate your concern about the planetary gearing since you are experienced in that area. On the other hand, I also trust Gillig's judgment in the matter. Fact is that their low floor busses appear to be incredibly reliable. I've not yet found an account of someone having trouble with the planetary gear system. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just that it is apparently rare. If we were putting a quarter million miles a year on the bus or loading it like you do a Cat loader, I might be more concerned.
I've read your build thread, and I love it. I've commented at other places that I don't read it often because I come away feeling inadequate and underfunded. The fact is that you and I operate at nearly polar extremes of the bus conversion world. I suspect that the money you spent replacing a "new" engine is more than what my entire conversion will cost in cash outlay by the time I'm done. I'm happy for you, and I realize that my bus will never be as "good" as yours, but my perspective is still that what we have suits us as well as yours suits you, and just as important, it's something we can afford. I suspect that if Gillig low floor busses were having an epidemic of planetary failure, it would be making news somewhere.
I recognize, however, that it may be happening and I just haven't found it. If I had been paying better attention in 2001, I would never have bought our Flxible Metro. The horrors of the 870/Metro series were well documented, but did not bother to find out before I took the plunge. I'm grateful to this forum and to nomadicista.com for helping me better understand what I was dealing with.
My gut feeling is that I'll live in the Gillig until I'm too old and feeble to make that single step into the living area, and that the planetary gearing will still be functioning as intended. Thanks for your professional perspective, though.
Here's a shot of the bus at Ocracoke last October:
Seaton: In my opinion, the H2000LF is the only low floor that looks this good. It was designed as a shuttle, not a transit. I'm planning to do the reskin this summer, and then we can paint it. Can't wait.
Best to all,
Jim in NC