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Author Topic: LAG?  (Read 4216 times)
orfunauto/Darrell
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« on: March 03, 2007, 03:30:47 PM »

Hello, I've been a background observer for a while now and enjoy all the information  posted here.  My turn for a question:  I looked at a bus yesterday that I've noticed sitting in the same spot for close to five years.  I found the owner and he told me it was an 84(?) LAG and he had bought it with the intention of converting it, but had some personal problems and has lost interest in it.  He said it was actually a Prevost before they were called Prevost.  What caught my eye was the "panoramic" full length windshield, driver's full sized door and a passenger jump seat beside the driver's seat.  It's powered by an L10 270hp Cummins with a 6 speed Zelig transmission and air ride suspension.  I would appreciate any and all comments on this bus, good or bad.  The asking price isn't bad, and the body seems to be in fair to good shape.  Do these models have any mechanical or body issues (rust ect.) I should look for?  I tried a forum search for LAG and found nothing related to it.  Thanks!   
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 04:53:17 PM »

Hi Orfunauto

I noticed this post purely by chance - it probably needs one of the moderators to move it into the main category where it will receive a lot more exposure.

LAG is a European builder - their coaches were built in Belgium on a variety of chassis, and were quite big sellers judging by the number of LAGs you see on the roads here. I think they were at the cheaper end of the market, but are considered to be a good bus too - in fact I know that they were Bus of the Year at least once. LAG continue to build high-end truck trailers (fuel tankers and stuff) under their own name, but the bus division of of the company was bought by Van Hool a few years ago, and the two product ranges have now been merged together - I think your seller was confusing Prevost with Van Hool - I'm pretty sure that LAG never had anything to do with Prevost on the manufacturing side at least, but obviously LAG were one of the few Euro makes to be sold in the States, so there could be some connection with Prevost to do with the American sales and parts set-up (as you may know Prevost is part of Volvo, and Volvo are big players European coach market as a supplier of chassis to many of the manufacturers).

Jeremy
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2007, 07:45:57 PM »

Orfunauto,

Would love to see some photos. It sounds like a very interesting bus.

Laryn
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 09:22:49 PM »

My apologies for posting my question in the wrong forum.  As the label under my name says - newbie -

One further note on the description of the LAG is that it has a "basement" bathroom located about midway on the right side of the bus.  You access it by a short stairway inside.  There is also an exterior maintenance door for servicing the bathroom. 

Thanks for the information Jeremy.  I recall reading something on the Van Hool bus but my memory doesn't allow me to recall it in detail (age). 

Barn Owl, I'll try and take some pictures of it next week.  I'm leaning towards purchasing it, but I guess I need some encouragement.  I have a strong mechanical back ground, but most of it is in building and restoring old cars.  This would be the ultimate challenge for me to attempt.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 09:28:06 PM by orfunauto » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2007, 02:04:49 AM »

This would be the ultimate challenge for me to attempt.


Yep, we're all having fun with our 'challenges' here! You will get a lot of encouragement here, but probably more importantly, make sure you have the support of your family before starting - big projects like this will consume time and money usually spent on the wife & kids!

The 'maintenance door' you mention will actually be an emergency exit, which all European buses are required to have at least one of. The 'downstairs bathroom' is also a common feature, as is downstairs seating of course (ie. a double deck coach).

For Barn Owl, this is a typical LAG bus of the type which you see a lot of here:



This is the American-spec model (no rear escape door, different headlights, main door on right etc. Also happens to be the triple-axle version). I would guess this photo would closer to Orfunauto's bus, but would love to see his own photos:



Jeremy
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2007, 05:58:28 AM »

Well all I can say is if you get it and start trying to convert it is. "You'll be lagging!" LOL!

No seriously, I've looked some LAGs over and well they were neat and had things that American coaches didn't have at the time. I guess they were trying to bring the European styling to the US before the US market was ready for them. They seem to have some very good points like the come apart (cummin's) engine & 6 spd trans(great fuel mizer!), the drivers door, the down stairs bathroom (allowed windows 360* for full viewing), curbside maintenance/access door (at stairs, makes it easier to load some large items), the lower drivers area seperating the driver from passengers (disruptions, etc), as already mentioned the large/expensive and almost unobtainable (in the US anymore) panoramic windshields, and many other neat features. Too bad they didn't come to the US market at the right time! Most of the time when you find 1 it's the same as this 1 been sitting for long periods of time. Either because the owner gave up, can't get a certian part, or decided on a more common unit and is trying to get too much back out of a coach that here in the US has little to no resale value at all. I know where at least 3 of these beasts sit and have been sitting forever. And each one the owner thinks because someone saw them coming and they paid too much for it, that it's really worth what they are asking for it! My personal opinion is if ya got the time and ability to fabricate one-off parts, and really love it, go fore it, otherwise offer a reasonable salvage price for it and use it as a donor for a more common unit/project. FWIW! BK  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2007, 06:00:36 AM »

Hi lag busses that i looked at in usa rusted as you watch, befor got our prevo we were offered 4 one in ca the bus was used in or/ca it had been welded so many times it would not pass inspection, two in pa both rustey one had nice motor & newish trans zf the last one was in fl it must have been made of gold as the owner put a price $45,000. not running or finished, brake drums, shoes, are just about unobtainable hear you can order from europe,i know the one in ca is still for sale, the dealer in pa sold the building to carrier ac i think & whent back to aussie. also windshields are from europe only, hope this helps. Darren.
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2007, 06:59:56 AM »

I thought this thread was about computer lag?......geeze......nice looking buses though!  LAG was a new one on me, my experience before converting, were cars, race cars, restoring cars, driving cars I've had an eye opening experience to say the least! I guess its a positive outlook but I would still do it again, (i need to hit my hand again with that darn sledge hammer one more time) IF there is a frame it can be fixed, repaired or altered, so far the expensive part of busing seems to be engines. The initial cost is like fishing or maybe better an iceberg, you just see the tip, its what you can't see that will cost you! If your bored, crazy, or silly you may belong here with the rest of us!  Can you weld, cut, burn, don't mind getting dirty, then welcome to the "Wonderful World of Bussing"! I watched the movie "RV" the other nite, I'm looking forward to my first attempt at emptying the black tank in public, I just hope I don't make Robin Williams look intelligent! 
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orfunauto/Darrell
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2007, 05:18:09 PM »

I sure appreciate all the information!  The picture Jeremy has posted is nearly identical to what I'm looking at.  As far as rust - I'm going to look a lot harder at it.  Being originally from the rust belt state of Minnesota, I loathe rust.... 

One additional feature I failed to mention is that it also has a large rear window.
 
Since I grew up in my father's welding and fabrication shop, I have no reservations to welding, cutting, and fabricating.  In fact I live for the challenge.  My biggest hesitation on this particular model was mentioned a couple of times - parts availability.  I'm concerned particularly with the suspension parts and any other parts unique to this model that wouldn't have a suitable sub.  Drive line conversion to a modern (computer based) power plant would be a fun project since that's what I have done to my old cars for the past ten or so years. 

I have about three, maybe four years, to complete the project.  There are no children to worry about entertaining - they are in Alaska serving with the Air Force.  After many years of working out in the shop till the wee hours, my wife has gotten use to it.  A long time ago we had a short disagreement on the amount of time I was spending out there....  I asked her "Honey, cars or bars?", she's never complained since.  Wink 

Again, thanks for all the comments and keep them coming!  By the way, the owner's initial price offer for the LAG is $8,000.00 - thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 05:20:01 PM by orfunauto » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2007, 05:31:58 PM »

Regardless of the make or model of bus, if you have lots of time to work on the undercarriage and make sure that it is in good condition, you will not wear it out in your lifetime, using it as a motorhome. If you have to order parts from Europe now, you will only have to do it once.
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2007, 06:22:07 PM »

Unless you have to order windshields.  Witness Sean's situation with his beautiful and unique bus, the Neoplan.  Windshields cost him $3000, and require apecial talent to install without breaking them.  and of course there is the occasional rock that ruins his whole day.  I would stay away from such a deal, especially if you are going through the effort to repower too.  there are much better vehicles you could put your labor into.  (unless of course this comment just makes you want to buy it all the more.)

The downstairs toilet is not ncessarity a good thing. Most bus bathrooms have to be removed completely as they function very differently than what you want in an RV.  I looked pretty heavily at a european style bus that could have been bought pretty reasonably.  and I thank my lucky stars I didn't buy it.

Since you are going to repower anyway, for that money you could find a large number of bus chassis that need an engine, but that will be much easier to get parts for, and much easier to sell should you ever want to.
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2007, 12:04:54 PM »

I sure appreciate all the information!  The picture Jeremy has posted is nearly identical to what I'm looking at.  As far as rust - I'm going to look a lot harder at it.  Being originally from the rust belt state of Minnesota, I loathe rust.... 

One additional feature I failed to mention is that it also has a large rear window.

 Again, thanks for all the comments and keep them coming!  By the way, the owner's initial price offer for the LAG is $8,000.00 - thoughts?

Rust will be up inside the body and chassis in spots unable to detect with a naked eye! Besure to take a scroll or other very sharp hard pointy object to poke arond with, crawl as far as able to into engine bay, luggage bay, access areas, underneath, and such poke any & everyhing you can you'll be surprised how easily rust appears where you can't see it!

The 360* view is one of the (good) points I mentioned

The price is very reasonable compared to what the crazy LAG owners I've dealt with are asking ($ 18,000-$30,000)!

Lastly the engine it has is a good engine that is known for reliability and good mpg figures! Repowering it is the last concern I'd be worried about, unless the engine is bad!
Just my opinion for what it is worth! By the way please send cash as I'm unable to process credit cards at the moment! LOL!  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2007, 03:20:08 PM »

Not a bad price depending on condition.

Parts availability IS an issue

Side Note,
 The Owner Don't Know Sh!t...Prevost and LAG had nothing to do with each other In Fact prevost was around long before LAG in this hemisphere anyway
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2007, 09:03:29 PM »

LAG in the U.S, has become the Unwanted Orphan...

They were brought in to fill the low end of the tour market, Didn't sell as well as the bigger names and support was weak
and now virtually non-existant. The U.S. version is completely different under the skin from the Euro versions. Many that still exist here may still have brake issues due to D.O.T. standards for brake lines and air lines. They were all supposed to have been upgraded to U.S. Standards but I know of one LAG owner that found that when you pull the access covers off the old style Euro lines are still in place. Only the visible lines are the right ones for DOT regs. Lots of hacking and splicing in hidden places.

No manuals worth a hoot to speak of. The factory manuals "almost" will get you going but translations were poor.

The electrical system is a nightmare.. I looked... I tried to find a circuit, I gave up and left....( turned out to be bundle of cut wires, done when newbie decided to put in cabinets and wires were in his way.. Just chopped them off...)

The front door is a cantilever plug type door that just never quite stays aligned or closed, the strut bar at the bottom rusts out of the bottom step. The radiator for the cummins L-10 looks like it came from a Pinto and has many belts and offset pulleys that are cast iron and very fragile. They like to eat belts very quickly too..

There's lots of very quirky stuff in a LAG.. Best to rip it all apart, rebuild the rusted parts and rewire and replumb from scratch.

They look nice, But they are not anything even close to a Van Hool....

Geez.. if you want to do that much, Just go ahead and buy an Old Eagle.. at least you can get parts and help.....

Sorry....
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2007, 09:32:53 PM »

You canít beat and education. I think the Doctor just gave us one.
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2007, 08:26:37 AM »

Based on my 25+ years in the bus industry - WALK AWAY from a LAG.

A local operator (and good friend) had three of them - one to use, two for spares - because of the terrible parts situation.  And the one that was used in revenue service spent more time in the shop than on the road.  He finally ended up selling them to a scrap metal dealer, just to get them off the property.  Took the tax write-off and swore he'd never buy anything but MCIs in the future, except for the "G" models.

If you're serious about getting a bus, buy the newest coach you can afford (even if you have to stretch a little), and one that has a good, solid, service and support network.  MCI and Prevost are the big guns in this respect.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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orfunauto/Darrell
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2007, 06:07:00 PM »

Fantastic information from everyone!

  Thank You!!!!!! 

I'm going to keep looking.  I enjoy a challenge, but this may turn out to be a nightmare that I wouldn't want to participate in.  I will no doubt be asking you about any prospects I look at in the future.  Thanks again!

Darrell
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2007, 07:06:40 PM »

Just for giggles, a LAG appears at Denton, NC bluegrass festival year after year.  It ain't fancy on the outside, but there's not rust apparent. 
I'll try to post a pix...this may not work....sometimes it does.
The LAG is the last bus in the row.

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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2007, 04:49:58 AM »

JR,
   Are you sure that is a LAG?  If you are referring the the dark green bus, I think that is Joe Arseneau's MANN. Joe is from CT. If you see Joe's bus look at his wheels,  "Talk about a different bolt pattern!".  Jack
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2007, 05:16:53 AM »

I can't see a dark green bus in the picture; the last bus in the row certainly looks like a LAG, but it could easily be a LAG on a MAN (single N) chassis - MAN only build chassis', not the complete bus.

I'm not specifically recommending the LAG or any other European bus for an American buyer, but I would certainly investigate the spare parts situation myself rather than relying on heresay and stories about other people's experiences in the past - given how the automotive industry worldwide is in a constant state of consolidation it's entirely possible that a seemingly obsure part is actually now obtainable (albeit with a wait for delivery) over-the-counter from the commercial vehicles parts department of GM, Ford or Chrysler. Everyone is owned by everyone else nowadays, regardless of national boundaries.

Jeremy
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« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2007, 05:24:21 AM »

I should not write before finishing my morning coffee. I was looking at the dark vehicle at the exteme end of the line of buses (around the corner of the line of vehicles).  Jack
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« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2007, 07:14:15 AM »

Jeremy,

I was asked to look at a bunch of MAN transit coaches for sale a while back and could find nothing that would indicate they were built by anyone but MAN.
The emblem on the front was MAN, the horn button had MAN and the ID plate was from MAN.

Are you sure there are no coaches built by MAN? I would be interested in finding out who did build these transits.

By the way, I had to tell the guy to pass on these coaches because of the MAN engine and the Renk transmission. Neither of which was supported in the U.S. In fact, I talked to the tech who was in charge of overhauling the transmissions and he told me he had spent weeks in Germany learning about the transmissions and when he got home would commonly wait 3 or 4 months before ordered parts would be shipped.

Dallas
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2007, 08:37:29 AM »

Dallas

I certainly cannot say for sure that MAN have never built their own bus bodies in the past, but I've never come across one myself, and it is clear from their website that they only sell chassis now. MAN do build 'complete' trucks, so it's probably more likely that if they were to build a bus body it would be a transit rather than a coach - for example Leyland (a British manufacturer of complete trucks and bus chassis') once offered a transit, the front end of which was clearly closely related to their truck cabs.

The badging issue can be misleading - for example, you very often see Plaxton Paramounts (like mine) with very prominent Volvo badges on the body, because I guess Volvo is a name which is respected by the general public. You will see that the bus shown below has two badges on the front, one for MAN (the chassis) and one for Ayats (the body):



This second image is taken from MAN's website, showing one of their chassis - the chassis obviously includes the complete dashboard assembly, so I guess any badges or switches would also naturally show 'MAN'



Several years ago I communted to work between Birmingham and Cheshire every day, which was a 70 mile or so trip up the M6 motorway (freeway). I would regularly see bus chassis being driven up the motorway by themselves, which just a temporary perspex screen in front of the driver. They were obviously being delivered to a body builder somewhere, and I always wondered exactly where they were going.

MAN's coach/bus website is here is anyone is interested:

http://www.mtbm.com.my/bus/index.htm

Jeremy
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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2007, 09:44:40 AM »

Dallas

I certainly cannot say for sure that MAN have never built their own bus bodies in the past, but I've never come across one myself, and it is clear from their website that they only sell chassis now. MAN do build 'complete' trucks, so it's probably more likely that if they were to build a bus body it would be a transit rather than a coach - for example Leyland (a British manufacturer of complete trucks and bus chassis') once offered a transit, the front end of which was clearly closely related to their truck cabs.

The badging issue can be misleading - for example, you very often see Plaxton Paramounts (like mine) with very prominent Volvo badges on the body, because I guess Volvo is a name which is respected by the general public. You will see that the bus shown below has two badges on the front, one for MAN (the chassis) and one for Ayats (the body):



This second image is taken from MAN's website, showing one of their chassis - the chassis obviously includes the complete dashboard assembly, so I guess any badges or switches would also naturally show 'MAN'



Several years ago I communted to work between Birmingham and Cheshire every day, which was a 70 mile or so trip up the M6 motorway (freeway). I would regularly see bus chassis being driven up the motorway by themselves, which just a temporary perspex screen in front of the driver. They were obviously being delivered to a body builder somewhere, and I always wondered exactly where they were going.

MAN's coach/bus website is here is anyone is interested:

http://http://www.mtbm.com.my/bus/index.htm

Jeremy


Just a side note on Leyland, they were bought, along with DAF, by PACCAR based in Seattle. PACCAR builds Kenworth and Peterbuilt.
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« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2007, 09:57:22 AM »

Just a side note on Leyland, they were bought, along with DAF, by PACCAR based in Seattle. PACCAR builds Kenworth and Peterbuilt.


So, I would guess that an American should be able to buy a part for an 'obscure British truck' like a Leyland Roadtrain just by going into any Kenworth or Peterbuilt parts store - just like I can apparently buy Detroit Diesel parts from a local supplier where I live. Globalisation is a wonderful thing! I do appreciate the comments about long waits for parts to arrive etc though



Jeremy
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« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2007, 10:20:30 AM »

Jeremy,
Thanks for posting the photo. I like seeing trucks from around the world. What do you call that type trailer in UK? Here it is a 'single drop lowboy' in OZ they are 'floats'.
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« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2007, 10:54:33 AM »

I would just call that a lowloader - but no doubt there are technical variants within that style of trailer that I wouldn't know about - I'm not entirely clear for example on what a 'Landoll' is, execpt that it is the type of trailer you need if your bus breaks down!.

I remember when I was quite young I saw a family leaving a Steam Rally one sunday afternoon, with a big traction engine on a lowloader behind their truck. I thought it was really cool to have a hobby that required your own lowloader! There is actually a special taxation class in the UK for heavy trucks used purely for recreational use (ie. not running them for profit). The road tax on a regular 40 tonner artic or whatever is cripplingly expensive here

Jeremy
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« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2007, 11:12:02 AM »

JR,
   Are you sure that is a LAG?  If you are referring the the dark green bus, I think that is Joe Arseneau's MANN. Joe is from CT. If you see Joe's bus look at his wheels,  "Talk about a different bolt pattern!".  Jack

Nope...the dark green bus is an Eagle....look at the white coach on the end of the row...it's definitely a LAG.   I have no idea of who the chassis manufacturer is...but it has LAG on the front end.  I've tried to catch the owner, but he's rarely around the bus...must be inside or camped out at the stage.  Bus has no exterior "RV" trappings.  Partially converted interior. Still has the "basement" bathroom door.  I'm  gonna see how that door works someday.  
The dark green Eagle is a band bus...I forget their name.  Huh
I'll find out who owns the LAG May 9th...time to go again! Cheesy
Best, JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.Ē

Ayn Rand
gr8njt
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MCI-9 Crusader II


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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2007, 01:03:27 PM »

Here's a MAN conversion I saw for sale last year.
It surely resembles a LAG
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****1982 MCI-9 Crusader-II Bus Conversion****
R&M 102 C-3 style Front & Rear cap with louver kit
smooth side kit, dash-board kit, one piece siding
belfert
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« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2007, 04:36:13 AM »

I didn't know MAN ever sold any coach buses in the USA.  Our local transit agency bought MAN transit buses sometime in the 80s to replace the GM buses they were running.  All of our non-articulated transit buses are Gillig now.  The MAN have long been retired.

Brian Elfert
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