Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
August 21, 2014, 09:05:11 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription: You will not incur forwarding fees when you are on the road.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: ok have a couple of questions  (Read 3426 times)
TomC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6720





Ignore
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2007, 11:46:48 PM »

Best thing to do is to buy a bus that is going to be your choice instead of trying to change it to your use.  I bought a '77 AMGeneral Transit in 1992 and immediately had the injectors increased from 55 to 65, gearing raised from 55 to 72 mph top, changed the grease wheel ends to oil bearings, changed the 12R-22.5 to 11R-24.5, then drove it home from Kelso Washington in 1993.  Started working on it in 1994-where I took the whole year off and just worked on the bus.  Transits take alot more time to build the facilities into the bottom of the bus whereas you can just install them in the baggage compartments on a highway bus.  I was truck driving and worked 9 months a year and took 3 winter months off where I worked on the bus. 
Some of the specs-130gal fuel, 130gal fresh water, 85gal gray waste, 45gal black water waste, 20 gal propane, 2-8D AGM deep cycle batteries, manual leveling system with the air suspension, 2-TV's, both home and car type stereos, 3-burner stove, microwave, toaster oven, 6.3 Norcold compressor type reefer and 100lb Norcold chest freezer, wash/dryer, 2500 watt inverter, 10,000 watt Powertech Diesel generator, 3 roof airs, queen bed in back, 78 x 42 convertible dinette, 80 x 60 convertible sofa, recliner, 9ft kitchen counter top, house size double stainless kitchen sink, 36 x 36 shower stall, etc.  Essentially finished in 2000.  You can put what you want even in a transit bus.
 
2001 had the engine overhauled. Also changed the air assisted power steering to full Shepard power steering (finger tip), had all 8 air bags replaced, recently had the engine turbocharged and air to air intercooled, the Allison transmission overhauled, new radiator core, new enlarged air cleaner, larger muffler, auxiliary transmission cooler, radiator water misters, King cruise control, back up camera. 
I've had the bus for 15 years and have spent about $90,000 on it-way cheaper and a whole lot stronger than a sticks and staples motorhome.  I will probably have this bus for another 10 years. 
Good Luck, TomC
Logged

Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Dreamscape
Guest

« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2007, 02:11:17 AM »

Which ever coach you decide on make sure you ask lots of questions regarding any prior maintenance, along with paperwork to prove it. Get what you want and can afford. I bought an Eagle off eBay and I am very pleased with it, any older coach will have problems you will have to deal with. As others have said, if you want to tackle the job and do it yourself, go for it. Ours was a converted coach when we bought it, in the process of doing it our way.

Have fun and ask lots of questions.

Paul

Dreamscape
Logged
belfert
Guest

« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2007, 05:38:12 AM »

Brian,

I guess I am a better shopper than you...... Grin   Tongue

But hey, I'm not done yet!

I know there is some stuff I spent extra on simply because I was in a hurry.  Unfortunately, my fast pace was for nothing as the bus wasn't quite ready for the big trip last year.  I ended up flying out while my friends drove a conversion van.

Unless something major happens I will be ready for my first big trip this fall.

I'm not near done with my bus either.
Logged
dwbruner
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 140





Ignore
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2007, 07:03:31 AM »

Darlene,

First decide what make/model/length of bus you want.  If the Eagle is what you want then carefully inspect the candidate(s) for frame rust.  Eagles are prone to rust, but there are Eagles available with little to no rust.  Shop for an Eagle that has spent it's entire life in the dry southern climates (no snow, road salt, etc.).  I believe in the late 80's and on into the 90's Eagle was using a different type of steel in their frames that was more rust resistent.  Also consider 40' vs. 45' buses....45' is more costly & challenging to maneuver, but offers more interior & baggage bay space.  MCI & Prevost are also good choices....just depends on what flavor of bus you are happy with.

Second decide what type of engine you want.  A lot of the used buses have the older 2-stroke diesels which have been around for decades, but my experience is that it is growing more & more difficult to find competent 2-stroke mechanics.  I would suggest buying a bus with a newer 4-stroke diesel like the Detroit Diesel 60 Series with an Allison automatic transmission.  The 4-stroke is the newer technology and 4-stroke mechanics are widely available.  Better fuel mileage from a 4-stroke too...some report up to 50% better mpg.

Third, as many others have stated, ask yourself how much time & $$ are you willing to put into this bus conversion project?  If you have a personal deadline of being "on the road" by next year then you may want to look at partially or completely converted buses.  If you have lots of free time & talent then doing your own conversion can be quite rewarding both from satisfaction & cost savings perspectives.....it will just take extra time.  However, your conversion does not have to be 100% complete in order to use it...something else to keep in mind.

Good luck on your bus search!  There are a lot of knowledgeable folks on this board so don't hesitate to ask questions.  There are also many websites that sell used buses that are seated, shell, partial or complete conversions.

Happy bus hunting, Grin
Darrin
Logged

Darrin Bruner
1985 Eagle Model 10
Dallas
Guest

« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2007, 07:15:43 AM »

As Darrin States:

Darlene,


Good luck on your bus search!  There are a lot of knowledgeable folks on this board so don't hesitate to ask questions.  There are also many websites that sell used buses that are seated, shell, partial or complete conversions.

Happy bus hunting, Grin
Darrin


One of those websites is this one.

Check out some of what MAK has for sale by clicking on the banner links above.

and as other people have mentioned, get the magazine and help support the hobby.

Dallas
Logged
cody
Guest

« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2007, 07:27:29 AM »

I bought an 81 Eagle that was already converted but as is usually normal, the conversion wasn't the way I wanted it so for several reasons I gutted it completely, the main reason was that like others have said, eagles are prone to rust and even tho I could find very little rust I wanted to make sure, after I gutted it I found some hidden rust that was easily taken care of, I also cleaned and undercoated all the area's I could find to minimize future rust problems, I've spent the last year converting it to my liking.  If your husband is that tall, you will probably want a raised roof, like the others have said, read all you can, hit some ralleys and don't be in a rush to buy, and ask lots of questions, the people on this forum not only know what they are talking about, they are in the middle of doing what your proposing to do and thats important, I've found a lot of good information here and made some new friends.
Logged
dwbruner
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 140





Ignore
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2007, 08:06:36 AM »

Darlene,

At 6'-7" your hubby will definitely want a raised roof.  I am 6'-5" and I've been in many buses & RV's that I can't stand up in or I clock my head on something protruding from the ceiling (A/C, lights, etc.).  I can testify that a low ceiling is not fun.

I bought a 1985 Eagle Model 10 - 40' with a DD 6V92TA & Allison 740 that was "partially converted" (I use that term very loosely Roll Eyes), but I am in the process of gutting the interior and bays to do it my way.  The partial conversion was very crude & unprofessional, so I knew when I bought it that the interior would have to go bye-bye. 

The good news is that an 8" roof raise, new front & rear caps, Model 15 front-end upgrade, seamless aluminum skin, 7 RV slider windows, foam insulation, 3 roof airs and 2 fans were done well and I won't have to do any major rework to these components. Smiley 

The bad news is I've had to spend some of my conversion $$ on engine repairs Sad, but hopefully I am close to having the bus in good reliable mechanical shape. Undecided

When the dust finally settles, I believe I will have a bus conversion that is done the way I want it at a much cheaper price than a Professional bus conversion.....also cheaper than a Sticks & Staples RV and much safer.

Not sure where you are located, but there are several bus rallys coming up that you & your husband may want to attend to get ideas and ask questions.  Let us know your location and we can give you the info.

Good luck,
Darrin
Logged

Darrin Bruner
1985 Eagle Model 10
TomC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6720





Ignore
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2007, 08:39:15 AM »

Two buses come to mind that have 6'10" of headroom.  One is the transit I have and the other is in the classified section of this board.  It is '91 MCI 102C3 40ft'r with a Series 50 and Allison auto.  Personally think this is the perfect bus/engine combo.  Granted their are bigger engines, but the Series 50 4 cylinder at 350hp is enough power and will get close to 10 mpg!  At $28,000 I think it is a great deal!  If I were looking for a bus today, this would be my choice.  Good Luck, TomC
Logged

Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
chris4905
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 148




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2007, 12:42:49 PM »

Darlene,

One of my wife's "nice to have" requests was a full size refrigerator.

We have a full size Kitchen Aid 120V refer.  I also like the amount of ice cream it will hold in the freezer.

We ordered it new, without the ice maker and auto defrost, in order to save on amp draw.

The unit of course works when plugged into shore line, will of course run off a generator, and runs off the 3000W inverter when dry docked.  Going down the road it runs off the inverter and the bus generator recharges the inverter batteries faster than they are drawn.

We have used this set up for about 5 years now, and it works great for us.

Anything is possible, again like everyone says, "depending on your abilities, budgeting, amount of time available, etc...etc....

Welcome aboard, hope you get your future bus, and maybe we'll meet you guys down the road.

Chris & Cheryl Christensen
Eagle, ID
1974 GMC 4905-739
Logged

Chris & Cheryl Christensen
Ex-Bus Owners
Eagle, Idaho
brojcol
Jimmy
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 459




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2007, 04:32:26 PM »

Bus conversions is a lifestyle change Grin

If you've ever tried to go on a diet, you know you have to change your way of thinking if you want to be successful.  (Believe me, I know)!!!

Decide what you realistically want.  If you want bells and whistles with no headaches, you probably want to re-think a DIY job.

However, if you are reasonably talented in woodworking, welding, mechanics or like me, just a good dreamer, and if you have lots of relatives that can work cheap, you can have a very nice conversion for under $50,000 (let the flames begin, but be warned, I am now beginning every debate with "SCREW YOU").

I say GO FOR IT!!!
Logged

"Ask yourself this question...Are you funky enough to be a globetrotter?  Well are you???  ARE YOU?!?!

deal with it."            Professor Bubblegum Tate
JimC
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 201




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2007, 05:38:17 PM »

Darlene,
I suggest that you put where you live in your profile so people close to you can send you a private message.

This (and other) bus boards have a lot of people that are willing to invite you over just to talk and or show off their units, They are less likely to do so if they don't know where you live. 

As others have said read the archives, there is so much information there that it will take you weeks to catch up. By doing so, you will get an idea of how you are planning to use it, and then be able to judge a prospective bus with that in mind.

I have seen very nice units that were done for $30,000 to $40,000, I have seen great units sell for $100,000, and it goes up from there. Only you can decide what you want in a coach and what you want to spend.

Either way, good luck
Jim
Logged

4106 - 8-71/730
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
between Milwaukee & Madison
white-eagle
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1184





Ignore
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2007, 08:08:11 PM »

We bought our bus after attending an Arcadia rally in January over a year ago.  i am not a mechanic, but i can tell a screwdriver from a wrench.  i've made some changes to our bus.  My wife and i love it and hope it lasts as long as we can drive.

you should do what we did.  talk to lots of folks, look at all the buses for sale, decide how much time and money you have, and get a real busnut of some sort to help you inspect before you buy.
the salesperson was wrong.  you can buy a converted unit, a partial conversion, or a seated bus, then make the changes to make it yours.

We're in ohio most of the time and you're welcome to stop by.  good luck.
Logged

Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
oldmansax
Tom & Phyllis
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 988


'82 Bluebird Wanderlodge PT40




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2007, 04:23:48 AM »

I second (or third) most of the posts. It all depends on YOU! What YOU want, what YOU can afford, what YOU can and are willing to do.

We bought a '73 MCI MC7 already converted. We drove it home and have been using it ever since. I am a very good "hard mechanic" ..... engines, transmissions, wiring, etc, but not so good at sheet metal or carpentry. I just don't want to do it!  Grin Grin

We have tweaked a few things but mostly just use the bus & fix what breaks, so far, we have less than $30,000 in ours.

The only advice I can offer is some that has already been posted : DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This board & Bus Conversions mag are good places to start.

And last but not least, Have Fun!!!!  Grin Grin
Logged

'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
Delaware

DON'T STEAL! The government hates competition!
bernie
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 30




Ignore
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2007, 08:12:36 AM »

everyone on this board have given you very good replys. i bought a 4104 that was already converted, i have had pretty good luck so far. most of the problems have been mechanical,but not serious. when you buy a coach get a good bus mechanic to check it out for you. good luck
      Bernie
Logged
dumbone
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2007, 06:28:41 PM »

I have read all of your posts and thank you so much for the information all of you gave. We are still looking (taking our time) to find just the right one.. How would I find out about the rallies that are coming up? I would love to attend some and see whats out there. Hubby and I went to a rv place last weekend and ok..... some are nice but not what I want. Any input would be great.

Thanks
Darlene in Texas
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All   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!