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Author Topic: I'm officially the owner of a new(?) 4104.  (Read 4802 times)
zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« on: August 13, 2007, 03:24:54 PM »

It is a nice straight bus, no rust, doesn't smoke, all the conversion stuff is in, needs some sprucing up, but everything but the gen set is there.  The PO kinda messed up the electrics, and there are a few minor issues, but someone did some nice maintenance on this bus.  New air bags, generator, blower, brake pads.  It has stock power steering which works nice, has the all aluminum rear suspension which is pretty, big old 4'X2' propane tank for the furnaces and stoves etc... Appears to have a propane powered ac unit (is this possible?)  Anyhow there is no rust which is the big deal and the price was a total barn find ($1950.00 US).  The price really offsets the unknown/trouble spots as I have a hard time imagine getting less than that for it in scrap.  But the bus really is not a scrap bus, I took a chance, paid a deposit unseen, went out last week to look, and after a little thought, bought it.  My camera broke half way through the inspection, so I don't even have a decent pic but it looked nicer in person than in the pics emailed to me.  I will put a rough pic in my album here.  Nice to take a chance and have it pan out, now I just need to get it home and passed safety inspection.  This may be an amusing foray into errors and I told you so but I don't really mind as making mistakes and learning from them is part of the game.  I hope to use this site and others to help me up the steep learning curve of this beast.  I am a decent wrench with lots of old motorcycle and old car experience, this is my first diesel bus, my first air brakes bus, but I used to run some late sixties schoolies, an International and a Dodge.  I like the air ride and I like having the motor away from me when I'm driving, and once I have this puppy sorted I'll take it down to Mexico for a bit.  So I'm psyched, and maybe I'll get a PDA so I can email my troubles from the road like Dutch did, should prove entertaining if nothing else.  Thanks in advance for your support, I have been using forums for years now to source parts and info on older vehicles, there is really nothing better than  collective knowledge for these projects, maybe in a couple of years I will even have some of my own.  Thanks as always, Patrick
« Last Edit: August 13, 2007, 03:27:55 PM by zubzub » Logged

bubbaqgal
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2007, 03:32:44 PM »

Congratulations!!!  Sounds like you got quite a good deal.  Take some good pictures when you can and post them for us.  Can't wait to see them.  Cat
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2007, 03:54:46 PM »

Congratulations Patrick,  the 4104 is a nice bus and you should have many enjoyable miles in it.  Welcome to the insanity and never feel afraid to ask a question here.  Someone will know the answer or make it up Smiley

Frank
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2007, 03:57:12 PM »

Wow- $1,950 is REALLY cheap-what a steal.  Good Luck with it and let us know what you find so we can assist.  TomC
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 04:25:15 PM »

Hi Patrick,

Congratulations on the Bus and deal.

All the information you ever needed is just a question away.

You can't stump this bunch, so ask away!

Cliff

ps Welcome to the GM Owners Group, but don't brag, the others get jealous and act like there bus is better!  Tongue
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superpickle
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 04:45:02 PM »

Vrey Good, I sold one for $1000.00 a few months ago that was a Mess inside.. and Needed Lots of stuff, But the guy Drove it 800 miles home..
You need to post some Pics and Tell us how it drove ?

Congrats....... < Busnut>.........  Grin

Paul...
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2007, 05:28:39 PM »

sweet! send pictures!
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2007, 05:30:51 PM »

AWLRIGHT!!! Nice going. Welcome to the board.  Lots of help here.  Man, I'm jealous.  Hoping to have a bus of my own soon.  Congrats!
Dennis
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2007, 07:02:50 PM »

Congratulations on your new experience in bussing!

Have fun, stay safe and most of all enjoy what you are about to do! Take pleasure in everything, drive it, change what you want when you can, most of all drive it.

Happy Trails,

Paul

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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2007, 07:10:19 PM »

Congrats on the deal of the century and I"M Jealeous!!! Grin

welcome to the nut world. 

Pic, Pics!!!!!!!!!
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2007, 09:03:07 PM »

Hi Patrick,

Welcome! & Congrats!

Enjoy your new found hobby... You get your hands dirty, and dirty, and dirty, and dirty again...Lol

Have Fun
Nick-
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 09:42:50 PM »


Wow! What a great price. You would find that just about any bus that age probably has a wiring issue or two. When things get better around my parts I will post some of my wiring troubleshooting fun. I love being a DIY type of guy, and the more I get to work on my bus the more my confidence grows. The bus wiring freaked me out the first time I saw it, but now itís just another system. With all of the money you saved on the bus buy yourself a set of manuals ASAP! Itís very difficult to correctly do repair work without them. It would be almost impossible to do wiring repairs. Looking forward to your photos.

Congratulations,

Laryn
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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2007, 05:53:35 AM »

Thanks you to everyone for your encouragement.  I have the maintenance manual already (free PDF at pd4104.com) I just need a parts manual if I can get one.  I have started looking online for truck suppliers for tie rod ends and stuff.  A few people have told me that normal wear items are available, but I haven't managed to find listings for 4104s...I'll keep looking.  I guess right now the 1st order will be driving it home, 1100 miles through rolling hills, some of which really slow down the big rigs...I'll probably do that in a month or so...Patrick.
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superpickle
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2007, 08:18:29 AM »

Thanks you to everyone for your encouragement.  I have the maintenance manual already (free PDF at pd4104.com) I just need a parts manual if I can get one.  I have started looking online for truck suppliers for tie rod ends and stuff.  A few people have told me that normal wear items are available, but I haven't managed to find listings for 4104s...I'll keep looking.  I guess right now the 1st order will be driving it home, 1100 miles through rolling hills, some of which really slow down the big rigs...I'll probably do that in a month or so...Patrick.


Blah... Blah.... BLAH.. Where are the PICS
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2007, 09:11:28 AM »

Yeah, you tell him, Pickle!!  We wanna see pictures of this monster.
Dennis
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Danny
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2007, 12:19:59 PM »

Great   Grin

Danny
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kyle4501
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2007, 12:24:18 PM »

For parts, try US Coach. They will be able to fix you up! They really know their GMC's
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2007, 06:44:26 PM »

Patrick, if you were to believe that scudder from FL...named Cliff...you'd think that us MCI guys wouldn't want to welcome you to the ranks of the finest folks I know....so, don't place too much stock in his off hand comments.

Welcome to the world of Bus Conversions and feel free to ask any of us for an honest answer...except Cliff....he's sooo swept up in this GM thing he doesn't realize that MCI's or even Bluebird's exist!  Grin

But if you're like most of us...and you find the time....you won't find a BusNut you won't like.

Enjoy, and if you ever have the opportunity to meet them, you'll find Cliff and Julie and their family are among the greatest people in our hobby.  I just like to rib the devil out of him!

NCbob
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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2007, 08:08:12 PM »

Sorry about the pics, my camera went stupid as I was crawling under the bus, never really came back from that experience, probably need a new one.  I guess three years of hanging out on construction sites was too much for it.  In a month or so I will post pics of me driving home.  patrick.
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2007, 08:40:41 PM »


Thanks you to everyone for your encouragement.  I have the maintenance manual already (free PDF at pd4104.com) I just need a parts manual if I can get one.  I have started looking online for truck suppliers for tie rod ends and stuff.  A few people have told me that normal wear items are available, but I haven't managed to find listings for 4104s...I'll keep looking.  I guess right now the 1st order will be driving it home, 1100 miles through rolling hills, some of which really slow down the big rigs...I'll probably do that in a month or so...Patrick.


Patrick -

~~ It's a LOT easier to find GMC bus parts from companies that deal with the bus industry, not trucking.  Granted, there are shared items, but often, due to their age, they're buried in an old dusty catalog back behind a desk. That the pimply-faced teen-ager working the counter hasn't a clue about what you're looking for, let alone know how to research and find it.  "If it's not in the computer, we don't carry it" will be the most often heard line from these new generation parts guys. 

~~ BEFORE you start driving this beast home, be sure that the brakes are functioning properly.  They're the #1 SAFETY item on your vehicle.

~~  DO NOT LUG THE ENGINE!!  When you start pulling grades through the rolling hills, keep the revs up.  The two-strokes pull best w/o overheating between 1700 - 1900 on a partial throttle.  You should still be able to accelerate from 1900 > 2100.  If not, then it's time to drop another gear.  Watch the exhaust carefully for black smoke - when you see it, back out of the throttle somewhat.  IF the coach speed stays steady, you're ok.  But if the speed starts falling off, and more throttle brings back the black smoke, it's time to downshift.  It won't hurt that big old 6-71 to wind it up. . .

(Check out the comments about shifting and pre-trip inspections in the "Articles of Interest" section on the BNO BBS for more tips.)

~~  Parts manuals show up on eBay now and then, but you might send Tekebird a PM and see if he's still got some.  If he doesn't, he might know of someone who does.  Oh, and there's also a VERY rare maintenance manual supplement to the 4104, too.  It may, or may not, be included on that CD. . .

~~  Where did you say you found this coach? 

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink

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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2007, 06:43:16 PM »

duluth minnesota.  Been sitting for 2 yrs, PO has MS and is in hospital.  Wife was selling it for him.  Nice people.  Brakes seemed good, I will double check the travel and adjust the handbrake before I go.  I really want spring brakes, but that will have to wait.  The brake pads are nice and thick, the engine doesn't seem that powerful, but really 225? 250? horses on something this size is pretty mellow.  Thanks for the tips on driving, the stock mirrors really suck on these ( or maybe it just takes awhyile to get them adjusted right) so watching my exhaust will be hard.  Bus doesn't smoke on start up which is nice.  patrick
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2007, 08:33:03 PM »

Quote
the stock mirrors really suck on these ( or maybe it just takes awhile to get them adjusted right)

No, they suck no matter how much you use them. I don't know how they got away with them for so many years. New ones are on my wish list, but until then, I am going to add the wide angles to the tops like a lot of others have.
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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2007, 02:50:49 PM »

I like my stock mirrors just fine once they are adjusted. I also have a 4" spot convex in the bottom left corner of the RH mirror which shows vehicles alongside.

If you adjust the mirrors so they just barely show the sides of the bus they work much better. For backing you can lean slightly to change the view. It would be very nice if they were electrically adjustable but they sure look great.
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