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Author Topic: More poor engineering: replacing water pump on a Dina  (Read 3662 times)
belfert
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« on: September 02, 2007, 12:26:35 AM »

Did Dina's engineers think the owners of a Dina were just going to throw the bus away when the water pump and other routine service items needed service or replacement?  They designed things such that everything is jammed tight into the engine compartment.

The design of the engine compartment is such that major disassembly of various bits and pieces was required just to replace the water pump.  It would have been even more difficult to replace the water pump if the radiator had not already been out.  There is a water cooler for the tranny just behind the water pump that had to come out to get the pump out.  We also ended up removing most of the intake piping from the air filter to the turbo as it was in the way of getting the top hose back onto the water pump.

In the end, it ended up taking two of us at least four hours to replace the water pump, not including the run to get a new section of silicone hose.

The water pump was definitely bad as it had been leaking small amounts of oil through the weep hole as well as small amounts of coolant.

One bonus is I did find a tranny hose rubbing the frame rail and fixed that.
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2007, 08:39:20 AM »

No Brian they didn't design it to be thrown away!  There are countless #'s of Dinas running around down in lower Texas & Mexico (also many running line runs from Mexico to Dallas, Chicago. Detroit, and many other northern mega metropolitian areas) that they run, run ,run & rerun into the ground only fixing what they have to but they still keep going! As Bobby (my buddy who owns WTMC charter co.) says of his 2 Dinas (the first 2 coaches he bought when he started his co) "they are more or less the most dependable buses I have, sure they may have a problem from time to time. But they always make it home for repairs instead of having to be done right then and there on the side of the road or wherever, and I think that is because of the rugged use they were designed for in Mexico!" Now that quote is directly from a man who owns 2 Dinas, 2 MCI Rennisances, 1 Prevost H3-45, 1 MCI C3, &1 Van Drool 2041 (in his words "biggest piece of crap I own")!
Now for any and all of you please note I am using quotes and directly quoting the words of a professional motor coach co. owner in those quotes! Those are not my words (as I had to eat my words as I tried to talk him outta buying his Dinas before he did buy them! I told him all the things I'd heard about them being junk,yada,yada,yada, etc!)

Now as far as it being almost impossible to replace the water pump on your bus Brian, Dallas and I just examined one of those Dinas very well the other day when I had it here to use (I over booked and had to borrow a bus). And I can asssure you that since you don't turn wrench's for a living you are making it out to be harder than it really is! Dallas & I agree that the radiator & water pump job could both be done together as an 8 or less hour job! And I can personally assure you that I could replace the water pump in 4 hrs or less with out removing half of the items you mention. I looked it over very well and it is no more difficult than the Setra I just did recently for another customer! As a matter of fact you have the removeable access panel in front of the radiator to make it easier that the Setra doesn't have! I admit that after turning wrenches for a living you learn tricks and ways to do thinks easier that save time and hassle, but it's also not rocket science that buses are not generally easy to work on! BK
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2007, 08:59:10 AM »

Brian, if you need something to cry about start working on aircraft.>>>Dan
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2007, 09:05:19 AM »

Opps, I forgot! Brian good job on finding and fixing tranny hose!
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2007, 09:22:00 AM »

LOL  Cool
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belfert
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2007, 09:28:53 AM »

No doubt an experienced mechanic would probably not have needed to remove the air intake piping, and probably would have done it faster.  I don't know how any mechanic would have avoided removing the tranny cooler.  The water pump would not come out far enough to remove it with the bracket for the cooler in the way.  It had to come off.

The local Detroit dealer has a special to replace water pumps for $499, but they only build in 2 or 2.5 hours labor.  They have a disclaimer that specialized applications like motorhomes and bus could cost more.  I'm fairly certain they couldn't do it on a Dina for the special price.

I'm not real happy with the local Detroit dealer.  I actually brought the bus there to change the water pump and they said it was fine and the leak was in the radiator cap.  Well, the water pump was not fine.  It was still dripping coolant after the service work.  When I pulled the pump it had oil all over the bottom and when I returned the core the parts guy said oil leaking out the weep hole is not uncommon.  I also asked the Detroit dealer to find some oil leaks, but all they found was oil filters not tight.  (Last oil change was at another Detroit dealer!)  It was still leaking oil and I found and fixed two different leaks myself.

Sorry for getting off my original topic.
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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2007, 09:32:13 AM »

The good thing is it is done and I didn't spend $400 to $500 with a mechanic.  I am heading out to finish installing the radiator after I go to truck parts place to get a new hose to replace the one I left on the radiator. 

(Mechanics charge $90 to $105 an hour locally to work on buses.)
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2007, 09:34:40 AM »

I guess there is something to be said about lowly transit buses.  I replaced my water pump, but first had to remove the radiator-1/2 hour.  With the radiator out the "front" of the engine is right there where I could work sitting down and do a job that I had never done.  The old pump was out and new one in with the radiator reinstalled and running in about 6 hours.  We maybe limited by our gear selection because of the V drive, but boy do I like the serviceability of everything being right there and made to be serviced.  Some of the highway buses that come in that look truly scary to work on just amaze me at the lack of engineering-just sort of throw all the stuff in there you can.  One of the worst is the MCI Ren- had to do a transmission job and the tag axle had to be removed to get the transmission out!  Now that was a real Einstein.  Good Luck, TomC
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Dallas
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2007, 11:33:50 AM »

Photo of Brian's water pump
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Dallas
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2007, 11:36:26 AM »

Brian's Radiator
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tekebird
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2007, 11:45:42 AM »

yep most new vehicles do not have the home mechanic in mind when designed.

in fact most car dealers now make more from the service end than the sales end....so they don't care it boosts thier hourly totals.

the GM Coach was likely one of the easiest to work on, practically exerything accessable on the outside No crawling into holes  no need for a pit really

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belfert
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2007, 01:40:26 PM »

Brian's Radiator

Now folks can see why the radiator was so hard to get out.  The fan and all of that framework you see had to be removed.  I called MCI and confirmed it came out that way.

For the water pump I also had to remove that round thing you can see the bracket for in the photo.

And no, that is not my bus in the photos.  Bryce knows folks that operate Dinas.
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Sojourner
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2007, 02:05:18 PM »

Brian...I wish my old MCI-8 was as easy to remove Dina's radiator from looking at the photo. I am sure the Eagle's folks will say the same.
I think you need to work on others brands then you will be thankful.

Sometime...slide out engine & trans onto matching rails framing with casters is easier to get into deep areas.


FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2007, 05:09:21 PM »

Quote from: Sojourner
I think you need to work on others brands then you will be thankful.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry

AMEN!

Quote from: Sojourner
Sometime...slide out engine & trans onto matching rails framing with casters is easier to get into deep areas.


FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry       

And AMEN again!

Brian as I told you when you were looking at different coaches before you bought the Dina, they are one of the best there are when it comes to access panels for working on things! I'd love to have half of the size and locations of access panels your bus has on just about any other coach I have worked on! Now with that being said I have almost no experience with GM buses! YET And there are others I have little to no experience on, some by choice and others by lack of opportunity! LOL !
Now as far as the trans cooler having to come off I can personally say it DOES NOT HAVE TOO! yes the metal coolant line to it and also the support bracket! But I just did one on a Setra that has a 60 Series and B500 with trans cooler just like yours! from start to finish which includes draining coolant into large clean lined trash can (to be reused / dealer doesn't do this they sell you more!), removing necessary hose clamps & items, removing the pump, replacing the pump using all new hoses and clamps (to avoid future issues) and filtering and re pouring the coolant into gallon jugs to pour back it to system, double check everything before firing, run engine, add coolant & check again, test drive, and do final check out, park bus, clean up work area and tools, invoice customer! JOB DONE 4 hrs!
Like Utahclaimjumper said if ya want somethin to whine about try working on something difficult! Also slide over to WI and get some cheese! FWIW Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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belfert
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2007, 08:18:04 PM »

We didn't remove the tranny cooler completely.  We just unbolted it and dropped it down out of the way. 

If I had years of mechanical experience I probably could have done it in four hours with just one person instead of two people for the same amount of time. 

Does anybody besides Napa carry those Gates Powergrip SB clamps?  There are a dozen or more Napa stores locally and between all of them they had three of the 2.5" size in stock.
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TomCat
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2007, 08:21:09 PM »

Does anybody besides Napa carry those Gates Powergrip SB clamps?  There are a dozen or more Napa stores locally and between all of them they had three of the 2.5" size in stock.

NAPA should be able to get anything they sell in stock with one day notice.

Jay
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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2007, 08:39:59 PM »

Sure, some things are a PIA to replace (ever work on an old tractor?  Shocked), but to summarize a difficult job as 'poor engineering' . . . .  Huh

I'm having a hard time understanding your thinking. If you think the engineering is so poor, Why keep the darn thing? Or do you think some of the engineering was good?

How convenient to have it both ways. It's all to easy to criticise when you don't know the facts.


As someone involved with the design of machines for a living, I have a few observations.

It is amazing the volume of things that influence the final design decisions, & how some of the most trivial things can have the biggest impact.
(It is also amazing how stupid some in the design process are - including sales, marketing, engineering, management, customers, etc.)

It often seems that sales & marketing couldn't care less about service after the warranty period. Maybe it is beacuse customers are seldom interested in paying more for better design, all they focus on is the price & how to get it lower.
When I want to make something easier to service, the first question is "how much $$". That is usually followed with "the customer didn't pay enough for that".

If we were to give away features (when they weren't paid for), then my company would soon be bankrupt & I'd be out of a job.


Are we much different? Look at the success of walmart from offering the lowest price (often quality is the first to be sacrificed).

The simple fact that the water pump was replaceable just may be due to a great engineering effort given the criteria & existing parts they had to work with.

If any consider some of this is harsh, take a look at the thread subject line.

The bottom line is that most often, things are engineered for the warranty period to the initial purchaser. After all, that is who paid for it.
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2007, 01:19:53 AM »

Quote from: belfert
Does anybody besides NAPA carry those Gates Powergrip SB clamps?  There are a dozen or more NAPA stores locally and between all of them they had three of the 2.5" size in stock.

I don't know who all distributes them, but I do know here in Podunk middle of nowhere BFE TN/KY my NAPA only stocks 1 or 2 sizes also. But if I call them before 9:30-10:00 AM they have just about anything I order! Now being in a big ol' metropolitan area like the Twin Cities, I'll bet you that there is one honk'n big ol' NAPA warehouse/distribution center! I'll also bet that if you go to that distribution center you find a walk in parts counter where you can buy what yer after right then and there no waiting! FWIW!  The other option is to go to Gates website and use the contact us feature and ask them who all are registered distributors for the POWER GRIP CLAMPS! BK
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2007, 01:44:46 AM »

Kyle4501,

I see you own a bus which was designed, I believe to haul more packages & passengers, with a newly engineered driveline.

Looks like GM Poor marketing/engineering missed the mark. Also screwed up customer relations as well.

So new and revolutionary that Greyhound subsequently Stopped purchasing GM buses and purchased MCI company in total.

I enjoyed your comments in light of your 4901.
IMHO, your bus is still the greatest oldie of all time.
Belfert, you will get thru this and be better for it later. Couple of obsene yells, couple beers, couple of busted knuckes and you will be there.

Gary
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2007, 03:53:33 AM »

Gary, not sure where you got the 4901 from. Kyle has 4501's ( the 4901 was a prototype One off unit)

and as a matter of Fact, Greyhound stopped buying GM coaches as a result of Anti Trust Litigation.  They then went to Mack to have them develope a bus for them...and after studying that while under lease then then bought MCI and incorporated alot of the mack design features.

This is evidenced in the MC-6 which was the first MCI designed after Greyhound bought MCI.

GM Left the coach business many years after Greyhound stopped buying them...as well as Trailways ( trailways Bought Bus and Car the maker of Eagles)

For some time after GM stopped producing buses many operators stated they would still buy them if still made due to their build quality and ease of Maint.

Unfortunately single and pair bus orders did not cut the mustard with the Accounting department

Greyhounds last GM purchases were Suburban fishbowls and 4107's both because MCI was not able to supply the qty of buses that Greyhound required.




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tekebird
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2007, 04:05:29 AM »

Interestingly enough, I was one who tried to steeer brian away from Dina's, although I have limited experience with them I know people who have had a bit more...none with anything good to say.

IIRC Brians Decision was driven by two things.

His desire to have a Series 60 and what he could afford at that time.  An MCI with a 60 would have cost at least 10k more.  With his latest cost statement he may have been a bit less in the red with an MCi purchase.

I also warned of buying a bus from the dealer he bought from, Have not heard good things from anyone I have communicated with  about them.

No Maint Records, Bus from a third rate Southern Operator ( Guessing, operator unknown) Mismatched worn out tires.

Most of this dealers buses are units MCI/Van Hool would not take in trade, with quite a few Bank Repossessed units in there too.

I know of a few operators who run Dinas still, I do not have personal contacts with them but there are not many here in the North East.  States bordering Mexico have always had a fair number of Dinas even before the Viaggio.....likely due to the number of Mexican Nationals in those states who have experience with Dinas as well as these operators running into Mexico ( makes sence to buy a bus you can get serviced in Mexico if you go there alot).......

Also IIRC the Viaggio was a cool 100k cheaper than a bare bones MCI but more of a bus than one of the Light Duty Cutaways or Schoolbus type chassis units.

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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2007, 04:27:05 AM »

Just a comment on the 'ease of servicing' thing - I recently replaced the brake pads on my Lexus and COULD NOT BELIEVE how awkward the job was compared to my Range Rover. On the Range Rover the job involves removing two large split pins and pulling the pads out of the top of the caliper. On the Lexus the entire caliper needs to be removed from the car to access the pads. In addition the wear sensor on the Range Rover is held on by a metal clip and can be reused - on the Lexus it is press-fitted into a hole in the pad and must be replaced (being made of ceramic, any attempt to press it out of the hole just makes the sensor break up). Of course a new sensor is appalingly expensive for what is (literally) just a bit of bent wire with ceramic plug moulded over the bend. In addition the wear sensor itself on the Lexus is designed to wear away against the brake disk, thus breaking a circuit and triggering a warning light - thus once it has operated you need to buy a new sensor. On the Range Rover the sensor is re-usable as it makes it's circuit by having an exposed contact which touches and thus earths itself against the disk.

Range Rovers are designed to be repaired under a tree in the desert with the minimum of tools are parts. Lexuses are designed to be repaired by highly paid technicians in well-equiped workshops using the maximum number of expensive tools and replacement parts. Poor access to parts for repairs and servicing may in fact indicate very clever design and  engineering!

Jeremy
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2007, 05:19:18 AM »

Good Morning Tekebird,
I am glad you read much better than I type, yes you are correct on the 4501.

Thanks,

I am wondering as to why Greyhound would stop buying a third party manufacturers product and purchase a competitor's company to become vertically intergrated.

The latter is what anti trust laws were out to avoid.

Really not out to bash GM, Belfert, Teke, Greyhound, et al...

Enjoy the Holiday.

Gary

P.S. the Brakes on a '99 Mercedes are not a joy to replace either, despite the German engineering. The latter has been watered down by marketing decisions lately...




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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2007, 07:22:22 AM »

The GM antitrust suit was much larger than just greyhound.

GM owned National City Lines a company that ran many city bus lines.....guess what...they only bought GM's.

The choice to buy MCI was to garauntee a source of buses for themselves.  just as Trailways did with buying the manufacturer of Eagles

Both of these entities also sold to other buyers
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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2007, 07:35:45 AM »

Interestign factoid but Off topic from original

prior to the roll out of the Mack MV-620 that was commissioned by Greyhound  to replace GM products

Greyhound sent a Scenicruiser  as well as a 4104 to be dismantled my the mack engineering department.

In addition Scenicruisers were repowered by several different powerplants, MACK and MAN are two I know of.

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belfert
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« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2007, 07:49:21 AM »


His desire to have a Series 60 and what he could afford at that time.  An MCI with a 60 would have cost at least 10k more.  With his latest cost statement he may have been a bit less in the red with an MCi purchase.

An MCI with Series 60 would have been a LOT more than $10k more.  At the time I had not seen a DL3 for less than double what I paid for my Dina.  Yes, I've spent a fair amount on brakes, wheel bearings, and the like, but an MCI could have had the same problems.  With the money I've spent on the shell and mechanicals I'm still not up to what a DL3 would cost.  I could probably replace the engine with a third party rebuilt and then I would be at what an MCI would cost.

I never mentioned money in this thread other than the fact a mechanic would have cost around $400 to replace the water pump.  A water pump is a routine item to replace.  I only wish it they didn't manke you remove so much stuff to replace it.

Every time I tackle one of these projects it makes me more confident to tackle the next thing.  I'm still not going to replace brakes or wheel bearings as I don't have the proper tools and skills.
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« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2007, 08:05:45 AM »

Belfert- the actual skill to do a wheel bearing or brake job is not much.  The key hear is that those parts are heavy, you're dealing with having to safely support a very heavy vehicle while the hub is being worked on.  With bearings, you can take the hub to a truck dealer, or machine shop to have them press in new bearing races, and the seal tool is not all that expensive.  As to brakes- typically most just replace the entire brake drum and shoes.  I know that a brake drum for a truck (16.5" x 7") is less than $100.00 each and the lining kit about the same amount.  Course like on my bus, the 14.5" x 10" rear and 14.5" x 7" fronts will be more.  If you have time and the backing plates for the linings are still good, you can get your's relined.  Make sure you choose a lining that works well when cold.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2007, 08:13:16 AM »

I thought the Viaggio was a 40 footer?  or 41 or something...not a 45 footer?

I also forgot what you ended up paying.....I had also thought in a previous thread you had mentioned what you have put into it so far maint wise....perhaps my mistake
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« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2007, 08:17:28 AM »

I thought the Viaggio was a 40 footer?  or 41 or something...not a 45 footer?

I also forgot what you ended up paying.....I had also thought in a previous thread you had mentioned what you have put into it so far maint wise....perhaps my mistake

43'er
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« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2007, 08:22:41 AM »

anyone have a comparison interior length  Same class as a 40 foot or a 45 foot
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« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2007, 08:46:06 AM »

my 41 ft has 39 foot interior space.  I paid $82k for it, from Prevost. Bought it after 9/11, and it had sat on their lot for 2 years.  Paid less than they sold a sister bus to one of their own employees.  operators were all hurting and they all wanted the 45'ers for revenue production.

Somedays I think I did pretty well, others I think I must be crazy and it was WAAAY too much $.  Oh well, I'm still having fun.  Haven't had to put too much into it, although I did do tires and rims, new shocks just cause, and regular maint stuff.  Prevost had replaced the starter and radiator before I bought it.  390k miles
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belfert
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« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2007, 09:21:42 AM »

I thought the Viaggio was a 40 footer?  or 41 or something...not a 45 footer?

I also forgot what you ended up paying.....I had also thought in a previous thread you had mentioned what you have put into it so far maint wise....perhaps my mistake

Like Bryce said, 43 feet.  The Dina seems to have more space taken up in back by the motor than a MC-9 or similar since the Series 60 is tall.  The floor raises up about 6 inches and then goes to about 3 feet tall at 12 inches or so from the rear.  There is also an area in the rear on the driver's side that is about 15 inches tall to accommodate the radiator underneath.  I was able to work around most of the raised area in my floor plan.  I would say the clear floor space is similar to a 40 footer.

I did mention my maint costs in TomC's thread about buses being expensive.  I wasn't complaining, but rather trying to be realistic for someone who buys a bus without the skills to do the brakes and such.  Probably half the expense was due to neglect by the previous owner and the rest routine stuff that needs to be done periodically.

I wish brake drums for my Dina cost $100 each.  JD at C&J ordered the drums for about $300 each from MCI.  They did not fit and MCI insisted the part number was correct for a Dina.  JD found the right drums in Chicago, but they cost $600 each.  I have Q brakes and JD said Q brake drums have to be replaced instead of resurfaced.
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« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2007, 10:50:02 AM »

Quote from: belfert
I would say the clear floor space is similar to a 40 footer.

Brian although I don't think your bus has quite the floor space of a 45'er you definitely have more than a 40'er! OK for starters as a seated coach is has 52 large seats, and is still quite ROOMY, even with the area in the back that is behind the last seats that lots of people put coolers and stuff on! Everytime I drive one of Bobby & Norma's I constantly hear folks talking about how ROOMY it is! And have to agree it is a very comfortable arrangement with plenty of aisle space and easy to move around in (one of the easiest I've ever been in!). FWIW Grin  BK  Grin

PS besides you'd get more done to it if you were out working on it instead of playing on the computer! Ahhha didn't think we'd notice did you?! LOL!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2007, 10:51:54 AM by Busted Knuckle » Logged

Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
Sammy
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« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2007, 11:22:00 AM »

Jim, great price you paid for a low mileage Prevost.
390K miles, it's just broken in..................
Best of luck with your toy.
Sammy Cool
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belfert
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« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2007, 01:11:28 PM »

PS besides you'd get more done to it if you were out working on it instead of playing on the computer! Ahhha didn't think we'd notice did you?! LOL!

Hey, I've been out under the bus on my back for two hours trying to get the danged air dryer out so I can replace the cartridge.  I figured it would easier to do with the air dryer out of there, but I can't get the one air fitting loose. 

I came in the house to take a short break and to find my torch to try and heat the fitting a little bit.
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DavidInWilmNC
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1978 MC-8 as I bought it May 2005




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« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2007, 01:42:13 PM »

All this talk about poor engineering, difficulty in replacing items, etc makes my old MC-8 look simple.  I mean, my water pump is right there in front.  Sure, some things will be difficult to access... the air compressor, power steering pump, and alternator are all on the back (far side) of the engine.  I can crawl in there and get to most parts, though.  The radiators are simple to remove and install with a helper.  Sure, I may not get the best fuel economy, but it'll take a lot of miles to make up the difference in price of the bus.  Of course, an old, worn out 8V-71 can certainly be a P.I.A.  As to brands, I wanted an MCI due to the fact that there are so many around - I see -8's and 96A3's around town regularly doing shuttle service.  The power may be lacking, it may be only 96" wide, and it definitely doesn't look even slightly modern, but for a first time 'bus buyer', I certainly can't bitch (much) about my old tech. MC-8 and 8V-71.

David
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