Author Topic: Want to look at some conversions  (Read 3509 times)

Offline brmax

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #75 on: June 10, 2018, 05:49:57 PM »
If we are and as many here have already, some several times build and built a custom coach. Lets be a bit patient and hopefully enjoy whatever were all doing with the conversions.

This new coach search and build is typical in the fact other things are happening in life. So organizing some task plans are key. Like many of these things we are unfamiliar with. Just keep at it! Many know from a whole lifes work this is but one project of many to have some fun with.

Using you own locale for your base title setup is best. Imo, I mean if they use the national standard then as listed before, these items need fitted and securely. Also this can get you on the move. Particularly in a staged build as Im gathering.

Good day

Floyd

1992 MC9
6V92
Allison

Online Jim Blackwood

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #76 on: June 11, 2018, 07:58:59 AM »
You guys are funny. ;D Are you really trying to tell me to just forget about the whole idea? Because that sure is what it sounds like from this end. How many people told YOU to just forget it? And did you listen? If you did, why are you here? I'm guessing you didn't. So do you really hate the direction you went so badly that you want to scare everyone else off? Sounds serious. Why don't you quit? Must be a reason.

Never did get the answer about what caused the breakdown. Was it the bull gear? Andy had that go out but he was able to recognize what was going on and schedule his trips so he could tear down the front of the engine and replace it at the home base. The gear didn't just fail without wearing first. Noise, metal in the oil, these things have to be paid attention to. A healthy engine has a certain rythem. If it changes there is a reason that needs your attention.

Almost sounds like jealousy. (I don't have a new bus, why should you get to have one?)

Better don the old asbestos suit after that I suppose.

Jim

Offline brmax

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #77 on: June 11, 2018, 08:45:53 AM »
 :)
I use to watch on tv a great show, in the begining the director would issue task to get done. Whats funny is following the task assignment there always was the;
Good luck Jim


Rock On!

Floyd
1992 MC9
6V92
Allison

Offline windtrader

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #78 on: June 11, 2018, 10:14:02 AM »
Good morning Jim!

Sorry, I sort of laughed at your post. Took you longer than me to figure out this is a tough crowd. Remember, I'm still a noobie of about 20 months from birth to just a year since buying one. The folks here are truly being helpful, this is not some typical social media site where people just flap their gums and say dumb $#!%. Hang in here and you will thank yourself endlessly.

Here's the deal - I'll rephrase some of my more nuanced remarks. You need to take time and you are doing so to learn enough to establish realistic expectations on what your reality is then build a prioritized checklist to start hunting for the coach that meets your needs and desires.

My recommendation to continue extracting and utilizing the tremendous knowledge here. Start that list and have the discussion here focus on that. If you choose to participate, your checklist will represent a well thought out and vetted set of realistic requirements to bring your ideal purchase into laser focus.

If I may, let me suggest of few to seed the list. Pursue as you wish. Maybe this is so obvious but I've no recollection of the topic of documentation. Personally, this item goes in the top three. Another is inspection by professional bus mechanic. Physically visit, thoroughly inspect, and drive the bus before committing your heart or mind.

One other recommendation is work doggedly to keep the non-critical items on the "nice to have list". For example, I recollect you mentioning a 102" wide coach. Unless you have something you need inside that is 101" then it is not critical. Concentrate on the critical requirements in context to your realistic budget of a very modest coach. You can wait and get more but that is an entirely different discussion (i.e. NEVER call a used bus an "investment").

Let me share a funny story. When I came here, I asked a lot of questions for a long time too. Not too long after the questions started, the peanut gallery started making reference to some other past potential bus owning nut. There were heckles about me being another "Bill", asking lots of questions then I assume either getting chased away or not buying a coach. Hummer.., maybe he is here, just did not seem likely based on the comments. Toward the end of the prepurchase period (6-7 months), there were cracks from the peanut gallery like "Just go buy one!" Well, that was reassuring in an ironic way as that indicated I had asked enough questions, learned enough, and was ready to pull out the checkbook.

Here I am a year later post purchase and the 39MT starter post represent my very first time putting a wrench on my bus to repair something. Knock on wood and a pat on the back - I did my homework, took my time, and it paid off.
Don F
1976 MCI/TMC MC-8 #1286
Fully converted (June 2017)

Offline eagle19952

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #79 on: June 11, 2018, 10:39:19 AM »
Good morning Jim!

Sorry, I sort of laughed at your post. Took you longer than me to figure out this is a tough crowd. Remember, I'm still a noobie of about 20 months from birth to just a year since buying one. The folks here are truly being helpful, this is not some typical social media site where people just flap their gums and say dumb $#!%. Hang in here and you will thank yourself endlessly.

Here's the deal - I'll rephrase some of my more nuanced remarks. You need to take time and you are doing so to learn enough to establish realistic expectations on what your reality is then build a prioritized checklist to start hunting for the coach that meets your needs and desires.

My recommendation to continue extracting and utilizing the tremendous knowledge here. Start that list and have the discussion here focus on that. If you choose to participate, your checklist will represent a well thought out and vetted set of realistic requirements to bring your ideal purchase into laser focus.

If I may, let me suggest of few to seed the list. Pursue as you wish. Maybe this is so obvious but I've no recollection of the topic of documentation. Personally, this item goes in the top three. Another is inspection by professional bus mechanic. Physically visit, thoroughly inspect, and drive the bus before committing your heart or mind.

One other recommendation is work doggedly to keep the non-critical items on the "nice to have list". For example, I recollect you mentioning a 102" wide coach. Unless you have something you need inside that is 101" then it is not critical. Concentrate on the critical requirements in context to your realistic budget of a very modest coach. You can wait and get more but that is an entirely different discussion (i.e. NEVER call a used bus an "investment").

Let me share a funny story. When I came here, I asked a lot of questions for a long time too. Not too long after the questions started, the peanut gallery started making reference to some other past potential bus owning nut. There were heckles about me being another "Bill", asking lots of questions then I assume either getting chased away or not buying a coach. Hummer.., maybe he is here, just did not seem likely based on the comments. Toward the end of the prepurchase period (6-7 months), there were cracks from the peanut gallery like "Just go buy one!" Well, that was reassuring in an ironic way as that indicated I had asked enough questions, learned enough, and was ready to pull out the checkbook.

Here I am a year later post purchase and the 39MT starter post represent my very first time putting a wrench on my bus to repair something. Knock on wood and a pat on the back - I did my homework, took my time, and it paid off.

Now you're part of the peanut gallery...
Ignore me if you like :)
A whole year in ?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 04:10:37 PM by eagle19952 »
Donald PH
1978 Model 05 Eagle w/Torsilastic Suspension,8V71 N, DD, Allison on 24.5's 12kw Kubota.

Offline Scott & Heather

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #80 on: June 13, 2018, 05:26:39 AM »
Sorry Jim,

I promise I didn’t intend to sound jealous or discouraging...I just happen to have a couple of friends who jumped into a conversion project, lost a substantial amount of money just transporting, gutting it, and fixing mechanical gremlins only to never even convert it and are now trying to sell gutted chassis for pennies. It’s kind of heart breaking to watch. I even just spent a day with a friend who has a gorgeous eagle in his pole building with brand spanking new tires, a really nice conversion, stainless steel holding tanks, brand new Alcoa rims and a blown 8v92. He can’t afford to replace it so the coach is just sitting. He’s so torn up about it after putting years of work and money into it only to have the motor fail. He’s just done. Ask John 3:16, he also knows the pitfalls of coach ownership and stated how much of a relief he felt when he finally sold his lol. I personally would not own a coach if it weren’t necessary for me to take my family with me on my business travels...it’s just too much drama for me to keep a bus as a hobby.

That being said, when I’m not underneath my coach fixing it, I do enjoy living in it. I enjoy being able to take my home with me and keeping my family of four comfortable out on the road. I enjoy driving something big and stable with quite the commanding view of the road and converting my buses was actually somewhat fun. I had $60,000 into my first bus and I have almost $70,000 into my second Bus. Spending that much money is definitely fun if not a little painful. 

To answer your questions:

That tow was just one of a few I’ve had over the years, and trust me, there’s no planning or prepping for road failures like you are suggesting. I had a relay fail in the rear junction box that killed all 12v power to my ECM. Dead in the water until I figured it out (took me 4 days with a multi meter). My first bus had a catastrophic radiator blowout. Had no idea the rads were ready to blow. Can’t really haul around a spare radiator and you don’t replace them just for the heck of it at $1500 a piece. My most recent sideline was a blown transmission cooler hose. Once again, can’t plan or predict that will happen. That one hose was just shy of $200 so I don’t go around replacing hoses on my coach just as normal maintenance. Now some people buy a coach and convert it and almost never actually drive it...in that case you’re probably never going to have to deal with major issues. But we put over 15,000 miles a year on ours so we see our fair share of drama. I don’t think anyone is questioning your capability...my guess is when you convert your bus, I’m really going to be jealous of your mad skills making it nice...I think the group here is just adding a very heavy (like 40,000 lbs worth) dose of reality to anyone coming to the forum asking about Bus ownership. Probably because you asked. If you’re set on getting a coach, I would steer clear of asking questions about coach ownership and issues, and just simply ask about the advantages or disadvantages of different models. Are you more interested in 102” wide units? 40 feet long? Shorter? MCI or Eagle or VanHool or Setra? Having owned two two stroke coaches I would steer clear of them and stick with a four stroke which I think you mentioned you wanted a 60 series anyway. Btw, your friends semi truck is a much easier beast to mess with than a bus. Which is precisely why more and more truck repair shops are refusing service on coaches...don’t ask me how I know 🙄. Eyes wide open...and enjoy the process. Converting and owning a bus is a nutty thing to do but I’m committed now so I’ll keep on keeping on until I can afford to build a truck conversion.


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
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Online Jim Blackwood

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #81 on: June 13, 2018, 06:27:27 AM »
Well the situation has changed somewhat. I want to start out by saying how much I've appreciated and enjoyed all the comments both positive and negative. Anyway, yesterday Dave went out and bought an older S&S, a 31 ft Fleetwood Flair. So we'll be working on that for a bit to get it up to snuff.

That has not removed the interest in a bus conversion, but what is does is give us some breathing space and stretch out the time schedule. There is now no particular urgency. In fact, if I can find the right deal it is entirely likely that I will have a bus before Dave does. But my deal is a little different. For starters, I'll be on an even tighter budget that he was, and the integrity of the drivetrain and shell will be practically my only concern going in.

As you say Scott, decide what you want. I pretty much have. An MCI 102 D3 is the target. I've seen them for $10K. I've seen DLs for less. But I'll either have to trade or convert assets to currency. I have about $5K in gold and silver coins, an enduro worth about $2500 and a few grand in the bank. Finding the right trade is likely to be problematical.

But, all part of the fun, yes?

Jim

Offline windtrader

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #82 on: June 13, 2018, 08:42:14 AM »
Congrats on the purchase. We often bash S&S but there is nothing wrong with them if they serve your needs best. There is no one here who would disagree with the fact you avoided a serious time and money pit. Your son would never be able to live in the bus until far beyond the needed timeframe.

Please stay around and keep learning and seeking knowledge from the most capable body of bus experts in the USA.

Good luck, don
Don F
1976 MCI/TMC MC-8 #1286
Fully converted (June 2017)

Online Jim Blackwood

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #83 on: June 14, 2018, 07:27:02 AM »
Is there a time of year when the transportation companies take delivery of new buses and trade in or sell their old ones?

Jim

Offline brmax

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #84 on: June 14, 2018, 08:46:54 AM »
I havent seen that Jim, in the scheme of things its always a bid thing.

With awarded bids a process of delivery takes some people from both camps so to speak. As the winning bid company delivers, the recieving company ( in my world ) always has personnel to accept these units.

They may park them on their lot but they are human to and can only put in service one at a time, while removing its traded unit the same way, preparing it for sale.

We often only see the lot full and empty but this is the process, and believe it or not government and military are in my opinion the most effecient at this and should be actually.

This smartly follows with inspections in several levels of measure. Many companies are involved typically with their accessories installations and or decals etc.. or mine was in both situations mentioned.


Good day

Floyd
1992 MC9
6V92
Allison

Offline richard5933

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #85 on: June 14, 2018, 02:12:12 PM »
Jim - I'm curious if there was a single factor that pushed the decision? Cost, timing, complexity, etc?
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
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Online Jim Blackwood

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #86 on: June 14, 2018, 05:59:45 PM »
Yeah, well really I suppose it was a combination of things but we've been able to look at MH's locally, while the pickings for a bus were always few and far away. It's a tough call to drive 700 miles one way just to look at a prospect that may not be anywhere near as described. So we ran across the Fleetwood locally, mechanically it was in good shape, needed some cosmetics and a little work but basically sound and all there. And like you guys said doing the conversion will unavoidably take time. Then there was the whole thing about changing it to an RV registration, nowhere near a certain thing in this state and could take an unlimited number of attempts. Plus, driving the bus home after purchase would be risky without a CDL. Plus Dave's been living with us long enough. I don't mind but pressure has been building and this was the easiest way to take the pressure off everyone. So overall I think it was the right call and Dave made the deal after we looked at it and drove it. $9K for a '98 with 60K mikes, it should last him until he's ready to move up. By then maybe I'll have a bus, and may even consider selling it to him at that point. Which basically means I'm still looking and marshaling funds but there's nothing pushing me to be in a hurry about it.

I'm thinking the 102D3 rather than the DL might be the better call. Not because it turns any sharper, I think they both have the same turning radius from what I've been able to find, but just because they are accepted at more parks.

Jim

Online lvmci

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #87 on: June 15, 2018, 08:53:18 AM »
Well Jim, it seems like you've thought thru the deal, you're correct in thinking a 45' is not able to park in as many places, even a 38' motorhome can't park in a lot of parks. The "D"s are a great bus, the most every made of any model. The "C"s are good buses too, especially if you can find one with the single rear radiator and a DD60 mechanical engine. you may even have a better chance of finding one semi converted for a cheap price, lvmci...
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 08:55:37 AM by lvmci »
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Offline buswarrior

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #88 on: June 15, 2018, 04:04:21 PM »
Is there a time of year when the transportation companies take delivery of new buses and trade in or sell their old ones?

Jim

Typically in these parts, for a first line fleet, new coaches get delivered in the Spring, ahead of the building school trip and summer tour season. The "trade-ins" are kept via various leased-back arrangements to build up the fleet size thru the busy season/nice weather, up until the end of the fall colour touring beyond Thanksgiving and then sent to the dealer.

Happy coaching!
Buswarrior
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Online Jim Blackwood

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Re: Want to look at some conversions
« Reply #89 on: June 16, 2018, 08:15:50 AM »
I see, so late fall and early winter might be better hunting seasons then? That could work.

Jim