Originally Posted by gmarvel
Even though Crowns were sold primarily in the Pacific states, they were built to effectively deal with rusting conditions. Things like using a thick marine plywood floor bolted to the frame instead of a steel floor that would rust.
I hear this all the time, but it just doesn't make any sense to me. Here are the reasons why:
1. The plywood may very well resist salt spray well, but it has to be supported by many steel beams, which will eventually rust if driven anywhere outside of the west coast. Road salt will embed itself between the plywood and beams and do away with them. The plywood alone won't contribute much support to the overall frame to keep things together. I have a sailboat. It has marine plywood. Though better than normal plywood, the stuff doesn't last forever. I have plenty that is in need of replacement.
The galvanized metal floor in my ol' salty Thomas - although rather rusty now - is still incredibly strong. It is essentially made up of about 20+ c-channel beams all welded together with additional 2.25" square tubing every 5 feet or so.
2. Though aluminum doesn't rust, it is still susceptible to galvanic corrosion. This is especially true when in contact with salt and other metals. Wherever insulators have worn through there will be holes in the aluminum and elsewhere (especially around the wheel well) I would expect to see pitting after 15 years driving the mid-west United States or Canada.
3. The place you'll find the most damaging rust is the undercarriage. As far as I know a Crown's undercarriage is all steel, like every other vehicle on the road.
4. I know these aren't as common, but I would DREAD having a Crown with the pancake engine up here. It's in the perfect spot to be constantly splattered with road snot. It's hard enough working with the big chassis bolts once they're rusted. I can't imagine what the engine would look like...
With all that said, I don't think Crown's are of inferior construction by any means, I just don't think they're any stronger (but they are certainly more stylish). Also, it does sound like they're built for specific regions. They do come with neat options, though. Air ride, big engines, 10-speeds, etc..
Now, the fact is that anyone on this forum won't be driving the damn thing as far as it drove during regular service, so one in decent shape should last perfectly well in any part of the world. No chance a local bus company would consider them, though.
Of course, all this must be taken with a grain of salt (hehehe). No Crown's exist out here. Would someone with a Crown drive out to the salt states/provinces and drive a school route for 15+ years please?
Oops.. sorry this was so off topic. I didn't realize the thread had come so far since this topic was brought up. I just found it in my email