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Old 12-23-2018, 11:44 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: California
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Advice on Bus Conversion

Long time lurker learning what I can from the posts on the forum. The forum posts have been really helpful so thanks to everyone.

My partner and I started looking into a skoolie conversion but after much research, we are pretty sure we want to go with an 40' MCI conversion with a Detroit Diesel 8V92 so we can have a toad. We are shortys at under 5'5" each so the 6'9" space seems like it would be plenty of headroom without a roof raise. We plan to live/travel/work full time for a while in the conversion.

We are looking at pulling the trigger soon and wondering if you might have some advice.

Right now we are looking at these 2 busses.

1977 MC-8
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto...773441807.html

and a 1993 MCI C
https://www.ebay.com/itm/MCI-C-40-fo...AJB9:rk:1:pf:0

BUS TO RV & CA SMOG
We love the steel/aluminum exterior of the 1977 and since we live in CA I think the 1977 bus to Auto title won't need to pass smog if I understand correctly?

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
As a newbie my research on the forum has educated me on checking out the tire condition and looking for leaks as well as rust on the body.
What else might you recommend inspecting when checking out a potential bus?

Thanks for any and all advice. I have learned so much from the forum and appreciate all the posts.
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:24 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,542
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
A couple of things (among many) to consider:

The older bus likely has the 8v71 and an HT 730 or 740. The newer one has an 8v92 and a likely a newer generation transmission.

The difference in highway performance between a '71 and a '92 is significant.

If no other factors were involved, I would pick the 8v92 equipped bus. But there are lots of other factors to consider.

Including the reputation of the seller...... I think that I may know the seller of the newer bus and would recommend STRONGLY that you have it thoroughly inspected before purchase.

I may be mistaken but "buyer beware"....
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:27 PM   #3
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Year: 2002
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Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
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HwyBus.com - BEWARE - Mike Kadletz - MotorCabins.com - GoBusing.com
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:13 PM   #4
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this is great input. I will have to do more reseach to get to learn more about the differences from the 8v71 vs 8v92. Just a quick google search and it already looks like the 8v71 can get as low as 6mpg.

thanks PNW Steve. and yes, I will beware and have any bus inspected before we make a move.
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:13 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2016
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Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I drove a 40' Eagle bus 250k miles driving more highway miles than city.

My mileage was pretty consistent at 7.25mpg.

The 8v71 and 8v92 are very similar in design. The notable difference is displacement. 71 cubic inches per cylinder Vs 92 cubic inchs per cylinder.

Both sport cylinder sleeves. 8v71 has dry sleeves, the 8v92 has wet sleeves.

Both were offered in turbo and naturally aspirated. Non turbo 8v71 are relatively common. I have yet to actually see a non turbo 92.

I loved my old 8v71 and will in some manner have one again someday as a "toy". But.... A more modern four stroke i6 diesel has a lot going for it and may be a more practical choice.

The 8v71 went out of production in the '80's and a few years later the 6v92 and 8v92 went electric (DDEC)
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:42 PM   #6
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Location: Orange County, CA
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Year: 1990
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Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
If you have your heart set on a 8V92, find a bus with the best cooling system for it. 8V92s are the most difficult engines to cool in a RE bus, so large radiators and a top-condition system are crucially important. An MC8 has smaller radiators than later MCIs, which means that for travel in hotter areas you'll always be fighting heat with an 8V92.

John
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:06 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,542
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Yeah, I met a gent who swapped an8v92 into an MC8.

He fought with cooling issues constantly.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
If you have your heart set on a 8V92, find a bus with the best cooling system for it. 8V92s are the most difficult engines to cool in a RE bus, so large radiators and a top-condition system are crucially important. An MC8 has smaller radiators than later MCIs, which means that for travel in hotter areas you'll always be fighting heat with an 8V92.

John
Good to know. Thanks

I just found a 1990 102-C3 ( https://albuquerque.craigslist.org/r...773033791.html ) which from what I understand is a little taller - this one has the 8V92TA so should be good for mountains and a tow vehicle.

I really love the look of the older MC-5 through MC-12s with the aluminum(?) front end but the more I research the more I learn I think the engine that a newer engine is really what we will need being west coasters with mountains and all.
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:25 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your help thus far. I think we found a bus with all the specs we need.

It's a 1990 MCI 102-C3 with a 8v92T. Photos look good and video shows a nice clean rebuilt engine and running strong on the highway.

Do you know of a service or someone who knows MCI's and is in the Albuquerque, NM area to have a good look over the bus before I head out there.


Would appreciate any and all input.

Bus photos below just cause I know some of you will want to have a look









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