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Old 12-19-2016, 02:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Angelus Oaks, CA
Posts: 28
Crown opinions please

Hello everyone,
I have been lurking for a long time enjoying all of your conversions. I am ready to start shopping and would like your opinion. I'm already set on a crown for multiple reasons. I found this one by me.

Says it has no mechanical problems and the engine and tyranny were rebuilt a few years ago. I guess my questions is about mileage, it has over 1.5 million on it. Is that excessive? I understand that a used vintage bus will have high Miles but that number kinda blows my mind. Any other tips on what to watch out for would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Park Hills, Mo.
Posts: 39
What a beautiful bus! Hope you can get it. I drove a semi truck for years and my first truck had a Detroit in it. I rebuilt it when it hit a million and a half miles. I sold it after I had put nearly another million on it after the rebuild. Of course I had to replace things along the way; starter, air compressor.. etc but the engine itself was basically bullet proof and I had minimal blow-by. Started right up each day and drove like it was new. Every oil change I religiously added 2 gallons of Lucas to the engine. I changed out the differentials once a year and added a gallon of Lucas to each one of them as well. Did the same for my transmission too. Never had to open up the diffs or tranny for any repairs. I guess I'm saying that diesel engines and supporting drive trains are designed to go the distance. Check the blow-by and have an engine oil analysis done to see if there is anything nasty in the oil. If all come back clean I'd say you got a jewel waiting to be polished.
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:28 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,594
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
Rated Cap: 2
thats a pretty cool bus!

the tandem drive is bad ass. i don't know much about crowns, but what i think i know is that should be an aluminum skin? mid engine pancake 671?. the doors on the side expose the motor and are not underneath storage.

the price seems low IMO. the mileage is probably on the replaced transmission, but i bet the motor has lots of miles on it.
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:45 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vacaville, Ca
Posts: 1,623
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown / Pusher
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
She's a buet, If I didn't already have mine I'd go for it.
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:59 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,119
Crowns are great buses and built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

All of the exterior panels except for a few pieces are all aluminum. Rust is not a problem with them unless it has been around salt and the frame is attacked. Sometimes you will get rust around the windshield frames and the rear emergency exit is also prone to rusting.

Looking at the curb side of the bus, the first compartment is usually the spare tire compartment. Many have that space converted to a luggage compartment and either don't carry a spare or have a spare suspended up between the frame rails behind the front bumper much in the same way pickups carry their spare.

The second compartment door is the right side engine compartment. The transmission and engine dipsticks are accessed here. The oil and fuel filters are in this compartment as well.

The third compartment door sometimes just opens up into empty space. Others have an additional luggage compartment added in this space. On many of the older Crowns the third compartment is the battery compartment.

On the driver's side of the bus the first compartment door is screened and protects the radiator. There is usually a little door that opens to add coolant.

The second compartment is the access to the engine compartment. The cooling fan will be at the front of the bus and you will see the head(s) of the engine right in front of you. If it has a turbo it will be right there as well. The auxiliary engine control panel is here. Make sure the ignition switch here is in the inside position. If it isn't, the key inside will NOT engage the starter. You will also be able to see the throttle linkage and the throttle pull off that will kill the engine. Most of the time the pull of is air operated. As a consequence the engine will NOT shut down until you have about 90 PSI built up.

The third compartment will usually have vents in it to allow air to enter the air cleaners. It will also usually have the batteries on newer buses.

This particular bus has been listed on CL many times over the last several years. The company that owns it doesn't really want to sell it but the clean air cops have given them a hard date beyond which they can longer operate the bus. Right now as a private individual the clean air cops will still let you operate it in CA but commercial use of 2-cycle Detroit Diesel engines is just about 100% eliminated now.

1.5 million miles isn't that many when you consider how old the bus is and how it has been used. A motorcoach of the same age could easily have 3x that many miles.

The asking price is not a bad price for that bus. It is about 1/3 of what A-Z Bus got for the last Crown they sold and less than half what the asking price was on this bus the first time it was offered for sale.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:21 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Angelus Oaks, CA
Posts: 28
Thanks everyone for your response. I hope to go look sometime next week!
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:40 PM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,717
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I'd snap it up if I had a way!
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:04 PM   #8
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 790
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
This Crown is well known to several members of the Crown Coach Junkies forum. It was originally owned by Mark IV, then by Laidlaw, then by American Transportation. If it was a factory automatic it may have been built as a Demo for Crown. Apparently there are lots of waves in the body panels.

My friend has a tandem Crown with a turbo 270HP 6-71T and 10-speed Road Ranger (and it's for sale!), and it has pretty decent power for climbing, not as good as his Gillig tandem with a Big Cam Cummins that romps up anything at 60MPH, but still a decent performer. When we were bringing it back from Northern California it climbed Tehachapi in 9th and 8th gear, so you should get similar performance with an HT740 that locks up in 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Check it thoroughly first, get oil samples done for the engine, transmission and differential, and watch for overheating on your test-drive. Make sure the transmission shifts correctly - they're very tough, but nothing lasts forever.

And if you buy it, please repaint it! Day-Glo snot green is not worthy of one of these fine buses!

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Old 12-20-2016, 11:43 PM   #9
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 115
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: Phantom Schoolbus
Engine: Detroit Diesel 6v92TA
Rated Cap: 84
It's sweet! Since you've already decided on a crown, this is probably all irrelevant, but thought I'd say it anyway. People have already covered the pros - reliability, simplicity, aluminum body, and amazing looks! The cons of this would be 10 tires to replace when they need replacing, rather than 6 - so 40% more expensive on an already expensive item. The midship engine means a more complicated job of finding good spots for your fresh/gray water tanks, and you have to leave the engine access hatch accessible inside the bus, so can affect floor plans. The windows slide down into the space below the windows, which makes it harder to insulate the walls (unless you're removing the windows).

I've got the same tranny in my 1988 gillig (HT740) - hoping for a long life with no problems. So far only put a couple thousand miles on it, and mine came with around 300k miles on the clock, so a much lower mileage bus (although I'm not really sure that matters too terribly much).
Visit my Skoolie resource website -
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:03 AM   #10
Almost There
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 85
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Ward/Amtram
Chassis: International 36ft
Engine: DT466 w/ Allison MT643
Iceni John got any info on your friend's crown? Length, conversion status, fuel eco (roughly), price range (pm if needed) etc?
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