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Old 03-23-2010, 11:55 AM   #1
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Engine noise on a flat nose

Don't own one yet, but I pretty convinced I want a flat nose bus. My question is, how much noisier is a front engine compared to a pusher? What's everyone's opinion on which is better? The noise factor could be a big one, but when I *do* get a bus, it's going to be used to haul motorcycles around and having a rear door would be nice...

So, is the quiet of a pusher worth it?
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

Quote:
Originally Posted by jugganaut
Don't own one yet, but I pretty convinced I want a flat nose bus. My question is, how much noisier is a front engine compared to a pusher? What's everyone's opinion on which is better? The noise factor could be a big one, but when I *do* get a bus, it's going to be used to haul motorcycles around and having a rear door would be nice...

So, is the quiet of a pusher worth it?
I went through EXACTLY the same thought process when I was looking for my bus. I too wanted a rear door to make a toy hauling space. I went and looked at a number of front and rear engine buses and the front engines are pretty darn loud.

Then I talked to a friend who converted a Bluebird front engine and went full time for 2 years. His biggest single piece of advice was to get a rear engine. He said not only is it noisy, but front engines are the most difficult to access when working on them. (Dognose is the easiest, rear engines are in the middle). Also the heat generated from the engine, when in traffic for example, can be rough.

Another big factor for me was the space underneath. A rear engine has no drive line or exhaust running down the length of the bus. This gives you a significant increase in space and flexibility underneath.

The bottom line is, everyone has their own wants and needs and you should buy the bus that best fits your criteria. Just make sure you're aware of all the pros and cons. For me a pusher was the way to go.

If your handy with a welder, you could always make a drop down side door toward the back end.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:42 PM   #3
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

Thanks so much, I'm glad I got two different biased opinions. This will help me decide. Budget is an issue with me as well, but ultimately I want to make sure that what I get I can live with, considering the bulk of any conversion is always the conversion itself, not so much the bus.

So, who has experience with the 5.9 Cummins? These are a dime a dozen, but do I really want a truck engine in my bus? Seems kinda on the small side for long hauls.

Thanks again guys!
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

My preference is for the dognosed FE, but I can see advantages to RE and to flat nosed buses, too.
As far as engine noise and heat go, though, a large amount of that can be offset with insulation and sound deadening. It's kind of tedious working around firewall mounted components, wiring, and pedals, etc., but worth all of the time spent. A good bit of it in the cab area/drivers seat is removable (held in place w/ velcro), which is nice in the Winter (plus it may need to be replaced after it's seen a lot of use). I've pieced it together where I'd say the engine noise was reduced by at least 30% or better, which is quite a difference. I've applied it in the engine compartment against the firewall and against the hood, and at the driver's feet all the way to the door, and up along the driver's side of the firewall where able- it's kind of like a jigsaw puzzle.
Also, it's by far the easiest to work on (dog nosed) AND, as the PT said, have the earliest warning of any trouble whether it's a flat or dog- nosed- which can be priceless if you own an older bus like myself.
I would love to have the under storage and smoother ride of a RE, but it's not worth the trade, yet, IMO. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pied Typer
... nothing that a good stereo can't overcome... Engine heat is also something that you have to contend with, but really its not that bad. ... rogue decorative lawn gnome or the like...
Now I HAVE to get a good stereo!!!

We insulated the engine housing with engine insulation from JC Whitney before we headed out west. I kept asking David if it was cooking him. He said it wasn't.. I quit asking when the temps in the RV started hitting upper 80's (not a good idea to travel during the hottest part of the year).

Rogue decorative lawn gnome??? Aren't they fair game... kinda like the pink lawn flamingos?

Only reason we ended up with the All American FC is that it was for sale, near us and at a good price. The size (40 ft), engine placement, etc were all secondary. We just needed a moving van! Oddly enough, we had originally planned to get a Bluebird FE to convert because we liked the look of the old Wanderlodges but David fell in love with Eagles. If we had gotten the skoolie, we would have needed to do less to the bus before we could start converting. And I would be living in a 40 ft skoolie right now, not a 22 ft Class C! Live and learn!
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:51 PM   #6
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

I test drove a 40ft CAT powered pusher. It was much quieter and faster than my 36ft Bluebird TC2000. I needed 36ft max at the time because of my property limitations. If you plan on a lot of miles, you will become more fatigued with a front engine IMO. Having said that, I do not regret my purchase, and the 5.9 CTD has been great. Knock wood.
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:30 AM   #7
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pied Typer
... nothing that a good stereo can't overcome... Engine heat is also something that you have to contend with, but really its not that bad. ... rogue decorative lawn gnome or the like...
Now I HAVE to get a good stereo!!!

$80 to $150 at walmart
and as for motors i wish i did not have a gasser and juice brakes, but thoughs are about the only thing i dont like! and if i had thought about it i would have swiched it to air brakes and not spent $1500 to $2000 on the brake job and that was just parts. as for the ( dog nose ) i have, it is like my trucks so i like that!
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:35 AM   #8
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

I have essentially the bus you are looking for. 5.9 front engine Thomas. It's loud, for sure. I plan on finding more/better insulation for the engine area, but I can deal for now. We are taking a trip to Texas, from Michigan at the end of the week. I am bringing earplugs, not just for the motorcycles either!
Haven't even had time to put the stereo in, unfortunately. Might do it en route.
Some things are easy to get to on this engine, and some are near impossible. Unluckily for us, the water pump was buggered on ours, and I waited too long to get to it, and it's at the shop right now, and won't be out until Friday. Yes, the day we leave. Doesn't leave much time for packing, or even preparing the unfinished bus, you know! It's okay, it's all we have to get there in, so it's going to be ready enough.

I would have liked a rear engine, but I couldn't find one that suited our needs. I like the handicapped lift, but it's pretty weak, it can barely lift a dirt bike (400lbs), and it's going to have a lot of trouble lifting the bigger bikes we are supposed to be putting in Friday, a KTM950 ADV and a dakar prepped BMW. I am pretty worried, because we don't have a ramp, and I don't think I have even seen one long or strong enough to get bikes in the back anyway.

I would be on the lookout for one with a GOOD lift in it. Ours broke the first time I tried to use it, the chain snapped. I have repaired it, hastily, but it might break again on this trip yet. Hope not.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:47 AM   #9
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

not trying to jinx you Dented, but I think you're inviting trouble by hoping your lift will work for your bikes. I'm not going to try and think up worse case scenarios, but it sounds like it could get pretty stressful at the least. Out of curiosity, what happens when the chain breaks under load? I've never had the pleasure of messing w/ a w.c.lift.
I think I'd try to come up w/ a ramp pretty quick, myself. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:11 PM   #10
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Re: Engine noise on a flat nose

We have been thinking of plans for an improvised ramp, and it can be done, and we will if we have to. It's just like building a bridge, and also two out of three riders traveling in this bus are mechanical engineers, and the third is a field service tech. We can make it work.
All we need is a lumber yard. And they are around.

We are like MacGuyver. But better looking. And meaner. Well, maybe not meaner. But definitely better looking.
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