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Old 12-23-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
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looked at coach yesterday 1975 mc8 a few ?'s

Yesterday I stopped and looked at a 1975 coach
here's a few pictures,it was being stored at a used car lot while the owner was having a parking lot put in at his house for his other converted coach he just bought.
He bought this to convert and then found another already done.
The lot owner gave me the keys and said have a look.
front

side1

side2

inside1

inside2

engine


what I know:
diesel engine
4 spd manual
Air ride
Air brakes
massive ac unit(he said it blows ice cold)
24volt system

While opening compartments and hatches, it was amazing to see all the switches and valves everywhere
one knob had a plate that said for passenger fresh air pull(it was in one of the under bus storage bays)

The alternator/generator on the engine was massive probable 18in in diameter and was driven by 4 or 5 belts and had "welding" cable size leads.

there was a control box in engine bay for remote starting in back at engine or front as normal

no idea what engine was

There where so many do-dads that it would take a few months of searching to figure out what everything does

the toilet has it's own black water tank with typical dump valve

It did need at least 6 tires for the rear

I dunno....

I know I can get by with my license after conversion for under 26k pounds I don't know about this beast tho'

I plan to call him on Tuesday to see what he wants for it,it drove in under it's own power and the guy at the lot said it sounded good and didn't smoke

Thought I would post it here
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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Re: looked at coach yesterday 1975 mc8 a few ?'s

You need to check out the forums on BNO orBus Conversons Magazine. They can give you more info on a coach than you will ever want to know. PLUS they can tell you what to watch out for and be model specific. Don't forget to ask them what they think the shell is worth.
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: looked at coach yesterday 1975 mc8 a few ?'s

It was owned by local Shriner for ever and the maintenance items is one thing I noticed

The air filter is the size of a 30 gallon drum and has not been taken apart in a lot of years, all rubber hoses in engine compartment are swelled and need replaced the easy items are the ones that haven't been addressed so what does that say of harder to get ones?it would be a neat project...a long expensive project tho'

Today I have made the choice to call just for curiosity on Tuesday

I want simplicity not all these add ons, most wouldn't work for our design anyways

full bus ac that exits at windows may work, but after dividing up space...not so much and the toilet well ok...it's not a bathroom and it's in the rear corner


we really want a front engine flat nose BB like I keep looking at(every weekend I drive by it )

we want the rear door and a school bus door so we can delete it and move door down the side and add a co-driver seat

and the ground clearance of a skool bus is alot better,I can add compartments later based on what needs to be stored

I have talked with the owner of the bus company several times, he sells buses every year(and runs local bus company) and I have a price and the reasoning behind price...the 11.35 a hundred scrap rate is good and bad

I just finally have the bus envy and looking at the coach was like wanting a sports car to drive and looking at an older English car that needs "some work"

So I will soldier on....next
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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Re: looked at coach yesterday 1975 mc8 a few ?'s

We have discovered that biggest difference between a skoolie and a highway coach is.... conversion cost. If you have a highway coach (in our case it was a 1970's era Eagle 05 rust bucket from Belgium... I know pretty much all the Eagle rust jokes), you will spend more on the shell. Spending more on the shell makes you inclined to spend more on everything else in the conversion. After all you spent $XXXX dollars on the shell. Spending $XXX on various components makes sense. Because it is NOTHING to buy a stripped coach shell for $10K to $30K. Then you put 2X (rarely that cheap) to 6X the money into the conversion. Most of the completed Skoolie conversions have the same 2X to 6X shell prices for conversion costs. But with a skoolie, you are looking at a lower cost shell. that makes you more inclined to "shop" around for lower cost ways of doing the conversion. Look at Chadluc's Eagle thread. He just recently posted his conversion costs was up to $15,000 not including the shell. and he's not finished. Why? Because It's "an Eagle" so everything "needs" to be better, bigger, fancier. I'm not dumping on Chad but it's a mindset. It's an upscale fancy "coach". Can you imagine calling a skoolie a "coach"? Coaches are turned away at many campgrounds as well, not as often as a skoolies but the "age" thingy gets them too.

Even if we put 6X the purchase price of our shell, that would only be $8,400 and we can do the complete conversion, including buying a 6KW generator, for that price... more likely lower. This is for a fulltime residence. 4x the Eagle shell would have been $20K (we got a deal on the bus). Our estimated cost of conversion on the Eagle for fulltime living, with us doing everything because we did upscale renovations and had the skills, was a minimum of $30K. I won't be putting Corian counters in the skoolie (okay, I did use a piece of scrap Corian for the bathroom vanity). But I doubt that I would have used a stainless steel 6" deep "half steam table" pan ($1 used) for a sink in the Eagle either. It makes a nice deep vanity sink and we had one extra. I am putting my triple bowl Kohler enameled cast iron kitchen sink in the skoolie. It was originally acquired (free) for the Eagle. It's a mindset.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:22 PM   #5
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Re: looked at coach yesterday 1975 mc8 a few ?'s

as mentioned before. join the busconversion magazine site...
I have had 2 coaches and only recently went back to another school bus because the cost of the mechanical componens are frequently over three times as much to replace than what i now have. the coach busses i think if the body is not rusty, or any of the suspension, engine cradle, etc components rusty, is actually easier in my opinion to redo than the school busses.. but i have only have had four of those over the years.. Buying from a dealer, you have no idea of what the engine, trans, etc has been through even if they have fresh paint, so one should assume that the engine 8v71 or whatever will need rebuilt soon even if it runs good. The bus pictured should be worth 3k or more just for parts, not including the body scrap value.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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Re: looked at coach yesterday 1975 mc8 a few ?'s

From what I can see of the engine it looks like a Detroit 8V71.
Rated at 318 HP and most times de rated ( horse power ) for buses.
When I was a trucker I drove the heck out those engines and overhauled allot of them, I was a driver and the fleet mechanic.
The one thing about them was NEVER let them idle for long periods; oil pressure drops too low at idle 15 to 20lbs.
Also NEVER get them hot; there are rubber seals and O-ring between the block and heads. Overheat and you cook those rubber seals - Almost instant oil in the water or water in the oil most times.
They are a Two Stroke Diesel engine.
From the years I drove them you also NEVER lug down the engine; keep it in the rpm band all the time.
They have an engine brake for them one I had was called the Blue -Ox.
If you didn't over heat it, never idled it for long periods of time and took care of it; it is a good engine.
Out of all the overhauls I did on them; most of the engine blow-ups were caused by the operator.
Seizing pistons in the liners and cracking the block.
BUT I never saw any of them blow the bottom end.
One driver ( former ) blew an engine so bad I found a rebuilt engine for a bus; I had to swap controls and some parts as well as change out the injectors to N60 yellow Tags. I had allot of fun with a heavy forklift swapping that engine out of the freight liner.
After all was done and driving the truck I swear it would always try and turn into a bus stop?
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