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Old 02-22-2015, 01:36 PM   #11
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Location: Bay Area, California
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Leaf spring bushings look shot. Can anyone tell me if from this image these tires look worn just from this picture?
The deisel engine looks super greasy and caked in oil. I heard big deisel engines get coated in oil, but should I be worried about blown gaskets or the like? It's not leaking oil under it where it's parked..just coated on the engine.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:42 PM   #12
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
The vast majority of Crowns were mid-engines. This means the Cummins or Detroit engines were pancake engines placed on their sides to fit under the bus. This placement gives you a huge stability factor over any other bus on the road. The State of California did tests on buses at the Highway Patrol Academy and tried to put them into out of control spins on specially designed skid tracks on the Academy's track. All front and rear engine transit buses easily spun out. It was almost impossible to get the Crowns to spin out.

The year of that Crown tells me it is probably a 220 Cummins. Probably does not have a turbo. A workhorse of an engine and properly maintained can easily go a million miles.

$1,000 is cheap for a Crown. I would have an oil analysis done. I would also have someone check on the air lines and the air brakes. Anything that big must have good brake at all times.

I agree with the suggestion that you should check on the age of the tires. Tires have a certain "shelf life" and after that, even with low mileage on them and good tread, you can have problems.

I think you should jump at this opportunity, but with your eyes wide open. Getting it up to snuff mechanically will cost you some bucks. Any bus that old is going to have some issues, even minor ones. And minor issues on a giant bus do not necessarily translate into minor costs.

For example, one of my Crowns needed to have its giant radiator recored. We got quotes of up to $9,000 from a big national school bus distributor who also does maintenance. We finally had it done for about $2,000 at a local shop. Pretty expensive, but a hell of a lot less than $9,000.

Crowns were designed to last at least 50 years in every day service and came with a 20 year warranty. They are incredible gems if you can get one. However, age will take its toll on even the best made bus.

Things to have checked out include:

Tires
Oil Analysis on Engine
Bushings (these are thick rubber "pads" that help with suspension and shock)
Frame (make sure there are no cracks, rare in a Crown but not unheard of)
Air and Fuel Lines (might need to be replaced)
Shocks (probably does not have air bags with an early 70's Crown)
Brakes (check on life left)
Air Brake Cans and Slack Adjusters
Radiator
Air Filter (people forget to check these out)
Batteries (Crowns have two big 8D batteries)
Heater Core in the front of the bus (might need reconditioning)

I hope this helps. If you can get this Crown for $1,000 you will be one lucky future skoolie. It is a great platform for a mobile house on wheels.

Good luck!!!
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmarvel View Post
The vast majority of Crowns were mid-engines. This means the Cummins or Detroit engines were pancake engines placed on their sides to fit under the bus. This placement gives you a huge stability factor over any other bus on the road. The State of California did tests on buses at the Highway Patrol Academy and tried to put them into out of control spins on specially designed skid tracks on the Academy's track. All front and rear engine transit buses easily spun out. It was almost impossible to get the Crowns to spin out.

The year of that Crown tells me it is probably a 220 Cummins. Probably does not have a turbo. A workhorse of an engine and properly maintained can easily go a million miles.

$1,000 is cheap for a Crown. I would have an oil analysis done. I would also have someone check on the air lines and the air brakes. Anything that big must have good brake at all times.

I agree with the suggestion that you should check on the age of the tires. Tires have a certain "shelf life" and after that, even with low mileage on them and good tread, you can have problems.

I think you should jump at this opportunity, but with your eyes wide open. Getting it up to snuff mechanically will cost you some bucks. Any bus that old is going to have some issues, even minor ones. And minor issues on a giant bus do not necessarily translate into minor costs.

For example, one of my Crowns needed to have its giant radiator recored. We got quotes of up to $9,000 from a big national school bus distributor who also does maintenance. We finally had it done for about $2,000 at a local shop. Pretty expensive, but a hell of a lot less than $9,000.

Crowns were designed to last at least 50 years in every day service and came with a 20 year warranty. They are incredible gems if you can get one. However, age will take its toll on even the best made bus.

Things to have checked out include:

Tires
Oil Analysis on Engine
Bushings (these are thick rubber "pads" that help with suspension and shock)
Frame (make sure there are no cracks, rare in a Crown but not unheard of)
Air and Fuel Lines (might need to be replaced)
Shocks (probably does not have air bags with an early 70's Crown)
Brakes (check on life left)
Air Brake Cans and Slack Adjusters
Radiator
Air Filter (people forget to check these out)
Batteries (Crowns have two big 8D batteries)
Heater Core in the front of the bus (might need reconditioning)

I hope this helps. If you can get this Crown for $1,000 you will be one lucky future skoolie. It is a great platform for a mobile house on wheels.

Good luck!!!
Thanks for taking the time to run through that! Took my head a bit out of the clouds. Duh, of course its going to cost me to get it safe and drivable .
Anyway I coincidentally stopped at the bus on my way home last night and took a look at the leafspring bushings, and they look shot.

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Old 02-22-2015, 02:18 PM   #14
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here is some info

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: michelin tire date codes

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=11
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:50 PM   #15
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
They are probably original to the bus and need to be replaced. My tandem Crown was delivered to its school district in 1989 and it had its original bushings. I am replacing all 16 of them (a three axle Crown has more than your two axle Crown).

I would also look at getting a good Japanese tire, not Michelin or Bridgestone. These are incredibly expensive. I got a quote of $500 for well know Japanese tires (12 x22.5R) and $900 for Michelins. Given that you will not be running this bus for many miles every day, a tire that gives you high mileage is not that important. All tires get old, even just sitting. The age of a tire is critical as over time the tire breaks down and make the tire unsafe.

Also, for the cost savings, getting recaps is not worth the safety issues or hassle when they fall apart. If you are going to put recaps on the bus, never, never, never put them on the front tires, only the rears. Some people say they have never had problems with recaps. However, I have enough school district clients that have stories about recaps going bad, it is simply not worth the few bucks you will save.

I would also check with your local school district (if you said where you live I missed it) to see if they do outside work on buses. Many districts in California bring in outside work to help bring in money to the school district. Some diesel shops here in the San Francisco Bay Area are charging up to $175 per hour for mechanical work. I have deals with several of my school districts that are clients. I am paying between $55 and $80 per hour depending on the district. One heck of a savings.

I don't think you should be discouraged by all of this. The price is unbeatable. You can take any mechanical work that needs to be done at a slow pace. However, since Crowns are no longer made, if you miss out on this opportunity, you may never see this kind of deal again.
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:27 PM   #16
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: IH
Engine: 466
Rated Cap: 64
Please let us know if you buy it!
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:12 PM   #17
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Be careful as many folks are looking for this bus

The Crown buses are King. If ya get this bus I can guide you about the bus. Discover the engine maker as there are 2 choices. The Crown is very much in demand.. Check Ebay for a comparison. Frank
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:32 PM   #18
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Frank-ID is right. A running Crown for $1,000 is a steal. Grab it if you can before someone else scoops it up! If you do get it know that you are joining a small but proud group of Crown owners that love to share and help with fellow owners of the best school bus ever made!
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:49 PM   #19
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: MA USA
Posts: 17
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: SuperCoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71
Just last month I bought a '78 Crown and driving it 600miles back home was the biggest adventure episode of my life. That price seems pretty unbeatable, go for it =D

What these guys are saying about the tires is very true. Three of the six tires blew on me on the highway. It cost me the bus over again to gettem all replaced. I was planning on replacing them all anyways, just not so soon haha. In MA with RV plates an inspection costs just $35 (not that I've been able to actually GET it inspected thanks to the record amounts of snow we're getting). In Cali of course your mileage may vary.

GOODLUCK!
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:19 PM   #20
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisMetalMess View Post
Its "front" as in the engine is half the way down the bus but the driveline heads back free from there to the rear wheels.
Cool, so it's really a mid ship engine.

Nat
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