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Old 07-23-2016, 07:08 PM   #41
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Agreed. And times have changed. Cummins' latest high-output ISB (5.9L replacement) in the Dodge Ram pumps 385 hp & 900 lb-ft. That's a strong, stock 6.7L. The best, stock 9L/6v92 only put out 335/1020.
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:05 PM   #42
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This subject is really complex. It all depends on what you need vs. what you want. My wife and I own a 1955 GM Transit TDH4512 City bus. It's is a two stroke 6-71 with a single speed / lockup Allison v drive. It goes 58-60 and that's it. It's screaming down the road but it looks awesome. Personally, the aesthetics of the coach is important to me. I enjoy the cruise so 55-60 is fast enough for me. Is it efficient? Probably not. Is it cool? Probably so.

However, I will say that repairs and maintenance can be costly. We have had our bus for almost 10 months and probably have 9k in it and it's nowhere NEAR close to being nice or road ready yet. We've done the suspension and brakes so far. The newer skoolies are much more affordable but don't look as good in my opinion. Depends on your needs and desires.

That being said, it it's also important to remember that you will hardly EVER get your money back on a conversion so upgrading later is costly. Sometimes I think it's easier to just start with what you want.


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Old 07-24-2016, 02:17 PM   #43
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Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT530
Rated Cap: 84
For what it's worth, I just drove 1,800 miles at 75mph in the school bus I just bought. It has an international DT530, which is 8.7 liters I think, averaged 8.3 mpg.The only reason I couldn't go faster is the electronic governor. It is my understanding is that the governor can somehow be eliminated and that the 5-speed MD3060 transmission I have can work as a 6-speed with a panel change or reprogram. This should increase fuel economy.
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:22 PM   #44
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
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Originally Posted by Bus Driver View Post
For what it's worth, I just drove 1,800 miles at 75mph in the school bus I just bought. It has an international DT530, which is 8.7 liters I think, averaged 8.3 mpg.The only reason I couldn't go faster is the electronic governor. It is my understanding is that the governor can somehow be eliminated and that the 5-speed MD3060 transmission I have can work as a 6-speed with a panel change or reprogram. This should increase fuel economy.
Your bus, having that drivetrain, is rather rare.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:49 AM   #45
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35 feet is the shortest coach you'll find unless you get a VERY old bus. In fact, I believe that after 1980, only 40 & 45 foot coaches were built. In fact Prevost and Eagle only ever built 40' or larger coaches. Most examples of Pre 1980 coaches are going to be spent or converted already. You can probably find an already converted coach, in reasonable mechanical condition, in need of some interior and cosmetic TLC, for $10-20k.

If you want a bus under 35', as I do, you're only real choice is a school bus-based vehicle.

Gillig stopped making school buses over 20 years ago. They continue to build transit buses (city buses) to this day.

Good luck!
I was reading online that some people don't have any trouble getting into national state parks with 40 foot vehicles, and was wondering if you knew that to be true? Also, there are some people telling me that for just me and my boyfriend, 40 feet or even 35 feet is way too much space, and there is no reason to go over 27. So, just for the sake of exploring my options, if i werent going to buy a coach and restore it or a coach already converted, which I still think is better for all the traveling we plan to do, would we not be better off just buying a Rig thats a class C than converting a school bus? Does a class C drive better than a school bus? I mean, I really didn't want to do a motorhome,because I know they aren't good investments and they aren't particularly safe.

Also, if i were to buy an old coach as you had said ( 1980 or earlier to get the MC5), what should I expect in terms of matienence? Will it be hard to find people to work on these older coaches and harder to find parts?
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:53 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by BusFiend View Post
Thought I'd share some other links with you.

This is a seated Gillig Transit for sale...



<strong><font size="3">BUSES 4 SALE</font></strong> : 1996 Gillig 102 Transit bus

Here's a converted 1956 GM PD 4104... $15k obo; 35', DD 671, 4pd MT, needs a little TLC. Beautiful, classic GM flat-top.



<strong><font size="3">BUSES 4 SALE</font></strong> : 1956 GM 4104-1828

Converted 1984 MCI Marathon 40'... $46k... DD 8v92; Allison AT. Nice. New Marathons start at over $2 million. The 8v92 is STRONG.



<strong><font size="3">BUSES 4 SALE</font></strong> : 1984 mci MCI Marathon 40'

Converted 1988 MCI 102a2 40'... $25k... 6v92TA, Allison AT, two-axle
This is a nice rig, inside and out.



<strong><font size="3">BUSES 4 SALE</font></strong> : 1988 MCI Bus Conversion
wow 46K for a 1980. You are really helping me to understand what I'm looking at here. The 1988 has two axle... so it probably isn't bigger than 35 right? I also like the look of the Gillig.. but I'm worried about the low flooring for tanks? How is that problem resolved for those who convert, do you know?
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:57 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodyworx View Post
This subject is really complex. It all depends on what you need vs. what you want. My wife and I own a 1955 GM Transit TDH4512 City bus. It's is a two stroke 6-71 with a single speed / lockup Allison v drive. It goes 58-60 and that's it. It's screaming down the road but it looks awesome. Personally, the aesthetics of the coach is important to me. I enjoy the cruise so 55-60 is fast enough for me. Is it efficient? Probably not. Is it cool? Probably so.

However, I will say that repairs and maintenance can be costly. We have had our bus for almost 10 months and probably have 9k in it and it's nowhere NEAR close to being nice or road ready yet. We've done the suspension and brakes so far. The newer skoolies are much more affordable but don't look as good in my opinion. Depends on your needs and desires.

That being said, it it's also important to remember that you will hardly EVER get your money back on a conversion so upgrading later is costly. Sometimes I think it's easier to just start with what you want.


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Excellent point, thank you. I think I do need more than 60 mph.. not that I play to do 80 all the time, but having it maxed out at 60 would be hard for the kind of traveling we want to do for our project. I think the vintages coaches look amazing, but its more the inside of the coach where we lived that I care bout aesthetically. Interesting that you say you can never get back from a coach what you put into it.. I knew that was true for RV's but not for conversions. If you did a really beautiful conversions, could you not get back out what you put into it? Or is it just that as it ages, that becomes impossible.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:57 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Bus Driver View Post
For what it's worth, I just drove 1,800 miles at 75mph in the school bus I just bought. It has an international DT530, which is 8.7 liters I think, averaged 8.3 mpg.The only reason I couldn't go faster is the electronic governor. It is my understanding is that the governor can somehow be eliminated and that the 5-speed MD3060 transmission I have can work as a 6-speed with a panel change or reprogram. This should increase fuel economy.
wow interesting. how old is your bus? Is its transit or conventional?
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:06 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by girasoledonna View Post
I was reading online that some people don't have any trouble getting into national state parks with 40 foot vehicles, and was wondering if you knew that to be true? Also, there are some people telling me that for just me and my boyfriend, 40 feet or even 35 feet is way too much space, and there is no reason to go over 27. So, just for the sake of exploring my options, if i werent going to buy a coach and restore it or a coach already converted, which I still think is better for all the traveling we plan to do, would we not be better off just buying a Rig thats a class C than converting a school bus? Does a class C drive better than a school bus? I mean, I really didn't want to do a motorhome,because I know they aren't good investments and they aren't particularly safe.

Also, if i were to buy an old coach as you had said ( 1980 or earlier to get the MC5), what should I expect in terms of matienence? Will it be hard to find people to work on these older coaches and harder to find parts?
Will you be living in your rig full time or is this just for trips? How long will the trips be? Most of the major national parks have RV parks now that will accommodate 40-45 ft coaches; if not directly in the park then very nearby. Some of the more picturesque locations will require a smaller rig. I will be solo full-timing and am looking for a 30-35' rig.

If you're only going to be on the road for a couple of weeks at a time, a class C is an option. Stick & staple RVs don't necessarily go down the road any better than a skoolie (in good condition). However, they do go down the road differently. They feel different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by girasoledonna View Post
wow 46K for a 1980. You are really helping me to understand what I'm looking at here. The 1988 has two axle... so it probably isn't bigger than 35 right? I also like the look of the Gillig.. but I'm worried about the low flooring for tanks? How is that problem resolved for those who convert, do you know?
The '88 two-axle is a 40' long and 102" wide rig... Tanks will fit on the Gillig. Just fewer options of where.
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:57 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusFiend View Post
Will you be living in your rig full time or is this just for trips? How long will the trips be? Most of the major national parks have RV parks now that will accommodate 40-45 ft coaches; if not directly in the park then very nearby. Some of the more picturesque locations will require a smaller rig. I will be solo full-timing and am looking for a 30-35' rig.

If you're only going to be on the road for a couple of weeks at a time, a class C is an option. Stick & staple RVs don't necessarily go down the road any better than a skoolie (in good condition). However, they do go down the road differently. They feel different.



The '88 two-axle is a 40' long and 102" wide rig... Tanks will fit on the Gillig. Just fewer options of where.
We will be full timing for a year at least and going to every state in the country for a project we are doing to raise awareness about TBI We live in 700 square feet now.
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