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Old 06-26-2016, 06:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Give me an intelligently-designed pusher bus any day!
What in your opinion would make an intelligently-designed pusher? Just so we know what to look for or what to avoid... Still being in the shopping stage myself I'd like the feedback from current/past owners to what headaches they've endured so I know if I have the patience to endure the same. I also have some ideas myself but may find they are impractical or ill-considered once neurons meet reality.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:20 PM   #32
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Detroit 671N info?

Hey Everyone,

Thank you for all of the discussion. I love to sit back and listen to folks who are more knowledgeable than I am on a subject discuss it. Educational and entertaining

I have put many miles on DD 2 strokes and they hold a special place for me. However, I have never even seen a "pancake" 671.

I have been searching for details regarding the difference between the regular 671 and the "pancake". I would guess from DD practices that parts commonality would be good. Just guessing though.

How about parts availability?

Is it likely that I may find a Crown with a factory 671T or TA?

Lastly.... I am eyeballing a couple of Crown's that are equipped with 5 speed manual's. Neither seller can identify what transmission it is. I am guessing that it is the Spicer MD 5 speed??? What can you all tell me about this trans? How about swapping in a 7 or 9 speed?
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:28 PM   #33
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Location: Gonvick MN
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Year: 1975
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3208t/10 speed transmission
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
What in your opinion would make an intelligently-designed pusher? Just so we know what to look for or what to avoid... Still being in the shopping stage myself I'd like the feedback from current/past owners to what headaches they've endured so I know if I have the patience to endure the same. I also have some ideas myself but may find they are impractical or ill-considered once neurons meet reality.
I have been very happy with my rear engine Gillig.
Most everything you normally need to get to can be accessed with your feet on the ground.
I've swapped out both the engine and transmission, 1160 to 3208T and Spicer 5 speed to RTO 610. Neither swap was terribly difficult or required any out of the ordinary equipment.
Just a little creativity.
In my opinion an RE bus is the best choice for a conversion, but a mid engine could be interesting as well. Especially if you are looking for horsepower, I think some fun could be had with a pancake Cummins.
I can't think of any headaches related to the rear engine design.
Other than ease of maintenance the best thing about a RE bus is peace and quiet.
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:35 PM   #34
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Location: Orange County, CA
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Year: 1990
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Chassis: Crown Supercoach II
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
What in your opinion would make an intelligently-designed pusher? Just so we know what to look for or what to avoid... Still being in the shopping stage myself I'd like the feedback from current/past owners to what headaches they've endured so I know if I have the patience to endure the same. I also have some ideas myself but may find they are impractical or ill-considered once neurons meet reality.
I would look for ease of maintenance and servicing - everything that routinely needs to be checked or replaced, such as air cleaners and valve adjustments, should not need lots of other unrelated things to be removed or disassembled first to get to them. There should be space to work on almost anything without constantly skinning your knuckles or having A Bad Day. Unrelated to whether it's a pusher or not, the main junction box is also a good indicator how well the bus is put together and how easy it will be for you to work on it - if the wiring is a god-awful spaghetti mess of unlabeled and un-color-coded wires going hither and yon, with no apparent logic to how it's been planned, you can assume you'll have a big job ahead of you if anything needs to be rewired and changed.

Pushers generally make the best platforms for serious conversions because almost all the space forward of the rear axle is available for conversion. It makes it much easier to plan bathrooms/showers/kitchens and to keep the plumbing simple when tanks can be located where you want, not where the bus dictates. Plus, pushers drive well, quiet and smooth riding, almost like a "real" bus such as an MCI.

I like my Crown, but I almost bought a Thomas WestCoastER when I was looking - that again would have made a fine conversion platform. Crowns are, as others have said, simply the best school buses ever made, but that's just my opinion!

John
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:10 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
What in your opinion would make an intelligently-designed pusher? Just so we know what to look for or what to avoid... Still being in the shopping stage myself I'd like the feedback from current/past owners to what headaches they've endured so I know if I have the patience to endure the same. I also have some ideas myself but may find they are impractical or ill-considered once neurons meet reality.
I really like my Amtran. I have access to the entire engine, and the full size radiator is a big bonus. Although, if I could do it all again, I'd get one with an MD3060 and DT466
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:32 AM   #36
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I really like my Amtran. I have access to the entire engine, and the full size radiator is a big bonus. Although, if I could do it all again, I'd get one with an MD3060 and DT466
That radiator is in the back wall, right? Does it attempt to pull air from the rear of the bus which would be a low pressure zone anyways or does the fan push engine compartment air out through the radiator into the area behind the bus? I've looked at that versus the diagonal mounted radiator in a Thomas RE and wondered which would offer better cooling because at least the Thomas catches outside air from the side of the bus but then it's hard to figure out where it exits the engine compartment except just to get forced downward and out like a conventional. However it seems like if the IC/AmTran design has the fan pushing hotter air from the engine compartment through the radiator into the low pressure zone at the rear of the bus then it would run hotter by nature or maybe this has been compensated in the overall design.
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:41 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
That radiator is in the back wall, right? Does it attempt to pull air from the rear of the bus which would be a low pressure zone anyways or does the fan push engine compartment air out through the radiator into the area behind the bus? I've looked at that versus the diagonal mounted radiator in a Thomas RE and wondered which would offer better cooling because at least the Thomas catches outside air from the side of the bus but then it's hard to figure out where it exits the engine compartment except just to get forced downward and out like a conventional. However it seems like if the IC/AmTran design has the fan pushing hotter air from the engine compartment through the radiator into the low pressure zone at the rear of the bus then it would run hotter by nature or maybe this has been compensated in the overall design.
I think it's been compensated for. There are two very decent sized fresh air intakes on right behind the last row of windows (which also includes a 6' tall air intake for the motor), plus the whole engine compartment is open to fresh air from below as well.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:15 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Scooternj View Post
I think it's been compensated for. There are two very decent sized fresh air intakes on right behind the last row of windows (which also includes a 6' tall air intake for the motor), plus the whole engine compartment is open to fresh air from below as well.
One nice thing about the International pushers is that they come with two huge air intakes on either side of the bus. Bluebird and Thomas have much smaller intakes that don't pull in as much air.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:20 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Detroit 671N info?

Hey Everyone,

Thank you for all of the discussion. I love to sit back and listen to folks who are more knowledgeable than I am on a subject discuss it. Educational and entertaining

I have put many miles on DD 2 strokes and they hold a special place for me. However, I have never even seen a "pancake" 671.

I have been searching for details regarding the difference between the regular 671 and the "pancake". I would guess from DD practices that parts commonality would be good. Just guessing though.

How about parts availability?

Is it likely that I may find a Crown with a factory 671T or TA?

Lastly.... I am eyeballing a couple of Crown's that are equipped with 5 speed manual's. Neither seller can identify what transmission it is. I am guessing that it is the Spicer MD 5 speed??? What can you all tell me about this trans? How about swapping in a 7 or 9 speed?

Any info?

Thanks.

S.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:56 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
One nice thing about the International pushers is that they come with two huge air intakes on either side of the bus. Bluebird and Thomas have much smaller intakes that don't pull in as much air.
Cool! (Pun somewhat intended) See to me that's good stuff to consider in order to ensure the suitability of the bus for its second life. I appreciate both your feedbacks on that.
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