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Old 02-13-2017, 09:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Motor City
Posts: 117
Another opinion on this bus thread...

...sort of

So I'm not in the market. But I like to dream. In some alternate reality, I'd do a bus conversion of some sorts.

Saw this for sale locally. SEEMS like something I'd look into.

2004 Neoplan Escort El Dorado National Bus. $5,500. 21 existing perimeter seats with room for 9 more (luggage racks can be removed). New Battery (8D-1300), Fresh paint job, New thermostat, good tires, Recently serviced and inspected by American Bus and RV of Lapeer, MI. Carrier rear pusher Air Conditioning unit streams cold air from the back to front-the best way to cool the interior. Dual power driver mirrors with dual adjustable magnification zones, Dual power doors, EZ toggle switch driver controls, ISB-02 Diesel engine (255,000 miles-low for a diesel) with a Allison automatic transmission, air ride suspension, air brakes, back up camera. 6 Emergency exits, 2 TV's, Automatic wheel chair lift for the handicapped. Bus looks and drives very good (very easy to handle and maneuver).

What say the pros here? Pluses or minuses of something like this? Avoid _______? Those _______ are known to be terrible?

Just curious. Thanks.
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ennonne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2017, 09:33 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
milkmania's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,382
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Good Lord, who would you go to for parts for that thing?!?!

Not saying I wouldn't mind having it, but it sure seems like it would be way too proprietary to work on.
I could just see walking into one of my local truck shops and the guy says "You want a what for a what?"
Love the middle door!
I once complained I had no shoes....
Until I met a man with no feet
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:36 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lebanon, IN
Posts: 261
Year: 1998
Chassis: TC 2000 bluebird
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 66
Nice short wheel base, nice center door, great windows, rear engine, AC.

Common and good 5.9 cummins engine.

It looks like the ideal conversion bus.

So my concerns would be:

Is glass available if any ever breaks
And is it geared for decent highway speed.

After that all the normal questions about rust, and operational condition.

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Old 02-14-2017, 01:39 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oakland, Ca
Posts: 57
Chassis: Crown Supercoach
Engine: Detroit Diesel 6-71 Mid-ship
Rated Cap: 78
Not bad.

Nice engine, but 255k is a fair amount even on a cummins. Especially in stop and go city driving. Not a deal breaker, but a personal pet-peeve when sellers are all "quarter million miles low for a diesel".

But the biggie to me is that the body is nowhere near as well built as a school bus, which must meet extremely high collision standards. That thing is built like an rv or box truck. Probably fiberglass or thin aluminum body panels, not steel over steel ribs.
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:15 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,212
That is an Eldorado National bus which has zero/nadda connection to Neoplan. They were originally built by the National bus company in CA until Eldorado bought them out about 20 years ago. They now are building the bus under the Eldorado National CA banner. They have been built in many different lengths and configurations. This particular model is now known as the ENC XHF.

Most were built on a Freightliner Custom Chassis XB chassis. The older vintage ones were built on Workhorse, Oshkosh, and Spartan chassis to name just a few of the OEM vendor supplied chassis that have been under that bus. The new ones are now being built on a chassis built by ENC.

The basic bus has been in production since the '80's. All of the glass except for the windshields are flat glass so finding replacement glass for those windows would not be hard or expensive. The windshields are probably still available from Eldorado National.

They are not a bad bus. They are not the typical plastic bus one usually associates with the Eldorado National brand. Even back in the day when National was making the bus they were made with a monocoque steel cage with metal panels. Some were/are made with aluminum but most were/are made out of steel.

No they are not built as stout as a school bus. This is not a bus you can raise the roof or add a slide. But if you can live with the way the bus is currently configured you should be able to make it into a nice conversion.

Probably the biggest gripe about them is most of them were put into airport parking lot or similar work so very few of them were ever ordered with big HP. Most did have highway gears so you could really beat feet between the parking lot and terminals. But since the distances were usually pretty short and terrain generally flat around an airport they really didn't need big HP.

One concern I would have would be with engine cooling. It is always a problem for RE buses. A bus that was designed and built for short highway hops and lots of stop and go work most probably does not have a cooling system adequate for going up a steep grade fully loaded on a hot summer's day.

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Old 02-14-2017, 10:40 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Motor City
Posts: 117
I knew the experts here would know more!

I'm kind of drawn to a regular bus vs. school bus. I think this would be something I'd consider. Powertrain, gearing, storage possibilities, lots of other stuff to consider, but the basic configuration seems decent.

Amazing what you find when you search "bus" on Craigslist!
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:51 AM   #7
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 13,455
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I think it looks badass!! I could see having a bus like that... not that I need a 3rd Bus.. but still..

since it is a wheelchair accessible it probably has 4 corner air-ride on it too!!

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