Originally Posted by sfluke
I'm very sad to let my amazing bus go but the reality is that I wasn't able to take care of it anymore in recent years. I'll tell you the full story and perhaps this you'll find this a worthwhile project to take on.
In 2017 my partner at the time and I bought a very well maintained crown super coach (it was used in Northern California - had two owners, the school district and the second owner was actually the former bus driver that used to drive it every day). We bought it move our belongings from CA to NY and visit the black rock desert on the way.
About a year after settling down in NY instead of staying there and eventually finishing the conversion I ended up moving to Germany where I have been since and the bus has been on a parking lot in upstate New York since. It hasn't moved since but is in remarkably good condition as it was far away from salt and east coast roads. We painted the bus with oil paint in almond and pulled out the original benches and registered it as an RV. But it still is very much a blank canvas.
* The body and engine is in very good condition - never had an issue starting it or anything else for that matter
* It comes with 3 extra windows, a bunch of gaskets for the wheel wells, an extra compressor and more spare parts
* It has automatic snow chains (how cool is that)
* Has a 3 axles, the rear two axles can be locked, perfect on snow
* It's a big cam engine
* No rust on the body, well intact floor (no rotten floor boards)
The not so good but fixable stuff:
* Small current leak draining the battery if you leave it plugged in for > 2 weeks
* Slow coolant leak - after about 9mo of storage it started to run low
Who's interested in taking on this project?
Looks sharp. Amazing how all those words still don't convey very much actionable information about this Crown.
Little things like:
Exact engine, which he hints at being a Big Cam (Cummins), and 1980 makes it probably a Big Cam II, maybe 290, maybe 300. Would like to know that more accurately.
Transmission is a BIGGY for many folks. Make or break, actually, if they don't want, or know how, or want to learn how, to shift the beasty.
5spd manual, flat land School District slug, or a more sporty 10spd mountain configured beauty, maybe even with a Jake, (drools). If mountain bus it may even have some nice goodies like sanders, or electric heaters for engine oil, coolant, maybe even automatic chains....Oops it does have that. It's sounding more and more like a mountain bus. Interesting
If Automatic, will be an Allison, maybe an MT64X but most probably an HT740 to better handle that big Cummins torque, which will be about 1000ft/lbs
Rear axles suspension?? Air-ride or springs, potential buyers want to know.
We can assume it has the normal rear-end ratio of 4.10 which gives a road speed of about 63 or so at about 2200 engine rpm. One neat thing about the Cummins is that they will go higher in rpms without shutting down hard like the Detroit governors do, so you could probably get a decent 66 mph out of it at a higher rpm for a good highway cruiser.
Depending on what the transmission is you can only get higher road speed with a rear-end differential gearing replacement, to something like 3.9 or 3.7:1, and with the two of them needing to be changed, that's not going to be very cheap.
He mentions that the rear axles lock up. This means it has power on both axles with an inter-axle differential for use on-highway, but when locked together gives much more traction on snow, ice, mud conditions. It also verifies that it isn't simply a tag axle arrangement where only one axle has power and differential and the other one is only used to carry the vehicle weight. I've seen plenty of these around and about too. It was all up to how the original buyer spec'd and what they wanted Crown to install. This sounds more and more like a mountain bus setup. Northern Kalifornia, after all. Or as I would prefer to call it: the "State of Jefferson". One can hope anyway.
If it's a manual shift, whatever, where 5th or 10th is a direct 1:1 output ratio you could re-fit/convert it or simply replace it with an over-drive transmission where the output in high gear is now about .87:1 which would give you an honest 70+ highway cruising speed and probably as much as 80 with little trouble.
By the way the Cummins prefers to turn much slower and they like it around 1500 1700 rpms, so a high geared rear-end won't hurt the engine at all, unlike the Detroits which need to be kept at around 2100 all the time for proper power, cooling, and overall longevity. But I get distracted.
Any other things about it would be nice, but I think I covered the critical ones for a buyer to want to know. Other than that it looks like a good catch if the price is reasonable........
That would be nice to know too. I have a pretty good idea what the Crowns are escalating to price wise but I'm not going to say anything here except to say that a decent Tandem, especially with a good Cummins, is in high demand for a certain type of buyer. Let the fun begin.