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Old 07-07-2019, 07:06 PM   #21
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Hey PNWsteve! Could you give me the name of the shop? I'm in Eugene Oregon..that's a 4 hour trip from here so that might be my saving grace!!
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:45 PM   #22
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Yes the standard transmission is a whole different subject. I'm glad you brought it up because we were wondering if that was going to suck big time if we are doing a lot of driving! I'm glad you gave me some advice on that because while it seems cool and no big deal right now, that sh*z gets old real quick! Dave has been driving a bus for disabled people for awhile so he is comfortable with the size etc..but his bus obviously is not a stick and he has never driven a big truck with a standard transmission. I'm thinking that the Greyhound is out. Boo. But on a positive note, there seems to be more positives coming in for the MCI so that's encouraging!
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:06 PM   #23
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Yes the standard transmission is a whole different subject. I'm glad you brought it up because we were wondering if that was going to suck big time if we are doing a lot of driving!
Not so much it being a manual (I'm sure the 10-speed in the MCI is a manual as well), as the rpm split between gears. A 4-speed will have you shifting down, down, down on hills (sometimes down, up, down, up, down, up, where a 10-speed will allow you to stay in a little bit higher gear and still keep the engine in an RPM range where it will pull best. There's a reason that most truckers prefer 13 / 18-speeds to 10-speeds, the same reason you should prefer the 10-speed to a 4-speed. It's the difference between downshifting three times on the same hill, and once.

Also, I seriously doubt that 4-speed will top 55-60 mph on the highway, if it will go that fast. Remember, both of these were built in a time when most speed limits were 40-50, and the national speed limit was 55. If it will top that, well, you'll be spinning the engine well into the high 2's to low/mid 3's on RPM, and you'll pass everything but the diesel island.

One other thing, double-clutching is a must with most any such setup, especially for those inexperienced in driving them. They are not synchronized. Double-clutching basically means bumping the clutch pedal lightly to get out of the current gear, let it up, as you're going across neutral to the next gear, bump it lightly on the way in and let it up again.

A light pause going across neutral in either case helps greatly. This allows the engine speed to drop the required RPM to get into the next gear, usually 300-500 on 4-stroke engines, 600-800 on 2-strokes? Maybe more. When you're used to it, you can sort of time your 'bump-bump' of the clutch pedal to each leg of the 'split' shift. Trust me, it's not as complicated as it sounds. You just have to have that 'Eureka' moment where the light bulb comes on and you understand it. Like my trainer told me, "You can fight the truck all you want, but it's going to win every time".

The same applies when downshifting, but you'll need to rev slightly to match the correct rpm for the lower gear, usually 300-500 rpm more with a 4-cycle, as much as 600-800 or more for a two-stroke, I would imagine. This is usually accomplished with a light stab of the throttle, but may require more. It takes time to get used to. When you get good at catching the right rpm, you CAN shift without clutching at all if you modulate the throttle and shift just right. This is called 'floating' the transmission. Not recommended for newbies, as it has been said to cause unnecessary wear on transmission internals and can cause gear clashing if not done properly.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ineedabus1 View Post
Hey PNWsteve! Could you give me the name of the shop? I'm in Eugene Oregon..that's a 4 hour trip from here so that might be my saving grace!!
Pacific Detroit Allison in Kent.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:17 PM   #25
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Thank you so much for all of the valuable info. i think my hubby likes the idea of the hot rod sounding engine although I'm not sure how well appreciated we will be when we pull into an RV park full of old folks with their swank RVs haha. Luckily we are planning to spend most of our time off grid. I am hoping to install solar and a small wood burning stove, although I have not looked into the logistics on this particular model of bus so I dont even know if it is possible. On a side note here, and please correct me if I need to be on a different forum, I have found another bus that i am planning to ask for advice on. I actually like it better than the MCI( in looks especially ) It's a 1948 GMC PD351 greyhound conversion (also a diesel but with a 4 speed standard transmission) I am stupid obsessed with these vintage buses.. SO do I need to post this one for advice on a different forum or is it still considered a coach conversion? Sorry! I am a newbie here and trying to navigate my way around! I'm posting a pic( i hope) drool
That MCI is about as dreamy as old coaches gets, IMO. I'd MUCH rather have that. Its got a powerful engine with 10 forward gears, one of which is overdrive.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:29 PM   #26
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For the OP, one other thing you may want to look into before jumping on the one in Canada... Whether it can be imported for use and registration in the US. Not sure what, if any restrictions apply between Canada and the US, but certain vehicles from certain countries can tie you up with weeks or months of red tape and arguing with appropriate government offices, if you win at all. Emissions are one possible issue, safety standards can be another. I would also verify that if it can be imported, that it will be legal for registration and use as more than an antique vehicle (which carry specific restrictions on road usage). If it's been titled in the US before, that would be a big help. Just my $0.02.

I don't imagine a 58-year-old bus conversion is going to be much of an issue. But for example, air-cooled boxer-engine VW Beetles were still manufactured in Mexico until around 2003. Those cars were perfectly legal for import and sale in the US before the EPA Clean Air Act, and any of them built and imported to the US before it became effective are perfectly legal, as they are grandfathered. But you can't legally import a 2003 Mexican-built model for road use in the US, as it was built AFTER the law became effective and does not comply to the emissions laws therein, because the government would require it conform to 2003 model year emissions. And that might apply if the Canadian bus has a rebuilt title or something of the sort. Not likely, but something to check into.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:52 AM   #27
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The MCI is a MC5, don't know which series, very nice buses, but don't break the drop box because they're now as rare as Eagles' drop boxes. The Silversides is a generation older: can you float-shift a 6L71 Detroit with a non-syncro 4-speed column shifter?! Bus Grease Monkey (Scott Crosby) has one that he travels from one job to the next in - his YouTube videos are very informative. Just bear in mind that a MC5 is a T-drive, but a Silversides is a V-drive.

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Old 07-08-2019, 12:57 AM   #28
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I guess it started out originally in Canada but it's in Montana now and it looks like it has Montana plates.. so hopefully we don't have to deal with that stuff
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:59 AM   #29
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I guess it started out originally in Canada but it's in Montana now and it looks like it has Montana plates.. so hopefully we don't have to deal with that stuff
Yeah, if it's got legal Montana plates and has been titled in the United States, I would say that worry is moot.
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:55 PM   #30
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The MCI is a MC5, don't know which series, very nice buses, but don't break the drop box because they're now as rare as Eagles' drop boxes. The Silversides is a generation older: can you float-shift a 6L71 Detroit with a non-syncro 4-speed column shifter?! Bus Grease Monkey (Scott Crosby) has one that he travels from one job to the next in - his YouTube videos are very informative. Just bear in mind that a MC5 is a T-drive, but a Silversides is a V-drive.

John
If you havenít done so you need to check out Bus Grease Monkey on YouTube. Heís an expert Detroit Diesel mechanic that travels the country working on buses with old Detroits. You might be able to hire him to check the bus over before buying.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:48 PM   #31
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That thing is large and in charge! Iím a new skoolie owner still in the conversion phase, but I would be really intimidated by purchasing such a large and well-aged bus for my first go at it. Iím interested as to how much they are asking for it given the mechanical upgrades itís had put into it?

(It is a beauty though!)
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:40 PM   #32
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That is a really nice looking 57 year old. Whatís the actual mileage that will tell you something about all the rest of the stuff like body mounts, suspension, steering gear, there are a lot of parts underneath. Ev n wiring gets really brittle after 60:years. Whether it saw 500,000 miles of cross Canada over the years or was it converted long ago. Send us all some inside photos too, looks sweet from outside
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:59 PM   #33
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Here are more pics

Hi here are more pics that I got from the seller. There is some rust as you can see but I dont know if this is considered a lot? I've also included engine pics and interior...
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:16 PM   #34
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That thing is large and in charge! Iím a new skoolie owner still in the conversion phase, but I would be really intimidated by purchasing such a large and well-aged bus for my first go at it. Iím interested as to how much they are asking for it given the mechanical upgrades itís had put into it?

(It is a beauty though!)
Its an mc5, its shorter than many school buses.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:10 PM   #35
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That looks decent underneath. I wouldn't want to work on that engine though... is that mid engine?
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:20 PM   #36
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That looks decent underneath. I wouldn't want to work on that engine though... is that mid engine?
Nope its a RE.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:09 PM   #37
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I love old stuff and have lots of examples from an almost 50 year old airplane to a 1938 tractor to a 20 year old bought new Silverado to a 115 year old house Tube amplifiers, pinball machines, electric trains going back to early Lionels to collection in 5 or 6 guages and my 1991 Bluebird etcetera and the the only way, the only way, that I am able to keep this insane collection of hobbies going is by repairing all of it myself. On that note, I would not want my first experience in to bus conversions to be with an antique bus with limited skills, knowledge and experience that at best is a functional antique and no mechanics to work on it.

It is certainly not a Cummins 12V that any Big rig shop in America can repair
It is way cool bus but, in my take, not the one to learn on.
Obviously, your mileage may vary, objects in mirror arre closer than they appear...
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:17 PM   #38
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I love old stuff and have lots of examples from an almost 50 year old airplane to a 1938 tractor to a 20 year old bought new Silverado to a 115 year old house Tube amplifiers, pinball machines, electric trains going back to early Lionels to collection in 5 or 6 guages and my 1991 Bluebird etcetera and the the only way, the only way, that I am able to keep this insane collection of hobbies going is by repairing all of it myself. On that note, I would not want my first experience in to bus conversions to be with an antique bus with limited skills, knowledge and experience that at best is a functional antique and no mechanics to work on it.

It is certainly not a Cummins 12V that any Big rig shop in America can repair
It is way cool bus but, in my take, not the one to learn on.
Obviously, your mileage may vary, objects in mirror arre closer than they appear...
This bus has a reman engine and trans. For interstate travel there's no comparison between a 5.9 pickup truck engine and a real Detroit Diesel.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:06 PM   #39
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$40 k seems like a lot to me, but prices have edged up. See: https://www.busconversionmagazine.com/bcmclassifieds/ .

The 6v92 probably replaced an 8v71 in that bus. If you like to shift a 10 speed Fuller might be fun. Generally it is easier to sell a bus with an automatic transmission. Pushing down a clutch can get old, especially if you get old.

Improperly maintained coolant can wipe out the '92 series. the '71 is a lot more tolerant of such abuse.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:06 PM   #40
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Interior looks nice, dated but if you are a hobby tinkerer then you’ll have fun with it. If it’s going off grid and not much traveling then you’ll do better with a 10 year old skoolie and convert it yourself. Trouble with 50-70 year old vehicles is just that they are ya know Old. Stuff will break all the time and insurance can be just about impossible and did I mention inspections and road worthiness? Keep us posted cause it’s still a beautyM
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