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Old 11-21-2020, 01:07 PM   #1
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Should i purchase a 1991 mci 102a3

Hello everyone I found an amazing charter bus to purchase for a decent price. Would you guys recommend it? Itís a Detroit diesel is that a pro or a con. Please let me know ASAP. Thank you!
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:26 PM   #2
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Location: Virginia
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Depends on which one... likely a 2-stroke, which are bulletproof but are skow and prone to overheating on hills, smoke a bit and guzzle fuel compared to a four-stroke. Johnny-5 need input... MORE INPUT! Also, getting harder to find diesel mechanics that understand the 2-strokes.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:53 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply it’s a detroit 6v92 with an Allison automatic ht700 transmission
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Old 11-21-2020, 02:36 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 621
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Winnebago
Chassis: Ford F53
Engine: Ford Triton V-10
Rated Cap: currently 2
Not to dissuade you, just a word of caution. Okay, a few words. One, that's pushing 30 years old and while they do last so very long with proper care if those kinds of coaches do require attention like rust mitigation it's almost impossible for a private owner to address. They are not body-on-frame construction so the entire body IS structurally significant and it takes a very knowledgeable person with the right setup to start cutting, welding, or replacing parts that may be suffering from rust decay. Second, the class of that vehicle is a step above a school bus and as such the parts are bigger and pricier. If a car costs $, a school bus costs $$$ and a motorcoach costs $$$$$. You're in a class of components comparable to a semi truck because those coaches can easily weigh so much more than a school bus. Just a few things to consider before you pull the trigger and perhaps ( but hopefully not ) find yourself saddled with an elephant you can't afford.
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Old 11-21-2020, 02:52 PM   #5
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I see thank you so much
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Old 11-21-2020, 05:04 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,915
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
If you are talking $700-$800 then go for it. Any more than that take a real hard look first. As has been pointed out it is getting hard to find a DD mechanic as most of them have aged out and retired--as has the 2 stroke diesels. Further, the 6v92 isn't going to be very powerful however the 700 trans is a good trans. An engine overhaul will cost in excess of $20,000.

I did a conversion a MCI 8v92 and was very pleased with the result. The MCI is an exceptionally well built machine and since I can do my own repairs the DD dilemma was of little concern to me. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find storage space that made any kind of reasonable economic sense so I sold it and kept my 1935 skoolie.

Before you purchase the MCI find a mechanic with DD and MCI experience to give it a through going over.
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Old 11-21-2020, 05:44 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,380
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
My old Eagle (1980) with an 8v71 and an HT-740 is still on the road with no major mechanical work since I sold it 10+ years ago. Granted, it does not see the kind of miles that I put on it anymore. It is a 40 year old coach with over a million miles on it and has had the 8v71 rebuilt twice.

An 8v92 powered MCI is awesome when it comes to power. Not quite so awesome when it comes to getting rid of the heat that all of that horsepower makes. You have to baby them in hot weather. Pulling big hills in the summer can be problematic. Patience is the rule
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:48 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2020
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The 6V-92 was discontinued in1995. I just researched a bus with one in it. It's good to have a mechanic friend that's comfortable with 2-stroke diesel engines.
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:54 PM   #9
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 212
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
I've made several replies to this question on multiple threads. Look for my various replies and then take the above replies into account as well. Coaches are a whole order of magnitude more complex and expensive to own, operate, and repair, what with lots of proprietary parts and designs that force you to the manufacturer and scrap yards.

My basic advice to anyone without previous coach experience is to think of them exactly as you would a Yacht, Sailboat, Airplane, or High end Luxury car like a Maserati or Ferrari. The most succinct operative advice to keep you out of infinite, never ending money pit hell is: "If you have to ask you probably can't afford it". Get it?

Don't be seduced by their surface good looks and charms, underneath they are the most demanding and expensive possible drain on ALL your resources, not just money, but time, peace of mind, relationships, etc.

They love to leave you hanging on the road at the worst possible times, and everything in them is so complicated it can be impossible, sometimes, to get it all fixed correctly. Just saying. Your choice, but don't expect anyone to tell you it's not full of dangers and troubles.

Many have bought coaches and many have found out how much they can demand to keep them up and running. If you can handle the issues then by all means, but don't expect it to be easy or cheap, because it ain't.

I have decades of personal experience driving and owning all types of coaches and believe me when I say I won't be buying one, as much as I'd like to have one in my stable, until I have a guaranteed (large!) source of income that will not be exhausted by the never ending demands to keep a single coach reliable and on the road. I've been there and done that, in business, and watched others with fleets in commercial service struggle to keep their buses on the road and generating revenue. It never ends.

Try starting off easy with a nice simple school bus of some kind and get your feet wet dealing with the heavier duty (than a car) nature of the equipment and systems. Then extrapolate those experiences to the Galactically more complicated and expensive universe of all things "Coach". It should open your eyes to what we're trying to convey and give you proper pause, before you commit to a potential life shattering decision. Remember "Where Angels Fear to Tread". Sweet Dreams.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:55 PM   #10
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Thank you for all the replies. I think Iím going to stick to a skoolie
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