Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-23-2020, 07:33 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 20
1998/1999 MCI E4500 w/ Detroit Engine?

Hello, i am wondering what engine would be in a 1998/1999 MCI E4500. The listing just says "Detroit/Allison power". Searching google leads me to believe its a Detroit Diesel DD13.

Is this a good engine? What is the price range to replace an engine in this bus to remanufactured condition, and would it be worth doing?
teknomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2020, 08:07 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
CHEESE_WAGON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,522
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknomad View Post
Hello, i am wondering what engine would be in a 1998/1999 MCI E4500. The listing just says "Detroit/Allison power". Searching google leads me to believe its a Detroit Diesel DD13.

Is this a good engine? What is the price range to replace an engine in this bus to remanufactured condition, and would it be worth doing?
Wrong era for a DD13. The DD13 is a smaller version of the DPF / DEF-equipped 4-stroke Class 8 DD15 used in semi trucks. Both are decent engines (I've driven quite a few DD15s in cross-country trucking). However, neither was around until at least 2007 or so to my knowledge.

MCIs were widely known for using 2-stroke Detroit power when it was available, and a 1998 model would likely be a 4-stroke 50 or 60-series Detroit. I would lean toward this being a 60-series, the 50 is not nearly enough engine for a tour bus such as an MCI. The 60 is a very solid engine, any truck repair shop can fix them, and not hard to get parts for.

It may be remotely possible it might have a 2-stroke 8V92 or 6V92 Detroit, also both solid engines apart from the cylinder liner issues inherent to the 92-series, but I'm pretty sure these 2-strokes were out of production long before 1998.
__________________
"Cheese Wagon" <anomaly.va@gmail.com>

Former owner - 1989 Ford B700 64-pass Blue Bird (Rest In Peace, Cheese Wagon)
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 05:28 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 20
worst-case scinario: the whole engine needs to be replaced. How much would that cost?
And are there emissions issues, or any expensive electronics that cause problems?

This will probably sit all winter, but get driven a lot during summer. (i would like to go across the whole continent with it)
teknomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 05:33 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 13,956
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
big bucks in a coach to swap an engine.. is there a possibility that its blown up? if it in fact has a 60 series detroit, those I believe are wet sleeve engines so you could have it rebuilt in the bus if its just a compression or blowby / valve issue.. obviously a thrown rod becomes a different story..



id expect $5-$10k to have one in-framed by a shop
id expect $20k plus to replace an engine with a reman one
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 06:14 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
CHEESE_WAGON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,522
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
A 1998-1999ish 60-series may or may not have EGR, and pretty sure would have an electronic engine management. Nothing particularly noteworthy, as far as I know, you see one 60-series, you've pretty much seen them all, apart from the two displacements - 12.7L and 14L

The nice thing about the 60-series is that they are easy to find, and they aren't going anywhere anytime soon, being the engine of choice in semi tractor "glider kits", a veritable trucker's "kit car", as it were. Basically, they're a new truck cab, frame, driveline, etc., with a rebuilt / remanufactured engine not subject to tighter emissions standards of a brand-new truck.

The catch, obviously, is that they are not allowed in states with tighter emissions inspection standards (Cancerfornia - *COUGH*). Not typically a concern with a bus registered and titled as a motorhome. But the Detroit 60-series is the usual engine of choice alongside the Cummins N14 and Caterpillar C15 in these applications - a testament to its reliability and simplicity. Many a 60-series has gone 1,000,000 miles or more before an in-frame.
__________________
"Cheese Wagon" <anomaly.va@gmail.com>

Former owner - 1989 Ford B700 64-pass Blue Bird (Rest In Peace, Cheese Wagon)
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 07:03 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,919
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
If it has the detroit and allison, and is a 99, it will be a series 60 with a B500

The series 60 was always computer controlled. It was designed that way and was actually the first HD engine to be electronic. They came in different displacements and computer generations. Being a 99, it's likely a 12.7L DDEC-IV variant. In that year they're good runners, and pretty reliable. It won't have EGR,as I believe that came at the end of 2000.

You'll spend thousands putting in a reman. You wouldn't necessarily have to do anything reman wise to it unless it has problems. And if it does, it's not really worth it unless the price reflects those issues.
__________________
The Silver Bullet https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/p...llet-9266.html
Booyah45828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 08:50 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 20
my plan is to buy a "shell", with no rust or structural problems, and then just expect to replace the engine. Since the busses i'm looking at are all in the 5000 -10,000 range, they're all going to have a ton of road behind them

I've seen people talk about in-frame rebuilds vs remanufactured engines, and they seem to suggest a remanufactured engine isnt a whole lot more than a rebuild, so you may as well get it remanufactured so you know you'll have a good engine for a long time

Would 10,000 for a 1998/1999 MCI E4500 sound right? or can i expect to find them for less?
Theres no milage listed, but im assuming its over 1 million given the price and year. Although it does say it drives and passed MTO inspection
teknomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 09:04 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
Crown_Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 202
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
Apart from the engine and drive-line questions which are all correct in their info, I'd add my two cents regarding the first basic fact it's an "E" 4500 (45ft). That makes it one of MCI's rather infamous Renaissance models which were the first iteration of the new body style, which we all know now and love so much, right after the 96-102A3's which were an evolutionary body style after the MC9, which they remained mostly still underneath, a transitional phase as they got the "E" ready.

The "E" model was a way over-engineered and very complicated design made by Engineers and gladdened their hearts, but it was a nightmare for the average commercial operator who had to keep them on the road and in service. Multiple split zone A/C, Air-ride suspension with all kinds of tricky features, many, many, other computer controlled basic functions which all had the bad habit of failing on trips and leaving the bus dead on the road and other fun things. I drove a few in my time and found them to be rather complicated to get the basic services to work reliably and when they failed the usual fix, if you can believe it, was to shut the battery switch off and count to 10 and turn it back on. Does this remind anyone of the classic fix for PC Windoze computers?? A full power-off cold re-boot. Well that's what these things acted like, a lot. Imagine yourself all alone in the wilds of America's highways with a load of passengers and your bus dies and you realize all your lives depend on the onboard computers which behave like a typical Windoze PC. It's a nightmare.

MCI quickly got an avalanche of negative field feedback from operators and promptly came out with the much simplified "J" model 4500 which is now the gold standard for MCI Coaches. MUCH simpler systems and many complicated doodads and features removed entirely in the re-design to make a user/operator/driver friendly coach that ended up being very reliable and solid and easy to repair and keep on the road. I drove a J4500 with a Cat 3406 on long multi-week tours for a few years and I loved it. One of the most comfortable buses to drive on the road since the Scenicruiser, I used to own in my own company, which was the best.

MCI did themselves proud and it takes it's place as probably the most popular and iconic model right up there with the Classic and awesome MC9 which was produced in such massive numbers. There weren't all that many E's made and the few I've seen lately are getting very long in the tooth and I question the availability of some parts to keep them running. Most operators had lots of trouble constantly with them and I'm sure the overall maintenance suffered, which will be your problems as soon as you buy one. Salvage yards would be your happy hunting grounds most likely. I dare say the engine drive-line costs could easily be the very least of your problems and expenses. Coaches are nasty and definitely right up there with the other rich man toys like "Boats" and "Airplanes" which usually means if you have to ask you can't afford it and shouldn't be playing in that sandbox.

Personally, and I speak only for myself, I'd rather have a "J' if I ever went for one of these, but my first choice remains a good solid "D" model pre-2000 vintage with a Series 60 and minus all the smog crap that degrades the engine and with all the other very reliable and straight forward systems much more suited to a private individual with limited funds to repair and keep up with. The "D" is a true work-horse and operators still love them for their reliability and serviceability, maybe not the most handsome design compared to others today, but who cares they always were on the road and made them money. Remember ALL coaches are orders of magnitude more costly to fix than a typical school bus, even a Crown. Keep that always in mind Coaches will eat your lunch and anyone else near you if you let them. But that's just me. I do plan on getting a D someday soon but I need to find a gold mine first to make it feasible, or find some other way to increase my "Disposable" income, since the damn buses will always seem to know when you get a few bucks ahead. Just ask any commercial operator how the buses in their fleets talk to each other when they aren't around.... and they conspire to play dead in order to get repair attention. No joke.
Crown_Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 09:08 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 964
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
I think the engine itself should be the least of your worries. Series 60s are tough reliable engines that can outlast any privately-owned bus, and as has been said here they are not so old (like mine is . . .) that they can't be rebuilt or repaired by any competent Detroit shop. The B500 transmission would be much more of a concern to me, and they are EXPENSIVE to rebuild ($15K or more); they won't last as long as a Series 60. Even with stainless steel in their construction, MCIs can still corrode, especially around their bogies and airbag beams, so a very thorough inspection is prudent before handing over cash. Where was this bus working? Does it have a full service history - what was done when, by whom, and why? Is it being sold by its first owner, or second, or who? Why is it being sold?

The good folk on the Bus Conversion Magazine forum are your best source of accurate down-to-earth advice that you'll ever get, especially from gurus like Clifford (Luvrbus) and Busted Knuckle. If they say something, you'd better believe it!

Good luck,
John
Iceni John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 09:10 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
CHEESE_WAGON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,522
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
As Booyah said, a reman isn't really necessary unless we're talking catastrophic failure. And the thought that says a reman isn't much more than an in-frame doesn't account for the extra, say, 4 to 10 hours of labor to remove and reinstall the block. At typical shop labor of perhaps $80 to $180 per hour, that can add up. That money can go towards a new turbo, other power upgrades / trans overhaul, or your build-out. You also have to consider that engine hours are just as much of a consideration as mileage. But also consider how much you'll really be DRIVING it.
__________________
"Cheese Wagon" <anomaly.va@gmail.com>

Former owner - 1989 Ford B700 64-pass Blue Bird (Rest In Peace, Cheese Wagon)
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 02:09 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 964
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
I think the engine itself should be the least of your worries. Series 60s are tough reliable engines that can outlast any privately-owned bus, and as has been said here they are not so old (like mine is . . .) that they can't be rebuilt or repaired by any competent Detroit shop. The B500 transmission would be much more of a concern to me, and they are EXPENSIVE to rebuild ($15K or more); they won't last as long as a Series 60. Even with stainless steel in their construction, MCIs can still corrode, especially around their bogies and airbag beams, so a very thorough inspection is prudent before handing over cash. Where was this bus working? Does it have a full service history - what was done when, by whom, and why? Is it being sold by its first owner, or second, or who? Why is it being sold?

The good folk on the Bus Conversion Magazine forum are your best source of accurate down-to-earth advice that you'll ever get, especially from gurus like Clifford (Luvrbus) and Busted Knuckle. If they say something, you'd better believe it!

Good luck,
John
Sorry Mike, I didn't see you had already contributed some good info on these buses! So now there are three folk who will give good advice on them - Luvrbus, BK and Mike.

John
Iceni John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 03:05 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 13,956
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
cool stuff to learn of ther E series.. I wondered what these were.. ive never seen one in the wild. I suppose one of my favorite MCI's is the goold ole MC9 workhorse


ill remember the E series.. electronics never bother me.. however lack of parts availability does bother me as only some parts can i fab up or work around ..


as i still search for 6 pieces of front glass and rubber for something as common as my GMC fishbowl I can only imagine how finding specialized parts for a somewhat limited MCI could be!
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2020, 09:29 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 20
wow, thank you all for your replies, this has been really helpful.

Is there any way to delete the E's pesky electronics? Or will the engine not start if the computer isnt happy?

I'm also looking at a 2007 D4500 with a C13 Caterpillar, and allison automatic. Its already geared for highway travel.

What exactly makes Coach busses more expensive? Just the fact the mechanic knows its a coach and you have wads of cash stored away? Or is there something unique about the engine compartment or engine itself? Or maybe just the features/electronics that need repair? I know the extra 4 tires are gonna add up.

I would ideally gut the inside of the bus. I would like to keep the AC, air-ride and wheelchair lifts if they're there, but other than that i dont mind replacing all other features. Is it possible to cut the electronics out of these things? or are the "features" electronics tied to the engine's electronics somehow?
teknomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2020, 06:48 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 13,956
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
your A/C, lighting, heat, etc asre going to be ties into an electronic system.. embrace the computers.. dont buy an advanced bus and then take it back to 1947 where you sweat, bounce, freeze, and rattle..



coaches are awesome driving pieces of machinery they are also more complex.. some features you can remove but these things have computer networks built in.. if you arent a computer whiz and dont want to learn to be one then dont go rippin stuff out.. or plan to pay someone who can properly remove things without causing issues..



or if you do rip everything out, learn about how to control compressors, fans, EEV's, Lights, lifts, and doors with electronics that you build yourself and retrofit in.



be careful is all I am gonna say..
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2020, 07:00 AM   #15
Site Team
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 1,191
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknomad View Post
Hello, i am wondering what engine would be in a 1998/1999 MCI E4500. The listing just says "Detroit/Allison power". Searching google leads me to believe its a Detroit Diesel DD13.

Is this a good engine? What is the price range to replace an engine in this bus to remanufactured condition, and would it be worth doing?
I skimmed this thread, hopefully not repeating anything...

I don't believe the E4500 was introduced until 2001. Thus, I think something is goofy with your info.

I have an 102-EL3, the forerunner to the E4500/J4500. It has the DD60 (the biggin... 12.7L, 435hp).

You must be looking at a coach with a known bad engine?? If not, what's the scenario that has you thinking about engine replacement? (just curious)
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2020, 05:28 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
You must be looking at a coach with a known bad engine?? If not, what's the scenario that has you thinking about engine replacement? (just curious)
I figure all of the coaches in my price range are nearing the end of their usable life, otherwise they wouldn't be this price. Im assuming the engine will go bad and plan for that, so i dont get stuck with an 'immobile' home.

And when that serious engine problem does happen, i'd rather replace it with a new or remanufactured engine, rather then spend the same amount playing wack-a-mole with the old one

I'm looking for a good chassis and shell, and plan to gut the interior, and eventually replace the engine when it goes. If i can detach some of the electronics and leave other parts, that would be great.
But if i cant turn the engine on and drive, because its tied in with other expensive electronics that are having issues then thats a no-go.

I read something about a "gold brick" that was basically some custom electronics that controlled everything in the bus, and you couldn't drive without it.... and these apparently went bad frequently... i want to avoid that type of situation.

My ideal bus would be something with easily available replacement parts that arent super expensive, that i can hack and modify. Which is how i landed on skoolies in the first place. They're really ideal for what i'm describing. I just really like the look of these coaches, and theres a bunch of these e4500s for the right price.
teknomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2020, 06:09 AM   #17
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 967
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: TE 444
Rated Cap: 12
I have a 1998 102D3 MCI, 60 series with the B500, if you look on the west coast, there are a bunch of coaches for sale because of California's emissions law banning coaches without the new emissions systems
Here is an interesting one that you might call about, prison bus so of no interest to anyone who wants a seated bus https://www.truckpaper.com/listings/...1/1999-mci-mc9
Can pretty much guarantee that it has been serviced regularly while in use
Kubla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2020, 06:17 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
or if you do rip everything out, learn about how to control compressors, fans, EEV's, Lights, lifts, and doors with electronics that you build yourself and retrofit in.
Ideally, this is exactly what i want to do. but i want to do it bit by bit. I want to still drive the thing while other parts like the AC or lighting are disconnected.

I guess i just want to know if thats even possible with these busses, and if other people are doing it. Is it as easy as disconnecting the correct wires and writing some arduino code? I can, and WANT to do that. If i know others have done it, and know its possible, then i can figure it out.
But if i need to learn how to program an FPGA and be the first to re-implement some proprietary MCI protocols by deciphering binary signals using an oscilloscope.... then i have to pass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
I have a 1998 102D3 MCI, 60 series with the B500, if you look on the west coast, there are a bunch of coaches for sale because of California's emissions law banning coaches without the new emissions systems
Here is an interesting one that you might call about, prison bus so of no interest to anyone who wants a seated bus https://www.truckpaper.com/listings/...1/1999-mci-mc9
Can pretty much guarantee that it has been serviced regularly while in use
Freedomland is lucky, you guys have tons of cheap hardware available. But up here in Canada its hard to find anything. Theres certainly a small but decent market for imported rust-free skoolies in canada, if you can find a way to import them here through all the red tape regulations and covid.
teknomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2020, 05:55 PM   #19
Skoolie
 
Crown_Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 202
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
Arduino C++ code most probably will be a non-starter for anything MCI uses. I suspect they have some form of very specialized and proprietary computer and hardware. Developed for the Vehicular Industry and it's requirements. I can think of many different things they could be using, and all through the many years I've been driving and dealing with these buses I have never had any interest in learning what they were using, because I knew it would be kept as obscure and difficult to deal with as possible so you had to go to them for parts and service.

If you have the skills and time to create and write the emulation code, along with the hardware components to match for an interface with the Coach systems, you could use something like a Raspberry Pi which has the advantage over a simple embedded processor like the Arduino of being a truly powerful and fully functional Linux Computer. Anything can be done with a Pi that you can imagine with any other computer, but you have to do all the work, certainly for a project like this. There's a ton of stuff available but this is so specialized it will be on your head to get it done.

I am developing my own system today with all kinds of open source code and hardware for a business offering, and have no intention of diving into the realm of the many high end vehicle implementations for embedded processors, sensors, and various communication busses and protocols in use today. KISS is my watchword.

I would very Strongly suggest that you approach any coach you buy as a package deal where everything is all tied together and that you are getting stuck with everything it comes with. All the Engine, Transmission, and coach body computer communications talk to each other now, oh, have I mentioned yet that it's done using signal multiplexing so the same wires are sending digital data for different components and functions and end points, so you will not be able to isolate and simply remove wires for one function easily, if at all.

It sucks big time and the main reason I have no intention of ever buying a late model one with all this digital control technology built it. You're stuck with it and may end up having to keep the equipment in place even though you don't need it and will never use it. Do you see a pattern here yet??

The older, pre-computer, multiplexed wiring coaches are preferred for what we all intend to use them for which is to remove some or most of the stuff and fill it with customized house equipment. We all have this problem but if you can live with the majority of the Coach systems and wiring you will be OK. That's a tall order for some but I know of many who have done it successfully. I'd be very careful and not be in a hurry to rip stuff out, as Buckaroo Banzai famously said, "Don't pull on that, You don't know what's it connected to".

Happy Hunting and Good Luck.
Crown_Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×