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Old 04-10-2020, 05:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Manchester, NH
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Year: 1995
Chassis: special platform integral
Engine: Series 60 6 Cyl.
Rated Cap: 55 pass
Looking for advice

Hi there,



Looking to purchase my first bus (!!) and hoping for some advice.



I found a 1995 MCI motor coach bus with a 60 series detroit engine and an automatic transmission, seats 55 people. Its selling for $9k.



I don't have much more info on it yet, but looking for any pros and cons/ red flags that jump out to all (the experts!).



I should add, I prefer a coach style bus due to height, I am 6ft, and don't want to be ducking my head all the time. Also, we won't be traveling full time, probably only a few months out of the year. We are going to live in it full time though



Thanks so much!! Love these forums!



~Ashley
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:06 PM   #2
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Lots more room in a coach. that mci will ride like its on a cloud compared to a school bus.
But its a beast. Its bigger in every way. Cost more to maintain. But the engine is about as good as it gets and if taken care of can go a million miles.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:56 PM   #3
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Year: 1996
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Engine: T444E 7.3L
Coach busses are awesome! Make sure it don't have rust issues. The Detroit Diesel engines are sweet, but require lots of love. Expect 6-7 MPG from that bus. Good luck!
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:58 PM   #4
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Definitely be aware of potential maintenance and repair costs may be. When you are used to auto repair costs, coach repairs can be shocking.

Regarding fuel mileage, I would expect you to get 8+ mpg. I managed to get a consistent 7.25mpg out of an 8v71 in an Eagle 10. Your S60 would be much more efficient than my DD two stroke.
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:56 AM   #5
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
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Ashley - I don't know much about other MCI coaches but I am happy with mine (1998 102-EL3 named Missy - much more info here). As noted by others, everything is bigger and more expensive - you automatically get that with the 50,000 gross weight capability.

There are some surprises in store.
1. Removing the interior is a major undertaking. The seats come out easily enough, it is the overhead luggage bins and aft restroom that are difficult.

2. The $29 oil change does NOT exist. The DD60 requires 7 GALLONS of oil and two filters. A simple oil change is then more like $350. Of course, you can go much further than 3,000 miles on that oil.

3. The big 22 inch tires are expensive. Check the ones on your rig carefully. I am a believer in the 7 year rule regardless of appearance. That is a $5,000 expense every 7 years.

4. I did a poor job utilizing the under floor heat and A/C ducting. If I were doing it over again, I would do a better job. I was in too much of a hurry.

Probably more but that's what quickly comes to mind.
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Ashley - I don't know much about other MCI coaches but I am happy with mine (1998 102-EL3 named Missy - much more info here). As noted by others, everything is bigger and more expensive - you automatically get that with the 50,000 gross weight capability.

There are some surprises in store.
1. Removing the interior is a major undertaking. The seats come out easily enough, it is the overhead luggage bins and aft restroom that are difficult.

2. The $29 oil change does NOT exist. The DD60 requires 7 GALLONS of oil and two filters. A simple oil change is then more like $350. Of course, you can go much further than 3,000 miles on that oil.

3. The big 22 inch tires are expensive. Check the ones on your rig carefully. I am a believer in the 7 year rule regardless of appearance. That is a $5,000 expense every 7 years.

4. I did a poor job utilizing the under floor heat and A/C ducting. If I were doing it over again, I would do a better job. I was in too much of a hurry.

Probably more but that's what quickly comes to mind.
On;ly 7 gallons? you sure???
My Cat holds about 6 or 7 gallons and is "only" a 7.2 liter engine. I'd imagine an engine nearly twice its size to hold a bit more.
The 22's are going to just as expensive on a coach as a school bus. Most coaches will cost more due to having an extra axle, though.
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
There are some surprises in store.
1. Removing the interior is a major undertaking. The seats come out easily enough, it is the overhead luggage bins and aft restroom that are difficult.

2. The $29 oil change does NOT exist. The DD60 requires 7 GALLONS of oil and two filters. A simple oil change is then more like $350. Of course, you can go much further than 3,000 miles on that oil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
On;ly 7 gallons? you sure???
My Cat holds about 6 or 7 gallons and is "only" a 7.2 liter engine. I'd imagine an engine nearly twice its size to hold a bit more.
The 22's are going to just as expensive on a coach as a school bus. Most coaches will cost more due to having an extra axle, though.

I believe the DD60 holds around 10-11 gallons of oil, at least in the trucking uses they do. Also, oil changes can be had for considerably less than $350, but you're right on the $29 oil change specials. Figure between $130-200, depending what level of oil change you want.


Also, MAKE SURE you use diesel grade oil when topping off, and the "Add" mark on the dipstick is usually calibrated for a gallon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
3. The big 22 inch tires are expensive. Check the ones on your rig carefully. I am a believer in the 7 year rule regardless of appearance. That is a $5,000 expense every 7 years.
Figure a minimum of $350 per tire, plus installation and valve stems (yes, let these get replaced after a few years, they do develop leaks). Ask anyone who has ever blown an old tire how much collateral damage is caused, not to mention the expense and hassle of road service .... Of course, you can easily spend more for "better" tires, but keep in mind more expensive does *NOT* always mean better *FOR YOUR USAGE*. Most coaches won't get much (if any) benefit from aggressive off-road tires, most will never see anything other than concrete, pavement, or occasionally packed gravel, so highway tires will do just fine for these.


My tires are probably getting some age (I haven't checked yet) but I'm also running a short school bus which doesn't weigh nearly as much as a coach, and I'm not running it any distance at this time, so I'm comfortable running on the existing tires for now.
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:15 AM   #8
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I can do a 7 gallon change with filter for way less than a hundo.
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:06 PM   #9
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Update!

Due to logistics, we are just getting to go look at the bus(es) on Sunday. Yes.. there are multiple..



This family is getting rid of their fleet buses after their parents passed and they don't want to carry on the business. They have (4) 1995 MCI 102D3 buses for sale. I have seen them cross listed on a few sites, pricing anywhere from $6k-$9k, miles ranging from 300k-500k, all with B600 Allison automatic transmission.



I've talked to the sellers, who drove the buses when they were in service, and he said they are all in great shape.



I'm feeling extremely optimistic, and am ready to buy one Sunday (assuming no significant rust, and our diesel mechanic who is coming with us approves)! Hoping I'm not missing any red flags here... this sort of feels too good to be true..
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:14 PM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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thats a good era of coach, imo. they ride like they're on a cloud. the engine is the size of a small car.
See if you can talk to forum member Kubla. he has one of similar age and he knows all bout mci's.
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