Been a while, been busy with life, and, in the last year, replacing the 8v71 Detroit Diesel in a '61 GM x-Greyhound bus I picked up in OK, and a Peugeot 103 to go in the bay shortly after. More about it on my channel.
I would love to own that bus !!
I love me an old Detroit. Worked for a marine construction company and all our equipment was powered by them. Guy at work tore one down and rebuilt it in the shop and fired it up just sitting on blocks. Was a little scary as I was on run away patrol with a piece of wood in hand to smother the intake of need be. He collected all the series and had almost all of them. I think he had 12v71 in the barn (edited)
My father was a hot rod guy in the 60's and he said that if a truck broke down on the side of the road people would steal the chargers from them to put on their gas v8's, haha!
That is so cool!
The detroit is also a two stroke, haha
Cool bus, are you going to travel in it?
yeah man they are awesome engines. MTU bought the license from detroit and they still make them because so many military and industrial vehicles worldwide use them.
they are very stingy on fuel if you stay 'out of it' but they can turn a lot of fuel into a lot of power real quick if you 'give it the beans'
having grown up going to tractor pulls with my dad, there is nothing that compares to that high rpm ground shaking whine when one really starts to jam. i myself have thought 'how can i own one of these someday' and the only reasonable answer is 'greyhound bus converted rv' it would be awesome to take one over the continental divide or soemthing where you could really make it work.
Strip that old paint off to reveal the bare aluminum skin. Insert "MOPEDS" into the destination sign and get some air horns with your favorite melody.
Thanks Guys. Yeah, I brought it from OK to AZ via side trip up to south Colorado, so it got a good chance to stretch it's legs, though the old engine felt a little tired on climbs. Had to sort a few issues on the way but nothing that couldn't be handled on the road.
It wasn't till I tried to take it up north that it decided to spring a coolant leak in the night during the first heavier rain I ever drove it through, in the middle of the Mohave desert, and pulled a sleeve before it even registered too hot, as the original early '60s "dry block" 8v71s tended to do, before it even registered hot.
With the help of a vintage bus mechanics FB group I found an old timer detroit guy pretty close that turned out to be one of the gurus. He was busy with his wife who was recovering from a stroke, but told me he'd help me out if I did all the grunt work, for a very reasonable fee, and let me store it at his place.
It wasn't worth throwing money at rebuilding a dry block, but I was lucky enough to find a deal close to home on a newer design, 70's "wet block" pulled from an AM General city bus conversion (probably ex-Seattle Metro) that a tree fell on. It was recently rebuilt with few hours by the looks of it, on the cradle with transmission, accessories, and all. Trailered it down there at the beginning of the summer and spent most of the last year off and on working on it. Here's some video from the maiden voyage with the new engine. Dual 4" straight pipes, feels like you're flying a B-17 through town.
@Graham; Despite the rise in popularity of RVs it's still a buyers market when it comes to vintage bus conversions. Nevermind having space for one, they are all custom, and you need to be mechanically apt to own one, like any vintage vehicle, or deep pocketed, and those people tend to go for new matchsticks and fiberglass boxes. The old timers that built them decades ago are sadly passing or passed on, and their families usually don't know what to do with them. If you look in to it, do your research, decide on what you want, and keep an eye on it you can find them for surprisingly cheap for what they are. Some between scrap price and free especially if they've been sitting and need lots of work, but those may require some significant resources to get home/going.
God I love it.... what's the inside like? They used to build them so nice and solid compared to modern rigs..
^ NICE! Is that an automatic? I would kill to be able to afford a rig like that....much less understand an old bus, just wow. There is a guy on you tube who rescues those, makes videos,maybe you have seen them? I would build in a huge battery pack, solar array and a portable wind turbine and go off-grid! :) Love the look, enjoy her! Only bad thing about old coaches, and I assume new ones too, is they dislike non paved surfaces, get stuck easy in dirt/mud? Any truth to that?
> Stephen Keller Wrote:
> ^ NICE! Is that an automatic? I would kill to be able to afford a rig
> like that....much less understand an old bus, just wow. There is a guy
> on you tube who rescues those, makes videos,maybe you have seen them? I
> would build in a huge battery pack, solar array and a portable wind
> turbine and go off-grid! :) Love the look, enjoy her! Only bad thing
> about old coaches, and I assume new ones too, is they dislike non paved
> surfaces, get stuck easy in dirt/mud? Any truth to that?
Yeah, it was converted to auto by the PO (they came with a 4-speed manual), upgraded to Sheppard power steering too. They're a lot more affordable than modern rigs if you're willing to invest in some tools and learn to work on them, which is doable, otherwise the maintenance is a bitch, but for 10-20k you can get a decent useable conversion, cheaper if you're willing to take on more of a project.
Of course I've enjoyed Scott's channel, gained a bit of insight from it and appreciate the work he's doing. Some of the the old timer mechanics don't have the best opinion of him though, consider him kind of a photographer-turned-bus mechanic as he's got no formal training, which would be fine by me, but from what I've heard, and now seen, he can be a bit sloppy and not do things by the book, and has refused to take responsibility when the repair fails on the customer as a result, which is a shame cause he seems like a nice guy.
Solar is definitely in the plans, as right now it's dependant on the gas generator for power and propane for heat. I'd convert the generator to propane if I wasn't planning to carry mopeds and tow a car anyway.
As long it's not too loose and muddy or steep it does ok on dirt roads etc. I stuck with open shoulder all terrain drive tires just in case I get rained out while parked on some grass or loose dirt. They were built for intercity highways, and don't have the ground clearance of something like a city school bus, so you have to watch big potholes and bumps not to scrape. The ride is way more comfortable though, and school busses don't have bays unless they are an 'activity' bus (for away games and field trips), which have less clearance anyway. (edited)
Cool info, thanks, I would be all over an automatic, I can shift just fine, but on something this size seems like a hassle. Maybe a silly question, but why not have a diesel generator? You could use the same fuel tank as the engine? Solar is the shit, and the new style batteries are amazing, expensive, but amazing. Convert to led lights and a modern 'fridge and you can be pretty self sufficient. Saw a rig with a little wind turbine that was rad af! Love the exhaust note, enjoy and keep this thread posted, like this sort of thing. Be safe, and have fun!
Nice! Love this!
Thanks Stephen. Here's another:
Wow.... thanks for sharing, this is fascinating to me.
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