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Old 05-09-2016, 11:54 AM   #1
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1975 MCI conversion

I am considering the purchase of a 1975 MCI MC5B. It was converted in the early 90s. It is a beautiful bus. My only concern is the engine. It is a detroit diesel 8V71. From the research I have done it seems like that engine is noisy, uses lots of oil and lacks power for climbing hills. We are wanting an RV that we will be comfortable with taking anywhere in the country.

Any thoughts??
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:28 PM   #2
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Detroit diesels until 1995 were 2 cycle, thus the reputation for noise. After 1995 a 4 cycle was introduced. Many variations besides the 8V71 were produced, the 71 series was first sold in 1938, so there are still many out there and lots of folks that know how to work on them. A 2 cycle diesel revs higher to give it's maximum torque, the engine requires a blower to force air in and exhaust out, the air often carries drops of oil through to the air box drains, creating an oily engine compartment, (Just marking their territory) thus the nickname "Driptroit Diesel."

All around a very reliable and popular engine for decades in everything from fire trucks to yachts, military use, and buses.

The real question is how good was the bus to RV conversion? The quality of the systems installed and their installation would be key in deciding if it would be a good buy or not.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The bus is listed on RV trader, maybe someone will recognize it.

1975 MCI Bus Conversion , Federal Way WA - - RVtrader.com
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:32 PM   #4
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I had a 1972 mci conversion had always been a motorhome in fact it was a famous country singers. Had a 8-71. But IV never heard of them being a 2 cycle guess I'm just a dumb Tennessee man. But Detroit calls them two stroke meaning it fires every time the piston comes to the top.and exhaust on down stroke. The max rpm are around 2200
The sweet spot is 1800. Did use about a quart of oil 1000-1500 miles. It was power
Enough to pull the gordge on I40 between NC and TN at about 45 mph. Probably the best rv I ever owned. Just to big for me
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:53 PM   #5
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That really ain't a bad looking bus for the money. It appears to be really clean all over including engine. That's a huge storage bay underneath too! Looks like pretty beefy tires on it, MCI was built like a tank. Check the tire age.

If it checks out sound (perhaps have it inspected professionally) it don't look like a bad buy. Do a little haggling if your gut says buy it. Just a couple opinions.

Best of luck to ya,
W.D.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:05 PM   #6
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Two cycle and two stroke mean the same thing, the power stroke happens every time the piston travels down - up. A four cycle (stroke) travels up - down - up (ignition) - down, 4 strokes per power stroke.

A good looking RV, I'd think you could get the sales price down some before closing the deal.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:11 PM   #7
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X2 have it inspected professionally. I would also require oil samples for the engine and transmission as this would be the most costly if they failed.

The coach does look good, if this is your preference on a RV and it checks out good luck & hope you get it.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:14 PM   #8
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Where are the instruments in the dash?
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
Where are the instruments in the dash?
They're in recesses in the panel. Typical MCI dashboard from that era.

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Old 05-10-2016, 12:51 PM   #10
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They're in recesses in the panel. Typical MCI dashboard from that era.

Ok, now I see them. Pretty lame setup to me
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:54 PM   #11
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Lots of very knowing bus folks at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/7027...1&notif_t=like

And: https://www.facebook.com/groups/141126842574707/#_=_

Looks very nice from here!!
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:04 PM   #12
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I had considered converting one of them. Good solid foundation. Looks well maintained and not all dinged up.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:42 PM   #13
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I can't speak of that bus ,but that is the lot that we bought our mci off of. We got a seated coach and did the conversion ourselves. The big factor in the bus we got is that it had a newer 4 stroke engine in it.
Good people to deal with in our case. Good luck with your search.

Chuck
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:20 AM   #14
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Check the frame for rot we found 3 mci's that had frame rot. Look where the rear shock mounts and feel the top of that if it has rot there walk away.
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