Converting my 1955 GM Coach to a DD50 - Seeking RTS NOVA/Flxible Metro/Neoplan

Discussion in 'Everything Big Diesel Powered' started by Brandon314159, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Brandon314159

    Brandon314159 Registered User

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    Intro: I'm typ4's son, with a big old transit bus RV conversion I've been flogging down the road for a handful of years. We're upgraded the cylinder head, rodded the radiator, re-plumbed, tuned, adjusted, and upgraded all that is possible on this TIRED 6-71 Detroit Diesel. I converted it to an overdrive (automatic, due to the odd v-drive configuration) to help on the highways but this power-plant is nearing the end of it's life. It won't start without ether and the thought of spending the $ on an in-frame when this old beast is just too darn underpowered to push these slushboxes down the road...hurts.

    With that in mind,

    I am seeking out a GM RTS NOVA, Flxible Metro, Neoplan, or anything similar with the VR731RH tied to a Detroit Diesel 50 Series. These would be buses from the mid 1990's and have the 4-banger mounted transverse in the back with the odd-ball v-drive driveline running off at an angle. Runners are ideal but I can work with most anything if the price is right. I'm here in the Pacific NW but please point me at anything that could help us out in this project. A rusty or wrecked bus would be ideal so I'm not gutting a perfect bus but with my limited budget, we'll see what happens.

    If you see one of these about, let me or typ4 know. Thank you!

    Community_Transit_759_(GM_RTS)[1].jpg
    1992_Flxible_bus,_TriMet_1714,_in_downtown_Portland_in_2013[1].jpg
     
  2. towcat

    towcat Administrator Staff Member

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  3. Brandon314159

    Brandon314159 Registered User

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  4. towcat

    towcat Administrator Staff Member

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    i know even less. I've always avoided working on busses. period. conventional and cabover truck/tractor OK. Bus? nope nope nope nope.
     
  5. Brandon314159

    Brandon314159 Registered User

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    Guy says it's a 'Detroit 92 super carged' so sounds 2-stroke (probably 6v92). Dang!
     
  6. towcat

    towcat Administrator Staff Member

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  7. towcat

    towcat Administrator Staff Member

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    if you can cram it in yours, there will be no lack of power there! :D
     
  8. Brandon314159

    Brandon314159 Registered User

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    I've seen v-motors installed in these transits and it is not pretty...not to mention the 2-strokes are big heaters of the cooling system. The forward valve cover has to be accessed via the ground or hole in the floor. Not a pleasant experience for running the rack. The redding bus is a T-drive cummins. If I had a t-drive, life would be easy (so many transits at auction up here) but these V's are a sure oddity.
     
  9. riotwarrior

    riotwarrior Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Next time I do road trip will snap pics get details....old bus for YVR shuttle....looks similar but eh..WTF do I know about buses :dunno
     
  10. Brandon314159

    Brandon314159 Registered User

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    Found a bus with a locked up motor on e-bay but the price isn't very good and it's a LONG ways away. Not sure if I'm allowed to post ebay links...it's auction 112041568363.

    Seller didn't have much information outside locked up engine.

    I have feelers out to some bus resellers looking for a rusty unit or one that has been in a wreck. Unfortunately most of these era buses are getting crushed because of their lack of emissions compliance (or sold over the border).
     
  11. laserjock

    laserjock Almost there... Supporting Member

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    The one important thing missing from this thread are pics of the current ride.
     
  12. Brandon314159

    Brandon314159 Registered User

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    Not sure where my manners went...OF COURSE THIS THREAD NEEDS PICTURES!

    20160524_193425.jpg
    20160622_205746.jpg
    20160619_160755.jpg

    Picture from an event we volunteer locally with, with all my Communications gear set up.
    Picture from Fields Station, Oregon (way in the middle of nowhere)
    And some powerplant pr0n.

    26,150lbs in that evening photograph.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  13. The Warden

    The Warden MiB Impersonator Supporting Member

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    I can't imagine a bus from that era without a 2-stroke Driptroit...I vote for rebuilding the 6-71 ;Sweet maybe add a turbo to help with the power issues?

    Are my eyes playing tricks with me, or is that a 2-valve head valve cover?
     
  14. Brandon314159

    Brandon314159 Registered User

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    I (with the expertise of typ4) tried but the cost of rebuilding this 2-stroke is right on par with a repower...and us 2-stroke guys have to run single weight rated oils (which are not so common anymore).

    I'd turbo the 2-stroke but that adds $ fast as I'd also need to swap out the injectors too. The efficiency of the 2-stroke is still pretty bad so then I'm trying to blow even more KBTU's through the less than ideal radiator system. It's a loosing battle.

    I'm not expecting to blow over the grades at the speed limit but some of our climbs have us in the single digits MPH and that's getting unreasonably slow. The hope is to upgrade (a little) and spring some life into this old beast so we can keep using it. If there was any way to stuff a 6+ speed gearbox in there I would have already done it and kept the jimmy. There isn't anyone else I've found running slushboxes tied to the 6-71 as their RV and now I think I know why :)

    That VC is a tall steel to house the extra hardware for the jaccobs brakes.
     
  15. compressionignitionrules

    compressionignitionrules Full Access Member

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    we had one of these 4cyl detroits in a freightliner daycab yard tractor . what a cool sound, but from what I've heard about them they worked much better with an Allison auto and a steady rpm. I had my eyes on the engine if they ever stopped using it. thought it would be an awesome powerplant for my 67 Mercury 700 I'm trying to get started on rebuilding/repowering. can't buy any parts for it anymore up here in Ontario, going to do a complete chassis swap instead.

    that 50 series 4cyl really does have its own sound, I like it! not very common engine here.
     

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