Sunday, January 23, 2011

A little history on the bus

The MC-6 also known as the Supercruiser was intended to pioneer the new width of 102 inches in the 1960's. Unfortunately the appropriate legislation proved to be elusive and the MC-6 ended up being ahead of its time. It did not enter regular production until 1969 and only 100 were ever built, all for Greyhound. Because of their width, Greyhound was forced to limit the assignment of MC-6 coaches to special routes where permits or other regulations allowed the coaches to operate. The 102 inch width later became legal years after the MC-6 coaches had left the Greyhound fleet. The MC-6 was built 40 feet long 102" wide and all stainless construction. As far as I can gather, this bus was purchased in the 80's as a entertainer bus already with bedroom galley bathroom and the front with 2 and 1 seating.

 This bus was purchased in the early 80's by William Alfred Cook.. founder of Cook group and Star of Indiana drum and bugle corps. This was one of his first buses, and was used to transport band members to many of the football games. William did a lot of the driving in the 80's. The group back then named the bus 
 "BIG BIRD"  and had a big yellow Big Bird decal on the side window by the door. In the early 90's the bus went through a major rebuild. It never got used much after that, because star was having some financial problems and this was a non proffit organization.

The bus mostly sat with only about 13,000 miles put on since the overhaul. Then John Chandler purchased the bus in 2001 and used the bus to move from Alaska to Idaho. The next year he decided he wanted to full time in the bus. So in 2002 the bus got tore down to be modified for full timing. The bus never got done enough to use untill 2009. Then the bus was drove back to Alaska so John could buy a piece of land he could come to in the summers. I visited with them for a while, then they returned to Idaho. After that he passed and the bus never got winterized, so it froze and busted all the plumbing.

I got the bus in June 2010 and flew down to Idaho, then drove it back to Alaska... This drove like a DREAM and no problems. After I got the bus back to Alaska, I started to tear it back down to repair all the plumbing. I re plumbed the bus with all pex and installed all new plumbing fixtures. Then we re tiled the shower and the floors and installed all new carpet. We have used the bus all over Alaska in the latter part of the summer. It has been VERY RELIABLE and now has 36,000 on the clock. Next project is to polish the stainless like chrome.
Also this bus was first ever BUS OF THE WEEK on

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Here is a list of most of the features of the bus

Okay I will try and be as thorough as possible, I will start with running gear. The engine is a 8v92 turbo with Jake brakes was professionally installed and has 34,000 miles. The transmission is an Allison 740 that was built and installed with the engine and has the same amount of miles. The engine and transmission work was performed by Mack Mann Bus works Inc, Merrill ville, Indiana and transmission was done by Clark Detroit Diesel and Allison in Ohio. We have all documents on this work. Transmission has an electronic toggle shifter. Rear tag axle bearings and front axle bearings are new.

 All rear Airbags on the bus are new. Brakes appear to be about 80%. Tires appear to be about 85 to 90% with new spare also mounted on Alcoa aluminum rims. Bus has custom wheel adapters to except modern wheels. Front end has been completely rebuilt and has brand new steering box and linkages and has been re engineered to steer tighter than stock, does not appear to wear at all on front tires and handles like a dream. Has four 8D batteries all brand new, has recent air compressor and steering pump and has air dryer system. Two radiators one on each side of the engine compartment one is a gear drive the other is electric fans.

 There has been custom built hydraulic levelers that will lift the bus 2 ft. off the ground easily and will hold firm without a whole lot of shake, The pads are 1/2 in thick by 2 foot diameter. The bus had been completely stripped to the skeleton than rebuilt to accommodate new windows and raised roof, than skinned with all new stainless steal. Floor was lowered, Windshields are new with no scratches or chips. The Bus has been completely spray foamed, Interior is solid Teak wood front to rear as well as the cabinets. The floor is 1-1/8 inch thick with heat tubing through out including the entry stairs and shower. It is set up with 3 zones. It has two Primus hydronic boilers, one is gas and the other is electric.

 The flooring inside is 50% tile and 50% carpet and the shower is all tile that is rare from an antique shop over seas we were told. If you look at the rounded tiles in the photo of the shower up at the upper half of the shower and also the bathroom vanity area, and the backsplash tiles on the kitchen counters. All the window shades in the bus are day/night shades. It has an electric vent fan installed in the sewer tank vent, this works real good.
You just turn it on when going down the road and the stink doesn't draft into the bus. It has enough lights to light up Las Vegas, most are on 3way switches.

 The plumbing fixtures inside is all Kohler which is top of the line,Toilet is a China toilet, the plumbing is all done in PEX tubing. Brand new 10 gal Atwood hot water heater gas/elec with electronic ignition. New high pressure sure flow water pump. Custom built 250 gal stainless steal water tank under bed. Queen size sleep number bed with remote control dual adjustment. 250 gal sewer tank with electric dump valve, portable propane tanks no fixed tanks. Electronic digital water meter counter so you can see your water usage from inside the cabin. Sewer tank and water pump are in an insulated bay. 560 gal custom built aux fuel tank. 200 gal main fuel tank, 12.5 kw Kohler diesel generator with smart gen to automatically start gen when batteries are low and manual controls for generator in front cabin and bedroom. Automatic transfer switch, 50 amp shore power with 50 amp welder plug in one of the bays. Zantrex Prosine 3.0 sign wave 4000 watt Inverter, electronics are installed on this inverter and heart interface inverter battery charger 2500 watt freedom 25. This runs some the outlets. Both inverters have remote controlled gauges in the cabin. All the tanks are connected to Snake river electronics tank monitor ultra-8.

 The seating is all brand new leather with the sofa being a klick klack bed. Splendid washer/dryer combo, trash compacter, side by side refrigerator freezer with ice maker, full size dishwasher and range and custom built pull out pantry. Has TV in the front and rear bedroom. Built in safe installed and all closets are cedar lined. Has a 10 disc CD player and Sony DVD player. Wilson cellular antenna power booster and transmitter which works very well. King Dome satellite Dish and Windgaard Roadstar TV antenna. Mirage electronic awnings that will come in automatically if wind starts blowing too much. Multiple roof mount weather stations. Three large roof mount solar panels, remote controlled spot lights front and rear, 4 large air horns this sounds like a freight train :) Sony back up camera and multiple back up lights on spring loaded toggles so you don't forget and leave them on. Three duo-therm 600 series roof airs. Pressure Pro tire monitor system, heated electric mirrors, King cruise control, Williams air throttle.

 Has electronic automatic door opening system. The seat behind the drivers seat is mounted on an hydraulic operated arm that with a flip of a switch it will rise up come forward and sit down beside the driver seat and the arm is barely visible and sure is a cool custom feature. Garmin GPS with roof mount antenna. All the windows are thermo paned windows. It has a 50A welder in one of the bay's also air, water, and electric reels. I'm sure I am forgetting some things but hopefully captured most of it for you.

This was not a professional conversion but in my opinion it was probably better. John was an engineer/ fabricator for BP when they built the Alaska pipe line and he also installed all the weather stations on Prudhoe Bay at the time. After that he flew planes and rebuilt his. This was his third bus so I feel he was highly capable of building his dream as any professional would have been. I have a tote completely full of shop manuals, owner manuals, parts manuals for everything installed, past service records and most important of all a very thick photo album of the complete build with all dated pictures.