You're still interested? Lets get real....

I mentioned earlier about the fact that however much old car and truck experience you've got, it really doesn't prepare you for a Scenicruiser. Some basic statistics bring it a little more in focus.... They're big! 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and then you need another 5 feet all the way around to work on it. Baggage doors swing out and up. You need space for that. They're heavy!! Real heavy!! Depending on if it's converted or not, 25,000 lbs is a good estimate. So, if you can even get it in your driveway, a 4 inch concrete slab won't really cut it. It'll break it. They're a bit over 11 feet tall, without roof top AC units. If you're going to put it inside, it's going to be a big building. Most don't live under roof for all of these reasons. Thats not the end of the world depending on where you live. I redid the whole interior and lowered the floor in an RV park a few miles from my house. I lived in New Mexico at the time so.... it wasn't Minnesota winter weather.

OK, so its home, in the driveway. Now what? Well, you'll soon discover all of your tools are waaaay to small. Even your shop air compressor is probably too small to run the 1" Impact gun you'll need to buy, just to get the wheels off it. Thats after you bought not one, but a couple of really big, hopefully air over oil, hydraulic jacks just to get it off the ground. You might as well sign up for the Harbor Freight Insiders Club right now. You'll get your money's worth.

Depending on the bus, there is a fair to good chance that the wheels and tires are so old that the tire date codes are in roman numerals. When I bought my bus in 2010 the tires were dated 1980. Plus, they were probably used when they were put on. You'll probably also find that they're 20 inch split rims. If Love's Travel Centers had anything to say about it, they wouldn't let you even drive by their shop with those, let alone allow you pay them to service them. No commercial tire shop will touch them. You'll find that even disposing of them will be a pain and probably expensive. So yes.... you're now shopping for 10 wheels and tires.

Now we get to the real "nuts and bolts" of these things. The obvious is, they're old. 65 years old and, very limited production. You can't go to NAPA and say "I need a compressor govenor for a 1956 Greyhound Scenicruiser" . You'll get that "eye in the middle of your forehead" look from the kid behind the counter that needs to know if it has an FM radio, before he can look it up in the computer. While there are a lot of Scenicruiser only "custom" parts (which we'll deal with a little later) these things were mostly "assembled" with standard off the shelf parts. The problem is, that "shelf" has been gone for 50 years or so and there aren't any cross references. You need to be resourceful, patient and sometimes inventive when looking for replacement parts. You must be smarter than the guy behind the counter and foster relationships with the good guys you find. 

Another thing with these is that no two are actually alike. When they were new they were maybe close. There are early ones, serial number 1 to 500 and then there are late ones, 501 to 1,000. The differences are in the manuals but.......... while still in Greyhound service they were serviced and maintained by a number of depots around the country. Each shop had their own ways of doing things, fixing issues and doing modifications. They started to deviate from a standard. Once they left Greyhound... woooo doggy.... free for all! Some went to smaller charter bus lines. They had their own maintenance folks of varying capability. They were patched, buggered together and just "kept running" until they couldn't keep them going anymore. Others were sold to schools, Bands, church groups etc. These folks generally had no idea how to work on a bus and took it to whoever they could find, or afford, to have it worked on. Scary scary stuff. I have stories. Then some got sold to individuals for RV conversions. That's where my 847 came from. In a way, these are the best ones to get. If it wasn't hacked up during the conversion they probably have the fewest miles since leaving Greyhound revenue service. 847 had the seats removed and the RV interior just installed. Nothing was butchered. The only "bad" thing someone did was cut wires for the package rack lights when they removed them. My engine even has maintenance tags from Greyhound dated 10/1968.

So getting back to the no two are alike, this is why the manuals (which you must have) should be considered guides, not bibles. Don't be surprised if a wire isn't there or a part seems different. There are some folks that are into the true "Restoration". Even there you have to be realistic when retoring one. They aren't going to all have the same factory crayon marks on the differental like it came off a line a General Motors. These are a different animal. 

Next we'll talk about some of the skill sets you need to do one of these.

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