4WD Coaster bus conversion.

Submitted: Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 15:40
ThreadID: 58139 Views:13649 Replies:10 FollowUps:13
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Does any one know were I can get a coaster bus 4WD conversion done ? I am looking at getting a 14 seat coaster bus and converting to 4WD for my tours.

Cheers Steve.
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Reply By: Matt(WA) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 15:46

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 15:46
Hi Steve,
What about a OKA? They are already made as 14 seater buses and are pretty damn capable
Matt

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Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 16:02

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 16:02
Oka are a capable unit, I have one in the front yard, It belongs to the mate I bought the business off, he bought a second hand one and it has cost him a bit to keep on the road.

We were talking last night and he said I should go for larger buses now, and suggested the coaster bus Idea, he also said to buy new and get the warranty, Oka has a 3 year waiting list and cost about $300000 I am led to believe.

I will start at 1 and take it from there, I have heard the 4wd conversion is about $50000, Toyota are getting back to me in regards to the price of a new bus, and if I can have 4wd factory fitted.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: unimog - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 17:54

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 17:54
Seriously doubt if Toyota will Warrent the Coaster after doing all that work to it..

J&D do have a second stage compliance certification, but can't see Toyota granting the warrenty to a vehicle that's been converted to 'go bush'..

HUGO
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 16:12

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 16:12
Hi Steve
There's a couple running around Maryborough- Qld. My mate has one, and is converting it into a camper. Got the 1hz diesel engine. From what he knows, the were originally converted in Darwin.

AnswerID: 306534

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 17:12

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 17:12
Hi Steve

I have recently seen a couple of new Hino 4x4 Trucks Converted to
people carriers, here on the Gold Coast, plenty of ground clearance ect, they are the size you dont require a truck license for.

Cheers
Daza
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Reply By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:01

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:01
Wouldnt the tour bus conversions be the way to go? Hino, Canter, Isuzu...already 4wd and the cabin and seating is just a drop on?

That way if you do trade at times...you simply remove the cabin and fit to the new Cab/chassis?

I would expect a Coaster conversion to cost substantially and then lose alot in resale at the end of economic life.

All the best

Matt.
AnswerID: 306564

Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:17

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:17
My opposition have a Canter Bus, They have had it 4 years and cracked the chassis in half 3 times, they have fixed it again, None of their drivers want to drive it.

My mate has sent me a link, I will talk to these people and see if they can build a bullet proof truck for me.

Tour Trucks

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:00

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:00
Yep thats the type I was thinking about...so you dont have to re-invent the wheel, just use a suitable platform and build it to suit your need (passengers).

So you are saying the canter would not stand upto the task...cos most of their base veicles are canter or hino or Isuzu!!

Sounds fun in any case!!

Matt.
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Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:07

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:07
Yeah apparently these guys actually build a truck to suit the conditions, I will ring them tomorrow.


Cheers Steve
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Reply By: Peter 2 - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:01

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:01
Fred Black at Out Of Town 4WD in Newcastle has converted quite a few, using Spicer diffs.
They use a heavy duty version of an 80 series front suspension setup and replace the rear duals with a single wheel better suited to 4wdi ng. There are a few running around on the dunes at Stockton carrying tourists. they go really well especially when a turbo is fitted to the 1HZ on older buses. The later model turbo's pull really well too.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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Reply By: Ted (Cairns) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:05

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:05
Steve

Have you seen these ones? Amesz 4wd buses and coaches

Good luck and tell us what you've bought

Cheers
Ted
AnswerID: 306576

Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:14

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:14
Yeah Ted these are the trucks that are breaking in half, the ones above in that link actually build them to suit harsh conditions.

I know of at least 4 of those Amesz one that have cracked in half.

This will be for next year, I am starting to look now so I know how much they are and see if I can afford 2.

Cheers Steve.
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Reply By: Members-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:22

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:22
G'day Steve ,,

give John And Jan a ring ,, he seems to poke his nose into all sorts of things ,, he may be able to give you an idea !!


Oz North Mechanical Repairs
Darwin NT - 08 89 84 44 58

All the best ,, Neil ..

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Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:28

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:28
Thanks Neil I will be in Darwin tomorrow so I will look him up.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Members-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:58

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 19:58
They have had a couple of Coasters as mobile homes ,, so he should have a bit of an idea ,, say g'day from Margie and me ,, but geeeees , don't tell them we won't be over there for the V8 super cars ,,, cripes ,, better do that !!!

All the best ,, Neil ..

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Reply By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 20:09

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 20:09
J & D developments in Melbourne. Talk to John they are the ones that do most of the tour buses and are very helpful when it comes to problems or repairs
AnswerID: 306586

Follow Up By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 20:12

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 20:12
There is one of J & Ds for sale on ebay at the momentSite Link
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Follow Up By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 20:16

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 20:16
The other thing with them is I just had Locke at L&S springs in Darwin make me up a new set of front springs. So he now has the specs on record for front and rear and Mick Taylor auto's have done the transfer cases on them a few times. Also spicer have made and balanced shafts a few times for me. So there are a few people in your neck of the woods that have the knowledge to keep you going.
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Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 22:48

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 22:48
Locke does all my work and has done for years, If I get a chance tomorrow I will talk to him.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 23:05

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 23:05
Yeah he is good value.
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Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 00:12

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 00:12
The only people I know who have had Okas have found they were very expensive to keep going. If Canters break for the sort of stuff you intend doing, I doubt very much that a Coaster 4wd conversion would be succesful. I just don't reckon those bodies are made for the sort of flexing they will get with halfway serious offroad work. If you really want to go down this path, I'd be looking at ex army vehicles. Basing an operation on two troopies might still be a better option in the long run.
AnswerID: 306660

Reply By: unimog - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 17:52

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 17:52
Yep, JD Automotive Developments in Melbourne is the only one that does that a lot.
They do know what they are doing but the older shape Coaster (pre 93) was more succesful than the current shape.
Both series (especially the later shape) had problems with cracking front bottom and rear top window pillars after extensive use off road.
I bought 1 off NTAT (ATA) and it'd done 860.000 kms, but only 110.000 as a 4x4...
It'd cost them 38K to convert back in 2000. I believe it's now around 55k.
Sahara has sold all theirs after merging with some other company I believe.

the one on Ebay might suit as a trial, untill you are happy with it's performance etc.

I found mine grossly underpowered after decking it out as a camper and had it turbo charged. Fine for a while untill you get used to the extra power and want more..

got a Mog now...

good luck
AnswerID: 306786

Reply By: Top End Explorer Tours - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 19:47

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 19:47
Thanks for your replies, It looks like I might go the Isuzu truck conversion.

As I said I have till next year so I will keep you posted.

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 306815

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