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Old 11-26-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Belmont, NC (Charlotte)
Posts: 59
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 6.7 L 3116 CAT V6-Inline
Rated Cap: 60
1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 6.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

Hello all! I previously had an account on here a year ago, but failed to log on recently and it was deleted. No big deal, i utilized all of the information you all gave me up until Wed. Nov 23, me and my buddy felt comfortable going in on this GMC; as it was the best we had come across so far. Mannn i just have so much to say....were so excited...ummm i guess with the specs first.
It is a 1996 GMC Bluebird 6.4 L detroit w/CAT and was retired from a local school district only 4 months ago! It has all six new tires and batteries and the only thing that does not work is the left turn signal (a must have when driving home from POS in downtown Columbia SC during rush hour .) It also has a minor oil leak. We eventually chewed him down to $2750 and BAM shes ours! Anywho so the ride home was without incident, however i did realize that the governor is still on as we could barely push 55 (which was the coolest "slow rides" i must say.)

So now for her purpose and future......
Me along with eight or so of my close music festival friends from school have decided that our 2012 summer is going to consist of a road trip to Telluride Colorado for the biggest bluegrass festival in the world! However, im sure it will take a lot of blood, sweat and tears-- hell , it allready has! Im 18 and my parents dropped the insurance to my truck and VW bus. They think this is the dumbest idea known to man, but im also dealing with the most right-winged parents ! But thats ok, we've got a bigger toy and the 6,500 mile round trip is worth it, even if we dont make it to the fest, we're still on a BUS!!
Therefore, i want to gain more knowledge than i previously had to ensure that we are covering all of our bases with this conversion.


So FLOOD me with imformation, i already have a few questions:
1.) Ths bus does smoke during in-town driving, for 10 or so minutes (The oil is super dirty....leading me to the next question) Whats up with this?
2.) She does have a small oil leak, it looks like its comming from the pump hose. Dont know how extensive or common it is?
3.) Where (if possible) do i attain a service manual for this bus?
4.) The POW did not know air brakes very well and did not drain the tanks each night. Much to my surprise, complete air brake test and the only thing that was a bit concerning was the build up time from 60 to 90 was a minute and a half. Which is ok because a minute is CDL standard; i was just curious if there was anything additional i should test.
5.) What are some ways that we can add some torque to this sweet ride? The governor may still be on, but when going up steep hills she still drops to a super slow speed. Im fine with this, as i understand that it is a school bus, but were going 3000 miles to CO and im sure we need some extra power in the rockies!
6.) Insurance I know this question pops up all the time but i did my research first (BTW i reside in NC). I recently went to a family friend (local state farm agent) and he was stoked about the idea, said i wasnt the first, blah blah, and then said " im gonna talk to you off the table for a minute, cause your a good guy and i want this to work. If we insure it, its gonna be 3000, but thats because no matter how you title it, state farm runs vin numbers and once it comes back as a bus, they treat it as such. However, other companies do not and as long as you state your usage as low and for camping and hunting, you will get that $350 quote. Just be careful, some will get super technical and document you exact purpose to the "T" and if you say your using it for weekend camping/hunting but get into a wreck in CO, your policy will drop and youll be of course liable....and i dont want that to happen to you, so play it smart" So armed with that great info, i figured out GMAC would be best. I was just wondering if someone had a GMAC story and quote (i know it will increase for me) to help lift me off. These are all i can think of now, but im sure more will arise....more pics comming soon! Thanks for all of yalls help!





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File Type: jpg 316413_2455296953694_1590182080_2223044_913421440_n.jpg (134.2 KB, 1826 views)
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:47 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Belmont, NC (Charlotte)
Posts: 59
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 6.7 L 3116 CAT V6-Inline
Rated Cap: 60
Pics of the bus

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Old 11-27-2011, 11:25 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,615
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: 1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 8.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

I will answer a couple of your questions for you.

#1- change the oil and filters. That is first thing you should do. Grease the chassis, check all the gear fluids and change if needed.

$5- what you've got is what you've got. The govenor is there for a reason and that would be to keep the engine from overspeeding.

Do you know for sure what engine it is. 8.2 Detroit is what I am guessing. I've never seen a Cummins in a GM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:43 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Belmont, NC (Charlotte)
Posts: 59
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 6.7 L 3116 CAT V6-Inline
Rated Cap: 60
Re: 1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 8.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

Thanks!
However, if i change oil and the filter, i would loose all new oil if i were to have to replace say a pump hose ? (pressuming thats where the leak is comming from)
And yeah...im fine with 55 but weve got to have more horses to make it up some of these roads.

Yeah, i agree, ill check again.
thanks for your input!
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:53 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,615
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: 1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 8.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

If you havent changed the oil, I dont care how much oil you loose from the leak. Last thing you want to do, engine wise is to run with thin, dirty oil. Can you replace the hose easy enough?

Sorry but you wont be doing anything to get more horsepower out of that. Let me restate that. You can get more horsepower, but it would be an expensive proposition that would have to be done by a shop. It would involve reworking the injector pump. Not sure that engine would be a happy candidate for a hp boost.

Not trying to discourage you but surely hate to see you do something that will shorten your rides life expectancy or throw money down the drain. These things are perfect, in the stock condition...as the factory designed them to be. Then again, so are all vehicles.

I live in the mountains and understand about up and down. My bus pulls was built for this country and pulls hills strong. However, we just drove from MT to NV in a 1986 Subaru with 278K miles on it. 85 hp [when it was new] with a 30mph headwind. I understand your pain....lol. Got a lot of time to check out new scenery though. ;)
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Belmont, NC (Charlotte)
Posts: 59
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 6.7 L 3116 CAT V6-Inline
Rated Cap: 60
Re: 1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 8.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

Nahhh man all input is good input....not discouraging! i am just concerned that 25- 30 up hill with the rpm not even increasing seems fishy. But yeah, i agree with the oil dilema. And ilovvvve subarus', they rock! full tank of gas in the new ones gets me from charlotte to the beach and back! killeR!
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,615
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: 1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 8.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

A fuel filter chance could be needed too. I guess I would have to see it to be able to diagnose it a little better. Its an automatic, right? Your rpms should be pretty well pinned to the gov going up hill. Whats the high rpm speed set at? I will assume its an automatic AT545, until you tell differently. Take note to where the thing shifts when you take off from a stop on flat ground. Put it on the floor and go. When it makes its last shift up, which would be into 4th gear, note the rpm. Then find a big hill and head up, again, pedal to the floor. Note where it downshifts from 4th to 3rd. If it DOESNT downshift somewhere near the rpms it upshifts at, try doing to manually and see if that makes a difference in climbing. In other words going up hill, drive it like a stick.

My bus at times doesnt know where to shift in that scenario, which is nature of the beast Allison says. If I have a big pass to climb sometimes I will manually drop it so I can keep the edge on the hill.

Find out for sure the engine for me.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Belmont, NC (Charlotte)
Posts: 59
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 6.7 L 3116 CAT V6-Inline
Rated Cap: 60
Re: 1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 8.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

Well the rpm....thats an issue....does not work....i do plan on that being one of the first things i fix. I will go over and check on the engine today.
One thing i neglected to ask was ssistance on my registration scenario.
When i purchased the bus (outofstate in SC), the seller did not have a title. However, we did go to the DMV for a bill of sale (wasnt very happy about ) and got a 45 day plate on it, but the DMV personel said that it would make better since to go to the NCDMV to have it titled as that is where i reside (didnt make since to me, but hey! i was bus happy ) So my question is, what should my first NCDMV step be? I know i want to have the bus retitled as a motor home/house on wheels i am just not quite clear on what to do first? I suppose i should go to the DMV monday and ask, i just wanted to know any hints and categories that i should keep vague with the official
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:08 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,615
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: 1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 8.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

To have it titled as a motorhome here it cost me a cup of coffee and a 1/2 visit with the sheriff. I am sure yours will be different. You'll have to find out whats required so it can be classified as a motorhome in NC. Every state is different. Some require a sink, stove and water. Keep everything vague with DMV!

If you cant tell about the engine, a pix works.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:15 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Belmont, NC (Charlotte)
Posts: 59
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 6.7 L 3116 CAT V6-Inline
Rated Cap: 60
Re: 1996 GMC BlueBird w/ 8.4 L .....bus to TELLURIDE 2012

okkkk sooooooo my mistake...its a 6.4 L CAT...thus detroit....im blushing hahaha But yeah i agree, i may change all fluids. Ill get some engine pictures up soon. I just want to put my money into making it Colorado road trip ready before we start the interior so im trying to gather as much info as possible on some of the first things we should test/replace. Thanks!
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