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Old 05-24-2018, 09:42 PM   #1
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99 40ft BlueBird (Big Burtha)

Iam not new to RV's as I owned a couple of them but I am new to bus conversions so one day I come across what I thought was a good deal and I jumped on it. I found a 40 foot 1999 BlueBird CRSE which was a RED CROSS BLOODMOBILE!!! Yikes! All is well as the inside is being completely stripped. The down side is I bought it with no instrument panel so miles is a guessing game until I pull the carfax. The bus was sitting in a some bushes behind a local business. I asked the owner about it and he explained its been sitting for 2 years and that he won it at an auction, so I asked if hed sell it and he said hed be glad to get it off his property.
Took a about a week to find the keys. He gave me a duffle bag which I thought was a bunch of coins but they were all keys. He said he do know the key looks funny. Long story short I found a set of keys that had the initials BB on them which stood for "blood bus" but I changed it to "Big Burtha". Anyways couldnt open the door because a tree had grown up in front of it so I climbed on top and dropped down into the air condition hole on top.(first I connected the original 130lb commercial battery) anyways while praying it starts I turned the key and waited 10 secs...... Then crank and it fired right up! Sound smooth and silent. Iam filled with excitement at this point. I put it in gear and realize it was trying to move but it just wouldnt budge! After a bunch of attempts had to call a tow truck. Tow truck said he couldnt tow it because of the way it was sitting and his truck was to big to fit in and grab it. He decided to go rambo and opened up the door where one of the generators was and climbed up under the bus into the mud and brushes and used the bolts to release the brakes. He climbed out and drove it out with no brakes to the front of the business where I could work on it. So now here we are! I just bought a class 7 bus with a gvwr of 33,324 pounds. It has leveling jacks and two areas where there were 2 generators. Iam excited but if this seem to be to much I will sell it to someone who can handle big burtha! I will try to upload pics as I go. Let me know what you guys think and opinions and advice is much appriciated! So far I can see the frame is solid with just surface rust but I think the air brakes are shot.
The guy who sold it to me explained that he drove it home and everything worked like it was suppose to. He even said the dash was still intact when he parked it. Anyways I will post some pics to get you guys ideals and advice. I have an Ideal what I want to do but would like to hear from the pros and vets what should be done first.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:29 AM   #2
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Keep it or Scrap it? 1999 BlueBird 40ft (Big Burtha)

Ok so the service records I was able to find says the bus has 259,xxx hours/miles of service but shows no issues. Its a 5.9l Turbo Diesel with an Allison transmission. Yesterday I climbed underneath to get some better pics. I see a foam under coat but also alot more rust.
The body isnt thay bad and the frame is solid as a rock but looks like everything else is eaten by rust. See pics..
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:39 AM   #3
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 14,220
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 32
Yeah man that's sweet! IDK why more folks don't go for the bookmobiles and bloodmobiles.
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:13 PM   #4
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1999 BlueBird 40ft (Big Burtha)

Ok so Iam not big on wasting time when I can avoid it and would like to have the bus fully converted within 4 months if I can. Ive already determined the air brake tanks are shot and will replace them. My biggest concern was if the body itself will hold up but after pulling up some of the floor and removing some of the undercoat I say about 75% of the floor is solid and in great shape. One of the fender wells had a 2 feet gap of rust but I will take care of it with some sheet metal. I will keep the wood thats strong and replace any that loo damaged, wet or spongy. Once I have everything pulled out I will post my ideal floor plan which I took from a 1993 Prevost. Also I will be cutting and installing more storage on the outside as well as adding grey, black and fresh water tanks and an aftermarket generator. Will post all pics as I go through.
As far as generator goes I know most people are doing without them now and going all solar and I will have a solar setup as primary but it depends on the funds I have left after everything else. Anyways heres a few more pics. Some of the pics with the shades and TV was me messing around when I first got it to get an ideal of what things will look like. The electric box in the bus I believe has had some of the wires cut. Will check them out later. So for the moment Iam using a 120w and 5000w inverter to run tools on the inside. They will also become a part of the bus. Anways enjoy!
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:20 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Brevard County, FL
Posts: 272
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford
Engine: 6.6 New Holland Dies
Rated Cap: 60 kids, 10 window
Generator or solar or both, do what works for you.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:39 PM   #6
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CALL IT QUITS?? 1999 BlueBird 40ft (Big Burtha)

Started fast and ended fast? The frame is solid on Burtha but the parts hidden with under coat is rusted through. I am leaning on scrapping her. And look for another! If one of you guys want her let me know. Iam in Ohio. Strong diesel engine and starts instantly everytime. The whole bus has already been hars foam insulated. Its good for someone thats a welder I guess and who wants a different type of bus cheap. Message me of your interested. More pics below!
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