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Old 05-04-2017, 11:26 AM   #1
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Location: Essex, MD
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
'99 BB to become a tiny home...

I suppose I should start one of these build threads too.

I'm getting on the Tiny House band wagon late. What the hell was I don't 20 or 30 yrs ago?!!? Anywho, ... the bus. It was purchased off of PublicSurplus.com. I don't know how long they keep the listings up but it still works for the moment.

https://publicsurplus.com/sms/auction/view?auc=1695131

1999 (not 1996 as listed)
Make: Bluebird/International
Model: Bluebird 84 Passengers
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC
Transmission: Allison MT 643
Rear ratio: 4.44
Mileage: 178388

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobrog...57681292794941

Thus far the seats and plywood have been removed (mostly). I still have to remove the driver seat belt, hand rail and rear most heater to get the last remnants of plywood and rubber flooring up.

This week's tasks are to repurpose the flashing lights to turn signals in the front and brake lights for the rear. Running the new wires to tie into the existing wires is proving to be a major PITA!!! I need to buy a snake or something. The easy part, swapping the lenses, is done.

Would also be nice to get the floor completely sanded and Corrosealed. Possibly painted as well.

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File Type: jpg Blue Bird3.jpg (118.8 KB, 140 views)
File Type: jpg green1.jpg (277.6 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg green2.jpg (186.1 KB, 102 views)
File Type: jpg Plywood.jpg (252.3 KB, 147 views)
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:29 AM   #2
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'bout time
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:31 AM   #3
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'bout time
Lol. I'd rather be working on it than posting on it. This employment stuff is getting in the way of productivity.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:51 PM   #4
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Hmmm, I thought the bus painting thread was your thread.

Bob, you've been holding out on us. Nice stack of photos though. That bus is just about big enough to serve as a biblical ark.

You've kept going on trimming out your paint job. Your efforts have paid off. I like that touch of original yellow remaining. The minty parts got kind of small.

Yes, employment gets in the way, but honestly retirement is just as tiring. Having a never ending weekend is just another way of working yourself to death and not getting paid for it.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:03 PM   #5
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Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
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Hmmm, I thought the bus painting thread was your thread.

Bob, you've been holding out on us. Nice stack of photos though. That bus is just about big enough to serve as a biblical ark.

You've kept going on trimming out your paint job. Your efforts have paid off. I like that touch of original yellow remaining. The minty parts got kind of small.

Yes, employment gets in the way, but honestly retirement is just as tiring. Having a never ending weekend is just another way of working yourself to death and not getting paid for it.
I have a couple of threads I started. Not sure if they are in Conversion Projects tho. I've eaten since then (memory hard reset). I may even get around to copy/pasting the threads together. If/when I do, I'll have to get a Mod to kill the others or change my permissions to delete the old stuffs.

(Some) Animals are acceptable passengers only this time we are going t to have tighter boarding security. Mr. and Mrs. Fuzzy Kitten; check. Mr. and Mrs. Fly ... splat.

Having a never ending weekend sounds awesome. I know the pay sucks but at least I get to do more exciting stuff. If I fire up the MIG in the lab things would get exciting right up until the cops show up.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:18 AM   #6
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Lol. I'd rather be working on it than posting on it. This employment stuff is getting in the way of productivity.
Nice bus!! good find. Gotta agree with Robin, your bus could serve as a metal non floating substitute for the ark.

Can't wait to see your floor plan.


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That bus is just about big enough to serve as a biblical ark.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:58 AM   #7
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It's just not floating yet. Insulation will take care of that.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:21 AM   #8
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
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It's just not floating yet. Insulation will take care of that.
At 20,600 lbs it's going to take a lot of insulation. Might not be much room left for critters.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:59 AM   #9
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This week's tasks are to repurpose the flashing lights to turn signals in the front and brake lights for the rear. Running the new wires to tie into the existing wires is proving to be a major PITA!!! I need to buy a snake or something. The easy part, swapping the lenses, is done.
Why are you rerunning wires? You should be able to splice and join the wires right at your dash. Also, to make things easier, I kept my front amber flashers and tied them into my turn signals. I swapped my flashing reds in the front to bright fog lights for wilderness camping. The rear I kept exactly as they are but hooked the reds up with my brakes and amber with my turn signals. It worked great and only took about a half hour.

PS - I had an electrician go over the gauge of wire on the turn signals and with the current it's carrying he was convinced I didn't need to run new wires.

Looks great.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:27 AM   #10
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most of the wire going around in my bluebird is all 12-14 gauge.. that should be good for any lights you want to install... I know on mine all of that went conventiently into my switch panel to a yellow WELDON flasher box wit hthe outputs labelled as to which is what so it makes it easy to repurpose those wires.
-Christopher
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:31 AM   #11
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
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Originally Posted by warewolff View Post
Why are you rerunning wires? You should be able to splice and join the wires right at your dash. Also, to make things easier, I kept my front amber flashers and tied them into my turn signals. I swapped my flashing reds in the front to bright fog lights for wilderness camping. The rear I kept exactly as they are but hooked the reds up with my brakes and amber with my turn signals. It worked great and only took about a half hour.
I swapped the lenses front and rear. The fronts are now tied to the turn signal as well. I ran new wires so that both of the left blubs are wired to the turn signal and both of the rights are wired to the turn singal. No fogs.

Quote:
PS - I had an electrician go over the gauge of wire on the turn signals and with the current it's carrying he was convinced I didn't need to run new wires.
I'm not running new wires for new wires or current even. I'm tying the two together and then splicing into the turn signal line.

For the rears, I can't run a new wire from the brakes in the engine compartment to the roof. There' thiing is blocked by a bulkhead. For the rears, I'm going to have to go thru the junction box under the driver's window. I thought running new wires would be easier than dealing with the junction box and the mess that was left after the removal of the flasher unit.

The tun signals on my bus have a 20 amp fuse. With the flashers added, it'll blow that fuse every 2nd or 3rd time I turn them on. I swapped in a 25 amp fuse and it seems to be holding. The new wires I used are 16 gauge. The original wires for the flashers are 10 gauge. Once I figure out the rears (I don't know if turns and brakes run thru that box), I'll switch the fronts back to using the heavier gauge.

My hope was a 20 minute job to get it thru inspection.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:46 AM   #12
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Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Found the page for rear brake lights (p. 59) so now I just need to verify harnesses and voltages. Then I can tie into those. Front flashers I already have printed out (p. 20). Guess I should go find the front directionals and do those right.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:49 AM   #13
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most of the wire going around in my bluebird is all 12-14 gauge.. that should be good for any lights you want to install... I know on mine all of that went conventiently into my switch panel to a yellow WELDON flasher box wit hthe outputs labelled as to which is what so it makes it easy to repurpose those wires.
-Christopher
My Weldon box was removed and everything was showing tied to ground when I used the ohm meter on it. Seeing as it's going thru a light bulb filament that isn't a surprise but difficult to make sure I have the right wire.
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:02 PM   #14
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Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
most of the wire going around in my bluebird is all 12-14 gauge.. that should be good for any lights you want to install... I know on mine all of that went conventiently into my switch panel to a yellow WELDON flasher box wit hthe outputs labelled as to which is what so it makes it easy to repurpose those wires.
-Christopher
Cadi, what size are your flasher bulbs? Mine are headlights I think. They are 7" bulbs and get this... 2 filaments. The flasher lights, if memory serves never had a dim and high beam. Maybe the school got a deal and use this bulb for EVERYTHING? The actual headlights are square and these are round so they're not interchangeable with MY headlights. Maybe the rest of their fleet?
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:43 PM   #15
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I never saw the bulbs in my flashers, i had them yanked and metal'd over so i never saw the lights under the lens.
-Christopher
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:08 AM   #16
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Flashers have been repurposed...

The front flashers have now been turned to double turn signals. The rears are now double tail lights.

The current bulbs are 7" double filament bulbs. I think one of the rears had both lit and it was getting very warm as was the dash fuse box. Went from a 15 amp fuse to a 25 amp before it would hold. On order is a 10 pack of both 1156 bulbs and sockets. I could go LED but at least this way I only have to buy 1156s which should be available EVERYWHERE. Should still drop the current load back to something reasonable.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:10 AM   #17
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be careful of the wiring!!! just adding bigger fuses is going to make wires get hot somewhere!!! use LED's t oreduce current where the 15 will work again or risk fire
-Christopher
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:57 PM   #18
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
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be careful of the wiring!!! just adding bigger fuses is going to make wires get hot somewhere!!! use LED's t oreduce current where the 15 will work again or risk fire
-Christopher
Oh I know. The fuseblock getting hot has me worried. I'm going to pull the fuse and leave it out until I get to the inspection station. I'll put the fuse back in so they can check the lights. Once they are done, I'm pulling the "headlights" and putting in the single filament marker lights.

All of the wires going to the clock look like the same size. The wiring diagram shows the wires going to the actual bulbs as being 10 AWG. They don't look like it. They look like the same size as in the junction box. The diagram shows those as 14 AWG. That I'll buy but not 10 AWG.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:50 PM   #19
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Is it legal to have lights/blinkers that high up?
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:00 PM   #20
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depends on the state...in OHIO! I know on the rear Brake lights are allowed that high.. and on tow trucks some of them have extra turn signals on the outer edges of their light bar at least shining to the rear..

front lights in ohio can be up high as far as white headlights but cant be operated on the road..

i dont know about turn signals in the front..
-Christopher
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