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Old 03-23-2008, 12:12 AM   #1
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Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Greetings!

Due to a moment of insanity, I am the proud owner of bus #2-87, a Bluebird S1800 with only 139,000 miles on her. She sports a D466 engine and the Allison 545 (EDIT: MT 643) automatic transmission. Mechanically and structurally, she's nearly perfect, but there are some issues. She has sat in an open yard for nearly three years in the northwest corner of Washington. The moment I opened the door for the first time, the mildew literally rained down on me (we get over 100 inches of rain a year here, and this is what she looked like when I walked up to her).

However, not all is lost. The battery switch had been on the entire time she sat there, yet a turn of the key had her idling in less than 30 seconds! Additionally, any rust issues are minimal... there is some surface rust in the rear, but nothing substantial or serious.

Less than a week later, she is cleaned up and waiting for me to decide what to do next. I've inspected her stem to stern, and apart from a few minor wiring issues, she is looking good, and runs like a champ! We'll see what awaits next...

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Old 03-23-2008, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Hi, Let me be one of the first to welcome you. You'll find a lot of information here and you'll also enjoy the company.

BTW, that's really a nice bus, and the undercarriage storage can't be beat.
Robert
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Wish i had it... i was thinking about adding my own, but don't even know where to start
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:55 AM   #4
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Location: northwest Washington State
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Well, thanks for the good wishes, and yes, I am very pleased with the under storage compartments. There is also an additional storage compartment on the other side, and two battery access panels. A couple of the doors are in need of some TLC, but nothing major.

This particular bus has two fuel tanks, like the one I drive for the school district. I'm thinking that this setup might be perfect for a veggie oil fuel project. I've been doing a lot of reading on this site about conversions, and thinking "why not?"

I don't have any specific plans for the interior (yet), but want to keep the exterior looking like a school bus. So... I'm projecting a metallic dark grey/black enamel finish with dark, mirrored windows and black trim. I've photoshopped a few practice runs, and it actually looks quite good!

Anyway, everything seems to be checking out ok. I have a leaky air drain valve to replace, the big 7" tail lights won't come on (although the brake lights work) and the dash lights won't light, but other than that, she's ready!

Thanks again for your best wishes. I'm sure you'll be seeing me here a lot these coming months!
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:39 PM   #5
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

we have mirror tint on its way! there are some pretty good deals on ebay for big rolls that is just enought for a bus, lets see some pictures that you photo shoped!!
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:15 AM   #6
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

It ain't rust, its manna.
Cape Flattery drives some stout buses.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:08 PM   #7
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

1) I didn't save any of my Photoshop stuff, but trust me, she looks MEAN. ;) I'll see what I can do in posting some images.

2) Yes, Cape Flattery has some very stout buses. Very stout. They have to be.

For example, do the early morning run to Neah Bay on S.R. 112 in the dead of winter, and life takes on a whole new perspective. You get the whole thing: ice, snow, sleet, rain, fog, a slew of logging trucks cheating into your lane, the occasional drunk, tree falls, landslides and about 6" of clearance before you tip into the ocean. This is all while the roads crumble under the tires before your very eyes, and the windshields fogged up to the point of no visibility. Trust me: you are QUITE awake by the time you get there.

But yes, these buses are WELL-maintained. And they are battle tanks. This school district takes care of their equipment.

I am very pleased with Bus #2. I've worked out all the kinks, now it's time for seat removal. Pictures to follow, soon...
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

I'll definitely post some pics once the weather clears up here.

I've gone through everything on this bus that I possibly can, and presently have seven things on my "hit list:"

1) No dash panel lights
2) Leaking air release valve (the one on the side under "Drain Daily"
3) Need air filter and housing for air compressor intake
4) Front bumper needs to be straightened on one side
5) Roof vent motor needs to be replaced
6) One blown out clearance lamp bulb
7) Left side storage compartment door will NOT open (a real head-scratcher for me)

That's it! Everything else works and is in fine shape. No leaks, no nasty surprises...
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:55 PM   #9
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

Thankfully (for me), the district has another one of these buses- an identical carbon copy- still in service. When I have questions, I just go over and see how things work on THAT bus. In this case, the panel lights brighten by turning COUNTER-clockwise. Still no success. I believe I may have a bad switch.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:56 PM   #10
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Re: Bus #2... saved and with a new home

I have read much here- and elsewhere- about paint. Perhaps someone can educate me a bit... I see that Rustoleum is the preferred paint. Would it be safe to assume that the Ace Hardware equivalent is acceptable, too? It is an alkyd enamel.

I would appreciate any, and all, feedback.
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