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Old 01-07-2019, 04:15 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 11
cummins 12 valve swap help me

here is the bus. a 53 chevy with a 40s dodge nose and a vw on top. I have spent the last year making it into a livable home( while living in it) and saving money to fix it mechanically. the bus currently has a 283 motor and the original 4 speed, gm 10 bolt on the back. the bus is insulated well, has hardwood floors, wood burning stove, gas stove/oven and 6 gal water heater, running cold/hot water with 40 gal fresh tank with 12v pump as well as a shore water connection. bus also has a shower and toilet, plenty of storage. I have put in a parallax 3 way converter charger that gives me both 110 house power and a 12 volt fuse panel with 15 circuits. have a 4 6v battery bank and solar panels with an inverter as well as transfer switches that let me use 110 power off my batteries. have replaced the majority of the windows with new glass. bus also has a good sized back porch where I keep my water heater and propane tanks.

4 days ago I bought a 1995 bluebird bus with a 12 valve cummins and allison auto. also has air brakes. my plan is to take this as well as the rear end off the 95 and shove it all into the 53. also considering a rockwell front wheel drive axle/transfer case but that is a whole other beast.

i have no idea what i am doing but am very stubborn and determined to do this. am certain I will need a real mechanic to finish this up for me.. in the meantime I am at least pulling all that I need off the bluebird and going to see how far I get before I get really mad.

any advice, compliments, concerns, criticism, advice, etc would be greatly appreciated.

I also have set up a go fund me to help me pull this off. even a few dollars can go a long way folks

anyone trying to convince me to just move into the bluebird is wasting their time.
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:21 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,158
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Wonderfully wacky mix of parts there! And if the frame is '53...you should have room for the Cummins 6. You may have to do some cutting to the firewall but nothing like what I had to do.


Is the Cummins mechanical or electronic?



Either way...I say...GO FOR IT! (just post lots of pix)
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:26 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 11
its mechanical luckily. that's the plan, cutting out the fire wall and taking the bumper off to ease it in. there's also an awesome hole much bigger than it needs to be around the tranny so once the firewall is out I should have plenty of space.
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:30 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 11
just saw the pictures of your short bus project tango, wowowow that's pretty inspiring
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:31 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,158
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Ya...huge difference between the pre-war & post-war frames. The earlier versions taper in dramatically. Mine is just a 4BT but it had to be set back nearly 24".
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:36 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 11
wow, feeling lucky then. did you keep the original rear end? that is what's honestly freaking me out the most. I'd just keep what I have if I thought it could handle the cummins and it may but i have the 95 rear end that also has shocks no rust and seems much beefier
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:01 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,158
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
All the running gear is new. The original axle was only good to about 45 mph max and there were zero regearing options available so I swapped it for a Dana 80 dually out of a big Chevy. It also came with disk brakes which was a plus as I also installed disks on the front. The tranny is a brand new Allison 2200 MH 6 speed with double OD. Between the trans & the rear gears I should roll 65mph at 1800 rpm. The perfect sweet spot for that motor. Working out all the numbers will make all the difference in the world.


BTW...the 6BT has the same "sweet spot" and can also be turned up by nearly 100hp using the same tuning specs. No new parts needed. Just a screwdriver and a little time. Gotta' love those old one-wire B engines!
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:18 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 877
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
A 6bt cummins is probably one of the easiest engines to swap. They call them a one wire engine because of the lack of electronics.

Your rear axle will likely not work though. From your pics it shows that the axle is in a pusher style school bus, which isn't the same as a vehicle with the engine in the front.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:21 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 27
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 5.9, Spicer-5
Rated Cap: 44 Big butts/66 Lil ones
My advice. Don't let anyone talk you out of it!
That is a cool bus!
It will take some engineering but totally doable.
Point of interest. The Bluebird, being rear-engine would make the diff. turn the wrong direction. I don't know if you can just turn the diff upside-down [likely not] to get er turning the right way. That's what they used to [probably still] do, with off-road builds to get things turning the right way.
Once-again, my 2bits.
Have fun with that.
One_Eyed_Jack
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:33 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 27
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 5.9, Spicer-5
Rated Cap: 44 Big butts/66 Lil ones
As a side note.
If you were anywhere near me, I'd offer to take the bluebird off your hands once you got what you need out of it?
One_Eyed_Jack
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