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Old 06-12-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 18
Year: 1996
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Family Tardis

I've been lurking on this site casually for a few years just daydreaming. Well my little family has been semi homeless since Dec. My hubby and I decided to go ahead and buy the bus and make ourselves a home. This is our soon to be new home. Hopefully she takes us through time and space and somehow ends up bigger on the inside. It's a 1996 Bluebird with a Cummins 5.9, a 545 Allison Transmission, and 280,000k miles (high I think?). Not the best engine or transmission from what I've read but I'm hoping they will do. It is 40 foot long, currently has 28 bench seats, which we are in the process of removing. We need to get out of my MILs house so the renovations need to go as fast as possible, though I'm trying to research enough to do them correctly.

This is my tentative plan for the inside so far. I need to sleep 8 people. Come Nov we will have 6 kids, five of which live with us full time. Two will be under 2 so I'm setting up bunk bed cribs. I'm completely open to layout suggestions. I have the bathroom as a separate room because I wanted to use the back bedroom as a playroom and want the kids to be able to run in and out.
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File Type: jpg Bus Layout.jpg (143.1 KB, 922 views)
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:29 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 214
Year: 1997
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: Genesis
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
Re: Family Tardis

Welcome and the best of luck to you!
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:21 PM   #3
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Family Tardis

Welcome to the world of school bus conversions. We all get into it for different reasons and circumstances. I think a 40 foot bus can certainly be made into a wonderful home. It will give you beds, shelter from the elements, and a place for the family to congregate and build their lives. When your circumstances improve you may even decide that being a full-timer is preferable to paying large rents and mortgages.

The people on this site are wonderful and will be more than happy to give you advice, suggestions, opinions on just about everything related to bus conversions. Best of luck as you take on this adventure.
Greg and Donna Marvel

Danville, California
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:15 AM   #4
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Frederick Maryland
Posts: 831
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Family Tardis

Hey welcome to the madness. I have been told any Cummins is better than the Cat I have. The best bus is the one you own.

visvi Cherokee for Journey, Sounds Like Oeesha

My Conversion Thread:
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:32 AM   #5
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 557
Year: 87
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International s1700
Engine: 6.9 internatiional
Rated Cap: 65
Re: Family Tardis

Welcome to the site, I'm sure you will be able to "Doctor" you bus up right once you "Master" some of the knowledge provided here. Don't forget your Sonic screwdriver if you have any questions there are lots of helpful people here. and be sure to post lots of pictures
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Posts: 45
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All Canadian FE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Re: Family Tardis

Yay! Another big family!!! We are 6 plus 2 dogs, though only 3-4 of us are going to the bus full-time. I lurked from January until just this week. $10 says your reno will go WAY faster than ours. We have a prison bus. I call her Clementine (because Clementine is an orange and orange is the new black) and my husband calls her Milkshake (because she brings all the boys to our yard) but I'm almost thinkin' we missed the bus (ha!) on this one not calling her Tardis - she's even the right colour! ;) Looking forward to following your build! Welcome!

fly the coop
Fig. to escape; to get out or get away. (Alludes to a chicken escaping from a chicken coop.) I couldn't stand the party, so I flew the coop. The prisoner flew the coop at the first opportunity.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:08 AM   #7
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Family Tardis

Welcome to the Asylum --- great bus and that is an excellent engine which is actually only about half way into it's anticipated life before a rebuild. The tranny is another matter. If you can find a 645 or newer 5 or 6 speed, it would be worth swapping out. Full lock-up and much better mpg.

Go for it and do keep the pix coming.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:39 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 18
Year: 1996
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Re: Family Tardis

Thanks for the welcomes! I love all the Dr. Who references. lol We are major fans.

Timelord: Thanks

Gmarvel: I think you are right 40 feet should make a great home. I'm new to trying to live in a small space so I'm learning to rethink usage of things. We're also pack rats and have a 10X20 storage shed (no furniture almost) to purge. I would not at all be surprised if we end up loving it. My husband's job right now will allow us to travel as long as he has reliable internet so I'm excited about that.

Wmkbailey: I think you are correct. Just like your kids, you love what you get. ;)

Preconsul100: LoL love the references.

PictureLove: Are the dogs going with? We are going to leave our dog with my oldest daughter I think. Too much chaise chasing babies by themselves. Our Reno has to go fast! I sure hope anyway. Although it has taken 4 days to do eight seats on the bus. lol That's mostly because of needing equipment and learning what we were doing. Seven of those was in a half hour last night. My MIL is giving us sideways looks so plenty of motivation. LoL I love your bus name. I saw your thread about it. Your daughter looks like she was enjoying the PA system. We have one too and my boys think it's the coolest thing ever. You definitely have a Tardis colored bus. I so wanted to paint ours Tardis blue but I'm thinking a lighter color for heat reasons might be a better idea. Thanks!

Tango: Oh good. I was hoping the millage wasn't to bad. That makes me feel much better. She was only 3500 so I keep waiting for a shoe or something, you know? I will definitely keep an eye out for a new tranny. Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:40 PM   #9
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 18
Year: 1996
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Re: Family Tardis

Also floor plan take 2.
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:08 PM   #10
Sara's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 137
Re: Family Tardis

Love the bus name! Welcome to the craziness! Love the layout!
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