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Old 04-22-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Birch run mi
Posts: 154
Year: 1998
Chassis: TC 2000 bluebird
Engine: 5.9 cummins
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my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

Hi, I am a new member. I live in Birch Run, MI. with my Wife Bonnie and our two kids Danny (10) and katie (7) I just purchased my first bus. It is a 1998 Bluebird with 73,000 miles. It is in MD, I will be flying out on the 6th to drive it back here to Michigan. I purchased it from a Government (GSA) online auction. Hopefully it runs and makes it all the way back.

The plan is to make it into an RV for vacations mostly here in Michigan but out of state as well. I have countless questions and need advice on everything. I have never driven a bus before. I am hoping it will be able to turn into my driveway! I'm not sure what I will do if it won't?!

It is a little different than most buses and was used to carry our critically injured soldiers from Andrews AFB back to Walter Reed memorial Hospital. They had (and just sold) three of these buses and have replaced them with new ambulances that are semi trucks costing $510,000.00 each!

I was thinking of going to Napa or Carquest for a spare set of fan belts before I fly out. Any ideas what other spare parts I should take with me? How about tools? Can anyone tell me anything about this bus? I don't know much about buses. I'll take all the advice I can get.

Thanks, Bill
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Birch run mi
Posts: 154
Year: 1998
Chassis: TC 2000 bluebird
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 66
Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

I thought I would post some more photos in hopes people can tell me more about this bus.

Bill
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:59 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Birch run mi
Posts: 154
Year: 1998
Chassis: TC 2000 bluebird
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 66
Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

The last three photos I have, I have actually never seen the bus in person. It was a risk, I hope it pays off.

Bill
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

Hey, Welcome!
Love those rear doors in your bus. I bet a lot of folks here would like to have those. They would have changed my interior plans for sure. Very cool bus. Lots of hlep here, keep us pictured up and posted.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:01 PM   #5
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Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

Oh man, I am so jealous! Those rear doors are awesome! And the built-in AC is great too. Cummins diesel engine is also great. Not sure if it's a 12 valve or 24 valve in 1998, might go either way. And low miles. And an air horn to boot! Great bus! Welcome to the skoolie forum!
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Birch run mi
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Year: 1998
Chassis: TC 2000 bluebird
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 66
Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

The auction listing said 190HP. I am not sure if that will tell you anything or not. I hope the AC works. I am sure it wouldn't be cheap to fix. I priced AC to add on another bus I had located and Carrier wanted $6,000 if I installed it myself. Installed it was $10,000. That was more than I wanted to pay for an entire bus, let alone just for the AC! I knew I would have to find a bus with AC or my wife would never come along if the weather was hot.

I am trying to locate manuals but The Blue bird dealer in Ohio says 2000 is the farthest they go back. And here I was thinking that a 1998 bus was pretty new. He says that he can't get wiring diagrams or anything for a bus that "old" any more. Anyone have any idea where I can get manuals?

Bill
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

I am sure we are all going to be jealous. First of all, it is white!!! You dont even have to repaint it if you dont want to. Those back doors are going to be nice for sure. Also, chances are there is a nice big high quality inverter if it was used as an ambulance, as well as high output alternator or two. Nice platform to start with.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
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Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

http://service.blue-bird.com/wiringschematics/ if you need wiring schematics. Just punch in the body number (found on the ID tag/compartment over the windshield by the door). If you can get the 2000 manuals cheap enough I'd get them, some stuff might have changed but a lot stayed the same over the years.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:01 PM   #9
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Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

From the engine pic, that's a 12-valve which means an early-98 bus. The analog odometer also means an early-98...late-98 (after 1/1/9 Birds got the 24V Cummins and a weird and cranky electronic gauge cluster. You're better off with the older one. Even has a driver 3-point belt! Air brakes?
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:24 PM   #10
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Re: my new ambulance/ 66 passenger bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
Air brakes?
Yep, I can just barely see the knob if I zoom in on the pic of the driver's area.
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