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Old 10-28-2019, 09:32 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Loon Lake, NY
Posts: 45
Year: 2002
Engine: Cummins 8.3 ISC 300
Rated Cap: 36,500lbs
Operation Prison Reform

I just got back from a 2,140 mile drive with my 46 adult passenger, 2002 Bluebird All-American. Mechanically, the bus drove amazing from Texas all the way back to New York. But we did have two blowouts resulting in the replacement of 3 tires, so that was fun, the tires were weather checked, but I thought we could take it slow and make it back, I was wrong.

The speedometer also failed 800 miles in, which meant the cruise control also no longer functioned. The bus was owned by the Federal government previously and was probably used for immigrant transport on the border. So it has a lot of unique features.

  • Cummins 8.3L ISC @ 300hp
  • Allison B400 Transmission w/ 6th gear unlocked
  • Rear axle geared at 4.78
  • 12R22.5 tires
  • Cruises at 70mph at 1,800 RPMS
  • Air ride suspension
  • 10kw onboard diesel generator
  • Two 1,300 watt inverters
  • 50 amp transfer switch
  • 100 amp breaker panel
  • 3 roof top A/C units (wired to the generator)
  • Road ducted A/C
  • Three underbelly storage compartments (the generator uses one side of one)
  • Three air ride seats, two for the officers on board, one for the driver.
  • Backup camera
  • 7 Flood lights
  • Cruise Control
  • High Idle
  • Small black water and Fresh water tanks
  • Fresh water pump
  • Roof Sun Shield
  • Already has RV windows, although some have cracks and will need to be replaced
  • A Boat load of stainless steel
  • A boat load of diamond plate
This will be the build thread. I expect it to take 3 years from start to completion, but might be usable starting with short trips next summer.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Johnson City TN
Posts: 349
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC/AMTRANS RE
Engine: T444E 7.3 w/ MD3060
Rated Cap: 36000lbs / 78pass / 39'
Let me be the first to say, that is such an awesome bus.
I wanted the 8.3 when I went to pick a bus but didn't score one.
Man thats some awesome extras it has!
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:24 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 434
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
Rated Cap: 36
Nice bus! I've seen a few of these ICE busses for sale. I was hoping someone on the forum would get one so we could see pics. They are some of the best spec busses I've seen. The secure one piece door is a nice bonus. Unfortunately I didn't see them before I bought mine.

Ted
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:03 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,217
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Your bus has a lot of similar characteristics, Ted.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:21 AM   #5
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Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 434
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
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Originally Posted by Native View Post
Your bus has a lot of similar characteristics, Ted.
Similar but different 40 less hp, 7.17 gears so gears swap is in the future and no 6th but a few feet shorter which is ok.

Ted
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:54 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Johnson City TN
Posts: 349
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC/AMTRANS RE
Engine: T444E 7.3 w/ MD3060
Rated Cap: 36000lbs / 78pass / 39'
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Originally Posted by TJones View Post
Similar but different 40 less hp, 7.17 gears so gears swap is in the future and no 6th but a few feet short which is ok.

Ted
Shew, and I thought 6.17 was geared low enough.....
IF you have a MD3060 trans in yours then you can get 6th gear unlocked, probably have to go through a 3rd party to have the TCM reprogrammed.... Same route I'm going with mine.

Def like both your guys buses.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:59 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,727
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I thought that my bus was pretty cool until I saw this one.

300hp, 6th gear and already unlocked. Very cool bus.

Wanna sell it?
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:19 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Loon Lake, NY
Posts: 45
Year: 2002
Engine: Cummins 8.3 ISC 300
Rated Cap: 36,500lbs
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I thought that my bus was pretty cool until I saw this one.

300hp, 6th gear and already unlocked. Very cool bus.

Wanna sell it?

Haha, we'll see once I find out how much rust is under the floor.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:23 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
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Originally Posted by Neorush View Post
Haha, we'll see once I find out how much rust is under the floor.
... and there's that. Rust ... sigh.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:54 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,473
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
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Originally Posted by Neorush View Post
Haha, we'll see once I find out how much rust is under the floor.
The bus is from Texas, isn't it?
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:12 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Loon Lake, NY
Posts: 45
Year: 2002
Engine: Cummins 8.3 ISC 300
Rated Cap: 36,500lbs
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
The bus is from Texas, isn't it?
It is from Texas. It has more surface rust than I expected though. There is also a drain in the back right corner of the bus that just goes to the outside, I'm concerned they just regularly hosed this thing out or something like that. I'll be digging into it in a few weeks. So we'll find out. The frame and underbelly boxes look great though.
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:20 AM   #12
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,473
Year: 2003
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Chassis: CE 300
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Rated Cap: 65C-43A
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Originally Posted by Neorush View Post
It is from Texas. It has more surface rust than I expected though. There is also a drain in the back right corner of the bus that just goes to the outside, I'm concerned they just regularly hosed this thing out or something like that. I'll be digging into it in a few weeks. So we'll find out. The frame and underbelly boxes look great though.
My bus had drains in the corners, too - they were self-carved, though.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:32 AM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,217
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
My bus had drains in the corners, too - they were self-carved, though.
By those pesky little water molecules and their affinity to make Fe2O3 (A.K.A. iron (III) oxide, hydrated ferric oxide, or rust).
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:31 AM   #14
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Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,473
Year: 2003
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By those pesky little water molecules and their affinity to make Fe2O3 (A.K.A. iron (III) oxide, hydrated ferric oxide, or rust).
I wish we could just ban water.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:10 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Loon Lake, NY
Posts: 45
Year: 2002
Engine: Cummins 8.3 ISC 300
Rated Cap: 36,500lbs
Progress

It took 4 hrs, but I was able to remove one of the divider walls. The rivets used to hold these together are serious business. I tried drilling them and it was about 90 seconds a rivet. Resorted to the grinder, but even with the head completely gone they were still holding somehow. Had to work the prybar under each bracket and hammer and pull to get it to finally pop. Also got the movable wall off the track... also a pain in the butt. There are a bunch of these rivets holding all the prisoner add-ons together. Suggestions welcome, for contrast I drilled one of the wall rivets... went through it in about 3 seconds.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:44 PM   #16
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I want one!

Iím new to much of this but I am from Houston, TX and I am hoping to purchase and convert a Skoolie within the next year. I have been shopping around for some time now and that looks like an amazing find!!!!! If you donít mind me asking, where did you find it? I want to find something local......Anyone on thread feel free for suggestions as well on best place to find something like this, not trying to hijack thread. Any help is as always greatly appreciated! Again amazing find, great extras! I donít know why I have been shying away from prison/ICCE buses for some reason.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:02 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Northern California (for now)
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neorush View Post
... I'm concerned they just regularly hosed this thing out or something like that. I'll be digging into it in a few weeks. So we'll find out. The frame and underbelly boxes look great though.

Disinfect the heck out of that thing. I'll bet they did it regularly, but don't take any chances.


Tell ya what, I'll give you $500 for it without cleaning.


Really one of the nicest buses I've seen. Enjoy!
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:04 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Loon Lake, NY
Posts: 45
Year: 2002
Engine: Cummins 8.3 ISC 300
Rated Cap: 36,500lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeArtist View Post
Iím new to much of this but I am from Houston, TX and I am hoping to purchase and convert a Skoolie within the next year. I have been shopping around for some time now and that looks like an amazing find!!!!! If you donít mind me asking, where did you find it? I want to find something local......Anyone on thread feel free for suggestions as well on best place to find something like this, not trying to hijack thread. Any help is as always greatly appreciated! Again amazing find, great extras! I donít know why I have been shying away from prison/ICCE buses for some reason.

I actually found the listing on ebay. But it was originally a federal auction. Ebay seller was https://www.ebay.com/sch/theautosourceinc/m.html
He said he bought 9 of these at auction about a year ago, this was the last pre-2003 he had. Has some newer ones listed there. He is actually based out of Missouri but flew down and met me in Texas, does this regularly, may not hurt to shoot him a message of what you're looking for. I found the original federal auction using the VIN, and he paid $3,700. The original auction he got it from wasn't online at all. I paid $10k for this bus, but it has a 10kw genny, inverters, already foam insulated (even the undercarriage), geared well, rv windows, etc. So at the moment, I think it's worth it....again we'll see once I get into it
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:20 AM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,272
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
What was the original auction name that the feds brought it to?
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:48 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Loon Lake, NY
Posts: 45
Year: 2002
Engine: Cummins 8.3 ISC 300
Rated Cap: 36,500lbs
Quote:
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What was the original auction name that the feds brought it to?

The auction summary I found has "GTB Auctions" as the seller.
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