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Old 07-28-2009, 12:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Key West, Florida
Posts: 56
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 640 Detroit allison
The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

Hi all!
My husband Mark and I have purchase our first Skoolie! '63 flatnose Bluebird. It's partially re-done, but we've got BIG plans for her. Mark has already nicknamed her: "BooBoo" We don't have her yet, picking her up in two weeks. We CANNOT wait! I've read the thread of you guys talking bout driving your buses for the first time. I think Mark's already havin' nightmares. He's an ex-firefighter, so I know he'll be okay! I'll post pics when we get it home. I've already got plans to rip out the black tank and do the whole composting toilet thing. Little by little..we're going to rebuild it for full time living. Living in it, while fixing it...that's going to be a story! I think i've finally bested my parents on the whole HIPPY thing! We quit our jobs, moved to the Keys and are livin' in a 5th wheel right now. Selling the 5th wheel (it's on craigslist)..pitching a tent in two weeks so we can go get our 'BooBoo'. We thought we were CRAZY to be doing this: that is until until i found this site! I am so psyched: check out the pics! And hey, thanks so much for all the advice already!
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File Type: jpg Mark and Heidi\'s Excellent Adventure2009 022.jpg (50.8 KB, 1793 views)
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:57 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Key West, Florida
Posts: 56
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 640 Detroit allison
Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

Bigblue..is a diesel actually. The original owner (he's owned it 30yrs give or take) put in new engine/tranny 10yrs ago. Don't know if it was rebuilt (i'm asuming) or new. It's a Detroit allison 640..does that make sense? We're buying from this man's daughter and she's not too mechanically inclined to give us real solid specs on the engine/etc. Apparently her husband's been driving it around the property for the last few weeks getting it ready for us to come get it. She's saying that it overheats a bit, and it uses tranny fluid. I'm hoping we don't have 'issues' getting it home. Once we're here, we're planning on having a big diesel mechanic out to over look the whole thing and educate us on our engine/tranny. Let me know if you have any insights/tips that we might NEED to know. thanks!
Heidi
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

Welcome to the asylum!

That's a nice looking rig!

How far must you drive it to get the bus home?

You may want to have the fluids sent off for analysis before you go get it. Better to know the engine / tranny condition before that maiden voyage than to be stranded with major problems on the way home. Just my $.02.

Again, Welcome!
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:26 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Key West, Florida
Posts: 56
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 640 Detroit allison
Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

thanks for advice about the fluids..but expand on that a little? Tell me more, so I can get the owner's to do that for me before we show up. We're driving it approximately 300miles. West Palm beach to Key West. It'll take us roughly 4hrs to get up there and I'm guessing IF all goes well..quite a few hours more on the way back home. She's telling me that it takes approximately 300-350 to fill it?! It's definitely going to be a day trip that's for sure. We're really lucky..Even though it's a restoration alot of the roughing in work has been done. We'll have a bed, there's three bunks right before the back bedroom a toilet and a stall shower. We're going to do all the important things first before getting fancy..electricals, engine, plumbing, insulation (though not so important for Key West right now). We're using two window A/C's for the heat, so at least we'll be cool while we're contemplating what to do next.
thanks for the tips!
Heidi
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Key West, Florida
Posts: 56
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 640 Detroit allison
Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

I do have pics of the inside..i'll post them in a little bit! It's a partially done conversion, so you'll see the work that's been done on it.. That 'tire rack' looking thing on the front is actually a fireplace! believe that one! Apparently it works, but we'll see.
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Key West, Florida
Posts: 56
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 640 Detroit allison
Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

Another shot of the outside...and some of the inside. It's looking pretty good...we'll see what happens when we really get it in our possession. Going to be lots of fun i think!
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File Type: jpg front.JPG (142.3 KB, 1762 views)
File Type: jpg middle beds.JPG (119.8 KB, 1766 views)
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:24 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Key West, Florida
Posts: 56
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 640 Detroit allison
Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

That's some crazy paisely interior right?! I might keep it just for the retro-flash back. As for the other..probably the best advice on the pre-delivery stage i could get. My Dad did not raise a fool for a daughter..the tools are packed and ready to go! He always, always..i quote 'always' had tools to do what he could out on the road. Being 10yrs old on the side of the highway plenty of times with him..'bleeding brake lines' in the snow, up hill.. yeah.. I got stuck with him once under the Brooklyn Bridge in an old english Marina.. He was (still is) such a nut! As for the cash money stuck in the shoe..Mark's the boss of the money..so his shoes will be deep LOL.. We'll see what the owner says about testing the fluids for us. Hopefully, like you said: it's just gaskets and such... thanks SO much you guys for the great vibes and good advice..
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:43 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Key West, Florida
Posts: 56
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 640 Detroit allison
Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

I did notice that duct prior. But the owner (the daughter actually) doesn't know a whole lot about what her father did or didn't do to the bus. Apparently she camped with the bus in the past. Ok, so i've got a few more 'bits' of info: '63 GMC blue bird. detroit allison 640..transmission/engine, not sure.
As far as the plans for the inside: I of course (being a woman) keep changing my mind. Eventually Mark's going to just shut that down and make a decision. We've got to get it home first to see exactly where we're at. Back bedroom, and the bunks are in place so we'll probably start with making that area comfortable. Already planning to get rid of the black tank. I'm looking at the marine composting toilet Nature's Head. I like the Envirolet composting toilet, but it costs like 2500$ (way out of control). I am so anti the black tank because of the 5th wheel..stinks, stinks, stinks. The mess, the fumes..believe me, i've flushed, cleaned, bleached, cleaned again, flushed. etc..then i read the thread about fumes and RV's, etc. So i don't feel so bad. We're planning on the solar powered, vent system with the waterless toilet.
I'll worry about the cutsey girl part of the decorating later Sleeping, bathroom/shower, and electricals are all really important right off the bat. We have to check out the flooring, insulation etc. I just keep adding to the list. I have seen ALOT of cool ideas for near the end results. I think we'll clean and paint the inside before we actually decide on doing anything at all. Got a new shower picked out already..and a fridge! see..the insanity just keeps getting worse.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Key West, Florida
Posts: 56
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 640 Detroit allison
Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

....see this is where the 'Men' come in! they are just so friggin' handy! Leave the black tank, connect it to the grey tank..kaboom, shower water taken care of. I got distracted for a second by girlie decorating... pheww, that was close. Oh, he'll get his Man space..the deck on top..LMAO!! just buying the bus was me getting what i wanted, we can decorate it a nice neutral manly/girlie..husband wife truce colors.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:59 PM   #10
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Location: Datil, New Mexico
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Year: 1989
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Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!

Funny thread & what a nice looking bus! I love seeing older busses being brought back to life! You have a great start to a one of a kind beast!

Make sure to take photos of everything so we all call drool over your progress (including the drive home to KW!)

Maybe you should consider stripping the 5th wheel for parts & components for the bus....
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