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Old 10-20-2011, 10:38 AM   #1
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Re: The Fun Side

Hey Custer --- Welcome to the madhouse! Your Bird looks like a newer version of one I raised the roof on about 15 years ago. Love them Birds, built like a tank and you'll find lots of help & encouragement here. What's the engine/tranny combo on that darlin'?
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:52 PM   #2
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Re: The Fun Side

You could try using the key on this site http://www.angelfire.com/ca/TORONTO/VIN/bluebird.html
I've used it to look at the makeup of a couple birds I was interested in.
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Re: The Fun Side

TA is, I believe, for turbocharged, aftercooled. It's a good thing to have.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:26 PM   #4
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Re: The Fun Side

welcome , this is the place to be ,for a world of info, jokes, and just plain crazy stuff
dont be a scared to ask anything about a bus,or anything else for that matter.

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Old 10-20-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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Re: The Fun Side

5.9 Cummins would be correct for that type of bus (TC/2000 FE). As for transmission it most likely has the AT545 Allison automatic. Great looking bus, can't wait to see what you do with it.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:19 PM   #6
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Re: The Fun Side

Hi Custer. If you spend enough hours reading the posts on this site, you will learn everything you need to know about your bus and how to convert it. I have a 1973 Blue Bird. I like it a lot. Please breathe a new life into your machine, and post a lot of pictures.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:35 AM   #7
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Re: The Fun Side

You should have metal plates on the front of the bus (interior) over the windshield and over the drivers side window with lots of info stamped into it.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: The Fun Side

Hi Guys --- I raised the roof on my old Bird 19". Had massive storage inside but still well under 13 feet for over the road clearance. Used a combination of Blue Bird OEM roof ribs cut into 19" segments and 1-1/4" square tube. (NOTE: Blue Bird does not sell "repair" sections for their roof ribs, you have to make your own. They are adamant that any damaged ribs only be replaced, not patched.) The square tube fit inside the remaining rib and the cut sections fitted over that. I had consulted with a factory (Bird) engineer on the raise plan and he strongly recommended cutting every other rib at a different height to avoid creating a "weak line" along the length of the bus. Seemed to make sense, so I cut one rib at the bottom of the window and the next at the top. Worked out great.

Just maybe the most important thing I learned from him was to make sure and cross brace both the upper and lower body sections before cutting anything. Otherwise it will twist out of shape when cut free and be a nightmare to try and get back into proper alignment when welding the two back together.

Another issue he addressed was regarding the front & rear caps. Some folks like to cut them free and just raise them along with the rest of the roof, but he said nix on that. According to him, the way the Bird body is configured, it gets most of it's integrity from the way they are designed and tied to the lower body and should be left in place. We cut our roof at the third rib from the front and rear and raised only the remaining roof. Worked out well and provided yet more storage in the space that was created between the old "inner" roof and the new outer shell. Great place for the A/C and other things BTW.

Hope this helps and happy to share the experience.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:44 PM   #9
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Re: The Fun Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
Hi Guys --- I raised the roof on my old Bird 19". Had massive storage inside but still well under 13 feet for over the road clearance. Used a combination of Blue Bird OEM roof ribs cut into 19" segments and 1-1/4" square tube. (NOTE: Blue Bird does not sell "repair" sections for their roof ribs, you have to make your own. They are adamant that any damaged ribs only be replaced, not patched.) The square tube fit inside the remaining rib and the cut sections fitted over that. I had consulted with a factory (Bird) engineer on the raise plan and he strongly recommended cutting every other rib at a different height to avoid creating a "weak line" along the length of the bus. Seemed to make sense, so I cut one rib at the bottom of the window and the next at the top. Worked out great.

Just maybe the most important thing I learned from him was to make sure and cross brace both the upper and lower body sections before cutting anything. Otherwise it will twist out of shape when cut free and be a nightmare to try and get back into proper alignment when welding the two back together.

Another issue he addressed was regarding the front & rear caps. Some folks like to cut them free and just raise them along with the rest of the roof, but he said nix on that. According to him, the way the Bird body is configured, it gets most of it's integrity from the way they are designed and tied to the lower body and should be left in place. We cut our roof at the third rib from the front and rear and raised only the remaining roof. Worked out well and provided yet more storage in the space that was created between the old "inner" roof and the new outer shell. Great place for the A/C and other things BTW.

Hope this helps and happy to share the experience.
I would add that parking the bus on a FLAT and LEVEL surface would be a great help. That is the way the body is built and will avoid putting stresses on it.
Also, about the rear cap, I would leave it alone, then after raising the roof get a second scrap one, cut the part needed to fill between the original cap top and new roof line and use the open space left as storage.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:04 PM   #10
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Re: The Fun Side

OK, now I'm hallucinating big time. What if, when starting to cut the ribs, follow this sequence (after doing all the bracing):
1) cut roof sheathing at front and rear.
2) cut one rib at the bottom of the window line.
3) weld one square tube to the bottom of the rib leaving it alone on the top, able to slide.
4) cut next rib at top of window line.
5) weld square tube to the top of the rib, leave alone at the bottom.
6) go all around until all are done.

Now when raising the roof SHOULD be like extending telescoping sections. Does it make sense?.
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