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Old 02-24-2016, 05:44 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Black Hills, SD for now!
Posts: 48
Year: 1969
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford B-750
Engine: 390 BB
Rated Cap: 2 humans, 1 cat
Red face Wanda the Wandering Bus!

She's not home yet and she was already converted - mostly - when we bought her. But we plan on totally redoing her once we get settled in the Pacific Northwest - we leave Ohio April 1!

She's a 1969 BlueBird on a Ford B750 chassis with a 390 BB (1500 miles on a rebuild), 5-speed manual tranny. And the adventure has begun....

Friday the 19th we hop on Greyhound - 5 hours later we're waiting on a taxi to take us to her. She's been running for an hour while they waited (the taxi took an hour to get to us! ) and she's still purring contentedly. They'd left some sheets, pillows, blankets, plastic containers, silverware, and a lifetime supply of paper plates in her, which is fine. I get in, get used to the steering wheel in my abdomen as the seat cannot go any farther back due to the wall and I am not a small woman at this stage in my life.

First few miles are harrowing, especially when we realize the camper door they installed creates a total blind to the right!! We get to the gas station, top her up, double check all the lights, and figure out how to lower the seat which puts the steering wheel in a slightly more comfortable spot - my waistline. And on we go.

Into the wind advisory. 30-35mph continuous with gusts up to 50 mph. She handles it like a champ!! After awhile I'm doing good - I'm learning the transmission, the handling, etc....when we hear a clunk. Another one. Then several. WanderingJuggler looks out the window and says, "You need to pull over NOW." The wind had opened up the awning and turned her into a sailbus!! But wow - she was solid. I would never have known if he hadn't told me.

He manages to get it rolled up - the arms are out of alignment so he uses his belt and some wire coathangers to get them together and we pull into the next bright parking lot - which happens to be a Discount Drug Mart. We go in, grab some sports tape (he chooses this moment to tell me he broke a finger!), a flashlight, Gorilla tape, and high-vis rope. We wait a bit (a bit under 2 hours) for the wind advisory to expire at 9 - but the wind doesn't listen! So we get permission from the night manager to sleep in the parking lot, grab some necessities, and are very grateful for the sheets and blankets!

The wind died down around 2am and we finally fall asleep on the tiny fold down couch only to be awakened to "BAM BAM BAM" on the door.

Good morning, friendly officer. The night manager forgot to leave a note for the day manager (to be fair, it was 15 minutes to closing when we asked!), so they called the police, understandably. Super nice officer, even when he informs me that no, Ohio does not have a grace period to drive on a bill of sale. And it's a small town, so we can't leave the parking lot.

WanderingJuggler calls a friend, I call the BMV, and get things rolling there. We go into the store to introduce ourselves to the manager and explain what happened and that we'll be there a few more hours and she's good with it. We have breakfast and charge the phones at Subway, and his friend shows up a bit later.

We drive 70 miles to our city, get the title transferred, license plates, and 70 miles back. The guys get the awning rolled back up (they ended up cutting it so it may not be salvageable ), Gorilla taped, and the arms realigned and clamped with 2 pipe clamps on each arm. His friend goes back home with a "Call me if you need anything" and we wait for the wind to die down in a couple of hours. And we got on our merry way.

We get off the highways on to the Interstate and I comment that the headlights look very dim. WanderingJuggler feels it's from all the other headlights being so bright making them look dim, which makes sense. And about 20 miles from home....THUMP. Thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump. Pull over - not the awning! The rear gas tank is leaking (the guy we bought it from said they never used it and didn't know why his uncle never did but it had not leaked at all up until this point - we'd also only put 4-5 gallons in it) but nothing to account for the noise. So we decide to get it home but I ask him to check the headlights again. They're really dim, but it's 20 miles so we decide to go for it. The engine had also started to "idle down" and I'd been keeping my foot on the gas pedal thinking, well, not really thinking much about that at the moment. Put it in gear and she dies.

Longer story less long - she's been towed to World Truck, his friend drives ANOTHER 15 miles to get us and take us home and we're waiting on an estimate. We're leaning towards alternator and we also asked them to do an all-over inspection since we'll be living in her in 5 weeks.

That was not quite how we planned the beginning of our adventure!!!
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Old 02-24-2016, 10:58 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 133
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Phantom
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Series 50
Glad you made it home, albeit not without an adventure! I know it probably wasn't good at the time, but in time, you will smile about it.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 7
Year: 1969
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford E750
Engine: 390BB (6.4l)
Rated Cap: 60
It was an adventure!! Now we are waiting on the shop to call with news.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:30 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 7
Year: 1969
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford E750
Engine: 390BB (6.4l)
Rated Cap: 60
wrong button...
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:53 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,040
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Good thing gas prices are so low, you'd better get that bus to wherever you're gonna live in it before they go back to their normally inflated prices!

Great story, keep us updated and best of luck to yall.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 7
Year: 1969
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford E750
Engine: 390BB (6.4l)
Rated Cap: 60
Thanks! Once we get to were we are going, we can work on it in our own time. It's the getting there that concerns me.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:04 AM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,040
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
My buddy has an old ford bus like yours. You're brave!

I'm sure it will all work out fine. But you're having all the luck so far, eh?
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:12 AM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 7
Year: 1969
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford E750
Engine: 390BB (6.4l)
Rated Cap: 60
I'm glad the issues are showing up now and not in the middle of the Badlands. If you don't mind, what is your buddy having to deal with?
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:31 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,040
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
His 66 Ford doesn't move much these days... Its been sitting more or less for 20-30 years. That older stuff is cool, for sure. His is an art studio/spare bedroom.
Was fully converted in the early 70's by a carpenter, complete with victorian bath tub.
Old stuff like that just need a LOT of love. Gotta look into fixing everything before it goes out kinda, ya know?
Post up some pics! We all love to see the classic stuff!
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:00 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Iowa
Posts: 120
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Honey Badger RV Co
Chassis: tc2000
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 74
Heather, sounds like a great adventure for sure. If ya need a place to crash for the night or sort things out with the bus on your way across. I'm about an hour north of I80.

Mike
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