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Old 02-22-2015, 06:58 PM   #21
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bakersfield, California
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Year: 1976
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71 Mid-Ship Mounted
Rated Cap: 79 at Birth
This is one Beautiful Bus!
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My Conversion Thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3065
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:33 PM   #22
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 27
Year: 97
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L 12v Cummins @ 230HP Allison MD 3060
Rated Cap: 33,000 lb GVW
All the window decals are sign Vinyl (which I ordered in a multi-pack from amazon.com for $40!) and was just cut out and applied. Just like most vinyl, we sprayed water and used squeegees to stick on without bubbles. It was done because the plywood from he inside was showing through and we wanted something more festive! Next attempt will be painting the bus and adding mirrored window tint to all the windows.... the projects never stop!
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:38 PM   #23
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 27
Year: 97
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L 12v Cummins @ 230HP Allison MD 3060
Rated Cap: 33,000 lb GVW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponyracer View Post
X2!! I have the same bus (except for the tranny and I was looking for a hitch.

Any idea what years fit? Or is there only one generation of the 550?
The year of the f-550 doesn't really matter as the frame width has been the same for quite some time (but a 2003 would probably be right) - just that it is the cab/chassis version. I think the width to the outside of frame is around 34" just measure that to confirm when you order.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:01 PM   #24
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 27
Year: 97
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L 12v Cummins @ 230HP Allison MD 3060
Rated Cap: 33,000 lb GVW
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDBreske View Post
He meant rearend ratio: the gear ratio of the rear axle differential unit.
I actually don't know rear end ratio. You can probably calculate it yourself with this info: at 65 mph with 10r22.5 tires, in fifth gear, we are at 2200 rpm give or take 50 rpms. I would love to have a lower rpms while cruising for many reasons and my peace of mind to not have a diesel cruising at over 2000. We do average an amazing 12 mpgs. Relative to other vehicles, especially RVs, it's great. I think it could be better with a sixth gear.

My problem that is not really a problem:

I have been so frustrated that i have the MD 3060 and it's only programmed with five gears, not six which it is physically capable of using. I contacted Allison's engineering department about re-programming ECU but no luck. They said they won't enable sixth gear unless bluebird's engineering dept. writes them and says the bus is capable of going top speed in highest gear. I have tried many different shops with no luck as they can't re-program without sending to Allison corporate. Also thought about new rear-end gearing, but don't want to compromise my already great overall power train gearing.

In the end, I guess this issue just seems to be part of the trade-offs of a FE vs. RE
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:12 PM   #25
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,152
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Mine does about 65. Im fine with it. I love my mpg's and it does ok in the mountains.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:00 PM   #26
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 27
Year: 97
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L 12v Cummins @ 230HP Allison MD 3060
Rated Cap: 33,000 lb GVW
There have been some recent upgrades to Winslow, mostly coming from necessity.

First, we replaced the traditional door with a new RV version off of eBay for added security and insulation purposes. The new door is quieter when driving and opened up our dash board space (have yet to skin the wood with metal)





We have also replaced the wooden folding doors inside with accordion style ones, straight from the aisles of Home Depot. Easy to cut down to size versus the wooden doors which were a pain to customize. They also ride much quieter and are just as sound and temperature insulating.



A little treat for us this winter has been this blue flame propane heater! Has an internal thermostat so it will turn on and off on its own throughout the night and works like a charm. For safety, we installed a LP/CO monitor with a solenoid shut-off at the tank plus the heater has a leak detecting shut-off already. (note: there is some humidity as a byproduct)



Lastly, we built new overhead cabinets for the bedroom and replaced the dresser with a custom built-in shelf. It's amazing how much some square footage of storage can make a difference! With the use of a recycled mirror, we even made a little vanity area.





And all the cabinets have received pneumatic pistons to keep the doors open. Which is a must-have!



Almost forgot, we installed some under cabinet lighting too (LED just like every other light in the bus!) Be sure to get the right color temperature for the optimal mood... we prefer the warmer 4000K range.



We also finally made curtains for the whole space! We used pre-existing valences, due to their short size, and used them for lining the upholstery fabric we already had. It helps block the light and saved on measurements for sewing! The curtain rods are just the inexpensive ones from your local home improvement store.


We will hopefully get more pictures posted over time, including a more comprehensive look at all of our systems which haven't been shown yet.

Skoolie Pride!

Much Love,

Matt and Claire
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:07 PM   #27
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,171
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
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Lookin' really great guys! Keep it up. How do you plan to weather seal that ply around your door? That stuff will swell up and come apart in no time if any water can get to it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:38 PM   #28
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 27
Year: 97
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L 12v Cummins @ 230HP Allison MD 3060
Rated Cap: 33,000 lb GVW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Lookin' really great guys! Keep it up. How do you plan to weather seal that ply around your door? That stuff will swell up and come apart in no time if any water can get to it.
Exactly. We are going to pick up some sheet metal and i will seal with sealant and pop-rivet to keep water tight. It will be really easy to unscrew and reinstall. I could have welded tube steel instead of using pressure treated for the filling in the old frame, and i still might. Whatever I end up doing will be finished right before I paint the outside of bus. I am trying to find the ideal warehouse location so i can prep and shoot a quality polyurethane SS paint. I had to put in the RV door rather quickly as we needed a more secure way of locking the door. Our original folding style had a external key/ inside solenoid but it failed. After a long search to find a new solenoid to replace, I came up empty handed. The RV door made the most sense for us and it has ended up quieting the engine and road noise as well.
The only con of the rv door is that at high speeds 60+ or with strong headwinds you can see the door being pulled outward slightly (not enough to break its rubber seal, but noticeable) by the vacuum pocket/aerodynamics of bus front end. This would be an issue for any door I guess.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:14 PM   #29
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Year: 1976
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Rated Cap: 79 at Birth
Really nice work on the door and interior!!! Looks fantastic
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