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Old 08-11-2014, 10:16 AM   #1
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1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

Found a 1988 BB All American with the following (think OD is 212K):

1988 BLUEBIRD ALLAMERICAN - 13 ROW - 78 PASSENGERS
15 window bus - added leg room with just 13 rows of seats
ALL SORTS OF BELLY STORAGE ON BOTH SIDES
VERY RARE FIND - The bus that made Bluebird FAMOUS
A CLASS ACT!!
427 V8 GMC Industrial gasoline (carburetor)
Allison MT643 with locking torque converter
AIR BRAKES
68 MPH TOP SPEED
The quietest bus you will ever drive!
POWER TO SPARE
Drives like nothing else made today
Built on the Wanderlodge chassis

We (2 adults, 1 child, 1 med & 1 large dog) want to purchase a bus to live/travel/move from FL to the PNW. We feel we could do the inside (we want it clean and simple) but know nothing about the mechanicals.

Is this a solid bus configuration?
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:57 PM   #2
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

1988 .......427 GASOLINE ENGINE???
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:05 AM   #3
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

Nice but for what you'd pay in gasoline costs you could buy....well, a lot of things. You'd spend more on gasoline on your trip out than what you paid for the bus.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

Quote:
The quietest bus you will ever drive!
If it's a FE(front engine) it's generally known to have the most engine noise of the three major designs.Also harder to work on.
I have a BB RE (rear engine) and can just barely hear the engine.


Quote:
427 V8 GMC Industrial gasoline (carburetor)
Good engine, if it's original it should be 4 bolt main. Very thirsty.

Quote:
Built on the Wanderlodge chassis
Other way around.

May or may not be a good bus, if you really want a gas engine. At 200,000 miles that gas 427 may be getting a bit tired.
Unless it's free, for the same kind of money, you can find a later model diesel, Best bet would be one that just came out
of school service.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:13 AM   #5
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

As I said, we know nothing about the mechanicals....I've read a lot on here and other places and the ongoing debates of diesel vs gasoline, different engines and transmissions, etc. The site this bus is listed at I've heard good things about the owner and he is supposed to "know his stuff" but we still wanted opinions from others who also have a lot of knowledge about buses...hence my post.

Thanks for your input...it's very helpful!!
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:07 PM   #6
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

my .001 cent...........a carb'd BB will get maybe 5 mpg pulling all that wt and air resistance
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:27 PM   #7
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

I would strongly recommend diesel over gasoline engines. A good heavy duty diesel should last a million miles or more with proper maintenance. At 200,000 miles, a gasoline engine is nearing the end of its useful life. Plus, you will get 50% of the fuel mileage compared to a good efficient diesel. For example, my 1988 Crown transit school bus has a Detroit 6-71 turbo diesel and got over 11 miles per gallon (almost 12) when I drove her from San Diego to the San Francisco Bay Area. There is no way a heavy vehicle running a gasoline engine could achieve that kind of fuel mileage.

I am sure others on this site will have other opinions. The beauty of this site and skoolie conversions is that you can do whatever works for you.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

I would advocate diesel over gasoline. More power, torque and better fuel economy. I have a short bus with a 454 Chevrolet engine and I get less than 7 mpg. I would have loved to have diesel but I use my bus for commercial purposes and in California, diesels before 2006 that are commercial registered have to have a DPF (diesel particulate filter) at a cost of $10k-15k. RV's and motorhomes are exempt from this rule so I would recommend going with diesel.


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Old 08-17-2014, 12:33 AM   #9
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

I would be on the diesel side of the aisle on this one. Our bus with dt466 and 6:14 gears got 8.4 mpg on a 371 mile trip. Almost 90 were on hwy 25, which is very very very windy and slow going (don't recommend in a bus). In comparison, I used to have an 87 Suburban with a 350 crate motor and a turbo 400 (not sure on gear ratio) and never got better than 12 mpg. No matter where we went it was at 65-70 in the burban. If you think about what a gallon of fuel did with each vehicle, the gasser doesn't even compare. At 5300 lbs empty, the Suburban would only move 440 lbs or so with a gallon of gas, whereas the bus at 17000 lbs or so, will move a little over 2000 lbs with a gallon of fuel. The best part is being able to fuel at truck stops with their 9 trillion gallons p/minute fuel pumps. You can pump 40 gallons of diesel at a truck stop much faster than you can fill 40 gallons of regular gas at any gas station.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:20 PM   #10
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Re: 1988 Bluebird All American....your input please

You will only get 5 mpg with the engine off.
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