Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-24-2004, 04:15 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
vonslatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 177
Bluebird TC2000 - good bus?

Hi Everyone,

I'll be in the market for a bus after the holidays. I've been thinking that I like the Bluebird TC2000 and I have seen lots of them in the 3-5K range. What do people think of this bus?

What about the All American? is the AA and older design?

Cheers,

Jake.
__________________
My 1989 Thomas Saf-T-Liner
vonslatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2004, 01:03 AM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 21
I rode to school in one for 2 years...had plenty of getup and go when loaded.
system-f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2004, 07:38 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 448
The TC2000 is the low end of the transit BB buses. Most have the Cummins 5.9 with an AT545 which is just an "ok" drive train. The All American is BB's top of the line bus. You will find better drivetrain setups and have a better resale value. You can easily find an All American with a Cummins 8.3 or Cat 3208/3116 coupled to an Allison MT643 tranny. If you still want a nice transit bus without the BB name I would go with a Thomas Saf-T-Liner. They are just about the same as the AA without the big price. You will also be able to find the same drive train that the BB AA has. HTH
busone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2004, 12:42 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
vonslatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 177
Thanks! So far my favorite is a rear engine Thomas with a 3208 CAT engine. However, I don't know if I be able to find one close enough to home. In Mass. I need to do significant work to re-title as a motor home to register so delivery to my home is a must. There are lots of TC2000's around locally.

What about rust? Are the TC2000s all galvanized steel?

Jake.
__________________
My 1989 Thomas Saf-T-Liner
vonslatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2004, 10:12 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
I'd have NO problem with a 5.9 Cummins ISB, even in a 40' FC Bird. Any dealer can uprate them to ~275-300HP (and the Dodge truck crowd can double that without much trouble), & still have an engine that will go 300,000+ miles. The 5.9 may be the most overbuilt diesel in production.

The 545 SUCKS, though--the AT500 is much better (we have both at work).
__________________
Jarlaxle
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Optimism is a mental disorder.
Jarlaxle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2004, 11:43 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
vonslatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 177
Well that's good to hear - I read a thread on the CAT 3208 on another site that said that that engine was manufactured with oval pistons that didn't round out until the engine had run for a while and that typical school bus duty cycles could cause the cylinder walls to wear unevenly and the engine to loose compression.

Jake.
__________________
My 1989 Thomas Saf-T-Liner
vonslatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2004, 08:08 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 448
The CAT 3208 holds up fine in school bus service. It does not have wet sleeves so rebuilding is not cheap. It like the Cummins 5.9 is a throw away but unlike the 5.9 it is designed for heavy use. I totally disagree about the 5.9 being a good bus engine. They simply do not hold up in bus service. The 5.9 is a light duty pickup engine. If you are looking for a Thomas with the CAT 3208 check with Greg. He has one on his website and he will deliver his buses. I very highly reccommend him he knows a good bus when he sees one and does not sell crap. I included his website addy.

http://www.flbus.tripod.com
busone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2004, 11:50 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by busone
The CAT 3208 holds up fine in school bus service. It does not have wet sleeves so rebuilding is not cheap. It like the Cummins 5.9 is a throw away but unlike the 5.9 it is designed for heavy use. I totally disagree about the 5.9 being a good bus engine. They simply do not hold up in bus service. The 5.9 is a light duty pickup engine. If you are looking for a Thomas with the CAT 3208 check with Greg. He has one on his website and he will deliver his buses. I very highly reccommend him he knows a good bus when he sees one and does not sell crap. I included his website addy.

http://www.flbus.tripod.com
100% complete, total, and unadulterated crap. The 5.9 Cummins B/ISB may be the most overbuilt engine ever produced. We have six at work (3 6BT's, 3 ISB's), all with 75,000+ miles (one 6BT with 120,000+, one ISB with 99K), on buses that see some brutal city use. Averaging 10MPH is rare--we have one bus with 165,000 miles & 20,500 hours.

Also, the Cummins holds up just fine to hotshotters grossing 30,000lbs on a Ram 3500 duallie.
__________________
Jarlaxle
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Optimism is a mental disorder.
Jarlaxle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2004, 01:07 PM   #9
Almost There
 
Rick78EFI460's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 77
I suppose it would be a great idea for people who post that 5.9s are crap give reference to first hand experience. I have heard many people regurgitate information they have read on internet bulletin boards. First hand experience talks, secondhand expierience walks. I have no firsthand experience with 5.9s in skoolies, but plenty in other light and medium duty trucks and all the experience I have with them is good. The secondhand information that I have from the bus mechanics at the local school district is favourable too, but we all know what I think of secondhand info. Perhaps the duty cycle of a School Bus is a problem, but nobody here is gonna run a route in a skoolie, but will drive it steady state
__________________
Rick Russell
Rick78EFI460 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2004, 04:22 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 448
If you want first hand info email Greg and ask him what he thinks about them. He has only been buying and selling skoolies for 30 years. mailto:GregArchambault@yahoo.com Take a look on Ebay right now there is a bunch of buses "2001 Champion CTS 28 Passenger 30 Ft. Medium Duty Bus" almost all of them have a new fuel pump and under 200k miles. Those engines are for light duty applications. My buddy who worked for the local school bus garage for 20 years also said the same things about them. If the dodge pickup was so great at hauling 30,000LBS then why does anybody buy a medium duty rig with air brakes. I suppose you also think hydraulic brakes are just fine for heavy duty applications as well? Maybe all those truckers are just plain stupid for wanting an M11 or series 60, why not just sell their tractors for a dodge pickup to make long haul runs?
busone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2004, 08:13 PM   #11
Almost There
 
Rick78EFI460's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 77
Not trying to ruffle any feathers, but theres a huge difference between a RV and a tractor trailer unit. A lot of motors used in skoolies would not suit any HD application, a converted bus is another story. The mechanics I know in the bus barns here ( I am a mechanic by trade, we all get along ) absolutely hate the 3208s and wish upon wish that all the buses came with 7.3s. The guys with the 5.9s that I do work on use their trucks in construction, hauling heavy loads, towing loaders, trailers loaded with concrete forms etc. that easily outweigh a bus, but not so heavy to need a tractor trailer unit. Based on my first hand personal and professional opinion, I would not shy away from a 5.9 cummins.
__________________
Rick Russell
Rick78EFI460 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2004, 12:40 AM   #12
Bus Geek
 
lapeer20m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: near flint michigan
Posts: 2,653
I would also agree that hte 5.9 cummings is a poor engine for skoolies. It is an excellent pick-up truck engine however!

I dont' think i'd buy a bus with a 5.9
__________________
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who will watch the watchmen?)
lapeer20m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2004, 02:22 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by busone
If you want first hand info email Greg and ask him what he thinks about them. He has only been buying and selling skoolies for 30 years. mailto:GregArchambault@yahoo.com Take a look on Ebay right now there is a bunch of buses "2001 Champion CTS 28 Passenger 30 Ft. Medium Duty Bus" almost all of them have a new fuel pump and under 200k miles. Those engines are for light duty applications. My buddy who worked for the local school bus garage for 20 years also said the same things about them. If the dodge pickup was so great at hauling 30,000LBS then why does anybody buy a medium duty rig with air brakes. I suppose you also think hydraulic brakes are just fine for heavy duty applications as well? Maybe all those truckers are just plain stupid for wanting an M11 or series 60, why not just sell their tractors for a dodge pickup to make long haul runs?
The lift pump is a well-known (and fairly easy to fix) problem with the ISB. The upgraded pump is a permenent fix.

Hotshotters use pickups (Rams & Ford Super Duties) simply because they're about half the cost of an MDT to buy, half the cost to tag, half the cost to insure, & use less fuel. I see them almost every day--about evenly spilt between extended-cab Ram 3500's & crewcab F-450's & 550's, almost exclusively diesels, tagged for 25-30,000lbs, pulling big 3-axle goosenecks holding anywhere from 3 to 5 cars.
__________________
Jarlaxle
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Optimism is a mental disorder.
Jarlaxle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2004, 02:24 PM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
I would also agree that hte 5.9 cummins is a poor engine for skoolies. It is an excellent pick-up truck engine however!

I dont' think i'd buy a bus with a 5.9
Yeah--an engine capable of 500+HP with only bolt-ons (and 350-400 with only a reprogrammed computer) is a terrible thing. A DT466 would be nice, but that or an ISC (8.3 Cummins) are about the only engines I'd take over an 6BT or ISB.
__________________
Jarlaxle
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Optimism is a mental disorder.
Jarlaxle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2004, 03:32 PM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 448
I agree about the 8.3 and DT466, I love the 8.3 my friend that worked at the bus garage took me for a ride on a 1998 Bluebird AARE with the 8.3. That thing was nice and the power was awsome. You could really hear the turbo wind up like in a big rig. Someday I want to get an old bus with a DT466 and make it into a pickup type truck to haul stuff like firewood.
busone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2018, 07:39 PM   #16
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 9
Hello! This subject is still very new to me, so please forgive the newb question:
Once a skoolie has been converted, with all the interior cabinetry installed and possessions loaded etc etc would that 5.9 engine still work well?

What if major modifications were made, such as a roof raise and maybe a roof deck?
Spencer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2018, 07:45 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,959
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
Hello! This subject is still very new to me, so please forgive the newb question:
Once a skoolie has been converted, with all the interior cabinetry installed and possessions loaded etc etc would that 5.9 engine still work well?

What if major modifications were made, such as a roof raise and maybe a roof deck?
More stuff on the roof to punch a bigger hole in the air is going to tax that already anemic engine in a full size bus.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2018, 08:41 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,008
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m View Post
I would also agree that hte 5.9 cummings is a poor engine for skoolies. It is an excellent pick-up truck engine however!

I dont' think i'd buy a bus with a 5.9
I mostly agree.

I love the 5.9's that I have in my pickups. I am quite partial to the 8.3 in my bus.

I don't think that the 5.9 is a great choice for a full size bus that will be driven cross country / highway/mountains.

If I was spec'ing short buses for city routes the 5.9 would be my first choice.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2018, 08:52 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 2,878
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
The TC2000 was one of the most popular buses made. It's extremely common, and the majority of them are "Front engine" configuration. Except for a few outliers that came with the short lived 427 gas engine, every front engine TC2000 from 24 feet to 40 feet has a cummins 5.9 and an AT545 transmission.

Granted, the 5.9 isn't as powerful as something bigger (surprise) and the AT545 is basically the bottom rung of transmissions. However, those buses didn't just sit in parking lots. They are a solid, reliable platform. And after removing a bunch of seats and not hauling kids, they have a substantial amount of payload ability.

If you're in a bus race, you'll probably want to pick something else. But most of us aren't in a bus race.

I'm building a TC2000 right now. I'm parked next to a friend who also built a TC2000. We spent a few weeks earlier this year with another friend with a TC2000, and another friend just recently bought a TC2000.
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2018, 10:39 AM   #20
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,008
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
The TC2000 RE was offered with the 8.3. The 5.9 is far more common but there are some 8.3 equipped TC's on the road.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1998 Bluebird TC2000 RE for sale mightybus Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 0 10-23-2012 09:01 PM
92 BlueBird TC2000 5.9 Cummins For Sale Drifter Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 2 10-05-2012 08:57 PM
93 BlueBird TC2000 FE 72/40 ft Abbott Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 15 06-16-2009 11:20 PM
94' Bluebird TC2000 Air Brake Plumbing HELP! Rawmatrix Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 6 05-20-2009 08:42 PM
Comparing Bluebird TC2000 and All American dentarthurdent Conversion General Discussions 20 12-22-2007 06:02 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×