Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-18-2016, 11:44 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
CaseyBrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 25
Year: 1996
Engine: C8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 36,500
It's A Big'un...We Got Our Bus!!!

Finally, after a year long search for the right bus, I think we nailed it...



...It's a 78 passenger 1996 Bluebird TC2000RE with the 8.3 Cummins and the MD3060 Allison, its got 198k on it. Runs like a raped ape . We had to take it on 180 mile trip over two mountain passes to get it home. My dad drove and I followed, dad didn't know about the shift inhibitor in the tranny preventing down shifting with the foot to the mat so he pulled both passes in 5th gear. Even so, he was able to maintain 60 mph until the summits, at which point he slowed to 50 mph. During the the whole trip the ONLY smoke I saw was a light puff during shifting as he got to speed on the interstate.

Major bonus point...the guy I bought it from had already done the yeoman's work of pulling the seats, flooring, and paneling...



Let the games begin

Looking to re-do the driving compartment first to get the second seat up front, so the first order of business is to modify the door so it doesn't fold in so that I can move the steps. I had three thoughts on this. 1) Weld the pivot and convert to swinging door, 2) reverse the door so that it folds out, 3) replace the door. Any input on the best approach would be appreciated.

Casey
CaseyBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2016, 12:18 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 252
So when you say 'move the steps', you mean... ?

If you're going full RV and don't care about retaining any school bus resemblance then I'd guess replacing it is probably the shortest distance.
jake_blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2016, 12:51 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,170
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
"Bluebird TC2000RE with the 8.3 Cummins and the MD3060 Allison"

Great combination...congrats!
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2016, 01:41 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
CaseyBrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 25
Year: 1996
Engine: C8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 36,500
"So when you say 'move the steps', you mean... ?"

Eliminating the landing and locating the first step flush with the door, and installing a slider step under the bus. This will allow leveling the floor for a second seat.

"Great combination...congrats!"

Thank you. This is why it took as long as it did to find the bus. Seems not many schools opt for the 8.3 option around here, and for where I want to do I considered it non-optional.

Reading the manual it seems that a swinging door was an option for this bus. Anyone know of a Bluebird graveyard that I can get this door from?
CaseyBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2016, 02:57 PM   #5
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 694
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
I have a similar bus (1998 TC2000RE, 78 pax, md3060 and Cummins 6CTA motor) 1998 was the last year that BB made the TC2000 offering, which at that point was basically an All American with a weird nose on the front. A 1996 would be a little more rare to be a 8.3 tc2000, so that's pretty neat!

Take a look under the bus at the way the stairs fit up into the frame - you might find that there's a giant "u" shape cut out of the forward frame member (past the front axle) to support the staircase. Removing the stairs and placing them somewhere else might require some interesting approaches - so I left the stairs in the original location.

I did however remove the folding door and the squared off lower frame, opting for the same approach angle on the body that the left side of the bus has, and a swing out door.

It's easy to reverse the direction of the pneumatic actuating ram by swapping the air lines. That would then let you operate an outward swinging door. Take a look here for some more details on what I'm talking about: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...s-9394-55.html

It's nice you got the interior already removed! What's the engine fueling set at? There should be a tin label rivted to the engine - mine is set at 250 HP - I have thought about picking up an EGT gauge and replacing the fuel cam plate with something to get me around 300 hp and add an engine exhaust brake.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyBrown View Post
Finally, after a year long search for the right bus, I think we nailed it...



...It's a 78 passenger 1996 Bluebird TC2000RE with the 8.3 Cummins and the MD3060 Allison, its got 198k on it. Runs like a raped ape . We had to take it on 180 mile trip over two mountain passes to get it home. My dad drove and I followed, dad didn't know about the shift inhibitor in the tranny preventing down shifting with the foot to the mat so he pulled both passes in 5th gear. Even so, he was able to maintain 60 mph until the summits, at which point he slowed to 50 mph. During the the whole trip the ONLY smoke I saw was a light puff during shifting as he got to speed on the interstate.

Major bonus point...the guy I bought it from had already done the yeoman's work of pulling the seats, flooring, and paneling...



Let the games begin

Looking to re-do the driving compartment first to get the second seat up front, so the first order of business is to modify the door so it doesn't fold in so that I can move the steps. I had three thoughts on this. 1) Weld the pivot and convert to swinging door, 2) reverse the door so that it folds out, 3) replace the door. Any input on the best approach would be appreciated.

Casey
aaronsb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2016, 04:22 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
CaseyBrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 25
Year: 1996
Engine: C8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 36,500
"Take a look under the bus at the way the stairs fit up into the frame - you might find that there's a giant "u" shape cut out of the forward frame member (past the front axle) to support the staircase. Removing the stairs and placing them somewhere else might require some interesting approaches - so I left the stairs in the original location."

I really wasn't very clear on my approach. I will leave the original steps, and fabricate new ones after I cover the old ones. I'm thinking of having the passenger seat being able to fold forwards exposing the original steps for some extra storage.

" What's the engine fueling set at? There should be a tin label rivted to the engine - mine is set at 250 HP - I have thought about picking up an EGT gauge and replacing the fuel cam plate with something to get me around 300 hp and add an engine exhaust brake."

I believe it's set to 250HP...I'll check when I get home. Based on how it's running now I am a little reluctant to goose it. I know it can be tweeked up to 450HP and 1600 Ft/Lb's of torque, but a candle that burns twice as bright will burn half as long. I haven't completely discounted the option of bumping it up a little, but I admit to being nervous about it.

Thank you for the door link.
CaseyBrown 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


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.