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Old 12-14-2009, 03:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ironton Ohio
Posts: 17
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue bird
Engine: 427l Chevy
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New to the Blue Bird

I've just gotten my first full size Blue Bird bus it's a 1988 with a 427 engin. Was wanting some direction on what to do first. Major things to look for that could be missing or needing to be done. I won it in an auction, it was our towns old bookmobile and It has been setting for some time. They towed it to our middle school and used it as a library while our new school was being built. Iwas told the AC's and lights on the inside worked if pluged into shore power. I need to buy two batteries to start off,but what to check next is what I need some direction on.
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: downriver, detroit mi
Posts: 794
Re: New to the Blue Bird

put a socket and rachet on thebig bolt in the front of the crankshaft and turn the engine over by hand at least 2 complete revolutions before you try to crank it over with the starter, make sure all of the fluids are full- engine, radiator, transmission etc. disable the ignition and crank the engine with the starter until you have oil pressure and then start the engine and let it warm up good at a steady high idle while continueing to monitor temps and fluid levels closely, also look for leaks, if it checks out ok, trty the brakes and then the transmission. try to move it back and forth, take it for a drive.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:08 PM   #3
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
Re: New to the Blue Bird

My not-yet-patented method of starting a long-dormant engine:

OK, having resurrected many stored engines (longest sat from 1979 to 2007), here's how I do it: (It should go without saying this is an extremely messy procedure. Figure on 2 50lb bags of Speedy Dry, several buckets, and most of a roll of blue shop towels.)
Pull all belts & the spark plugs. Drain and flush cooling system about six times. Totally bypass fuel system--feed out of a gas can or something similar. Drain old oil, fill TO THE TOP with engine oil cut with ~10-15% MMO or Liquid Wrench (you want, minimum, the cam submerged). Pull the valve cover & drizzle oil on the entire valvetrain (I try to fill the engine this way). Fill all cylinders to the top with a 50/50 mix of Dexron or MMO and Liquid Wrench. Let it soak overnight (2-3 days is better). Drain the crankcase (think: laundry tub)--be prepared for the nastiest, rustiest glop you've ever seen. replace valve cover. Fill with normal amount of oil (I like 15W-40 diesel oil for this part). Turn the engine SLOWLY with a wrench on the crank bolt. Clean up the MMO/Liquid Wrench that went everywhere because you turned too fast. Crank it half a dozen times with the starter to clear the cylinders.

Pull the distributor & spin the oil pump with a drill until you have good oil pressure--hand crank the engine at least 4 times while you do this. Replace plugs, refill coolant, and crank it up! (It will smoke a few minutes until the oil burns out of the cylinders.) Hold it at 2000-2500RPM for at least 10-15 minutes so you don't wipe the cam. Change oil after an hour or so of running, and the first 500 miles or so.

This method has freed up a siezed-solid Ford MDT 361 that subsequently wound up 25,000 miles without a hiccup.
Best of luck.
Optimism is a mental disorder.
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