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Old 09-24-2018, 02:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Youngstown Ohio
Posts: 2
Year: 97
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: 444e
Rated Cap: 65
Skoolie conversion/project service in northeast Ohio

I have 20 years experience as a Diesel truck/bus mechanic and have done 2 conversions myself. Currently working on the third conversion now. I thought I would offer my services to the community. I am able to do pretty much anything you can think of. I am also able to do engine/trans/ rear axle swaps. My second Skoolie was a 96 rear engine bluebird I swapped a c9 caterpillar into. Made hills and mountains a breeze climbing even with a trailer on the back. I have a industrial shop outside of Youngstown Ohio and I also have three service trucks if someone breaks down around northeast Ohio needing roadside assistance. I’m able to do minor to complex fabrication plus frame alterations stretch or shortening. I can also assist with inspecting a bus your interested in buying as I do this type of work for world wide equipment buyers. If anyone has questions by all means let me know what your looking to get done and I’ll let you know. Thanks for reading my post have a good day.
This is my first post on here but been reading posts for years and thought I would throw this out there!
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:46 PM   #2
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i was just wondering if you could steer me in the right decision on what bus to purchase. the first and most important is that i will be traveling with my jeep being towed behind me on a trailer. my gf and i would like to have a queen size bed and a bathroom with a shower. we will also have 2 dogs with us. she is on the skinner side while im on the larger side at 6' 4". any help is greatly appreciated. really like the size of a mid size with the handicap door but idk.
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:47 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Youngstown Ohio
Posts: 2
Year: 97
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: 444e
Rated Cap: 65
I would recommend looking for a bluebird bus over the rest of what’s out there better constructed bus imo. I would look for the 466 international engine if your going to be towing a Jeep with you guys. Now as far as the interior height at 6’4” I don’t think there is any buses that are 76” or taller for head space. But a roof raise is a easy fix for that problem and add some interior space. I have done two so far they are fairly easy in the grand scheme of things. Have you looked around yet at Craigslist or auctions? I was looking pretty regularly back a couple months ago for one for a buyer who is raced dirt bikes found a 05 with 75k miles for 2500. If it’s just you & your gf plus two pups what your planning on doing should be very doable. Let me know what you think.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:50 AM   #4
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i have looked around on craigslist a little here and there. i would prefer a dogface bus over a flat . i don't know what length to get. thats what i'm having the most issue with.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:58 AM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 3,436
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Xservice View Post
I would recommend looking for a bluebird bus over the rest of whatís out there better constructed bus imo. I would look for the 466 international engine if your going to be towing a Jeep with you guys. Now as far as the interior height at 6í4Ē I donít think there is any buses that are 76Ē or taller for head space. But a roof raise is a easy fix for that problem and add some interior space. I have done two so far they are fairly easy in the grand scheme of things. Have you looked around yet at Craigslist or auctions? I was looking pretty regularly back a couple months ago for one for a buyer who is raced dirt bikes found a 05 with 75k miles for 2500. If itís just you & your gf plus two pups what your planning on doing should be very doable. Let me know what you think.
My understanding is buses come in either of 2 heights, 75" or 78". While not as common as the low roof, the high roof is by no means rare. My Genesis has a 78" height inside.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:00 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 3,436
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
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Originally Posted by mtown96 View Post
i have looked around on craigslist a little here and there. i would prefer a dogface bus over a flat . i don't know what length to get. thats what i'm having the most issue with.
Keep in mind size for size a dognose will have less interior build out space.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 144
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L Cummings ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
You will be hard pressed to fit a queen size bed in a mid-size bus with handycap door, unless you find one with the door up-front just behind the stair-step door. Even then, you will need to block the rear-door. With a rear-engine (usually found in only full-size buses), the bed goes right on top of the motor compartment, so no problem.

Dog-nose is your choice. It will give you more ground-clearance compared to a flat-nose transit-style bus, like I have. Still, I think I have more clearance than most RVs. Don't let anyone tell you dog-nose is easier to work on. I work on my Cummings in my BlueBird, out of the sun, rain, and wind!, with no problems, no ladder needed. Reminds me of my old 1977 Dodge van; not a Ford or Chevy van: they are a pain to work on. Replace the motor? I don't need a huge a-frame motor-hoist, nor a lift, it seems. The bumper and front grill come off quick, and the entire motor and tranny combo could be on rolling floor jacks and rolled out the front from under the bus without too much hassle, so it looks, since the front axle is behind all of that and not in the way...

But in the end, we can only advise you on things that are important to us. You just need to look, and look, and look some more. I like my BlueBird, and I think it is a solid, quality construction, that is easy to fix, although the wiring reminds me of an old 1970s AMC Jeep, and looks like a pot of spaghetti, and they don't want to give me a wiring diagram beyond the motor. As a mechanic for 20+ years, I see plenty of vehicles that don't get a good review from me on any of these points, but I haven't looked at many different makes of buses from a mechanic's point of view.
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