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Old 03-15-2017, 10:44 AM   #1
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1996 blue bird

I am working out a deal for a bus right now and would like to get another opinion. It's a 1996 blue bird, 5.9 cummins. MD3060 tranny, 92k miles. Tires with good tread, been sitting for a month and was used in a school district lightly its whole life. Haven't gone to see this bus because of distance but is said to run very well. No rust damage whatsoever, even the underbody is clean. He is asking 5k for it. Would you buy this bus?
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:42 AM   #2
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That sounds like a really nice bus. Light use and a 3060. Price seems a bit high for a '96, but sometimes it's a good deal anyway. Will you be happy with a 5.9 in there?
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:18 PM   #3
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I honestly don't know. I was hoping the md3060 would make up for the loss of power but I know little about automotive. I want to travel in the Rockies quite a bit so it might be a little troublesome to me. If I have to drive slow I'm fine with that
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:35 PM   #4
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It is the 5.9, but I believe it has a higher horsepower rating in the larger buses. That combined with the extra gears should make things relatively ok. Someone with modern knowledge of this engine should add info. None of us are climbing the rockies very fast anyway.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:39 PM   #5
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I am working out a deal for a bus right now and would like to get another opinion. It's a 1996 blue bird, 5.9 cummins. MD3060 tranny, 92k miles. Tires with good tread, been sitting for a month and was used in a school district lightly its whole life. Haven't gone to see this bus because of distance but is said to run very well. No rust damage whatsoever, even the underbody is clean. He is asking 5k for it. Would you buy this bus?
As others say. The tread rarely wears out. Sidewall cracking due to age is bad. Check the age of those tires. How is the exhaust. Depends also what state you are in. A 96 should be a 12 valve mechanical. That is good. You don't need 65 mph in mountains. I think it is $1000.00 too high if what i listed is all good.
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:03 PM   #6
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It is the 5.9, but I believe it has a higher horsepower rating in the larger buses. That combined with the extra gears should make things relatively ok. Someone with modern knowledge of this engine should add info. None of us are climbing the rockies very fast anyway.
I have a 5.9 in my pickup along with a 6 speed manual. It is far from stock (400+hp) and I have pulled an 18,000 lb trailer behind it. That puts me in the same ballpark weight wise as my bluebird.

I think that a 5.9 built similarly would push my bus along reasonably.

Would it be a good idea to build a 400hp 5.9 for a bus? Only if you want a dry sleeve motor with a significantly reduced lifespan.

Just my opinion: 5.9 is a great motor in a lighter rig but, if you are looking at a full size Bluebird, I would encourage you to consider a bus with the Cummins 8.3 or the DT-466.

Being the slowest rig on the road on cross country trips makes me a little crazy
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:12 PM   #7
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PNW- I feel the SAME way. Smaller, less powerful engines are FINE, for smaller buses.
My shorty has a 444E and its GREAT. But in a mid to full size bus I'd NEVER want one. The 5.9 is ok, you can do worse. But buried in a FE bus, if it ever needs a rebuild the bus is basically junk unless you wanna pull the engine, have it all machined, etc. With the 8.3 Cummins or the DT466, you can rebuild it in the frame of the bus.
I don't mind taking a bit slow, but not being able to keep up with any kind of flow of traffic on the interstate can be a real drag. Every Semi and coach that blows by me makes me want class 8 gear!
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:16 PM   #8
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Vers- I'll check in on those factors thanks for the opinion.
Steve/ECB- isn't speed affected by the transmission more than the engine? if the 5.9 can't be rebuilt in the frame I'm gonna have to rethink this. Even with 92k miles on the engine i feel like that is very important, no?
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:18 PM   #9
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Vers- I'll check in on those factors thanks for the opinion.
Steve/ECB- isn't speed affected by the transmission more than the engine? if the 5.9 can't be rebuilt in the frame I'm gonna have to rethink this. Even with 92k miles on the engine i feel like that is very important, no?
Well the rear end ratio will decide what your top speed will be, however if you are on less than perfectly flat ground your motor might not have enough grunt to get you to that speed.

What length is your bus? The 5.9 should be fine as long as you are not tackling mountains regularly. I would be more concerned by not being able to rebuild. Is the bus a dog nose or flat nose?
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:04 PM   #10
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Flat nose fe. I'd like to be traveling the Rockies pretty regularly. 38' long I believe
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