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Old 08-06-2017, 10:29 PM   #1
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93 GMC blue bird mini general information thread

Hello everybody,

I've been searching quite a bit and cannot find much for general information about these buses. I'm currently looking at one with about 60k miles, a 5.7l gas engine, and thats about all that i know, to do my first conversion with my lady friend. thankfully she's rad and all about the process as we are getting ready to do a little powder hounding this winter

The little bit of information that we have gotten together hasn't been super useful in aiding our decision about getting this rig in particular. It seems quite perfect though, but I'm not trying to get ahead of myself here.

Any and all information about this generation blue bird mini, 3rd gen, would be super appreciated!!
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:51 AM   #2
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It is a decently platform. An in-between the van chasis and medium duty truck chasis. Uses a P-30 chasis if I am not mistaken. So the chasis of a step side van, like the big chip delivery trucks and such. I usually see them with a gasser such as a 350, though 454 may be available. Mid 90's the 6.5 Diesel made an entrance.

Bottom line, oversized van with extra width. Most of the ones I have seen come with handi-cap lifts. More capacity than cut-Away style vans, yet smaller and nimble than a larger bus make them ideal for handy-cap routes in town.

Never worked on one, so not sure about the guts. A quick Google search should be more informative than I.

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Old 08-07-2017, 10:33 AM   #3
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Location: Prince George, BC, Canada
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Year: 1974
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: CHEVROLET C60 just under 19700 lbs body#B10353
Engine: 350 ci on propane
Rated Cap: 48
If you need a service manual Check here...
http://forum.73-87chevytrucks.com/sm...2586#msg252586

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Old 08-07-2017, 11:51 AM   #4
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Thanks for the speedy replies. That's about the extent of the information I've discovered. I do have some more specific questions and am hoping that someone with some experience with these buses will shine a light more light into this thread.

As far as engines go I've seen a lot of bad reviews for the diesels for this bus, what about the gas engines? Will a 5.7 L be able to haul a build out, especially over mountains as this vehicle is bound to be a powder hound.

Any word on the transmissions, haven't found any information there.

Are these buses generally mechanically sound, as in is this year mostly lemons? are they know to be dependable? are parts hard to come by for a 93?


I've seen some pretty low MPG averages for these buses, generally 7-8 MPG. Is this typical for a bus this size? Would a veggie oil diesel option be worth the effort and money, especially going to really cold places always.

Which other buses out there are similar in size? I think the size of this bus is perfect for me and generally it seems like there are a lot that are smaller or larger. I haven't nailed down other buses that are similar in size.

Lastly, for now ;), anyone own and have converted one of these buses that has found typical problems for this bus? Any crazy quirks to look out for?
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkfartz View Post
Thanks for the speedy replies. That's about the extent of the information I've discovered. I do have some more specific questions and am hoping that someone with some experience with these buses will shine a light more light into this thread.

As far as engines go I've seen a lot of bad reviews for the diesels for this bus, what about the gas engines? Will a 5.7 L be able to haul a build out, especially over mountains as this vehicle is bound to be a powder hound.

Any word on the transmissions, haven't found any information there.

Are these buses generally mechanically sound, as in is this year mostly lemons? are they know to be dependable? are parts hard to come by for a 93?


I've seen some pretty low MPG averages for these buses, generally 7-8 MPG. Is this typical for a bus this size? Would a veggie oil diesel option be worth the effort and money, especially going to really cold places always.

Which other buses out there are similar in size? I think the size of this bus is perfect for me and generally it seems like there are a lot that are smaller or larger. I haven't nailed down other buses that are similar in size.

Lastly, for now ;), anyone own and have converted one of these buses that has found typical problems for this bus? Any crazy quirks to look out for?
To be honest, I have to 6.5L Turbo Diesels outside, and I both love them, but I would never want one in a van. They are good work horses, but they have plenty of issues. Especially concerning heat. Poor cooling, and heat sensitive parts make for a bad combination. A 350 would be doggish, but a so would even the diesel. At least you could get more rpm out of the gasser. A 454 would be my choice, unless there is a bigger diesel in them that I haven't heard of.

Veggie oil would be cute, but a major Hassel in a 6.5L. I see plenty of small Diesels converted, but never anything as big as a 6.5L.

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Old 08-07-2017, 05:27 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada
Posts: 497
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: CHEVROLET C60 just under 19700 lbs body#B10353
Engine: 350 ci on propane
Rated Cap: 48
I have a chev 350 mated to a at545 and 7.20 Rear axle (build sheet). I drove it home through 9% mountain pass. The engine is tired but it made it. I think the original engine was a 366 but no way to find out exactly what came in my bus. I like gasses because easy to work on and tons of low cost parts. The 350 powers this 19400 gvw bus well. It will never lay rubber unless I slam on the brakes lol

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Old 08-17-2017, 12:12 PM   #7
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Good to hear about the weight and being able to climb some still. I ended up getting the bus and am planning to gear it down so I have better climbing power. I drove it from salt lake to southwest Colorado and it got up the climbs but the bus was empty and it wasn't raging up them by any means. Would love to have the 454 but probably not going to happen due to costs. Maybe if It gets built out nice enough, but as its the first build attempt not really sure how that's going to go haha.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:20 PM   #8
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Diesel engines actually perform better at high altitudes than gasoline engines.
Why? Gasoline engines operate at a very specific ratio of fuel and air. At high altitudes, the air is thinner—literally: there are fewer molecules of air per cubic foot. In the mountains, then, gasoline engines have to add less fuel to keep the ratio perfect, which affects performance.

"But a diesel engine runs fuel-lean; you don't have to keep the ratio perfect," Ciatti said. Diesel engines have turbochargers, which are pumps driven by exhaust gas. They add more air to the combustion chamber, and more air means more fuel can be added. At altitude, it can pull in more air and more fuel, and thus gets more power than gasoline engines can. Turbochargers don't use extra energy; they run off thermodynamically "free" energy that would be lost as exhaust if not used.

"Drive a diesel at altitude and you'll see other cars struggling while you zip past," Ciatti said. "The effect is very noticeable."


source

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Old 08-18-2017, 05:52 AM   #9
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Posts: 35
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird - mini bird
Chassis: chevy P30
Engine: 6.2
Rated Cap: 36!
just to chime in here, i have a 93 mini bird that your referring to on the p30 chassis.

its a 6.2 Detroit diesel. N/A and i have converted it to run on WVO.

no issues as of yet, just dont run it out of fuel lol.. found that out on the first day i bought it my gauges didnt work. and that cost me about 10 hours on the side of the interstate. my fuel pump pin had to be reset..

what a joy
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