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Old 10-31-2016, 12:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
Posts: 224
I might buy it.
So, I've been looking for several months and reading a lot of threads and believe I might have finally found the bus for me.
1985 Chevrolet BlueBird Mini Bird.
I called and spoke with a woman about it and being new to her position didn't know much about it so she took down my questions promising a call back Monday October 31 with some answers. As long as it still has the lift or at least the switches for one still inside and isn't plagued with rust I'm very interested. I really like the style and interior space including the high headroom. I know I want a Chevrolet or GMC with a gas engine so it's this or a Collins body style short bus.
From what you can see there I assume this is a reliable 350 small block?
Are there any of you out there who might know more about its reputation? Pros and cons of the P30 chassis/Type B school buses?
Also, if it feels like a go are any of you guys near Kansas City? I would really like someone to look at it for me. My only other idea is to call mechanics in the area and offer them a little money to go over there. The auction ends in a few days. Fingers crossed

- Thomas
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Old 10-31-2016, 03:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,241
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
It favors Penelope
I once complained I had no shoes....
Until I met a man with no feet
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:13 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 13,264
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 32
It appears to be a model with low headroom. IDK man but it sounds like it gonna need a lot of work to make it roadworthy.
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:15 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,995
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
If you are not a full on mechanic I'd say you should pass on this bus unless you can travel to inspect it and then only maybe. Even if you can get the eng and trans to work well enough to drive home, the tires look a million years old and not road worthy.

Nothing wrong with the P chassis with a bus body except for a low GVW value.

If you can fix it at home and have it shipped in-------well, Ya pays Ya money an Ya takes Ya chances! Jack
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:24 AM   #5
Bus Nut
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 991
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
It would seem the engine is the very well known and easy to find parts for GM 350. I don't think you'll go wrong there. The trans is questionable "as it is", a good servicing may bring it back to life or it may need a rebuild.

If it's been sitting a long time, the brakes may need work to move, or more importantly, stop moving. Tires should be checked and not just for tread depth, but also for rot and deterioration (unless you plan on replacement before driving far), and I wouldn't be surprised to see tires go for well over $100 each.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:09 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
Posts: 224
O the voices of reason.. You tell me in my heart what I already know to be true. So why do I fight it?
Something about this one captivates me.
Less than three days remaining.. Tonight I must decide if I'm going to find a mechanic to get over there tomorrow to look it over or not..

- Thomas
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:15 PM   #7
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 843
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
that would make a great hen house, well worth 300 bucks
living in a bus down by the river.
my build pics
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:53 PM   #8
Almost There
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 75
The best prices and best condition I have found are at school and govt auctions. I will not buy from a private party or from a company selling busses. My Shuttle bus I got for $750 at a county transit auction. NW bus bought at the same auction and put on their lot for $15k. Busses deteriorate fast if not used.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:14 AM   #9
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 586
You can buy a junker or a good bus for just a little more. Pass on this one for sure.
When buying a house they say avoid a house with a bad foundation because you must first fix the foundation just to be any where worth the others. A Tranny is easily $1200.00.
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:35 PM   #10
Almost There
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 75
Just got quotes, $6k to rebuild tranny for 99 ford e450, used tranny plus r and r around $3-4k. Different tranny shop fixed linkage for $200, didn't need rebuild. For a skoolie budget $4-6k for repairs.
This is why many people dump their projects when the repairs cost far more than what the bus is worth. There may be problems with buying one at govt auction, but is likely to have steller maint and used regularly up to the point of sale.
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