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Old 03-11-2009, 12:13 AM   #11
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Sweet Shorty!
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

I sold my 51 Chevy bus to a guy who lives here in Idaho. He sent me a picture of an old Ford that he has built up, and if that old truck is any indication of what he has in store for the bus, then I know she will be in good hands!

Here's a picture of his old Ford. Please try not to drool on your keyboards!

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Old 03-24-2009, 02:37 PM   #13
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
You probably know this, but it's not a Chevy...a 1999 will be a Workhorse chassis.

Is it a 350 (5.7) or a 454 (7.4) engine? ALso, what are the axle gears? Is there a tachometer?
Not quite sure how I missed this... It's a 350. Not sure what the gear ratio is. There is a tach so I guess I could probably find out. The bus runs at about 3000 rpm in 3rd gear at 65 mph. In overdrive, it runs about 2500 or so rpm at 70 (if I remember right). Must be fairly tall gears at that rpm in 3rd. Honestly, I wish I could lower the gear ratio just a bit so it wouldn't want to downshift so often. But I'm not sure what gear ratios are available and whether I could get a set that wouldn't reduce the ratio down so far that the benefit of better hill climbing wouldn't be negated by a screaming engine and significantly lower top speed. Might be something to look into later...
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:39 PM   #14
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Hmm, 3000RPM at 65 in direct seems to be about a 4.30 or 4.56 ratio...pretty typical, I figure.

That has the "5700 Vortec" multi-point injected 350, right?
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:20 PM   #15
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
Hmm, 3000RPM at 65 in direct seems to be about a 4.30 or 4.56 ratio...pretty typical, I figure.

That has the "5700 Vortec" multi-point injected 350, right?
No multi-point. It's the older throttle body injection. Like Ford, Chevy was probably using up it's older stock on the bigger commercial vehicles. I used to do mechanic work for a fish hatchery, and they had a 1995 Ford F700 which used lots of components off the late 80's light trucks such as steering columns, door panels, dash etc. Guess they have to use up that older stuff somewhere...
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:41 PM   #16
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Forgt late 80's...the MDT's used the 1980-86 F-series interior until the body change in 1998. My wife works for a towing company, one truck they have is a 1994 F-700--other than the stereo (Ford's common square-button single-DIN as used from the late 80's until 1996 in vans & 1998 in pickups), everything is 1980-86 F-series. The only difference is an air pressure gauge, a parking brake knob, and the big MDT steering wheel. IIRC, it even has the hi-beam button on the floor.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:16 PM   #17
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hearse Driver
Not quite sure how I missed this... It's a 350. Not sure what the gear ratio is. There is a tach so I guess I could probably find out. The bus runs at about 3000 rpm in 3rd gear at 65 mph. In overdrive, it runs about 2500 or so rpm at 70 (if I remember right). Must be fairly tall gears at that rpm in 3rd. Honestly, I wish I could lower the gear ratio just a bit so it wouldn't want to downshift so often. But I'm not sure what gear ratios are available and whether I could get a set that wouldn't reduce the ratio down so far that the benefit of better hill climbing wouldn't be negated by a screaming engine and significantly lower top speed. Might be something to look into later...
I'm surprised it is TBI. I have a bit of a passion for TBI, but 210 horsepower versus 255 for the Vortec is a big difference.

As far as the rearend I'd probably assume it is one of three, a 14 bolt full floater, a Dana 70, or a Dana 80. No matter which axle it is there are gears widely available for them if you really wanted to change things up. Is the transmission a 4L80E?
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:23 PM   #18
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Yes--GM used nothing else until the Allison 1000 came out for, IIRC, 2001. A 1999 P-chassis will have the 4L80E.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:07 AM   #19
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Got quite a bit done the last couple of days. This first picture is from last week but it shows all the reflective stickers I took off. Took forever to get them off then to get all the adhesive residue off the body.


Now that all those stickers are removed, I have to figure out a name for the bus and what to put in that area between the flashers!


While waiting for some other stuff to get done, I laid out my floorplan on the floor with masking tape to make sure everything was going to work. After all was said and done, I had to revise a couple of sections a number of times to get everything working right. This is after about the second revision and not the final plan I ended up using.


Yesterday, I got the galvanized panels from the fabricator. They looked really nice, but when I got home to start putting them in, come to find out they had bent the metal on one side about 1/8 inch too long, and so I had to cut one of the flanges off all 13 panels to get them to fit.



So here are a couple of pics of the installation. The first one shows the c-clamps in place keeping the sheetmetal pushed to the outside to flush it up with the pillar trim pieces. The second pic shows the outside with some of the panels installed. I also primed one of the panels just to see what it was going to look like.



So after fitting a few of the panels in place, we took out the rest of the windows. Looks rather lame without the windows in it.



So here's what the interior looks like with all the panels installed and the resulting mess.



Here are the views down the sides of the bus with all the panels installed. I still need to get the panels primed.



About half of the windows that were removed.


So tomorrow I'm going to get all the panels primed and hopefully get the rest of the interior ceiling sheet metal removed. If I get that done (which is a little unlikely) I'll start removing the galvanized wall panels. I'm really not looking forward to all that sheet metal removal because of the 7000 rivets that I have to remove.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:40 PM   #20
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Re: My new 1999 Bluebird P30

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON
As to removing seats, I had a friend underneath using an air ratchet while I held a box-end wrench on the bolts. Had mine out in 45 minutes. Of course, several bolts broke. The only issue I had was not being able to get to the bolts for the two front seats because the fuel tank blocked access on the passenger side and the battery box blocked it on the driver's side. I wasn't really going to need that space anyway for what I use mine for, so I just left them alone.
That's about the same problem I had in a section from the front of the wheel wells to about 3 feet behind them. There is a boxed in area under the body between the wheels wells and right behind that is the fuel tank. Couldn't get to the nuts on the bottom for that whole section so the only thing I could do is cut the bolt heads off. You would think that the bus companies would make it easier on themselves and tack weld some nuts to the bottom of the body.

Over the last couple of days I've been cleaning out the bus and getting the floor prepped for coating. Iíve removed the galvanized sheet metal on the sides, and also the interior metal for the ceiling and front and rear. So now I can get the foam board into place when I get to that point. Looks a little bare in there now.




Got the floor coated yesterday. I decided to go ahead and coat the steps too, and getting those screws out of the rubber flooring was a nightmare. Once I got the flooring off I found a couple of problems. The second step up had quite a bit of rust on it. Luckily there was nothing all the way through. The bottom step had no rust on it, but there is a section about 3 inches long where it attaches on one side that is cracked, so the whole step flexes about 1/4 inch when you step on it. I'm probably going to have to take that piece out and weld in a whole new piece across there. Looks like a design flaw to me. It's not really connected to anything solid on either side.

So here is the floor after the coating. It was starting to get a little dark so the pictures arenít all that great.



I also got the window metal primered so it looks much better until the real paint goes on.




Sinced it's still morning, I'm going to try to get a little bodywork done today. I've only got a couple of small dents in the bus to mess with so that shouldn't be too hard. One I had to take out with a slide hammer so I've got a couple of holes to weld back closed. This small dent is on the lower rear of the body right above the bumper.

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