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Old 06-14-2017, 04:11 PM   #1
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Advice for a first bus purchase.

Greetings all,

I'm looking to buy a Bluebird A3FE (2001 - 2009) with utility storage boxes on each side and a wheelchair lift (rear passenger side door) in the back for the bike and garage.

This combination seems hard to locate, although I have seen pictures of them on the internet.

I'm thinking about just buying an A3FE with the storage boxes and cutting the rear side door for the wheelchair lift myself.

That would entail cutting into the bus body, reinforcing the door way with a metal frame and making and hinging a door out of the windows that I remove.

Has anyone done this?
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:27 PM   #2
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Greetings all,

I'm looking to buy a Bluebird A3FE (2001 - 2009) with utility storage boxes on each side and a wheelchair lift (rear passenger side door) in the back for the bike and garage.

This combination seems hard to locate, although I have seen pictures of them on the internet.

I'm thinking about just buying an A3FE with the storage boxes and cutting the rear side door for the wheelchair lift myself.

That would entail cutting into the bus body, reinforcing the door way with a metal frame and making and hinging a door out of the windows that I remove.

Has anyone done this?
Greetings! I've never heard of anyone on this forum who installed a wheelchair lift into a bus. There are lots and lots of them out there with lifts already installed; the more common scenario by far is "I just took out this lift; how much do you think I can get for it?"

Why are you planning to do this, rather than wait for the perfect bus to come along on life's merry-go-round? Why are you stuck on a Bluebird?

Also, one of the standard responses you will hear will be Don't buy any bus made after <insert year of manufacture here; usually 2004>. There's too much pollution control garbage on it that it too expensive to fix; also too damn many computers all over the engine and transmission.

I hope I haven't poured water on your ambitions. Stick around, say hey, tell us about what you want to do with the bus, and we might come up with some good ideas.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:35 PM   #3
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:48 PM   #4
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Hi my name is Milkmanchip I have a 1992 Thomas body International chassis and I cut a door in the side of the bus and the floor to put a camper style doorway in I didn't have any problems. I did put it exactly in the spot of one of the emergency windows and the door fit perfect. If I were you I would just cut two window sections out build a frame like you suggested and build a ramp hinged at the bottom but sealed for keeping the cool in or the cold out somehow. I really like that idea and I too was looking for a handicap right side entrance in the rear also but couldn't find one.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:50 PM   #5
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I've got the rear lift and I can tell you it's still difficult getting a bike in and out if you're by yourself. The factory lift doors are short but wide, but the lift is much narrower. I've been trying to figure out how to use a ramp too. I'd like to toss the lift.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:04 AM   #6
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I've got the rear lift and I can tell you it's still difficult getting a bike in and out if you're by yourself. The factory lift doors are short but wide, but the lift is much narrower. I've been trying to figure out how to use a ramp too. I'd like to toss the lift.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Robin, I'm wondering what is the difficulty with the lift. I realize you have to modify the platform making it longer so a bike can sit on it (instead of a wheelchair), but it seems like getting the bike in and out shouldn't be that difficult once the platform is long enough and wide enough to rest the bike and put down the kickstand.

Can you explain more about this?
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:56 AM   #7
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It's just that on the lift you're balancing the bike while trying to shove it through that low lift door. If you've got a third hand it's not so bad.

It's still the easiest way I know of for one person to get a bike in and out of a bus.
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