Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-05-2019, 05:42 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Western Oregon
Posts: 60
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue-Bird
Chassis: TC RE 3408
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical
Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
Finally got a bus

So I have been wanting a bus for quite a while, and have been more or less lurking on this site off and on for about 3 years now. During that time I've learned what I want. I could have picked up a short, gas bus a couple of years ago at quite a good price, but I didn't want a short, gas bus. So I waited and read thousands of Craigslist ads.

And I also watched govt auctions in Oregon and Washington, but I'm not very mobile right now because of personal family stuff and these auctions always sound ominous to me, so I was very leery of trying to buy a suitable bus from a school board auction.

Then I read a post on this forum that mentioned Wolf Creek Motors, which is here in western Oregon, and I managed to track them down without going on Farcebook, which I've been refusing to do for several years now.

So I called up Kurt at Wolf Creek Motors and asked about how many diesels he had with mechanical fuel injection. I think he said 6, so I went for a look. I fell in love with a 1995 Blue-Bird Rear-Engine 35 footer. It has a 5.9 Cummins 12 valve, with an Allison MT643 transmission, and just over 90,000 miles.

I know that people on this forum tend to believe that such low mileage on a bus of this age almost always means that the speedometer has been changed. I asked Kurt about this possibility and he told me that he picked up 3 buses from the same school district, all 1995 models, all of which had between 90,000 and 103,000 miles.

So I suppose it is possible that the speedometers on all 3 of these buses died within a few months of each other, but this bus seems to be in very good condition for one that's already turned over.

The bus came from a school district in a suburb of Seattle, so it's not quite rust free. It does have a few very minor, very small spots of surface rust on the exterior, mostly on the seams where 2 body panels come together. I don't think there's anything a paintjob won't take care of if it's well-prepped.

Yesterday, I drove the bus from Wolf Creek to the Coast, which is about 150 miles. The first nearly 100 miles was on the interstate. The bus has no overdrive, so I drove a little slowly, but it does 60 at about 2400 rpm or 55 at under 2300, so I'm satisfied with that. The last part of the trip, nearly 60 miles, was on one of those Oregon state highways that follows a river through the Coast Range, very scenic, quite crooked, with plenty of short, steep hills. The bus handled that well too. So I'm very pleased with the bus after a real test drive, andf I think I will be even more please when I get more habituated with driving it.

And I know some people on this forum will say the $6,000 I paid is too much, but as I said above I do believe this bus has only 90,000 miles. And I have not yet mentioned that it has 6 nearly new 295/75R221.5 Bridgestones. And I know what Kurt paid for this bus because the school dept official who signed the transfer on the back of the title also noted the purchase price right there on the title. And I am very, very glad I did not have to go all the way to Texas or somewhere else far away to get what I wanted.

I'm sorry to say I don't have any pictures yet. I've been waiting for a little sun and there hasn't been any. But as soon as the sun cooperates a little better, and as soon as I figure out how to post photos on this site, I will take some pictures and get them up.
gs1949 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 05:52 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 5,136
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Does it have an hour meter on it?
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 06:08 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Western Oregon
Posts: 60
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue-Bird
Chassis: TC RE 3408
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical
Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
I don't know. That's a question I did not get around to asking. Where would I find that?
gs1949 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 06:20 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 5,136
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by gs1949 View Post
I don't know. That's a question I did not get around to asking. Where would I find that?
Usually on the left side of the dash.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 07:14 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Western Oregon
Posts: 60
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue-Bird
Chassis: TC RE 3408
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical
Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
No, I don't think it has an hour meter.

On the left side of the dash is an ammeter. On the lower right side is the transmission oil temperature gauge, which I kept an eye on yesterday, and it never got over 70, pretty close to the ambient temperature.

Anyway, there are no unidentified counters, or gauges for that matter, located anywhere near the dash.

You did not mention any specific unusual places it might be, so I mostly checked around the remote start in the engine compartment, but I did a brief look around the engine compartment and didn't see any meters.
gs1949 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 07:34 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 5,136
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
If your trans temp gauge consistantly read 70, it is probably not working Nothing on a running motor should be at 70*
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 08:20 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Western Oregon
Posts: 60
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue-Bird
Chassis: TC RE 3408
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical
Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
Yeah, you're right. I was misreading the number on the bottom of the gauge. It's 100, not 70. So we have to readjust my readings from yesterday. When I was running along the river at 40-50 mph, the transmission temp was just off the peg so it was reading about 110, not a little bit over 70 like I thought yesterday. And earlier yesterday afternoon, on the freeway running 55-65 mph it was around 120, not around 100 like I thought yesterday.

And lest anyone think I'm claiming I got a perfect bus, it now looks like I probably have a, hopefully minor, cooling system leak. I just put a half gallon of water into the expansion tank, and now I want to go see what that looks like after the thermostat opens.
gs1949 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 08:24 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 5,136
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by gs1949 View Post
Yeah, you're right. I was misreading the number on the bottom of the gauge. It's 100, not 70. So we have to readjust my readings from yesterday. When I was running along the river at 40-50 mph, the transmission temp was just off the peg so it was reading about 110, not a little bit over 70 like I thought yesterday. And earlier yesterday afternoon, on the freeway running 55-65 mph it was around 120, not around 100 like I thought yesterday.

And lest anyone think I'm claiming I got a perfect bus, it now looks like I probably have a, hopefully minor, cooling system leak. I just put a half gallon of water into the expansion tank, and now I want to go see what that looks like after the thermostat opens.
Still something is askew. Yours trans temps should be in line with engine temps. normally 180* - 210* Your thermostat won't open till it reaches those temps.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 09:50 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Western Oregon
Posts: 60
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue-Bird
Chassis: TC RE 3408
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical
Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
Well, the plastic expansion tank is obviously leaking around the bracket on one end. I didn't let it get fully pressurized before stopping the engine, but it did idle for at least 10 minutes, and I also ran it for a bit a few hours earlier and both times it didn't seem to move the temp gauge on the dash very much.

So obviously the first thing to do tomorrow is rig a temporary patch for the expansion tank and then idle it a little longer to see what happens. There's no more danger of frost here so I don't have to worry about too much water.

And back to the transmission temperature yesterday, when I saw the transmission temp gauge running a little less than a quarter of the way up the scale, I just thought that was evidence that the stuff I read about this transmission having a very efficient cooling system was accurate.

I haven't registered the bus yet. I won't be driving it much until I get far enough along in the conversion process to convince Oregon DMV to retitle it as a motor home. It may be a while before it gets more than a short test spin, so it might take while to do some freeway driving again. But I'm not concerned, because it acted like I expected it to, and I simply remembered the numbers wrong. I do that sometimes.

And I'm not sure how Progressive will react when I register it as a motor home after the title change.
gs1949 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2019, 10:04 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Mountain Gnome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 260
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
The DMV in Eugene did not even inspect my bus to motor-home title change. "You wanna title it as a motor-home? OK. We title it as a motorhome." I bought a $30 bunk-bed frame off cragslist and poped on the mattress I dragged with me in my minivan, a shelf at Home Depot, and a propane camping stove from Wally World, and that was my legal setup anyway.
Mountain Gnome is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.