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Old 12-01-2018, 12:24 AM   #1
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Smile looking for a Flat Nose FE Blue Bird 169" Wheel Base

Hello All

I'm JP

I am looking for Blue Bird, 169" wheel base, flat nose FE bus to convert to a RV / Rig to pull a 5th Wheel Toy Hauler.

I will be moving my family into it hopefully in the fall next year to live full time for a couple of years.

Any advise of which engine I should look for. I'm leaning towards the 8.3L Cummins. Let me know if I should consider the 5.9L at all and the Allison transmission

I will be cutting off about 5' of the frame off the back. Creating a 8' bed with a 5th wheel hitch and moving the back cap of the bus up. I will also be raising the roof by 2'.

I'm already signed up on one government auction site. and have looking on craigslist as well, but any other places I should look for a bus. I like to keep it to between $1,500 and $2,500 purchase price. Let me know if that is reasonable.

I use to build custom yachts so I'm comfortable doing the work.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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File Type: jpg Bus 5th wheel hauler 2.jpg (15.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg BB bus edit.jpg (98.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Bus layout 169 inch wheel base.jpg (161.4 KB, 10 views)
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:15 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
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The TC2000 was not offered with the 8.3 in a front engine configuration. I'm not sure about the BBAA. If you find a BBAA in usable condition on an auction site with the 8.3 for $2400 you've found a hell of a deal!

With extremely rare exception, the TC2000 will always have the AT545 transmission, which is not a great choice for towing. I have seen 2 unicorns that had the MT643 for sale. Always look up the VIN.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:43 AM   #3
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Year: 1946
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What Brokedown said. The 545 may just be the worst possible tranny ever for towing.
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:09 PM   #4
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I was looking at the BBAA's, how is the 5.9L cummins?
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jplabarge1975 View Post
I was looking at the BBAA's, how is the 5.9L cummins?
Its ok. The 8.3 is much better for towing and won't have a 545.
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:16 PM   #6
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Year: 1991
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
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there was recently an 8.3 FE that sold at auction so they do exist.. it had an MT643
-Christopher
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:12 PM   #7
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there was recently an 8.3 FE that sold at auction so they do exist.. it had an MT643
-Christopher
That would be my target for a bus-based tow rig.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:24 PM   #8
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Worst case I have to do a transmission swap
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