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Old 05-02-2015, 10:32 AM   #1
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Salutations!

Hello all!
I just recently won an online auction at publicsurplus.com.
It's a 1991 Bluebird TC2000 with a 5.9 2nd generation Cummins straight 6 turbo diesel with 216,000 miles.
It has the Allison 545 auto transmission.
72 passenger.
$1,331. ;)

This will be my first bus and first conversion project. I have been reading and doing some research about my endless options. ;)

My plan is to build a stylish house on wheels that can be boondocked for up to 2 weeks....oh yea and never pay rent again ;)

I currently live in California and plan on driving 1,200 miles to Washington state where I have family, and also where my bus is located.

I bought this bus simply because I knew that the motor was worth what I paid, I've seen 22 pictures and 2 videos of it running but other than that I have no idea what I'm getting into, and I love that ;)

I will let everyone know how it turns out with the bus and the company "public surplus"
There are countless busses being sold by school districts throughout the US on their website, I've read some nasty reviews about that company, however, I decided to create my own experience since the price was right.
In California it is not uncommon to see a beat up school bus going for $5000.


Untill next time,
Cheers.

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Old 05-02-2015, 11:38 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vacaville, Ca
Posts: 1,521
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown / Pusher
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Where in California?
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Old 05-02-2015, 11:59 AM   #3
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welcome and can you please not use that font, it is hard on the eyes and looks like a 1984 war room computer ;)

Thanks
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by allwthrrider View Post
Where in California?
I'm from Ontario California, but I'll be moving to Longview Washington in a few months.
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:20 PM   #5
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Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Tramper View Post

It's a 1991 Bluebird TC2000 with a 5.9 2nd generation Cummins straight 6 turbo.


Welcome fellow skoolie.

We all know the excitement you are feeling. It feels great.

Just remember, this is a bus, not a dodge truck. Your bus has a 1st generation 5.9, 12 valve cummins engine, not a second generation. The injection pump does not dictate the generation of the engine.

Buses never used the VE injection pump that dodge trucks did from 89 to 93. They used the P pump right from the start. Dodge trucks didn't see the P pump till 96.

Your engine is most likely tuned to 190 hp. Just like the 96 + dodge trucks, it's easy to turn up the power.

However, the AT545 Allison automatic transmission will not hold up to anymore than the 190 hp.

Again welcome.

Looking forward to pics and a build thread.

Nat
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:55 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Snowflake, Arizona
Posts: 323
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American Rear Engine
Engine: C-8.3-300 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 Prisoners
Public Surplus

If you give us your auction number we can all go on public surplus and
view all the details and offer insights on your purchase. We also bought ours from Washington State and are very happy with our purchase. We contacted the maintenance garage that serviced our bus and the foreman said if we sent a stamped self addressed envelope he would give us everything in the file since it was no longer needed. We received all maintenance and repair records as well as the original invoice from the dealer plus a Bluebird Operators manual and a Cummins maintenance booklet. Our auction is still visible from 2011 it is #611712 just do a search and put the number in the description box. On publicsurplus.com hth
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:28 PM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vacaville, Ca
Posts: 1,521
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown / Pusher
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Tramper View Post

I'm from Ontario California, but I'll be moving to Longview Washington in a few months.
So your a bit south of me
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:16 PM   #8
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,173
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Sounds like you did find a good engine but I agree, the 545 is a boat anchor...toss it overboard. No lock, no park, granny low but not necessary for most apps, and getting harder & harder to service. They are rated to 235 hp and 445 lb-ft pounds of torque but lacking in gears. You got your bus so cheap you can afford to hunt down a five or six speed that is a locker and then have a great combination. The newer six speeds can be had as close ratio double overdrive and will mate to an all mechanical engine with nothing more than a TPS (throttle position sensor). And they will bolt up directly to any Cummins with an SAE3 bell housing.

Best of luck and...do it YOUR way.
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:35 PM   #9
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Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 554
Year: 87
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International s1700
Engine: 6.9 internatiional
Rated Cap: 65
gretings

i Bought my bus at public surplus and it worked out great. mine was at the selling agency, which was the puyallup school district. I live in Lacey WA. Sounds like you got a good deal on your a bus
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:02 PM   #10
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Made it back home!

Okay, I drove up to Washington state last week to visit family and get my bus. ;)

When I got to the school district an asked for my already purchased bus, the first man I talked to looked at me with a wierd look and said "let's go talk to the mechanic so we can ask him about your bus"
This scared me lol
He askes the mechanic "Hey Phil, is his bus the one SWAT shot up?"
The mechanic looks at me in panic and says "I think so, what number!?"
I almost lost it lol

Thankfully it was the bus right next to mine that had all the windows shot at, smashed up and pryed apart.

I asked the guy what it was all about and he said swat locked up the bus and wanted to test the most effective way of getting into a schoolbus so they tried everything, from shooting it, to bashing it with the butts of thier guns, to using a crobar, and they couldn't get in or break the windows out.
I thought that was impressive...

So I checked out my bus and the mechanics said it was sad to see it go because it was the best running and most maintained out of all of them.
I checked the fluids and filters and everything was brand new, I couldn't be more happy.

Three hours after I drove it away I had a hitch welded on it and we towed my friends Toyota Camry behind us through some steep hills and I managed to get 10-13 mpg.

The transmission does seem the be the weakest link in the chain, however it still runs like it's brand new.
What would be the best alternative?
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