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Old 08-11-2016, 09:54 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Battle Creek, MI
Posts: 30
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 5.9 Diesel Cummins
The Summah Bus

(yes, that's "spelt" incorrectly)

We are delving into the Skoolie world when I finally realized that I would never be able to afford a motorhome that I would actually like everything about.... so, why not make your own!?

It's been a real fun project so far. A LOT of help from people here, which has been great. We are located in Michigan (and even though I am a Wolverines fan... I bought a bus used to shuttle students to MSU Spartans games)

Anyway, it's a "Michigan weather" bus too so it definitely has some rust (now I know why people drive down south to buy busses)... so at this point we have it almost all stripped and the floor is in pretty rough shape. I don't have the know how to fix it so this will be something I hire out for i'm sure.

She's a 1997 Blue Bird 71 passenger. 5.6 Cummins. 137k miles, so that's a bonus.
Here are some pics of our girl:



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Old 08-11-2016, 10:35 PM   #2
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Location: N.C.
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Year: 1997
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Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 34
Congrats !

Quote:
Originally Posted by lanegordon View Post
(and even though I am a Wolverines fan... I bought a bus used to shuttle students to MSU Spartans games)
As a fellow Wolverine fan, I know your biggest issues will be that ugly color and the loser smell. Instead of painting and stripping the interior, it might be better just to find a local pig waste pond and submerge the whole vehicle. Better color and much better smell.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:44 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Battle Creek, MI
Posts: 30
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 5.9 Diesel Cummins
haha. right!? I keep telling all my people that my ultimate goal is to "redeem" the bus from it's former life
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:02 PM   #4
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Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Inline six. Goodness that's a pretty engine.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:21 AM   #5
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Location: N.C.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanegordon View Post
haha. right!? I keep telling all my people that my ultimate goal is to "redeem" the bus from it's former life
You're a good man, Charlie Brown.
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:37 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Battle Creek, MI
Posts: 30
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 5.9 Diesel Cummins
I wish I knew more about engines. i know it has low miles but that's about all I got for engine knowledge. What is great about an inline 6?
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:14 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,361
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
why do some front engine buses have a doghouse only a foot tall, while others are 3 foot tall
I realize some engines sit lower in the frame, but isn't the drive-line geometry pretty much the same?

My doghouse is about level with my hips...

My driver's seat actually has two sliding frame rails... right to left slide and front to back slide. When you get up, you slide seat left, when you sit down you slide seat right. my right knee rests against the side of the doghouse.




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Old 08-12-2016, 09:32 AM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,287
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Some buses have the engines sitting lower. Mine does not. I have the huge doghouse. Its actually quite comical trying to contort around it to get to the seat.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:38 AM   #9
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,361
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Engine: DT466, MT643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Some buses have the engines sitting lower. Mine does not. I have the huge doghouse. Its actually quite comical trying to contort around it to get to the seat.
dual slide rocks babay!!!


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Old 08-12-2016, 11:16 AM   #10
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Oberlin, Kansas
Posts: 1,398
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Brian,

That way you have a place to keep your 2 liter bottle of Pepsi warm.......
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:55 AM   #11
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,361
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031A1 View Post
Brian,

That way you have a place to keep your 2 liter bottle of Pepsi warm.......

No, no, no!!!
You take a 4" (preferably clean) toilet flange...
Super glue magnets to the flange, paint it with black be liner, flip it over and make a Yeti Rambler holder!


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Old 08-12-2016, 02:27 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,199
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the colors of Scarlet and gray might really Shine on that bus......


-Christopher
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:52 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Battle Creek, MI
Posts: 30
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 5.9 Diesel Cummins
Negative.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:06 PM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,361
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Wink

Having a half-assed cup holder is better than no cup holder!
And
It works as a cup holder or a cell phone holder

Maybe Santa will bring me something purtier???
Note to self: Be Good!

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Old 08-14-2016, 02:22 PM   #15
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 433
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
Rated Cap: 75
The reason why the doghouse is smaller in some front engine buses is because the frame dips a few inches where the engine sits.

Bluebird started doing this in 1999 with the A3 generation of the All American. Prior to this all the front engine Bluebird buses had massive doghouses that came up to the driver's hip/elbow.

The downside to the smaller doghouse means less ground clearance in the front. Our buses have slammed their front bumpers on particularly steep driveways before.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:36 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 18
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 40' flat front, forward engine
Engine: Cummins Diesel
Rated Cap: 84
We are in Northern Michigan near Traverse City & finished our conversion in April. Check ours out & maybe we can get a Michigan rally going! www.facebook.com/TheBodegaBus
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:45 PM   #17
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,361
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
The reason why the doghouse is smaller in some front engine buses is because the frame dips a few inches where the engine sits.

Bluebird started doing this in 1999 with the A3 generation of the All American. Prior to this all the front engine Bluebird buses had massive doghouses that came up to the driver's hip/elbow.

The downside to the smaller doghouse means less ground clearance in the front. Our buses have slammed their front bumpers on particularly steep driveways before.
Ah... Makes perfect sense!
I thought the drivetrain centerline from the front of the engine to the transmission tailshaft should typically be the same on most configurations, but I'm Diesel engine ignorant.
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