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Old 11-22-2016, 08:44 PM   #1
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My new (to me) A3RE...

Just bought a 2002 Blue Bird All American.

14 window
Cummins 8.3
MD3060



I'll most likely be picking it up sometime next week. Before I drive it home I'm going to see about unlocking 6th gear, turning off the mph governor, and turning the hp up a few clicks.

I'll let y'all know how it goes and will definitely post more pics once I have the keys in my hand!

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Old 11-22-2016, 08:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rameses View Post
Just bought a 2002 Blue Bird All American.

14 window
Cummins 8.3
MD3060
There ya go. Looks like you special-ordered with all the options you wanted.

Nice looking bus.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:56 PM   #3
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There ya go. Looks like you special-ordered with all the options you wanted.

Nice looking bus.
Yep. It was a long search, but I finally found what I was looking for.

And yeah, it seems to be in pretty good condition. I can't wait to see it in person.
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:40 AM   #4
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That looks like a great bus!

You even got the deepest fender skirts available. It can make going over things like speed bumps and ferry loading ramps a challenge at times but it does make the bus look a lot cleaner.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:49 AM   #5
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what a great lookin bus!!!!!
congrats! looks like ya got a good one.
-Christopher
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
That looks like a great bus!

You even got the deepest fender skirts available. It can make going over things like speed bumps and ferry loading ramps a challenge at times but it does make the bus look a lot cleaner.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
Thank you!

I'm not entirely sure I like the deep skirts from a functionality standpoint, but I think you're right about them giving it a cleaner, more streamlined look. I'll wait and see if I have any problems with high-centering them on things before I start making plans to raise them. They do also make for nice deep luggage compartments. The belly storage isn't pass-through, only curb-side. Depending on how deep they are, that might leave me with some good space to mount some things like water tanks on the driver's side. We'll see.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
what a great lookin bus!!!!!
congrats! looks like ya got a good one.
-Christopher
Thank you! I'm really excited about it!

I'm thinking about a similar color scheme to your new bus. That deep red that you used looks awesome, but I think I'm going to use a little bit lighter shade of red to come closer to matching other vehicles we have. My wife has a red Mini with white roof and I have an old Land Cruiser, also red with white roof.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:58 AM   #7
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Sweet Bird! And a testament to the wisdom of doing the work necessary to find the "right" bus.

Congrats!
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:53 AM   #8
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Nice!!!!!..
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plfking View Post
Looks like you special-ordered with all the options you wanted.
Of course, if he could have special ordered it, it would have been gutted and painted from the factory with solid end caps.

And oh yeah, nice looking bus.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:28 AM   #10
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really nice .............long bus.
I like that axle spread is way more on these RE's vs FE's.

Do the belly compartments go full width with door only curbside?
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:34 PM   #11
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Thanks, everybody. I'm really excited about it!

Actually, I don't know that I would've ordered it with solid end caps. I like the idea of using the back lights for brake/tail/turn and backup lights, and putting a couple sets of auxiliary driving lights in the front holes.

I'm not sure about the width of the belly compartments. I was thinking about that, and I can't see them making them full width with doors on only one side. That would suck having to crawl in there to get stuff on the far side. If they aren't full width, my question is whether they stop at the frame, or go all the way to the far side of the frame. I kinda hope they stop at the frame so I can hang barrels for clear and gray between the frame rails.
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Old 11-23-2016, 03:12 PM   #12
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If they only have access on one side they likely will stop at the frame, or another inch or two or three to the far side of that frame rail, which will leave you the space in between for tanks or whatever.
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:10 PM   #13
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If they only have access on one side they likely will stop at the frame, or another inch or two or three to the far side of that frame rail, which will leave you the space in between for tanks or whatever.
Yep. They stop at the outside of the frame.

Just got home with it!

Details tomorrow. I'm going to sleep. I'm whipped.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:45 AM   #14
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Yep. They stop at the outside of the frame.

Just got home with it!

Details tomorrow. I'm going to sleep. I'm whipped.
good deal you got it home!!

those first few drives in the bus are definitely tiring... then after awhile you will get used to it and enjoy it..

I drive my busses everywhere.. 700 miles a day is a good run for me, though ive run 1100 with a couple nap-stops on the air mattress along the way..

-Christopher
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:23 AM   #15
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That's a great looking bus! Welcome to the 40' RE Club!
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
good deal you got it home!!

those first few drives in the bus are definitely tiring... then after awhile you will get used to it and enjoy it..

I drive my busses everywhere.. 700 miles a day is a good run for me, though ive run 1100 with a couple nap-stops on the air mattress along the way..

-Christopher

Oh, I'm no stranger to long trips in commercial vehicles. This one wasn't all that long, maybe 500 miles. What made it rough was being sick. The body aches made it feel like l'd been driving around the clock for two days. At least I had an air ride seat though!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bus Driver View Post
That's a great looking bus! Welcome to the 40' RE Club!
Thank you! I'm really happy with it.





So first, the bad... It has a bad engine speed sensor. It wants to occasionally die at idle and acts like it's hitting a rev limiter at 2,000 rpm. I plugged my laptop into it and saw the engine speed sensor fault code resulting in a de-rate.

I thought about stopping someplace and trying to find one and changing it out, but decided not to gamble on it being a bad sensor and have it actually be a wiring problem. With my luck, I'd change the sensor and further aggravate a wiring problem in the process and then end up with a bus that wouldn't run at all 450 miles from home.

Having to keep it under 2,000 rpm presented some interesting challenges. Especially accelerating from a stop on an incline.

I also wasn't able to get my laptop to communicate with the tcm to see about unlocking 6th gear. I've since found a second plug in the engine compartment. I'll try plugging into that sometime and see if that one works. I'm not holding out hope on unlocking 6th gear myself though, as everything I've come across says it requires a reflash, and I don't have Allison PCCS software, or the file to flash to it. I do have a couple other things I'm going to try though.

Now the good... It's originally from Phoenix, so it's completely rust-free. Body's in great shape. Only thing wrong with it is a dent in the rear bumper. And the fact that I couldn't run over 2,000 rpm and couldn't unlock 6th gear, was made much more livable by the fact that it has a 4.78 rear end in it! I was still able to run 65 mph down the highway.

Which brings me to my next good point. This engine has a tremendous amount of torque. On highway upgrades, I wasn't able to give it much throttle, otherwise it would downshift to 4th and de-rate. So even at about 1/3 throttle, it pulled hills without dropping a whole lot of speed. I can't wait to see what this thing's like to drive after I get the speed sensor changed.


I partially pulled all of the seats tonight. All that's left to do is lay under the bus with a wrench tomorrow night while my wife runs an impact driver on the inside. I'm excited to see how spacious it feels with the seats gone.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:43 PM   #17
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FWIW my 5.9 would de-rate and a SES would appear. I could clear it with the Scangauge but on a long trip it happened about 6 times.
Turns out it was a lack of RPM signal on 2 pins of the multi-pin main connector so I unplugged and slathered a bit of dielectric grease on the female side and re-plugged with no further occurrences.

Cool bus...
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kool4skool View Post
FWIW my 5.9 would de-rate and a SES would appear. I could clear it with the Scangauge but on a long trip it happened about 6 times.
Turns out it was a lack of RPM signal on 2 pins of the multi-pin main connector so I unplugged and slathered a bit of dielectric grease on the female side and re-plugged with no further occurrences.

Cool bus...
I love cheap and easy fixes. I'll definitely give that a try before replacing the sensor. Thank you!
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:54 PM   #19
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A lot of progress has been made on gutting the interior.

I'll start a build thread once the actual "building" starts. For now I didn't think it was necessary to bore anybody with the same tired ole details of seat , wall, and ceiling removal.

And today my engine speed sensor got here!

So tomorrow I'll be putting that in and seeing if I can do this...

https://youtu.be/bhbz-qjLyGY
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Old 02-18-2017, 05:54 PM   #20
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Rameses did you ever manage to unlock 6th? Anything new on your build?
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