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garycolwill 09-17-2019 01:17 PM

1995 Blue Bird TC/2000 Chevy 100k Miles "Sort of" Converted
 
Up for sale in Chino, California is a 1995 Blue Bird TC/2000 school bus converted to a "Motorized Home" (according to the title). All passenger seats are out and much of the work needed to convert this to a livable and drivable "skoolie" type home has been done (see pics). Bedroom in back, shower, sink, composting toilet, cabinetry, etc. I think if you were willing to rough it a bit and had a place to park it, you could take up residence immediately. :-)

Power train is a gas Chevy 427A and an automatic Allison AT-545. The engine starts right up and runs very well. I drove this vehicle from the Oakland area to Chino Hills via I-5 and it handled the major elevation changes over the Grapevine with no problems. One thing to note is that this bus will get to 65 mph very easily, but I could not sustain that without overheating the transmission. Cruising at 55 mph was no problem, even over the Grapevine.

This vehicle is registered in the State of California as a "Motorized Home" (body type model "MH" on the title), which means that you do NOT need a special license to drive this behemoth.

I believe the vehicle, which was rated for 84 passengers when it was a school bus, is about 40 feet long and 8 feet wide, and weighs close to 20,000 lbs, so not your average passenger car.

SMOG TEST COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY ON 17 September 2019 (today).

ASKING $4999.27

Tires have plenty of life on them - see images:
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/member...lbums1829.html

Videos:

Accelerating from a stop (the banging noise is my wife falling over - she's ok!):
https://youtu.be/r9GJU7rddsM

Inside the skoolie (sorry for all the grunting - my knee was really acting up):
https://youtu.be/DJJghb8aKPk

o1marc 09-17-2019 02:16 PM

It's a 545, not a 454. If you don't list an asking price, you have to give it away for free, new site rule.

garycolwill 09-17-2019 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by o1marc (Post 349060)
It's a 545, not a 454. If you don't list an asking price, you have to give it away for free, new site rule.

Thanks - corrected. Sometimes I'm a bit lysdexic.

JacobCartwright 09-17-2019 04:35 PM

I want to buy your bus!
 
Hello,

My name is Jacob, my girlfriend and I are looking to purchase your bus to drive back up to Washington and live in! We love what you have done with it so far and would love to know more. Call or text me at2069092909 as we are very serious buyers and will fly down to buy it this month! We would at least like to get in touch to learn more about the bus!

crazycal 09-17-2019 08:25 PM

It has a 7.17 rear end. What kind of mileage are you getting?

garycolwill 09-17-2019 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crazycal (Post 349100)
It has a 7.17 rear end. What kind of mileage are you getting?

I didn't really measure it for the one long trip I took it on driving from its old home in the Bay area to Chino.

I've been curious what that number means ever since I saw it on the label. Can you enlighten me? Maybe this has to do with the fact that it can cruise all day at 55 mph, but the transmission gets hot if you go 65 for over 20 mins or so...

Now that this isn't a school bus, what rear axle ratio would be more appropriate, and how difficult/expensive is it to change that?

o1marc 09-17-2019 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garycolwill (Post 349102)
I didn't really measure it for the one long trip I took it on driving from its old home in the Bay area to Chino.

I've been curious what that number means ever since I saw it on the label. Can you enlighten me? Maybe this has to do with the fact that it can cruise all day at 55 mph, but the transmission gets hot if you go 65 for over 20 mins or so...

Now that this isn't a school bus, what rear axle ratio would be more appropriate, and how difficult/expensive is it to change that?

I've never seen a gear that short, I'm surprised you can even do 55 with it. That gear ratio and an AT545 is a recipe for disaster on the highway.

garycolwill 09-17-2019 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by o1marc (Post 349107)
I've never seen a gear that short, I'm surprised you can even do 55 with it. That gear ratio and an AT545 is a recipe for disaster on the highway.

I believe you. Could you tell me what would be more appropriate and how one would go about fixing it? I'll also search the forum to see if I can find more info. Thanks.

o1marc 09-17-2019 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garycolwill (Post 349117)
I believe you. Could you tell me what would be more appropriate and how one would go about fixing it? I'll also search the forum to see if I can find more info. Thanks.

My rear gear is a 4.78 and will easily do 85mph in 5th at about 2200rpm. I personally would not want anything shorter than that in a freeway bus. Easiest option is to swap out the ring and pinion gears in the rear. Other option is complete rear end swap with housing, axles, and brakes and all. It's all easy to do, how deep are your pockets?

crazycal 09-18-2019 01:27 AM

That at545 is a non lockup transmission. What RPM is your bus running at 55 and 65 miles per hour? I assume it's got to be pretty high and if you push it you might blow up your motor.

garycolwill 09-18-2019 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crazycal (Post 349148)
That at545 is a non lockup transmission. What RPM is your bus running at 55 and 65 miles per hour? I assume it's got to be pretty high and if you push it you might blow up your motor.

I'll take note next time I'm on the highway and post it here, but I don't remember RPMs being extreme.

garycolwill 09-18-2019 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by o1marc (Post 349127)
My rear gear is a 4.78 and will easily do 85mph in 5th at about 2200rpm. I personally would not want anything shorter than that in a freeway bus. Easiest option is to swap out the ring and pinion gears in the rear. Other option is complete rear end swap with housing, axles, and brakes and all. It's all easy to do, how deep are your pockets?

They're about 3" deep. :biggrin:

If I don't sell it soon and end up keeping it, I'll definitely get this changed, but if I sell it I'll certainly make the suggestion to the next buyer. I'm wondering what the current ratio would be purposed for. Just in town use with lots of hills?

garycolwill 09-18-2019 12:42 PM

A couple thou for ring/pinion change out???
 
I called a local school bus sale/service company and the guy was guessing a ring/pinion change-out would be "at least a couple thousan" - does that sound right?!?

If I keep this, I might have to get my hands dirty - can't be THAT hard, can it?

brokedown 09-18-2019 01:01 PM

I've looked a bit at used rear end gears online and the price I've seen is generally around $600. Pretty much any time you pay someone else to work on your bus plan on it costing about 8x as much as doing it yourself.

garycolwill 09-18-2019 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brokedown (Post 349217)
I've looked a bit at used rear end gears online and the price I've seen is generally around $600. Pretty much any time you pay someone else to work on your bus plan on it costing about 8x as much as doing it yourself.

Your rig is only a couple of years off of mine, and it's a TC2000. What's your rear axle gear ratio and what's your cruise speed on the highway? Just trying to hone in on what a good ratio is and then I'll start looking at parts.

brokedown 09-18-2019 01:47 PM

My TC2000 has 4.78:1 rear axle. Cruising speed is 58-60mph at 2400-2500rpm with 11R tires. My redline is around 2600rpm.

o1marc 09-18-2019 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brokedown (Post 349240)
My TC2000 has 4.78:1 rear axle. Cruising speed is 58-60mph at 2400-2500rpm with 11R tires. My redline is around 2600rpm.

What trans is in it? Seems high RPM for that speed. the 4.78 in my bus would have me close to 95mph at that rpm.

crazycal 09-18-2019 03:51 PM

If you want my honest humble opinion:rolleyes:, get rid of the gas bus and buy diesel. The only figure that someone told me once about that engine and axle combination was three to four miles per gallon.:facepalm:

brokedown 09-18-2019 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by o1marc (Post 349268)
What trans is in it? Seems high RPM for that speed. the 4.78 in my bus would have me close to 95mph at that rpm.

That'smy TC2000 with the AT545. 4th gear is 1.00:1 ratio but of course non-locking so you're slipping the whole time.

My new BBAA does 70 at 2300rpm.

garycolwill 09-25-2019 03:49 PM

Still available
 
This is still available. Please don't be shy - make an offer based in what you think this is worth. The worst that can happen is you'll get a polite no, but maybe you'll get a yes or a counteroffer. I understand the gas/diesel conversation, as well as the issue with the low gearing, but I think this bus is very suitable for someone who is looking for a good platform to build a "tiny house" on, and park it on some acreage. I don't think I'd tour the country in this one, but if it doesn't sell, I may park it on an unimproved property we have and just spend the fall, winter and spring on that property (too hot for summer without some major improvement), if I can figure out how to get good Internet. No worries about permits this way.

I'd live in it as is, but I think about $500 would get you from barely adequate to comfortable.

I do think this bus is drivable to anywhere in the country if you keep it at 55mph and below and budget your moving cost based on 5 mpg.

Also, I will consider trades for vehicles, any kind of metal working equipment, or anything else of comparable value. Make offer.


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