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Old 02-23-2010, 05:39 PM   #1
dentedvw
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 236
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas SafTLiner
Chassis: FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 60
Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

I drew up some plans, and it has come together that we need about 80 feet. :lol:
Oh, well, so much for that plan.
We have approximately 38 feet from the garage to the street. No sidewalks to bother with but the city will harass me if it sticks into the road, so it has to fit within that space. I don't anticipate it will be out front full time, we can probably find a rental place for it the rest of the time. Living on a hill, and no side yard means it can't go out back. Besides, as I write this I am looking at the dozen deer standing on the lake/pond/swamp that is our back yard. Nothing heavier than a lawn mower can go back there. :lol:
It's got to be a front engine, 5.9 liter Cummins, 1995 or newer. Lift or not, no matter.
No rust. I am really hoping to start out with little to no rust. I am unwilling/unable to repair exterior rust, or holes in the floor. 8) Living in Michigan, I have had my share of vehicles with road signs for floors, and we simply cannot start out like that.
Outside of that, I am open to suggestions. Hoping for something that I can drive back to Lansing, Michigan within one day.
I was pretty sure we want a Bluebird, but it's not critical. A Thomas would probably be okay too.
Budget it $4000 or less, to purchase. Less is more, as they say. Need to have a few things before we hit the road. Have to make it quiet, well, relatively quiet anyway. Don't want to have to shout to hear eachother. Hah!

So, if anyone spots something, please let me know.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
dentedvw
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 60
Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

Or fewer windows/shorter. Just gotta fit in the drive, and pass the "wife would drive it on the freeway" test. :shock:
Throw me a bone here!
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:47 PM   #3
Jarlaxle
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Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

How set are you on a Cummins? I ask because I've seen plenty of buses in your price/type range with 3208's or T444E's.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:54 PM   #4
Jarlaxle
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Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

Or THIS one, perhaps, a 1999 Saf-T-Liner pusher. That's a nice drivetrain...a 3126 Cat and an MD 3060 Allison. It's reasonably close to you (Indiana).
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:38 PM   #5
dentedvw
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Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

I saw that one, but figured I would rule it out based on the Cat motor and rear motor config.
It's a big deal that the bikes can be loaded in from the back, as that's our main transportation in the summer.
I don't know about the t444, what is it?
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:43 PM   #6
dentedvw
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Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

I have been watching the midwesttransit site pretty closely, and they have one, but it's a few grand more than we can pay.
They have a whole load of Thomas buses right now in Kankakee, but they are in pretty bad shape. Dead batts, non functioning brakes, etc. Haven't been run in YEARS. If I was closer, and had more time, they would be a better bet, but I need a turnkey bus for our trips. I prefer one that's been in continuous, or nearly continuous service and maintenance.
I will keep scouring.
I think what we need here is a good stickied post about where good places to get buses are. I think I might start one, and hopefully others will chip in.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
Jarlaxle
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Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by dentedvw
I saw that one, but figured I would rule it out based on the Cat motor and rear motor config.
It's a big deal that the bikes can be loaded in from the back, as that's our main transportation in the summer.
I don't know about the t444, what is it?
It's International's version of the 7.3 PowerStroke...common in Conventionals and AmTran pushers. What do you have against Cat motors?

Hmm...how far is Kankakee for you? You seem pretty handy...maybe make a weekend of it and see if you can get one of them going? From what you say, they'll probably be pretty cheap! If you can get running well enough to bring it home, you can finish fixing it there. Been there and done that...can you say half a gallon of oil in <200 miles? :shock:
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:52 AM   #8
dentedvw
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Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

It's super tempting, I may be looking at a few days off at the end of this week anyway. I might have to corral a buddy to go with me.
Anyone here up for a potential bus buying trip? My real problem is that we don't have a second vehicle right now, other than our various motorcycles. Brrrrrrr....
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:36 PM   #9
Jarlaxle
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Rated Cap: 77
Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

Hmm...looking at my Genesis, I had an idea how you might actually be able to use a pusher bus. (Like, say, that Saf-T-Liner!). It's a FE, but the concept is the same: Mine is a WC bus with a midship lift...will the bikes fit through a lift door? They're usually wider than a rear emergency door.

Alternately, mine (and others I've seen) has an emergency exit roughly centered on the other (left) side. Could you load the bikes through THAT?

As for wheels...con your buddy into using his car/truck! Otherwise...how the heck are you getting around? Worst case...hit Enterprise and maybe rent a car? (Or a cargo van for tools & parts?)
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:00 AM   #10
dentedvw
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Re: Bluebird, or other FE flat front bus, around 12 windows

A lift/door in the center would eventually be in the way of the conversion process. It's simply got to be in the rear, or rear side.
We have a truck that my wife drives daily until spring when she drives only her motorcycles. 8) I drive a service van, so I don't usually need a vehicle.
Project Manager found work for me for the rest of the week, so it looks like another week yet til I can make plans to go out and check all the beater buses.
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