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Old 08-23-2009, 09:41 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1990
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Engine: Chevy 7.4l 454 FI
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Toyhauler/camper project:

Hi there, well after lurking for well over a year and looking for a reasonable bus, I have made it!!!!!!
Found an ad and called about it. Never saw any pictures and the lady couldnt tell me many details about it. So with very little to go on I drove over 3 hours to look at it. I was originally looking for an automatic but the deal on this was too good to pass up. you see, I got it from a church that had absolutely no use for it anymore, tags expired in '05. called with intention of paying the asking price of $500, got to talking and it was mentioned their lawn mower died on them. So I ended up trading an old lawn mower for it.
Thinking, Yes I finally got my bus! We made it to the gas station a mile away, filled it up with fresh fuel and got on our way. made it 12 miles to the next town when the left rear caught fire, small fire that went out before I was able to run around with the extinguisher. A couple of nice local farmers pointed me to a repair shop over the hill a mile or so away, so there it sat, at the repair shop!
So what is it? its a 1990 Chevy C60 Bluebird 59 passenger with the fuel injected 7.4l (big block 454), 4 speed trans/2 speed axle (not sure about this 2 speed rear split shifting operation though. I am going to have to figure that out.) its got 9600 miles on it. only around 7000 in 2002 according to inspection when they bought it. so it didnt get drove much. the mechanic at first didnt believe the mileage was right but got to looking at the tires and said they all matched, then looked at the wheels, they have never been off according to him.


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Old 08-23-2009, 10:30 AM   #2
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus

Sweet I'd trade a NEW lawn mower for a bus like that.

Personally, I'd take the 4-speed with the 2-speed axle over an automatic, but I would prefer not to feed the gasser.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus

Yes, leaky axle seals can cause gear lube into the brakes on a full floating axle. The axleshaft itself is the outside seal on the hub so that will just make a mess, not affect the brakes. However, the hub is removable on these axles (much like a trailer axle). The inner seal hides right inside the brake drum so if it fails or the spindle gets grooved (needs a repair sleeve) gear lube will sling all over the brakes. The ironic thing is that brakes covered in lubricant will work BETTER. They will work too well, in fact, grabbing and locking at will.

Shifting that rear end is pretty easy. Say you want to go from 1-lo to 1-hi. Preselect high range by hitting the switch and waiting a second for the springs to preload themselves. Then just let off the throttle and get back into it. You could also tap the clutch just a little. If you want to make a range and gear shift (say 1-hi to 2-lo) preselect low range and shift the transmission. As you're clutching for the gear change the rear will also shift. It will take a little practice when you get on hills I would suspect, but I really doubt you'll find the need to split the gears all that often anyway.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:09 PM   #4
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus

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Old 08-23-2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus

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Old 08-23-2009, 05:20 PM   #6
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramairws601

Actually this bus has disc brakes on it.

Hmm...well then that shouldn't have been a problem. Brake pads are still susceptible to contamination, but not nearly on the same scale. Did you just have a caliper lock up?
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:05 PM   #7
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus

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Old 08-25-2009, 01:25 AM   #8
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus

man this is a great bus with the 454 and 4+2 looks to be a 30 footer.I would be givin that bus the love,starting with a pair of flowmasters.nice buy
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus

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Old 08-29-2009, 02:35 PM   #10
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UPDATE: Well, its home at a temporary site. Made it 223 miles yesterday with no further problems. The problem was a collapsed brake hose not allowing pressure to escape the caliper. Cost me $378 for an oil change and service, 2 brake lines, pads, fluid and labor. Not bad I dont think, I was a little relieved knowing someone had looked it over before heading home this time.
Had a fairly easy time driving her back, learning the 2 speed axle will take some time. I have gotten the shifting into high figured out but still need practice on the hi to lo shift. most of the trip home she purred 65 mph up hills in 4-hi no problem but 2 steep ones I left it in hi and down shifted to 3rd gear which was a little low, I needed to go from 4-hi to 4-lo I guess but was unsure how to do it exactly so I wasnt going to try that on a hill with traffic behind me just yet. I have tried it on flat ground going from hi back to lo range without changing gears in trans and get the chatter from the rear so I just quickly put it back to hi to stop that. scared to try that many times for fear of breaking something.
Now, for my plans, toyhauler/camper. space is an issue here with a UTV and ATV to haul thats over half the bus! so got some planning on what to fold up or down and what is going to have to be lost to do it. I have seen so many great ideas on this site over the last year so I will come up with a good plan in the end. I have always wanted to move the entrance door to the middle and someone has done this and done it very well!:
RazorCityDen's 1994 Cornbinder viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3981&start=45
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:40 PM   #11
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus: made it home!

Collapsing brake hoses is surprisingly common though I have a hard time explaining it to customers and getting them to believe me. I'm glad to hear it was nothing major. You'll get the shifting down. How many RPMS are you running at 65 mph? Sounds like you got a good machine.
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:59 PM   #12
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No tach but I have an ear, its no where near wound up at 65, she hit 75 REAL easy and had more to go but the gov came in. I believe the 2 speed rear is probably gonna be a good deal in the end once I get used to it!
well the $378 IS a good price, especially considering what I had in the mower I traded for the bus, it was given to me by a relative. but if you consider the fuel I spent in the 2 round trips there plus the fuel in the bus to get it home thats probably another $250 on top the $378, total of $628 so far. still an insane deal for a low mileage bus like this! I found the bill of sale when the church bought it, they gave $3000 for it in 2002.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:00 PM   #13
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Toyhauler/camper project:

well, this is the result of 2 hours labor. went fairly easy once I got going. Had help from a friend inside with an impact and me under with a wrench. half of the bolts came loose and most of the others broke off, had to cut a few heads off with a grinder. found .67 cents in change!
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:11 AM   #14
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus: so it begins....

SWEET deal on your bus & Welcome to skoolie!

Like the old buses & a 454... headers!

Keep posting photos as we all love 'em!
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:34 AM   #15
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Re: from lurker to newbie with a bus: so it begins....

I would like to have yourset up...I have a 366 with a five speed and at 65mph I am running 3200 rpms. It will go a little faster but not much. Sometime when your under your bus see what the tag on your rear end is. I not sure but the trans is one to one in high gear????????
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #16
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Well, another 2 hours and the wood is up except under the drivers seat area. I found rust under the wood but not too bad and also found out what was under that aluminum plate, fuel pump access hole.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:51 PM   #17
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:07 PM   #18
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Toyhauler/camper project:

Well got some more done today. made my door swing out and locked it into one unit. this will work till I change to a standard RV mid location door. got part of the interior panels off so I can re-insulate better. more pics in gallery.

had a crazy idea, if you follow the thread I started here awhile back, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4960, I like the look of the international so I maybe cutting the front cap off of my roof when I raise the roof. re-use that front cap in place of the rear cap because the bluebirds have the angled back and I want it flat for my ramp to be a simple flat ramp. The front cap is longer and when riveted back in place will allow a flat backside. (1 of the first times I've said I like a flat backside ) the other way I was going to do this is to add a strip of metal to push the rear cap back to make it even with the bottom.
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:08 PM   #19
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Toyhauler/camper project:

Had a hard time deciding on leaving the original insulation in it till I pulled panels back and found these huge gaps! will take all panels out now and reinsulate properly!
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:47 PM   #20
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Toyhauler/camper project:

already got the AC cleaned out, waiting on install till next spring. I'm hoping to find a real RV rooftop unit but I got this to fall back on. cool enuf not to need AC now.
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