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Old 08-30-2019, 12:45 PM   #1
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Year: 1996
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HOLY GRAIL Cummins 5.9, 1996, AT, 40' Bluebird 160K BUS

1996 Bluebird Flat nose, 40' (estimated by pacing it off-haven't actually fully checked it out) School bus. 160-ish K miles. 1996 Cummins 12 valve, P-pump 5.9 diesel engine, Allison Auto trans. Still just a bus, but after recent battles/research with getting it registered/converted in MI I have given up until I move elsewhere! Runs good. Needs GOOD batteries to start. I had the old GOLIATH batteries in it that I kept recharging and it finally got to where it just wouldn't start. It would click and turn slowly, but not start. Just this last week I got it to start, and drove it around, let it sit and idle for a while, started it again later and drove it to a new storage location, etc, but the batteries I used REALLY are not meant for this use, so I would say buyer should bring some GOOD batteries in order to confidently drive it away. I would trust it to drive anywhere, and had planned to drive it to New Mexico from the UP of MI at one point a few summers ago, but that's when I first ran up against registration in MI. I'd gladly deliver it if someone would cover my costs and a little something extra for my time! Has some rust being from MI, but not bad for up here. Tires have some miles left in them-not an urgent need. About all the electrical and mechanical accessories work as they should. Only issue is small leak in air system-if the Bus is left parked and not running for very long the air pressure leaks down. Thus, when I first start it I set the throttle a little higher to idle and warm up and let it sit for a minute or two to build the pressure back up. Once driving, the pressure holds up fine. Was school bus for L'anse, MI school district. I have driven it sporadically over the past couple years, but once started it always does well. Turbo works, fan clutch works, oil pressure stays up, temp stays down, etc. GREAT platform to start with, or buy it just for the engine and tranny! Again, it does have some MI rust, but for being up here, is not bad. You will eventually want to rebuild bottom step, I would guess, and sand or blast and repaint wheels, but it is road-ready as is-aside from batteries! Would love to sell, soon, as I am now giving up on it and paying storage on it! $3900 or Make an offer! Located in Escanaba, MI. Pictures available on request, but I'm a newb and can't post them here! I'll maybe do a fb marketplace post and then add the link here. Thanks!

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Old 08-30-2019, 12:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jmshawii View Post
1996 Bluebird Flat nose, 40' (estimated by pacing it off-haven't actually fully checked it out) School bus. 160-ish K miles. 1996 Cummins 12 valve, P-pump 5.9 diesel engine, Allison Auto trans. Still just a bus, but after recent battles/research with getting it registered/converted in MI I have given up until I move elsewhere! Runs good. Needs GOOD batteries to start. I had the old GOLIATH batteries in it that I kept recharging and it finally got to where it just wouldn't start. It would click and turn slowly, but not start. Just this last week I got it to start, and drove it around, let it sit and idle for a while, started it again later and drove it to a new storage location, etc, but the batteries I used REALLY are not meant for this use, so I would say buyer should bring some GOOD batteries in order to confidently drive it away. I would trust it to drive anywhere, and had planned to drive it to New Mexico from the UP of MI at one point a few summers ago, but that's when I first ran up against registration in MI. I'd gladly deliver it if someone would cover my costs and a little something extra for my time! Has some rust being from MI, but not bad for up here. Tires have some miles left in them-not an urgent need. About all the electrical and mechanical accessories work as they should. Only issue is small leak in air system-if the Bus is left parked and not running for very long the air pressure leaks down. Thus, when I first start it I set the throttle a little higher to idle and warm up and let it sit for a minute or two to build the pressure back up. Once driving, the pressure holds up fine. Was school bus for L'anse, MI school district. I have driven it sporadically over the past couple years, but once started it always does well. Turbo works, fan clutch works, oil pressure stays up, temp stays down, etc. GREAT platform to start with, or buy it just for the engine and tranny! Again, it does have some MI rust, but for being up here, is not bad. You will eventually want to rebuild bottom step, I would guess, and sand or blast and repaint wheels, but it is road-ready as is-aside from batteries! Would love to sell, soon, as I am now giving up on it and paying storage on it! $3900 or Make an offer! Located in Escanaba, MI. Pictures available on request, but I'm a newb and can't post them here! I'll maybe do a fb marketplace post and then add the link here. Thanks!
which Allison trans? 545 or 643
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Old 08-30-2019, 01:38 PM   #3
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I was thinking it was the good old 545, but did not research it. Shifter on the dash to the right of the wheel, usual "4-speed" pattern, I believe... 1,2,3,D,N,R from bottom to top. Again, going from memory, I believe that is the pattern.
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:07 PM   #4
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Is it a TC2000? Basically none of them had the MT643, though a few unicorns exist. As the owner of a TC2000 that I like very much i think holy grail thing is a big oversell. I expect you would get some action in the various facebook groups, once you have made the marketplace post it's easy to post it in them.
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:33 PM   #5
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I don't believe it is a TC-2000. I thought they came a few years later. Not sure exactly what "model" it is considered, though have the VIN and title. I also actually HATE the designation, "Holy Grail" for the last generation 12V Cummins engine, but have seen it used often enough in ads that I thought I should stick it in there in case someone shopping for one sees it. That is why it is there. Same with not listing the 545-but as you saw, someone asked...
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:43 PM   #6
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If it's a flat nose it's either a TC2000 or a All American/All Canadian. The TC2000 is one of most common buses in the wild, they made a ton of them between 1988 and 2003. There are probably 10 TC2000s for each All American.

If you're not sure of the length I would suggest verifying it. 40' wasn't the most common length. If you post a photo of the side we can probably determine length by the number and size of the windows.
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:55 PM   #7
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It does not list a model on the title. Do you know what digit of the VIN would show what model? I actually paced it off at about 42', but thought I had read somewhere that someone said they had a 40', so assumed that was what it is. I have edited my ad once, and perhaps that is all it will allow, because I no longer see the option to do so to ad a link. Here is a link to a CL ad I put up today.

https://up.craigslist.org/pts/d/well...968034523.html
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Old 08-30-2019, 04:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jmshawii View Post
I don't believe it is a TC-2000. I thought they came a few years later. Not sure exactly what "model" it is considered, though have the VIN and title. I also actually HATE the designation, "Holy Grail" for the last generation 12V Cummins engine, but have seen it used often enough in ads that I thought I should stick it in there in case someone shopping for one sees it. That is why it is there. Same with not listing the 545-but as you saw, someone asked...
TC. Does it have 4 headlights or 2?
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:21 PM   #9
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2 Headlights.

https://up.craigslist.org/pts/d/well...968034523.html
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:46 AM   #10
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It's a TC2000.

Funny When I went looking for the Holy Grail I wound up with an All American sporting a Cummins 8.3 and a MD-3060......

Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:25 PM   #11
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Is there anyway I can tell which model ot transmission I have from the transmission number? I am referring to the transmission number from the largest number plate inside, on the right side above the windshield. In my case the transmission number is given as 2410527452.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:26 PM   #12
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Is there anyway I can tell which model ot transmission I have from the transmission number? I am referring to the transmission number from the largest number plate inside, on the right side above the windshield. In my case the transmission number is given as 2410527452.
I believe that there is. I just don't know the numbers. I did find that if they start with 6502 it is a normal MD-3060.

As far as what numbers would indicate a 643 be 545, I don't have a clue.

The simple solution is to look at the tag on the transmission.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:38 PM   #13
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That serial number comes back as a MT643.

https://www.allisontransmission.com/...y-transmission
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:47 PM   #14
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I'm painting today, relatively clean, didn't feel like crawling in dirt and leaves looking for a tag. I tried to find a place to search for results from that number, but after a bit I felt more like getting back to my painting, so I posted that on this thread.

Thanks for finding that site brokedown. Interestingly, that is the website of the guy who didn't know what should go in the threaded hole in my bellhousing, which I posted about in another thread.

And it also reinforces my impression of the honesty of the dealer I bought the bus from, Kurt at Wolf Creek Motors in Wolf Creek OR. He told me it had the locking torque converter, and I was quite certain I heard it working when I was going trhough the Coast Range coming over here.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:57 AM   #15
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In florida is self insurance an option? Any thoughts?
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:24 PM   #16
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Why is it every ad I see that says "Holy Grail" "Highly recommended", it's going to be a 5.9 backed by an AT545. People need to look at the definitions of the words they use. This tells me the seller is either highly uneducated, or blatantly trying to shade the buyers.

Have you looked under the plywood to see where the massive rust on a Mi. bus would be?
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:09 PM   #17
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Why is it every ad I see that says "Holy Grail" "Highly recommended", it's going to be a 5.9 backed by an AT545. People need to look at the definitions of the words they use. This tells me the seller is either highly uneducated, or blatantly trying to shade the buyers.

Have you looked under the plywood to see where the massive rust on a Mi. bus would be?
Holy grail and 545 shouldn't be in the same sentence.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:15 PM   #18
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Holy grail and 545 shouldn't be in the same sentence.
While the 5.9 is not a bad motor, I doubt there's many that would rather have it over any other motor. There are few I would want less.
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