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Old 06-22-2016, 01:15 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 14
Bluebird 5 Window Build-ish

So I pickup up my bluebird today. I mentioned some stuff in my welcome post and thought I'd start my own thread. I purchased it sight unseen from an auction. With tax, registration, plane ticket, etc... I'm into it for $3k. Not too shabby. It was located in Riverside, CA and I'm in SF so there was lots of stress driving it back. But no problems for the most part. Just got back about 2 hours ago.

Oh it's a 2002 Ford E-450 Bluebird 22 seater. 7.3L Turbo Diesel.

Checked all the fluid before I left and transmission was pretty high. Then at a rest stop a little more than half way home I noticed it was leaking tranny fluid. Checked the tranny fluid 3 more times during the rest of the trip. Levels didn't drop at all so I'm thinking maybe someone over filled it and it was just leaking out of a weep or overflow hole. I'll get under it tomorrow.

I don't plan on doing much to it. It's mainly for camping where we want stuff outside not in, so some seats go and then some folding bunk beds.

My big concern is reliability. I'll do most of the maintenance myself as I used to be a mechanic when I was younger. Although I've never worked on diesels and have no experience with them so I'll take it for a full check out from a diesel mechanic and then do the work myself.

So far I'll be changing the stock headlights to HIDs as the stock ones are super dim and yellow. I'll add a K&N filter and maybe some other things. Repack Wheel bearings and maybe new bearings.

Any suggestion would be appreciated. Pics tomorrow.

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Old 06-22-2016, 07:22 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Carytowncat's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Very cool! congrats on the deal; not too shabby I too am known to check fluids a few times on long drives just in case. I don't mind leaks, in fact i have a fondness for em because they always remind me to check the levels, and are always getting new fluid. My dad told a story of an old 50s Chevy that leaked a qt a week and ran forever!

Looking forward to seeing pics tomorrow
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:17 PM   #3
Bus Geek
ol trunt's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,235
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Just a heads up on the dim/yellow head lamps. That is often caused by a high resistance short when the ground wires are bad--unless of course the voltage is low overall. Secure grounds will be even more important with the HIDs as they draw more current and therefore will produce more heat from a bad ground situation which could ultimately result in a fire.

That being said, welcome and keep the pics flowing! Jack

P.S. Just thought of something else--are the headlamps on all the while the engine is running like they are on my bus? If so, they are on at only 1/2 voltage and will look dim and yellow until they are actually turned on.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:58 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 14
Thanks for the suggestions.

Jack, the headlights only come on when I turn them on. I'll check the voltage and grounds. Weird I ordered the HID before I looked at the bus as they are returnable, the ad said they were for this model and year, but on the bus they look like the old style headlights where the entire lens and bulb are one. I look further tomorrow.

So the cable that was dragging I followed it into the cab and of course it runs up under the dash where I can't see it, i did take off as many dash panel as possible and still can't see where it goes. I think I know what it is though. This bus I think had one of those front bumper bars that swings out so kids can't cross in front of the bus unless the bus driver wants them to. It has 4 wires red, white, blue and yellow. I can test with a voltmeter if I know where it terminates. So if anyone know where that front bumper bar thing would be controlled by I can disconnect it and check with my meter.

So it looks like it's had some half assed maintenance. I went under the bus today and cleaned the tranny to see where it's leaking. Parked in my driveway it only had one or two drops so I'm still thinking that it was due to over filling and a super hot day and hills. I'll run it and get under it at some point to check for sure.

Also some one removed the resonator and left it open so I was totally bypassing the air filter. Dumbass. So I pulled the entire air filter assemble off and washed it. While I was at it I change the fuel filter and all that other stuff. Started right up.

Updates to come.
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