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Old 11-23-2020, 11:06 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 42
Year: 1988
Coachwork: GMC
1988 Bluebird is a S L O W machine

Hey all, feeling a bit anxious about my build at this point. Just completed a lot of interior work recently and drove it for the first time in a few months yesterday.

Sheís always been a bit slow, just about normal for a mid-size thatís 31 years old. (65 on interstate, climbs steep grades at about 35 or so)

But yesterday it was having noticeably more trouble than usual. I happen to live on a mountain at 1,800 ft elevation. Normally it makes it up a little slow, but it gets there. This time it started overheating about halfway up the mountain and was doing maybe 25 MPH tops. I had to stop twice to prevent it from overheating.

What should be on the checklist for things to look at mechanically? It had been sitting for about 3 months after I drove it last, starting it up every week or so. Cooling system seems healthy/clean. The only thing I could think of thatís really changed is that Iíve added a 40 gallon water tank (currently empty) and a rear-mount storage box on the back trailer hitch. Shouldnít be more than about 600 lbs. Could that have made much of a difference?

If nothing changes in the short-term, what are some longer term solutions to this? Ie rear end upgrades, engine upgrades. The current engine is the DD 8.2L fuel pincher. Not sure of what transmission it has.

Iím just getting really worried that my last 12+ months of work will go to waste on a brick. I wanna talk about short and long term solutions. Any input or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading

silvermachine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2020, 02:22 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Wild Wild West
Posts: 693
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
The first thing I would suspect would be the engine cooling fan. Whatever the drive system is, hydraulic, thermal clutch, or direct drive, it sounds like it may not be working. If the rest of the cooling system seems healthy and it heats up under heavy load, like climbing a big hill, but then cools off nicely going down the other side, it very likely is the fan drive that has failed.
JackE is offline   Reply With Quote

elevation, overheating, slow bus

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