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Old 08-26-2019, 05:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 35
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All-American flat face
good engine? 1999 Bluebird TC2000

Getting ready to buy my bus. Cruising Craigslist. I am looking for feedback on bus engines. I am not mechanical and got great advice here to get a very reliable mechanical system. Yes, I know that any engine can go bad at any time. I am looking for general trends and any red flags. Here is Bus option engine #1. Thanks. From the ad (i am including the sellers opinions but I trust this group's more).

1999 BLUEBIRD TC2000 RE ARIZONA NO RUST BUS (Rear Engine which is very desirable for over the road cruising. Very quite driving.)
8.3L CUMMINS TURBO DIESEL (Highly desirable "mechanical" engine that is free of the electronic emission control gear that plagues more modern buses and causes expensive failures and breakdowns. If you research school buses, you will find the Mechanical Engine is preferred and 1999 is one of the best years. The 8.3 Cummins is also a very well regarded power plant.)
ALLISON MT-643 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (A rock solid automatic transmission. Much better than the MT545 which is geared too low for RV use. The MT-643 is a well regarded transmission for a skoolie conversion.)
I purchased the bus from Arizona in late June of last year and it made the trip from Arizona to Los Angeles to Las Vegas in July through the sweltering desert heat with no problem. It is a solid bus that starts and runs perfectly.
4 UNDERBODY STORAGE COMPARTMENTS. (The bus has 4 lift up doors to access huge storage compartments that go from side to side under the bus. These are hard to find. They make the perfect place to put tanks and provide very valuable storage space for gear.)
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:26 PM   #2
SolomonEagle's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Foot of the siskiyou mountains Oregon.
Posts: 222
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas / international
Chassis: International
Engine: Dt 360/ spicer 5 speed
Rated Cap: 42
Hell yeh, that is a solid engine transmission combo..probly one of the most desirable that you can get just short of the 3000 seried Alison which I don't think really came behind many mechanically injected engines. Jump on that. What's the price and how many miles?
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:35 PM   #3
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,358
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Sounds like a nice rig.
I would look closer at the engine. The mechanical 6CTA was replaced with the ISC in 1998. It is not unusual to see a bus of any particular year bus to be sporting the prior years drivetrain. But if you are sold on mechanical, I would verifiy which it has.

Many folks are sold on the idea that electronically controlled diesels are a bad thing. We have been driving computer controlled gas engines since the early '80s. Would you set out to buy a car today and limit your search to mechanical engines?

Due to a bad traffic accident I retired my, computer controlled, 2001 ISB. That was probably the most reliable rig I have ever owned.

There are definitely merits to a mechanical engine but the later computer controlled engines do have some benefits as well.

The Bluebird you described sounds like a good rig. Would I trade my computer controlled 8.3 Bluebird with the MD-3060 for the bus you are looking at? Not a chance.

That is the great thing about building Your Own skoolie, YOU get to pick how it is equipped and built.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:36 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 35
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All-American flat face
The price is $9,500 and the ad doesn't mention the mileage.

Thanks for the information.

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1999 bluebird, 8.3l cummins, allison mt-643, tc2000

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