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Old 04-16-2023, 01:00 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 18
Year: 1985
Coachwork: Bluebird Minibird
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: 6.2L Diesel
Rated Cap: ~30
Question on 85 Bluebird Minibird replacement shocks

Hi folks, buddy and I recently bought a 1985 BlueBird Minibird short bus. As many of you know, it's on the Chevy P30 platform. 6.2L diesel, T400 transmission, and Rockwell 12" rear end. Runs pretty well and has minimal rust for 38 years old. We're going through it, replacing all of the fluids and consumable parts. Once we've done that, we'll get at the camper conversion stuff.
I'm now shopping for shock absorbers. Bus has leaf springs front and rear. I find Rock Auto to have an easy interface to find stuff. But they have general shock categories of Economy, Original Ride Quality, Heavy Duty, and Increased Handling and Stability. We don't want to go cheap, i.e., economy. I'm inclined toward one of the latter two. But I'm also not sure how our bus matches their vehicle descriptions. Nothing there says "school bus." Instead, there are Cutaway Chassis, Motorhome Chassis (good possibility?), Step-Van, Monobeam Axle, I-beam front suspension, Mor-Ryde rear suspension, and maybe a couple more. I have the Chevy Shop Manual, a Chevy Motorhome manual, and the Bluebird manual. None are helpful on this.

We're not interested in converting to an air suspension. Just want good quality replacement shocks, improving the ride/stability over the OEM ones if possible. Anyone have any advice on how to spec these? Thanks.

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Old 04-16-2023, 02:08 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,794
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
My favorite go to shock absorber brand is Bilstein.


Spelling might have ei or ie……

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Old 04-16-2023, 05:04 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Pioneer, California
Posts: 34
Year: 1980
Coachwork: 1980 Gillig, 1990 Thomas
Chassis: Transit Coach
Engine: Cummins 855 w/RT-910 & CAT 3208 w/Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 78-Passenger
Bilstein B6 Shocks would make for a really good aftermarket upgrade for your vehicle.


Monroe’s would be more of a good OEM option for your vehicle.
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Old 04-17-2023, 05:36 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 18
Year: 1985
Coachwork: Bluebird Minibird
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: 6.2L Diesel
Rated Cap: ~30
Question on 85 Bluebird Minibird replacement shocks


Thanks guys. Man those Bilsteins are a little too expensive for our budget. The Monroes seem like a good option.
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Old 04-17-2023, 06:31 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Alabama
Posts: 317
Year: 1996
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT 466 Mech. Spicer 5 speed
Rated Cap: 34
FWIW--

A P30 would be referred to in GM parts manuals as a Step Van. A one ton Step Van.
Or Motorhome.
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Old 04-18-2023, 06:22 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 18
Year: 1985
Coachwork: Bluebird Minibird
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: 6.2L Diesel
Rated Cap: ~30
Good to know. The shop manual that I have is for Chevy C-K-G-P light trucks. Some info is tagged for the P series or P-30 but I think there is also reference to step vans.
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