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Old 02-28-2019, 02:12 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Lady Liberty starting for the first time

I bought this 1991 Bluebird handy bus 28 feet with a Cummins 5.9 and AT 545 back in August 2017.
All of the B.S. was taken care of then we registered as an RV and it has current tags and insurance. My wife and Sis are going to get creative with painters tape and a couple of cases of white spray paint so we can drive it and not be harrased. Their idea hey what could go wrong? it is stored inside so in a few months when we paint it the tape will still come off. A pressure washer if not.
It ran ok but had a terrible oil leak from the tappet cover so it was torn down Transmission replaced with a rebuilt AT 545 also a B and D trans cooler 45 K btu with a thermo fan with bypass valve and stainless braided lines.
Engine was taken down to a short block and overhauled rebuilt Bosch pump rebuilt Holstat Turbo rebuilt air compressor also new oil, fuel and water pumps all new hoses and fuel lines and filters and fluids new front and rear engine mounts new front and rear crankshaft oil seals new rocker cover seals new idler and serpentine belt new a/c compressor belt new a/c idler bearing 6 new tires and new brakes and drums new alternator new fan new fan thermo switch did I miss anything???
Oh yeah, the tappet cover gasket.

My wallet says NO also.

Anyhow dashboard and temporary wiring in shifter relocated and bolted down so it will shift gears.

Also the fuel tank was relocated to the driver side to make it easy to fill up at truck stops where the master pump is on the left

So Saturday we will see what happens.

I know "fix the cigarette lighter".
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bus 5 (1)[2].jpg (88.9 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg 20171006_132436[1].jpg (92.2 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg 20180203_164335[1].jpg (135.3 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg 20181007_150029[1].jpg (135.8 KB, 38 views)
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I remember you!
Kudos for keeping up with the project.
Looks GREAT
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:33 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
I remember you!
Kudos for keeping up with the project.
Looks GREAT

Thank you for kind words now lets hope it runs as happy as it looks
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:00 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
The last step filling it with coolant

So eveything is hooked up battery cable off I pour 5 gallons of coolant in the radiator. Huh still not full pour in one more and one more
WTH???
Sit down at the bench to read the capacity and look back at the bus and see a 4 foot puddle of transmission fluid.

As best as i can tell have not taken it apart yet, is that the cooler failed and is letting coolant into the transmission.

Any ideas where to get another heat exchanger for a at 545 cummins 5.9 1991 bluebird tc 2000? front engine 9 window

This was a sad end to a 12 hour day.

Then it was towed...
$ 800.00 bye bye
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:23 PM   #5
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,346
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Sorry to hear this. I went to do an oil leak repair and found coolant in my oil. Still crossing my fingers that the $300 oil cooler fixed it. Thank god I can do the labor.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:30 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
Sorry to hear this. I went to do an oil leak repair and found coolant in my oil. Still crossing my fingers that the $300 oil cooler fixed it. Thank god I can do the labor.
In retrospect glad it did not happen while driving . I doubt the transmission would survive running on coolant.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:32 PM   #7
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: CAT 3126
Ouch! That sucks. Hopefully it is only a small setback.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:43 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Went to the tow yard and paid $875 to get it released to AAA who will tow it right back to my shop for free where the heat exchanger failed.
Any how found a heat exchanger at AAA bus parts Phoenix and for $100 and shipping this is the least exspensive part of this adventure. Saw a great picture of Don and Mary's TC 1000 there also. Nice bus.
Hope I can get the coolant out of the new trans ok.
The one thing I did not replace decides to catastropically fail conviently not on the road ...

Thank you powers that be
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:55 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
For anyone that thought there tc 2000 had a transmision cooler

It realy is a transmission fluid to engine coolant heat exchanger. AT 545 like 190 degree fluid. The one on the right has a hole in the cooler. . The one on the left is bolting in tomorrow. Thank you AAA bus parts in Phoenix. They got it to me in 2 days! So, here we go again . Have let the transmission drain for a couple of days then going to fill it until it is coming out the breather on top and drain it and refill it.Thank goodness it did not run yet!!Would have had to replace the torque converter for sure. Blew a gallon of acetone through the new cooler and it came out very clean.So, away we go...
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:58 AM   #10
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Location: Virginia
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Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
With everything you have done you should have a great bus for a long time. A few "teething" problems at first is not unusual so don't get too dismayed.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:07 AM   #11
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 1,317
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children, 1 cat
Thanks RB! Watching your progress with interest.

AAA Bus Sales Rocks.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:51 AM   #12
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Location: Damascus, OR
Posts: 606
Year: 2004
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e w/ 2000 Allison Trans
Rated Cap: 35
Yikes. All that time and money and then another wrench gets thrown at you. Hoping for the best for you and Lady Liberty
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:24 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
I bought this 1991 Bluebird handy bus 28 feet with a Cummins 5.9 and AT 545 back in August 2017.
All of the B.S. was taken care of then we registered as an RV and it has current tags and insurance. My wife and Sis are going to get creative with painters tape and a couple of cases of white spray paint so we can drive it and not be harrased. Their idea hey what could go wrong? it is stored inside so in a few months when we paint it the tape will still come off. A pressure washer if not.
It ran ok but had a terrible oil leak from the tappet cover so it was torn down Transmission replaced with a rebuilt AT 545 also a B and D trans cooler 45 K btu with a thermo fan with bypass valve and stainless braided lines.
Engine was taken down to a short block and overhauled rebuilt Bosch pump rebuilt Holstat Turbo rebuilt air compressor also new oil, fuel and water pumps all new hoses and fuel lines and filters and fluids new front and rear engine mounts new front and rear crankshaft oil seals new rocker cover seals new idler and serpentine belt new a/c compressor belt new a/c idler bearing 6 new tires and new brakes and drums new alternator new fan new fan thermo switch did I miss anything???
Oh yeah, the tappet cover gasket.

My wallet says NO also.

Anyhow dashboard and temporary wiring in shifter relocated and bolted down so it will shift gears.

Also the fuel tank was relocated to the driver side to make it easy to fill up at truck stops where the master pump is on the left

So Saturday we will see what happens.

I know "fix the cigarette lighter".
How much did this engine/ drive train overhaul cost (approx) and did you do all the labor yourself? Trying to get an idea of cost for worst case if my future purchase requires similar fixes.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:31 AM   #14
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Lady Liberty is alive!!!

After the cooler set back I took a couple of months off from the bus. But, back at it .Left the trans drain plug out for 3 months then filled it up and drained it again with fluid. No coolant present. Primed the fuel sytem and hooked up the battery and proceded to bleed the injectors.

Well Mother Hunker Chunker Bunker IT STARTED RIGHT UP !!!!!!!!!!!!
Idles smooth and has lots of oil pressure the new air compressor pressure came right up and with new engine mounts and a new turbo (amongst a herd of other things) the smoothness and quiet of the Cummins 5.9 is amazing. And, drum roll please, No leaks!! A lot of people here have seen these pictures but hey somebody probably has not:whistling It took a year and a half to rebuild the engine and replace the transmission add an oil cooler with stainless lines and AN fittings to it, replace the tires and brakes move the fuel tank to the drivers side but now the fun begins. Now that it runs that is
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File Type: jpg 20180203_164335[1].jpg (135.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 20171006_132436[1].jpg (92.2 KB, 8 views)
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:45 AM   #15
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,814
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Really nice to see your hard work and patience pay off Rivetboy, well done sir!




John
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:00 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Thanks John, the feeling of accomplishment is very strong with this project.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:26 PM   #17
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Sorry I did not see your post exchange at 545 about a $1000 tires 3500. 2 new front drums and shoes rear shoes and labor $600
The oil cooler, AN fittings, Cool tools, vise plates. SS line, cutting tool $1000 As for the motor, $6000
And a full shop setup good lighting, concrete floor, Air, solvent tank, cribbing/jackstands, 20 ton air bottle jack, transmission jack, engine dolly, engine hoist, 3/4 impact for wheels, And do not under estimate time . This project required hundreds and hundreds of hours plus I have had a colleague for a lot of it.Good luck!
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