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Old 06-02-2021, 02:00 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: everywhere & nowhere
Posts: 7
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Engine: Cat C7 Acert
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Bit off way more than I can chew.

Single Mom here.
Lost pretty much everything during the Covid, decided a bus was a million times better than a tent.
Gathered every last cent and flew off from CA to OH to bring my new home, home.

2006 Bluebird All American FE Cat C7 Acert 34'. (Lord I must love my kids cuz I've never even driveven a pickup)
Drove (every part of me shaking) to the nearest hotel and must have parked/backed into every available parking space they had to get the hang of this beast. Slept, headed out 1st light.

2229miles later......
Seats out, holes sealed and Rust-Oleum'd everything!!!!! Vaper barrier, foam, more vapor barrier, ply wood, whealwells insulation, boxed in, a bazillion wall rivets removed, insulated,..2 new folddown sleepers esats, seat belts for kids.....stated making my way up north, radiator kaplewy......$2709....Ouch!!!!!! Got to Hayden Idaho only to have "aquaintance" shocked I actually made it.....much too busy to help.....next up???? Tans oil cooler for the low low price of $3800.....Western States CAT...

I'm not looking for anything free by any means but I could sure use some serious guidance on getting the rest of this built to a livable standard. I have a bunch of lumber plumbing, propane, fridge, sink, etc....
I'm sure I'll need to get a bunch more stuff but honestly so stressed I can't even think straight enough to being this next chapter.
Any suggestions/directions would be a much appreciated help.
You-tube has a lot of info perhaps not enough or too much...... spinning head

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Old 06-02-2021, 04:59 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 774
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Winnebago
Chassis: Ford F53
Engine: Ford Triton V-10
Rated Cap: currently 2
When did this odyssey begin? Or, when did you purchase the bus and how long have you been working on it? When you decided on the purchase of that particular bus, what research did you do to confirm that it was a quality bus and the right fit for you? Did you have a qualified mechanic inspect it?

The reason I'm asking is because to have two coolers go out in a short space of time is never going to be a good sign. And if there's underlying mechanic issues with the bus, pouring more time and money into the build may be a waste if it becomes immobile and you cannot afford to maintain it. It's a common occurrence here that people jump headfirst into a skoolie conversion based on a couple of youtube videos they saw about off grid tiny living or something like that but aren't adequately informed or financed to undertake it themselves. Not trying to shame or discourage, just thinking we need to triage your situation before you pour what money you have left into a potential money pit.
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:38 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Grayson County, VA
Posts: 1,248
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
That's pretty impressive, honestly. A hell of a lot of work for a single mom to take on. It sounds like you've all but finished the difficult and least fun part of the build, which IMO is the demo work. Building out the interior is where the fun begins and it sounds like you've got the gumption to get it done.

I think triaging the situation, like Sehnsucht mentioned, would be a good start. We've been lucky enough not to have the kinds of mechanical situations that you're experiencing but that's something I've always worried about myself. Any problems/symptoms/questions with the mechanicals of the bus...ask on this forum, there's some pretty sharp minds that'll have the answers and teach you how to do some troubleshooting so you're not throwing money into things that might not need it.
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Old 06-02-2021, 10:24 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: everywhere & nowhere
Posts: 7
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Engine: Cat C7 Acert
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Started out in January but to answer your question more appropriately the latter to your response.
I purchased it from an auction site unseen. The only assurance that I had was that it was stickered for the 20/21 school year for transportation.
I have changed my own oil slash ATF fluid myself ( easier than doing it in my kraut wagon) I know enough to check all my fluids/tire pressure prior to driving anywhere.
Clearly a raw novice and now stuck in a perpetual state of insecurities due to the short period of time between mechanical failures.

Finding a decent mechanic has proven to be very difficult at best. As soon as I get to the word "Bus", the conversation soon ends.

Of course completely bass backwards but I have been doing a lot of reading since all of this to find out that my particular engine is a rather leaky one in general.
I would still very much like to do some traveling but pretty much I'm just sitting here waiting it out trying to figure out what my next step will be a little bit more strategically this time.
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Old 06-02-2021, 10:45 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 561
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beast of Burden View Post
Single Mom here.
Lost pretty much everything during the Covid, decided a bus was a million times better than a tent.
Gathered every last cent and flew off from CA to OH to bring my new home, home.

2006 Bluebird All American FE Cat C7 Acert 34'. (Lord I must love my kids cuz I've never even driveven a pickup)
Drove (every part of me shaking) to the nearest hotel and must have parked/backed into every available parking space they had to get the hang of this beast. Slept, headed out 1st light.

2229miles later......
Seats out, holes sealed and Rust-Oleum'd everything!!!!! Vaper barrier, foam, more vapor barrier, ply wood, whealwells insulation, boxed in, a bazillion wall rivets removed, insulated,..2 new folddown sleepers esats, seat belts for kids.....stated making my way up north, radiator kaplewy......$2709....Ouch!!!!!! Got to Hayden Idaho only to have "aquaintance" shocked I actually made it.....much too busy to help.....next up???? Tans oil cooler for the low low price of $3800.....Western States CAT...

I'm not looking for anything free by any means but I could sure use some serious guidance on getting the rest of this built to a livable standard. I have a bunch of lumber plumbing, propane, fridge, sink, etc....
I'm sure I'll need to get a bunch more stuff but honestly so stressed I can't even think straight enough to being this next chapter.
Any suggestions/directions would be a much appreciated help.
You-tube has a lot of info perhaps not enough or too much...... spinning head
Asking for help here on this site is going to help you go forward in a big way.
Firstly, as a single mom who is refusing to roll up and die, I salute you !

My mom pretty much raised my brother and I , alone, so there is nothing but respect here from me to you! Don't ever give up and quit...changing gears is ok but never give up!

I fell that you (we all) just need good people who are willing to help out and here I am sure you will find more than one!

For the past 2 years I have been helping a young college girl get her bus ready, it's almost done now. She didn't even know how to use a tape measure and now she runs power tools like a pro!

One of the things I have drilled into her head was the fact that she needed to learn about the engine/mechanicals of the bus. Not to say that you have to do the repairs but when you have a basic understanding of how it is built and how it supposed to work well then maybe a trip to the mechanic when needed won't be as scary if the mechanic realizes you know your shite!

Here is a very good video on your engine. I am sure it will provide you with a better understanding of what you got and might be helpful in times of trouble too.



I wish you the best of luck and hope to read more about your new journey!
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:45 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 360
Coachwork: International Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Adding some temp guages/sensors will help with overheating anxiety and may save future damage. Try to perform the mechanical repairs yourself, as the expense is half or sometimes, rediculously less.

Chasing the heat:
What tranny do you have?
EPA exhaust restrictions?
Have the heaters & loop been removed?
You mentioned leaks. Were the fluids low when overheating?
Just driving an empty bus on flat, cool highway, then 225° & dash lights?

A few questions, hundreds of helpful folks, here. May not be as bad as your current perspective. You have made it through worse.
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:48 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: everywhere & nowhere
Posts: 7
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Engine: Cat C7 Acert
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Thank you, I love the adept ape.
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:53 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: everywhere & nowhere
Posts: 7
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Engine: Cat C7 Acert
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Thank you.
It has an Allison transmission. The two rear heaters have been removed and looped back to the radiator. I checked the oil never seems to be low I've changed the oil before I drove out to Idaho here. I checked the transmission when it's running and its been good as well I also change that prior and filter of course. when I first got the bus back to California I cleaned the whole entire engine off with a rag and some gasoline ex-boyfriend recommendation haha. Every time I check the oil or tranny fluid in the dog house the whole head block just seems to be greasy and I do get some minor drips occasionally I'm assuming that it was the trans cooler connector originally but I do see some grease drops every now and again.
Ask for the gauges I am so confused on where I even find any information on this particular bus like the wiring scheme and what gauge is used to be in there as the dashboard says that some gauges are missing.
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:54 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: everywhere & nowhere
Posts: 7
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Engine: Cat C7 Acert
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Sorry for any slow responses I'm not avoiding I just have really spotty service up here in Farragut Park.
trying to focus on the things that I can do like I'm sewing 22 curtains right now. ��
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Old 06-12-2021, 07:45 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 492
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
Best wishes with your bus conversion and new home. Any updates? Wow, 22 curtains!
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:07 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 107
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
You got this! Where’s Farragut Park?
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:28 AM   #12
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 379
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Cummins ISC 260HP/660Q/MD3060 6spd
Rated Cap: 81
Repairs sure can be ridiculously expensive sometimes. I bought mine with a fresh inspection approval for the school year ahead at the time and it still wasn’t enough to keep a few multi thousand dollar repairs away. There is lots to learn about these beasts and the more you learn the better off and better prepared you’ll be. Good luck I hope you’re done with unexpected repairs for a long while.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:57 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: everywhere & nowhere
Posts: 7
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Engine: Cat C7 Acert
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverdude0075 View Post
You got this! Where’s Farragut Park?

Faragut Park is is northern Idaho, Athol more specifically.
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:00 AM   #14
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: everywhere & nowhere
Posts: 7
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Engine: Cat C7 Acert
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
No updates really. Still no help here in Athol, starting to feel like a a leper has no one wants to deal with buses.

Heading out Tues AM for Montana to visit a few Friends. Crossing my fingers eyes and legs Montana will have a whole new world to open up to me and possibly some new suggestions.
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