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Old 08-31-2022, 02:16 PM   #1
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Good Deal on this bus... maybe??

Well I've been wanting to do a Skoolie now for awhile after I did a fully cargo trailer conversion on my YouTube channel "The Watson Garage". Well my brother just so happens to have a 2001 Blue Bird 40' Flat nose rear engine (8.3L ISC Cummins with Allison MD3060 tranny) with 6' ceilings. Also has the belly cargo boxes (3 on each side w/ back 2 going completely through). Well the problem is I'm not sure if this is the right bus for me as it has 263,XXX miles on it. Motor seems fine with no blow by, oil leaks, etc and runs fine at the 60-65ish governed speed limiter. Besides wishing it had the optional 6'6" ceilings (I guess I could do a raise) is this bus worth $4,500? Would it just be better to get a newer and/or lower mileage bus? He was in the process of making a skoolie, but just can't do it right now and offered it to me. Saved me the time of ripping the seats out and most of the plywood floors...lol.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:03 PM   #2
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I think thats a good price. With that motor being a wetsleeve, you can fully rebuild it in frame for under 2k when it needs it. Im finding that most Bluebirds before 2004 (pre-emmissions) had the standard roof. The pattern im seeing is that many northwest buses (Washington, Oregon) seemed to spec the High-Roof factory option. There are buses out there from other areas that do have it, but much less common.


Also, your brother currently owns it and probably wont hide known problems from you, so i would take that option.. Roof raises arent too difficult if you require a high roof and have the time/money.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:34 PM   #3
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Have you (or has he) actually measured the ceiling height inside? Because that sure looks like a high-ceiling model. The tops of the passenger windows are higher than the top of the driver's side window, and the windows themselves look a good bit taller than the 24" high windows that are found in regular buses.

If this bus has the MD3060 transmission (generally regarded as the best there is), then it's a "Holy Grail" bus that would normally sell for a whole lot more than $4500 (more like ten grand).

FYI that rust on the floor is nothing. I would describe that as pretty much a rust-free floor.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:35 PM   #4
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On the bare floor (without plywood) is 74 1/2" tall. How do I know exactly which tyranny. He just said it's a Alison
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:40 PM   #5
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Pretty much all bus transmissions are Allisons (except for the occasional rare manual). A pic of the gear shifter would tell what kind of transmission it was (MD3060s have a push-button shifter, I think).
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:42 PM   #6
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Well i just seen there was a plate by the passenger door... According to Allision Serial Numer its a MD3060. Also here is the the shifter.
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Old 08-31-2022, 04:20 PM   #7
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Got yourself a cheap unicorn. If you want to be weird and buy a bus, then you've got a good deal on the most sought after drivetrain combo..
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Old 08-31-2022, 04:27 PM   #8
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If you have $4500 and a free place to park it, I'd 100% buy it. If you decide a week, a month, a year from now that this isn't the bus for you, you can always sell it to someone here and probably make a bit of money on the deal. They aren't making these pre-emissions unicorns any more, so get one while you can!

The ceiling height isn't ideal, but otherwise you've found a bus with attributes that you will not find again for nearly that price. It has a sought-after drivetrain. You know the seller and (one would assume) he won't try to screw you over or hide major flaws. You are able to see what's under the plywood floor and have had an expert analysis that all is bueno (by Musigenisis, a world-renowned rust expert ). I guess what I'm saying is that this bus has great features PLUS you have more information about it's condition than you'll ever get from an auction or from most any private seller.

No pressure, of course. If you're certain it's not the right bus, then keep looking. But if you're not sure, I'd say snap it up and think about it later!

Edit: as for your question about whether to get a newer/lower mileage bus: lower miles would be nice, but a newer bus is not necessarily a good idea. Pre-2004 is generally regarded as ideal, since they don't have extra emissions doo-dads that complicate everything and are expensive to fix. I'm all for clean air, but there's no way I'd want to deal with a newer bus.
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Old 08-31-2022, 04:46 PM   #9
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I just watched one of your cargo trailer conversion videos on Youtube. Your fold-down bunks are awesome! Not that you need me to tell you this, but you definitely have the skills to do a roof raise and get that Bluebird to a comfortable height.
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Old 08-31-2022, 04:49 PM   #10
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Old 08-31-2022, 04:54 PM   #11
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The only negative that I can see is the CAPS injection system. Well worth the money.
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Old 08-31-2022, 09:03 PM   #12
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honestly, with inflation the way it is, I'd say that $4500 is worth it for any bare-bones skoolie off an auction site, considering that when I got mine the going rate was $3K.

Having the seats already pulled is a definite time-saver worth a penny or two.
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Old 08-31-2022, 09:48 PM   #13
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That is a nicely equipped bus. The ISC, Md3060 and it has highway gearing in the rear end @ 4.78. If the mechanicals are good $4500 is a good price for it.
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Old 09-01-2022, 01:01 AM   #14
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I don't often get to say this........

Quote:
Originally Posted by watsonst04 View Post
Well I've been wanting to do a Skoolie now for awhile after I did a fully cargo trailer conversion on my YouTube channel "The Watson Garage". Well my brother just so happens to have a 2001 Blue Bird 40' Flat nose rear engine (8.3L ISC Cummins with Allison MD3060 tranny) with 6' ceilings. Also has the belly cargo boxes (3 on each side w/ back 2 going completely through). Well the problem is I'm not sure if this is the right bus for me as it has 263,XXX miles on it. Motor seems fine with no blow by, oil leaks, etc and runs fine at the 60-65ish governed speed limiter. Besides wishing it had the optional 6'6" ceilings (I guess I could do a raise) is this bus worth $4,500? Would it just be better to get a newer and/or lower mileage bus? He was in the process of making a skoolie, but just can't do it right now and offered it to me. Saved me the time of ripping the seats out and most of the plywood floors...lol.
So many have already given their green light opinion, but I like to be the bearer of good news. Unless its a rust bucket, which it doesn't appear to be, That's a bang up deal. I'd borrow money to buy that bus at that price even if it wasn't my brother selling it.
By the way that stack of plywood has to be worth a fortune.

where is it located?

Seriously if you pass let me know....I'll call the bank.
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Old 09-01-2022, 07:22 AM   #15
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Well... after thinking it over (everyone's help made it a lot easier) I ended up letting my brother I would take it. Right now the bus will have to sit awhile as I finish up remodeling my house. I'm not 100% on the direction I'll go...

1. Do nothing and sell the bus later
2. Build it on my Youtube channel (Content), then sell
3. Build it on my Youtube channel (Content), then keep it...maybe sell later
4. Sell everything I own and live the bus life forever....
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Old 09-08-2022, 12:21 PM   #16
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You might want to check the ceiling height yourself. Most of the flat fronts that have passenger windows taller than the driver's windows have the higher ceiling height
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Old 09-08-2022, 02:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by incubus View Post
You might want to check the ceiling height yourself. Most of the flat fronts that have passenger windows taller than the driver's windows have the higher ceiling height

this is true of bluebird and some earlier AmTran..



IC(essentially 2004+ AmTran) and Thomas both used taller driver windows in the high headroom models...
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Old 09-08-2022, 11:17 PM   #18
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Thomas also.
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Old 09-09-2022, 12:33 PM   #19
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Get it.
For what it's worth: Option #4...
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