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Old 03-11-2020, 05:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Northern California
Posts: 3
Question Hello from California!

Hey everyone!

I'm Erika and I'm currently in the initial stages of finding a school bus, researching as much as I can, and am so grateful to have joined this online community! I have zero experience in building, but I'm confident I can do it.

I recently found a 1998 Blue Bird and per the ad: 5.9 12 valve cummins with 5 speed automatic Allison 3060 transmission. Air ride seat, push button shift. Air operated front door. Seats removed. 215K. Was JUST taken out of service June of 2019. Runs and drives amazing. Already titled as an RV! For $2,990.

Does this seem like a good deal? Pros/Cons of specs? I initially thought I wanted a Blue Bird or Thomas with a DT466 and Allison transmission, but I'm literally new to all of this and am just beginning to understand all the lingo. Hah! Any help appreciated!

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Old 03-11-2020, 05:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 435
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
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Originally Posted by MagandaVegan View Post
Hey everyone!

I'm Erika and I'm currently in the initial stages of finding a school bus, researching as much as I can, and am so grateful to have joined this online community! I have zero experience in building, but I'm confident I can do it.

I recently found a 1998 Blue Bird and per the ad: 5.9 12 valve cummins with 5 speed automatic Allison 3060 transmission. Air ride seat, push button shift. Air operated front door. Seats removed. 215K. Was JUST taken out of service June of 2019. Runs and drives amazing. Already titled as an RV! For $2,990.

Does this seem like a good deal? Pros/Cons of specs? I initially thought I wanted a Blue Bird or Thomas with a DT466 and Allison transmission, but I'm literally new to all of this and am just beginning to understand all the lingo. Hah! Any help appreciated!

Welcome to the group! The specs on that bus sound decent. The 5.9 is a good engine as is the 3060 tranny. There was something in here about CA and rules for diesel engines, but I think if it's already registered as an RV you are safe. Might be worth it to get a local diesel mechanic to give it the once over, but the price sounds good!
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
Welcome to the group! The specs on that bus sound decent. The 5.9 is a good engine as is the 3060 tranny. There was something in here about CA and rules for diesel engines, but I think if it's already registered as an RV you are safe. Might be worth it to get a local diesel mechanic to give it the once over, but the price sounds good!
Thanks so much for the feedback, ermracing! Great suggestion on getting a diesel mechanic out there too. The seller sent me some photos, so if anyone is interested in seeing them, I'll post them down below.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:04 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 2,973
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
That's a great skoolie bus. It's rust-free, best possible transmission, high ceiling, and having the seats out already is a plus (unless you don't want to miss out on the fun of doing that yourself). The ding in the side is pretty minor and easy to fix. Having it already titled as an RV is a big plus, especially in California (you would be legally required to swap out the engine for one from 2010 or later if you didn't re-title it as an RV - obviously not something that can be done cost-effectively).

Engine is the smallest/weakest of the Cummins but perfectly serviceable. I think the price is so good that if it's being sold by a dealer (and not a skoolie-builder who is just giving on the project) I would be suspicious that there is something else wrong with it. Having a mechanic look it over would be good if you can arrange it.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:49 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,430
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
thats a real nice bus.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:05 PM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Smyrna, TN
Posts: 24
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: Chevrolet 427
Wow that is a nice looking bus! We paid about the same price for our bus and it's a complete hunk of junk. Get that one!
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