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Old 10-12-2016, 04:15 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1
Newbie Questions! 2002 Bluebird

Hello! My husband and I have long talked about buying a bus and Skoolie conversion, and suddenly one has presented itself! We haven't done much but talk, however, and although the bus looks great (2002 Bluebird Handy Bus) and has only 100,000...we are concerned that when we went to start it it had no transmission fluid or oil. Apparently, the gentleman that bought it was not specifically looking for a bus, has only driven it from School Dept to his home. he admitted to not having added fluid. We could see no sign of a leak, but is it foolish to consider it? Also looking for any specific info folks have on conversion of this type/size. Thanks!

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Old 10-12-2016, 04:31 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 492
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom +1
If it's truly been run completely dry on engine oil and tranny fluid I would look elsewhere. Could be a potential catastrophe waiting to happen. There is a chance, however, that they fluids were just run down below where the dipstick can read them. My engine, for example, holds roughly 5 gallons of oil and if it is more than 3 or 4 quarts low the dipstick is bone dry, so it could be a dry dipstick and still have 80% left... I would pop the oil and tranny drain plugs and see what comes out before making a decision one way or the other. If there is fluid left the tranny fluid should be a nice clear red color. If it isn't and/or smells burnt or comes out all gloopy, the tranny has probably been damaged.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:55 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 266
Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 25.999K
oil level.

How are you checking the level? Like the previous poster says, these take LOTS of oil, it could be low. Start it, does it have oil pressure? If so, no worries. If the trans in too low, I promise that the said gentleman did NOT drive it at all. If there is no trans fluid, there is no going anywhere. 100k on a bus is nothing.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:29 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,233
IIRC, the Blue Bird Handy Bus was also known as a TC1000. They were a Type 'D' FE bus but on a very light duty chassis and axles.

To find a Handy Bus with only 100K miles that is 13-years old seems to be very unusual. That works out to a lot less than 10,000 miles per year.

If the bus hasn't been run in some time it wouldn't surprise me that the transmission dipstick doesn't show anything. You need to check that when the engine is running.

But I would agree about cracking the drain plugs a seeing if they are bone dry. If they are bone dry I would not walk away from it. I would run away very quickly unless the bus was given to me for no cost.

It most likely has a Cummins ISB and Allison 1000 power package. The engine is probably set at around 160-190 HP.

It should make a pretty decent conversion if you can get it for the right price.

Good luck!
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