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Old 02-26-2019, 12:46 AM   #1
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The Restless Texan's new toy

Just thought I'd drop in and send greetings from Keller, TX

And introduce my newest acquisition - 1989 Blue Bird flat nose w/ cummins turbo diesel - This thing PURRs! Loving it so far!

Of course next comes the fun part..... renovating it and turning it into HOME.

And conveniently enough - long time friend of mine had a secure lot for me to store it in, complete with remote access to the cameras so I can keep an eye on my new "Skoolie" remotely (I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact I'm the system admin for his voice, data, and security network....LOL)

Hurdle #1 - insurance and title transfer.... seemed like it would be scary at first, until I read several other Texan's accounts of their experiences with TxDOT on this subject... so looking forward to this build.

-Andy
The Restless Texan
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:51 AM   #2
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Year: 2002
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Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Welcome to the site, and to the neighborhood! We live in Hurst.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:58 AM   #3
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Thanks! So first question I think - and mainly because you're local to my area - any idea where a good place to dispose of the seats would be in the D/FW area? Any chance of getting a little $$ from them, or should I just assume they'll be hauled to the dump or a scrap yard?
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:05 AM   #4
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Whoa .. you sure are a Restless Texan, pardner!


Quote:
Originally Posted by restlesstexan View Post
Thanks! So first question I think - and mainly because you're local to my area - any idea where a good place to dispose of the seats would be in the D/FW area? Any chance of getting a little $$ from them, or should I just assume they'll be hauled to the dump or a scrap yard?

We took ours to American Recyclers on Main just south of Meacham Field. Yes, we did get a few bucks for them, about $50.00 I recall. However, before you recycle them, consider that they are a great source of metal for making stuff.


Hit me up when you are getting into the removal and I *may* be interested in lending a hand. Two sets of hands makes that ob so much easier.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:52 AM   #5
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- This thing PURRs! Loving it so far!
Well of COURSE it purrs. It's a Blue Bird!

When I was driving for the Clarksville\Montgomery County School System, (CMCSS) here in Clarksville, TN, I actually got to drive a wide variety of buses. When a driver first gets hired here, they don't give him/her a dedicated route. Rather, that driver will be substituting for drivers that are out sick or otherwise. The buses of course, will stay with the route because that's what the kids see and recognize. So when you're new, you have no idea WHAT you will be driving each day you go into work. So, when I was new, I got to drive short buses, long buses, flat nosed buses and dog nosed buses. Sometimes I even drove mini vans. It didn't take long that I began to formulate my own ideas as to what type of buses I preferred and my reasons why.

As far as I am concerned, when it comes to school buses, there are Blue Birds and then there are all the others. I think that Thomas buses are ok... but just.

Also, I had a really good friend that was a mechanic for CMCSS and I got a lot of input from him. He also preferred the Blue Birds.

You have here a very good skoolie. Take good care of it and it will take good care of you.

BTW, you're going to be blown away at how tight that baby will negociate a cul-de-sac. It will turn on a dime. Remember, SQUARE YOUR CORNERS! AND BE CAREFUL OF THE WAY YOUR TAIL SWINGS!
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:11 AM   #6
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Nice bus!!. How many miles are on that, if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:39 AM   #7
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Welcome, Fellow texan here too. Just starting my journey as well. Look forward to following your progress
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
Whoa .. you sure are a Restless Texan, pardner!





We took ours to American Recyclers on Main just south of Meacham Field. Yes, we did get a few bucks for them, about $50.00 I recall. However, before you recycle them, consider that they are a great source of metal for making stuff.


Hit me up when you are getting into the removal and I *may* be interested in lending a hand. Two sets of hands makes that ob so much easier.
Thanks for the offer!

Might have to hit you up on seat chopping day, then! LOL I've got my 15 year old son to help, but won't turn down extra hands - I'd for sure buy you lunch & a beer! LOL

My next purchase for it is gonna have to be some tires, drivers side rear outer tire has a circular crack running nearly the complete circumference of the rim, about 2 inches out from the bead.... was a bit unnerving the day we brought it home knowing the condition of that tire, so we just took it real slow, with a pilot vehicle running a short bit ahead of the bus the whole way home..... kept it under 55 - although the bus seems capable of more, just didn't want to chance it with that tire!

So, since I'm on a bit of a budget and deadline, my thinking being, if anyone in the NE Tarrant county area sells decent quality used tires, I plan to just replace the ones absolutely necessary so we can do a "soft conversion" just to get it titled as a MH, but will FOR SURE replace with NEW tires all the way around before it hits the road fulltime.

So if you know a good place around here, chime in anytime!

Thanks amigo!
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:25 PM   #9
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Nice bus!!. How many miles are on that, if you don't mind me asking?
IIRC it's around 200k, I'll check the odometer again next time I'm at the secure lot where it's stored.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:26 PM   #10
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Welcome, Fellow texan here too. Just starting my journey as well. Look forward to following your progress
HA! How funny, I noticed you're in Burleson, we drove from Cleburne, to Keller Sunday afternoon with it, so if you happened to be out on 174 around 5pm that day, might have seen us and didn't know it ;)
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by restlesstexan View Post
HA! How funny, I noticed you're in Burleson, we drove from Cleburne, to Keller Sunday afternoon with it, so if you happened to be out on 174 around 5pm that day, might have seen us and didn't know it ;)
It seems most folks do not notice school busses. I noticed we have been seeing them more now that we have one.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:11 PM   #12
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too funny. I work in cleburne. Where did you get it?
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:18 PM   #13
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Beinvenitos from Houston! --- I'm a Bird Man from way back even though my current project is a Wayne/Chevy.


Coupla' quik recs...


If the tranny is an Allie At545 (most likely)...invest in a good transmission cooler and fluid temp gauge. They are far from the best trans for a big bus, but when properly cared for can last a lifetime. Just keep it from getting hot.


Also...look into dialing up that 6BT. If it is a 12 valve with a Bosch, in-line pump...you can bring the HP and the torque up quite a bit without anything but a screwdriver and an hour or two. Just make sure not to exceed the input rating on the transmission. And the bonus is more mpg's more often than not. Chat some of the Cummins gurus over on 4btswaps.com. Great bunch of very savvy, experienced & helpful folks. Reminds me a lot of this place.


Have fun with the build!
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:37 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the input thus far y'all! Spent last couple of days trying to get insurance for this beast.... without much luck, so didn't want to pester y'all with this - but looks like I may need to.

Who in Texas, and if possible, right here in DFW, will get this thing insured relatively quickly? Won't be able to get it to tire shop, or inspection station, etc, until it's insured. We took a bit of a chance to get it to where it's at now by relying on the whole "30 days from a new purchase" clause in my current auto policy, but don't want to take that risk again. Likely will need what the progressive folks seem to call commercial for personal use.... but I've called about 3 of the progressive agents thus far, one wouldn't touch it, the second swore they'd call me back, and even after I called them a couple times to check, still has failed to call me back, which seems to me they're just not interested...

So figured I'd check here and see if anyone (I'm sure there is) has done this recently, here in Texas and could point me to an agent who ACTUALLY WANTS my business? LOL

Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by restlesstexan View Post
Thanks for all the input thus far y'all! Spent last couple of days trying to get insurance for this beast.... without much luck, so didn't want to pester y'all with this - but looks like I may need to.

Who in Texas, and if possible, right here in DFW, will get this thing insured relatively quickly? Won't be able to get it to tire shop, or inspection station, etc, until it's insured. We took a bit of a chance to get it to where it's at now by relying on the whole "30 days from a new purchase" clause in my current auto policy, but don't want to take that risk again. Likely will need what the progressive folks seem to call commercial for personal use.... but I've called about 3 of the progressive agents thus far, one wouldn't touch it, the second swore they'd call me back, and even after I called them a couple times to check, still has failed to call me back, which seems to me they're just not interested...

So figured I'd check here and see if anyone (I'm sure there is) has done this recently, here in Texas and could point me to an agent who ACTUALLY WANTS my business? LOL

Thanks!
Using the "30 days from new purchase is not taking a risk at all. It is intended for just this purpose, getting home without a hassle.
It seems common that you et turned down by Progressive if going directly through them. But independent agents don't seem to have a problem getting the policy from Progressive. Mine is through Progressive and I pay $171/yr.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:32 PM   #16
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Ours is a "commercial vehicle for personal use" policy through Progressive Commertial. The key is to talk to the "commertial" division @ 1-800-444-4487 and to use the "commercia vehicle for personal use" phrase. Ours is a liability-only policy and cost us around $1,600.00 for a year (and must be paid a year in advance). They lowered it after 2 years. Once it is converted, we will be able to get motorhome insurance.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:44 PM   #17
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Ours is a "commercial vehicle for personal use" policy through Progressive Commertial. The key is to talk to the "commertial" division @ 1-800-444-4487 and to use the "commercia vehicle for personal use" phrase. Ours is a liability-only policy and cost us around $1,600.00 for a year (and must be paid a year in advance). They lowered it after 2 years. Once it is converted, we will be able to get motorhome insurance.
I had talked to the agent about getting on a monthly plan so if I needed to cancel early I wouldn't get stuck for a full years premium. When he said my yearly total was $171 I didn't blink twice, asked no questions and paid in full for the year.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:22 AM   #18
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Bus is INSURED, and now has been moved to a lot within WALKING DISTANCE from my current apartment....

Progressive is exactly where it ended up....

MAJOR KUDOS to Chris Randel w/ All Coverage Insurance in Watauga... used to office next door to this guy, and can't believe I didn't think of calling him sooner!

Anyways, so we got the bus insured finally, and can now move it around without fear of a major ticket, or worse, an accident.

If anyone wants Chris's info PM me I'm sure he'd be fine with the additional business.

-Andy
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:29 PM   #19
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New mission -

So the lease on my apartment ends May 16th, which means I have to give notice of intent to vacate no later than March 16th..... while I'm sure we can have a "barely livable" conversion done by the end of our lease, the more I thought about it, and looked at other builds, the more I'm leaning towards finding another spot to rent for s short bit longer, but on something like an inexpensive small house or trailer on a small rural lot so I can park the buses (Yes, I intend on getting a second one - doing a labor swap with friend who does carpentry work, I'll snag the bus for them in return for equivalent amount of hourly labor) onsite and do the conversion fully and properly including insulation, etc....

So I'm looking for such a rental, but for this idea to make sense, it HAS to be half or less, than what I'm paying here in Keller for my 3 br, which is $1600/mo!!! So I'm looking in the sub-800/mo neighborhood, I'm not picky on location since my work is all remote, just need internet. Only other thing I'm taking into consideration is for the parties involved, there will be visits with family in Brenham, TX, as well as my daughter who will be going to school in Lubbock (Texas Tech, she'll be staying in the dorms and coming to visit Dad every so often) So I have to keep those cities within several hours drive from wherever we end up.

If anyone on here has such property or knows of one, I'm the guy who's ALWAYS either EARLY with my rent, or right on time. Just sayin

I'm also open to other possible solutions to this particular dilemma, so even if you don't have a rental property to suggest, etc, I'll still gladly take any other type of suggested solution into consideration.

-Andy
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:29 PM   #20
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Try National Genera Insurance Co.(old GMAC) I pay about $300 a year.
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