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Buzz Nichols 02-01-2019 03:21 PM

Hi from central Utah
 
Hi everybody,

I teach at a boarding school in rural central Utah. Since the school is so isolated, the teachers here need to have CDL's. Most of the teachers here have class C (Shorty) certifications, but I went ahead and got the class B (air brakes), so I've spent a bunch of time driving the school's three full size busses. Now, they're ready to retire one, and I've decided to get it.

It's a 1994 Bluebird All American 84 passenger with just under 200k miles on the Cummins 8.3. The nicest thing about it (other than the fact the business office has readily agreed to take the asking price out of my salary over the course of several months) is that it's got new tires all around.

This will be my 2nd skoolie. My 1st was a '74 International mid-length (I don't recall the passenger rating) gasser that I had in the 90's.

I've been lurking here for a little while collecting ideas that I like (Roof raising and hydronic heat, to name a couple), and I'll start a build thread as soon as time and weather permits.

See you around,

Buzz Nichols

EastCoastCB 02-01-2019 03:49 PM

Sounds like a really great bus.
Welcome, Buzz.

FamilyCircus 02-01-2019 03:59 PM

Welcome From Norther Utah
 
Welcome Buzz
Im building a bus in Erda, Utah by Tooele.

Perhaps we should do a Utah Skoolie meetup theres a few of us here in Utah

Buzz Nichols 02-01-2019 04:04 PM

Do you have any insights about the RV salvage yard up in Tooele? I'm wondering whether I should set up an appointment up there.

FamilyCircus 02-01-2019 06:47 PM

Tooele RV
 
I think its a guy just tearing them apart in his yard. If you need some stuff, Ive got a slide in that Im taking apart.

Elliot Naess 02-01-2019 09:57 PM

That is just about the Dream Bus, Buzz!

All American is the "deLuxe" version of Blue Bird, which may be the best brand of school bus, and the 8.3 engine is a much-sought-after upgrade from the far more common 5.9.
And I bet the school buys tires for well below retail.

I kind'a just "had to" congratulate you on that bus.

And welcome you to the forum!

Buzz Nichols 02-02-2019 10:46 AM

Thanks, Elliot!

I was starting to suspect that this was a particularly desiable bus (not just compared to the POS I had in the 90's), what with the big Cummins and the retarder (for these nutty Utah roads), and I'm getting more and more excited to get going on it.
I'll definitely be looking to pick your brain about a number of things, as your build strikes me as a real exemplar.

Family Circus:

That sounds awesome! The only actual RV parts I'm sure I'll be wanting are a toilet and some windows; I expect to go with mostly household stuff otherwise. If it's cool, I'll start shooting you PM's about specifics as the scope and sequence of my plans become more clear.

family wagon 02-02-2019 11:59 AM

Welcome! Sounds like you've found a great platform to build on and good-as-it-gets insight to the bus condition and sales terms. In case you get out to Salt Lake County some time and want to see a Blue Bird with a roof raise (still in an utterly unfinished state), give me a shout.

Elliot Naess 02-02-2019 03:35 PM

A retarder also! What kind? Electric (Telma or similar), exhaust, or "Jake" type? (I don't know if they make a Jake for the 8.3.)

EastCoastCB 02-02-2019 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elliot Naess (Post 308524)
A retarder also! What kind? Electric (Telma or similar), exhaust, or "Jake" type? (I don't know if they make a Jake for the 8.3.)

There are also hydraulic retarders built into some auto transmissions.

Elliot Naess 02-02-2019 03:52 PM

...as well as hydraulic retarders attached to the engine, using the engine oil. Haven't seen any in recent decades, though.

Buzz Nichols 02-02-2019 07:09 PM

...And that's what it's got.

Good call, CB.

Buzz Nichols 02-02-2019 07:10 PM

Whoops. I replied just as another post came in. It's the hydraulic, at-the-back-of-the-tranny kind.

Buzz Nichols 02-07-2019 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by family wagon (Post 308486)
Welcome! Sounds like you've found a great platform to build on and good-as-it-gets insight to the bus condition and sales terms. In case you get out to Salt Lake County some time and want to see a Blue Bird with a roof raise (still in an utterly unfinished state), give me a shout.

I just looked through your build thread, and I would absolutely love to stop around and see your machine! I've got a house up in SLC, but it's a little hit-or-miss when I get up there, and whether I'll have any time to spare when I do.

I'll let you know when I'm likely to be in your neck of the woods (probably after the weather calms down a little.)

synestine 02-13-2019 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buzz Nichols (Post 308367)
Hi everybody,



I teach at a boarding school in rural central Utah. Since the school is so isolated, the teachers here need to have CDL's. Most of the teachers here have class C (Shorty) certifications, but I went ahead and got the class B (air brakes), so I've spent a bunch of time driving the school's three full size busses. Now, they're ready to retire one, and I've decided to get it.



It's a 1994 Bluebird All American 84 passenger with just under 200k miles on the Cummins 8.3. The nicest thing about it (other than the fact the business office has readily agreed to take the asking price out of my salary over the course of several months) is that it's got new tires all around.



This will be my 2nd skoolie. My 1st was a '74 International mid-length (I don't recall the passenger rating) gasser that I had in the 90's.



I've been lurking here for a little while collecting ideas that I like (Roof raising and hydronic heat, to name a couple), and I'll start a build thread as soon as time and weather permits.



See you around,



Buzz Nichols

Welcome to the madness! I'm in the Salt Lake valley and bought a very similar bus. Mine's a TC2000 RE with a Cummins 8.3TA and an Alison push-button (I think it's the 3000 series) from a local district. No retarder though.

I don't have much else to add other than I would love to exchange info, ideas, suggestions, etc. with local skoolie people. I'm always on the lookout for local components, places to pick up parts, and shops to do the things I can't.

FamilyCircus 02-13-2019 09:13 PM

Wasatch Front GTG
 
We need a Wasatch front get to gether. Dean lives in Provo, Im in Tooele county. We have a growing skoolie community in this area and we should do a skoolie camp out or something.

Buzz Nichols 02-13-2019 10:47 PM

I'm down in Mt. Pleasant (45 minutes South of Spanish Fork on 89). It's great to hear there's a crop of skoolie folk up in the beehive.

Cactus Jack 02-14-2019 03:05 AM

Buzz, you're in Mt. Pleasant? Cool. I'm about 12 miles from ya in Ephraim. No skoolie yet, but...you can also go down south to Aurora and see if Country Auto Salvage (435.539.3211) has much, then a couple miles further south to Sigurd and see what Dwight's Recycling (435.893.2020) has anything (and man, they have a LOT!) or go up to Nephi and see what Nephi Auto Wrecking & Recycling (435.623.2200) has. If that fails, I know a few other guys that used to have wrecking yards and we can see what they think.

Buzz Nichols 02-14-2019 09:36 AM

First time ever the adjective "cool" has been used to describe Mount Pleasant ;)

Thanks so much for the list of salvage contacts. I'm sure I'll wind up visiting all of them before all is said and done.

Seeing as you're so nearby, is there a specific kind/size/vintage of bus I should be on the lookout for on your behalf?

Cheers,

Buzz

Buzz Nichols 02-14-2019 10:49 AM

Here's a question for the native Utahns:

I know there's a big "prepper" culture here, and an attendant abundance of military surplus shops. Does anybody know if there's a place around that carries surplus diesel cookstoves? I'd love to completely avoid any dependence on propane, and that might very well get me there.

thanks,

Buzz


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