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Author Topic: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird  (Read 9575 times)

LeMond

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Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« on: November 07, 2011, 03:16:47 PM »
As of last week we became the proud owners of our bus. While I have been a big fan of the school bus conversions for a long time (I'm a mom, safety won me over), my husband recently became a convert as well. She was previously used as a School bus, and a Band bus (the pictures are of her musical past). We will be starting the motor-home renovations as soon as we get her back from the mechanics. She has a Cummings 5.9L with an auto 4 speed Allison.  Right now she is being fitted for brake shoes, front brake seals, tranny coolant line, radiator hose, and we are trying to figure out where all that white smoke is coming from. We have looked into the smoke issue on the web and need feedback from those in the know. So far the list is: fuel-air mix, fuel filter, fuel inj. pump, pre-heater not working properly, and the timing. Just to clarify the issue, she smokes like a chimney when she is first started for aprox. 5-10 minutes, runs a little rough for a few minutes, then she smooths out and the smoke becomes a small amount (hardly noticeable).We also believe the seals have dried out because of the oil leakage. She has been parked for a while due to the Band acquiring their new bus, so ........ DH drove her from FT. Worth, TX  to Lakeland, FL without any problems (except for the mosquito fogger effect on morning start-ups). Also, the previous owner said she was 32 ft, but measured bumper to bumper she is 33.11 ft. Where in the vin will I be able to get the correct length. The plate in the bus said capacity of 72. Thanks in advance for all your help....Chester and Chell (CnC)
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Chester & Chell (CnC)
1989 Blue Bird
Enjoying the sun in Florida

Barefoot311

  • Posts: 2
Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 11:47:06 PM »
Very cool.  I have always liked the way these have turned out and have seen some that were really done right!  What are you guys planning for the inside?  I would love to see some more photos.

Are you guys keeping the same paint scheme or going with a new paint job?

topdownman

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 08:10:51 AM »
Don't know much about diesel's, but found this on the net:

Cummins are notorious for smoking.

Replaced full quote with link to source.
 
« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 09:49:40 AM by Tom »
______________________________________
Mark & Tina Anderson
Paisley, Cookie & Riley - The Beagle Babies
FMCA 351514 - Louisville, KY
2007 Sportscoach Pathfinder 377DS - Freightliner XC
2006 Jeep Commander

LeMond

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 02:44:06 PM »
Thanks Topdownman  :)  The mechanic checked the injectors and they all seem to be good so.....I really don't want to think about the cost of a new (or rebuilt) fuel (lift) pump. The cost of the parts won't be excessive, it's all the labor costs of "finding the problem" that are eating up the budget. Hopefully  the fuel/air mix and a new filter will clear up the problem.

Barefoot311--- The plan is to put in a rear bedroom, full bath, 13yr. olds sleeping/privacy quarters, kitchen and salon. We have to change a lot of what the band did in order to make it full-time ready. Right now there is not a kitchen of any sort, and the bathroom is a port-a-potty. This worked well in her previous life as a band bus, but, mama needs a kitchen and a working bathroom. We know we need to work on the outside skin, and DH wants to increase the understorage areas, so eventually a paint job will be in order. I am thinking a Pearl Baby Blue above the diamond cut steel. The exterior will have to wait...we have so much to do on the inside and right now the budget is going up in smoke  LOL
Mosquito fogger for rent anyone???   ;)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chester & Chell (CnC)
1989 Blue Bird
Enjoying the sun in Florida

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2011, 02:50:47 PM »
Wow capacity 72?  Where will you add all the beds?  If it measures 33 +, that iis the length, FL tags are based on GVW, so what number are you trying to get to?

Conversion can be fun or scary.  The budget number? Double it, then add more as needed.

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2011, 03:06:13 PM »
A normal bus would have two rows of 20 seats depending on length,, skool busses for kids count a third seat per row, so 72 divided by 3 = 24 seats.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.
President Western GM Coach chapter FMCA

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2011, 06:19:16 PM »
I unerstand the seats of course, just TIC on the 72 beds, thought it might paradise for a terrorist. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

LeMond

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2011, 10:53:32 PM »
PancakeBill we realized that the budget was an imaginary thing when we were working on our 84 Pace Arrow, but we can dream .......  the weight on the title states 15,800 so is that good or bad for this size bus? I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the GRVW was 32,000. That will leave plenty of room for the weight of tanks, fridge, etc... after the Pace Arrow we are pretty sure of what we want in the bus, and are making sure everything will have a purpose 10 years from now (13 yr olds space will be storage, freezer, w/d) so that the bus will still suit our needs in the future.  Bill I have a question for you, Did you at one time own a Norton Commando? I was with my dad in 67 or 68 when he bought his  ;D  My brother now has the bike and rides it often.....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chester & Chell (CnC)
1989 Blue Bird
Enjoying the sun in Florida

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
    • WorKamping in Yellowstone
Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2011, 08:41:59 AM »
Yes, I did, but I never had the chance to ride it.  Bought it to restore, got most of the way thru and went fulltime, had no place to keep it, so sold the project.

Cool bikes, but finding a good guy to work on it is a challenge. 


In fact, because of doing the Yellowstone workcamping thing, I sold my rider bike too, a Vstar classic 1100. 

The only caution I would give on this bus is the ength with no slides, it will be a little tight.  Space utilization will be topmost consideration. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

LeMond

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2011, 03:12:31 PM »
My dad was lucky in knowing someone good in bike repair. Harold from Flint Indian Sales was one of my dad's best friends. Dad used to race his Norton,.....lots of trophy's.  Back to the bus...well it was the injection pump. That is an expensive little thing, however after doing some research on the web, the mechanics' price is cheaper than anything I found. After I get her home the demo will begin...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chester & Chell (CnC)
1989 Blue Bird
Enjoying the sun in Florida

Jackliz

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 07:28:25 PM »
I can't "see" that file, bus.docx. When I open it with MS Word, version 2003, I see garbage.


Congrats on your purchase of a Blue Bird.

Liz Pearce
Regards,
Jack and Liz Pearce and Oreo the Escape Cat
Fulltiming in a 1993 Wanderlodge WB 40 ft
Dhanis, TX - Winter
Buena Vista, CO - Summer

Dar

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2011, 08:58:33 AM »
I can't "see" that file, bus.docx. When I open it with MS Word, version 2003, I see garbage.
Liz, Excel 03 can't recognize Excel 07 but I went ahead and converted it to a pdf for OP so it is more user friendly for others to view ;) .
Dar & Bill
2012 Winnebago Journey 40U
2013 Chevy Avalanche Z71 4X4
Blue Ox baseplate
Ready Brute tow bar w/integrated Ready Brake & Breakaway

Molaker

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    • Pumpkin and Us
Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2011, 09:11:56 AM »
I can't "see" that file, bus.docx. When I open it with MS Word, version 2003, I see garbage.
For future reference, you can add the "Compatibily Pack" from Microsoft which will allow you to open Office 2007 files with an earlier version of Office such as 2003.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

LeMond

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2011, 09:24:39 AM »
I,m sorry Liz, I'm still not sure how to upload pics so they show up like thumbnails. Thanks Dar for changing the format, hopefully I will get the hang of it  :)  Molaker, will this work with all earlier versions? (thinking DH's old, but won't get rid of computer)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chester & Chell (CnC)
1989 Blue Bird
Enjoying the sun in Florida

Ned

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2011, 09:30:28 AM »
Or get Libre Office which can open all the Office formats.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Molaker

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    • Pumpkin and Us
Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2011, 09:31:31 AM »
I,m sorry Liz, I'm still not sure how to upload pics so they show up like thumbnails. Thanks Dar for changing the format, hopefully I will get the hang of it  :)  Molaker, will this work with all earlier versions? (thinking DH's old, but won't get rid of computer)
I have used it with Office 2000, but I'm not sure about earlier versions.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

Jarlaxle

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2011, 06:24:21 AM »
As of last week we became the proud owners of our bus. While I have been a big fan of the school bus conversions for a long time (I'm a mom, safety won me over), my husband recently became a convert as well. She was previously used as a School bus, and a Band bus (the pictures are of her musical past). We will be starting the motor-home renovations as soon as we get her back from the mechanics. She has a Cummings 5.9L with an auto 4 speed Allison.  Right now she is being fitted for brake shoes, front brake seals, tranny coolant line, radiator hose, and we are trying to figure out where all that white smoke is coming from. We have looked into the smoke issue on the web and need feedback from those in the know. So far the list is: fuel-air mix, fuel filter, fuel inj. pump, pre-heater not working properly, and the timing. Just to clarify the issue, she smokes like a chimney when she is first started for aprox. 5-10 minutes, runs a little rough for a few minutes, then she smooths out and the smoke becomes a small amount (hardly noticeable).We also believe the seals have dried out because of the oil leakage. She has been parked for a while due to the Band acquiring their new bus, so ........ DH drove her from FT. Worth, TX  to Lakeland, FL without any problems (except for the mosquito fogger effect on morning start-ups). Also, the previous owner said she was 32 ft, but measured bumper to bumper she is 33.11 ft. Where in the vin will I be able to get the correct length. The plate in the bus said capacity of 72. Thanks in advance for all your help....Chester and Chell (CnC)

There is no pre-heater on most Cummins 5.9's...only the Dodge pickups used them, I recall.  I drove three shuttle buses with 12-valve 5.9's and my F-350 has a 5.9, none have heaters.  They will smoke and sputter when cold, it's normal.  Don't idle it, drive it gently until it has warmed up.

GVWr is PROBABLY somewhere around 25,000-28,000lbs.  There are two info tags you need to find.  One is usually above the driver's seat: that one has the VIN, build date & location, tire & rim size, vehicle and axle weight ratings, and recommended tire pressures.  The other is above the windshield, usually on the passenger side, and has, IIRC, engine type & serial number, transmission serian number, and rear axle serial number and gear ratio.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 06:27:31 AM by Jarlaxle »
John (and my wife Liz)
With three crazy cats & one lazy dog
1993 International Genesis school bus conversion

Jackliz

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Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2011, 07:40:56 PM »
Liz, Excel 03 can't recognize Excel 07 but I went ahead and converted it to a pdf for OP so it is more user friendly for others to view ;) .

Thank you. Your bus is quite attractive. Nice color.

Regards,
Liz
Regards,
Jack and Liz Pearce and Oreo the Escape Cat
Fulltiming in a 1993 Wanderlodge WB 40 ft
Dhanis, TX - Winter
Buena Vista, CO - Summer

Harveyj

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  • Posts: 154
Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2011, 12:33:25 PM »
Are you planning on raising the roof?
Nice bus...good luck.
2003 Winnebago Minnie 29B
Boise, Idaho

LeMond

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  • Work in progress
Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2011, 07:50:27 PM »
No we have decided not to raise the roof. I do not like the idea of compromising the strength of the side ribs, and my DH agrees. We are not tall people, so the roof height really isn't an issue for us. Besides, I like the idea of being able to wash the ceiling without standing on a ladder  ;D
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chester & Chell (CnC)
1989 Blue Bird
Enjoying the sun in Florida

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
    • WorKamping in Yellowstone
Re: Our 1989 Flat-nosed Blue Bird
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2011, 08:27:33 AM »
Saw one in Quartzsite with a VW van, from just below the window line up, worked in.  Made a nice solarium effect.  Does make it a bit odd however.  And I have a VW van.  Just not one stuck to the top of my motorhome.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

 

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