Diesel in Bluebird school bus ?

Discussion in 'Diesel Tech' started by Russ McLean, Oct 25, 2001.


  1. Russ McLean

    Russ McLean High Wheeler

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    The local school district has 5 Bluebird buses on auction this weekend. they are 84 passenger, years are 78/78/80/84/86. I won't be able to inspect untill tomorrow. Did they come with IH engines?
     
  2. Russ McLean

    Russ McLean High Wheeler

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    No IH engines

    Thanks to the Diesel Talk guys for answering my questions on Thursday nights !

    Just came back from the auction in Sierra Vista, AZ (south west of Tombstone). The results on the 83/84 passenger buses (all had auto trannys):

    '78 - 427 Chevy V8 with remanufactured sticker on valve cover, dead battery wouldn't start - $1100
    '78 - started, BB Chevy V8, impressive pile of rodent poop on the air cleaner, compressor for air brakes making odd noises, pressure would not come up - $1200
    '80 - Cummings 6 cyl turbo, quick start and a smooth idle. Turbo unit looked recent, 6388 hours on engine. My pick of the litter, but my wallet was much to thin - $2100
    84 - BB Chevy V8, sounded like it was running on 7 cyl, otherwise in good shape - $1600
    86 - BB Chevy V8, slight miss, my (non expert) pick for the best gas bus - $1500

    Also,
    82 Chevy nosed 53 passenger bus, Cummings turbo, another quick start and smooth idle. This was the local handycap bus with a wheelchair lift. It was used in this neighborhood until last month, until they switched to a van. - $2200

    We left, grabbed some fast food, fed the 392 (again) and came home.

    Marian & Russ
     
  3. Dennis Bernth

    Dennis Bernth Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Bus prices

    Russ, the 2 grand neighborhood for the turbo Cummins buses sounds like a pretty good deal (although I know how it is when good deals come by and you don't have the ability to reach out and grab one!). If they are the same as the Dodge cummmins, I think the engine alone may be worth those prices, forget the rest of the bus.
     
  4. Allan E

    Allan E Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Cummins

    Dennis-

    Lots of folks do that very thing. Usually, a diesel engine in good shape, used, is more than the whole vehicle. Binders are a good example of this phenomenon. Travelalls and pickups are cheap, but try buying an SV engine.

    Russ was looking for a replacement for my DV550, which I recently blew up. I was figuring that any vehicle with the engine in it would be fine if it was cheap enough, and a bus would have the added attraction of being useable as a storage space on my property in eastern AZ.

    No such luck, yet, but the more I think about it, the more likely I am to buy any bus that will make the trip up there and park, providing I can get it cheap. A diesel would be preferred because it would make an awesome well pump and even a backup generator.

    -Allan
     
  5. Dennis Bernth

    Dennis Bernth Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Just the wrong place....

    Allan, I kind of figured that was what was up- a Cummins isn't an IH, but it wouldn't be bad either, however I know you want to avoid hassles with modification- don't blame you a bit there, I'm the same way myself. I guess when you talk about SV engines, you just are in the wrong place- here there are WAY more engines than trucks to put them in! Course, our problem is the trucks rust away to nothing while the engine is just getting it's first hundred thousand on it. I have three parts Scouts with SV engines in them- I have had one running (briefly), the other two I haven't even attempted to crank- no need, I have a good 345 sitting on the garage floor. I also have another three trucks to bring home whenever I get room, and THOSE all have engines in them too, one supposedly low mileage. Your problem out there is just the opposite- wide open spaces, lots of miles, dry weather so minimal rust, and the body outlasts the engine. Tellya what, I will trade you three 345SV's for one rust free Scout body.....second thought, forget it, I have one sitting at Scoutman SV's place I haven't picked up yet:D
     
  6. Allan E

    Allan E Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Rusty bodies

    Dennis-

    In a note of irony, I just traded an L100 for a scout frame, axles, and powertrain to Marv Sprowl. Dennis Carr brought the scout out to me from IN. I just provided Eldon McFarling with a scout 80 and a rust free scout II body, both with axles and steering gear, over the summer. It all keeps showing up, a little at a time.

    I haven't really looked for the replacement engine very hard because I have too much to do, and winter will be here in a few weeks. No way I am going to try to swap a 1200+ lb engine when it is cold, although I might get the bus into position and yank the old one if it is not too cold. I haven't measured yet, but the engine hoist can't be fully extended for a load this heavy, and I don't even know if it will reach. The good part is that the front clip tilts forward for service and it is all removable with 6 bolts at the hinges. Awesome design. I wish it were so easy with a scout.

    -Allan
     

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