1973 Blue Bird

Discussions about all things to do with buses, trucks, and the homes made within them.

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Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

1973 Blue Bird

Post by Rudy »

(edit) Before we begin, I would like to point out that there are many pages to this "show and tell". After you have scrolled down to the bottom of one page, look for the word "next". Click on that, and it will take you to the next page.

Keep in mind that this is an ever expanding report, so check back often to see the newest stuff that has been done to this machine.

(This is Rudy, having traveled back in time, to give you this information). Oh, you didn't know that I was a Slider? Now, back to your regularly scheduled program.



Hi, My name is Rudy and I recently bought this bus. I have been living in vehicles for thirty years. I have had many different types.

This is my first day of posting and I already posted on the other forum. I see, however, that this is where the most people are posting. I am excited about sharing all I know about being an "urban camper".

I have been building the interior of this bus for four months now and have come a long way. I will gladly post photos of the inside as I believe that many of you would like to hear my stories and see the many pictures I have of the bus.

Here are two of the outside. It has a 3208 Cat diesel and Allison 4 speed automatic. (correction) I found out later in my postings that the motor is, in fact, the 1160 Cat diesel. It was the precursor to the 3208.

I just came back in time to notify you. You can see photos of it towards the last pages of this forum thread.

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Last edited by Rudy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:11 pm, edited 8 times in total.

deltasonics
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:59 am
Location: Gloucester, NC
Contact:

Post by deltasonics »

Hey Rudy, welcome to the forum. Nice "Bird". The chrome exhaust stacks add about 10 mph to the top end don't they.

I've got a Crown that's getting a humble but comfortable living space installed. I look forward to seeing what you've done so far.

I managed to post a few pics of my progress so far. My woodworking skills are at the apprentice/journeyman level so I have to take my time to keep from making expensive mistakes.

I'm in Eastern North Carolina near Cape Lookout. It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.

Good luck getting your images hosted. Can't wait to see your layout.

Bill
Things are more like they are now, than they ever have been.

Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

Top End

Post by Rudy »

Hi Bill, I asked a diesel mechanic friend of mine to come look at this bus with me. We drove 100 miles in my little pickup truck to go see it. He said it was a honey, so I bought it.

As we were about to leave, he gets in my truck and asks,"ready to go?". I looked at him with trepidation and said,"I was hoping that you would drive it back".

I was somewhat intimidated by the machine at first. He agreed. I followed him on the highway and I was amazed that I sometimes could not keep up with him. He was going 75 mph at times. I was impressed.

So yes there is a lot of speed in this bus. I did not think that it was all that stable at those speeds, yet he managed to stay in one lane. Personally, 65 is fast enough for me.

It got great fuel mileage. I bet it is over 10 mpg. I don't know yet as I have not done any traveling with it.

I have many photos of the rebuild. When I got it, it had been used as an emergency response vehicle. It had lots of chairs and command desks as well as four bunks, a kitchen and bathroom. I have kept the kitchen and toilet and will be installing a shower in the bathroom.

The motorhome you see in one of the pictures is what I lived in before this bus. I am parting it out and have salvaged the generator (4.0 Onan), fridge, gas tank for the gen.,12 volt lights, roof airs, and more.

I have LOTS of pictures of the inside build.

Oh, by the way, those stacks are hard pipe dual exhausts from the engine, back.

Thanks for your interest in my bus. Yesterday was my first post on the forum. I'm not quite sure how many pics I should post at one time. I have many. It would be nice if I could make a presentation in chronological order of the build.

I will go through my photos and arrange them. For now, here are a few. Rudy

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Last edited by Rudy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:15 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Sharkey
Original Founder
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Post by Sharkey »

Wow, exhaust stack envy... :oops:

Don't worry about the number of photos you post. They are sized just right for the forum (not too many pixels wide, that whacks out the formatting and makes the page have a scroll bar for side-to-side). There's no additional load on my server from your images, so load them up.

You're also welcome to make a sort-of-blog chronicle of your construction progress here, that's what AccordGuy has been doing with his solar system install in "Just getting started". You can just keep replying to this topic thread if you want to keep posting under the same topic title, might make it a little bit easier to keep it cronological.

I ended up driving my Crown home the same day as the test drive, late on a Sunday evening with no tools onboard. I was nervous too, mostly afraid of a flat tire or other breakdown with no support vehicle. The Crown drove so easy that it became almost boring after about the first 40 miles or so. Then it sat for eleven years and I had to learn to drive it all over again. Caught on pretty quickly, having driven the Housetruck on and off for 35 years, you don't lose the "large vehicle" awareness behind the wheel.

Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

Thanks for the photo posting info. Rudy

Post by Rudy »

Thanks Sharkey. All my pictures are that size. After work today, I will organize my photos and post some with explanations of what is in them.

How can I get a cool icon like I see when you and AccordGuy post replies? Perhaps an accordion.

I have a 75 watt Seimens panel, 20 amp controller, and four six volt golf cart batteries that I will be removing from the Dodge motorhome that I am dismantling. I also have a cheap 700 watt inverter that I don't use and will upgrade to at least a 1kw sine wave for the reasons that AccordGuy mentioned.(noisy audio).

Gotta get ready for work now. I build the interiors of tour buses (mostly Prevost), some MCI, and we have a Neoplan double decker on the floor as well. I do all the solid surface stuff. It is the icing on the cake. People ask why I don't make my bus look like those. I'd rather have the wood look and NO solid surface countertops.

For now, here is a photo of me in front of the bus with one of my accordions.

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Last edited by Rudy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

deltasonics
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:59 am
Location: Gloucester, NC
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Post by deltasonics »

Hello Rudy, I thought those might be accordion cases stacked up in your interior images. What kind of music do you play?

We have a local Zydeco/Cajun band here, the Unknown Tongues www.unknowntongues.com. Every year in Febuary we have our own Mardi Gras at the Gloucester community center. I bring my Crown and we use it as the Green Room for the various musicians who play on stage to warm up in before they go on. It's a bunch of fun.

And on another note, can you tell me what underlayment (the pink stuff) you are using beneath your flooring? It looks more dense than the stuff I see at the building centers. Thanks.

Bill
Things are more like they are now, than they ever have been.

Sharkey
Original Founder
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:00 am
Contact:

Post by Sharkey »

Rudy, if you want an avatar on your posts, first pick the photo and upload to Tinypic. Keep the image somewhere around 100x100 pixels, larger will cause formatting problems. When you are logged into the forum, click the "Profile" link in the menu to the left. At the bottom of your profile page you can enter the URL address for the Tinypic image.

While you are editing your profile, you can add a signtaure, website and adjust things like the displayed timezone and other preferences. The "Userguide" link will tell you more about the choices. Note that I have modified my forum extensively, so the example imges and some of the options offered in the userguide will be different.

Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

Insulation and Accordion

Post by Rudy »

Bill, The insulation on the floor is 3/4 inch stiff board styrofoam that I got at Home Depot. I laid it on the floor and then siliconed each flooring board to it. I guess it is a floating floor.

I have so many cool things to show you. I just got off work and will be going through my photos and begin a comprehensive "show and tell" of the bus building.

Accordion: I played guitar for 35 years (Leo Kottke style) but had to stop due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I played the nylon string guitar for a few years, but it was just not the same.

A little over five years ago I fell in love with accordion. I also took up mandolin. I love Cajun music. I am French Canadian (Cajun). I taught myself and have composed many tunes in different styles. I like tangos and Gypsy Jazz.

I get together weekly with two friends and we improvise and record. I would be glad to send you a bunch of CDs. I probably have close to twenty that I have recorded including my whole guitar years as well as stuff that I have been doing with friends for the past five years.


I listened to your local Cajun band. That stuff is so cool. I will post later this evening and include photos in a chronological order. Thanks for your interest. Rudy
Last edited by Rudy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

Ok, here goes.

Post by Rudy »

Last night I organized my photos into three sections. I am going to start with some pictures that were taken by the guy who I bought the bus from.

Next comes cool stuff like dismantling and beginnings of construction. After that, the next section will be the wood cabinetry and floor and carpeted ceiling.

Oh, I can't wait to tell you about this bendable 1/2 inch closed cell insulation that I used on all the curved surfaces, including the ceiling. I used spray adhesive that is very tenacious at staying where it is, stuck.

I have a bunch of pics in my camera which I will get into my computer. I also am excited about taking some more because at this point, 95% of the carpentry/remodel is done. Now THAT is a vision that has come to fruition.

OK. this first picture is of the sink that came in the bus when I got it. Keep in mind that it had been used last as the Johnson City Emergency Management Vehicle.

A lot of the basics were already built. There were many seats and command desks in the front.They were all removed. Lots of antennas on the roof which I am leaving on there, even though they have been rendered inop.

I'd like to maintain the look of the Emergency Management vehicle and paint or vinyl stencil STRONG COMMAND CENTER where they used to have their writing.

I have thought this name out. Strong means that is is the biggest and best thing I have had yet (the bus,that is). Command center connoting that I am able to house myself,two dogs,my recording studio,all of my instruments, a big couch, 2 dog beds, incredible storage spaces the likes of which you may never see, a twin bed, humongous closet, big kitchen, shower and toilet. Whoa!

This bus also did it's years as a school bus. It says the capacity is 72 passengers. I look at this 33 foot bus and have to laugh because I can't imagine 72 adults on this bus. I think the obvious conclusion is that is was made to transport many children.

The bus is built on an ALL AMERICAN chassis. I think GVW is 30,000. I'll get back on that later.

OK, back to the pictures. The bathroom is located at the back of the bus across the kitchen. (I would not have laid it out this way). The stuff was already in there, including a very large waste tank under the bus, and all the exhaust plumbing is there. Gotta love it.

This bathroom space is roughly 2 1/2 ft. by 4 ft. I have removed the corner sink and cabinet and will construct a shower that will have a semi circle shower curtain rod. The toilet is staying where it is. The second picture is of the toilet.

In doing this "show and tell", I will have to monitor, daily, my data usage gage that lets me know how much, of my five gig monthly allowance, I have gone through. If you go over, they charge you 25 cents a megabyte.

A couple months ago, I sent a ten minute jam song of ours through the email to everybody on my list and GOLLY!, I must have really gone over, because what is normally $60 a month for this Broadband wireless USB antennae, became a $190 bill. I was somewhat dismayed. So now I watch out. I'll keep tabs on the usage and post as much as I can.

Image

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Last edited by Rudy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

Also

Post by Rudy »

I have some cool photos of a 1966 Chevy truck that had a 10 foot camper welded to a frame thereby giving lots of outside storage bins. I got it in LA. It had a blown 327. I went to see a guy who built a lot of engines for the guys who raced at Saugus speed way. He built me a 383 stroker. That is a 350 with a 400 crankshaft. I remember climbing the highway to Vail Colorado, and I was passing most of the cars. I lived in that thing for over five years. It was quite a gypsy truck. Pictures coming soon.
Last edited by Rudy on Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

Simple photos

Post by Rudy »

I just want to get these pictures out of the way so that I can get to the good stuff. They don't need much explanation. These are from the guy I bought the bus from.

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Oh, the propane tank is large, maybe 40or 50 gallons.

Image

Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

Avatar

Post by Rudy »

Bill, I see you had some luck with making that guitar into an avatar. I tried, this morning, to upload a photo of an accordion that I had cropped in Picasa program on my computer. I then uploaded it to Tinypic and resized it there(80 by 100 pixels). Then I followed Sharkey's instructions, but it wouldn't load up to the forum. I will have to figure that out sometime. No rush.

deltasonics
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:59 am
Location: Gloucester, NC
Contact:

Post by deltasonics »

Rudy, sorry I haven't been around. It's hurricane season here so I've been busy on my project just in case an exodus is in the cards.

Your accordion image needs to be sized to 80x80 pixels maximum or it won't load. I had a few failed attempts until I got the guitar to 80x80. Because it isn't square it is actually 79x80 pixels. If your image isn't square the largest dimension has to be 80 pixels max.

Looking at your Caterpillar 3208 I saw your Bendix air compressor and realized you have air brakes. Just in case you aren't familiar with air brakes, here is a link to a pdf posted by the New Brunswick CA. DOT. www.gnb.ca/0276/vehicle/pdf/ab_manual-e.pdf . It seems pretty thorough. There are bunches of info on air brakes on the web. Air brakes behave differently than hydraulics and require periodic inspections.

For your own peace of mind, in time you will want to inspect all the rubber hoses in your engine compartment. Radiator hoses, air hoses etc. It gets pretty hot in that compartment the engine lives in. An ounce of prevention... and all that.

I am interested in hearing some of your music. I realize you are busy and I don't want to impose. If you do find the time though.

I will borrow my friends digital camera and post some more images of my progress. The thread is "Home again home again jiggety jig". I've been putting the electrical control/distribution panel together. It mounts in the partition wall at the forward end of the bus just aft of the entry doorway.

Good Luck and have fun.

Bill
Things are more like they are now, than they ever have been.

Sharkey
Original Founder
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:00 am
Contact:

Post by Sharkey »

Here's a couple more air brake manuals, published originally by Bendix. Sorry, they don't show any dramatic artwork of cute dogs being run over by trucks, but otherwise the information is solid:

http://www.mrsharkey.com/busbarn/PDFs/A ... ndbook.pdf

http://www.mrsharkey.com/busbarn/PDFs/S ... usters.pdf

As for your avatar, don't know what's up (or not up) there. The image size doesn't really matter, you could post a huge image, it's just that I ask people not to so as not to kill the page formatting. Are you entering the address of the image raw, i.e. without the {img] [/img] tags that are required when posing images in forum posts? Are you remembering to click "submit" at the bottom of your profile page when done?

Rudy
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:01 pm
Location: Strangeweather, Mo.

Brakes

Post by Rudy »

Bill
I am sure it would be wise to replace all of the hoses, which I will do. I will read the info on air brakes. Periodic inspections? Hmm. I must learn what they are.

Hurricane. Reminds me of living in Connecticut and seeing a very large tree getting uprooted and falling on the neighbor's garage and squishing his two cars flat.

Music: I have many recordings and am glad to send you some CDs. I am sending some to Sharkey next Monday. If you give me your email address, I will send you some. You can email me at rootseller333@gmail.com. Thanks for your interest. Rudy
Last edited by Rudy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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