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-   -   New to the forum, with 2009 Bluebird coach (https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7831)

Morefire 10-01-2010 12:38 PM

New to the forum, with 2009 Bluebird coach
 
Hey guys, Just found this forum, and thought it would be the best place for me to get info.
I ended up buying one of the 2009 Bluebird 40' coach's that was on the assembly line when Coachworks shut down.
It is brand new, but incomplete as you can see in the pictures.
From the factory this coach was going to be a tour/transit bus, but I am turning it into nice Motorhome/RV.
The coach is turn key and drivable right now, but as you can see I need a **** load of parts to get this thing complete.

I am hoping I can piece this thing together with as many OEM type bolt on parts as possible, if not I have to fabricate parts to make them work....... one way or the other, my goal is to have this thing complete, and functional as a really nice Motorhome for myself and the family.

So far I have located the bay doors and engine doors, and those are currently being installled. But I need the entire front bumper, light fixtures, front fenders..etc....

Take a look at the pic's and... all ideas are welcome to help me get this thing complete. Thanks for you input.

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4121.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4123.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4107.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4109.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4110.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4111.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4113.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4114.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4115.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4118.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4119.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4120.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4124.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4125.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4093.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4094.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4095.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4096.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4097.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4099.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4100.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4101.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4105.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/241_4106.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4092.jpg

markusfmeyer 10-01-2010 12:51 PM

Wow, you got a nice empty footprint there to do what you want! Just make sure you don't overweight it. :) Good luck on the project, are you going to do slides or leave it non-slide?

Morefire 10-01-2010 12:55 PM

I am thinking about the slide... found a nice one about 15' long for $1500.... the problem is having it installed. I am checking around for quotes right now.
The whole Idea for this project is to build something pretty nice on a budget. I have to keep hunting for deals until it's complete.

Also, those overhead compartments are coming out, along with the heaters down low, also taking out that floor and starting over from there. It will have hard wood floors when done.

Esmi 10-01-2010 12:57 PM

Wow.
 
You da man. I look forward to watching your project progress. Thank you for finding us!!!

iamflagman 10-01-2010 01:54 PM

David,

Looks like you have a great project ahead of you and I'm sure that the membership will want to see the progress on it as you go along.

Do us and yourself a favor when you post your future questions, be sure to use a separate thread for each topic and that will keep the thread on that topic by itself, try to include pictures when asking about things on your 'Bird and if you are not sure where to post things you can ask me or just post it and I'll try to catch it and put it where it should be.

Then when you want to tell us what kind of progress you are making I would suggest that you use this thread to tell us all about what you have done. I look forward to read about and see the results, we definitely like to see pictures.

Morefire 10-01-2010 02:19 PM

No problem... I have to figure out the swing of things around here.... I think I will be spending a lot of time here so,......;)

Ok, well since buying this coach, here are some deals/parts that I have found, and pulled the trigger on....

Hydraulic Leveling Jacks (would have been OEM on the 09 Wonderlodge)
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...ceparts002.jpg

Onan quiet diesel 7500 gen with 209hrs (repainted it since)
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...ew-gD71_12.jpg

Xantrex SW 4000watt 24volt inverter/charger
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...ceparts001.jpg

2x Dometic Duo Therm Penguin 15,000btu with heat
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...ceparts011.jpg

And here are the "Wonderlodge" Engine doors
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...ceparts004.jpg

It might be a little while before I have more pictures of the progress.

Randy Dupree 10-01-2010 02:41 PM

Hey,great project,keep us advised!

racin41bb 10-01-2010 03:59 PM

Welcome David,

Bus Conversions Magazine is a great source of info. Whether you buy a bus completed or convert a shell the magazine/website is very useful especially in laying out the floorplan, plumbing, electrical, etc. for conversions.

Just about any thing related to Bluebirds can be found here either in the database or from other members.

Ernest Ekberg 10-01-2010 05:14 PM

I could go nuts with flooring in there!!

JD33 10-01-2010 08:13 PM

Hey David, I will be going through Toronto on my way home from Ohio next week with my new hardwood floor by Ernie. I could stop and show you the kind of awesome flooring work that Ernie does if you wish?

peteaeonix 10-02-2010 03:01 PM

I second the suggestion for Bus Conversions magazine. It has excellent articles on "from scratch" conversions starting with empty bus shells. http://www.busconversions.com/

They also have a bulletin board where "bus nuts" share information -- possibly useful in finding some of the building components that aren't usually addressed in this forum. Check the back issues as there are some gems out there (unfortunately, the magazine changed ownership over a year ago, and the old issues are not well indexed.)

For example, one issue from 2 or 3 years back had the most complete information on servicing an AquaHot water heater/space heater hydronic furnace I've seen (with tricks and tips not found in the OEM service manual). Unfortunately, my copy with that article has gone astray, so I can't say what issue it was.

Another situation to keep in mind -- the 2007-2008 'birds (and possible some 2006) were overweight, particularly on the front axle. While most 'birds have the generator mounted in front, below the headlights, the recalled overweight units where having the generators re-mounted in a side compartment near the drive axle. However, the "standard" generator was a 20kwh model, that is probably rather heavier than the one you've acquired.

The point is to watch your weight distribution carefully -- the Do It Yourself approach should allow better weight distribution if you keep aware of the problems. Get some weights on the bus in its current state (probably after you remove the items you mention), then weigh the pieces as you install them and try to calculate the impact on the various axle weights. (Hint: look at instructions for calculating 'weight and balance' for small aircraft, though the calculation is more complex on a multi-axle vehicle.)

Hopefully you have the rated axle weights for each axle, as that is essential to the process.

davidmbrady 10-02-2010 03:28 PM

This may sound odd but I'd try to find a donor coach/rv. Maybe a salvage title. Simply transplant all the cabinetry and systems. This would be the quickest and possibly the cheapest to be up and running.

Randy Dupree 10-02-2010 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmbrady (Post 75531)
This may sound odd but I'd try to find a donor coach/rv. Maybe a salvage title. Simply transplant all the cabinetry and systems.

and i have a complete interior in Robs old 94!

davidmbrady 10-02-2010 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randy Dupree (Post 75532)
and i have a complete interior in Robs old 94!

I'd measure, diagram, and photograph everything; label everything as it's disassembled; organize all supporting brackets and hardware; label and document all wiring receptacles and harnesses, both 12V and 120V; diagram all black, gray and fresh water plumbing and holding tanks; diagram all load centers; and then rebuild from the ground up in reverse order of disassembly. Photograph, measure, document, diagram and recreate the original. After your done, you may actually have something of value.

Morefire 10-03-2010 07:36 AM

Thanks for all the great info guys. I really want to get the exterior done first, then move to the interior. I'd love to check out some flooring, and furniture.
Right now im working on finding a front bumber and 2 front fenders and headlights.

bubblerboy64 10-03-2010 08:44 AM

That's one way to get it the way you want it, build it yourself.

I'll be interested in watching this. When you finish you'll be pretty well schooled in RV.

My suggestion is to keep it simple. BB tended to over do it and especially toward the end.

I wouldn't put a slide out in it. It's like cutting a hole in a boat. The fewer that better.

Keep sending updates. We live vicariously around here.

ryoung 10-03-2010 08:45 AM

That looks like an awesome project. Have you tried any of the RV Salvage places near Elkhart Indiana for interior parts? Some freinds of mine transport traliers etc from that area to all over Canada and frequent the salvage yards. They have lots of interior and some exterior parts for sale relatively cheap. You may be able to get most of what you want there.

rrueckwald 10-03-2010 09:06 AM

David,

An old classmate of mine is on his seventh Prevost conversion he has done himself in over forty years of RV'ing. He isn't far from you in London, Ontario. You might want to call him. Look him up. His name is Don Crawford. In his last conversion, which his wife says IS HIS LAST conversion, he had a slide installed. I am sure he can steer you past many pitfalls. Good luck. An awesome and wonderful project.

bwinter1946 10-03-2010 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmbrady (Post 75531)
This may sound odd but I'd try to find a donor coach/rv. Maybe a salvage title. Simply transplant all the cabinetry and systems. This would be the quickest and possibly the cheapest to be up and running.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randy Dupree (Post 75532)
and i have a complete interior in Robs old 94!

It did sound unusual at first but I think that is a great idea to get all the "Bluebird quality" into a coach. In addition, alot of the engineering is done.

Morefire 10-03-2010 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randy Dupree (Post 75532)
and i have a complete interior in Robs old 94!


Send me those pic's of the interior when you have a chance Randy.

I may be able to use all or some of it.

There is some aspect of this design that we will do to suit our needs.
I have 2 kids, (15year old and a 6 year old) and the main purpose of this Motor home will be traveling and staying at Motocross (dirt bike) tracks on the weekends, and some extended stays down south in the winter.

My 15 year old son is a Dirt bike racer, and we are pretty serious about it, and do allot of traveling in Canada and the USA.
I am thinking about putting bunk beds towards the back just in front of the back bed room, this way we don’t have to use the couch and dinner table as beds.

I am picturing a very nice, but simple design and layout. Bed room in back, then in front of the bed room, bunk beds along one side, across from the bath room, then the kitchen, across from the dinette, then a leather couch behind the driver’s seat matched with a nice pair of captain’s chairs with a nice dark hardwood floor and dark wood cabinetry. This could all change however, but that is what I am picturing right now.

I think this is going to be a fun build, and I cant wait to finish the exterior so I can get going on the inside.;)

Rob Robinson 10-03-2010 04:09 PM

David send me a private email to wander dot rob at gmail dot com. I owned the 94 that Randy now has. I have pictures that I'll send along to you.

Stephen 10-03-2010 04:12 PM

If you know any body close that is a cabinet maker that is the way to go

and talk to Ed Wemberley he has some tanks

Christian 10-03-2010 04:14 PM

[QUOTE=Morefire;75407]Hey guys, Just found this forum, and thought it would be the best place for me to get info.
I ended up buying one of the 2009 Bluebird 40' coach's that was on the assembly line when Coachworks shut down.
It is brand new, but incomplete as you can see in the pictures.
From the factory this coach was going to be a tour/transit bus, but I am turning it into nice Motorhome/RV.
The coach is turn key and drivable right now, but as you can see I need a **** load of parts to get this thing complete.

I am hoping I can piece this thing together with as many OEM type bolt on parts as possible, if not I have to fabricate parts to make them work....... one way or the other, my goal is to have this thing complete, and functional as a really nice Motorhome for myself and the family.

So far I have located the bay doors and engine doors, and those are currently being installled. But I need the entire front bumper, light fixtures, front fenders..etc....

Take a look at the pic's and... all ideas are welcome to help me get this thing complete. Thanks for you input.
















http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4095.jpg
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...h/240_4096.jpg


/QUOTE]

I guess w/emisions and such that must be a 4 stroke? which engine is that?

davidmbrady 10-03-2010 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob Robinson (Post 75610)
David send me a private email to wander dot rob at gmail dot com. I owned the 94 that Randy now has. I have pictures that I'll send along to you.

It's a Cat C13.

Rob, can you post a pic or two to this thread?

Rob Robinson 10-03-2010 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmbrady (Post 75614)
It's a Cat C13.

Rob, can you post a pic or two to this thread?

Sure David what shots are you interested in?

davidmbrady 10-03-2010 04:38 PM

Hi Rob,

Just a shot standing between the captain's chairs looking back toward the galley. This way we get to see the couch/chairs, dinette, cabinetry above the dinette, the kitchen counter top and the kitchen cabinets.

Rob Robinson 10-03-2010 04:47 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmbrady (Post 75619)
Hi Rob,

Just a shot standing between the captain's chairs looking back toward the galley. This way we get to see the couch/chairs, dinette, cabinetry above the dinette, the kitchen counter top and the kitchen cabinets.

I'll do my best. The fire did not damage the interior so these pic should give a good representation. The fridge has been removed and the microwave swapped out for a counter top model. Also, all the furniture with the exception of the dinette cushions were reupholstered with beige ultra leather

Christian 10-03-2010 05:09 PM

Wow C-13 NICE

A true million mile motor!



Million-mile durability —
Thanks to increased
displacement, one million miles to overhaul is easily

within reach

Cylinders:
In-line 6

Bore/Stroke:
5.12 x 6.18 (130 mm x 157 mm)

Displacement:
12.5 L (763 cu in)

Weight:
2610 lb (1184 kg)

Vocational Truck and Bus Ratings:
305-370 hp @ 2100 rpm

Line Haul Truck and Bus Ratings:
380-470 @ 2100 rpm

Fire Truck Ratings:
485-525 hp @ 2100 rpm

RV Ratings:
525 hp @ 2100 rpm:cool:

Torque: 1150-1750 lb-ft @ 1200 rpm

Christian 10-03-2010 05:20 PM

If it were me I would start with the heaviest stuff first like the head and water/grey/black water tanks.
They will need to be located mostly on the driverside and nearer to the rear.. The driverside of the coach should weigh in 1000-2000+ pounds heavier than the pass side due to the water shed built into the roads makes the lower side right carry more weight.:eek: So load up the high side.

A current dry weight on all axles and sides might be good to give yourself a baseline in order to keep things ballanced as you go...

Up till 2005 -2007? bluebird overloaded the front axles and had to rerate the front of the RV so no additional storage load would be allowed 4 to 2 people 1/4 fresh water... move the heavy stuff in back....
What was actually needed was a heavier rated front axle.

Many complained that just a well stocked pantry would throw the front over the limit...

Stephen 10-03-2010 05:35 PM

high mileage motor
low fuel mileage
the only emissions on this motor is catalytic muffler

Morefire 10-03-2010 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen (Post 75626)
high mileage motor
low fuel mileage
the only emissions on this motor is catalytic muffler

Does this engine have all that "ACERT" Particulate filter stuff on there?

Stephen 10-03-2010 05:44 PM

dont know if that particular motor has it, but is is considered an acert engine
I just did a muffler for a m450 without the catalytic portion
Should require no reprogramming of the engine computer

davidmbrady 10-03-2010 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morefire (Post 75627)
Does this engine have all that "ACERT" Particulate filter stuff on there?

Hi David,

No, it doesn't. Here's a pretty good article that talks about ACERT on a C15.

http://www.heavydutytrucking.com/2004/03/100a0403.asp

Rob,

Thanks for the photos. I'm not a carpenter, so the idea of recreating all of those cabinets from scratch boggles my mind. BB did a fine job on your '94.

Christian 10-03-2010 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morefire (Post 75627)
Does this engine have all that "ACERT" Particulate filter stuff on there?

Here is the total scoop on the c-13 caterpillar and emissions for 2007.
With the 2007 Ascert system.
http://ohe.cat.com/cda/files/448362/7/LEDT7016-C13%20Engine%20Brochure%208.9.07.pdf

Driver 10-03-2010 10:48 PM

I'd be looking to De-rate the Cat to one of the lower settings (do you really need all that HP/Torque) and try to get better reliability and better fuel mileage.

Morefire 10-04-2010 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Driver (Post 75676)
(do you really need all that HP/Torque)

Yes!!:D:D

Stephen 10-04-2010 06:58 AM

'

Yes it has the catalytic muffler on this coach You Can replace it with a non catalytic muffler
the stock muffler is a lot of coin Bluebird wants just shy of $7,000.00 for one
a Regular stainless Muffler is under $600.00

Randy Dupree 10-04-2010 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Driver (Post 75676)
I'd be looking to De-rate the Cat to one of the lower settings (do you really need all that HP/Torque) and try to get better reliability and better fuel mileage.


The motorhomes built with that engine had the 550HP rating,but this was a seated coach,tour type bus,I suspect it may only be 400-450HP in that application.
Only Cat can tell you the real ratings.

Crit Bliss 10-04-2010 08:54 AM

I'll take any of your unwanted horsepower...

Morefire 10-04-2010 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob Robinson (Post 75620)
I'll do my best. The fire did not damage the interior so these pic should give a good representation. The fridge has been removed and the microwave swapped out for a counter top model. Also, all the furniture with the exception of the dinette cushions were reupholstered with beige ultra leather


I'll show the wife these pic's tonight when she gets home, see what she thinks.
She is actually an interior designer :o This is sometimes good..and sometimes its a pain in the butt.


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