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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 11-13-2008
Lee Davis's Avatar
Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Default Need 94-95 BMC Axle Problem Information

As many of you know, when the BMCs were first built (1994 and 1995) the rear axles were not rated high enough at 19,000 pounds to carry the “wet” weight with a reasonable cargo resulting in a safety defect on those early models as they were over the GVWR with that rear axle. . As a result the company did what became known to the owners as a “silent recall”. Apparently they did not contact every BMC owner, but did replace several rear axles at company expense on a few 94 and 95 models. I do not know how they determined which ones to replace; it was probably only those who happened to weigh their coach and noticed the problem and complained. Of course in later production models the axle was upgraded, as I understand it, to 22,000 pounds in 1996 and 23,000 pounds in 1997.

I have been working for over a year in an attempt to get the Blue Bird Corporation, the original builders of my 1995 BMC, to upgrade my rear axle so that it will have a safety margin when carrying reasonably weight.This is the standard they referred to in their recent 450 LXI recall ordered by the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unfortunately they refuse to consider upgrading mine to the same safety standards, and to paraphrase their response. “nothing has happened so far so we are not going to do anything”

As a result I am planning to go to NHTSA with the problem as it is basically the same as the 450 LXI recall situation. In order to give NHTSA as much information as possible, I wanted to try to contact any 1994 or 1995 BMC owner who either does or does not have a coach that was involved in the “silent recall”. I am already aware that the coaches owned by Dan Weaver, Bruce Cameron, Don Baker, Al Johnson, and one originally owned by Maurice Deshaver (I don’t know who has that one now) did receive the upgrade by Blue Bird a few years ago. I’m sure there are others. And I suspect there are several who knew nothing about this upgrade and are traveling in an unsafe condition. If any of you know any of those other 1994 or 1995 BMC owners, (or the one that now owns Maurice’s BMC), who may or may not read the Forums, would you ask them to contact me. I basically just need the information on whether or not their axle was upgraded and the VIN # and Body # of their BMC.

I have been impressed with the close knit community that follows these Forums and have come to believe you folks know everyone that owns a Bluebird. My email address is lnjdavis@gmail.com and my phone number is 423-292-5767.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me to help with this situation.
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Lee and Jacque Davis - Full Timers

Lee - 423-292-5767 or Jacque 423-262-9569
or lnjdavis@gmail.com Please call or email instead of private messages


1995 BMC 37
300 HP Cummins 6CTA 8.3 Turbocharged Diesel
Boldly Going Nowhere
http://www.bbirdmaps.com/index.cfm #117
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Default

hi Lee.
i'm trying to figure out who would do the update on your coach.
i'm thinking that BBC sold to henlys,then henlys sold to cerebus with maybe a bankruptcy throw in,then crerbus sold to CCW.
who are you talking to about the axle?
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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  #3  
Old 11-13-2008
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Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Default Talking to Blue Bird Corporation about the Axle

Randy,

I have been talking to Blue Bird Corporation (the school bus company) about the axle upgrade. According to Macy, that's who I should be talking to as apparently they built the BMCs originally. This is the same company that had to pay for the LXI recall that Bluebird Coachworks did . I don't know who actually owns them now, but in all my discussions they have never said that they weren't responsible and didn't build them, just that I had gone so long without a problem they weren't going to do anything. As I understand it in my discussions with Scott Bauer at Blue Bird Corporation, they actually did some checking to see if an axle was still available and probably what it would cost, although they never divulged any cost info to me. At this point I am having to talk only with Don Commons who does not work for Blue Bird but is their in-house attorney. Although I have never spoken to him personally, he seems to be the guy that made the desision. I guess it's one of those things that they think the risk is worth taking for the potential cost involved in fixing mine, and perhpas others. Sot of a cheap deal if you ask me.

If you know anything else I need to know, please let me know. I have spent a year of communication on this so far starting before the RATS rally last year. I can't imagine I am the only one who did not get the axle "silent recall" so there must be others out there. I am just trying to put together a data base for NHTSA so they will have all the information possible.

Thanks,
__________________
Lee and Jacque Davis - Full Timers

Lee - 423-292-5767 or Jacque 423-262-9569
or lnjdavis@gmail.com Please call or email instead of private messages


1995 BMC 37
300 HP Cummins 6CTA 8.3 Turbocharged Diesel
Boldly Going Nowhere
http://www.bbirdmaps.com/index.cfm #117
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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OK,i was just wondering who you were talking to.
i don't know anything that you don't know,and i think you know more than i do.
good luck.
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

randy@randydupree.com
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