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  #1  
Old 07-25-2009
reddog's Avatar
reddog reddog is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Gunnison
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Default Looking for a donor FC

Once again, the bus bug has bit. I find myself with a nice 97 Bluebird All American, 8.3 Cummins/Allison 5 speed/tranny retarder with 116K miles. What I would like to do is find a donor Wanderlodge to retrofit the All American with Wanderlodge amenities. After doing a ground up conversion on our present bus, A Thomas Transitliner, I feel the way to go is to not try to re-invert the wheel and do this 'swap' approach. There was a Wanderlodge in Grand Junction, Co that had body damage that was an excellent candidate, but it seems it has been sold. There is a 76 in Mesa that is also a good prospect, does anyone have any personal knowledge of this rig? The donor Wanderlodge pretty much has to run and drive due to the expense of other transport/shiping. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
Doug Engel
Gunnison, Co
Thomas Transitliner conversion "Thomas"
http://ImageEvent.com/reddog/1990thomasbuiltbusdogbus

Last edited by reddog; 07-25-2009 at 04:08 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2009
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I'm in Mesa but don't know anything about that coach other than what I read on VB. I think my neighbor Mike may know something about it, maybe he'll jump in here or I will ask him later.
Dave
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1980 FC 31 SB

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  #3  
Old 07-25-2009
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reddog reddog is offline
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Thanks Dave. I just wanted someone with some Wanderlodge background to take a look before I head down there. The seller has sent some pictures, but it's hard to tell the whole story from pictures. Keep me posted on any news you hear.
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Doug Engel
Gunnsion, CO
1990 Thomas Transitliner Conversion "Thomas"
http://ImageEvent.com/reddog/1990thomasbuiltbusdogbus
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2009
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Doug,

Actually I do know that bus. I looked at it April with intentions of buying it, fixing it up, and selling it. However, was too disappointed in the bus condition to seriously consider the job. The owner is Bob and he can be reached at usafreedombob@aol.com . I still have pics I sent that I can forward you via email if you send me yours. Trust me, the pics look better than the objects.. hee hee hee

Here's some verbiage Bob and I exchange;

They were very helpful and let me take my time looking over the bus. I tried to start it but the batteries were dead, unless there is another master switch besides the dash? I found several battery banks, are they all in use? I also tried to start the generator but it only turned over and would not start. Saw the dents in the rear from some backup accident. Wasn't able to check out any of the plumbing due to now power for the water pump. What did they do to the bus that cost $3000? Seemed to have a lot of leaves and branches everywhere, even on top of the engine? Appears maybe field mice have nested and eaten some wires? Wasn't able to check any AC's, roof or dash. The date codes on the tires are 2001 so they are shot and need replaced. 9.00x20 are basically obsolete so rims and tires would have to be updated to 11r-22.5's. How's the tranny? Do you know if it's a MT643 or an AT540? So the bus seems to have lived in Texas, Nevada, and Arizona? Can you give more accurate dates as to its history?

And here was his response;

The transmission is a four speed, I believe it to be the MT 643 and it works quite well. It is a little unnerving that it wouldn't start, as part of the $3,000 is for all new batteries. The last time I used the generator which was in November, it started easily, however, I don't know how much they ran the motors. As both the chassis motor and the gen run off the same tank, if the fuel level is below about 20 gallons the gen won't pickup fuel.

The $3,000 repair is for just as you said, field mice having eaten exposed wiring. They did trouble shooting and repair of wiring and new batteries, removed and checked the alternator, which was good. There should only be only one bank of batteries, on the driver side in the front compartment, If there are other batteries I suspect they just put the old ones in another compartment. The dash ac does not work. The bus lived most of its life in San Antonio with the last few years in Tucson. I never did get back to Nevada with it. I crawled under it and looked for leaks in the chassis while the motor was hot and running and could find no leaks what so ever.

So it's been on the market a while now. Remember, anything in this bus is 32 years old so not sure I'd want to populate another bus with it?

Hope that helps...


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  #5  
Old 07-26-2009
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Michael,
Thanks a bunch for all the info. Pretty much as I suspected. I have spoken to Bob once and he did send me some pictures (not all that great, but helpful), but have had trouble reaching him again. Even given the age, I would think that cabinetry, holding tanks, fixtures and hopefully roof AC, fridge and hot water heater would be useable and worth the purchase price. I spent several dollars on my Thomas conversion and feel that the quality of Wanderlodge components should stand the test of time and be a bargian compared to new construction, if they are in reasonable shape.
I'll continue to try to reach Bob and we will see what happens. Please keep an eye out for any other donor Wanderlodges that you come across or hear about.
Thanks again.
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Doug Engel
Gunnsion, CO
1990 Thomas Transitliner Conversion "Thomas"
http://ImageEvent.com/reddog/1990thomasbuiltbusdogbus
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