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Transmission Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's transmission.

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  #1  
Old 05-10-2009
clyndes's Avatar
clyndes clyndes is offline
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Default 81 NA upgraded to Turbo, Transmission OK?

Folks,

I'm looking at an '81 35' FC near Tucson. I've gotten a lot of information from the owners, but have one question (actually more than one, but I'll stick to the most potentially expensive one for now). The coach has 184,000 miles on it. The engine was replaced 84,000 miles ago with a 3208 turbo. I remember reading somewhere that the transmission on the NA bluebirds weren't able to have a turbo connected to them because it would damage the transmission.

Is there any truth in this?

Also, the owners say it gets 7mpg. Is this just realistic, or is this on the low end? Would a different rear end effect the MPG? I've seen others say 9 was normal.

This bus isn't as pretty inside as some I've been looking at (sad to see the '83 Randy had on his site go) but it is in my price range. It's on Vintage Birds, been there a long time (look for the 520 area code).

Craig Lyndes
Wannabe
Colchester Vermont
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2009
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is online now
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Default

My FC w/turbo does 7 so the owners are honest. Those that claim more need to correct their odometers. The trans is good enough for the engine if it's still in there after 80k miles. However, I would put a few bucks aside for a good bit of maintenence that is due @ the miles on this coach. I would be concerned about the age of the tires.
There is a good chance new rubber is in the future.
I got my FC with 156k miles, the engine was broke. Freshened the trans as it's much easier to pull the trans and engine as a unit. Glad I did, required a good bit of hardware to fix it up. Had all the wheel bearings and axle seals, brakes and 3 drums replaced. Shocks too. It needed it. That's why it's a good idea to negotiate a purchase price with after purchase cost's in the mix.
I will say I'm pretty particular about the status of my coach mechanicals, but I've been stuck on the side of the road anyhow. In my mind it's a matter of reducing the odd's of trouble, because on the road repairs can be a real downer.
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FMCA 97824
'83FC35rb
Germantown, WI/Myrtle ID
www.AutoTransDesign.com

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  #3  
Old 05-10-2009
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Craig,

Find the Bird in the best condition your budget will allow, They will all take atleast 10 to $15K over the first three years. Go to Bird Rally and see the varity of Bird designs. ther are Birds is decent condition availabe.
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1988 FC, Silver Edition
Commerce, Michigan
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2009
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Craig, Scott Bishop's FC named RUBY may still be for sale...Randy will know.
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1999 43 LXI Single Slide Body # F124510
2005 JEEP Liberty Limited CRD (diesel Toad)
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Rolla, MO 65401
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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we sold Scotts coach last week,the new owner is picking her up on thursday,
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Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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  #6  
Old 05-10-2009
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The MT645 Allison is rated up to 250 HP. When BB went to the 300 HP 3208 they used a ZF transmission.
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86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2009
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bwinter1946 bwinter1946 is offline
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Randy,

Who ever bought "Ruby" is a lucky person. I still think it is one of the prettiest coaches I have ever seen. I hope some day to see it in person. I love that beautiful classic Bluebird look!!!
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Madera, California
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1999, Jeep Cherokee, Toad
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2009
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7 mpg is realistic, sometimes we can do better, but not often.
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2009
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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Default Actual Costs

I think it might be helpful for the wannabees to have a number stated which is a realistic cost for the purchase and first couple years of repairs and maintenance for a early to mid eighties FC. Seems like we get into these discussions pretty often.

I am going to say $35,000 ( even in today's market) and you can spent it a number of ways. Buy less and spend more or buy one pretty much right. I would be interested in other's opinions. I suggest that if complete records are kept that most owners have at least that invested and most a lot more.

Not to talk anyone into or out of purchase of an older BB but only to give a realistic "number" right up front.

Agree, high, low, what do you fellows think? I had that much in my FC when it was all said and done and although it was pretty well on the way the next owner has had some money to add to that number I am certain.
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Last edited by bubblerboy64; 05-11-2009 at 06:37 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Heck-man is right on.
I think $35K is the number,thats what you will end up with in a good FC,buy a good one for 30-35k,or buy a cheap one that you have to put 10K into.
while i love working on my coach,driving it is even better!
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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