I was asked to help with a 2008 Bluebird 40' Schooly Conversion Bus

tdihopeful

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California
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03 2dr 5sp Golf
A guy with a Bluebird 40' School Bus that want to build it as an RV/Tiny Home wants to know if I can help get it running proper after he says his Brother ran Gas in it. I asked here what could happen with VW TDI'S before but thought I should ask about a Bluebird Bus specifically. He says they drained the fuel and replaced with correct type that perhaps it had ran again but recently wouldn't start. Any thoughts, input, where to start diagnostic s and the first few parts/adjustments/repairs would be helpful. I will research outside of the Club here as well and after I check the Bus out later I'll report back with any findings.
Thanks Brian
 

kjclow

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What fuel pump too? Did he replace the fuel filter after draining the gasoline?
 

oilhammer

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outside St Louis, MO
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There are just too many to list....
Bluebird school bus tells us virtually nothing. Could be (most likely is) an International chassis... but that is it. Could be a Navistar engine, could be a Cummins engine, could be a Caterpillar engine. Could have (most likely does, if it is newer) OBD/EDC.

Get some better info and maybe we can help.
 

bigsexyTDI

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Kentucky
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'98 NB, '04 Jetta
Ooof, as someone who is converting a schoolie myself, I can already say that '08 is about a bad a year as you could want. That was the second year of the HD Emissions standards, and they hadn't quite figured anything out yet. That aside, if it's not a DT466 or Cummins, cut your losses and sell it. No joke. the 6400 Maxxforce by Navistar is the same 6.4 Powerstroke from the 08-10 Fords that was so bad they only offered it for 3 years... and the medium duty Caterpillars just aren't very good, and pretty much no one will touch them but a Cat dealer and they don't want to be bothered.
 

Mozambiquer

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1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
A guy with a Bluebird 40' School Bus that want to build it as an RV/Tiny Home wants to know if I can help get it running proper after he says his Brother ran Gas in it. I asked here what could happen with VW TDI'S before but thought I should ask about a Bluebird Bus specifically. He says they drained the fuel and replaced with correct type that perhaps it had ran again but recently wouldn't start. Any thoughts, input, where to start diagnostic s and the first few parts/adjustments/repairs would be helpful. I will research outside of the Club here as well and after I check the Bus out later I'll report back with any findings.
Thanks Brian
What year and engine? I've worked on quite a few of those things... running gas is a death sentence for some of them and just a minor issue in other engines.
 

tdihopeful

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California
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03 2dr 5sp Golf
Thanks. I haven't seen the bus yet only conversation via telephone/text. He hadn't told me the engine type (he may not know). After preliminary research it seems true that particular engines will lose the fuel pump because of metal wear from running gas. Early model diesels in particular seem to be stronger in this regard. For recommending particular engine types within a Make and Model. Not my Bus but I'll keep in mind if I ever attempt a Schoolie. When I find out more I'll post. And thanks again.
 

Mozambiquer

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Thanks. I haven't seen the bus yet only conversation via telephone/text. He hadn't told me the engine type (he may not know). After preliminary research it seems true that particular engines will lose the fuel pump because of metal wear from running gas. Early model diesels in particular seem to be stronger in this regard. For recommending particular engine types within a Make and Model. Not my Bus but I'll keep in mind if I ever attempt a Schoolie. When I find out more I'll post. And thanks again.
2008 would likely have its choice of common rail engines (isb cummins, maxxforce7) or heui engines (maxxforce dt, cat c7, etc)
The only one that was offered in those that is any good is the isb cummins.
 

oilhammer

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outside St Louis, MO
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There are just too many to list....
My mom was a school bus driver for 30+ years. She saw the evolution from slow, stubborn, overstressed, short lived gas engines and manual transmissions to early noisy, slow, but indestructible diesel engines and manual transmissions to powerful, wonderful to drive diesels still with manual transmissions to the power-robbing automatic transmissions they bolted to the diesels, to the "always something wrong" diesels towards the end. It got so bad that they couldn't retire some of their older buses because the newer ones were just so unreliable. And my mom was literally the very last driver that drove the manuals, so for a long time, she got stuck driving those because those were the backups. And those didn't break. Ever. the IH DT466 with the 5sp was the best, but many were the DT444 (the same basic 7.3L they sold Ford for a time).

Since she drove for the Special Education dept., they had wheelchair lift equipped units that were more expensive to replace, so they had to keep them in service longer. I'll bet some of those old ones are still in daily use as public transit... many go to South and Central America and are reborn. I cannot imagine they'd want any of the newer ones, though.

This was our '92 4700:



Old MODOT truck, had been through three owners afterwards, had over 650k miles on it, the cab had been rusted out and welded back together multiple times, but that DT466 and its 7sp manual OD box were still in perfect working order. That truck could sit for 6 months, outside, and it would fire right up without hesitation on the very first cylinder that landed its power stroke. Didn't smoke, didn't hardly use any oil, and boy howdy did it have some IMMENSE pulling power. We worked that thing harder than a drunk girl on prom night, and it never skipped a beat. Sold it, still running today.
 
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kjclow

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Charlotte, NC
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2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
Over here, a lot of old buses get the tops chopped off and are used for hauling tobacco. I mentioned this to a friend in southern Ontario and she said they do the same thing up there.
 

bigsexyTDI

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Location
Kentucky
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'98 NB, '04 Jetta
My mom was a school bus driver for 30+ years. She saw the evolution from slow, stubborn, overstressed, short lived gas engines and manual transmissions to early noisy, slow, but indestructible diesel engines and manual transmissions to powerful, wonderful to drive diesels still with manual transmissions to the power-robbing automatic transmissions they bolted to the diesels, to the "always something wrong" diesels towards the end. It got so bad that they couldn't retire some of their older buses because the newer ones were just so unreliable. And my mom was literally the very last driver that drove the manuals, so for a long time, she got stuck driving those because those were the backups. And those didn't break. Ever. the IH DT466 with the 5sp was the best, but many were the DT444 (the same basic 7.3L they sold Ford for a time).

Since she drove for the Special Education dept., they had wheelchair lift equipped units that were more expensive to replace, so they had to keep them in service longer. I'll bet some of those old ones are still in daily use as public transit... many go to South and Central America and are reborn. I cannot imagine they'd want any of the newer ones, though.

This was our '92 4700:



Old MODOT truck, had been through three owners afterwards, had over 650k miles on it, the cab had been rusted out and welded back together multiple times, but that DT466 and its 7sp manual OD box were still in perfect working order. That truck could sit for 6 months, outside, and it would fire right up without hesitation on the very first cylinder that landed its power stroke. Didn't smoke, didn't hardly use any oil, and boy howdy did it have some IMMENSE pulling power. We worked that thing harder than a drunk girl on prom night, and it never skipped a beat. Sold it, still running today.
I am actively looking for a crew cab of this truck if anyone knows where one is.
 

tdihopeful

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03 2dr 5sp Golf
Ok if I look at it I could figure out what make of engine but for him is there a place where he can look in the engine bay or near the door/driver area where there is a placard or sticker that should have engine information/code?
 

oilhammer

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outside St Louis, MO
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There are just too many to list....
Hehe.. this thread is like someone calling a veterinarian, and saying over the phone "Yes, my pet is sick, what do you think is wrong?" and the vet asking "what kind of animal is it?" and the caller responding "oh, I have no idea." :D :D :D

I would say, open the hood and look, but at this point, we don't even know if the bus in question even HAS a hood!
 

Mozambiquer

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1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
Ok if I look at it I could figure out what make of engine but for him is there a place where he can look in the engine bay or near the door/driver area where there is a placard or sticker that should have engine information/code?
Have him take a photo of the engine, send it to you and post it here so all of us investigators can relax and know what kind of trouble he's in... Deep, deeper or burn it up and no looking back trouble.
 

oilhammer

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outside St Louis, MO
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There are just too many to list....
Well that should be modern CR EDC anyway. That could be both good or bad. That was I think the last of their on-road engines, though, which probably means it was troublesome or fragile. I would assume it has at least one electric fuel pump, probably quite a bit to flush the gasoline out of. That may have been an expensive mistake. Hope the brother has deep pockets.
 

Mozambiquer

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1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
C7 CAT it appears
The c7 is a heui engine. It may be fine after flushing out the gasoline. They aren't a very good engine. I can't count how many we've had come in with excessive blowby and misfires from low compression. Their predecessor, the cat 3126 was a lot better, though not the legendary cat good...
 

Mozambiquer

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I thought the 2007+ C7s were CR? The very last ones they sold for on-road use?
Hmm, I guess I've not had the privilege of working on the post 2007 ones... I know that the newer c13 for example, is a rebadged maxxforce 13.
A lot of those engines are not around anymore as they weren't very good quality. I know the c7 heui was not a good engine.
 

Mozambiquer

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1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
Flush it, pray it runs, and then sell it and run. Help them find a 2006 or older DT466, DT444 or even DT360 International (Navistar) or 5.9 Cummins powered unit and start over.
I agree with this wholeheartedly!
 

tdihopeful

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Location
California
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03 2dr 5sp Golf
I already told him that if the injection pump was damaged or the injectors had metal particulates in them and he wasn't able or willing to pay to refurbish, or replace those parts that there was nothing I could do. It's precisely a matter of conscience and morals that I won't knowingly or willingly do shoddy repairs or be involved with doing shoddy repairs and passing the product off on an unsuspecting buyer. It's one thing if it doesn't have the most desirable engine type as long as it runs and was repaired in an ethical way. The potential buyer bears the responsibility of conducting due diligence to know what they are purchasing (within reason) Due diligence as such would not include investigation into the sellers "character" as such shouldn't be nor is in my opinion a factor to such. I still don't know for certain what the exact engine is. What I told him was I would remove and inspect the injection pump and potentially the injectors. If I see damage or evidence of damage and offers no alternative than wanting me to purge the system for him so he can maybe sell it then run away I will be the one "running away" and maybe before reinstalling the possibly damaged fuel pump at that.
 
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