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Subject: What weight toad can my SP36 pull?


Author:
Charles Olsen
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Date Posted: 07/ 28/ 03, 4:49pm

Can't find in my 91,SP36 brochure what weight toad I can pull. I am considering purchasing the Accura MDX suv, but at 4300 lbs. is this to heavy?

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[> Subject: Re: What weight toad can my SP36 pull?


Author:
Henry Claeys
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Date Posted: 07/ 25/ 03, 2:40am

I just purchased a 1979 FC35 with a Caterpillar 3208 and only 210 HP, but BlueBird says that it can tow up to 10,000.00 pounds with proper hitch and brakes. I'm sure you've got lots more horsepower so you should have no problem with the acura so long as you have proper hitch, brakes, and towing apparatus.

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[> Subject: Re: What weight toad can my SP36 pull?


Author:
Juergen
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Date Posted: 07/ 26/ 03, 7:41pm

I have also a 91 36 SP WL and my manual sates that I can pull 5000lbs. It could pull more, but the ball hitch and attachments go for the 5000lbs. i tow a jeep wrangler and don't even know its there.
Happy Trails
Juergen

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[> Subject: Re: What weight toad can my SP36 pull?


Author:
L. Longcrier
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Date Posted: 07/ 28/ 03, 4:49pm

I have a 1984 FC35, and tow a 20ft enclosed car hauler with a Fiero, a washer,dryer, and deep freese in it, and have no problems. Your SP 36 has a 300hp Cat whereas I only have 250 Horses, so you should only be limited by your hitch rating.
L. Longcrier
M1894@AOL.com

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Subject: Dutch Door Installation


Author:
Bill
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Date Posted: 07/ 25/ 03, 5:14am

I have a 78 FC 31' Wanderlodge. It has no swing out radiator. I live in the Seattle area and would like to know if there is a local installer for this modification. Also, is there any one who can furnish me with enough description of the mod for me to do it myself. I have a shop and the skills to do it myself.

Bill

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[> Subject: Re: Dutch Door Installation


Author:
Steve Anderson
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Date Posted: 07/ 23/ 03, 9:38am

Bill, I live in Poulsbo, and own a 79 FC 35. I doubt that you will find a local shop that will understand what you are tallking about. Bryant Motors in Renton is the authorized Blue Bird service center. They deal mostly with school bus repair work but have been very helpful to me as far as parts go. They may or may not perform the modification. I have not had occasion to have them perform sevice work yet as I do most of my own repairs and service. It is my understanding (I could be incorrect in my understanding) that the the "Dutch Door" modifications are not a factory available item. I believe that Holland Motors in Holland, Michigan does that conversion and also sells the parts to do the conversion. They are easily found on the internet.
There have been a number of postings, including some with pictures on the Yahoo Wanderlodge Group forum. Including some fabrications that were home made. Could be what your looking for.

Steve Anderson
79 FC 35
Poulsbo, WA.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Dutch Door Installation


Author:
Bill
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Date Posted: 07/ 23/ 03, 8:06pm

Steve

Thanks for your reply. I live not far from you on Marrowstone Island (Port Townsend). I will check on the postings on the Yahoo site. I will most likely do the modification myself, as a winter project.

Bill
wb@waypt.com

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Dutch Door Installation


Author:
Steve Anderson
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Date Posted: 07/ 24/ 03, 8:39am

I was at Ft. Flagler last week.

I would be interested in your swing radiator project when you do it as my 79 does not have the modification either. This last spring I replaced all belts and front engine hoses. Not too bad a job but it would be nice to not have to drain the radiator each time for access to the front of the engine.

Steve Anderson
79 FC 35
Poulsbo, WA.

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[> Subject: Re: Dutch Door Installation


Author:
Henry Claeys
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Date Posted: 07/ 24/ 03, 11:53am

Bill and Steve: (1) I just purchased a 1979 FC35, with no owner's manual, and don't know if it has the swing radiator or not. Bluebird tells me it wasn't standard until the mid 80's, but a previous owner took the time, and expense, to perform several upgrades including rear air bag suspension, conversion from 6 volt to 12 volt system, square headlights and tail lights, and chrome all around. (2) Please keep me posted on this project as I may be interested in performing it on my vehicle. (3) By the way, what would I look for to know if mine has the swing radiator? (4) Looking from the front, I'm really wondering if an outwardly swinging radiator is possible because, as far as I can see, the radiator extends below the front bumper meaning it could only swing a few inches at best. 5) 'Am I correct in understanding that the whole face of the bus must be unscrewed before the swing radiator could be accessed? Thanks...Henry F. Claeys at claeys@rgv.net

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[> [> Subject: Re: Dutch Door Installation


Author:
DonM
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Date Posted: 07/ 25/ 03, 5:14am

I had the swing radiator put on my 1980 fc33. I love it. Your concern on the bumper is taken care because Holland Motor Homes also installs hinges on the bottom of the bumper. To get at my belts and the front of the engine I remove 4 bolts from the bumper and it swings down I remove the front sheet metal from in front of the radiator. and 4 more bolts that keep the radiator in place and swing it out. No draining of fluids no mess.

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Subject: Help with cockpit starter key switch


Author:
Paul
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Date Posted: 07/ 23/ 03, 9:56am

Recently purchased an 83 BB 35'. I switched off the main power disconnect above the accelerator pedal and now the engine won't start from the drivers seat. The engine can be started from the rear start switch in the engine bay (with the switch in the up position). Once engine is running I can shut off the engine from the drivers seat!?! What did I do when I switched off the power and what do I need to do to get the engine to start from the drivers seat?

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Subject: Excessive smoke at staartup


Author:
Bill
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Date Posted: 07/ 13/ 03, 3:42am

I am purchasing a 79 31'Wanderlodge witht the 3208 Cat. There is excessive smoke at startup of a cold engine. A block heater was installed, and the engine kept warm at all times, which prevents smoke at startup. Is excessive smoke at startup an indication of a problem? Or is it a normal function of the Cat 3208?

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[> Subject: Re: Excessive smoke at staartup


Author:
Peter
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Date Posted: 06/ 12/ 03, 6:06am

If the smoke is mostly white it is just half burnrd diesel that is normal for 3208s, or any other diesel that does not have glow plugs. By heating the engine for a couple of hours prior to start most of the cold diesel smoke will be avoided. Heat of compression causes ignition, and when the block is cold there is a lot of unburned diesel until the block heats up.

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[> Subject: Re: Excessive smoke at staartup


Author:
Harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 06/ 19/ 03, 11:09am

Bill
I had a 1979 FC with a 3208 and it was a recent rebuild. it did smoke (Blue) on start up unless you used the block heater, and even then a little.I wrote CAT and they explained that because the 3208 does not have cylinder sleeves it has a loose tolerance until the pistons warm up, and the blue smoke is normal during warm up. After mine warmed up it did not smoke at all.
Harv

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[> Subject: Re: Excessive smoke at staartup


Author:
RICH - eXPERT dIESEL
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Date Posted: 07/ 13/ 03, 3:42am

The 3208N from Factory was a 16.5:1 compression engine with only 2 piston rings. This causes the cold start smoke
problem. Rectified by installing 18.2:1 Turbo Pistons with 3 rings.
Ruch

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Subject: Cruise Control - 1990 WB 40


Author:
Sandy
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Date Posted: 07/ 12/ 03, 11:14am

Has anyone experienced this problem?
When the cruise control is engaged the transmission downshifts to
the next lower gear? This happens at any speed below the down-shift
lock-out speed of 63mph. Obviously, this makes it impossible to use
the cruise control at any speed below 63 mph.

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[> Subject: Re: Cruise Control - 1990 WB 40


Author:
Jay Darst
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Date Posted: 07/ 6/ 03, 5:12pm

I didn't see the answer to your cruise control problem. I too, am having some cruise control issues. I have a 1985 PT40 w/6V92 5SPD Allison. Cruise control is a Bendix. Some days, I set the cruise then in moments it releases. I can press resume, and it will reset- momentarily. Then it releases. Other days, works great. Any suggestions?

Thanks
Jay Darst

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[> [> Subject: Re: Cruise Control - 1990 WB 40


Author:
Harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 07/ 12/ 03, 11:14am

I had a similar problem with a Bendix control on my 1984 PT40.. I found that it was not in the cruise control but found I had an alternator going bad every time the voltage dropped below a certain level the cruise control brain quit, knocking out the cruise. This may or may not apply to your unit but check voltages just for the fun of it
Harvey Lawrence

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Subject: 1979 FC35 Body Parts


Author:
Henry Claeys
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Date Posted: 07/ 11/ 03, 1:27pm

(1) Where would one go to locate body parts for an 1979 FC35, if somehow it was involved in an accident? Thanks...Henry F. Claeys at claeys@rgv.net

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Subject: Chasis Air Conditioning Fan


Author:
Jay Darst
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Date Posted: 07/ 6/ 03, 5:29pm

My drivers side overhead A/C fan stopped working today. Where are the fuses? Has anyone had an experience with this?

Jay Darst
'85 PT40

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Subject: Flasher on '85 FC


Author:
Christen Workman
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Date Posted: 07/ 6/ 03, 1:04pm

Could someone please tell me how/where to locate the flasher on my newly purchased '85 FC? My turn signals are not functioning and this is my first bluebird. Any input would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you!

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Subject: light covers


Author:
bob maloney
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Date Posted: 06/ 27/ 03, 6:09am

Does anyone have or know where i can get two covers for the interior lights in a 79FC35?
thanks bob

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Subject: light covers


Author:
bob maloney
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Date Posted: 06/ 27/ 03, 6:05am

does anyone have or know where i can get two covers for the interior lights in a 79fc35.
thanks bob

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Subject: Reasonable Service Places/Prices


Author:
Henry Claeys
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Date Posted: 06/ 26/ 03, 9:27am

(1) Are there any middle class, perhaps lower middle class, bird owners out there that can afford to maitain a Bluebird? If so, how do you do it? (2) As I approach a final decision on the purchase of a 1979 F35, I am envisioning the practical everyday problems of finding, I mean physically locating without an act of God, service at reasonable prices. For example, when it's time for an oil change and lube, can I go to your typical oil change place, i.e., Walmart or GreaseMonkey, or do I have to locate a an 18 wheeler service center and pay a minimum $100.00 "howdy" charge. I imagine that most of those truck places deal primarily with companies that are in business and are used to paying top dollar for "service now." I, on the other hand, 'am not a corporation and can't afford to be shelling out $500.00 here and there for simple service. (4) Another example: A "simple flat tire." The bird doesn't carry a spare so what to do if you get a flat out in the Boonies, or anywhere. It looks to me like I could be out hundreds just to fix a flat! (5) Any input appreciated...Henry at claeys@rgv.net

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Subject: Central Air units


Author:
Billy Dennis
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Date Posted: 06/ 20/ 03, 3:07pm

I was wondering if anyone knew if they still manufactured the central air units for the Bluebird and if there was any discount place to pick those up. Thanks

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[> Subject: Re: Central Air units


Author:
Bob Dilks
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Date Posted: 06/ 20/ 03, 3:07pm

By central air conditioning units I assume you mean the name brand CruisAir. CruiseAirs are still made and used in the most expensive conversions. Call Blue Bird parts at 800/495-7787 and ask them to give you the manufacturer and their phone number. Blue Bird can also give you the vendor's part number.

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Subject: MPG/Towing/Resale


Author:
Henry Claeys
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Date Posted: 06/ 19/ 03, 10:53am

I'm looking at purchasing a 1979 35F with a Cat 3208. I've looked all over the web for MPG ratings, but can't find zip! The owner insures me that the vehicle will get better than 10 MPG, but others have said to expect only 7 MPG. Obviously, conditions affect results, but I'm just trying to find some raw data. (1) Can someone please give me a realistic idea of the MPG range for this creature? (2) I was thinking of towing, on a one time basis, a 32 foot Holiday Rambler travel trailer. Can the bird do it if I baby it at around 45 MPH? (3) What's the resale market for the birds? Will I be married to this beast, like a siamese twin to his sibling, or do these things move when put up for sale? (4) I appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks........Henry Claeys at 1.888.745.1439 or at claeys@rgv.net

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[> Subject: Re: MPG/Towing/Resale


Author:
Harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 06/ 19/ 03, 10:53am

1.I had a 1979 35 ft FC bird and 7.6 was it per gallon. I too have heard of people claiming better milage but I never saw any.
Yes it would tow the trailer but best you rig the trailer brakes.
average price has been 28,000 to 36,000
They dont move too very fast but with time they will sell they are a very strong unit and tough!

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Subject: Roof Vent Replacement


Author:
Todd G
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Date Posted: 06/ 19/ 03, 10:45am

I have a 1982 35FC with the stock Jensen motorized roof vent featuring a light and fan. This vent is cracked and is leaking and needs to be totally replaced. Does anyone have any recommendations as to a good replacement unit? I like the newer types that allow you to keep the vent open while you drive. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

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[> Subject: Re: Roof Vent Replacement


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 05/ 24/ 03, 8:38pm

I prefer the Fantastic Vent. Better fan and much quieter, excellent factory support.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Roof Vent Replacement


Author:
Don Duncan
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Date Posted: 05/ 30/ 03, 10:00pm

I went with fantastic vents but the JC Whitney catalog has what looks to be identicle fans that the (my) wanderlodge used originally. Fantastic vents are much more sturdy and costly.

Pick a warm day to replace the vents, the old caulking will come off easier.

1980FC30

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[> Subject: Re: Roof Vent Replacement


Author:
Bob Dilks
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Date Posted: 06/ 17/ 03, 10:36am

You can get an almost identical replacement for your Jensen vent from Elixir as part number V771442-1G2. The unit will work with all the existing controls. Put a MaxAir cover over the vent to allow the vent to stay open during the rain and while driving. This motorized vent should not be used as the principal coach vent. If you want to really move air, get a Kool-O-Matic. A good compromise is a Fantastic Fan.

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[> Subject: Re: Roof Vent Replacement


Author:
Harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 06/ 19/ 03, 10:45am

I too like the fantastic vents but the ones you mention are also among the top. They can be purchased through JC Whitney stores in Chicago for under 100. You should use a maxxair vent cover to travel with vent open. Also JC whitney or Camping World.

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Subject: Purifiner oil filter


Author:
Joe
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Date Posted: 06/ 17/ 03, 10:26am

On a 1984 1/2 we just brought it has a purifiner oil filter and I called the company but I get no answer. I think they are out of business. Does any one know where I can get a replacement RP40

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[> Subject: Re: Purifiner oil filter


Author:
Bob Dilks
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Date Posted: 06/ 17/ 03, 10:26am

One of the biggrst problems on the forum is that models are not shown with the question. I assume you have a PT model and any oil filter from a reputable manufacturer will be fine so long as it is designed for your engine - go to NAPA, or any truck repair shop, and give them your engine type. For a Detroit Diesel 6V92 the recommended Detroit Diesel filter is part number 23518671.

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Subject: 12 volt power problem


Author:
BFW
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Date Posted: 06/ 17/ 03, 10:14am

I have a 1980 35'FC Battery charger is a new iota 75amp
I am getting 13.6 volts output at the charger and each load center which is spec for that unit under no load. However when a 28 amp(lights,waterpump.etc) load is applied to the unit the voltage drops to 12.9 volts and will continue droping if I turn on heaters spots etc. It is not good to run lower voltage I have redone all the conections under the step at the starter and at the shunt they are all good.
Even though I have 12.9 v at the load center I read 13.6 at the charger. Does anyone have a clue aside from running all new wires to each load center from the charger? Is this normal for 1980 BBS? Also I had disconected both sides of the shunt and all batteries yet when I turned on the charger/inverter to ck input voltage at shunt I was supprised to find the lights came on with about 10v does anyknow where this power came from?

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[> Subject: Re: 12 volt power problem


Author:
Don Duncan
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Date Posted: 05/ 30/ 03, 10:33pm

I cleaned the heck out of all the terminals I could find including the positive post (frame mounted and very dirty) that goes to the batteries suspecting that dirt might be providing a path to ground. My voltage drop is now about .01V between the charger and engine battery bank.

Before this, and with the dying old chargers, I got about a .5V drop. I can't say that cleaning was the solution but with my coach constant tinkering is paying off. No telling when or where I might have truly corrected the problem.

I have not intentionally done load testing but no longer see a significant difference (.1V). Depending on how much your charger is helping out though you would expect to see a voltage drop at they batteries the more they carry the load.

1980FC30

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[> Subject: Re: 12 volt power problem


Author:
Bob Dilks
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Date Posted: 06/ 17/ 03, 10:14am

My thoughts are you have a converter/charger problem, all other aspects being normal. Your "charger" should pick up all the DC load up to about 75 amps before the batteries begin to show depletion. However, your batteries may have "taken a set" by being discharged to low voltage and not fully recharged and are no longer capable of being fully recharged. The nominal voltage of a fully charged 12 volt battery bank without input or output is 12.7 volts. Turn off your charger, let the batteries rest for a day and test the charge across the entire bank. The surprise voltage you received when your inverter/charger was turned off was likely from the generator start battery.

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Subject: Engine oil cooling fan


Author:
Rex Puckett
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Date Posted: 06/ 17/ 03, 9:51am

I have 85 PT36 with 330 Detroit. I have a oil driven cooling fan motor that is leaking. Need help. Must it be replaced? Can it be repaired? Where are parts available?

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[> Subject: Re: Engine oil cooling fan


Author:
Bob Dilks
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Date Posted: 06/ 17/ 03, 9:51am

The fan motor can be repaired but most of the time repair is unsuccessful because the motor shaft receives some wear and will begine leaking again. Best bet is to replace the motor. I've forgotten the name of the manufacturer, but the best price I've heard lately for a new motor is about $650 from a parts shop. Check on the price at Blue Bird Parts, 800/496-7787

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Subject: Help me recover!


Author:
Jay Maria
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Date Posted: 06/ 16/ 03, 11:32am

Hi-
My poor old bird (70 FC 31)was "fixed" in Fla, carb. backfiring. I had someone pick it up and on the test drive, it backfired and caught the engine insulation on fire. Not a huge deal, but anything friable on the engine was indeed fried. This includes the wiring harness for the engine. Does anyone know where I can find another wiring harness for the 70 31FC with the Ford 391? I would love to get the old girl home.

Thanks for help!

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Subject: Replacement for Emerson Air Conditioners


Author:
Robert
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Date Posted: 06/ 12/ 03, 2:25pm

I have a l991 SP with two Emerson Air Conditioners. The are working fine but nothing is forever. I also have ducted air. Has anyone replaced their units,and what did you replace them with. Also would like to have digital thermostats any problems with that idea ?


thanks

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Subject: 30' Bird


Author:
Bill Brayton
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Date Posted: 06/ 9/ 03, 8:15am

I am interested in finding out if there was a 30' Blubird built, and if so,what years produced.

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[> Subject: Re: 30' Bird


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 06/ 9/ 03, 8:15am

I don't really know of a 30' 'Bird, but am mostly familiar with the late '70s-up. There was a 31' FC built until 1987.

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Subject: Hydraulic Jacks


Author:
Beverly
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Date Posted: 06/ 9/ 03, 4:40am

I have82 35Ft Wanderlodge. We are having the hydraulic jacks rebuilt. But can't seem to find the hydraulic tank that feeds the jacks. Our schematics do not show a hydraulic tank. Any ideas??

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[> Subject: Re: Hydraulic Jacks


Author:
Jack
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Date Posted: 06/ 9/ 03, 4:40am

On my '87 it's under the entrance steps carpet, remove 4 screws on wooden access.

Jack

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Subject: Should we replace the 3208?


Author:
Melvin & Rose DeBose
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 1/ 03, 7:11pm

We have a '78 F39634 with a 3208 Cat motor and an Allison transmission. The coach only has 32,000 miles on it and is A1! condition. We recently lost the motor due to a dry start. What other motors will hook up to this transmission and if I need to go back to another 3208, where can I find one at a reasonable price. It has the turbo under the passanger seat area in an outside compantment and it is still OK. Motor spun crank and threw a rod thru the side of the engine, so an engine exchange is not really an option

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Subject: Digitell system


Author:
Mark Anthony Soodoo
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Date Posted: 05/ 29/ 03, 12:48pm

I have a 1984 Wanderlodge that is in immaculate condition. I have worked over the years to make everything operational. I am trying to locate a digitell computer.My computer has been checked out, and has been deemed "terminal". The company PMMI Electronics has stopped making the digitell monitor, so if I can find a good used unit that would be just great. Thank You.

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Subject: I found a 1977


Author:
Don
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Date Posted: 05/ 27/ 03, 6:05pm

I came across a 1977 wanderlodge with 98000 miles. I am impressed with its condition it has a 3208 Cat diesel and an allison transmission, good tires etc. It appears that I can get this for $18,000 I think that is probably a good price. I am looking for advice about how to make sure this is a good deal or any other relevant advice.

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Subject: Can't make the step go down on my 77 wanderlodge


Author:
Brian Swartzbaugh
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 24/ 03, 8:40pm

When I picked up the "Choo Choo Express" in Texas and drove it back to California, I got the "everything you need to know about your 77 wanderlodges" in 5 minutes or less, much of which I forgot before even pulling her out of the driveway. The few things I learned, I learned the hard way, like how to turn off the heater vent that blows right into the drivers croch, that I learned "after" getting through the Mojave, yes it was very very hot. Or all that all the interior lites run on 12volts, I'll save you all the story of my dumbness, but sometimes jumping a CAT isn't much fun when the largest other vehicle around is a golf cart. My latest stupidity envolves the step, after spending an hour trying to figure out what some of the switches were for on the dash, I opened the door and the step didn't go down. It worked just fine before, so I think I clobbered it with a case of the stupids. Can someone tell me what switch/switches work it?? And those leveling jacks, when the light is red, does that mean fully extended? I got a lot of repair/parts manuals with the BB, but nothing that tells me how to operate anything. Even though my own lack of knowledge has caused some problems, Choo Choo is part of the family , and my kids are official RV snobs and wouldn't be caught dead in some fiberglass box on wheels.

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[> Subject: Re: Can't make the step go down on my 77 wanderlodge


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 05/ 24/ 03, 8:40pm

Brian:
My '77 had a 3-way switch setup, one on the dash and the other in the transfer-switch compartment at the top of the steps.

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Subject: Detroit Diesels


Author:
Mac
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Date Posted: 05/ 24/ 03, 8:33pm

We are looking at two coaches with the intent of purchasing one of them, or at least that model.
One is powered by 8V with the four speed, and the other is powered by a 6V with the five speed. Is there any inherent advantage or disadvantage with either combination. I have been told that the five speed makes up for the lack of hp. Any comments will be appreciated.

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[> Subject: Re: Detroit Diesels


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 05/ 24/ 03, 8:33pm

The five speed does not make up for the 170hp differential, but does help some.

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Subject: my BB is a dog!


Author:
aaron
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 24/ 03, 8:31pm

My 81 FC35 with a fresh turbo 3208 can't go up hills at more than 35-40 mph in 3rd gear. Is this normal? I know these are very heavy vehicles but I hate it when a Bounder passes me!

I've had the govenor opened wide so that isnt the problem. The throttle has also been adjusted.

What's been your experience?

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[> Subject: Re: my BB is a dog!


Author:
Rich - Expert Diesel
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 18/ 03, 1:44am

The turn up the gov thing will only raise RPM not power. You need a boost gage and pyrometer installed in order to set up the fuel and a possibly adjust the aneroid valve setting on the Injection pump. Are you getting heavy black
smoke going up hill if so you also need to check fresh air
supply to engine.

Rich

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[> Subject: Re: my BB is a dog!


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 24/ 03, 8:31pm

Aaron:
It depends on the grade.
I have had several FC/3208 coaches, have been slowed down to around 45mph on 5% running 33,500lbs, temps good. It takes more power to make a steeper grade, if you don't have it then you climb slower. Do you know the grade you were climbing?
Air intake is a problem, the original intake doesn't bring in enough air. I've heard of an owner who modified his air filter system to add more air, didn't realize that it would rob horsepower to take in hot air from behind the radiator, you need cold air.

Give us some more information, it can probably be solved. Turning up the rack is not the best option so keep that as a last resort.

- Jeff Miller

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Subject: 3208 Conversion to Turbo 1980 Bluebird


Author:
R. Topolewski Expert Diesel
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 18/ 03, 1:35am

Check out http://www.expertdiesel.com/dieseltalk for photos and information. This is a 1980 Bluebird 31 foot
converted from a No- Turbo to a Turbo Engine. Smoke Gone
power way up exhaust brake added custom gages and exhaust.

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Subject: need to open the safe in my new 77 FC35


Author:
Brian Swartzbaugh
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 12/ 03, 10:24pm

I just found what looks like the an original safe in my BB. I remember reading somewhere that these old safes had some default combinations. Anyone know if thats true, or who I could contact to find the combo??

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[> Subject: Re: need to open the safe in my new 77 FC35


Author:
Bruce Morris
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 12/ 03, 10:24pm

Brian, there is information on the safe in the "files" section of the Wanderlodge Forum (http://www.wanderlodge.org). There are also several folks on the forum that have experience trying to get into the safe when the combination is not known.

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Subject: Fuel tank


Author:
Brian Gehl
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 12/ 03, 10:20pm

I am a new owner of a 1979 FC-35. I was wondering if anyone could tell me why there is a second fuel tank in the middle of the coach? The tank is full and never seems to be used? there is a pump switch in the compartment with the tank and it seems to pump when I turn it on and I think it pumps to the main tank but I can't be sure. Any help would be appreciated. Brian

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[> Subject: Re: Fuel tank


Author:
Steve Anderson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 3/ 03, 8:10am

Brian, I have a 79 FC 35 also. I do not have a second seperate fuel tank and have never heard of one on a 35 FC. Some (many) 33' and 31' rigs had gasoline fueled generators, which of courses required a seperate gasoline tank. It is reasonable I suppose that the original owner requested a gas powered generator then the generator was later replaced with a diesel? You didn't say I am just assuming you have a diesel generator. It is also reasonable also to suppose that someone has added a seperate diesel tank for the generator only. If that is the case, it sounds as if it is kept full all the time with the electric fuel pump. The purpose of the second tank may be a scheme to keep from emptying the main fuel tank with the generator. That would be somewhat bogus as reason for the seperate tank, as the generator fuel pick-up in the main fuel tank generally will not allow you to pull fuel below 1/4 full.

Steve Anderson
79 FC 35
Poulsbo Wa.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Fuel tank


Author:
Brian Gehl
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 5/ 03, 8:07am

Thank you for the information. I have figured out it is a reserve tank that is pumped into the main tank. Thanks again. There is so much to learn, it is good to have a place to ask questions. Brian

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Fuel tank


Author:
Bruce Morris
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 12/ 03, 10:20pm

Brian, I have a second fuel tank on my 1983 FC35RB. It carries an extra 50 (or so) gallons of diesel. I learned that a previous owner had it installed to stretch his range so he could get through NY state and make it to the SE with one fillup at home.

Sounds like a previous owner did the same things with yours.

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Subject: Spotlight Directional Control Switch


Author:
Juergen Steinmetz
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 12/ 03, 2:30pm

Does anyone know where a directional control switch for a remote controled spot/flood light is available? BB wants an almost monthly salary for one single switch. Woud appreciate any pointers.
Juergen

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Subject: Roof panels for a 1977 FC


Author:
Gene Chaude
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 9/ 03, 8:51pm

Hello to all. I am located in Connecticut and have recently purchased a 1977 33' FC with a damaged roof. During a storm a tree fell and damaged the shell. The header panel above the windshield and the first panel on the roof behind it where the condenser is mounted needs to be repaired. The windshield has been replaced without any modifications and the side windows up front seem to be operating fine. The upper control consol and the drivers side upper storage cabinets have separated from the roof which appears to have dented in about 12 inches in it's deepest spot. A porta-power and body tools may do the job, but I am interested in finding used replacement parts to have on hand, prior to starting the work incase they are required. I Believe parts from a All American FC school bus would do the trick, but have not been able to nail down which years will fit or actually locate a bus for parts. It seems all of the buses prior to 1990 in my area have already gone to the crusher. Any information or direction on where to find the parts off a school bus or another damaged coach would be appreciated. I am very happy to see such a great site on these coaches. I have already done a few hours of reading and look forward to digging deeper into the wealth of information available. Thanks Gene

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Subject: WHAT IS THE REAL VALUE OF A 1986 FC 34.5


Author:
Kevin
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 9/ 03, 4:01pm

I am buying a 1986 Blue Bird in very good condition. It has the 3208 cat turbo, awnings, new refridgerator, ice maker, and 3 new roof air conditioners. I see that the NADA "BOOK" is 43-57K. Is this price right, or inflated. I am paying 35k. Can anybody help figure this one out?

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[> Subject: Re: WHAT IS THE REAL VALUE OF A 1986 FC 34.5


Author:
jim
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 9/ 03, 4:01pm

35K is a good price for a "good" 86 FC 35.
The key to purchasing these units is the condition of the unit and the status of maintenance. Buy from someone who knows and loves BlueBirds. These are great vehicles, but they do require attention. I would judge the owner before I looked at any Bird.
jim

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Subject: Hooks in carpet


Author:
Todd G
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 6/ 03, 6:27pm

I have a 1982 35FC and I am in the process of putting in new carpeting. I pulled out the carpet in the kitchen and I see about 12 metal hooks screwed to every corner in the carpet. I also see this through out the bus. They seem to be everywhere. Does anyone know the thinking behind these???

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[> Subject: Re: Hooks in carpet


Author:
Ernie Ekberg
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 6/ 03, 6:27pm

Todd- those are the hooks used for the original carpet runner to keep it in place.

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Subject: Weights: PT-38 vs. PT-40


Author:
Austin Gibbons
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 4/ 03, 3:52pm

Can someone please post the various weights(GVWR, GCWR, CCC, GAWRs)of the 1988-89 PT-38 vs. the PT-40 of the same years. I'm most interested in the GCWR and the CCC (NCC?); I want to figure the wt/hp and the wt/torque. Don't know the torque of the 8V92 either!
Thanks much

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Subject: SP36


Author:
John Mc
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Date Posted: 05/ 1/ 03, 5:40am

We have been looking to purchase a Bird for a while and we like the looks of the SP36. Are there any major drawbacks to these models. Are these models 100% Bluebird?

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[> Subject: Re: SP36


Author:
Fred Hulse
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 8/ 03, 4:46pm

John Mc
I have a 1991 SP36 (at least for a while I guess)It is our first Wanderlodge and without going to all the quality benefits which are many I will give you my impression.
The SP36 is 100 % Blue Bird mfg. 300hp Cat engine 5Speed ZF trans.
This is the little brother to the PT40 but uses the late FC eng and trans only in the rear.
The handling and performance is very good and very friendly.
If this coach has a bad side it would be its rear radiator in the rear and will run warmer in very hot climates 100 degrees plus.
I live in the Arizona desert and when we travel in the summertime we leave the desert area very early in the day and are out of the heat by 10 am and can relax about the heating issue.
I have found this coach to be an excellent value and for the money invested you will not be able to compare it anything else available.
Fred Hulse
Morristown AZ

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[> [> Subject: Re: SP36


Author:
John C. Smith, Jr.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 9/ 03, 8:46pm

We also have a 1991 SP-36 we purchased new. It now has about 180,000 miles, and we are pleased with it.

We also have had heating problems on rare occasions when the weather is hot and we are climbing very long hills such as I-70 westbound west of Denver. It is important to steam clean the radiator periodically as it collects dirt and oil. I ran a hose from the engine breather tube to the rear bumper to divert any oil exhaust from the radiator.

I consider the quality to be as good as any other 1991 model Wanderlodge. However, some owners consider it to be underpowered. We are not in that much of a hurry, however.

I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

John C. Smith, Jr.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: SP36


Author:
Jim Harrison
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 1/ 03, 5:40am

John and Fred,

I also have the SP Series and had a problem with it running warm on very hot days until I paid very close attention to the transmission fluid level. I noticed if it was filled to capacity the engine would preform warmer then if I reduced the level slightly. Since doing so the problem has gone away. I also extended the blow off tube as many have, and I use a degreaser on the radiator from time to time which cuts any/all grease and dirt which may have accumulated. Proper bleeding of the radiator/coach heat system is also very important for cool running. On very heavy demands I will turn on the manual override fan, and switch the coach heat system on for very short periods. This helps with the coolant circulation yet I shut it off prior to added unwanted heat to the interior. A few tips which may help you, but I no longer have those problems. Thanks, Jim

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Subject: 13.5kw Kolher Generator won't stay running


Author:
John Bergantino
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 27/ 03, 7:23pm

I have a Kolher 13.5kw generator on my boat That does not continue running. This generator only has 350 hours. It will run for a time and gererates current then shuts off. I have tried almost every combination of breakers to see if I was getting a power surge. Any ideas?

Thanks
John

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[> Subject: Re: 13.5kw Kolher Generator won't stay running


Author:
Rich D.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 27/ 03, 7:23pm

Does the generator have low oil or high temperature shutdown? You may be experiencing one of those conditions. My guess would be high temperature if it starts up after a cooling period. Could also be a defective sensor.
Rich D. 99LXi43

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Subject: road service plans


Author:
nelson slinkman
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 26/ 03, 10:32am

Can anyone recommend a company that has a good road service plan.

nelson slinkman
westminster, md
1994 40 ft.

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Subject: 1960 Blue Bird bus conversion


Author:
Rich Tuman
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 24/ 03, 10:13am

We recently acquired a 1960 Blue Bird bus converted to Rv - it needs a windshield - anyone got any ideas where we can look? - also like to get in touch with other owners of old birds - links, clubs etc. use e-mail or snail - 42 Center road, High Falls, NY 12440

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Subject: Swing out radiator on FC35


Author:
Lucas
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 23/ 03, 6:56pm

We just purchased a 1980 BlueBird 35FC. Some of the units we looked at had a swing out radiator. This seems be be almost a requirement in order to change belts etc. Is there information available on this upgrade? Also how can you adjust the valves clearances?, it seems impossible too remove the valve covers on the 3208 without completly removing the doghouse around the engine, is this easely removable?

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[> Subject: Re: Swing out radiator on FC35


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 23/ 03, 6:56pm

The swing-out radiator is still installed by Holland Motorhomes (616)396-1461. The "Dutch Door" as they've been calling it for 20+ years, is around $900 or so, by the time you get in there though it is prudent to do belts etc., so it will almost always be more. Money well spent IMO, I have had two and would have one installed in any FC.

As far as the valve adjust, you will need to remove the doghouse, and the radiator. The doghouse to get to the valve covers, and the radiator to get to the crankshaft to turn it and see the TDC/BDC marks. This is a good time to replace the doghouse insulation as well and the breather diaphragms, and if it needs them, have the injector nozzles rebuilt.

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Subject: 13.5kw Kolher Generator won't stay running


Author:
John Bergantino
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 22/ 03, 6:22pm

I have a Kolher 13.5kw generator on my boat That does not continue running. This generator only has 350 hours. It will run for a time and generates current then shuts off. I have tried almost every combination of breakers to see if I was getting a power surge. Any ideas?

Thanks
John

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Subject: cat 3208 vs DD 6v92


Author:
ken
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 21/ 03, 1:27pm

Does it make a difference which engine is in the used coach that I buy? Can one expect the same performance from each in terms of power, maintenance costs and so on?

We are searching for a late 80's or early 90's Bird.
Are there any coach years that I should avoid because of design or equipment problems?

ken

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[> Subject: Re: cat 3208 vs DD 6v92


Author:
zippy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 03/ 2/ 03, 4:00pm

yes indeed it does

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[> Subject: Re: cat 3208 vs DD 6v92


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 03/ 2/ 03, 5:31pm

The Cat 3208 is in the FC (front engine) and the SP (single axle pusher), the 6V92TA was in the PT (pusher, tag axle) but phased out with the introduction of the 102" widebody in '88. The next engine change in the PT was in '95 to the S-60 Detroit.

All are good engines. If mountain-climbing power is your quest, the best bet will be the 8V92 powered PT or the '87-up 300hp Cat powered FC, or the SP with its 300hp Cat.

Design or equipment problems? I'm not aware of any serious problems with any of those years. They get better and more expensive as they get larger or newer of course, and the pushers are almost always more money than the FC. The DD engine is a little thirstier, costs about 2/3 as much to operate and maintain the Cat, but the big detroit can pull toads up mountains a bit better.

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[> [> Subject: Re: cat 3208 vs DD 6v92


Author:
Bob Lawrence
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 03/ 8/ 03, 6:25pm

We have just bought our first bird, a 84 PT35 with the 6V92.
The engine was just replaced and had 200 miles when I picked it up in Nashville.
Put 3,000 miles on it to get it back to Tacoma, Wa. and found my milage was 5.7 for the trip.
I hear that I will get approx 6.5 when broken in at 10,000.
Is this about right?
With the price of fuel here (1.99/gal) more miles are better.
Bob

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: cat 3208 vs DD 6v92


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 21/ 03, 1:27pm

Mileage of 5.7 to 6.0 mpg is about as good as you can expect, with a tendency to 6 on interstate highways. I have a 1984 PT36 with a 6V92 and I compare mileage with truckers using newer equipment - almost all are getting about 6 mpg. Of course, they are hauling 80,000 lbs when fully loaded (and few are) while we are carrying about 38,000 lbs. A former owner of our coach said he once got over 6 mpg driving 1,400 miles downhill from Denver to Dallas.

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Subject: Exterior height


Author:
Jack
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 17/ 03, 5:39pm

Can someone please tell me the maximum exterior height of a '89 35FC. I'm trying to decide if one will go in my existing RV port.

Thanks
Jack
Oriental, NC

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Subject: Primus heat system


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 17/ 03, 7:32am

The Blue Bird factory now stocks Primus parts from BISK AB in Sweden. BISK has asked that coach owners contact Blue Bird directly now that parts availability has been re-established in the U.S.

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Subject: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Sandy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 15/ 03, 6:08pm

We are purchasing the a 1990 Wnaderloge with the following is there anything that we should know that is special to the 1990 model with the following?
8V92 Detroit diesel with DDEC, 5 speed Allison transmission,

6 RV/Marine batteries, queen island bed with storage, Couch in

main salon makes into a double bed. Corian vanity with lighting,

300 gallon diesel fuel tank, 155,000 miles

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[> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Rich D.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 22/ 03, 4:29pm

Sandy, We had a '90 WLWB from '93 till '01 when we bought our '99LXi43. The '90 was a great coach and we never had any major problems. I peformed many upgrades to the coach and am familiar with the "house" portion more than the engine and chassis which we had serviced professionally. I'd be happy to provide answers to any questions. You can post or email (which gets checked more often). Good luck.
gman1146@optonline.net

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[> [> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Sandy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 24/ 03, 5:03am

Thanks - welllllllllll we purchased her and she should be arriving shortly. ....so here we go again.....we hope to meet many of you and expect to back on the road and attend the Rally in the Valley. When I find I need help with the house part I will certainly ask....THank you for your offer. The interior was redone 4 years ago. I am certain that I can live with anything for a while.....
Sincerely,
Sandy, Griffy the Wonder Pup & Joe...the frustrated bus driver...LOL

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Rich D.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 24/ 03, 5:56pm

Sandy, Joe & G. the WP - Congratulations on the purchase of your new Bird. Best of luck & happy travels.
Rich D.

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[> [> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Sandy, Joe & Griffy the Wonder Pup
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 5/ 03, 8:58am

The bird has landed here in Florida - it experienced a moderately safe trip from Calif - blow out on tag axle on passenger side - but it turned out to be lovely with the interior needing only minor changes and of course a through cleaning....drapes to the cleaners and the bedspread and cornice boards and headboard will be the only major changes......does anyone know how to remove the cornice boards and and headboard.....of coudse I will use the old bedspread to alter a new one....

Hopefully we will see you at the birdnest in a couple of weeks

Sandy, Joe & Griffy the Wonder Pup

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Rich D.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 6/ 03, 7:24pm

Hi Sandy & Joe,
I removed and reupholstered the cornice boards in our ’90. As I recall there are a series of angle brackets holding them in place. While I had them out I installed rope lighting and put in a switch that allowed alternating between the fluorescent lights and the rope lights. The switch was hidden inside the valance and after positioning it for either set of lights, the original wall switch is used to turn them on and off. The rope lights are nice at night when the fluorescents are too bright. It is time consuming to remove the cornice boards so if you are contemplating doing this, have the lighting supplies on hand so they will only have to be removed once. The effect was so nice I continued on and installed it in all valences up front. This “upgrade” leaves no marks and is completely hidden when not turned on as the rope was mounted in a plastic channel on the wall directly over the fluorescents. I also removed and reupholstered the headboard to match. The screws were hidden in the pleats of the fabric. Have fun!
Rich D.

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[> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 27/ 03, 4:26am

My recollection is that the 90 Birds have a Primus hydronic heating system which uses propane to fire two small boilers in the engine compartment. I believe this system was developed in Europe and included in Blue Birds for two or three years before the system was replaced by Aqua Hot. In any event, the system is no longer servicable in the US and parts need to come from Sweden. Blue Bird is still working on a US source for parts and you might give them a call at 800/495-7787. The system seems to be long lived and is not subject to break downs, but if a problem does occur, parts will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get.

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[> [> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Rich D.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 27/ 03, 2:11pm

Bob, I think Primus was indroduced on the 1991 Wanderlodge. Most all, if not all 90's had propane furnaces. I have heard of converting the Primus to a Webasto unit if parts become a severe problem.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Primus Conversions


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 28/ 03, 6:31pm

Holland Motorhomes has a diesel-fired replacement for the propane-fired Primus.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Primus


Author:
John C. Smith, Jr.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 30/ 03, 3:02pm

Primus parts are available from BISK AB in Sweden which can be contacted as follows:

Mr. Sune Glimhage, President
BISK AB
Spikv. 10 4571 Udevalla, Sweden

E-mail: bisk@telia.com
Fax: 011 46 522 88901
Tel: 011 46 522 88388

BISK AB has a web site, "bisk.com", but only a few words are in English.

The RV division of Primus was sold to BISK AB. I sent E-mails to both PRIMUS AB and BISK AB regarding the unavailability of parts in the United States. Mr. Sune Glimhage replied by E-mail in September assuring me that I could obtain parts from BISK AB. I have just ordered several parts paid for by VISA/Master Card. I assume parts, including shipping, from Sweden cost more than they would through a US distributer, but it's less costly than replacing the heating system.

Blue Bird has replaced a few Primus systems with diesel-fired Webasto systems. I imagine there are pros & cons on that option. I know that the single Webasto system will probably require utilizing at least part of a compartment adjacent the engine compartment since it is larger than the two Primus boilers. I suspect the Webasto system takes more current and may be noisier? Also you lose the advantage of having two heating systems, one of which serves as a backup if the other won't operate.

I would be interested if anyone has more information?

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Primus


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 2/ 03, 10:53am

I checked with HMH on their diesel-fired Primus replacement and am told that it fits in the same space as the original Primus. As far as noise level and current draw, I don't see why it would be any more than the propane-fired system, but ???
Call HMH at 616.396.1461 and they can probably answer the rest of your questions better than I can (Ken or Mike).
BTW, I am only aware of one Primus system being replaced with a Wabasto by BlueBird, very expensive from what I heard.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Primus


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 15/ 03, 6:08pm

The Blue Bird factory now has a replacement source for parts for the Primus heat system through BISK AB in Sweden. This week, Blue Bird filled their first customer order with parts from BISK.

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[> [> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Sune Glimhage
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 7/ 03, 12:28am

Mr. Bob Dilks, my name is Sune Glimhage pres. of a company here in Sweden BISK AB. For your information, PRIMUS RV division was sold to a Europe company, named ALDE and they
asked us if we could take care about all parts/support for
PRIMUS in USA. You see we have been in the RV-business for the past 18 year and we know the market and parts/service in USA and Europe as well. We also have a catalog for the aftermarket over here.
futher we can guaranti you that you will have NO problem with any parts for PRIMUS, just mail/fax/call us and we will
help you. The prices will follow USA dollar and the price will be the same, but rembemer that Usd. have been gone down
20% - to Swedish krona. So for the next 5-10 year we can support you with all parts you want.
You are welcome to mail or call us.
Sincerely. Sune Glimhage pres.
PS. The are no problem to conect a Primus system to another
system,( engine system/dieselsystem )

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[> [> Subject: Re: 1990 Wanderlodge 40 foot


Author:
Sune Glimhage
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 7/ 03, 12:35am

Mr. Bob Dilks, my name is Sune Glimhage pres. of a company here in Sweden BISK AB. For your information, PRIMUS RV division was sold to a Europe company, named ALDE and they
asked us if we could take care about all parts/support for
PRIMUS in USA. You see we have been in the RV-business for the past 18 year and we know the market and parts/service in USA and Europe as well. We also have a catalog for the aftermarket over here.
futher we can guaranti you that you will have NO problem with any parts for PRIMUS, just mail/fax/call us and we will
help you. The prices will follow USA dollar and the price will be the same, but rembemer that Usd. have been gone down
20% - to Swedish krona. So for the next 5-10 year we can support you with all parts you want.
You are welcome to mail or call us.
Sincerely. Sune Glimhage pres.
PS. The are no problem to conect a Primus system to another
system,( engine system/dieselsystem )

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Subject: regulation of fresh water


Author:
nelson slinkman
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 14/ 03, 10:37am

Has anyone had problems with the shower water going from very hot to cold. The water pressure seems to stay the same but the temperature gets very hot and than very cold. If anyone knows a fix lease let me know.
Thanks in advance

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[> Subject: Re: regulation of fresh water


Author:
Peter
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 14/ 03, 10:37am

I had the same problem on my 78 BB FC. As background I had replaced the water pump with a shurflow model rather than the original type water pump. The problem was solved when I removed the accumulator tank from the system. It appeared that the accululatopr tank was more efficient in pushing hot water than it was at cold. It would not be until the water pump started that the water temp would return to normal. By removing the tank the problem was solved. Now the water pump comes on any time a tap is open but the fluctuating temp problem is gone.

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Subject: Engine Swap


Author:
Jerry Thompson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 14/ 03, 1:26am

I have a 1972 Wanderlodge with the 391 gas engine, 6 speed Allison and a 2 speed rear axle.

I’d like to swap the engine to a midrange diesel and keep the trans and 2 speed axle. Maybe a Ford Power Stroke or Cummings 5.9 ?

As an alternative there is a cat 1160 with a 545 Allsion and a 3 speed “browinie” I can pick up from a truck shop. Any words of wisdom?

Would any Vintage owners that have done such a swap email their results and thoughts.

This is a great group

Jerry Thompson

JerryT94@batnet.com

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[> Subject: Re: Engine Swap


Author:
Derrek H. Khajavi
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Date Posted: 04/ 14/ 03, 1:26am

We are finishing a restoration/upgrade on our VERY RARE 66'. One thing we have done is convert her to 3208 Cat power and a 4spd Allison. As a bit of a shocker to Bluebird fans, we tow a 32' long two car race trailer over the Sierras in her too! We re-chomed or polished everything on the outside and upgraded the interior with new fabric, new fridge, auto power switching, power inverter, solar and wind generator, sat/dvd/vcr, twin TVs and LCD screen with rear view camera, 16 speaker sound system with four amps and an electronic crossover network, digital tank monitoring etc... But back to topic....She runs great with the Cat in there! The bunkhouse has to be raised 3"-4" and there is some work with the shifter but for the most part is was straight forward work.

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Subject: front trim pieces needed


Author:
aaron
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Date Posted: 04/ 12/ 03, 9:01am

The moron who owned my coach before me removed all the trim pieces from the front of my 81 FC35. I have ordered the three bug screens from BB but they dont offer the aluminum trim any longer.

I also need the amber lights that go under the head lights.

Please Help!!!

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Subject: Tires


Author:
John Marquette
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Date Posted: 04/ 3/ 03, 8:51am

my tire pressure fluxuates with the air temp. Why?

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[> Subject: Re: Tires


Author:
HRSkillern
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Date Posted: 04/ 3/ 03, 5:17am

Air is a "gas". Appying the "Ideal Gas Law" from your High School chemistry class, P = CrT

P = pressure exerted by the gas

C = constant

r = density of the gas = mass/volume

T = Temperature of the gas
you will arrive at the solution.
HRS

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[> [> Subject: Re: Tires


Author:
djnichols
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Date Posted: 04/ 3/ 03, 8:51am

Might be important to note that the temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin. To visualize the effects of the above formula, consider this:

Imagine the relatively small change from 32 degrees F (0 degrees C, 273 degrees K) to 68 degrees F (20 degrees C, 293 degrees K). That is a 7.3% change in temperature, which will get you a 7.3% change in pressure (100 psi to about 107 psi).

The previous statement of the Ideal Gas Law assumes that the volume is held constant. Not exactly true for tires but probably close enough.

-dennis

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Subject: WHERE ARE THE FUSES


Author:
D.R. Parisette
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Date Posted: 03/ 25/ 03, 8:56am

Hi
I have a 1978 BB 33'FC and recently replaced BOTH roof vents with those top of the line FANTASTIC VENTS. We love em!
Only problem.....After more than a month of service, and for no known reason, they both now have quit and appear to have NO POWER. To start, I have asked the local shop where the fuse panel is, but they said check in the overhead cabinets. I found no such fuse panels.
Perhaps some friendly BB owner can advise where we can look for a blown fuse BEFORE actually removing the units to check for power (that obviously is not there).
Thanks for any assistance.
DRP :)

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[> Subject: Re: WHERE ARE THE FUSES


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 03/ 25/ 03, 8:56am

The Fantastic fans have their own fuses, mounted facing down in the bezel (round, plastic screw slots).
Pull the fuses, check for power there. If there is power to the fuseholders, you have a bad ground, which might be behind the panel over the entry door (can't remember for sure).
The power to the vents comes from a self-resetting circuit breaker above the driver's windshield.

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Subject: Lose Steering


Author:
David Outlaw
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Date Posted: 03/ 24/ 03, 6:24am

After driving an 81 35FC for the first time my question is what may be changed to improve the steering? There are no worn parts in the steering or tie rods. Never mind the cost. Ilove the bus!

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[> Subject: Re: Loose Steering


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 03/ 24/ 03, 6:24am

There are many things to check and that affect steering:
Tires. Good tires at proper pressure front and rear will reduce sway.
Alignment. Proper alignment to Wanderlodge specs (not bus specs) will improve tracking.
Drag Link Play. This large steering box to left wheel rod has adjustable ends and sometimes needs adjustment.
Kingpin Play and Lube. The kingpins need to be properly lubed, with the front suspension un-loaded. It will make a difference in how it tracks.
Steering Box Play and Mounting. The steering box has been loose on several units from comments on the wanderlodge.org site (loose mounting bolts), should be fairly easy to correct. Also end-play in the box, can be adjusted some.
Finally, Driver. My coach has beautiful tight steering, and is almost unaffected by wind and passing trucks, yet when pulling the steering wheel I found that previous operators have sawed at the wheel so much that the horn ring had worn completely through the copper layer a few degrees on each side of center! There is a tendency for new motorhome owners to constantly correct and overcorrect when they feel the body roll. Body roll is normal. Adjusting the Koni shocks to a stiffer setting or replacing if they're bad will reduce body roll, but it is IMO a good idea to try to drive the coach without correcting when you first feel the coach move, to see if it is truly turning or just body roll. Further, try correcting half as much as you would expect to, giving the coach time to catch up with your steering input. Turning the wheels 12' below the roof will take a moment to feel the extent of your input.

There are "fixes" available as well. The large spring assemblies attached to the suspension on both sides (I can't recall the name, possibly Steer Safe?) are in my opinion a "band-aid" and don't correct anything. It will make the steering feel heavier and reduce driver input, correcting the driver error problem and making the coach feel tighter as well as reducing the amount of steering in road ruts, but at a substantial cost and probably increased steering wear with the extra forces applied. The Howard Power Center Steering I haven't driven, but a trimmable setup like this would help to reduce the driver effort on a long drive across a constant side-wind, which is rare, and will make the steering heavier as above making it feel tighter.
The product I feel is probably the most cost effective is the Safe-T-Steer, which although not trimmable is a self-centering shock absorber type steering stabilizer which dampens steering input and makes it feel heavier, again probably adding slightly to steering wear from the additional power necessary to steer, but less expensive than the others and IMO at least as effective (I like how it drives and plan to add one to my current coach).
Again, much of it is technique in my experience, (assuming all is properly maintained and adjusted) but if you wish to spend money on one of the "band-aid" products I'd suggest the relatively simple Safe-T-Plus.
Most of these are also marketed as safety products, which will keep a blowout from tearing the steering wheel from your hands! In my opinion, having had two blowouts myself, bull. A blowout in a Wanderlodge with its heavily over-boosted steering is a non-event unless you happen to be steering with one knee while eating a hogie with both hands. Further, all of these items add resistance to steering, so if your engine were ever to quit or the power steering goes out (been there, done that, freeway in Chicago in my last coach) you'll have extra resistance to overcome (which isn't a big issue with the big steering wheel of the '81).

Get a good lube job and alignment, replace cheap tires and properly inflate, and try correcting less before adding anything. Good luck.

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Subject: Diesels: rebuilt/replaced & Trans.


Author:
JollyJim
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Date Posted: 03/ 8/ 03, 6:36pm

Hi,
In my looking for an RV (Vintage Bluebird) I've noticed a lot have had either or both the engine rebuilt/replaced and/or the trans and the RV's usually have less than 125,000 miles but are in the 1980's. It seems to be more so with CAT's than Detroit's diesels. Is this a common problem with Bluebird RV's? I thought diesels were suppose to be good for 300,000 to 600,000+ miles before needing major work. Is this just something about Bluebirds, or does it happen with any make of RV? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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[> Subject: Re: Diesels: rebuilt/replaced & Trans.


Author:
harvey lawrence
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Date Posted: 02/ 22/ 03, 8:24am

Jolly jim you are correct when you say that a 3208 cat or a 6V92 detroit should be a 300,000 mile engine....and it is, but only if they are properly taken care of. A Cat,for example, will swallow valves if they are not adjusted periodically. People who bought these units to begin with were mostly used to running gas engines. A diesel is a new ball game,but most said if it is running right dont touch it..Wrong!!!!Too many ran their engines well over 120000 miles with no valves adjustments and unknowingly courted and found disaster.At a minimum the older diesels should have an adjustment job(called running racks)every 60000 max
I do believe that is why it is very wise if to have valves done right away if you buy a used FC bird.
Harvey Lawrence

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[> Subject: Re: Diesels: rebuilt/replaced & Trans.


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 02/ 26/ 03, 12:32pm

I agree with Harvey that they SHOULD be high-mileage engines, but not all will be.
For the most part these diesels don't die young, they are killed. Neglect and mis-use.
I have not yet met anyone who had valve troubles in a 3208, I have personally adjusted mine and have not seen anything out of spec. in two FCs neither did my brother in his FC. Early 3208na engines had valve spring problems, this and the possibility of over-revving the engine on downgrades probably led to people believing that the valves are fragile, over-revving (valve float) or a broken valve spring are the only way that you might break a valve, poor valve adjustment would at worst burn a valve which would require head work only.

They also suffer from improper fuel system maintenance, and from general neglect, as to the DD engines, I see as many Wanderlodges with replaced 2-stroke detroits as 3208s. Look it over well, if it is held together by duct-tape and bailing wire it has likely been neglected, and if it has been neglected where you can see it, it has probably been neglected under the hood as well.

- Jeff

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[> Subject: Re: Diesels: rebuilt/replaced & Trans.


Author:
Bob Lawrence
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Date Posted: 03/ 8/ 03, 6:36pm

Hi Jim,
We just bought our first bird, a 84 PT35 that had a new DD692 put in at 125,000.
The reason was the previous owner broke a radiator hose, the bells and whistles went off and he thought that it meant that he had to take the rig in for servicing sometime soon....trashed the engine.
When I picked it up, the new engine paperwork showed that it cost $14,000 not including labor for his mistake.
Have the one you might be interested in checked by a respectable shop before you buy.
Bob

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Subject: Blender/can opener


Author:
Beverly
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Date Posted: 03/ 5/ 03, 10:27am

I have a 1981 35' Wanderlodge with all the built-ins. I need to replace the can opener attachment and blender attachment. Does anyone have any idea where they can be purchased? Please e-mail me any information at fceakc@msn.com

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[> Subject: Re: Blender/can opener


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 03/ 5/ 03, 10:27am

Try Nutone 888-336-3948. They still make the blender, it is about $50, the other items are available from a couple of sources and Nutone will assist you with those numbers also.

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Subject: ALLISON TRANS AND PROPANE WATER HEATER


Author:
JIM CROSBY
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Date Posted: 03/ 2/ 03, 5:40pm

WILL A 6-SPEED ALLISON TRANS FIT WHERE MY ZF TRANS IS ON A 87 FC 35???? HAS ANYONE REPLACED THE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER WITH PROPANE/ELECTRIC WATER HEATER? WE DO ALOT OF DRY CAMPING AND THIS IS A PROBLEM. ALSO IF ANYONE KNOWS WHO DOES THIS TTYPE OF REPAIR WORK ....TRANS AND HEATER. BEST TO CATCH ME AT BAJAPRO@AOL,COM JIM CROSBY

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[> Subject: Re: ALLISON TRANS AND PROPANE WATER HEATER


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 03/ 2/ 03, 5:40pm

The Allison MD-3060r would be the best bet and should fit, has a retarder and double overdrive. The trans is hard to find used, I've looked, even without the retarder, and with the controller (necessary) will probably set you back around $12,000 or more with installation (driveshaft needs shortening I believe).
If you're looking for speed or to lower engine RPMs, and have the original 5.29:1 gears, I strongly suggest switching the differential ratio instead. A 4.63:1 or 4.44:1 set should give you what you want for around $1600.
We have one member (wanderlodge.org) who has gone all of the way to a 4.11:1 and is happy with the change, I'm quite happy with my 4.63 (but would probably prefer 4.44).

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Subject: carpet replacement


Author:
Tom Sorrentino
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Date Posted: 03/ 2/ 03, 5:24pm

We are the proud new owners of a 1978 33'. My wife would like the carpet replaced (mainly just to update it). Who does this? How much? How hard is it a do it yourself. Any and all info would be appreciated.

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[> Subject: Re: carpet replacement


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 03/ 2/ 03, 5:24pm

I can guarantee it is a pain, if done correctly. However, it can be done with some knowledge of carpeting, a staple gun, seaming tape and an iron, lots of razor blades, and determination. You might also be surprised how much carpet the coach takes to go over, around, under, and up all of the places the carpet goes.

One Wanderlodge owner does installs, email Erniecarpet@aol.com

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Subject: '87 35FC vs '90 36SP. Which is better?


Author:
Ken
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Date Posted: 02/ 24/ 03, 3:50pm

We are ready to buy our first Bluebird and do not want to choose the wrong coach. We have found two that we like. A 1987 35 FC (93k miles) and a 1990 model 3607 SP (158k miles). Both are powered by CAT 3802's, have ZF transmissions and are similiarly equipped. And the asking price for each is $69K. Our question is which arrangement is better? Are there advantages having a pusher?

Do either of these models have a know problem in design or equipment?

Your comments and guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks, Ken

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Subject: Engine ac problems


Author:
Jerry Owen
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Date Posted: 02/ 23/ 03, 10:34am

I have a 1990 Blue Bird 40’ WB with engine ac problems. The technician at Williams-Detroit Diesel in Phoenix, AZ was looking for a pressure switch that controls the pressure in the engine ac compressor. We found out that on this model there was not a pressure switch installed but instead it has a wiring relay back by the inverter that controls the ac compressor. Bennie Collier, at BB, told the technician to look for a certain color of a wire. We couldn’t find that color of wire, but the relays are numbered 1,2, etc. Could anyone tell me which relay controls the engine ac compressor?

Thanks

Jerry

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Subject: Pulling Capability


Author:
Jeff
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Date Posted: 02/ 20/ 03, 8:34am

I'm interested in buying an early 80's to mid 80's Bluebird. I have a 7000 lb.loaded race car trailer to haul and I'm wondering if the smaller 31 or 33 foot units are capable of handling this trailer or do I need to get into the 35 foot plus units with the larger engine to do the job. I'd like to have the option of either unit depending on what I find, although I don't want to get in trouble with an underpowered unit. Also I noticed a fibreglass manufacturer of updated front and rear caps for the pre 85's. Do these work out nicely and do they work on either the big or small Bird's. I'm in California in case of any nice Bird's for sale out in the west I should know about. jeff@franciscollision.com eves 559.298.1456

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[> Subject: Re: Pulling Capability


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 02/ 20/ 03, 8:34am

The 31/33/35foot FC all get the same engine. In pre-83 it was a 210hp 3208na, in '83 a 225hp 3208turbo, '84 a 250hp turbo, in '87 a 300hp turbo. The turbo coaches usually had a taller differential so that they could run lower RPM as the turbo engine is limited to a lower RPM, pretty much a 67mph-70mph gearing. The '83-up also have a "retarder" which helps to keep speed down on the downgrades, especially helpful when pulling a heavy trailer I'd expect.
It will tow, but I found my 210hp 31' coach to be sluggish even in rolling terrain with 6000# in tow. The longer coaches will weigh more, the 35' is probably 5000# heavier than the 31' for the same year.
There are also pushers, starting in '82. They were pretty much all 330hp/5-speed DD 6V92TA turbos until '86 when the 450hp-500hp DD 8V92TA/4-speed became available, standard in widebodies and ran through '94.
A 250hp 31' or 33' would be a pretty good tugger in an FC, the additional wheelbase of the 35' is nice but with an extra 3000# over the 33', and the 300hp '87-up are nice tuggers also, it depends on how big a hurry you're in and whether you spend a lot of time in mountains. The pushers will typically be better tuggers although I have no complaints about the towing manners of my FC.
This is pretty much only about power/weight, as far as other factors like crosswind resistance and truck wake handling, any (properly aligned) Wanderlodge in these years is head and shoulders above a typical plastic disposable unit. Underpowered? a relative term and since you can pretty much just keep the hammer down up mountains without hurting anything, it is not as big a problem as in a gas unit which often can't handle extended pulls at full power without damage. They're built to take hard use.

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Subject: Oil Pressure / fan cycling


Author:
Terry
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Date Posted: 02/ 19/ 03, 6:29am

I have a 87PT40 with a 8V92 475HP. My question is what should the oil pressure be when idling, (hot,cold)
and at highway speed (65mph).
Also how often should the fan for the cooling system cycle. This would be in 85 to 90 degree outside temp.
Terry L.

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[> Subject: Re: Oil Pressure / fan cycling


Author:
Bob Dilks
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Date Posted: 02/ 11/ 03, 4:26am

Pressure will vary by engine, but hot idle should be about 15 psi although your dash gauge may show little or no pressure. Cold idle will be quite high, say 60 psi, because the oil is most viscous at lower temperature. Highway speed hot temperature should be about 50 psi, but here again your dash gauge may not show this reading. Have a capable service facility, preferably a Detroit Diesel dealer, take the hot idle and hot high revolution pressures with a mechanical pressure gauge for accurate readings and peace of mind.

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[> Subject: Re: Oil Pressure / fan cycling


Author:
Dennis N
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Date Posted: 02/ 19/ 03, 6:29am

My identical 8V92 with 87k miles shows 15psi hot idle, 55psi at highway speed, according to the dash gauge.

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Subject: Camp Sites for 40 footers?


Author:
Jim
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Date Posted: 02/ 15/ 03, 9:47am

I've been reading the book "Free Campgrounds out West" and I've noticed a lot of campgrounds can't handle 35+ RV's. So, does anybody have any suggestions or know of any campground books for the longer RV's?

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[> Subject: Re: Camp Sites for 40 footers?


Author:
Rich D.
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Date Posted: 02/ 15/ 03, 9:47am

Jim, The major campground directories for pay sites list "big rigs welcome". See Woodalls or Trailer Life directories. Individual areas that I checked using a web search engine produced some results also. (free campground big rigs) Many of the free campgrounds have few facilities and obviously no funds to upgrade them for large vehicles.
Rich D.

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Subject: flourescent fixtures


Author:
Harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 02/ 12/ 03, 12:34pm

I had an address of a firm in CA that would rebuild a liight fixture like new for around $18.00 and carelessly lost it.
Has anyone else heard of this shop? If so would you share the address?
Harv

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[> Subject: Re: flourescent fixtures


Author:
Harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 02/ 12/ 03, 12:34pm

I have found the address I was looking for and it is as follows:
REC Specialties Inc.
530 constitution Ave
Camarillo, CA 93010
Phone 805 987 5021.

I spoke with these folks and they will overhaul a thin lite fixture and ballast for $23.50 and this covers the cost of shipping it back to you.They also will guarantee it for 2 yrs.
Harv

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Subject: SP36


Author:
John Mc
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Date Posted: 02/ 7/ 03, 2:31pm

We have been looking to purchase a Bird for a while and we like the looks of the SP36. Are there any major drawbacks to these models. Are these models 100% Bluebird?

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Subject: wooden bird logo


Author:
Val Eastland
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Date Posted: 02/ 4/ 03, 6:59pm

We have a fairly new bird but was advised to ask the Vintage bird family if anyone could tell us where to obtain a wooden bluebird logo that we could stain and place on the black laminate above the cockpit to "dress it up". Thanks for any assistance.

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Subject: need good mechanic in Los Angeles


Author:
aaron
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Date Posted: 02/ 4/ 03, 7:29am

Help!
I need good mechanic in Los Angeles.
Can anyone recommend one? Mostly for systems - plumbing, heating, AC, electrical.
Thanks
Aaron
please call me ASAP
818 769-6897

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Subject: AC System Controls


Author:
Don Duncan
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Date Posted: 02/ 2/ 03, 7:11am

1980 FC31

Hello,

Can someone help me out with the following questions:

1. I have two AC voltage meters by the sink. The bottom one reads the outlet voltage accurately, at least by the sink. The top one always reads 10 or 15 volts lowers. Anyone know what the intended purpose is of the top meter.

2. Why does my rig have a manual transfer switch for generator, 30 and 50 amp shore AND an automatic transfer switch under the sink(relays)? Is the automatic switch an add on and not original to the rig?

3. Is there another hidden transfer switch by the redi-line somewhere that I should be looking for when I replace it?

Any or all of the above please. My manuals don't cover these.

Thanks, Don

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[> Subject: Re: AC System Controls


Author:
Rich D.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 23/ 03, 4:12pm

Hi Don,
Question 1. There two AC Voltmeters because you have two "legs" of AC voltage when hooked up to a 50 Amp hookup. These two legs actually provide a total of 100 amps. 50 on leg 1 and 50 on leg 2. The voltage may fluctuate between the two for several reasons. The campground may have a heavier load on one or the other or your coach may; ie an air conditioner and electric hot water heater on one leg and very little on the other. When you are hooked up to a 30 amp hookup the 30 amps are divided between both legs and the volt meters should read the same. If they don't, one or the other are not calibrated correctly or there may be a poor connection somewhere in that leg. With the 30 amp. hookup you must add the total of your two Amp. meters and not exceed 30 amps total. With a 50 amp hookup you can draw up to 100 amps but should never exceed 50 on either leg.

Questions 2 & 3 I do not know if anyone has modified your electrical hookup but normally in your year coach, there is a manual transfer switch. The relays under the sink are probably used to switch between your inverter (redivolt) and to shore power when available. The relay should "click" in when AC voltage from any source (Gen, 30, 50,)is available and supply power from the Gen, 30,50, to the outlet, or whatever is hooked to that circuit. When AC voltage is removed, the relay cuts out and connects that circuit to the redivolt so you continue to have AC power (now being supplied by the redivolt/inverter.)

Hope this helps.
Rich D.

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[> [> Subject: Re: AC System Controls


Author:
Don Duncan
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Date Posted: 02/ 1/ 03, 5:00am

Rich,

Thanks, it was helpfull.

My system only has one ampmeter so perhaps both legs are imposed on it, or is only shows coach draw, not AC. I'll probably have to open the box and see what goes where since some mods are in place. Sounds like yours has more guages than mine.

I'll check the voltage at the top panel and see if there is a poor connection some where. My top front A/C unit blew a generator fuse when I first tried it, perhaps I have a short to locate and the low voltage on the top panel is sensing this. Niether guage worked at that point.

Regards, Don

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: AC System Controls


Author:
Rich D.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 2/ 03, 7:11am

Don, Sounds like the ammeter you have must be for the DC (12V) coach load. You can verify this simply by reading it with no AC 120V power attached. If you are showing a draw, it is a 12VDC meter.
Regards, Rich D.

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Subject: Air Leak?


Author:
Don Duncan
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Date Posted: 02/ 1/ 03, 3:55am

1980 FC31

From start up to shut down my rig purges air at a valve assembly to the left front of the air cleaner. This valve has a high pressure copper feed, a nipple that is simply purging air, and two vacuum lines to a canister fixed to the air cleaner (one of the vacuum lines has a tee that goes elsewhere but I have not tracked it down). The assembly looks like a vacuum air valve intended to control the compressed air. But I don’t know what it is for and it is constantly dumping a lot of air. If I block the purging air one of the vacuum lines is blown off.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I just picked the rig up and the manuals appear to be a cross between 1977 and 1980, and very little 1980.

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[> Subject: Re: Air Leak?


Author:
Don Duncan
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Date Posted: 02/ 1/ 03, 3:55am

This appears to be a vaccum source for the cruse control ( that does not work). The rushing compressed air draws a vaccum that is stored in the attached canister. If I can't get the cruse to work I'll cap it. By replacing the vent tube, the hissing sound is moved away from the driver to under the rig.

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Subject: how to drive a wanderlodge?


Author:
aaron
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Date Posted: 02/ 1/ 03, 3:44am

I just bought a 1981 and am picking it up this weekend. I have a 6 hour freeway drive and I have never driven one before. Can anyone give me some pointers on safe maneuvering?

Do you do much downshifting when going up steep inclines or do you let the tranny do it all?

Also- I want to install a sattelite internet system and was looking for a good referal.

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[> Subject: Re: how to drive a wanderlodge?


Author:
Don Duncan
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02/ 1/ 03, 3:44am

Aaron,

Watch out for trees on the right hand side, especially through neighborhoods. Have your passenger, or seller help you out at first as far as when your centered on the road, and pick visual reference points that match where the road lines visually "touch" the cab.

You will likely be blown away by all the controls, take your time in leaving. Have them tell you all they know about them and any modifications to the coach. Take notes!!!

The steering ratio is such that you wont have that bad of a time staying in your lane. But your turns will be wide. Make sure you know that your lights work if your driving at night.

Give yourself plenty of clearance for stops, and test your breaking performance a few times to get the feal down. Mine stops pretty well.

Good luck, have fun, and hopefully yours is in better shape than mine...

Regards, Don
1980FC31

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Subject: new refrigerator


Author:
aaron
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Date Posted: 01/ 31/ 03, 8:15am

I need to replace the refrigerator in my new 1981 FC35. Is this a complicated job that a dealer needs to do or can a mechanically inclined novice like myself do it?

Thanks!

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Subject: Battery drain


Author:
Henry P
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 27/ 03, 8:21pm

I have a 1983 33ft FC bird. It has had one problem that I can't find. If the coach is not hooked up the batteries go dead in about a day and a half. I know it has a small draw, just enough to show on the meter but I can't find it/ Any ideas?
Henry

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[> Subject: Re: Battery drain


Author:
Rich D.
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Date Posted: 01/ 27/ 03, 8:21pm

Henry, Assuming that all the batteries check "Good" (You must separate them and check individually if using a meter or check the specific gravity of the acid with a battery tester.) Perform the following tests if all batteries are good:
After shutting everything off that you normally leave off, disconnect one side of the battery bank (positive or negative - makes no difference). Place an ammeter between the disconnected lead and the battery post. Note: You should start with the ammeter on a 10 amp setting. Read the meter and determine what the draw is. Go to the lowest setting that will not "peg" or "over scale" the meter. Next, while having someone monitor the meter, remove all of the fuses and circuit breakers, one at a time. When you find a circuit that is drawing power, you will see a drop in the meter reading. Many circuits draw a small amount of power such as radio memories, clocks, some relays that remain energized, the inverter, LP detector/solinoid etc., just to name a few. The best way to leave the coach if you have no AC power is to be sure the A/T switch is off, the electronic master is off and the inverter is off. The draw in that condition should be near zero. If I can be of any additional help, post here or email gman1146@optonline.net
Good luck, Rich D.

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Subject: Would like to visit a Wanderlodge


Author:
Stu Clark
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Date Posted: 01/ 26/ 03, 8:24pm

My wife and I are intrigued with the older Wanderlodges. We live in the Sacramento area and would like to see the inside of a vintage Bird. We have seen pictures inside and out on the for sale sites but would like to experience one in person. Please call me, or respond here, or email me if you are willing to let us visit. Many thanks.

Stu Clark
916-967-8682

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Subject: sway or track bar


Author:
Mike Warmbier
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Date Posted: 01/ 26/ 03, 10:27am

1983 PT 40. Had my home worked on and noticed a bracket behind the front axle on the left side, it was not hooked to anything and the mechanic thought it was for a track or sway bar. Evidently it had been removed and not replaced. Does anyone have any information on this. Is it a Blue Bird item? He thought we should replace it as the Bird should handle better and be more stable.

Thanks for you help and comments...........Mike

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[> Subject: Re: sway or track bar


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 01/ 26/ 03, 10:27am

You could try your question on www.wanderlodge.org, Ernie has an '83 PT40.
My suspicion is that it at one time had an add-on Safe-T-Steer which is a big shock absorber, and the owner took it with him for his next 'bird.
It doesn't need it, it does help to damp steering input from the road and lessen the initial feedback to your hands if you hit something with or blow a front tire.
They're around $600 if I remember correctly.

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Subject: Kohler Engine Tune-up Parts (Outch!)


Author:
Don Duncan
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Date Posted: 01/ 21/ 03, 3:55pm

My local Kohler rep is quoting me the following for basic tune-up parts for the 7.5KW Gas generator (7.5c61-RV):

- Service Manual $27.22 (seems fair)
- Head Gasket $32.72 (seems fair)
- Distributor Cap $75.55 (crap!)
- Rotor $45.30 (Crap!)
- Distributor Gasket $5.15 (I'll roll my own)
- Thermostat $60.90 (any one know what the heat range should be for this?)
- Thermostat Gasket $9.69 (roll my own)
- Condensor $21.06 (what?)
- Points $39.00 (is there solid state points out there)

Parts are not returnable. Anyone have thoughts on alternative sources of parts. Or which of the above can be compaired and purchased at an automotive store.

Please let us all know.

Regards, Don

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Subject: 1985 35FC(250) vs. 1989 35FC (300)


Author:
Jim Parsons
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Date Posted: 01/ 20/ 03, 3:02pm

I own a 1985 35FC (250). I am considering moving up.
What differences are there between the 85FC and 89FC?
What difference does the extra 50hp have on performance between the two coaches?
Thanks,
jim

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Subject: Falulty valve in tub


Author:
Jerry Owen
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Date Posted: 01/ 19/ 03, 1:05pm

We have a 1990 BBWLWB with a walk through bath. The valve that turns the shower on is faulty. We tried to get it repaired at John Bleakley Motor Homes, but it only lasted for awhile. We would like to get a replacement part. Could someone tell where we could get a replacement part?

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[> Subject: Re: Falulty valve in tub


Author:
Fred Hulse
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Date Posted: 01/ 3/ 03, 7:13pm

I have a 91SP36 and the shower valve stopped changing from hot to cold.Being adventurous (and dirty) I disassembled it and found some o-rings dry.Also there was a little piston device that seemed to change the water supply and found it was sticking.After assuring that the piston worked freely by cleaning and lubing with plumbing assembly grease,I reassembled it and it works fine.I don't understand the complexity of it but Moen seemed to.
Fred Hulse
Morristown AZ
1991 SP36

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[> [> Subject: Re: Falulty valve in tub


Author:
Jerry Owen
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Date Posted: 01/ 19/ 03, 1:05pm

I appreciate the info. At the present, I am just leaving the valve on so I don't twist it off. I is very difficult to turn on but easy to turn off. I am not much of a plumber, but I will run into a tinker or rv man and tear it apart and show them your instructions.

Thanks

Jerry

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[> Subject: Re: Falulty valve in tub


Author:
Rich D.
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Date Posted: 01/ 18/ 03, 11:27am

Hi Jerry, I forgot what brand of fixtures are in your bird, but most all brands have parts available through a plumbing supply or in some cases even Home Depot. We have a large supplier here - if you can't find what you need locally call or email me. In case you lost my address its RMDucci@msn.com Hope you are enjoying your 90 as much as we did. Also check Yahoo's Wanderlodge forem - very active - many users. Rich D.

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Subject: Loans for Older Birds???


Author:
Jim Warzala
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Date Posted: 01/ 18/ 03, 3:36pm

Hi,
Does anyone know what loan companys offer loans for older Birds? like '83's to '85's. For 15 to 18 years? Current rate?
Thank you for your help.
Jim jollyjim@flash.net

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[> Subject: Re: Loans for Older Birds???


Author:
Dan
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Date Posted: 01/ 18/ 03, 3:19pm

Ganis credit corp will do 12 year loans on 83 to 85 birds if you have good credit. At http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wanderlodge/messages search on "Ganis" for names and info from March of last year. E-mail me if you can't find the post.

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[> Subject: Re: Loans for Older Birds???


Author:
Dan
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Date Posted: 01/ 18/ 03, 3:36pm

Jim, I found the info.

At Ganis: try 1-800-722-6929, ext 8654, name Todd Raine. Al Bock was another very helpful person at Ganis. ext 8625. If you are a member of FMCA or Good Sams mention that also.
I "think" Al Bock does approvals, and Todd Raine does the paperwork and facilitates
with customer.

Ganis Credit Corp offered 15% down, 12 years for me on an 83 FC35 in March 02.

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Subject: wheel bearings


Author:
steve
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Date Posted: 01/ 15/ 03, 12:40pm

Help! I can't find any info. in the blue box on what weight or type of lube the front wheel bearings take.I would quess it's a 80-90 gear lube? anyone try synthetic? and is it added through the red rubber plug on the sigth glass? ( it's a 1984 FC 35')

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[> Subject: Re: wheel bearings


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 01/ 15/ 03, 12:40pm

SAE 85W-90 or 80W-90, fill through the plug, fill to the level ring in the clear cover, synthetic is fine IMO.

If it is low, check to make sure you aren't leaking onto the brakes, the drums simply slide off with the wheel removed.

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Subject: Replace Folding Door to Bedroom


Author:
David
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Date Posted: 01/ 11/ 03, 8:12pm

For 1980 FC Wanderlodge. Back folding door to bedroom is ripped. Has anyone replaced with a different style door?
If not, where to purchase replacement door?

Thanks!

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Subject: Convert twin to double sofa bed


Author:
David
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Date Posted: 01/ 11/ 03, 8:09pm

We have a 1980 FC Wanderlodge with two twin sofa beds in front of unit. We would like to convert one of the twin
sofa beds to a double sofa bed.

Any one have ideas for this conversion?

Thank you!

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Subject: New VIP Steering Wheels


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 01/ 8/ 03, 1:29pm

New thread, the old one is getting long.

Call VIP: 847.395.7250 and ask for Amy, she will be able to track down the hardware that you need, she did for mine. Amy is the BlueBird person.

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Subject: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
WAYNE HAND
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Date Posted: 01/ 8/ 03, 10:58am

Would like to replace my current 22" OD steering wheel with a smaller diameter wheel. Anyone know where they can be bought? (It's a 1987 PT-40) Thanks.

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[> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
Steve
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Date Posted: 12/ 19/ 02, 11:20am

Wayne I am also intrested in repalceing the overly large
steering wheel in my 84" did you recive any info. yet
from anyone?

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[> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
Stephen Gutknecht
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Date Posted: 12/ 19/ 02, 10:15pm

Wayne's message was pretty old... you replied 9 months after he posted :)

We just purchased Wayne's coach, but we have to get from Seattle to Florida to pick it up (end of the month).

I'll check with him what he ultimatly found out about options to downsize the wheel.

My e-mail address is Stephen@RoundSparrow.com if you want to contact me after the first of the year.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
steve
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Date Posted: 12/ 20/ 02, 8:38am

Thanks Stephen, I didnt look at the date it was posted.
I will check back with you next month to see if Wayne
did change to a smaller wheel and how your trip went.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
Wayne
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Date Posted: 12/ 31/ 02, 5:00pm

Hi Steve. My coach was purchased by Stephen and he is now on his way back home with it. I did locate a source for the smaller steering wheel and it is the mfg who supplies all steering wheels to Bird. Go to www.vipwheels.com, the name of the company is Vehicle Improvement Products. I have the exact wheel used on the new Birds and I TRULY LOVE THE SMALLER SIZE. They will supply you with the wheel, mounting adapter, and genuine Bird horn button. Have a Happy New Year.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
steve
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Date Posted: 01/ 2/ 03, 11:21am

Thanks Wayne,I've Emailed vip wheels three times with no
response I'll keep trying,Their web site now seems to be down I got into it a couple of times but then it would come up with page unavailble? or maybe they went belly up.
I can't seem to find any other source to go to.
I did find one other site but they needed to
know the shaft size and spline count? did you go with
the 18" wheel as the reply from Jeff Miller.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
Wayne
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Date Posted: 01/ 3/ 03, 6:40pm

Hi Steve. As I recall, I did not get a response from their web page either. Here is their phone number, (847) 395-7255, talk to Mike Adams at extension 12 (He is the Blue Bird specialist). I am pretty sure they did not go "belly up" as they are a major supplier of wheels for most mfg. of big rigs. I went with the 18" with the Nickel Plated spokes and the entire package with all mounting hardware and bird logo horn button was less than a hundred bucks. You're going to love it.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
steve
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Date Posted: 01/ 8/ 03, 10:58am

Hi Wayne,thanks for the info.on VIP wheels.I have talked with Mike Adams at vip but neither he or his boss have any Idea what wheel will fit the bird. They want pictures and the shaft size and spline count or ship them the original wheel so they can match it up. Starting to think the old one may not be so bad.
Mike said they have not heard of the tilt wheel air switch being on the left side before?
so they don't know what brand of steering column I have. But again thanks for your help.

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[> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
Melissa
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Date Posted: 01/ 5/ 03, 10:14pm

When you find a smaller steering wheel, could you please email me that info also???

Thanx!

Melissa

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[> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 12/ 20/ 02, 7:15pm

I ordered a new/smaller wheel for my FC from VIP, they're the original manufacturer and know what fits your coach. Their website is www.vipwheels.com and they have a great selection, and reasonable prices.

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[> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
steve
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Date Posted: 12/ 21/ 02, 4:00am

Thanks Jeff,I looked at their site,they do have some nice wheels.What size did you go with? are you happy with the choice?.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: SMALLER STEERING WHEEL


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 12/ 21/ 02, 9:00am

I bought an 18" wheel, was very happy with how it felt. I plan to do it again on my "new" coach.

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Subject: Ceiling and Wall Coverings


Author:
Melissa
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Date Posted: 01/ 7/ 03, 12:04pm

I am remodeling a 1983 Wanderlodge. In need of white ceiling and wall materials. Where can I get a roll if it or several panels?? Also could use another light fixture over entry door that fits junction between wall and ceiling.

Thanx!
Melissa
sassymfarm@earthlink.net

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[> Subject: Re: Ceiling and Wall Coverings


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 01/ 6/ 03, 6:00pm

Melissa:
Unfortunately, I'm told that the original ceiling and wall (ribbed) vinyl is no longer available.

Fortunately, you can save the panels if the vinyl is in good condition by pulling the vinyl from the "masonite" backing, buy new masonite panels (from a lumber store), spray both vinyl and masonite panels with contact adhesive (such as 3M Super 77), and re-mount it.

My brother did this with great success on his '83 FC where his roof panels were damaged from a water leak.

Good luck.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Ceiling and Wall Coverings


Author:
steve
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Date Posted: 01/ 7/ 03, 8:23am

Hi Jeff, do you have any idea if the white plastic strips
that cover up the butt seams on the walls and ceiling panels are still available?
I have a few that have seen their better days as I'm sure
most of us do.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Ceiling and Wall Coverings


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 01/ 7/ 03, 12:04pm

Yes they are. I just bought about ten of them from Holland Motorhomes, they are about $6.35/ea. if I remember correctly, and I think that they come from BlueBird.
Several of mine were already replaced, it appears that they were simply broken (or cut) off at the overhead cabinets and walls, otherwise you would need to loosen and lower the cabinets a bit to get above them again. I suggest cutting or breaking them carefully as they are self-supporting anyway.

Buy spares. I had one leftover from my '77, in my basement for five years and still as pliable as new. Apparently the heat and sunlight in the motorhome ceiling are what make them yellow and brittle.

Remember that they clip on the OUTSIDE of the roof channel, and they install better warm than cold.

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[> Subject: Re: Ceiling and Wall Coverings


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 01/ 6/ 03, 6:03pm

Forgot about the light.
The flourescent light is still available, I bought mine from Holland Motorhomes 616.396.1461.
I believe that other sources are listed on this site also, they're about $60/ea with bulb, bezel, and diffuser.

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Subject: OOPS!


Author:
Trudy
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Date Posted: 01/ 5/ 03, 4:56am

I thought the e-mail address would show. We're looking for information regarding buying a Wanderlodge -- pro's, con's and units for sale. (Please see previous message) Our e-mail address is TMarco503@aol.com. Thanks!

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Subject: OIL FOR DETROIT DIESEL 92 SERIES


Author:
Wayne
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Date Posted: 01/ 3/ 03, 6:49pm

STOP USING DELO 400 OIL. I had been using Delo 400 SAE 40 for years until I learned quite by accident that as of July, 2002, it no longer contains the additive required to meet CF2 (API) rating. And, as you know, these two cycle engines MUST use oil with CF2 rating to prevent premature wearing of the cylinders from "scuffing". I called the Mfg. and learned they changed the formula without "fanfare" back in July. If you use Delo 400 oil, read the label. Just thought you should know this.

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Subject: 12.5 KW Kohler Won't Start


Author:
Dave Mills
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Date Posted: 01/ 3/ 03, 5:23pm

I have a 87 PT36 with the 12.5 Kohler (Yanmar engine). It seems to run just perfect - if I can get it started. Sometimes it starts, but will get running only if I keep the start button engaged (all of the start buttons exhibit the same symptoms). Other times, there is either a click or a series of clicks coming from the flat box in front of the battery that contains all of the switches. Opening the box, I bypass the start switch and symptoms remain the same. There is a Bosch part (capacitor?) that vibrates with each click. This all started after running the generator for several hours. Does anyone have clue? Is this a simple fix? Battery was low and I replaced it.

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[> Subject: Re: 12.5 KW Kohler Won't Start


Author:
Bob Dilks
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Date Posted: 07/ 7/ 02, 7:58am

Factory recommends that every start should be preceeded with a 30 second use of the glowplugs by holding the generator start/stop switch in the stop position for 30 seconds before moving to the start position. You did not mention if the engine is turning over but refuses to start. If the engine does turn over (and I assume it does) and the glowplug use is to no avail, then the likely culprit is the fuel shut off relay. Test with the generator extended from the coach. If the relay is at fault, you will notice the throtle arm move when the start switch is pushed on but the throtle arm will immediately return to the shut off position cutting off fuel to the engine before it can start. This relay can be sporadic allowing the sometime start, sometime not start routine.

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[> [> Subject: Re: 12.5 KW Kohler Won't Start


Author:
Dave Mills
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Date Posted: 07/ 7/ 02, 1:43pm

Generator does not usually crank. All I get is the clicking. If it happens to crank, it starts right up. It stays running until I turn loose of the starter switch, then it stops. I will check for weak ground and other connections.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: 12.5 KW Kohler Won't Start


Author:
Dave Mills
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Date Posted: 07/ 20/ 02, 7:59am

Final status. Two or three problems. I fixed weak battery connections. Then the generator would ALWAYS start and stay running only if I held the start button on. It was generating 88 volts. Second problem was a transformer fuse. When the fuse was replaced and the brushes cleaned, the voltage returned to 242 and it started and ran fine.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: 12.5 KW Kohler Won't Start


Author:
Neil LeKIander
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 3/ 03, 5:23pm

Hi Dave, I have read your posts and those of Robert Rahn on the subject of Kolher generators which will start the engine but not continue running (or generating AC current) if the switch is released. Mine is doing exactily the same thing. It is in an 85 PT36 and has only 858 hrs. It is seldom used but like all such systems it is essential when it is required.

You spoke of a transformer fuse and cleaning the brushs; please explain further. I have looked at the factory service manual and find no mention of a transformer or a controling fuse nor any guidance for the brush cleaning procedure. For your info, I did determine that the control box contains three small relays and one large one. These relays all control the start sequence, generator exciting and then when the generator spins up and begins to develop AC power the large multi-function relay is latched(via AC) allowing the engine to continue to run while preventing the starter from operating, etc. I replaced all of these relays as they are relatively cheap and easy to access; this provided some benifits; the problem in now only intermittant, not continual. Please provide what ever follow-up you can and perhaps others will also comment.
Thanks, Neil

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Subject: 3208 power enhancments


Author:
Mike Hipster
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Date Posted: 01/ 2/ 03, 9:52pm

I've just purchased an 83 FCRB 35. Its got the 225 turbo with 200k showing on the odo, I'm sure I'll be doing a little repower to it soon. I have experience with the "little" V-8, I have 30k miles on a 3208 250 hp turbo custom built to my specs. Balanced and blue printed with roller cam and lifters. Yes, I'm into racing. I have this engine in an L8000 Ford converted to a motorhome/fifth wheel puller with a 10speed R6610 roadranger. The rear gears are 4:10 with 11 22.5 Michelins, runs 75 at 2500 rpm. As we all know, there is never enough power. I have just installed the turbo kit for the 300 hp, the pipes connecting the turbo to the manifolds are larger too. The turbo assy is twice as big as the 250 stuff. I have the charge air cooler from an L10 Cummins. I ran the 250 setup through the charge air cooler and could get 10 pounds of boost and get the pyrometer up to 1000 on a hard pull. (GVW 45000#). The bigger turbo seems to provide more punch (get 13# now) but I have 375 hp marine injectors on order. It wants more fuel now, more air more etc. etc. The injector pump needs a different cam to complete the arrangement but I will wait on that until I get some time on the bigger injectors. I always hear that power needs cooling, I have the big radiator from the L10, I rarely need to use the fans with this radiator so I'm optimistic it will be adequet to achieve the 375 hp level. It should be noted that this radiator/charge air cooler won't fit in a bird chassis. You may be able to get this set up in a sp36 but never in a FC. I will be attempting to maxamize the 250 hp arrangement in my 83 FC, I will be trying a propane injection set up, I will gladly share my experiences with forum members. I can help with engine and Allison questions, don't be shy.

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[> Subject: Re: 3208 power enhancments


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 2/ 03, 9:52pm

Mike:
I'm interested in your upgrades to the FC, had fun upping power in my old '77 FC-na with different injectors/timing/pump/gears.
I currently have the 250hp in my '84 FC. I'm told that the 250hp has the roller cam/lifters and is essentially the same engine internally (cam, piston oil sprays, etc.) as the 300hp ATAAC engine. I have considered adding an aftercooler beneath the coach, only place it'll fit, but am not sure the current pump and injectors have the capacity for the fuel flow necessary for 300hp (although a friend at Cat tells me that he believes that they are the same?). I'm also looking for more intake airflow, I can only get around 14psi boost, probably because of the less than favorable intake design which I'll be changing. I'll probably be turning the full-load point up to 2800 soon, will see what that buys me in pulling power. I haven't messed with the rack, I am not a big fan of black smoke, will work on air intake first.
The 300hp went into the '87-'89 FC but with a different (ZF) tranny, and the aftercooler is in front of the radiator with a different grille to make the room. I have the '87 grille on my coach, it buys me about 2" more in front of the radiator, not enough for the cooler.
I'm also told that the MT-643 can't handle the power, is rated at 250hp, can that be changed or will I need a different trans? Your 225hp has a different torque converter also, matched to the power curve of the 225. The synthetic fluid keeps it cool so far. Also use RedLine Diesel WaterWetter to help keep water temp down, but it probably won't keep it down for long if I add 50hp.
Keep me up to date on your thoughts and mods, I'm happy to see someone else here breathing some life into these critters, sounds like you're havng a good time at it and know what you're doing.

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Subject: Difference between: SP Wonderlodge & SP XXV Wonderlodge


Author:
Jim Warzala
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01/ 1/ 03, 6:24pm

Happy New Year Everybody,

I'm looking for BB Wonderlodge SP 38'/40' 1988 to 1990. I've seen some ads for Wonderlodges that are XXV anniversary editions. Can anyone please tell me the difference between a "regular" SP wonderlodge and the XXV edition? From what I've read the XXV edition was for the years 1988/89. I've seen an ad or two that are 1990's and say they are the XXV edition, what gives? Thank you for all your help.

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Subject: Shifting Problem


Author:
Jerry Owen
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12/ 26/ 02, 11:42am

We have a 1990 BBWBWL, 49', with a Detroit 8V92 engine with a 5 speed Allison transmission, we think an HT 700 series. The transmission keeps dropping out of fifth gear in to fourth. When using the accelator, it shifts properly most of the time. The biggest problem is when is on cruise control it will not shift properly. Once is down shifts it won't shift back into 5th gear. We cannot get diagostic readings. Could someone help me?

Thanks

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Subject: Parking Lights


Author:
Gary Miller
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Date Posted: 12/ 21/ 02, 11:11am

Does anyone know where I might find some new (or used) front parking lights for an '83 FC 33'? Mine are badly rusted. Just bought it, I understand the lights are no longer made. Any options?

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[> Subject: Re: Parking Lights


Author:
Richard Hayden
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11/ 26/ 02, 10:52am

Blurbird parts has a fix for about $90 for the front pair. However, it involves cutting the body metal and painting the new adapter plated to match your coach. I'm still looking for the lenses, which were a Mopar part as you probably know. Good luck.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Parking Lights


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12/ 10/ 02, 1:43pm

Blue Bird has the lenses for the MoPar parking lights. I bought a pair a year ago and have not yet installed them.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Parking Lights


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12/ 17/ 02, 4:07am

Richard, Blue Bird has the lenses for your front parking lights. Bought a pair about a year ago but have not yet installed them. Blue Bird part number is 2104610.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Parking Lights


Author:
Richard Hayden
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12/ 21/ 02, 11:11am

Thanks for the info. I have never installed the "fix" BB sold me a couple of years ago. I'll give it another try with them. BB parts difinately told me that the Mopar lenses were not available, thus the "fix". Isn't this just so much fun? Guess one needs to call several times and get a concensus. Thanks again.

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Subject: Primus Heat


Author:
Bruce
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Date Posted: 12/ 20/ 02, 6:19pm

I need service info for the Primus boilers and controls. Mine are 91' and seem to go off on the manual resets located on the water out lines right by the boilers. Other than that they work fine. Any USA distributor ?

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Subject: what to name my bird?


Author:
Ben
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Date Posted: 12/ 19/ 02, 2:33pm

I have no clue of what to name my bird!!!
It has a belly that looks like the sky with cluods on it.
I was thinking somewere on the lines of "sky" in a different language? can someone give me any tips????????????

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Subject: Blue Bird research


Author:
Dan Daniels
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Date Posted: 12/ 13/ 02, 10:53am

Hello All. Currently the owner of an 84 Airstream motor home, I am doing research into the purchase of a Wanderlodge. I have lots more quesions than I have answers but since I don't want to burden the forum, I will limit myself to a couple of questions to begin with. First of all I am interested in the body material and the labor required to maintain it. I became a believer in figerglass boats long ago from the standpoint of low maintenance, I wonder what the maintenance load for the Blue Bird body is? All I have been able to discover so far is that the body is steel (although it seems some of the very late models use composites to some degree). Is this stainless steel or is it plated or painted? What about rust? I sure don't want to spend my retirement scraping and painting to prevent rust form destroying my motor home.
Second question is about power plants. I have seen Detroits, cats and cummins all represented as power plants in the Blue Birds (rear pushers). Is there a best choice here? Are there power plants to avoid? Is there one that is best from the economy standpoint? End of interrogation...
I appreciate any and all assistance in my search for answers.
Dan

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Subject: Hot Water Heater


Author:
George Allen
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Date Posted: 12/ 13/ 02, 6:07am

Hello everyone. I have recently became the new owner of a 1979 FC.(#236). House Car series, 33ft. Mdl. WL FC3203. My hotwater heater does not work. I found it under the closet in the rear bath. I can't figure out how it works from the engine heat, so I don't know if a valve is closed somewhere or what. It does not work off the electricity. I read somewhere in one of the letters on the Vintagebirds site that the factory uses 10 hours of labor to install a new one. Don't know what that costs, but must be in the $1,000. range with cost of heater. Does anyone have a better idea? Is there a way to change to a propane/elect. heater, or even an Aquahot type? Have just about fixed everything else, but sure could use some help here.

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[> Subject: Re: Hot Water Heater


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 12/ 12/ 02, 5:18pm

Check power to your heater George, some have a switch and some have a pressure sensor to ensure the heater is full, one might have been added to your '79. The heating elements are cheap, can buy them at a builder supply.
There are valves under the coach, about beneath the driver's seat to shut off the rear loop. Be sure that they are open. Next check the winter/summer valves in the rear, near the heater, and you should have hot water flow to the water heater heat exchanger.

- Jeff

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[> [> Subject: Re: Hot Water Heater


Author:
George Allen
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Date Posted: 12/ 13/ 02, 6:07am

Jeff, thanks for your response to my email. Do you know if there are diagrams or photos available from the factory or some second party that would show the location of any or all of these valves and switches? Do you know if there is such a thing as a " how to " manual to help remove equiptment from an older BlueBird? They certainly used great innovation in finding spaces for things, but also makes it hard to work on the equiptment.

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Subject: Best Bluebird Wonderlodge - 1984 to 1989???


Author:
Jim Warzala
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Date Posted: 12/ 11/ 02, 10:50am

Hi,
I'm planning to buy a vintage BB between the years of 1984 to 1989 preferably an SP 37' to 40' and I was wondering if there is one year that is better than the others to consider. Thank you for your help. You can email me.

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Subject: Question on Detroit engine


Author:
Ernest Smith (Ernie)
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Date Posted: 12/ 10/ 02, 8:57pm

When looking in the FMCA magazine at experienced Blue Birds I see quite a few advertisments stating "rebuilt engine". My question is, why? Are there problems with the Detroit engine or is it that the coach had a lot of miles on it. Just what can one expect from the Detroit?

Ernest Smith
FMCA F160377
dynast95@juno.com

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[> Subject: Re: Question on Detroit engine


Author:
harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 12/ 9/ 02, 9:42am

Ernie,
The 6V92or 8V92 Detroits, properly cared for, are engines that should run between 300,000 to 500,000 miles or more without pulling heads.This has happened repeatedly in dump truck service of even with tractor trailers, But the key is to properly care for the engiine!With blue Birds or any other coach you have owners with a wide range of knowledge or no knowledge on how to take care of them. Very often it is the primary reason for engine failure.The same is true with the 3208 CAT engines.
Harvey Lawrence

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[> [> Subject: Re: Question on Detroit engine


Author:
Mick
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Date Posted: 12/ 10/ 02, 11:00am

In addition to advertisments with rebuilt engines and miles listed, I have seen ads that state engine hours only, with no mention of miles...is there a range of hours that correspond with the range of miles a well maintained engine should last? Thanks in advance.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Question on Detroit engine


Author:
djnichols
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Date Posted: 12/ 10/ 02, 8:57pm

>is there a range of hours that correspond with the
>range of miles a well maintained engine should last?

It appears that PT40s are driven 40 to 45 miles per engine hour. Thus, lasting 300,000 to 500,000 miles is the equivalent of about 7,000 to 12,000 engine hours. This is NOT from the engine specs, just back-calculating from other facts.

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Subject: putting an office in a bird


Author:
aaron
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Date Posted: 12/ 9/ 02, 4:58pm

Has anyone customized their interior to make room for an offiice? I want to put in a small video editing suite which would be the size of a small desk. I need a minimum of two video screens, speakers, a place for a key board and a couple of video decks. And the computer brain. I haven't yet purchased an old bird so if you think one model would work best for this system, please let me know. I'm also going to be living in it so I need all the essentials to stay. Be interested to hear any clever space saving ideas. Thanks!

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[> Subject: Re: putting an office in a bird


Author:
Harvey lawrence
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Date Posted: 12/ 9/ 02, 4:58pm

We reworked the living room of an 84 PT40 with altered cabinetry etc and we live in it full time. The guy that did the job was a master cabinet maker and perfectly matched the Blue Bird interior.I think this coach would have the room for your equipment without infringing on your living space much.You would also have you viewing area/office up front so visitors would not invade the rest of the coach.
The guys name is Gary Butler FM 3036 Fulton TX 361 729 6540 he has a yard big enough to park a bird while working on it.
He also works for a reasonable cost.
Harvey Lawrence

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Subject: restoration


Author:
jack zeth
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Date Posted: 11/ 29/ 02, 5:26pm

have opportunity to buy the family 1984 pt40,w/6v92. replace all oils and fluids to include the wheel bearings. the bird has not been run or used for over ten years. noone has tried to start it or run anything for that period. i am not afraid of anything mechanical if i have enough info to make sensible decisions. Basics are a must. i plan to live in it for ever.yup. no workshop manuals on any equipment . how do i proceed w/engine pre starting? i'm assuming it will run for a while until i can get some things checked out. probably rebuilt soon. very important is the storage tank integrity and sanitation. i'm thinkin in the neighborhood of 15.000 w/me doing most of the labor. any and all help is appreciated, as i hope to thank all on the road in the fall of 03. i know it's a lot to ask, but just help me get started. JZ

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[> Subject: Re: restoration


Author:
L.R. Longcrier
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 13/ 02, 11:21am

The first thing I would do is to contact the local Detroit Engine supplier/dealer, and get as much info from them as possible, and then take it in to them and have an engine diagnostics run on it. Blue Bird may have some info on your Coach,Call them and ask for the service department. Have your VIN # available when calling. I find them most helpful. Next get the Manufactuers name and model numbers for all of your appliances and contact them for litrature on the various items that might need repair. You might look in the archives of this colum for repaires that have been made by other owners, I find this site to be very informative on almost anything that I have had problems with.

LeRoy R. Longcrier
VB#1191

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[> Subject: Re: restoration


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 10/ 13/ 02, 8:15pm

Before starting the engine drain the condensation from the fuel tank, there should be a drain on the bottom.Then I would replace the fuel filters and prime. Next would be replacing the oil and filters (pre-fill the filter), and then check the air intake for nests or holes, and replace the air filter if necessary.

After that I would try starting. Let it crank for a little while before trying anything drastic so that oil can begin to circulate. Good batteries are necessary as a diesel will not start well at low RPMs cranking, and be sure you don't crank too long as you will overheat your starter.

If it doesn't hit after a little cranking, you can try a little WD-40 as a starting fluid. You might or might not have an ether starting aid, but I recommend against using ether as it can stretch head bolts and also it washes the lubrication off of cylinder walls which can cause scoring.

Once you get it to run, keep an eye on your oil pressure, and on your fuel filters. You might have to dispose of the fuel if you have a severe algae problem, algae grows in diesel fuel tanks in the condesation on the walls above the fuel, and you will probably see it in the filler neck if it has a severe case. The fuel itself should be good.

Before running it on the road, it is a good idea to replace all of the engine coolant, bad coolant can kill a wet-sleeve diesel. You will want to run a good coolant, with distilled water, and NO MORE THAN 60% Coolant in your water.

Good luck.

For information on any of the systems in the coach, there are plenty of us out here with manuals and knowledge. If you don't have any luck at this site, hop over to www.wanderlodge.org and we can help you there.

- Jeff

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[> Subject: Re: restoration


Author:
Harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 10/ 17/ 02, 8:20pm

I think if it were me, I would pull both head pan covers and six injectors. Then I would carefully spray a light oil
into each cylinder and let them set a day or so. DO NOT EVEN TRY TO ROLL THE ENGINE OVER UNTIL THIS OIL SOAKS IN WELL. The reason being that your engine has set so long that it may have rusted the pistons & sleeves and if you move the pistons without lubrication you could score piston sleeves. In a day or so, bump the starter so the pistons move to new locations but not far, and then oil again. Replace and reset injectors and pans an try cranking it. Of course you will need new batteries as well. Then I would try to get it to a detroit dealer or truck dealer who HAS SOME ONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO WORK ON THE 6V92. Believe me when I say not all Detroit dealers do!! From there it is a matter of checking systems to see what works. Do not try to jump start the thing and remember that when you pull the injectors you will remove the control rack. This must be reconnected before trying to start the engine, otherwise the engine will run away and destroy itself. I would also drain any fuel in the tank and use it to kill unwanted grass, and replace it with fresh fuel. If you do not feel confident in doing these things then find a good 6V92 man.
Of course follow the advice about changing oils and the filters and change the one on the transmission too.

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[> Subject: Re: restoration


Author:
Michael Holman
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Date Posted: 11/ 29/ 02, 5:26pm

We bought an 85 PT40 that had little use (1900 hours). The coolant did not have the protectant in it (not talking about antifreeze). Because of this we ended up with a $11K top side rebuild due to coolant in the oil. Detroit Diesel has a test kit for the coolant. Everyone should have one of these.

Michael Holman

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Subject: Ignition switch (URGENT)


Author:
Michael Holman
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Date Posted: 11/ 29/ 02, 3:34pm

I have a 1985 PT40. The other day when leaving an RV park I started up and oddly a couple of seconds later the engine quit. I restarted and it was fine. I pulled around to the front of the park to hook up the car. Afterwards when I tried to start up nothing happened. The rear ignition worked fine so I drove home with the ignition key in the back. (BTW what exactly does the PULL TO STOP lever do? Just in case I ever need it. My concern is that it cuts fuel in such a way as to loose the prime.)

The rear switches checked out so I went at the unpleasent task of getting at the front ignition switch. I found one wire off (red). Only ACC and IGN were possibilities so I put it on IGN. The bus then started from the front but the engine was making a nasty banging noise. I finally realized after a few minutes (groan!) that the starter was engaged. I'm sure I took a few years off my year old starter but it still works fine.

With the red on IGN it starts in the first click to the right and keeps the starter running. So now I'm puzzled since it seems the red wire is the starter. I can hotwire it by momentarily putting 12V on this wire. But it could not have been on the ST (start) connection of the switch since there is only one terminal and it already has a wire. This is what I have:
BAT - yellow (spliced onto a fairly heavy black wire)
ST - black
ACC - white, gray (2 wires)
IGN - orange, (I also put the red here)
It seems that the red should go on ST but then where does the black go and how did it work before? I dont have a schematic for this circuit. Perhaps there is a solenoid that is stuck but that's a very strange coincidence since the failure at the RV park was no start. Maybe the red only fell off when I opened the housing but that still doesn't explain it. Additionally the switch does have rather high resistance readings and should probably be replaced, but this would appear to be a separate issue.

To further complciate things we are leaving the country for France on Monday for an unknown duration up to a year (we have some one to take the Bird out while we are gone.)

Please respond tres vite if you have any helpful information.

Michael Holman

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Subject: Fuel tank problem?!? 1983 FC


Author:
Robert Rahn
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Date Posted: 11/ 26/ 02, 10:44am

Just wondering if anyone has had to deal with the draining and cleaning out of a fuel tank on an 83 or similar FC. I recently started a trip from Montana to Georgia and had to be towed twice due to a fuel problem. The first place thought it was the 3 foot fuel line and replaced it, along with the 2 fuel filters. We made it to Kansas....The second place said they thought that the fuel tank had a high amount of sediment in it. They changed the fuel filters again and recommended dropping the fuel tank, cutting a hole in the top, cleaning it out and then welding it back together. We decided to continue driving it to Georgia, replacing the fuel filters several times along the way. Now that we are here, Blue Bird says they do not get involved with the fuel tank issue and are recommending to take it to a local truck place. Just wondering if anyone else out there has had a similar problem or can offer any suggestions or solutions. Thanks...

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[> Subject: Re: Fuel tank problem?!? 1983 FC


Author:
Richard Hayden
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Date Posted: 11/ 26/ 02, 10:44am

After we purchased our 1981 31' FC I suspected dirty tank problems and had the tank cleaned in-place in my driveway. The service sucked the fuel out and "polished" it with filters. Then pressure washed the inside of the tank with diesel and then sucked that out. As I had suspected, the tank was quite dirty with 20+ years of water and trash build-up. I had a similar situation with a boat so knew about the service. This routine is not cheap, costing about $800 - $900 here in the Seattle area. It's a very specialized service and they can get just about what ever the traffic will bear. But, probably still better than removing the tank, cutting a hole in it and then welding it up. The whole routine was done through the filler neck.

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Subject: 36SP models


Author:
Mick
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Date Posted: 11/ 25/ 02, 4:55am

Can anyone provide a little history on the 36SP models? I'm curious as to the short production span and wondered if there was a technical reason (meaning any particular problems) that they ended that model, or if they just were discontinued because they did not sell as well as the larger units. Thanks in advance.

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[> Subject: Re: 36SP models


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 09/ 12/ 02, 9:40am

SP36? One of my favorites.
Produced '89-'92, 36' 10" long I believe, 96" wide. BlueBird All-American bus, Rear Caterpillar 3208ATAAC (300hp) w/ 5-speed Electronic ZF transmission. Similar in many ways to the '87-up FC in that it is pretty much the same bus with the same running gear, but in the rear instead of the front. It has a nice pass-through basement, is smaller and much lighter than the PTs, and I suspect much cheaper to run and maintain. Also with its two axles and shorter wheelbase it should be much easier to maneuver and park.
A new front cap and some smoother bodywork was added in '91 giving it a more updated look, and in late '90 a hot-water heating system replaced the forced-air units, a real plus in my book (included heated basement).
They didn't have significant problems unique to the model, other than a little bout with cooling issues due to having a rear radiator which needs regular cleaning to keep it effective, especially if the original breather tube isn't replaced with the longer version (simple change).

Why BlueBird didn't continue to produce them I can only assume was sales related, it essentially replaced the FC with a pusher for the entry-level. They tried replacing the SPs with the BMC in '94, this didn't sell well either, BlueBird again returned to their mainstay: top-of-the-line BlueBird bus based motorhomes which they produced until this year.

Personally I like the SP36, they fit my needs better with their smaller size and manuverability, and the lighter weight allows decent performance from a (relatively) economical engine compared to its 43,000lb brother. The lack of a tag-axle also adds to its economy as well as freeing up about 5' of basement on each side for storage, although the basement storage is not as tall as the PT models.

The SP gets a pretty stiff price still, probably due in part to the limited numbers available, and the bird on the side. It is not a wide-body (102"), which is to some a disadvantage, but on the other hand, it is legal on pretty much all roads in all states where the 102" is not. Floorplans varied, the standard is sofa/chair front, booth dinette, side bath, rear twins or queen.

- Jeff

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[> [> Subject: Re: 36SP models


Author:
Mick
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 13/ 02, 7:35am

Thanks, Jeff, I had not heard about the cooling issue before, but that doesn't sound like much of a problem. I have been interested in that model series for all the reasons you listed. We have a small Class C now and the Bluebird is a dream for the future.
Mick

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[> [> Subject: Re: 36SP models


Author:
sebastian lamagna
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11/ 25/ 02, 4:55am

Hi Jeff:

I am in the process of buying a 90 36SP for $68,000 with 158,000 miles; it's a 2-owner coach being sold through dealer consignment. The only major problem disclosed was a leak in the transmission seal which will be repaired prior to delivery. By the way the Blue Box is with the coach.

Do you feel the high mileage to be a concern and while I plan to have an oil analysis done is there any other comments you feel may be useful in my decision. It is going to be my first RV.

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Subject: why middle/front bath??


Author:
Chris Fine
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Date Posted: 11/ 21/ 02, 8:23am

I gotta' ask this question! We (as many others here thinking about buying a Bluebird) are considering these great RV's. One thing I keep seeing in the older 'birds is the bathroom across from the entrance! Please tell me what is the idea of that?? Most motorhomes have the bath in the back where you can close doors and shower and change in private! No window drapes/shades to close. I found a really nice 'bird out east with almost no miles and garage kept, but wife.org. refuses to look at it because of the goofy bathroom placement. Why the heck is the reason to put the bath/potty between the parlor and the galley? Chris Fine. clfine@csinet.net

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[> Subject: Re: why middle/front bath??


Author:
A H
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11/ 20/ 02, 3:19pm

I have a FC 33 with the bathroom placement you note. I enjoy this as it allows easy access upon entry to the coach. It also seperates the living room from the kitchen making them seem like 2 seperate rooms. Additionally the windows are tinted so nicely that you cannot see in during the day and barely at night with lights on in the coach.

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[> Subject: Re: why middle/front bath??


Author:
Jeff Miller
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Date Posted: 11/ 21/ 02, 8:23am

There is also a rear bath model, and the side bath was moved rearward in '87.

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Subject: Rear View Monitor


Author:
Ike Jones
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Date Posted: 11/ 20/ 02, 8:54am

If anyone has replaced or upgraded the rear view monitor in an '86 PT40, or similar 'bird, I'd sure like to know how you did it. Also, the brand of system you chose. I think the biggest problem might be the routing of the video cable. Any help would be appreciated.

I'm also interested in installing a 19 or 20 inch tv in the front overhead.

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[> Subject: Re: Rear View Monitor


Author:
Eric Johnson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 2/ 02, 4:07am

Our 1984 35FC is a Wanderlodge II and came without a rear monitor. I installed a new Voyager AOS-33 system from Audiovox. The system is B&W with sound. Toughest part of the installation was fishing the signal line behind the cabinets, particularly behind the side bath, but just takes patience. I mounted the new monitor on the dash next to the main console rather than up above so I can look to the rear without taking my eyes off the road as much. System has been trouble free. Cost was $760. Audiovox number is 219 264 3135. Good luck!

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[> [> Subject: Re: Rear View Monitor


Author:
Chris Fine
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Date Posted: 11/ 17/ 02, 10:18pm

My father-in-law is an electrical engineer for AudioVox in Elkhart! I'll pass on to him you like his products!

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[> Subject: Re: Rear View Monitor


Author:
Harvey Lawrence
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Date Posted: 11/ 20/ 02, 8:54am

If you check Harveys column "looking back in style" it has a lot of good info on back up cameras
Harv

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Subject: Hot water tank


Author:
Mike Warmbier
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11/ 5/ 02, 7:22pm

Have a 1982 PT 40. Where is the hot water tank located?

I need to drain it and the two cables that are supposed to be hooked to it, they are the ones on the right lower side of the bed frame are not hooked to anything, so is it possible the heater has been moved.

Thanks in advance

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Subject: used bird


Author:
T.J. Padden
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11/ 1/ 02, 2:47pm

I am daydreaming about buying a used "bird" my current object of desire is a 78 Anniversary model 33ft Seller is asking @ $30,000. one big problem is that he says it has a new speedometer & doesn't know how many miles are on it. I guess that I wonder how you can come up with a reasonable value to make the banker happy. Also, is there any chance that there is one of those lemon web sites that would have info if I had the serial # ??? Actually this bird is in Arizona and I am in the panhandle of NE---sure would like to be able to see a couple examples before I take the plung

thanks in advance for any advice----padden

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[> Subject: Re: used bird


Author:
Fred Hulse
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 7/ 02, 5:55pm

T J,
You need to ask the owner of this 78 FC33 what the hours are on the engine and that should give you an idea of the miles.
Fred Hulse
Morristown AZ
1991 WLSP36

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[> Subject: Re: used bird


Author:
D.R. Parisette
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 25/ 02, 11:33pm

Hi
Read your message. We have a '78 BB 33FC.
You can email us and we will send pics
DRP

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[> [> Subject: Re: used bird


Author:
Rich Cline
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 26/ 02, 12:25am

I'm in the process of restoring a 78 FC 33'. Sure would appreciate pictures of your coach to reference. Thanks!

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[> Subject: Re: used bird


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11/ 1/ 02, 2:47pm

The only way I know to indicate true mileage is through records that the owner might have kept. Unfortunately, the '78 had niether an engine hourmeter nor a 7-digit (whole) odometer.
On my coach Caterpillar had records including mileage.

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Subject: 1981 Conversion


Author:
Henry Long
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 27/ 02, 11:26am

I am currently converting a 1981 FC Bluebird into a motorhome. I am looking for tail-lights that I have seen on pictures of Wanderlodges from 1984-86. These particular lights are vertical with separate stop, turn, brake and back-up modules in one unit. I have a picture of a bus I took on the highway; If you think you can help me, I will send you this picture, please e-mail me. Tanks in advance.

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Subject: Raising the Genset on a 83 FC


Author:
Carl Breiner
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 26/ 02, 7:45pm

Can anyone tell me who can raise the genset? I thought it may have been Brown Specialties but I have been unsuccessful in trying to locate them. Thank you for the help!!

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Subject: CAT 3208 Engine 4 Sale


Author:
D.R. Parisette
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 26/ 02, 12:23am

We have a nice Diesel engine that may be of interest to someone considering to repower their BB from gas to diesel. The engine is a REMANUFACTURED CAT 3208 (non tubo) currently mounted in a 1978 Ford F-8000 Cab over chassis. Can't say how new it is but the serial number may be able to research as to it's age and when it was installed, but it looks fine.
It has recently been serviced (oil and filters changed) and cranks (with a borrowed battery) fine, but needs final touches to restart after a long period of unmolested storage.
We will be happy to email pics. Fair Price is unknown but reasonably negotiable. We can also assist with transport of the entire unit via a transport broker we know.

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Subject: Help my poor FC!


Author:
Jay
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 25/ 02, 10:51pm

Hi there,

I recently purchased a 1970 BB. Great ol' bus. Already installed new brake system, new tires, new everything on the engine. (Carb, distributor, etc.) It still will not run well! After 45 minutes or so of running, it starts popping (backfiring back up through the carb) and now loses power, as if it were starved for gas. It is a 391. I have tried everything, even removing and cleaning the gas tanks. Compression tests revealed two cylinders that are lower than the rest, but not terrible. She does tend to run a little hot.

Since it seems that I am in for some serious engine work (rings, heads, bearings, etc.) I was wondering if this is the best route to go? Is there perhaps a better drop-in engine that I might be able to find used? I might take this opportunity to upgrade the ol' girl's power. Has anyone out there been through this? I would appreciate any helpful comments.

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[> Subject: Re: Help my poor FC!


Author:
Jeff
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 18/ 02, 1:06pm

Jay:

It sounds like a bad ignition coil. First try replacing the condensor in the distributor. Try running it without anything on the coil except the distributor, and the ignition (battery) wire, which should be through a ballast resistor. If it still continues, you probably need an ignition coil. If disconnecting the tachometer etc. cures your problem, look for a bad capacitor, possibly a radio noise suppression capacitor or even possibly in your tachometer (unlikely). A bad condensor or capacitor usually will make your tachometer jump around while the engine is missing/backfiring, a bad coil will not.
Another possibility is that you have an intake valve sticking when it gets hot.
Good luck,

- Jeff

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[> Subject: Re: Help my poor FC!


Author:
D.R. Parisette
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 25/ 02, 10:51pm

Hi
Read your message. Thought you might be interested in a Ford F-8000 that we have. It has a CAT 3208 Remanufactured Diesel (non turbo) in it. We are asking $3000. for the entire rig.
If you are interested, we can send pics.
Let me know.
DRP

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Subject: 1984 FC Blue Bird (Digitell ??)


Author:
Russell Farmer
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 25/ 02, 6:18am

Does anyone have info on the Digitel system. I recently purchaced an 84 and this doesn't seem to work, and I'm really not sure what it does. Please help.

What is the Digitel ???

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[> Subject: Re: 1984 FC Blue Bird (Digitell ??)


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 20/ 02, 7:16pm

The Digitel system was a digital voice that would tell you what you are doing wrong, a whole-vehicle warning system.

It is common for them to not work, and most people don't want them fixed ;~)

If the box has power (it is located above the digitel panel, open the left-most overhead galley cabinet, and remove the panel in the left side which should be secured by a small deadbolt), some people have had luck with removing the large IC chip from its socket on the PC board and plugging it back in (to make better contact on the pins). Do this carefully, and protect it from static shock which will destroy it. Good luck. After you have repaird it and know what it does, you can leave it turned off with the little volume knob in the galley.

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[> [> Subject: Re: 1984 FC Blue Bird (Digitell ??)


Author:
Russell L.Farmer
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 25/ 02, 6:18am

Thanks for the advice on the digitel. It's the only thing we've found on the coach that doesn't work. I'll let you know how it goes...

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Subject: New wheels and tires


Author:
John Glasgow
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 21/ 02, 10:39am

I have a 1970 FC 31 with the original steel wheels and rubber in need of replacement (the one on the "history" page);

What would be the optimal replacement? I understand that the 9R20 tire/wheel combination is not very common, I don't want to be in that boat again, so can anyone help me out with a common size wheel/tire combo that will fit the wonderbus ('70FC31)

Also a good source for those wheels would be appreciated

Thanks
John Glasgow
'70FC31 with 9R20 wheels
Kennesaw, GA

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Subject: Replacement Tires


Author:
Bob Trafton
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 10/ 02, 5:26pm

I have a l991 SP36 and shortly we will be looking for new tires all the way around.Can anyone help with any suggestions on the brand that they have had good luck with.Also any help where to buy replacement day night shades to match the ones now in the coach.


Thanks Bob Trafton

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[> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Fred Hulse
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 19/ 02, 7:08pm

Hi Bob
We just recently put on a set of Michelin 12R22.5 XZE which is the replacement for the oe tires on our 1991 SP36.They are a bit pricey but now I am happy we bought them,as they increased the quality of the ride substantially.My second choice was going to be the Goodyear G159 if only because I have seen those on nearly every school bus I checked that runs the hiways of Arizona.
Fred Hulse
1991 WLSP36
Morristown AZ,

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[> [> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Bob Trafton
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 6/ 02, 3:37pm

Fred,

I am sorry for not getting back to you sooner about your help on the tires for our SP-36. Great information! We just got back from our trip to New Hampshire and had the front tires replaced with the Michelins, wonderful ride. Have you had to replace four front TV yet? This one has the problem of the picture schrinking cutting the words off on the bottom of the screen. Also, have you replaced the three piece running light lens, or a cure for yellowing?
Thank You
Bob Trafton

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Fred Hulse
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 10/ 02, 9:08am

Hi Bob
The tv hasn't given us any problems yet as it isn't on alot,but it appears that replacing it wouldn't too bad.
The front lenses in the front are available from Holland Motor Homes or from the factory.Mine was replaced as part of the purchase agreement with Holland in San Diego when we bought the coach.Very nice company to do business with,by the way. Replacement also appears to be simple.
Fred Hulse 1991 WLSP36
Morristown AZ.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Sid Clark
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 27/ 02, 5:36pm

About the yellowing on your lens. Try buffing them with medium cut rubbing compound and a buffer just like you would buff the paint on a car, truck, etc. Be cautious about using a high speed buffer such as is used to buff metal, as it may burn the lens.

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[> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Jack Richardson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 20/ 02, 12:17pm

Bob, I ditto Fred Hulse. Our FC35 had 12R22.5s, and we put the Michelin XZEs on our coach. The extra $s will be recovered in resale, (Like Kitchen Aid appliances in a home several years ago) and you will like the ride. Also the ones on our coach were about 2 years from expiring in date manufacture, not weather checked, and we got $100 per tire trade in. Price in Florida is about $500 per wheel balenced and out he door. Good Luck...
yak5225@aol.com

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[> [> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Robert
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 10/ 02, 5:26pm

Where in Florida did you buy your michelins and get $100 trade in?

Thanks
Robert

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[> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 22/ 02, 2:44pm

Either Michelin or Goodyear will perform fine for you. Both have available a matching steer tire with a shoulder groove (at a slightly higher price) that prevents cupping caused by front wheel turning, but I have not felt the need for the tire. Whatever brand you select, make sure you stay with the load range originally used on the coach. There is a tendency among subsequent owners to drop down a notch in load range for a lower price. Tires are a life safety issue and you don't need a disasterous blow out because a marginal specified tire was slightly under pressured and overheated. As I recall the owners manual does not specify load range but rather refers to ply rated as in "16 ply rated", or "18 ply rated". Although truck tires are usually not balanced when purchased from a truck tire retailer, most motor coach owners prefer balanced tires. Look around and see if you can find a dealer that will dynamically (rotating) balance the tires, if not, see if you can get them statically (stationary) balanced. Part of the physics' law of objects in motion says an object in balance has a tendency to stay in balance unless acted upon by some external force, so it would be good to start out with tires in balance.

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[> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Jeff Miller - '77FC
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 22/ 02, 7:47pm

The best tire for your rig IMO is the Michelin 12R X 22.5 LRH XZ2. I believe that Load Range H is 16PR.
The XZE is only rated for 65mph, the XZ2 for 75mph, and a quiet, nice handling tire.

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[> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Mike McMahan
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 10/ 02, 7:55am

Bob, I don't know where you are but I just purchased two Michelin XZ2 12R22.5 Load Range H for $420 each mounted and computor spin balanced. I priced the tire at about 5 dealers here in Texas and this was the best price availble in Central Texas. Prices quoted were mostly 450-499 other places which I thought was high. Mike McMahan

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[> [> Subject: Re: Replacement Tires


Author:
Sid Clark
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 4/ 02, 8:56pm

I had to replace a tire on the road (in Jackson, MS) and had a hard time finding ANY tire of the proper size. I wanted a Michelin, but all I could get was a Toyo. What dealer did you find the best price at? I am in Dallas.
Thanks

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Subject: PT36 V.S. PT40


Author:
Bill Fox
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 10/ 02, 5:19pm

Hi,
I'm looking a purchasing a PT36 or PT40 soon. I have two questions. Does the PT36 with the 6V92 have decent power? I would be traveling often in mountain passes of 4500-7000 feet and towing a Ford Explorer. Or, should I be looking at springing for a 8V92?

My other question is the size of the 36 ok with those of you that own one, or is the PT40 the hot ticket. (Does the 4 feet additional make a world of difference?) Ok, maybe I asked 3 questions. :-)

Thank you for your help!
Bill

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[> Subject: Re: PT36 V.S. PT40


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 9/ 02, 6:27pm

Our 84 PT36 has decent power. The 330 HP 6V92 engine puts out 970 lb ft of torque. At 37,800 pounds loaded weight that is 115 pounds of coach for each one horsepower and 39 pounds of coach for each foot pound of torque. Our coach will cruise at 70 MPH and has a goverened top speed of 75 MPH at 2250 RPMS. The PT36 seems easier to handle than the longer units. As I recall, the 475 HP 8V92 puts out 1250 lb ft of torque in a coach with a loaded weight of about 42,000 pounds which equates to one horsepower for each 88 pounds of weight and one foot pound of torque for each 34 pounds of weight. The coaches have the same top end goverened speed limits but the 8V's are turning about 1950 RPM's. The expected performance difference is ameliorated in the 6V92 which has a has a five speed transmission while the 8V92 has a four speed. Why not get a PT38 which has the 8V92 and four speed transmission with less weight. You can also change the fuel injectors from 90's to 100's and boost your horsepower to 500. A friend of mine who has a PT38 with a 500 HP 8V92 says it "eats mountains".

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[> Subject: Re: PT36 V.S. PT40


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 10/ 02, 5:16pm

You could also add N95 injectors to the 6V92TA and bump it to around 375hp, or N100s and a new turbo nozzle. You can get 400hp out of the 6V92TA, although DD only produced 400hp 6V92TAs that were DDEC controlled if I remember correctly. You'd also have to increase radiator size and check the max. rating on the transmission.
A PT38 with an 8V would be okay, but notice that the longer engine was accommodated by using more bedroom space, and it wasn't added until '85 when the rear overhang was increased to create enough engine room length.
The 8V92 is heavier, longer, and until '90 it had only a 4-speed transmission which negated some of the additional power as the 92-series engines have a very narrow power band and fall flat on their faces if you don't have a gear for the climb/speed you're on. I like the 5-speed 6V just fine, the extra power of the 8V is nice but still not fast and it comes at a cost (space/weight/fuel mileage/price).

- Jeff

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[> [> Subject: Re: PT36 V.S. PT40


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 10/ 02, 5:19pm

Oops, forgot to mention. The biggest advantage that I see in the PT40 is the large pass-through basement behind the steer axle, the PT36 doesn't have it.

- Jeff

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Subject: Electric Curtains 84PT36


Author:
Mark Walker
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 2/ 02, 5:23pm

The cord on my electric curtains keep running off the wheels. I have installed new wheels. Could the problem be the cords?

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[> Subject: Re: Electric Curtains 84PT36


Author:
marge
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 2/ 02, 5:23pm

do you have any literature for you electric curtains? I have called BB but they don't have any thing for the 84 did you buy your wheel from bb? Hope you can help Marge

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Subject: Odometer


Author:
Walt Coles
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 2/ 02, 8:46am

I have a 1983 FC35. The spedometer appears to be correct, but the odometer records 47% higher than the actual mileage.
Any ideas?

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[> Subject: Re: Odometer


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10/ 2/ 02, 8:46am

They're both driven from the same signal, no fix I know of other than a new speedo.

- Jeff

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Subject: Any AZ Bird want to show off?


Author:
Robert Cochran
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 30/ 02, 7:42am

Hi there. I am very interested in owning a vintage Wanderlodge, but would like to see one in person before flying far off to see one for sale. Are there any owners in the AZ area (I'm in Phoenix) that would like to show off the finer points of a Blue Bird?

I'm looking at 1978 to 1985 models, as they seem most likely to fit my price range.

Thanks, Robert

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[> Subject: Re: Any AZ Bird want to show off?


Author:
Bud
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 8/ 02, 10:19pm

Robert

I have a 1978 31fc in excelent shape with only 98000 miles on a cat 3208 Good paint job new oak floors, and oak paneling, if you would like to see pictures of it contact me on the internet at mrb.leffel@AT&T.net we live in Desert Hot Springs calif so we are not that far away

Bud

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[> [> Subject: Re: Any AZ Bird want to show off?


Author:
Rich Cline
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 12/ 02, 7:12am

Bud: I've tried to e-mail you a question using the address you've listed but haven't had any success (the attempt to send always fails). Do you have a new address or is there an error in the one currently listed?

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[> Subject: Re: Any AZ Bird want to show off?


Author:
Ernie Ekberg
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 10/ 02, 5:05am

I have an 84 35FC that is for sale. Really nice- looks like an 87

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[> Subject: Re: Any AZ Bird want to show off?


Author:
Robert
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/ 14/ 02, 4:46pm

Thanks for the responses. Now that I've seen Wanderlodges in person, I can say I won't be satisfied with anything less. Now the problem is choosing one.

Ernie, your rig is great and is on my list.

Thanks again,
Robert

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[> Subject: Re: Any AZ Bird want to show off?


Author:
mike bickert
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 19/ 02, 10:26pm

robert did you ever find a bluebird in phoenix i an also looking for a used bluebird please e-mail me at jammp2@cox.net or modageform@aol.com mike in peoria az

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[> Subject: Re: Any AZ Bird want to show off?


Author:
marge
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 28/ 02, 4:44pm

We have a 1976 bird for sale. Will be out in az end of Nov. you can e-mail or call cell ph 574-315-1944

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[> Subject: Re: Any AZ Bird want to show off?


Author:
marge
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 30/ 02, 7:42am

Send me your e-mail and I will send pictures. mjzakowski@juno.com

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Subject: bike rack


Author:
Marge Zakowski
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 26/ 02, 2:51pm

Just purchase a 1984 1/2 PT40 and would like to here imput on mounting a rack in rear for two bikes or do we have to put them in the front??

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Subject: Motorized curtains


Author:
Marge Zakowski
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 26/ 02, 9:11am

Motorized curtains are working awful slow. BB said we need to replace the rubber rollers @ $30.00 for each units. Kinda of steep. Does anybody have any literature and know where we can get the rolles cheaper ? We just brought this 1984 1/2 bb. Thanks for your imput.

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Subject: Icemaker


Author:
Dwain Borr
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 16/ 02, 4:16am

WE have a 1980 forward control wonderlodge. The icemaker freezes but does not release the cubes. Anyone have any ideas or have experienced the same problem.

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[> Subject: Re: Icemaker


Author:
John
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 16/ 02, 4:16am

The ice maker actually has a "heater element" that is part of the ice making cycle. This is there in order for the ice to release from the tray. I doubt that the heating element is bad. It could be either one of the micro switches or what I call a thremostat switch. This switch triggers when it reaches a certain temperature to start the ejection/refilling process. Either one are not hard or expensive to replace and most any home appliance repair shop will have the parts.

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Subject: 1981 FC Bluebird Conversion


Author:
Henry Long
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 8/ 02, 8:12am

I currently live in NW Florida, I have a 1981 FC Bluebird, 40 ft."All Canadian". I am just underway on a conversion of this unit. Although I have ideas and plans drawn up, I would appreciate any input on conversions, parts, etc.

Please email me at patriotpd@hotmail.com

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[> Subject: Re: 1981 FC Bluebird Conversion


Author:
Henry Long
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 8/ 02, 8:12am

Hello again, In addition to a multitude of questions and problems I have with my 1981 BlueBird Conversion; I am looking for a specific rear light assembly I saw on a Wanderlodge going down the road. I have a picture of this bus and can send it to anyone who would like to help me. I am also interested in knowing the year of this particular bus. Any help I can get would be appreciated; I am also looking for various parts; of which I was hoping I could maybe find at a wrecking yard, I live in NW Florida.

email: patriot@cybertron.com

Thank You In Advance, Henry Long

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Subject: Wanderlodge no more?


Author:
Elizabeth Pearce
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 8/ 02, 8:07am

Howdy, All.
After planning for 5 years, to purchase a used Wanderlodge, we now hear that Blue Bird will discontinue the line. What a disappointment.
If we buy a 1991 or 1992 BB, will we still be able to get support for maintenance, and/or repairs? We were going to keep the coach for 10-15 years to live in it on a fulltime basis. Comments, suggestions?

TIA,
Jack and Liz Pearce
Homesick Texans lving in SE Florida

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[> Subject: Re: Wanderlodge no more?


Author:
Jeff
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 27/ 02, 3:34pm

BlueBird intends to continue producing a Wanderlodge, although it will be the new M380 line, not the current Lx and Lxi. If this is successful, and the economy doesn't crush the luxury RV industry, we will likely enjoy many years of support to come.

Whether the support for vintage birds will remain the same is another question, one to which I hope to hear the right answers at the next Rally in the Valley.

- Jeff

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[> Subject: Re: Wanderlodge no more?


Author:
John Stiles
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 28/ 02, 3:57am

Jack & Liz,

You couldn't make a better (or safer) choice than a Wonderlodge and you couldn't find a stronger support structure from both the factory and the owners out there. I don't know where you live but the factory puts on a large "rally" each year at the end of Octorber in Perry Georgia. I think you will find there that there is excitement for new products and you would see why Bluebird has such a loyal following of owners. I have owned other brands and will never go back. My wife and I just don't see us owning any other brand....

John

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[> Subject: Re: Wanderlodge no more?


Author:
Eric Johnson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 1/ 02, 7:01pm

I continue to get excellent support from factory personnel for my 1984 FC. As an example I just got a new Atwater hot water heater for my coach from them in four days plus technical advice on how to install it. Time will tell and I judge them more by what they do than what they say. Two things in our favor on the older coaches: 1. Many chassis and engine parts common with commercial trucks and will be available for years to come.
2. Blue Bird has sold a lot of school buses that also use many of the same parts and they will have a significant incentive to support the older chassis into the future.

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[> Subject: Re: Wanderlodge no more?


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 8/ 02, 8:07am

Blue Bird is going through an assebmly line change. LX and LXi chassis, having solid front axles, are manufactured in the school bus factory while the new M380 chassis, with independent front suspension, is manufactured in the Wanderlodge factory. It appears that LX (40') and LXi (43') models will be phased out in favor of two new models, to be built in the Wanderlodge factory, and here identified as the M410 (41') and the M450 (45'). The new models will probably have the new front suspension and a composite skin to reduce weight and improve ride and performance.

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Subject: Sofa Bed Support Legs


Author:
Rich Cline
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09/ 6/ 02, 11:51am

I recently purchased a 1978 ’33 FC3208. I’ve discovered that the support legs (described in the Owner’s Manual) for the platform portion of the sofa bed appear to be missing. The Wanderlodge factory informed me the legs are no longer available. In the interest of keeping the coach as authentic as possible, can anyone e-mail, fax, or send me a picture of what these legs look like (so I can get a set fabricated--suggested by BlueBird--and so I can learn where to position them on the platform)? Thanks.

Richard Cline
550 N. Pickaway St.
Circleville, OH 43113-1456
(740) 477-9765

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Subject: Hot Water Heater Leak


Author:
Eric Johnson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 23/ 02, 11:13am

I have a 1984 35 FC and I have a small water leak in the vicinity of the frest water tank/hot water heater. I would appreciate any thoughts on following questions:
1. Any ideas on how to test to make sure water heater is leaking and not fresh water tank before I tear into something?
2. If I have to replace the heater, is there a cheaper source for Atwood Heater than Blue Bird?
3. How can I reconnect new heater to the grey plastic hot and cold water piping? Present connections are made with a special compression fitting.
Thanks for any help.

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[> Subject: Re: Hot Water Heater Leak


Author:
L. R. Longcrier
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 23/ 02, 11:13am

I had the same problem with my 1984 FC and found that it was the plastic fittings screwed into the hot water heater. thefirst time it was the one on the top, the nextime it was the bottom one. I went to the local home depot and got brass fittings and compression fittings that would work with both the new repair pvc pipe and the old gray plumbing that was allready installed. Make sure that you have a preassure regulater installed on your intake line that is set for 45 lbs.

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Subject: Convert twin beds to queen island.


Author:
Dave & Vicki
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 8/ 02, 6:47am

We just purchased a 1985 PT 40 we are going full time and
are recently married. Well we like a queen bed and the Bird
has twin beds. I got one quote for 7 to 9 thousand and
almost fell over. Any help would be appreciated.

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[> Subject: Re: Convert twin beds to queen island.


Author:
Bob Dilks
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 8/ 02, 6:47am

Your dilema invites a host of responses, here's one. Keep the twin beds and get a good nights sleep. Also, there is room for two in one twin bed. The reason for the high price to convert to a double bed is the plumbing, electrical and cabinetry changes required, not the bedding change. For instance, twin beds require two fresh water tanks, one under each bed, so as a side benefit, you get the highest fresh water capacity of any Blue Bird plus you don't have the side wall fatigue/leak problem of the larger single tank under a double bed. Also you get the double row of overhead bedroom storage in a twin bed arrangement that has to be eliminated in a double bed arrangement to allow for an aisle on each bed side. My suggestion is to live with the twin beds which my wife and I believe to be the premium arrangement.

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Subject: NEEDED: 12.5 KW Onan gas generator


Author:
Chris McDonald
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 2/ 02, 4:31am

I have a 78 FC35 with a 12.5 KW Onan gas generator. Mechanic says the crankshaft is broken and it is not worth rebuilding. A new diesel is $12K+. Anyone have a used 12.5 KW genset for sale or know where to get one. E-mail or call me. Thanks, Chris McDonald Houston, Tx.
281-704-4567

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[> Subject: Refurbished?


Author:
Jeff Miller
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 07/ 5/ 02, 6:52pm

Check with Onan in Elkhart, Indiana. They often get refurbished (barely used) returned etc. gensets, sell them for about half price (plus shipping though). They might also have a crankshaft, never hurts to ask (they had parts for a friend's '77 Onan NH).

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[> Subject: Re: NEEDED: 12.5 KW Onan gas generator


Author:
Eric Johnson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 2/ 02, 4:31am

We replaced our 1985 35FC Kohler generator with a Kubota diesel 8KW from Powertech, the current supplier to Blue Bird for their new coaches. Installation was done at their factory and total cost was $6300. Unit has given us excellent service over past 2 years.

Power Tech number is 352 365 2777 or 800 760 0027.

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Subject: info on pricing a used unit


Author:
alan benfield
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 2/ 02, 4:20am

Does anyone put out a guide on what one should expect to pay for an older Bluebird? I'm looking for an older unit, preferably gas as it will be parked in the south for 6 months a year and lived in in Mexico the other 6 months so it won't be driven much. Any help appreciated, thanks

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[> Subject: Re: info on pricing a used unit


Author:
Eric Johnson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 2/ 02, 4:20am

Best sources of pricing are ads in FMCA classifieds, the Vintage Blue Bird Site, and Bird Connection web site. Takes time but you can develop a feel for what's on the market. Older coaches, in good condition, don't depreciate much year to year. I'm most familiar with 1980's FC's and see prices for them running from $45K to $100K depending year, condition and what's been done to them. For the situation you describe, a trailer might be a better choice. Old Blue Birds work best when they are run frequently. Engines don't like to sit for months on end.
Good Luck!

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Subject: In need of a rebuit generator


Author:
Norman Lampron
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08/ 2/ 02, 3:49am

We own a 1978 35' FC with an Onan 12.5 KW gas. It stopped working and we took it to the Onan Dealer. They checked it out and told us that the crank shaft was bad and it would not be cost effective to replace it. The hour meter stopped at 4000 hours many years ago. We live in Southern Alabama and need any advice as to whom we cold go to to get a rebuit gas generator. Do we need a 12.5KW? I know they no longer make this size in gas.

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[> Subject: Re: In need of a rebuit generator


Author:
Eric Johnson
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Date Posted: 08/ 2/ 02, 3:44am

Sorry about the death of your generator. We replaced our 7.5 kw LPG Onan in our 1984 35FC with an 8.0 KW Kubota diesel powered unit from Powertech in Florida two years ago and have had great service from it. Powertech is the current supplier of generators for new Blue Birds. The 8 KW unit comes in a sound dampening enclosure which makes it much quieter than the old unit. It was the largest unit Powertech makes that would fit in our compartment. We have two roof air conditioners rather than three which keeps us plenty cool. We have always had plenty of power to run anything we want. Powertech number is 352 365 2777.

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[> [> Subject: Re: In need of a rebuit generator


Author:
Eric Johnson
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Date Posted: 08/ 2/ 02, 3:49am

Correction: The generator we replaced was a 7.5 KW Kohler not an Onan.

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Subject: PT Floorplans


Author:
John L.
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Date Posted: 07/ 22/ 02, 10:23pm

Are there floorplans available for the 1980s PTs? I've seen them for the pre-87 FCs but never the PTs. By the way, I'd like to see an 87-88 FC flooplan. Do they have wheelwells?

Thanks so much.
John

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Subject: generator prob 12.5


Author:
robert rahn
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Date Posted: 07/ 22/ 02, 6:51pm

i have a problem with my genarator. i wrote in a few days ago, but i have it a bit narrowed down now. when one of the three switches is activated and held the gen runs. when relesed it stops. this started intermittantly, but now is permanent. if i hold the linkage after i push the button it will continue to run as long as i hold the linkage. i checked for voltage at the servo thing attatched to the linkage and it had 12 v when the switch was depresse but when relesed none. also i activated one of the airconditioners and kept the gen running by holding the linkage and the ac did not come on. what do you think? robert

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Subject: tach problem


Author:
robert rahn
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Date Posted: 07/ 18/ 02, 9:10pm

hello, i just got back from texas in a 83 fc 35 foot. i live in nw montana. i noticed several problems but need advise on one. the cruise control works intermittantly, but mostly doesnt work. i opened the cowling and inspected the unit and all seemed well. i noticed also that the tachometer and odometer and engine hour meter do not work most of the time as well. the tach sits at about 2200 and jumps between 2000 to 3200 very quickly. are all of these things dependant on a signal from the tach? and if so is that all i need is to replace the tach unit? thanks

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Subject: block up your Bluebird


Author:
jim kesselring
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Date Posted: 07/ 18/ 02, 5:51pm

I went to my local lumberyard and bought a 6"/6" wood pole. I took mesurments from the frame to the floor at four corners. Cut the 6/6 to length and marked them frt. L/r and RR. L/r now if the air dose leak down it only comes down to the 6/6s . I feel much safer and more a ease when under that big monster. I was going to use my floor jacks but they are not tall enough and I'am not sure of their load cap? jim k 84 pt 40

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Subject: help needed on 85 pt40


Author:
Marty & Sheila Flemming
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Date Posted: 07/ 16/ 02, 7:03pm

We are new owners of our first BB a 1985 pt40.We are both very pleased but do have some questions.Has anyone out there upgraded the taillights to the new leds or the 86/ 87
taillight pods.They both seem to give off much more light than those on the rear of our coach.Next,we are having trouble finding the proper small awning for the passenger window immediately behind the front door.It measures 2" smaller than a stock size because the porch light is in the way.Does the light need to be moved.Lastly for this evening,has anyone had any luck replacing just the power supply on the norcold freezer.Ours is burnt and we are being told they are no longer available.
On a lighter note we have not met any other than wonderful people on these web sites and have experienced many friendly encounters.We recently joined the fmca chapter for vintage birds and hope to gleen much info from those with more bb experience than us
Thank you for any forthcoming info & look forward to our first rally-Marty

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