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Bluebird Bus Conversion Project & Cross Country Trip

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    Bluebird Bus Conversion Project & Cross Country Trip

    I know this is an unusual topic for this forum, but you guys are my closest forum family and I wanted to share my project, a 1984 Bluebird All American

    A little back story.... my GF Lindsey and I are Oregon natives, but we have been living in FL for the last year. We are ready to get out of here and go back to the PNW, but we want to spend the summer road tripping around the country. After talking about all the various vehicles we could use to take this trip, we decided that a bus would be the cheapest thing that would haul all of our stuff and provide us a place to camp out of. Plus I just really wanted to mess around with an old bus :D

    The plan is to strip out the old interior and build it up inside to be a comfortable place to stay for 2-3 months, and have room to pack our belongings. All on a small budget and in a 5-6 week window. I also want to point out that other than a couple of rickety tree houses and skate ramps I built when I was younger, I have never really built anything resembling a home, so this is a very fun learning experience for me.

    Here are a few photos of the progress so far. We picked it up about a month ago from a little school in rural SW Georgia and drove it home, it ran great the whole 6 hour trip.

    First photos after leaving the school, topping off the tanks

    View from the captains seat. This thing is a trip to drive

    Here it is parked at the property I work at, close to my house

    Lindsey on the roof cleaning

    Here is the interior before we started tearing it down. What a job that was

    Shelving coming down

    Seats coming out

    Seats and shelves out

    What a mess left in here

    Next the nasty old floor came out, I wanted to see bare metal. Pulling up the old plywood floor has been the hardest part of the project so far

    Power washed and scrubbed the inside

    Patched all the seat holes with speed tape

    And then rolled on a nice thick coat of Rustoleum, left with a nice clean slate to build on

    Then we put down foam insulation and a layer of OSB, then engineered flooring over the top. My bosses brother in law has a surplus building materials store and really gave us a good deal on the flooring

    I built boxes over the wheel wells, the one behind the drivers seat is a little bench and the one by the door has a hinged lid for storing shoes and what not

    I built some shelves over the rear wheel wells to store clothes. Also a big tall frame for the bed, with plenty of room underneath to store boxes of things

    My brother decided the big windows made a nice shooting platform

    These photos just show some various stages of construction. We are building a simple kitchen setup using a propane camping stove, a portable EdgeStar fridge/freezer, and a foot pump for water.

    Here is where we are at as of a day or two ago. Almost done inside, just have a lot of little things to finish up. Next big project is putting the solar panel on the roof and setting up a battery bank and inverter/charger. I will post more photos as we move forward

    Last edited by LuckyHenriksen; 06-11-2014, 10:04 PM.

    Bahama Beige E23 Project
    Bluebird Bus Conversion
    New Oregon Trail


    EDIT: Sorry, had to, I know how epic this thread is gonna become. Yes, I jelly.


      This is fucking awesome. Well done, dude.
      2011 1M Alpine white/black
      1996 Civic white/black
      1988 M3 lachs/black


        This is awesome. Sub'd. Can't wait to see the finish! It looks great so far!


          My girl and I are taking my e30. We are relocating from FL to PNW, leaving in two weeks. Primitive style.

          Either way, it will be an experience.


            Thanks guys! Dereliiict maybe we will see you on the road. We are making a stop in Connecticut at GFEST.....

            Bahama Beige E23 Project
            Bluebird Bus Conversion
            New Oregon Trail


              awesome. this will be an epic thread.
              cars beep boop


                Bad Ass !

                My old boss had a '80s Bluebird we used for motorcycle track days, keep the pics coming.

                Originally posted by slammin.e28
                The M30 is God's engine.


                  Originally posted by einhander View Post
                  This is fucking awesome. Well done, dude.
                  I can only second what's been said. Looking forward to seeing more!
                  Originally posted by kronus
                  would be in depending on tip slant and tube size


                    We are focusing on western exploration, but have nothing but time. GFEST would be fun though…


                      Great work to date and I can't wait to see where you take this.

                      I'm jelly imagining the road trips this will take you.

                      My 1989 e30 s52 Touring... this is Betty

                      My 1989 325i vert (sold)...this is Nina

                      My 1991 M5 (sold)... this is Veronica

                      Photo comparison: OEM vs aftermarket windscreen for a convertible


                        Originally posted by LuckyHenriksen View Post
                        Thanks guys! Dereliiict maybe we will see you on the road. We are making a stop in Connecticut at GFEST.....
                        You're welcome to join the bearded gang :D

                        Awesome bus! are you doing the camp over the night before the event?
                        ~ Puch Cafe. ~ Do business? feedback ~ Check out my leather company ~

                        Instagram: @BWeissLeather

                        Current cars:
                        ~ '87 325 M30B35 swap
                        ~ '87 535
                        ~ 01 540 Msport 6spd
                        ~ '06 X5 4.8is


                          Epic meth lab.



                            Coolest project I've seen in a while!!

                            Originally posted by TDE30
                            What is this faggy shit I have happened upon?
                            Originally posted by slammin.e28
                            I can always live in a M3. Can't M3 a house.


                              Few more shots of the bus the day we brought it home. Still covered in dirt and moss. Has a lot of room in the storage bays underneath and in the back. Also has a sweet 3 cyl diesel genset mounted mid ship, still works great. Starts from a button on the dash. It was used to power the AC setup, but I want to figure out how to convert it into an actual generator

                              Front end opened up for cleaning and inspection

                              9.1 Liters of 80's turbo diesel fury

                              Cutting the hole for the sink

                              Re-routing heater hoses after deleting the rear heater

                              Got the bed moved in

                              Tool box moved in

                              Buit up a couple small benches to use as a dinette eating area. Also took apart this old crappy table and used the top as a table for the dinette

                              Some of the treasures we hauled home in the Range. I used reclaimed pallets for a bunch of the wood, as well as using lumber from a cattle corral we dismantled.

                              Bahama Beige E23 Project
                              Bluebird Bus Conversion
                              New Oregon Trail