Our new bus is a 1997 Blue Bird TC/2000 FE.  It has a 5.9 Cummins 12 valve engine and Allison AT545 transmission. It rolls on 11r22.5 tires with a 4.78:1 rear axle. These are all pretty common options for these buses.

Less common is that we have a factory installed dual air conditioning setup, a increased ride height option (tire chain clearance), shiny wheel covers, and it was never actually a school bus!

This model has a lot of desirable features. It’s a 32 foot long bus chassis, and the area behind the driver’s seat is around 28 feet. There’s lots of room for activities! The “Forward Control” system means you’re in front of the front wheels, which takes a little getting used to. The wheelbase is surprisingly short for such a long vehicle, which means there is a lot of bus behind the back wheels! You need to really be aware of what’s next to the back of the bus as it swings pretty far in a turn. Back-up camera is not optional on these.

The TC2000 was made for a very long time, from 1988 to 2003, without many major changes. This bus was available in front engine (like mine) and rear engine configurations. It was commonly outfitted with a Cummins 5.9, but was also available with a Cummins 8.3. Until 1995 you could also choose a Chevy 427 gasoline engine, but that option was discontinued due to poor demand.