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Old 01-21-2010, 08:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland OR area
Posts: 180
Year: 1983
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: 8.3
Re: 87 Ford or 88 Chevy?

Who made the body? Thomas, Carpenter, ect...
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Goodland, KS
Posts: 233
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 8.2L Detroit N/A, Allison
Rated Cap: 65
Re: 87 Ford or 88 Chevy?

I had similar choices in buses out here in Western Kansas. I could have bought a local bus for a little more than what I ended up paying for mine. I looked really hard at an 86 Ford B700, 6.6l Turbo, Allison auto, air brakes, Ward body...178k miles, about $1600. I ended up passing on it because there were just a few too many things to fix...a water pump mainly.

I ended up flying to Ohio to pick up a well maintained 88 GMC C60, 8.2L DD, Allison auto, air brakes, BlueBird body, 200k miles, about $1250. I did get a chance to talk to the mechanic who worked on this bus for the last several years. The maintenance was right, the price was better! I was leery of the 8.2L DD as well. But I thought I'd take a chance, and I haven't regretted it. It has far surpassed my expectations. The Silver Snail's "maiden voyage" was 1200 miles back home! She made it without a hitch. Actually, today is the one month anniversary of my purchase...since then, we've put over 2000 miles on...getting nearly 10 mpg to boot!

In my case, I think the money was about the same. I had to buy a place ticket to Ohio, etc. But I knew the maintenance on the GMC, and to a large extent, got really lucky! So far, I haven't regretted my purchase. She's always started without being plugged in all the way down to 12*.

That's just my 1/50th of a dollar...
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:34 PM   #3
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Re: 87 Ford or 88 Chevy?

A Ford bus of that vintage should have a 5.9 Cummins, 6.6 Brazillian, 7.8 Brazillian, or a 3208 Cat for diesel motors. If it's gas it should have a 370, 429, or 460 I believe. None of those engines are 6.2 liters so find out for sure what your options are on that end. As others have said, the engine and transmission as well as the condition of the body make a bigger difference than the nameplate on the grill.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:17 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
Re: 87 Ford or 88 Chevy?

Avoid Ford's Lucas-Girling hydraulic brakes! The telltale is an air-brake style pull knob for the e-brake.
Optimism is a mental disorder.
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