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Old 05-10-2017, 11:56 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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2006 E450 6.0L or 2002 E450 7.3L

Which diesel shuttle bus would you choose?

155k on the 2006 6.0L: https://cnj.craigslist.org/cto/6086761309.html

180k on the 2002 7.3L: https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/6112580033.html

Also considering this newer 2010 6.0L E450, if the engine and all are known to be more reliable, but I'm not sure: https://cnj.craigslist.org/cto/6120231468.html

I guess I'd mostly be doing highway driving, and I plan to add a decent bit of weight to it, but I think they're both rated for 14,500 GVWR... I think mpg would be about the same. Just wondering about power and reliability, if I should go with the slightly newer version of the 6.0, or stick with the 7.3 that everyone raves about (but has horrible emissions and less power).

Anyone have any thoughts on why one might be better than the other?

Thanks,
Ryan
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:18 AM   #2
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Normally you'd be hearing a lot about how bad the ford 6.0 is, but the east coast has largely gone to sleep at this time. The 7.3 is touted as the best bet for a durable Ford engine, and also because it's an earlier year. Older is often simpler considering the new emission equipment.

Those ford cutaway buses sell for a lot on eBay, but there are hundreds of them in the federal auctions and they're not expensive. I have a feeling you may want to go re-shopping for a bus. Spend some time learning about the 6.0 and why not to buy it. Those Craigslist adds are people reselling the federal buses. Why pay double?
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:23 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hey Robin, thanks for chiming in.
I am aware of the 6.0 concerns and have done a good bit of research. Wanted to maybe hear it some more from the community about comparisons between a (newer) 6.0 vs. the 7.3. I wasn't really thinking about the parts other than the engine, but you bring up a good point in that the advances in the newer 6.0 introduce more complications elsewhere with the emissions system.
I used to own a TDI Passat and the EGR and turbo both blew twice, before I seized the engine (my own fault, facepalm).

Anyway, if I could land a 7.3L for $4k I think that'd be a pretty decent deal. I'm hoping to find a bus before the end of this month
Otherwise, I'll do some looking around on federal auctions. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:14 AM   #4
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I would stay away from any bus with the 6.0L or newer diesel engines for several reasons.

The first is they are impossible to work on in the bus and cost a small fortune to pull out to work on them. When they have to work on them in the pickups they take the cab off but you can't do that with a van/cut-away chassis bus.

Second, they are overly complicated after 2004 and extremely complicated in regards to emissions junk after 2007.

It isn't hard to spend well I excess of $10K working on a 6.0L in a van/cut-away bus and still not have a reliable engine.

If you are wanting a newer bus look for a GM/Chevy/GMC chassis with the 6.0L gas V-8. It will get about 1 MPG less, on average, than the same year Ford with the 6.0L diesel. You will find virtually zero GM/Chevy/GMC chassis with the Duramax diesel because very few people are willing to pay a $14K premium for the diesel option just to be able to get 1-2 MPG better fuel economy.

As far as usable power is concerned the gas V-8 and diesel V-8 are not that different. In other applications the diesel is turned up but in the van/cut-away chassis heat dissipation is a big issue so the HP is not as high.

Most Chevy small block V-8's are seeing over 300K miles without any problems. The same can NOT be said about the 6.0L diesels.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
I would stay away from any bus with the 6.0L or newer diesel engines for several reasons.

The first is they are impossible to work on in the bus and cost a small fortune to pull out to work on them. When they have to work on them in the pickups they take the cab off but you can't do that with a van/cut-away chassis bus.

Second, they are overly complicated after 2004 and extremely complicated in regards to emissions junk after 2007.

It isn't hard to spend well I excess of $10K working on a 6.0L in a van/cut-away bus and still not have a reliable engine.

If you are wanting a newer bus look for a GM/Chevy/GMC chassis with the 6.0L gas V-8. It will get about 1 MPG less, on average, than the same year Ford with the 6.0L diesel. You will find virtually zero GM/Chevy/GMC chassis with the Duramax diesel because very few people are willing to pay a $14K premium for the diesel option just to be able to get 1-2 MPG better fuel economy.

As far as usable power is concerned the gas V-8 and diesel V-8 are not that different. In other applications the diesel is turned up but in the van/cut-away chassis heat dissipation is a big issue so the HP is not as high.

Most Chevy small block V-8's are seeing over 300K miles without any problems. The same can NOT be said about the 6.0L diesels.
Cowlitz is a BUS EXPERT.

Unless you're an extremely capable technician AND you have TONS of money, stay away from the bastard 6.0's. I'd literally take any other engine, even gas.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:10 PM   #6
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I had a customer who is a school bus contractor that purchased many buses for me.

I was offered many nearly new low mile IC 12-row buses with the MaxxForce7 engine at very low prices.

When I offered them to my customer, at about half the price of the same bus with the MaxxForceDT engine, his response was that he wouldn't take them if we paid him that amount per bus.

The 6.0L/VT365/6.7L/MaxxForce7 engine has a very unfortunate reputation that is twice as bad in Ford products than in IC/Navistar products.

The disparity is mostly due to the fact Ford ups the HP ratings to levels more than 2x the same engine used in IC/Navistar products. Increasing HP without significant other changes can lead to premature failure.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:52 PM   #7
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Thanks a ton for all the insight guys.
Definitely will be looking at the 7.3L or a different model.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:30 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Here's a low mileage Chevy 6.5L TD on this thing which isn't far from me. If anyone thinks I shouldn't give it the time and drive the 1.5hrs to check it out...
I hear the Chevy 6.5 might have issues with cracked blocks if they aren't taken care of, but this thing has low mileage, so I'm wondering, if the price is right.

02 Eldorado Bus 6.5 TD duall A/C 45K Miles Only No Reserve | eBay
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rw3iss View Post
Here's a low mileage Chevy 6.5L TD on this thing which isn't far from me. If anyone thinks I shouldn't give it the time and drive the 1.5hrs to check it out...
I hear the Chevy 6.5 might have issues with cracked blocks if they aren't taken care of, but this thing has low mileage, so I'm wondering, if the price is right.

02 Eldorado Bus 6.5 TD duall A/C 45K Miles Only No Reserve | eBay
The 6.5L is not a bad engine in a pickup, suburban, or Class 'A' moho. A 6.5L is not a good engine at all if it is in a G-series chassis of any kind.

Compared to the small and big block gas engines the 6.5L diesel was not a big seller in the G-series vans. As a consequence there is virtually zero aftermarket product support for the G-series specific parts.

If the G-series version of the engine was identical it wouldn't be a problem. As far as the internals are concerned, they are identical. But the way in which everything was hung on the outside was done differently on the G-series due to the drastically different engine compartment dimensions. As a result, the G-series only parts and pieces are now made out of unobtainium. They are about as easy to find as rainbow ends and unicorn horns.

I mention aftermarket support because the engine has been off of the option list now for more than ten years. Which means GM isn't making any new parts for the 6.5L. To complicate matters further, all of the rights to those parts and pieces were sold by GM when the P-30 chassis rights were sold to Workhorse. Which later had parts sold off to Freightliner and to IC/Navistar. There still might be some odd parts here or there on the back shelf of a Chevy or GMC truck dealer somewhere but I wouldn't want to bet the price of a bus on finding the part you need.

To give you an idea of how bad it is, I was looking for a part for our church bus we had at the time. It was a 1997 Chevy G-4500. I called several Chevy and GMC truck dealers to find a specific part that was still listed in their online parts books but no one seemed to be able to locate it. One helpful parts guy gave me the number and the names of a couple of good guys at a couple of aftermarket suppliers who might be able to help. I called the first one who spent about 20 minutes on the phone with me trying to find something that would work. He finally gave up and suggested I call the second company that had already been recommended to me. After talking to the second company for over 30 minutes and coming up empty he suggested I talk to the specific individual I had been speaking to at the first company. It was soon after that parts search that our church decided to sell the bus.

I am not saying that a G-series chassis bus with the 6.5L wouldn't be a good bus. It actually isn't too bad for power and fuel economy. And they drive pretty well. But in the 65K miles we drove our bus we spent more $$$ fixing it and put more tires on it than the rest of the fleet combined.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:08 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Okay then

Found a nice-sized DT466 on public surplus for cheap:
https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=1844507

Still in the air about a steel school bus vs. a shuttle bus, but the size here is nice, along with the engine. Guessing the mileage would be similar on the two.
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