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Old 04-09-2018, 05:15 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Northern California
Posts: 55
Second Opinion: 1996 FORD GIRARD and 2004 Ford BLUEBIRD

I'm looking at two short busses right now. Not a lot of details in the ads:

1996 FORD GIRARD
Engine: 7.3l V8 Diesel
Transmission: Auto
Odometer: 164,xxx
Price: 6500$

and

2004 FORD BLUEBIRD
Engine:7.3L Diesel
Transmission:Auto
Odometer:100,xxx
Price: Not mentioned, have to call.

My question is for people who know theses makes/models. What should I be looking out for? What should I ask? Parts that need maintenance or replacement given the mileage? Prone to rust, where?

It's a dealership (I know, most here prefer auctions and will say these are heavily overpriced. You might be right, but we have our reasons to go that route.) and they offer a bus warranty, check every bus leaving the lot. For someone with zero mechanical knowledge, thats a lot to easy the mind.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:32 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: WaKeeney, Kansas
Posts: 1,289
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Personally I'd prefer the '96 for several reasons. The odds it's a mechanical drivetrain run better in your favor, but it might be computerized - but a very basic computer.

The '04 is most likely the 6.0L NOT the coveted 7.3L diesel. The 6.0L came out in '03 full-force with many issues. By '05 (the year of my 6.0L diesel pick-up) things were slowly getting better.

Just beware of the '04 being a 6.0L but not the 7.3L. Visual inspection is always encouraged.

Just my two cents....

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Old 04-09-2018, 07:34 PM   #3
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Location: pa
Posts: 1,044
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Hi Chris, We have a short bus , Elfie, thread "elf bus", similar to that.

I had to replace a rusted out driver side floor.
164000 is not much but depending on maintenance procedures you might run into worn glow plugs and injectors.
If it runs smooth , start from cold easily and immediately with no smoke then i think you should be alright. Check for leaks and drips under the car while it is still parked.
We bought ours private and paid $3700 for it . Seen them at auctions go for around 500 to 2500.
Dealers mostly let go of the maintenance papers ... what you do not cannot hurt them .

I think the girardin is aluminum skin and floor also so expect little rust there. I think roach?? forgive me if I am wrong has a diesel maintenance page for this engine. I am sure you can glean quite some of that.

Good luck,
later J
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:50 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 3,221
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
The '04 bus could very well have an '03 drive trans. As M1031A suggested, verify it yourself.

The '96 is probably the old IDI motor. Reliable but definitely not a powerhouse.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:31 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, our boy is in Europe right now and it would probably be cheaper to buy the bus than to go take a look at it.

ChrisHieronimus, where are these located? Perhaps someone could do their bit for international cooperation and understanding and go take a look for you.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:41 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
Unfortunately, our boy is in Europe right now and it would probably be cheaper to buy the bus than to go take a look at it.

ChrisHieronimus, where are these located? Perhaps someone could do their bit for international cooperation and understanding and go take a look for you.
Oh, I need to change that. I just moved recently, busses are in the area, probably gonna look at them today.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:49 PM   #7
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Great! Damn 10 character limit!
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:50 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Update: The '04 is already sold, gonna check out the 96 today.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:06 PM   #9
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Location: Flagstaff AZ
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Vista 36pp
Engine: 7.3 L diesel
Where is the 96 located ? I saw that exact same bus with those exact miles go for pretty cheap a few weeks ago in an auction in california.... I recently just bought a bus and I was about to pull the trigger on a bus from a dealer but decided to wait and got the same bus with half the miles at less than half the price a week later from a private seller .

In my opinion it wasn't worth 3500 dollars to to pay a dealer to sweep the bus out give it a nice car wash and slap a new price tag on . if your dealer can show proof of some sort of mechanical work they did or something to justify the price hike than that may be worth it if you are hesitant to dive into the engine .
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:35 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerob643 View Post
Where is the 96 located ? I saw that exact same bus with those exact miles go for pretty cheap a few weeks ago in an auction in california.... I recently just bought a bus and I was about to pull the trigger on a bus from a dealer but decided to wait and got the same bus with half the miles at less than half the price a week later from a private seller .

In my opinion it wasn't worth 3500 dollars to to pay a dealer to sweep the bus out give it a nice car wash and slap a new price tag on . if your dealer can show proof of some sort of mechanical work they did or something to justify the price hike than that may be worth it if you are hesitant to dive into the engine .
It was in northern California, but I was too late. Already sold. Both of them. The search continues.
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