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Old 01-21-2018, 09:43 PM   #1
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216,000 miles on a 2003 7.3 shortie?

I am wondering if I should give this a pass as too many miles on a newer vehicle??? Ok all my research is getting jumbled but for some reason I read that an older bus could handle more mileage?? I did want an older bus because I don't like the electronics but if I want something recently from a school district...well. this one came last fall from a school district so I guess it has been maintained reasonably but I really don't want to make a mistake on buying even if the price is rightish...the people who have it started the conversion and I haven't asked why they stopped but sometimes this is just personal stuff.

your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sockeye View Post
I am wondering if I should give this a pass as too many miles on a newer vehicle??? Ok all my research is getting jumbled but for some reason I read that an older bus could handle more mileage?? I did want an older bus because I don't like the electronics but if I want something recently from a school district...well. this one came last fall from a school district so I guess it has been maintained reasonably but I really don't want to make a mistake on buying even if the price is rightish...the people who have it started the conversion and I haven't asked why they stopped but sometimes this is just personal stuff.

your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Find out how many hours the engine has on it. That's more important than miles.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:29 AM   #3
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You'll more than likely be replacing injectors in the next 50,000 miles. I'd use that in your negotiating if you really like the bus. Figure on at least $1,500 if you do it yourself.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:56 PM   #4
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200k on a deisel.? it is fine, if it is not leaking oil or anyother fluid & or misfiring i wouldent worry about it, it not like is is an ambulance 7.3 they just let their stuff idle allday long. how would you figure hours.? just because it is from the school district dosent mean they were maintained properly. is it from auction or private party.?
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:46 PM   #5
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I second the injectors... it'll probably need them sooner then later.

Pay attention to how easily it starts when cold and not plugged in... if it has a misfire or low power output when cold. These are signs of injector issues. Injector harnesses are also a semi-common issue.

Other then that, if it isn't leaking anything... looks to have been maintained decently.. I wouldn't be worried about the mileage. The 7.3 is known for easily churning past the 500k mile mark as long as it is maintained and not abused.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:12 AM   #6
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FWIW my 2002 7.3 has 216,000
I didn't think twice about buying it, and don't regret buying it either.

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Old 01-23-2018, 02:30 AM   #7
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Thanks all. It is from a private party who bought it this august from a school district and they have given up on their just begun conversion. I will ask about engine hours -no idea what that means and suspect the seller won't either. But an interesting new concept for me to learn about. And thanks for the information on injectors. In any case someone else has an appointment to view the bus before me so it may be gone in a couple of days.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sockeye View Post
Thanks all. It is from a private party who bought it this august from a school district and they have given up on their just begun conversion. I will ask about engine hours -no idea what that means and suspect the seller won't either. But an interesting new concept for me to learn about. And thanks for the information on injectors. In any case someone else has an appointment to view the bus before me so it may be gone in a couple of days.
There's a gauge, and the hours are also stored in the vehicle's computer.
Engine hours are how many hours the engine has ran.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sockeye View Post
Thanks all. It is from a private party who bought it this august from a school district and they have given up on their just begun conversion. I will ask about engine hours -no idea what that means and suspect the seller won't either. But an interesting new concept for me to learn about. And thanks for the information on injectors. In any case someone else has an appointment to view the bus before me so it may be gone in a couple of days.
the reason engine hours are important is that school busses spend a lot of time going slowly, so the engine is still spinning, pushing fuel through the injectors, running bearings, etc.. and in cold climates this may mean it has been run cold a lot which can take its toll on an engine..

on the navistar dash there are often 2 gauges at the bottom.. one is an odometer and one is an hour meter.. (lower left)..

as EC mentioned, the computer also stores the hours.. a well cared for engine can run many hours. and miles.. the injectors can and do wear out on these engines.. 200k on a diesel is no big deal but super high hours can be if it is wildly high..

also navistar dash panels are notorious for going dead or being flaky at some point in the engine's life... the data stored in the computer tends to be more accurate, however you need someone with the interface and software to read it..

most generally speaking if it sounds good, runs smooth, doesnt smoke, the WARN light is not lit while its running, the coolant and oil look good then its a good bet that its in running order waiting for itsnext road trip..

in my opinion the weak links of a 7.3 are the injectors (can cost upwards of a couple grand to replace them with quality reman).. glowplug relay (easy cheap fix), and oil leaks... (some are easy to fix others are a pain)..

-Christopher
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Old 01-23-2018, 09:18 AM   #10
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I have a 2001 IH bus with the T444E engine. I was hesitant about the bidding price, since I knew the injectors were around $200 each. I called the shop and the foreman told me the injectors had been done within the last year (along with the associated wiring harness, which is usually considered part of the job), so I figured it would not need to be done again for a long time. I bid accordingly.
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