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Old 02-15-2015, 04:47 PM   #1
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What's a good shuttle bus deal?

I'm new to the scene here and I'm in the initial phases of bus shopping .
I'm looking to convert one into a weekend adventure bus for mountain bike trips. Sleeping for 1 or 2, shower, sink, composting toilet, cooktop, and solar are in the plans. I'm located in Boulder, Colorado and have trips planed south to Sedona, AZ up to Whistler, BC. The bus will see it's fair share of highway miles and mountain passes.

I'm fairly certain I'm looking for a 14-18 passenger shuttle bus, an E350/450. A 7.3L diesel seems best but the v10 gassers are much more common. I'll need enough power to comfortably and reliably get over mountain passes.

A rear door is a major plus. I'm also 6'3" and to my knowledge, shuttles have a higher internal height.

I've been browsing ebay, craigslist, GovDeals, and Public Surplus. Pricing seems to be pretty wild and inconsistent. My budget tops out at $5k. Is this a reasonable price point for a reliable, get up and go bus? Any other guidance is much appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:23 PM   #2
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plenty of em out there in that price range.
You don't even have to spend the whole 5k.
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:22 PM   #3
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I've found a few in my price range and then a few comparable buses asking double or even triple. What gives?

I've come across a local '91 Ford E350 that I'll looking at in the next few days. I'm not very mechanical, any knowledge would be much appreciated.

Here's what I know:

1991 Ford E350 Cutaway 1 ton, 7.5L (460) engine, 4x4, 135,000 miles.

Recent engine rebuild. New brakes, pads, calipers, steering suspension, and two new batteries. Front and rear heat and A/C.

I've been looking at newer vehicles (2002+) but this one appears to be in excellent condition. My main concerns are the engine, four wheel drive, and the horrific gas mileage. 4-6 MPGs?

The seller is asking $4750 which seems very high for a '91. I don't know how much dealing room there is. What would you pay?

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Old 02-16-2015, 06:55 AM   #4
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Thats a lot of money for something old enough to have the 460 in it. I'm not a shuttle bus guy but I have heard that "Starcraft" are one brand to avoid, not sure who made this bus.
Lots of folks call them "starcrap".
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:57 AM   #5
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I'm sure 4X4 makes the price go way up. If you aren't very mechanical I would suggest you find something newer and therefor you will have to pay alittle more. I bought my 1997 e350 115,000 miles gasser engine for $3,700. It took me over a year to find this one. I seriously considered another bus it had more rust and the exhaust manifold leaks. Just take your time and educate yourself before you lay down cash.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:25 AM   #6
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Like the others, I'm guessing half the asking price is for the 4WD. Not very common and folks who want it (Colorado?) will indeed pay a premium. Unless you really need it, find a 2WD. The asking price, gas mileage and maintenance will be much better.
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:16 PM   #7
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4WD is not a necessity. I'd be able to make use of it on back roads but I'd actually prefer 2WD for better fuel economy.

Anyone know what transmission would be in this bus? More specifically, if it is possible to switch between 4WD and 2WD?
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:56 PM   #8
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Some sort of c6 or e4od would be my guess but thats all it is. A guess.
I'd imagine it has an actual transfer case just like any truck.
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