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Old 09-25-2018, 08:04 AM   #1
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7.3/4R100 vs. 6.5/4L80E... your choice?

And the contenders are:

2003 Ford E350 Shuttle Bus - 7.3 Diesel / 4R100 - 169K Miles

2000 GMC Savana Cutaway Bus - GMC 6.5L / 4L80E - 57K

Both are in good shape with no driving issues or odd noises. Which would you choose and why? Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:44 AM   #2
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ha! im a huge fan of the 7.3. but not the 4R100 trans...

im a huge fan of the 4L80E trans but not the 6.5.


I think the 7.3 is the way to go as it has a lot of aftermarket and community support behind it... makes decent power, parts are everywhere for it..



-Christopher
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:46 AM   #3
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Thanks, Christopher!
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:56 AM   #4
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The correct answer is a Ford body, a Cummins engine, and an Allison transmission.

But nobody builds that in a light duty truck.
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Old 09-25-2018, 12:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle61 View Post
The correct answer is a Ford body, a Cummins engine, and an Allison transmission.

But nobody builds that in a light duty truck.
Thanks. Not that I'm in a position to do so at the moment, but could some creative engine/trans swapping create what you describe for a short skoolie?
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:51 PM   #6
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Anything is possible with enough time and money. Of the two you posted, I'd prefer the 7.3, they're solid workhorse engines.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:15 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input! The 7.3L is a fiberglass shuttle bus, which I'm noticing lots of folks avoid. Is that just because metal bus bodies are easier to work with/modify (welding, etc.)?
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:24 AM   #8
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Shuttle buses don't have the standards as a traditional bus to stand up to... but either can make a great platform.


As far as the two you listed... both are solid if maintained well. The 6.5 has its issues. If you go with it, find out if it has has the harmonic balancer replaced. If it hasn't in the last 75k miles, replace it. Otherwise, it's a work horse.


The 7.3 platform is solid but the 4r100 isn't the strongest trans. I'd suggest a BIG cooler (Longs TruCool 40k or similar) ans possibly a shift kit from Transgo.


Either are fairly solid though.
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:08 AM   #9
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Thanks, Mr4btTahoe. I also read a ton about "bullet-proofing" both of these engines. Is that necessary off the bat, or only if issues start? It will be driven quite often and I'm big on preventative maintenance, if the budget allows! Thanks.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:40 AM   #10
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Neither of those engines should require any form of bullet proofing. These aren't 6.0/6.4s


The only things to look out for on the 6.5 are the balancer and the PMD should be relocated. Otherwise, not much fails on them. The balancer is a big deal though as it has been linked to crank failure.


The 7.3 only has a few common issues such as glow plug system problems and valve cover harnesses. If its got over 200k, it is probably due for injectors which aren't cheap.


Either are pretty rock solid platforms... but they are work horses.. not power houses. Don't plan on turning the power up much on either and they'll last.
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