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Old 04-17-2019, 09:02 PM   #1
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Lowest cost of ownership

I know that diesels are heavy and expensive but has anyone considered which ones are cheapest to maintain and rebuild? I ask this because I just found out that the fuel pump on the c8.3 is $2,700 to $3,000!!! Any advice or insight?
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:22 AM   #2
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Pre electronic engines will be cheaper to maintain.

Any bus that was properly maintained and cared for will be cheaper to maintain.

Injection pumps aren't cheap. Luckily, they aren't a common component to replace either.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:43 AM   #3
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Is an injection pump the most expensive part of the engine - outside of the block and interior parts?
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:02 PM   #4
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I would say dare to say yes, the IP is likely one of the highest cost items to replace. Other than internal parts, Next in cost would likely be the injectors or turbo.. it's definitely gonna very engine to engine. Another thing to consider is the transmission and the cost of replacing a set of old tires on a bus.. which could be a few grand for decent rubber�� that was a lesson I had to learn the hard way.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:32 PM   #5
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I had to have the injection pump on my pickup. It was almost $3k. I would agree that it is one of the single most expensive pieces to replace.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:37 PM   #6
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If $5000 repair bills scare you do not buy a bus.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:04 PM   #7
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If $5000 repair bills scare you do not buy a bus.
That seems like sound advice. As I build my plan and count the costs, I also consider the option of doing a rebuild of the engine and tranny upfront - atleast $15K, or just driving the vehicle and repairing things as they break down. When I priced the older , pre 2000 engines, the prices were much lower than the newer ones. The injectors for the 8.3 were cheaper than injectors for other engines of the same era.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:23 PM   #8
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That seems like sound advice. As I build my plan and count the costs, I also consider the option of doing a rebuild of the engine and tranny upfront - atleast $15K, or just driving the vehicle and repairing things as they break down. When I priced the older , pre 2000 engines, the prices were much lower than the newer ones. The injectors for the 8.3 were cheaper than injectors for other engines of the same era.
I don't mean to *scare* anyone. But its a friendly reminder that the bus game costs real money to play.
SO MANY folks buy a bus and just get in it and go. Many of them get really bummed the first time something breaks and costs more than the bus.
I had a bus that I was looking at putting at least 5 grand into. I ended up going the easy route and just getting a different bus.

An 8.3 is about as good as it gets.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:39 PM   #9
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Idk because Iím still new at the bus thing, but I have a t444e and it seems pretty reasonable to repair/replace the entire drivetrain. There are a bunch of donor buses/vehicles out there with the samish drivetrain components. Hopefully Chris or someone more knowledgeable will chime in because Iím interested in their take on this topic.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:08 PM   #10
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Idk because Iím still new at the bus thing, but I have a t444e and it seems pretty reasonable to repair/replace the entire drivetrain. There are a bunch of donor buses/vehicles out there with the samish drivetrain components. Hopefully Chris or someone more knowledgeable will chime in because Iím interested in their take on this topic.
I was just checking prices on used t444e's this afternoon - a decent used CORE sells for $1000 US - I have no idea what a complete rebuild of a core would cost because I stopped looking at $1000 for a core
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:54 PM   #11
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Injection pump costs vary by the engine. Some you can get for 500 bucks, others for 5000.

It's all about complexity and demand.

Injectors are the same way. Some cost 100 per while others are closer to 1000.

The fuel system on a diesel is what makes the cost higher then a gas counterpart.
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:21 PM   #12
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My only concern about the decision to get a pusher is that my research is strewn with tails of engine life being shortened by overheating. I get the impression that a dog nose would give at least 50% more life with the same engine.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:42 AM   #13
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My only concern about the decision to get a pusher is that my research is strewn with tails of engine life being shortened by overheating. I get the impression that a dog nose would give at least 50% more life with the same engine.
And that is a valid concern. Cooling an RE bus is a tough job, you're fighting against the air when you do it which is why you hear so many having trouble.

Dog nose busses are easiest for work and maintenance, but you lose the first 6 feet of total space. Most would rather have and use that square footage then waste it.

FE busses use all available sq footage, but are somewhat of a pain to do engine work on. You also have to be cautious about overloading the front axle when converting.

I'm not sure on the 50% number. All busses seem to have issues, and I've never seen statistics from a large enough sample to sway one way or the other. I'd never give a blanket statement on one engine or style of bus. So much of it being a good buy or not depends solely on the life of each individual bus.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pengyou View Post
My only concern about the decision to get a pusher is that my research is strewn with tails of engine life being shortened by overheating. I get the impression that a dog nose would give at least 50% more life with the same engine.
RE's are definitely tougher to cool.

In a properly maintained and driven bus it should not be a problem.

I have driven mine over mountain passes in 90-100F temperatures while packed full of my household belongings and not had a bit of trouble.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
I was just checking prices on used t444e's this afternoon - a decent used CORE sells for $1000 US - I have no idea what a complete rebuild of a core would cost because I stopped looking at $1000 for a core
I rebuilt the cummins in my truck for about 4000.bucks. i did all the work myself aside for machining.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Injection pump costs vary by the engine. Some you can get for 500 bucks, others for 5000.

It's all about complexity and demand.

Injectors are the same way. Some cost 100 per while others are closer to 1000.

The fuel system on a diesel is what makes the cost higher then a gas counterpart.
Agreed

Put six oversized injectors in my bus for 550 $. Same engine couple years newer in my truck they were 350 a piece.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:41 AM   #17
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Sticker shock is par for the course when you purchase a bus. $500-$1,000 per tire mounted and balanced. Batteries $150.00+ per battery and you will most likely need at least two. Oil changes that take more gallons than the quarts used in your personal car--10 gallons for an oil change is not cheap!


The upside is most school buses are overbuilt. Given even average care there is no reason to not expect your bus to go well over 250K miles without any costly repair outside of tires.


You will need to build up a reserve/emergency fund because when something does break it won't be cheap to repair. If you have to hire it done most shops will charge $120.00-$175.00 per hour even if all they are doing is reading through a shop manual to figure out how to fix your bus. Learning how to do the most common repairs yourself can save you thousands over the life of your bus.


Good Luck and Happy Trails to you!
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:10 PM   #18
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DT466E Inframe

As a comparison, I am doing an inframe on my DT466e and the kit was 1300, Im doing the work, needed one exhaust valve, 20 bucks online, and it needed a turbo I scored for free through horse trading due to its common components this was possible, if it was VNT (Variable Nozzle Turbo) and with after treatment systems that would not have been possible.

I had my injectors modified and rebuilt all six for 1900, but I had stuff to trade for part of that so cash out of pocket was 880.

I added an additional set of guides for the lifters, 120
And Im resealing the oil cooler 65 for the gasket set.

So as you can see it can add up quick, my greatest advise to anyone getting in this is have patience, take a deep breath, and learn to fix it yourself. There is enough information on the net to solve almost all problems. Buy some tools and try it a bit at a time.

Good luck.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:54 AM   #19
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Yes, I have seen rebuilt 8.3's for $5k to $9K I am not sure yet what causes the price difference. I am leaning towards buses with this engine because of this price range. Maybe part of the reason is that it is a common engine? I have also seen injectors for as low as $90 each...with the mid range at around $160 each. It is still a lot of $$ but not nearly as much as some of the newer electronic engines that are $400 or more eacy. What I try to keep in mind, to help me keep perspective, is the high $$$ I would have to pay if the bus breaks down on an interstate and has to be towed 150 miles or more, the cost of (probably) more than normal labor at an interstate truck stop, the $x00 needed per night to stay in a motel, etc
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