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Old 05-29-2016, 12:06 PM   #11
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Welp, looks like I bought a bus....
Congratulations!
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:45 PM   #12
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Nice job Mr Pen. Congrats.

That psychology works well on online auctions. Never go with multiples of five in bidding. I've won many auctions simply using "7" on the end of the bid, occasionally winning by $1. I've also lost by $1 during the learning curve.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:18 PM   #13
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My usual mechanic tells me these 7.3's have oil-dependent injectors. When the engines run low of oil, the injectors will not fire correctly (or at all). So the first thing I'd check is the oil level and/or do an oil change. This is one reason these engines very rarely suffer low-oil-related breakdowns, they simply stop running before they get that low on oil. Another difficult start possibility involves the glow plugs and/or related circuits that make them work. Since I've never really worked on the 7.3, I don't know enough about it to offer much more advice ...
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Old 05-29-2016, 07:06 PM   #14
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plus you never know... a bus can run perfectly fine for the auction or dealer.. but they are old and been run hard.. things can just break..

seems most all the busses out there have tires thatare about to go... tread fine, weather cracki g started, etc... im guessing the schools move the tires that are the worst to the busses that are getting sold...

-Christopher
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:26 PM   #15
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Thank you, thank you! It's pretty damn exciting.

So I have to drive this a few hours before I get it back. As described, this shouldn't be a problem. I want to do a quick check of everything before hitting the road to make sure things are as good as possible. Does any one have any suggestions of places that will not make a fuss over working a bit on a vehicle? Would any normal auto parts store be okay with this if we give them some business?

I figure I'll do the following. Please chime in on additional things I'm overlooking:

1. Check all fluids and fluids levels. Any opinion on whether topping of is okay until I can get home and do proper changes/flushes or if I should actually replace all of it before driving in some cases?

2. Inspect tires for excessive wear that may lead to flats. I imagine that like cadillac said, I'll be getting the worst tires they can possible get away with calling fair and not poor. I hope I can get these replaced at home and not before.

3. ???

I know there is more to do. I'm a bit tipsy from a family picnic this afternoon, so the really planning will have to wait til tomorrow

I have ZERO diesel experience, but we do every repair possible on our own cars so I'm not a novice either. I'll be reading dieseliq site and the powerstroke forums obsessively over the next few days to catch myself up to speed as much as possible. Any one have some recommended resources?
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Old 05-29-2016, 10:25 PM   #16
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,,, I want to do a quick check of everything before hitting the road to make sure things are as good as possible. ...
I would suggest looking up "School Bus CDL Pre-Trip Inspection" on YouTube. Great tutorials on looking things over before one begins a trip.
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Old 05-29-2016, 10:54 PM   #17
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as for plaxces to work on it? ,mosrt parking lots at auto parts stores (in my area) are barely big enoiygh for the cars they have as customers.. so a big long bus might give them headaches.. however Lowes, home depot, etc usually have huge parking lots and never seem t ocare if people are parking there.. in fact around here thats where the schiool bus drivers all park then run across the street to lunch...

-Christopher
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:40 PM   #18
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Well, you're working with a ~20' mini-bus, not a 40' full size bus. With some care, you should be able to get in and out of most places easily enough. I commonly take a tractor-trailer into my local Auto-Zone (as long as the place isn't completely full).

Items to check at a minimum - Oil level and appearance. Coolant level, including overflow tank. Power steering fluid. Brake fluid (Very Important!). Transmission fluid. Headlights, parking lights, turn signals, brake lights (Helper comes in handy, but can also check reflection off a building if necessary), ideally the upper marker and clearance lights will work, but you may be able to get away with getting home if they aren't. Tire tread and inflation - low tires will build up more heat due to sidewall flexing, and will be more prone to failure. For an E-450, don't be surprised to see inflation of 50-60 or more. Full size buses often run 90-100 PSI. Check the wipers, horn. Test the brakes.

So far, so good? Drop it into drive, ease around the parking lot, get a feel for how it rides. Test the brakes. Again. At some point, the seller (esp. if it's a bus shop/yard) may get a little anxious for you to get going, there's only so much checking and fixing you can do at their location. Did you remember your insurance card? Temp tag? Basic tools, spare fuses (some vehicles have breakers instead - if it's at the bus shop, they might be generous enough to give you a couple if you ask nicely.) I can't think of much more to check.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:53 AM   #19
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If you are facing a road trip of more than an hour I would seriously consider getting the oil and filter changed before you head out. If the bus has been sitting any length of time there is no knowing what sort of nasty might be hiding in the bottom of the oil sump.

If it has a serpentine belt I would check it very carefully for any fraying or breakdown of the belt material. If there is any doubt change it out before you head out on the road. Keep the old one handy just in case.

Definitely change out the fuel filter and get a couple of extra ones while you are at it. The odds are pretty good that there is crud in the tank that will clog the filter. You may want to purchase some diesel fuel additive while you are at it. The shelf life of our motor vehicle fuel is more in the realm of weeks rather than years. Most on road diesel has up to 10% bio-diesel blended into the fuel. The chemicals that keep the bio suspended is also hydroscopic. You really do not want to run water through your pump or injectors. Most of the better fuel additives help separate the water out of the fuel.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:35 AM   #20
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Wow, tons of great info like always. Thanks everyone!
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