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Old 05-26-2016, 03:35 PM   #1
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Pitfalls of a bus that hasn't been run in years?

Found a bus I'm interested in, but the seller states that it is very hard to start because it sat for 2 years. It will start and run as is, and before it was retired it apparently started easy.

I know that there are pitfalls to buying a bus like this, but I was wondering if any of you have specific information about what these may be. Are there any good threads to read on this issue?
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Old 05-26-2016, 03:52 PM   #2
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Question

Year/make/model?
Close to dead battery/alternator?
Fuel line/pump issues?
All filters clean?
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:11 PM   #3
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Is that sounding like a gasser? Either way you're going to want a tune up and fluids at least. If you'd like to be thorough you'd do you belts and hoses, possibly update the old rubber fuel lines that don't respond well to modern fuels. It would be expensive initially but sounds entirely reasonable and then you know what you've got. Most of the time it's just deferred maintenance that you end up catching up on. I like to do all those things on a new-to-me vehicle anyway, because being stuck somewhere due to a 50 cent hose clamp or a bad hose doesn't make for a good trip. I don't like to wonder about the condition of replaceables, within reason. Still possible to break down, but I'll keep hedging my bets on any used rig. Mountain ready, desert ready. Each one's an adventure in itself.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
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I meant to include a link to the bus. Its an 03 Ford e450 wth the 7.3 turbo.

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...42&acctid=5559

My wife and I decided on this style after months of back and forth. They pack a decent amount of size into a small package. The right ones have 6'4"-6'6" and ~15' behind the drivers seat. For what we want to do with it, this will be perfect.

The longer versions with high headroom are hard to find, especially with the 7.3 which is what we want. Outside of auction they seem to require ~3500-5000 but I'm expecting this one to go for less than $1500. I was trying to buy another one from the same school that was in better condition but didn't pay attention to the fact that there was no auto-extend on the bid. I got sniped with 1 second left to go, literally! Went for $1750 which was considerably less than what I was willing to pay

Trying to figure out why this one has been sitting for 2 years at the moment. That to me is the big question.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:17 PM   #5
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$1500 is a decent price for that bus but be aware that you'll almost certainly have to do batteries, tires, brakes, all fluids and filters, and maybe drain the fuel tank if it was parked with a partially full tank.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:27 PM   #6
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Yea, we've been looking high and low for buses like this. We've found 3, and all are asking between 4500 and 5000. Tires are all 50-75%. I think I could negotiate down to 4000 on at least 1.

My thinking was that if I could get this for 1500, that would give me 2500 to play with before I'm at the cost of the other buses. That should account for brand new tires, new batteries, fresh fluids and brakes leaving me ahead of the other options. The concern is something bigger being wrong. Hopefully I can get down there to check it out.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:43 PM   #7
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The engine itself is probably OK; they routinely go 500,000 miles. It's the bolt on's (alternator, AC compressor, steering pump, etc) that go south about as often as those in a car.

A set of tires runs about a grand (just replaced mine), replacing the brakes runs about $750 for parts. Fluids and filters aren't too pricey and the only problem with batteries is that you need two.

Getting a copy of the service records would be a real plus.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:03 AM   #8
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As with any auction bus, buy it with the thoughts you'll have to replace everything. Then if you find out you dont....BONUS!!
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by opus View Post
As with any auction bus, buy it with the thoughts you'll have to replace everything. Then if you find out you dont....BONUS!!
Thats the way I do it!
Auction or dealer- the chances are pretty much the SAME.
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:11 AM   #10
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Welp, looks like I bought a bus. I got as many details as I could, and there was nothing that sent up a red flag. I was still skeptical so decided not to even bid 1500. I bid 1257 thinking there was a good chance someone bid 1250, and I was right.

At that price, it's not even much of a risk. We'll see!
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