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Old 11-08-2016, 05:20 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Columbia River Gorge
Posts: 14
Howdy from WA state! Newbie...

Hello everyone, my name is Eric and I live in the Columbia River Gorge. I'm looking to buy a short bus, to put a woodstove in and live in this winter, with plans for full conversion in the future. I've only been researching and looking at buses for a week now, and am really glad I found this site! So far I've looked at a 92 Ford E350 diesel, a 2007 Ford E450 gas transit bus, and today a 2005 Ford e450 diesel five window bluebird at Western bus sales in Sandy Oregon. I think want to buy the 2005 Ford diesel unless I find A reason that I shouldn't. I'll be without a home tomorrow so I don't have a lot of time to research lol. The amount of info and creativity I have seen on this site is impressive! Thank you so much everyone!
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Darrington, Wa.
Posts: 304
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Genesis/Am-Tran Tall Roof
Chassis: International, 643 transmission
Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
Rated Cap: 86 screaming Monsters
You better kick it in the ass with the temp dropping. Might be better to by a RV and make it through the winter then use your rv as parts to build your skoolie.
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pensacola and Crystal River, FL
Posts: 552
Year: 1998
Coachwork: AmTran International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar 7.6L
Welcome to this site.

I have only been here a week myself.

Sure seams like there are a lot of PNW people here.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:35 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Columbia River Gorge
Posts: 14
Yup! I really wanna buy this 2005 ford e450 bluebird tomorrow. I was feeling good about it this morning because it ran and drove great, no rust and only 100,000miles. It does have some oil seeping/leaking, but I crawled under 15 buses and they all had that. They were asking $5,900 I offered $3300 and they accepted, so I'm thinking about it and researching these engines(which I know nothing about=\). I was gonna go look at a 2002 6.5 turbo diesel bus, but after some reading here It seemed like they had a bad reputation, but now I finding these fords with the e450 maybe have some problems too?

I do have a friend with a shop that I can use to work on the bus when it is raining..
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:58 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,546
Personally, unless the diesel was the 6.2 in an older GM chassis or a 6.9L/7.3L in an older Ford I would not get a diesel in a mini-bus.

The GM 6.5L has some real issues, particularly when it is in a GM G-series chassis. Not so bad in a P-series chassis.

The Ford 6.0L/6.4L/6.7L in a E-350/450 chassis are disasters waiting to happen.

If you really like to wrench on engines and know how these light duty diesels work I would say go ahead and get a diesel. But if you don't have deep pockets or have a good friend that will work on your diesel for free you will discover you could have traveled a lot of miles at 1-2 MPG less fuel mileage for what it will cost to keep those other diesel engines running.
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Old 11-09-2016, 01:03 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,546
I am not a big fan of the GM P-series chassis. But I think if you really want to get a small diesel bus this one would be a better choice.

As I said before, the 6.5L has some issues but if you know what they are and how to work around them it can be a pretty good engine. The P-series chassis is not the best either. But the GVWR of the P-series is at least a ton greater than the Ford E-series or GM G-series chassis.

1998 GMC/BLUE BIRD – Stock #16UB015 | Western Bus Sales
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Old 11-09-2016, 02:41 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Columbia River Gorge
Posts: 14
Thanks for the save! I'm pretty set on a short bus, but the main reason I was after a diesel is because I was lead to believe that they will be more reliable and durable than a gas engine. What year ford's had the 6.9/7.3. Any other options for a good reliable small bus? Thanks
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Old 11-09-2016, 08:17 AM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 5,694
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Find a short bus you like without an engine (should be really cheap)...then drop a Cummins 6BT in it.
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Old 11-09-2016, 10:36 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Columbia River Gorge
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Find a short bus you like without an engine (should be really cheap)...then drop a Cummins 6BT in it.
That seems like a good option. The last thing I want is a bunch mechanical problems under my house. I'm kinda starting to loose hope on this short bus idea, and thinking about a tipi again...
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:20 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Columbia River Gorge
Posts: 14
What do you guys think of this bus:
tkvd8-5865431879@sale.craigslist.org

Or this propane powered bus:
gwx6q-5852713860@sale.craigslist.org

Any input is very appreciated, thanks
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