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Old 05-14-2015, 09:15 AM   #21
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Year: 1997
Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
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My shuttle bus does not have the handicap lift. If it did, I would use it for a folding shower, usually have expanded metal floor, deploy it, set up Bivy shower tent and shower outside. After your done it folds up into bus with very little room compared to a stand alone shower and plus you don't need drain plumbing.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:44 AM   #22
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that is brilliant
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:51 AM   #23
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If you are going to buy a Van cutaway school bus, buy a 2003 FORD or older with a 7.3. The 6.0 diesels have a problem with the egr cooler if they weren't kept up. Look up what that costs if you're bored. I have owned a 2000 E350 single rear wheel and a 1998 e450 dual rear wheel. My vote is for the SRW. The only problem was it came from NY. Every time I parked the bus, I would come back to pieces of the bus on the ground. The rust was horrible.

Some are right about recommending a larger chassis but that brings it's problems. Insurance being one of them. If you walk into your insurance agents office and hand them the VIN from an E350, they won't won't skip a beat. You don't need to tell them anything about use, RV this, conversion that. Just get your insurance and go. Also in California, I went to the DMV and registered it as a private van. No nonsense about trying to prove you have completed the conversion, extra work and trips without registration. Your state may be different.

This will be your bus, get what you want but do your research. Look at all the ambulances from 2008 and back. Probably 95% were built on Ford vans. If you want to see a vehicle that was beat to hell and put away wet, look no further. The Fords are a known commodity. There are plenty of forums to help with the mechanics and modifications.

This is just my 2 cents. This and $2.50 will get you a cup of joe at Starbucks.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:56 AM   #24
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Hey Cal, for once we are in FULL agreement.
Well put, man.
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:23 PM   #25
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Once Ford started installing the 6.0L diesel in their E350/450 cut-away chassis customers started running away from the Ford chassis.

The alternative in the Ford chassis was the 6.9L V-10. Again, customers have gone away from that option as well.

The GM 6.0L has been a great engine. On average it gets 1 MPG more than the Ford V-10 and only about 1 MPG less than the Duramax diesel or 6.0L diesel.

1 MPG may not sound like a lot of difference but if each bus in your fleet is going 10,000 miles per month 1 MPG ends up to be a lot of $$$ at the end of the year. And with 1 MPG or less difference between the gas and diesel with the added cost of diesel it is hard to justify the $10,000.00+ premium the diesel option adds to the cost of a bus.

Which is why after about 2008 the vast majority of buses on cut-away chassis have been GM and not Ford with gas engines.

If I were purchasing a used cut-away bus my first choice would be a GM with a 6.0L gas V-8. My second choice would be a Ford with a gas V-10. Under no circumstances would I purchase one with a diesel. BTDT and don't particularly want to do it again.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:28 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Once Ford started installing the 6.0L diesel in their E350/450 cut-away chassis customers started running away from the Ford chassis.

The alternative in the Ford chassis was the 6.9L V-10. Again, customers have gone away from that option as well.

The GM 6.0L has been a great engine. On average it gets 1 MPG more than the Ford V-10 and only about 1 MPG less than the Duramax diesel or 6.0L diesel.

1 MPG may not sound like a lot of difference but if each bus in your fleet is going 10,000 miles per month 1 MPG ends up to be a lot of $$$ at the end of the year. And with 1 MPG or less difference between the gas and diesel with the added cost of diesel it is hard to justify the $10,000.00+ premium the diesel option adds to the cost of a bus.

Which is why after about 2008 the vast majority of buses on cut-away chassis have been GM and not Ford with gas engines.

If I were purchasing a used cut-away bus my first choice would be a GM with a 6.0L gas V-8. My second choice would be a Ford with a gas V-10. Under no circumstances would I purchase one with a diesel. BTDT and don't particularly want to do it again.

I have zero experience with GM vans other than renting a couple. Are you saying that you would rather have a gas engine than a 7.3 diesel? I own a 1997 E350 passenger van (not a school bus) with a V10 and it sucks gas like no tomorrow. I guess if someone else is paying the fuel bill, it's OK but I wouldn't own a van school bus with a gas engine.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:32 PM   #27
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Hey Cal, for once we are in FULL agreement.
Well put, man.

Thank you for sharing this intelligent, well thought out comment. I can now sleep better at night knowing that we are in FULL AGREEMENT on this topic. Thank you once again...in case the first time wasn't enough.
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:07 PM   #28
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that is brilliant
I second that emotion...
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:50 AM   #29
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I have no problem with the 7.3L diesel.

What I have a problem with is usually that engine was paired to the E4OD transmission and that transmission is a piece of junk.

There are some work arounds for them that were not available fifteen years ago. But I put seven of them into three E-350 cut-away buses in a three year period. The furthest I ever got was 42,000 miles and the shortest I got was 17,000 miles.

At $3,000.00 per pop that got pretty expensive.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:59 AM   #30
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What's the best way to determine if thy is the transmission in the vans I'm looking at? And would the Chevys be better off then since transmissions and engines are both pretty darn expensive from what I understand.
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