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Old 12-14-2018, 03:40 PM   #1
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New member & actively bus shopping

Hi there! I've been researching and looking at buses for about a year now, and have finally decided the best option for me is short shuttle/transit bus. I am single and work 100% remote at my 8-5 job - which I will be keeping while I'm on the road. Office space is essential~!

I have found a bus I am very interested in and prepared to make an offer tomorrow, however it seems maybe too good to be true... Or am I just overly cautious since I've been looking for so long?!? I don't know too much about diesel engines, so I'm curious if YOU were going to look at this bus tomorrow- what questions would you ask the seller? (bus specs below)

2003 E-450 bus with 7.3 Turbo Diesel engine, 170,000 miles. Priced at $3,000.
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:41 PM   #2
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
That is a really good price. Is it rusty or does it have an issue that might be expensive to fix?

I would look it over real good for rust and then test drive it for a good 20 minutes or so before buying. Maybe take a mechanic friend with you?
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Old 12-15-2018, 07:47 AM   #3
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Agreed! Thx!
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:09 AM   #4
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The 7.3 is a good engine, make sure the SCA's are good (you can get the test strips at NAPA or O'Reillys usually.) The wet sleeved engines are prone to cavitation. It's not a big deal to fix if you are mechanical but can be spendy if you have it done at a shop. just keep them at the proper levels and you will not have any issues. When starting the engine listen to see if it speeds up then slows down when cranking it over, if it does you have a broken piston ring/s. Watch for white smoke out the exhaust while it is running. A little at start up is fine if it is cold, but once it warms up it should clear up. The glow plug relay is prone to going out which will make it very hard to start in almost any temp. It is a simple easy fix but annoying if and when it happens. Mouser electronics has the best relay that I have found so far. I don't remember the part number off hand but if you need it I can look it up for you. If your glow plugs go out (and they probably will.) Use OEM glow plugs, also replace the glow plug wiring harness under the valve cover as well, it's preventative maintenance, very easy and only takes about 10 minutes to do. Keep up on the oil changes and monitor the coolant SCA's (system cooling additive) once a year or so and you shouldn't have troubles. The 7.3 is a very good and reliable engine so don't let any of this scare you away from one. Best of luck! David
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:52 PM   #5
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Thank you both!

I had a mechanic friend strongly advise against this purchase. Let the shopping continue!
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