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Old 06-26-2016, 03:17 PM   #1
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On the verge of buying

Hi there Skoolies:

I have been looking through the forum for quite some time with hopes of buying a bus and I feel I am getting close to a purchase. My wife and I are planning on starting with a shorty. I have seen a lot of posts that say just go for the big bus, but she is afraid to drive it and I don't want to get stuck with all the driving!

I had a question if you would not mind providing feedback. I am looking at a nice "long" shorty (about 16' inside) but it is a Ford F-450 2004 6L Turbo, just over a 100k miles. Bus appears to be in good shape, was pretty well cared for with new tires, brakes and alternator. Looking at about 4K for the bus. My hesitation is with the engine, I am seeing all kinds of stuff on the good ole web saying this is not a great engine by ford, lots of problems. But I am seeing some people who say the engine has a bad rap because folks are not taking care of it. I curious what say the skoolie community? Seems like a lot of these out there. Is there a year when it turned the corner? Would I be better off with a 2008, 2010? Thank you so much, really excited about become a full fledged member!

Dennis
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:31 PM   #2
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Personally, I'd look for one with a 7.3 as these engines have a very solid reputation and are very easy to find parts for. I'm not saying to avoid the 6.0 as I don't have any experience with these engines, but my local mechanic advises me to steer clear of them ... they do a lot of work for the county and he's worked on many of them. (And that should be an indicator right there, he's worked on them, many times. Sure, he's done the 7.3's as well, but much of the time those get oil & filter changes and head back out the door).
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmoccias View Post
Hi there Skoolies:

I have been looking through the forum for quite some time with hopes of buying a bus and I feel I am getting close to a purchase. My wife and I are planning on starting with a shorty. I have seen a lot of posts that say just go for the big bus, but she is afraid to drive it and I don't want to get stuck with all the driving!

I had a question if you would not mind providing feedback. I am looking at a nice "long" shorty (about 16' inside) but it is a Ford F-450 2004 6L Turbo, just over a 100k miles. Bus appears to be in good shape, was pretty well cared for with new tires, brakes and alternator. Looking at about 4K for the bus. My hesitation is with the engine, I am seeing all kinds of stuff on the good ole web saying this is not a great engine by ford, lots of problems. But I am seeing some people who say the engine has a bad rap because folks are not taking care of it. I curious what say the skoolie community? Seems like a lot of these out there. Is there a year when it turned the corner? Would I be better off with a 2008, 2010? Thank you so much, really excited about become a full fledged member!

Dennis
I honestly would think twice. Even if it were free.
They're a nightmare especially in a van chassis.
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:08 PM   #4
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Haha! Thanks EastCoast and Brad, I think that is the direction I was leaning based what I am reading but wanted an additional perspective. Feels like stay away from the Fords post 2003. Well back to looking!
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:21 PM   #5
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My opinion is do yourself a favor and go for the big bus if that is what you want in the end. You will save a ton of money and work. They are not hard to drive at all. She will get used to it quickly.
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:27 PM   #6
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The 6.0 is pretty bad, but putting it on a van chassis made it 10000x harder to fix all the stuff that goes bad on these motors.
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:41 PM   #7
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Really appreciate all the feedback everyone, saving me a lot of heartache later. I would hate to put work into a bus just to have it crap out after a year or so. I will see if I can sell my wife on the big bus, looks like there are a few nice ones nearby. Thank you again!
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:01 PM   #8
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My local mechanic tells me that much of the major work on the 6.0 calls for actually lifting the cab (pickups) or body (vans) off the frame. And I've personally seen this in his shop on vehicles equipped with this engine. It is my understanding this is the factory recommended procedure for many major jobs on said engine.

Big buses are not hard to drive. Look at thousands of school bus routes, how many have semi-retired granny's running them? Just like learning to drive a car, it just takes a bit of practice and willingness to learn.
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:38 PM   #9
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Don't buy a big bus with a 6.0 either.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:08 PM   #10
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First off Welcome!

Funny i have zero experience with these but had a chance to get a 2006 in superb condition minus it running, for $2k. Seemed like a sweet deal to me, but once again a mechanic friend advised me to avoid that motor like the plague. I sorta though he was being dramatic and decided to watch some youtube vids of repairs; remove entire front endģ pull motor! yikes! lol maybe i am being dramatic but i think pulling a motor just to do some repairs outside a blown mtor is crazy, oh and there"s more! the cherry picker needs a special adaptor just to pull the mtor because a regular one wont quite grab it down the van hole. Goodness.

Good luck!
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