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Old 08-15-2019, 10:56 AM   #1
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Engine, Idling, Miles

Hello All!

I'm still considering which vehicle to purchase for my camper conversion. I've found a small bus I really like.

My understanding though is that the amount of idling a bus may experience while in traditional use can really wear on the engine.

The vehicle I'm looking at has 154,000 miles. It's actually a Ford Econoline E-350, v9 diesel engine from 2005.

What I'm hoping to determine is how far into the engine's life that vehicle is.

150k might not be terrible if there was not significant Idle, but I'm not sure what that might translate to in terms of wear and tear with frequent idling.

Can anyone shed some light on this, and give me a few reference points to better understand how far into the engine's life this vehicle is?

Thanks all,

MR
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:13 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,003
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattRymond View Post
Hello All!

I'm still considering which vehicle to purchase for my camper conversion. I've found a small bus I really like.

My understanding though is that the amount of idling a bus may experience while in traditional use can really wear on the engine.

The vehicle I'm looking at has 154,000 miles. It's actually a Ford Econoline E-350, v9 diesel engine from 2005.

What I'm hoping to determine is how far into the engine's life that vehicle is.

150k might not be terrible if there was not significant Idle, but I'm not sure what that might translate to in terms of wear and tear with frequent idling.

Can anyone shed some light on this, and give me a few reference points to better understand how far into the engine's life this vehicle is?

Thanks all,

MR
You have a valid concern about engine idling hours.

A bigger concern would be which engine is in the bus. I am guessing that it is in fact a v8..

That would make it a 6.0 Powerstroke. Do yourself a favor and Google "bulletproofing the 6.0 Powerstroke".

It can be a fine engine if you spend a couple of grand on addressing known issues.

I owned one. It served me reasonably well. I probably would not buy another one. Too many other options.

Truth be known.... I probably will not ever buy a cutaway again. Having owned, driven and worked on a variety of buses I prefer medium duty chassis buses.

Just my $0.02
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:32 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 493
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
Assume no hour meter on it?
The 6.0 is a terrible engine that is fraught with expensive problems that quickly become terminal if not addressed at great $$ cost.

Unless the engine mods were already done, don't walk away from it, run...
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:48 AM   #4
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Would you feel differently if it was the 7.3 L power stroke engine? I'm reading more positive reviews about this engine.

And yes, definitely v8 not v9.

Thanks to you both.

MR
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:48 AM   #5
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If this helps, here is a link to the vehicle:

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...ckType=listing
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:12 AM   #6
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Unless the engine in that bus has been bulletproofed I would agree with everyone else, don't walk away from it but run away from it as fast as possible.



Even if it has been bulletproofed I would tend to say to walk away from it.


For the asking price you can find shorty Type 'C' buses on a medium truck chassis that will be just as easy to get around, much greater ground clearance, more room under the floor for things like tanks, and most importantly much more net payload available to build out your conversion.


All of the E-350/G-3500 chassis buses have a maximum GVWR of 14,000. Most empty weigh around 10,000. Shorty Type 'C' buses typically weigh in the 12,000-14,000 range when empty and have GVWR's in the 16,000-25,000 range. The brakes on a Type 'C' will be much larger, the tires much larger, and much heavier duty axles and bearings. Larger equals more expensive but it also means you don't have to replace them as often.


I owned a bus much like the one in the link. Every other or every third oil change also meant new front brake pads--about 10K-15K miles. Every other set of front brake pads meant new front brake rotors. If I didn't get 40,000 miles out of a set of linings on a Type 'C' bus the bus was either on a mountain route or the driver was a very aggressive driver.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:20 PM   #7
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As it turns out, it was the 6.0L engine, and based on everyone's advice I thanked the dealer for his time on the phone, but definitely did not see the vehicle.

Thanks again everyone, you've saved me a huge headache and I appreciate it greatly.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:24 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 493
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
Good to see you're not jumping on the first thing that comes your way.
If you really want to get into the hobby, you'll find another one that will work for you.
It takes awhile for the savvy buyer to find one that runs well and has a decent body to build from.
Don't get discouraged if it does take awhile to find "The Bus" for you, and good luck in your search...
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:22 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,003
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Matt,

Take your time and find a bus that fits your needs. Don't be in a hurry. It took me 18 months of daily searching the auction sites and CL before I landed mine but I got just what I wanted at a fair price.

I would go along with Cowlitz as well. I have owned a similar bus as well. I sold it and am looking for a 5 or 6 window on a medium duty chassis to replace it.
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