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meldy 10-04-2016 07:51 PM

Bus stats: thoughts?
 
Ive got a line on a 6 window 1997 international 7.3L diesel with a 5 speed tranny. 320K
Needs a new battery and solenoid but otherwise mechanically sound.
Theyre asking 1000$
Thoughts?

Im basically trusting this guy as I have no clue what Im doing as far as mechanical stuff goes. He's part of a group of guys who planned to make a party bus(so they've moved most of the seats and removed the rest already) and then they all lost interest, I am really good friends with one of the guys wives which is how I found out about this bus.
It's been sitting on a lot for 2 yrs, unstarted for at least one of those.

cadillackid 10-04-2016 07:56 PM

is it a mechanical 7.3 or a T-444E? 320K is a lot for a V-8 diesel, however if it was well taken care of originally it could still have a ton of life left in it..

-Christopher

meldy 10-04-2016 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cadillackid (Post 165753)
is it a mechanical 7.3 or a T-444E? 320K is a lot for a V-8 diesel, however if it was well taken care of originally it could still have a ton of life left in it..

-Christopher

They got it at an auction....Im hoping, because they're all tradesmen who had big plans in the beginning, that they looked it over etc pretty thoroughly.
The guy Im talking to, whose property it's on, is pretty open about what might be wrong with it....I think? He gave me the impression that he almost might think the starter solenoid would turn me off

meldy 10-04-2016 08:11 PM

He believes it's a mechanical 7.3L
I have no idea what the difference is.

cadillackid 10-04-2016 08:20 PM

the mechanical 7.3 is a lot easier to diagnose issues with because it does not have all of the computer modules attached to the fuel injection system.

the T-444E or electronic 7.3 has a lot of different computer modules attached.. its easy to tell when you open the hod, the left side valve cover will have it stamped on it.. and the 'E' version you'll see lots of wires and modules on top of the engine..
-Christopher

meldy 10-04-2016 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cadillackid (Post 165758)
the mechanical 7.3 is a lot easier to diagnose issues with because it does not have all of the computer modules attached to the fuel injection system.

the T-444E or electronic 7.3 has a lot of different computer modules attached.. its easy to tell when you open the hod, the left side valve cover will have it stamped on it.. and the 'E' version you'll see lots of wires and modules on top of the engine..
-Christopher

So of the two Im hoping for a mechanical?
He's going to check for me =)

SDR76 10-04-2016 09:19 PM

yes.
 
Mechanical if you the choice... the above post is right, 320k is alot of miles for a v-8 diesel. Is it miles or KM?

meldy 10-04-2016 09:29 PM

KMs (Canadian) So 198K miles? I think...

cadillackid 10-04-2016 09:56 PM

better but still quite a bit for a V-8.. I was thinking we were in miles.. .. better than 320 though... and ive seen them go 250 - 300 before but it has to be well maintained to do it...
-Christopher

Geo Jeff 10-04-2016 10:38 PM

I'd spend double to get lower miles its way cheaper than fixing later.

SDR76 10-04-2016 10:53 PM

You crazy Canadans up there in Canadia with your so-called "metric" system..geeez .. We are but simple rednecks down here in the lower 48, let's keep it easy for our basic minds.......eh?

meldy 10-05-2016 04:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDR76 (Post 165793)
You crazy Canadans up there in Canadia with your so-called "metric" system..geeez .. We are but simple rednecks down here in the lower 48, let's keep it easy for our basic minds.......eh?


LOL I hadn't even thought of it lol

Side note: I just found out the guy who currently owns it is a mechanic for our local dodge dealership. If this is just a mechanical 7.3 Im assuming that's just a really big truck engine right? So something a regular mechanic would know how to work on as opposed to requiring a commercial transport mechanic

Up here a bus you cant even start to see if it runs will go at the auction for 2K Private sales range from 2500$ (rarely!) up to tens of thousands depending on the bus.
Im wondering, if the body is in good shape, if an engine swap out isn't plausible. Not sure what those costs are but engines are going to be easier to find than a decent body considering we basically drive in salt water 6 months of the year.

The draw for me on this one is, not only is it on the low end of what I was hoping for (I want a 6-9 window) it's owned locally by a friend of a friend with a good reputation. Im hoping that counts for some honesty on his part as to the actual condition. He didn't offer it up for sale, I sought him out knowing they had this bus they weren't doing anything with.
Technically it's apparently jointly owned by a couple guys, one of whom is a close friends husband(He's actually part of my rent-a-husband crew lol), but the main guy doing all the talking is the one whose property it is on and he is the mechanic.
Thanks everyone for all your help!
I'll keep you posted! He's planning to start it and check it out this weekend and let me know how it runs etc after sitting for a year before I bother going out to see it myself. (Canada, it's all big spaces up here and he is a ways out of town)

Additionally: Are the braking systems etc cheaper and easier on these shorter buses than on the full size ones?

Do these mid weird sized ones have a term to describe them or are they lumped in with shorties until they hit 40ft ish? Ive always viewed short buses as being the 4 window ones.

EastCoastCB 10-05-2016 05:19 AM

Its almost surely NOT a mechanical 7.3.
Does is say 444E on the hood? The 7.3 IDI was phased out around 1994.

meldy 10-05-2016 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EastCoastCB (Post 165808)
Its almost surely NOT a mechanical 7.3.
Does is say 444E on the hood? The 7.3 IDI was phased out around 1994.


He's going to check and let me know.

sdwarf36 10-05-2016 06:00 AM

A starter is only about $150--and a 15 minute job to change. And unless you plan on using the bus commercially, and only plan to do a few thousand miles a year, 200k is nothing to worry about.

SDR76 10-05-2016 11:54 AM

Shortie?
 
The way I am picturing this, it has a "van" style front end. Right? If it is, lost of mechanics will still wrench on it. I'd still call it a shortie. I like that you'd be dealing with people you know, and hopefully they had gotten in deep enough and figured out any issues in the little time they had it. A diesel can sit for a very long time and still run with no issues. I had a welder that hadn't fired for over 15 years, new batteries, and good to go. So sitting a year or 2 is not ideal, but not a deal breaker for me. Brakes- your either have air or hydraulic. Most small stuff is hydro. Everyone has their preferences on that as well, each have good and bad... One question though, if busses are so pricey in that area, would it be prudent to get one elsewhere?

slidewayzm5 10-05-2016 12:52 PM

Hey Meldy,

That will be the 7.3L Powerstroke diesel engine in that bus. It is found in all the Ford trucks from 1994-2002 roughly. Any diesel shop will be able to work on it, and they are a good engine.

$1000 here in AB for that is a good deal. You could sell the engine for $1500+, and the trans for $500+ no prob.

See how it drives and if you're happy with it, go for it :)

meldy 10-06-2016 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slidewayzm5 (Post 165850)
Hey Meldy,

That will be the 7.3L Powerstroke diesel engine in that bus. It is found in all the Ford trucks from 1994-2002 roughly. Any diesel shop will be able to work on it, and they are a good engine.

$1000 here in AB for that is a good deal. You could sell the engine for $1500+, and the trans for $500+ no prob.

See how it drives and if you're happy with it, go for it :)


Are you having any problems getting yours insured here in AB? A regular customer (Im a bartender) told me yesterday that his brother gave up his bus as it was such a nightmare to try and insure.
I hadn't thought there would be too many issues to do with it initially but still don't totally understand the process.

I don't know if it would be cheaper to get one elsewhere. Alberta requires an out of province inspection if it comes from somewhere else and the auction prices all seem to pretty much be on par with local prices. For some reason all the prices have spiked recently compared to even six months ago. Im not sure if this is a sudden fad and everyone is jumping on the bus thing or if theres maybe a cyclical pricing to do with the time of year.

Howard Hepburn 10-06-2016 11:25 AM

Howdy Meldy
We have found a suitable bus at a good price and a call to my Ins. broker did not seem to cause any concern. Time will tell!!
Your ask about dormancy on the engine is valid, sitting will not hurt it. The diesel fuel could get skunky , two years is not excessive. Any vehicle that sits if it has hydraulic brakes the wheel cylinders could start to leak but two years is ok.
The engine has a ok reputation as Ford also used them and lots of knowledge and used parts out there.
I think you will get value for your money.

Howie with a new to us 1996 "Binder" with a 466 and 4spd Allison auto. and a Thomas body.
After 30 years of Kilometers, what is a Mile??


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