Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-23-2021, 11:46 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: EastCoast
Posts: 19
Year: 2000
Engine: 6.5
2006 Ford E450 6.0 or 2002 Chevy Bus 6.5 L LB7 Duramax

Planning on looking at few buses. Wondering which one or if both is worth looking at? All look to be in great condition and none are said to have issues.

2006 Ford E450 6.0 - 144,000 miles brand new transmission a couple of thousand miles ago and has brand new tires

2002 Chevy Bus 6.5 L LB7 Duramax - 220,000 miles new tires

1995 GMC Vandura 3500 6.2 - 57,000 miles

Thanks

SkooleeGrl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2021, 02:14 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Spanaway, WA
Posts: 186
Year: 1999
Coachwork: MidBus
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500
Engine: 6.5L Turbo Diesel
Rated Cap: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
2006 Ford E450 6.0 - 144,000 miles brand new transmission a couple of thousand miles ago and has brand new tires
The general concensus on the 6.0L Ford engines is ... run away! They are rather notorious for having massive issues, and to bulletproof them costs thousands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
2002 Chevy Bus 6.5 L LB7 Duramax - 220,000 miles new tires
The LB7 is a 6.6L Duramax. People might get confused and think you are talking about the 6.5L turbo that came out before that (which is what I have). Reports are generally that the 6.6L Duramax is a good engine, but others may have heard otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
1995 GMC Vandura 3500 6.2 - 57,000 miles
This is an older engine (made by Detroit Diesel for GM), and is likely to be found to be way underpowered in comparison to the 6.6L Duramax. The number of miles sounds awful low for a beast that old too. Are you sure the odometer didn't roll at 100k intervals?


All else equal, I would probably be most interested in the Duramax myself. The 6.2L is underpowered (and has its issues too), the 6.0L Ford is probably the worst engine International ever made... Or so I've heard.

Any other opinions out there?
Beirdo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2021, 07:25 AM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Martinsburg WV
Posts: 5
Year: 2006
I have a 2006 e350 shuttle with the 6.0. 200k and no major issues and frequently tows 9k and is tuned. The 6.0 is a hit or miss engine and when it's in good health it's a really good engine and I do like it and the 5 speed auto is a good transmission. I suggest to look at it, if you don't have a mechanic that's good with the 6.0s then you need a scan Guage and a small highway trip so you can monitor the engine for health. Google 6.0 scan Guage deltas and it will give you a place to start. If the engine is not in good health then it is a money pit, the 6.0s in the van chassis are a really pita to work on as it took me 8 hours to replace my alternators.
Mike25405 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2021, 08:23 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,065
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
I have an 07 6.6l duramax. It’s been good to me, though the turbo was carbonized, likely from excessive idling. It’s got a lot of power. My bus will do 85 on the flat, cranks up steep short grades and does OK on sustained grades.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2021, 10:56 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Simplicity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 651
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beirdo View Post
The general concensus on the 6.0L Ford engines is ... run away! They are rather notorious for having massive issues, and to bulletproof them costs thousands.

The 6.0L Ford is probably the worst engine International ever made... Or so I've heard.

Any other opinions out there?
Unless the Ford (International) 6.0 has been bullet proofed (I'd want full paperwork on the mechanical work) I'd fully agree to not touch it. Probably the only engine worse is the Ford (International) 6.4, the 6.0's successor.

The only Ford engine I'd touch in an older bus is a 7.3L T444E (Turbo 444ci Electronic) with an HPOP fuel system. A bit farther back are the 6.9IDI and 7.3IDI, but I don't know enough to comment. If you do find a 7.3L T444E, make sure you know what the HP rating is, because they go from 190hp to 250hp, which is pretty significant.

I don't what Duramax is in the small school bus I drive at work, but boy I'm impressed with how well and quiet it runs with 175k miles on it. Way better than the gassers in the same model bus.

Hope this helps.
__________________
Steve
Simplicity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2021, 11:14 AM   #6
Traveling
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,302
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
6.0 Ford - Run away. SCREAMING.

2002 GM diesel is not a 6.5L. No such thing as a 6.5L Duramax. I assume this is a typo, as DuraMax is 6.6L. The DuraMax is known for fuel system issues, primarily randomly losing the system prime for no apparent reason. And I understand some of these had engine problems as well.

The 1995 6.2 - also, no such thing. It is possible someone put a 6.2 in a 1995 (the engines can physically interchange), but 1995 GM diesels were 6.5Ls. Essentially a larger-displacement 6.2 with factory turbo, but they do have differences from the 6.2L. They are, however, known for one common flaw, stress cracks and related failures at higher mileage.

Also consider that any cutaway van chassis is going to be a royal beyatch to service or get serviced. No one wants to service these, there is no room to work on them.

If there's some kind of easy fix / miracle cure for the DuraMax's fuel system woes, I might consider that one for the right price, but I would honestly keep looking. As an asthmatic, having learned what I have about diesel power, diesel exhaust and its effects on the respiratory system (especially in kids), I wouldn't recommend a diesel to my worst enemy.

I drove semis for about 4 years and diesel exhaust and fumes nearly killed me before I figured out that 1) I had asthma, and 2) the concentrated exhaust and fumes around truck stops, shippers and receivers were keeping it stirred up constantly, producing frequent and severe bronchial infections. And diesel exhaust / fumes also cause such respiratory problems in the first place. Not something you really want to be around much if you can help it.

See post #59 on my thread "Re-Routing Skoolie Exhaust Overhead".
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2021, 11:43 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,065
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
CW, I donít even smell the diesel exhaust off that duramax.

I sure wish they made cutaways with a cowl front end. There must have been a vehicle designer out there that hated mechanics is all I can think. When the shop said the turbo swap labor charge was $1200, I said go for it!
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2021, 11:50 AM   #8
Traveling
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,302
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
CW, I don’t even smell the diesel exhaust off that duramax.
That's just it. You don't have to be able to smell it. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled. People just really don't understand that anything other than clear, clean air is not good for you. Even a little engine exhaust here and there, diesel or gas, can have long-term effects over time. I just had to pass on a ready-to-build dream bus that I would have loved to had, but diesel power is a deal-breaker for me with the problems I have. And asthma can happen to anyone over time if exposed to certain things for long enough, even if it's a little here and there over time.

https://www.nettinc.com/information/...esel-emissions
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2021, 06:49 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 33
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ER Transit
Engine: ISC
Hot take: I know that the 6.0 is almost universally reviled around here, but I love it. It's a great motor. The emissions suck and it's not a premier choice for law-abiding citizens, but OH MAN. Strip one of the emissions nonsense and it's a wonderful powerplant. Not that I'd know anything about it, obviously.

That said, for your purposes I wouldn't hesitate to go with the LB7 Duramax. That's a great motor no matter how you slice it. There's a few common issues like Cheese mentioned, but a $600 aftermarket lift pump makes this one of the best and most reliable motors around.
(https://fassride.com/shop/product-finder/)
Fuel starvation is pretty much the only thing that goes wrong on these with any kind of regularity. The lift pump makes that close to a non-issue.
Jaybz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2021, 03:04 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: EastCoast
Posts: 19
Year: 2000
Engine: 6.5
Thanks for the responses. I read on here before about which engines to stay away from but I kept forgetting them. I will be writing this info down this time. All 3 buses have been sold already but here are 2 of the listings, the 2006 bus has been deleted.

1993 GMC Gmc Vandura 3500

2002 Chevrolet Express

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybz View Post
That said, for your purposes I wouldn't hesitate to go with the LB7 Duramax. That's a great motor no matter how you slice it. There's a few common issues like Cheese mentioned, but a $600 aftermarket lift pump makes this one of the best and most reliable motors around.
(https://fassride.com/shop/product-finder/)
Fuel starvation is pretty much the only thing that goes wrong on these with any kind of regularity. The lift pump makes that close to a non-issue.
Good to know thanks. I'm glad there's a solution and it's not incredibly expensive. Even though all 3 have been sold already I was leaning more towards the Duramax. I watch this guy on Youtube who always brags about his Duramax trucks. I've been looking for a 5-6 window skoolie but the Duramax looked to be in great condition. I follow a guy on Instagram who had a 4 window short bus who was able to fit everything I wanted in a living space. I saw myself being able to the make the space work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Also consider that any cutaway van chassis is going to be a royal beyatch to service or get serviced. No one wants to service these, there is no room to work on them.
I see. I did see how compact everything is the other day when I looked under the hood of my bus. However a larger bus just doesn't fit my needs or wants right now. I'd prefer a bigger bus in the future when I'm ready to buy land and have a more permanent setup.

I want a short bus for now for a variety of reasons. I get driving anxiety sometimes, never have driven anything bigger than a F-350 rental truck from Home Depot. I think driving a short bus will help me get more comfortable with driving bigger vehicles. I want to be able park anywhere and travel anywhere without having to worry about getting stuck or not being able to fit.

I'm in the process of changing careers, I'd like to get into the trades. I plan on living in my bus while I pursue an apprenticeship. I don't want or need alot of living space...a short bus is the perfect size for me. Right now I don't drive alot so having a bus and a car would be a waste of money. Since my bus will be my main driver for a few years, it's important to me to have a compact vehicle that will be no issue nor cause any issues to park at job sites and school. The school and most job sites will most likely be about 30mins-1hr away from my permanent residence. I want to have the option where if I'm too tired to drive there or I just don't feel like driving after work or school I can find a location close by to setup camp. Don't really have those options with a bigger bus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
As an asthmatic, having learned what I have about diesel power, diesel exhaust and its effects on the respiratory system (especially in kids), I wouldn't recommend a diesel to my worst enemy.

I drove semis for about 4 years and diesel exhaust and fumes nearly killed me before I figured out that 1) I had asthma, and 2) the concentrated exhaust and fumes around truck stops, shippers and receivers were keeping it stirred up constantly, producing frequent and severe bronchial infections. And diesel exhaust / fumes also cause such respiratory problems in the first place. Not something you really want to be around much if you can help it.
That's horrible. Glad that you figured it out and are doing well. The other day when I was sitting in my bus I noticed that I was able to seem the fumes of the passing cars. So I definitely see how Diesel and fumes from cars in general can be problematic over time.

I'm not opposed to gas. I just wanted a diesel bus because of diesel's longevity and the power they have when it comes to towing. At some point in the near future I want the option to be able to tow a car if and when I needed to so that I don't always have to use the bus as a main driver.
SkooleeGrl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2021, 03:24 PM   #11
Traveling
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,302
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
Thanks for the responses. I read on here before about which engines to stay away from but I kept forgetting them. I will be writing this info down this time. All 3 buses have been sold already but here are 2 of the listings, the 2006 bus has been deleted.

1993 GMC Gmc Vandura 3500

2002 Chevrolet Express
I really would suggest avoiding buses from the northern part of the country, you are pretty much guaranteed to get the same problem you have now. There is a 4/5 window Ford shorty with a 7.3 diesel, already gutted for build-out, about an hour from me that needs some minor work for $5000, and I've found others for the same price range or less in less rust-prone parts of the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
I see. I did see how compact everything is the other day when I looked under the hood of my bus. However a larger bus just doesn't fit my needs or wants right now. I'd prefer a bigger bus in the future when I'm ready to buy land and have a more permanent setup.

I want a short bus for now for a variety of reasons. I get driving anxiety sometimes, never have driven anything bigger than a F-350 rental truck from Home Depot. I think driving a short bus will help me get more comfortable with driving bigger vehicles. I want to be able park anywhere and travel anywhere without having to worry about getting stuck or not being able to fit.
I can understand where you're coming from. Larger buses aren't for everybody. Just know that an upgrade later will mean doing/paying for two conversions. You might look at a cutaway shuttle bus, that would be a nice compromise that would be more driveable and maneuverable, and give you more space, possibly negating the need for a larger bus in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
As an asthmatic, having learned what I have about diesel power, diesel exhaust and its effects on the respiratory system (especially in kids), I wouldn't recommend a diesel to my worst enemy.

I drove semis for about 4 years and diesel exhaust and fumes nearly killed me before I figured out that 1) I had asthma, and 2) the concentrated exhaust and fumes around truck stops, shippers and receivers were keeping it stirred up constantly, producing frequent and severe bronchial infections. And diesel exhaust / fumes also cause such respiratory problems in the first place. Not something you really want to be around much if you can help it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
That's horrible. Glad that you figured it out and are doing well. The other day when I was sitting in my bus I noticed that I was able to seem the fumes of the passing cars. So I definitely see how Diesel and fumes from cars in general can be problematic over time.

I'm not opposed to gas. I just wanted a diesel bus because of diesel's longevity and the power they have when it comes to towing. At some point in the near future I want the option to be able to tow a car if and when I needed to so that I don't always have to use the bus as a main driver.
I appreciate the empathy. I don't know about doing WELL, but certainly better than I was. There really is no cure for my condition and all I can do is avoid what I know to be a trigger. Fortunately, I've found mentholated cough drops and vanilla ice cream to be quite helpful in controlling the attacks, as a gag reflex makes aerosol-based inhalers useless to me. Keeps me fat, but keeps me alive. I've also found avoiding certain food/drink or at least keeping them to a minimum helps as well, but I really have no choice now but to believe my doctors about disability.

As for your purchase, I just would like for people to be aware that over time, a diesel can contribute to or cause serious health problems. Towing a car can perhaps be done with a cutaway, but the engine is never really the issue, most V-8 gassers, as well as the Ford V10 can tow plenty, they're just thirsty. The trans is the weak link, so I wouldn't recommend it unless it has an Allison 1000 or equivalent. A 4L85E, 6L90E, or 4R75W is not likely to put up with that with the inherent extra weight of a steel bus body. Perhaps a fiberglass shuttle bus body would reduce weight sufficiently for such purposes.

If you haven't already, I (and others) would highly recommend you look through the threads linked in my sig, it could help you to avoid making another, more expensive mistake.
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.