Originally Posted by stephaniempepper
Model: 300 / 84 PASSENGER
Running Condition: RUNNING WHEN PARKED
Engine: 7.3 INTERNATIONAL
Body Style: BUS
Tires: FAIR TO GOOD
This looks much like typical listing format for the Public Surplus site. Having had a previous bad experience with buying an online auction vehicle sight unseen apart from pictures (not a smart thing to do), I would definitely practice diligence and see it in person, hear it run and see it move if possible. At the very least, look at the fluids, and who knows, maybe you'll get lucky enough to see service records.
I've found that the following can apply in translating these listings.
Running when parked can mean a plethora of things, including "hasn't been started since parked a year or two ago", "won't start now", or "ran good when it was parked, but we can't figure out why it won't start or keeps stalling now". "Fair to good" can mean half-worn, and it could mean "barely passes required roadworthiness inspections".
Then again, "won't start" could be as simple as batteries. Simple coolant hose leaks have been misdiagnosed as much bigger problems. Auctions are always a gamble. You takes your pick, you pays your money, and you takes your chances. Assume nothing.
Don't take this as a poo-poo, ooga-booga statement. There are plenty of government auction vehicles that are perfectly good, or maybe need a slight amount of TLC / maintenance. Bottom line, it pays to inspect in person, so much the better if you can befriend someone who knows what to look for (better yet, an appropriately qualified mechanic) and bring them along to spot less obvious issues looming, because they, too, become the property of the high bidder once the listing closes (unless obvious fraud or misrepresentation can be proven).
Originally Posted by cadillackid
the engine in that redpower artical is a 1988 which is an IDI... this is a T-444E which is a whole different engine..
Keep in mind, CK (and I'm sure you know this, but I'm going to say it anyway for the benefit of others), OP is likely quoting the information from an auction listing... A listing for a front-drive Impala police car I bought on Public Surplus showed a V8 engine (bogus, as the front-drivers got 3.8 and 3.9 V6s), but then, it also stated "Runs good - was turned in for newer vehicle".
Trusting that statement got me a clapped-out, poorly maintained engine with most of the #3 rod bearing stuck to a magnetic drain plug or laying in the oil pan, which turned an $1180 car into a $2980 car in a hurry (only because I found a low-mile engine at a salvage yard that installed it 'for a few dollars more' -- it could have been MUCH worse). The selling agency only revealed that the car had 'upper engine noise' or 'could be a wrist pin' once I had placed my bid and it was too late to back out. So good call on correcting bogus info, but inaccurate info also shows the selling agency has a 'close-enough', 'whatever', point of view, which in my experience, might not speak well for maintenance.
As for the OP, I stand by my statement that seeing is believing. I certainly don't want to talk you out of a bus that could be perfectly fine, but I don't want to see you get blindsided with something that will cost you $10 a mile to tow it home either.