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Old 01-10-2020, 05:28 PM   #1
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Need Short Bus Guidance

Hello All,

I'm finally ready to pull the trigger on a bus and have one in my sights but I need a little guidance on if the asking price is worth it.

Below are a list of repairs/upgrades that the current owner has done to their bus. What I'm wondering is; are these type of things Ill have to do no matter what or is the owner is trying to pass on the cost of their mistake to me?

It may also help to know that I am planning on doing a 4x4 conversion since Ill be turning into a ski/climbing bum.

I appreciate all the feedback you can offer.

Bus:5 Window 2003 Ford E450 W/7.3L @ 168k

Upgrades/Repairs:
New Glow Plugs
New intake
New harness'
new y pipe and down pipes for the turbo
Bilstien shocks front and rear
New Spring leef pack
New Steering stablizer
New sway bar front and rear
New front coils
New Brakes and Hoses
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:02 PM   #2
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if Itís rust free itís probably worth 4K so. I gotta ask though, why so many repairs? And why a replacement harness? Without knowing the reason for itís replacement, Iíd be leery that there was/is bigger problems.

Converting to a 4X? Thatís ambitious and so I would say that the price of the bus is inconsequential.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:12 PM   #3
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Engine: T444E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobertTheDoo View Post
Hello All,

I'm finally ready to pull the trigger on a bus and have one in my sights but I need a little guidance on if the asking price is worth it.

Below are a list of repairs/upgrades that the current owner has done to their bus. What I'm wondering is; are these type of things Ill have to do no matter what or is the owner is trying to pass on the cost of their mistake to me?

It may also help to know that I am planning on doing a 4x4 conversion since Ill be turning into a ski/climbing bum.

I appreciate all the feedback you can offer.

Bus:5 Window 2003 Ford E450 W/7.3L @ 168k

Upgrades/Repairs:
New Glow Plugs
New intake
New harness'
new y pipe and down pipes for the turbo
Bilstien shocks front and rear
New Spring leef pack
New Steering stablizer
New sway bar front and rear
New front coils
New Brakes and Hoses

The Ford 7.3 and it's closely related IH T444e both have good reputations. Sounds to me like the glow plugs were about due for a change. The new harness I am assuming is for the glow plugs/injectors? If so, it is usually done each time the valve covers are off for injector/glow plug replacement. The new intake (gasket maybe?) - gasket is fine, I would wonder why the intake would need replaced. New Y pipe and such for the turbo, not a worry for me. The rubber portions will deteriorate with age. New shocks, springs, ... well, basically much of the suspension, brakes, and steering is just age and mileage and deterioration and none of that would concern me. Good that it's been done.


Things that *Would* make me run away: Major rust/rot. I don't mean easily removed surface rust, I mean soft metal or rust holes. Major engine issues like oil in the coolant or vice versa (might be something minor, might be a major fix). I notice the trans hasn't been mentioned, though an eventual 4x4 conversion the trans may have to be replaced with one 4x4 friendly.



What's the asking price? Sounds like a $3000 bus with $2-3000 worth of stuff done to it.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
And why a replacement harness? Without knowing the reason for itís replacement, Iíd be leery that there was/is bigger problems.

That's a known weakness of the T444e/Ford 7.3 glow plugs/injector, the harness runs though the valve cover gasket and deteriorates with age. Most shops will consider replacement as standard part of new glow plugs/injectors. If it's other wiring then I agree, I'd want to know more about it.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:47 PM   #5
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My suspicion is that anyone looking to flip a bus or shuck it off on a sucker isn't going to go through the trouble of all that suspension work. Those aren't components that are going to fail completely. Seems to me the owner was making improvements with the aim of having a sweet-handling / well-performing ride.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:43 AM   #6
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Year: 2001
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Chassis: HDX
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
My suspicion is that anyone looking to flip a bus or shuck it off on a sucker isn't going to go through the trouble of all that suspension work. Those aren't components that are going to fail completely. Seems to me the owner was making improvements with the aim of having a sweet-handling / well-performing ride.
This is my thought as well, that's a lot of money tied up in the suspension with a purpose.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:38 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your advice.



Today I had a chance to see the bus with my own eyes.



Here's what I was told.



The harness was replaced for two reasons. One as part as the service to the glow plugs.Second they were have some issues with the A/C and batteries but this got rewired when they re-harnessed the bus.



As for the suspension Hubbard was correct, they wanted to create a bullet proof suspension so that the build out weight got carried properly.



Almost everything about the bus was looking good. Started her up cold and the exhaust was clean. Also was able to drive her around and she shifted through the gears nice and smooth.



Sadly there is a rust problem so I gotta weigh if the rusk risk is worth all the other quality upgrades. It seems that the frame is only afflicted with surface rust but the cross beams are lousy with it.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:39 PM   #8
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We dont do things because they are easy we do them because they are hawd
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:42 PM   #9
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Pic 2 looks like some typical wheel well damage where the owner repaired it on the inside and cut out the rusted stiffener underneath. Pic 6 looks like they repaired a hole but left the rusted stiffener underneath behind. If the whole underside is like that then it's bad, but if it's just a few spots and you can weld it can probably be dealt with.
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