Originally Posted by travelindan
Iím looking at buying at 1990 Ford Ecoline bus with a 300 Straight 6 engine (gas not diesel). The odometer reads 61,000 but I understand that could be unreliable seeing that it doesnít read over 100,000. The catalytic converter and coolant lines have been replaced, as well as some rust treatment.
Is there any known common issues with this engine or year of bus? Any reply is greatly appreciated! Thanks.
I have a 1991 Econoline "Bus", mines really just a van with 4 rows of seats but it was still titled and registered as a bus. It also has the 300 in it.
Those are amazing engines. Known to be bulletproof as long as they have oil, and still get you home if they don't. I don't know how much work you plan on doing to your own engine for maintenance/upgrades, but it has an access window to get to the lifters so you can replace them without pulling the head and the distributer is in the front for easy timing adjustments. There are several power upgrades you can do to it if you feel like it needs some pep in its step, just be careful to do your research. As some cam setups do not play nicely with the fuel injection ecu.
The only known issues I know for that engine is from the timing gears. Rather than a timing chain connecting the cam and the crank it is just the gears touching each other. The cam gear is made of a fibrous material, it normally stays intact and strong, but if the engine sits for a long period of time (years) then it can weaken and give way when it starts running again. The all metal replacements are cheap and simple to install yourself if you are mechanically inclined though. Switching to the all metal gears makes the engine a little louder as you can hear the gears, makes it sound like it has a bad power steering pump.
Check your transmission as well. Hopefully you have a C6 transmission. It is pretty easy to tell, look on the sides of the transmission and you'll see a Mercedes logo. It's not actually a Mercedes logo but that is the best way to describe what it looks like. Now that's only a 3 speed trans but they are known to be bulletproof. Just make sure it has a cooler on it like any other transmission and it'll keep you going forever.