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Old 05-01-2020, 03:38 AM   #41
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Actually, none of the gas engines are really that bad from my experience and understanding, though the 5.3 has been known to have issues with its cylinder deactivation system. I'm not sure why you're thinking the 7.4L isn't that great, it actually was one of GM's better engines, though it is a bit thirsty.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:14 PM   #42
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I found a pretty sweet econoline with a 351 in it. Engine sounds like itís reliable from what Iíve read. Will it be powerful enough? And would there be anything I would want to do as preventative maintenance on this vehicle? Price is 2.5k but itís in Texas so Iíd be road tripping home. No rust tho!
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:04 AM   #43
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Doesn't sound like a bad deal if it's mechanically sound and no rust. Ford's AOD transmissions of this era had a similar arrangement to GM's throttle valve cable and were prone to transmission problems if it came disconnected from the throttle linkage. They're not bad if maintained and not abused however. Though I would take a C6 in comparison. Gas engine is likely to be a 351W or a 460, both great engines. The diesel for this year would be the 7.3 IDI, also a good engine.

One thing the Windsor V8s with fuel injection were known for -- Cracks in the EGR tubing mounted to the back of the cylinder heads. They would crack and cause exhaust leakage into the firewall vents or cabin. On something this old, emissions are not necessarily required to be in good repair if parts are not available, so more than likely could be plugged off if this proves to be an issue. Fairly common on such vehicles as the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis of the era, not sure if this applied to truck engines or not.
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:26 AM   #44
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Gotcha this is a 351 Windsor. In my search I came across a crazy clean e250 van which I really love but is going for an asking price of 4.7k and in Cali so to lock it down I would likely have to actually pay the asking price. I might just take a leap and pay it because the van looks so well maintained. No real question here just sharing my search. Thanks for the tips.IMG_0460.jpg
So when you say if the trans has been cared for well what would you do to keep a trans in good condition?
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Old 05-07-2020, 02:15 AM   #45
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Each manufacturer and each model of transmission by a given manufacturer is going to have its own particulars as to its design. What's best is to stick to a regular maintenance schedule, changing filter and fluid with the correct type and quantity of fluid per manufacturer's instructions. Most will be fine with regular changes around 12,000 - 30,000 mile intervals, per the manufacturer's specifications, depending on severe duty use. The Fords you are looking at should take Mercon/Dexron fluid, as do many GM designs of the era. However, around 2000, many applications began calling for synthetic fluids.

Most GM and Ford autos of the 80s and early 90s had a cable connected to the throttle similar to a detent / kickdown cable, but it was actually used to help the transmission mechanically control shift points and line pressure. If disconnected, damaged or out of adjustment, they can cause big trans problems. Just something to be aware of and to check for and confirm proper operation and adjustment. Not a bad idea to periodically check the cable and corresponding hardware.
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Old 05-07-2020, 02:33 AM   #46
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^^^^ thank you so much
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:00 AM   #47
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Also keep in mind that an auxiliary transmission fluid cooler is a good idea as well. Some will already have one. Cooler fluid = cooler trans = longer life. Same goes for engine oil, coolers are available for that as well.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:18 PM   #48
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Is it a terrible idea to buy a bus with a rebuilt engine?IMG_0536.jpg
Found this shuttle with 90k miles and a rebuilt engine. Exactly what Iím looking for as long as mechanically it doesnít suck has a rebuilt 460. Does that sound like bad news? Kinda does to me but the owner seems real honest and I might be able to grab it for less than 2k
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:09 PM   #49
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I'd be willing to bet 90k is nowhere close to accurate. Easy enough for a seller to lie about mileage with five-digit odometers. 99,999 miles turns into a like-new bus with extremely low mileage. Odometers quit and are often replaced with salvage ones that generally can't be reset to the correct mileage.Happens a lot with newer ones with digitals when they fail too. I wouldn't believe the rebuild unless they have paperwork or a receipt. An engine with a recent rebuild will look a lot cleaner than its surroundings. If it was done right, anyway.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:38 PM   #50
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Ford econoline 1989 bus engine swapped with a 6.9 IDI. Apparently it was in service until 5 years ago well maintained and used at a school then has just been run around the block to keep batteries charged since. Iím very interested in this bus. Are there any red flags?
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:39 PM   #51
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Ford econoline 1989 bus engine swapped with a 6.9 IDI. Apparently it was in service until 5 years ago well maintained and used at a school then has just been run around the block to keep batteries charged since. Iím very interested in this bus. Are there any red flags?

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...5088869553157/
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:14 AM   #52
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Nothing jumps out at me, but the last line is a little odd...

"no registration fees, it is all non op", as if there were no more room to type. non op sounds a little ominous, but the only way to know what was intended to be conveyed there is to ask.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:31 PM   #53
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You're unlikely to actually want one of those old pre-96 Ford van chassis. The engines in them aren't great and really are under powered.

Additionally, it can be hard to find places interested in working on them if you don't have the skills to do it yourself. I used to own one and did a lot myself, but still ran into a few things that I needed help with.

For the newer ones, the 7.3L diesel is nice(I've owned one also), but it's loud and really unfun to work on in the van chassis. There is plenty of knowledge around the platform, but it's still old at this point.

The '2003' in the original post is a 2002 or older chassis that was built out in 2003 it seems. The 6.5L diesel in the original post is sort of an orphan in that chassis and probably not worth it vs a 2006/2007 one with the Duramax. There are some refinements that came with the 2003 model refresh that are nice too.

For the GM Chassis the 6.0L gas motor isn't bad either, but the mpg isn't great in my experience
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:45 AM   #54
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You're unlikely to actually want one of those old pre-96 Ford van chassis. The engines in them aren't great and really are under powered.

Additionally, it can be hard to find places interested in working on them if you don't have the skills to do it yourself. I used to own one and did a lot myself, but still ran into a few things that I needed help with.

For the newer ones, the 7.3L diesel is nice(I've owned one also), but it's loud and really unfun to work on in the van chassis. There is plenty of knowledge around the platform, but it's still old at this point.

The '2003' in the original post is a 2002 or older chassis that was built out in 2003 it seems. The 6.5L diesel in the original post is sort of an orphan in that chassis and probably not worth it vs a 2006/2007 one with the Duramax. There are some refinements that came with the 2003 model refresh that are nice too.

For the GM Chassis the 6.0L gas motor isn't bad either, but the mpg isn't great in my experience

Thanks for the warning. Iím not really all that worried about power as long as I can get above 60 on flats. Once I get it home it wonít be much of an adventure vehicle. That said will the 6.9l be able to hold 60mph? What kinda hp do I need to carry its own weight? Also I am going to try to find a mechanic to look over the bus before I drive cross country. Anyone know mechanics near Sacramento CA?
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Old 05-27-2020, 04:26 PM   #55
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I've enjoyed reading through this thread... As much as I've cussed my own LMM Duramax, it's still a good engine and plenty of power for my 2007 on a Chevy van chassis. I have a transmission rebuild scheduled at the start of next month. That being said, everything can be fixed. I've spent some money on a fuel pump and a tune to correct my Duramax issues. And I plan to have the transmission rebuilt soon. 168k on the bus so it's probably due... I would worry more about anything that has been sitting long as I've had more problems with vehicles over the years due to sitting. Either way, good luck!!! And welcome!!!
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:06 PM   #56
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Thanks for the warning. Iím not really all that worried about power as long as I can get above 60 on flats. Once I get it home it wonít be much of an adventure vehicle. That said will the 6.9l be able to hold 60mph? What kinda hp do I need to carry its own weight? Also I am going to try to find a mechanic to look over the bus before I drive cross country. Anyone know mechanics near Sacramento CA?
It should do those speeds, but at altitude or if there is stiff enough winds it will work much harder. I believe Banks still makes a turbo kit for that chassis also, but it seems like a rather expensive bandaid to me.
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Old 05-29-2020, 11:48 PM   #57
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It should do those speeds, but at altitude or if there is stiff enough winds it will work much harder. I believe Banks still makes a turbo kit for that chassis also, but it seems like a rather expensive bandaid to me.

Most definitely. Thereís no real logic behind getting a pre 1992 econoline other than I LOVE the body nose
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Old 05-29-2020, 11:51 PM   #58
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Seasoned Skoolie pros I have a video of the 1987 econoline with an engine swapped 6.9l diesel. Iíll get it posted to YouTube so I can link it. Iíd appreciate some help just confirming the bus sounds good.
Also if the key is broken off how expensive would that be to fix has anyone drilled one out before?
And there seems to be some surface rust but itís been a California vehicle the whole time thatís likely to be fine right?
Iíll get the video up ASAP. Still looking for a mechanic in the Sacramento area btw.
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Old 05-30-2020, 12:03 AM   #59
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https://youtu.be/-gdKrz6QBhU

Hereís the link let me know if you think Iím getting screwed haha
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Old 05-30-2020, 12:25 AM   #60
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Seasoned Skoolie pros I have a video of the 1987 econoline with an engine swapped 6.9l diesel. I’ll get it posted to YouTube so I can link it. I’d appreciate some help just confirming the bus sounds good.
Also if the key is broken off how expensive would that be to fix has anyone drilled one out before?
And there seems to be some surface rust but it’s been a California vehicle the whole time that’s likely to be fine right?
I’ll get the video up ASAP. Still looking for a mechanic in the Sacramento area btw.
Surface rust on the body isn't what you should be worried about -- It's the rust that could be in the floor and frame underneath. Ask for pics.

The lock cylinder - well, that depends. Some have a simple two-piece plastic collar over the column that screws together from the bottom. If this one is like that, two or three screws and you're looking at the lock cylinder. Most are held in with a clip that you just push in gently and the lock cylinder should pop right out. Replacement latches in just as the old one did.

I've never done one of these on a Ford, mind you. I have done one on an older GM and their columns were somewhat less accessible. But I had to do several multifunction and pull-out style headlight switches on some late 80s / early 90s Fords and the columns weren't bad on those, just as I mentioned.

BTW -- the pull-out style headlight switch is known to overheat and fail due to the rheostat (controls dash light brightness) overheating. If you buy this thing and it does that, disconnect the dash light wire from the rheostat wheel and splice it into the marker light output from the headlight switch. Permanent solution, but you won't be able to dim the dash lights.

As far as the engine, it seems to run well, but slow to start, I suspect there may be a glow plug issue there. I've never owned one of these, so I'm not sure how quick they should be to start with the glow plugs working. Some people never replace them when they go bad, which is more wear on the starter and draw on the batteries from excessive cranking. When they say it was engine swapped, was it a factory diesel that was replaced? Or was it a gasser that was diesel swapped? Either way, the engine could be a gamble, even though it sounds like it's running properly.

Overall, it doesn't look terrible for the age, but I wouldn't pay more than about $1000 for it, and that's being generous. If I were buying it, I'd start at $500. Not saying it's a POS, but it's an old bus, and there are issues. Just my $0.02.

Oh, and BTW... If it's an AOD transmission, make double-damned sure the transmission linkage cable is attached firmly and adjusted properly. Big maintenance item on this vintage. Especially because these transmissions really weren't built for the torque of a diesel, given that you say it was swapped, but it's not clear whether it was swapped from gas to diesel or it was just a replacement for the factory diesel.
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