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Old 05-30-2020, 12:41 AM   #61
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 44
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
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.

Once again the amount of relevant information I just received is mind blowing. Iíll sleep on it but either way Iím flying out to Cali and finding something out there.

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Old 06-05-2020, 11:06 PM   #62
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 44
How do I know how much rust is too much? Is this too much??IMG_0690.jpg
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Old 06-08-2020, 09:54 PM   #63
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 44
Ok so my search is coming to a head. It is now between a 1987 gasser 460 ambulance. That would be likely a pain to build out but is gorgeous in my opinion. Versus the school system maintained 1987 6.9 idi school bus.


Iím driving 4 hrs to look at the gasser tomorrow then flying to California the next day to look at the bus.

Leaning towards the bus for sure. On my flight Iím going to read through this thread and pinpoint what I need to look out for when I look at the 6.9idi especially.

2 questions
What should I look for when I look for mechanically when I look at the bus?

What fluids and filters do I need to replace for the roadtrip home? The bus has been very lightly used for the past few years?

Thanks folks. Additionally if anyone has a mechanic in the San Francisco/Sacramento area that could also work
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Old 06-14-2020, 11:07 AM   #64
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 44
I have it narrowed down to the 1987 econoline. It is currently registered as non-operational. Does anyone know the easiest way that I would be able to legally drive it cross country?
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