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Old 06-24-2020, 09:17 AM   #1
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Do I need to be picky about short bus engine?

Iíve read on here that for a short bus, the 7.3l is what you want for diesel, and to stay away from the 6.0l. What about the 6.5l? Iíve read the 6.0l isnít reliable. I assume Iíll only put about 10-15k miles on it each year.
At that point should I just look for a gas engine? And at what mileage should I stay away from the gas engines? For a car I wouldnít buy a gas engine over 175k, do gas bus engines last longer than regular car engine?
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:03 PM   #2
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You will need to be more specific.

Ford Diesel;
7.3L = good
6.0L = absolute crap
6.4L = crap
6.7L = meh...crap

Chevy diesel;
6.5L = ok
6.2L = meh, but ok
any Duramax = good
Chevy gas;
6.0L = good
8.1L = good

Cummins diesel;
5.9L = good
8.3L = great!

Cat diesel;
I don't know anything about which Cat is good and which Cat is bad
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackE View Post
You will need to be more specific.

Ford Diesel;
7.3L = good
6.0L = absolute crap
6.4L = crap
6.7L = meh...crap

Chevy diesel;
6.5L = ok
6.2L = meh, but ok
any Duramax = good
Chevy gas;
6.0L = good
8.1L = good

Cummins diesel;
5.9L = good
8.3L = great!

Cat diesel;
I don't know anything about which Cat is good and which Cat is bad
This is super helpful! Most of the buses I’ve come across are the Ford 6.0l.
Do you know anything about Ford gas engines?
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skwersbus View Post
This is super helpful! Most of the buses Iíve come across are the Ford 6.0l.
Do you know anything about Ford gas engines?
No joking here....If you see ANYTHING Ford 6.0L diesel, don't just walk away, RUN!!! Absolute garbage!!!

Ford gasser is a different story. I'm not a Ford fan, but they did produce some ok gas engines. The Triton V10 is about as good as Ford gets. I have never owned one so I'm going on hearsay. A bit older in the 5.8L and 7.5L were usually good engines, although lacking in onion the way only a non-turbo gas engine can.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:27 PM   #5
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You probably won't see any cat motors in cutaway short buses. My experience with Ford gas motors is with a v10 automatic in f450 towing 12k lb trailer. Quiet, smooth, plenty of power, cheap maintenance, bad fuel mileage. Got 9 without any load on freeway and about 6 with trailer. My 7.3 Ford's in f550 and e350 both great and mpg around 10. Unfortunately air resources board shut down all older diesels in California.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackE View Post
You will need to be more specific.

Ford Diesel;
7.3L = good
6.0L = absolute crap
6.4L = crap
6.7L = meh...crap

Chevy diesel;
6.5L = ok
6.2L = meh, but ok
any Duramax = good
Chevy gas;
6.0L = good
8.1L = good

Cummins diesel;
5.9L = good
8.3L = great!

Cat diesel;
I don't know anything about which Cat is good and which Cat is bad
No 8.3's in shorties or I'd own one.
You get DT466E, Cat 3126, or Cummins 5.9.
There are other engines, but those are the best you'll get in a short bus.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skwersbus View Post
This is super helpful! Most of the buses Iíve come across are the Ford 6.0l.
Do you know anything about Ford gas engines?
I'm not real brand loyal but I prefer the GM gassers to the Fords.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackE View Post
You will need to be more specific.

Ford Diesel;
7.3L = good
6.0L = absolute crap
6.4L = crap
6.7L = meh...crap

Chevy diesel;
6.5L = ok
6.2L = meh, but ok
any Duramax = good
Chevy gas;
6.0L = good
8.1L = good

Cummins diesel;
5.9L = good
8.3L = great!

Cat diesel;
I don't know anything about which Cat is good and which Cat is bad
Good info! I’ve been researching and reading galore. It can be overwhelming since I don’t know much about engines.

Do you have a preference to year? I’ve read before 2005 and older are better?
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:43 AM   #9
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I recently got a 7.3 powerstroke diesel. I was also looking at a newer bus with a 6.0 and was universally told to RUN from that engine. And not just by people on these boards, a mechanic, a guy who just likes trucks, and the guy at the local salvage yard were all telling me I'd dodged a bullet by not going with the 6.0.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:27 AM   #10
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skwersbus View Post
Iíve read on here that for a short bus, the 7.3l is what you want for diesel, and to stay away from the 6.0l. What about the 6.5l? Iíve read the 6.0l isnít reliable.

Okay, just to dispel some myths here about the 6.0L PSD...


I own a 2006 Ford F-250 6.0L PSD. I've 'dealerproofed" it as much as I can afford (I only needed to spend about $500-ish). They are very good trucks with a lot of power packaged into a smaller engine, and not difficult to care for and no more expensive than any other similar diesel pickup.


Ford originally had a lot of problems taming the emissions on the 7.3L PSD. So much so that they hired Navistar to redesign the PSD, with International (a Navistar subsidiary) doing the main build of the engine. Ford however got impatient and wanted to push the new 6.0L PSD to market, to compete with Chevy that year. Navistar and International both warned against this, saying that the cooling system needed more work. Ford (according to rumor) ignored them. So this is why the early 6.0L PSD models (2003-2005 mostly) have degas bottle caps that come from smaller vehicles and need to be replaced. It's why the oil seal on the turbo cracked and leaked - which stemmed from the use of poorly engineered coolant which caused anti-corrosion chemicals in the coolant to clump up under high heat/pressure and clog up the oil cooler in the valley of the engine and led to everything from blown head gaskets, hydro-lock, and HPOP damage (you also need to replace a valve on the HPOP in the 2003-2004 models).


If all of this sounds bad (and it is) - remember I "fixed" all of these problems with a little less than $500. I have a blue spring upgrade (for the fuel pressure regulator), bypass oil filter, bypass coolant filter, and an aftermarket degas bottle (due to leaks in the OEM part). I am not mechanically inclined and did all of the work myself. I use a full synthetic cheap oil (Rotella)l, which I only change every 10-12K, and haven't had a problem. I've also run biodiesel through it B20-B80 for about 14 months) and never had a problem other than a super dirty fuel filter (easy to replace). I use Zyrex premixed coolant and flush once a year on average. I also replaced the open-air air filter with a Volant cold-air intake air filter (recommended, but not necessary).



The 6.0L and the 7.3L have some pros and cons. The 6.0L gets better mileage, but the 7.3L has way better acceleration due to mechanical injectors. The 7.3L has emissions issues and the 6.0L has coolant issues. Both are relatively easy to remedy. Both have good engines and transmissions. So please ignore the stories about the 6.0L being a crap engine. These most likely comes from the same crowd that believe diesel power is measured in black smoke.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:30 AM   #11
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I found a 4 window with a Chevy 5.7l gas engine. Will that engine be powerful enough with all that weight to get to and maintain speeds?
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skwersbus View Post
I found a 4 window with a Chevy 5.7l gas engine. Will that engine be powerful enough with all that weight to get to and maintain speeds?
My truck with a 5.7tbi will pull my trailer and mower and still do 65.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_marko View Post
Okay, just to dispel some myths here about the 6.0L PSD...


I own a 2006 Ford F-250 6.0L PSD. I've 'dealerproofed" it as much as I can afford (I only needed to spend about $500-ish). They are very good trucks with a lot of power packaged into a smaller engine, and not difficult to care for and no more expensive than any other similar diesel pickup.


Ford originally had a lot of problems taming the emissions on the 7.3L PSD. So much so that they hired Navistar to redesign the PSD, with International (a Navistar subsidiary) doing the main build of the engine. Ford however got impatient and wanted to push the new 6.0L PSD to market, to compete with Chevy that year. Navistar and International both warned against this, saying that the cooling system needed more work. Ford (according to rumor) ignored them. So this is why the early 6.0L PSD models (2003-2005 mostly) have degas bottle caps that come from smaller vehicles and need to be replaced. It's why the oil seal on the turbo cracked and leaked - which stemmed from the use of poorly engineered coolant which caused anti-corrosion chemicals in the coolant to clump up under high heat/pressure and clog up the oil cooler in the valley of the engine and led to everything from blown head gaskets, hydro-lock, and HPOP damage (you also need to replace a valve on the HPOP in the 2003-2004 models).


If all of this sounds bad (and it is) - remember I "fixed" all of these problems with a little less than $500. I have a blue spring upgrade (for the fuel pressure regulator), bypass oil filter, bypass coolant filter, and an aftermarket degas bottle (due to leaks in the OEM part). I am not mechanically inclined and did all of the work myself. I use a full synthetic cheap oil (Rotella)l, which I only change every 10-12K, and haven't had a problem. I've also run biodiesel through it B20-B80 for about 14 months) and never had a problem other than a super dirty fuel filter (easy to replace). I use Zyrex premixed coolant and flush once a year on average. I also replaced the open-air air filter with a Volant cold-air intake air filter (recommended, but not necessary).



The 6.0L and the 7.3L have some pros and cons. The 6.0L gets better mileage, but the 7.3L has way better acceleration due to mechanical injectors. The 7.3L has emissions issues and the 6.0L has coolant issues. Both are relatively easy to remedy. Both have good engines and transmissions. So please ignore the stories about the 6.0L being a crap engine. These most likely comes from the same crowd that believe diesel power is measured in black smoke.
How long have you owned this 6.0?
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:01 AM   #14
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I bought it in 2011 with 86k on the odo. Now it has 186k.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:49 PM   #15
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I will speak on the Ford V10 since it came up. All vehicles need maintenance and will have issues, so nothing is going to run forever on no maintenance investment.

I have had a 2000 F250 V10 for 10 years and 150K in miles. I got the truck at 10 years old and 98K, currently it has 251K and is parked outside ready to go. Here are a few of my experiences I hope can be helpful for anyone considering a Ford 6.8 (V-10)/5.4 (V-8 ) "gasser" engine in whatever it hauls around. Short answer, yes, I would get this truck again or another Ford motor from this family.

Around 150K the transmission had an issue, it would wind up 1st gear and delay shifting into 2nd. The shifter has a light up indicator that blinks when the trans has an issue, kinda of like the check engine light. Its a Ford 4R100 and problems in the late 1990s to early 2000s are kinda common enough that trans shops know the issues. A $2400 rebuild with a TransGo programing upgrade and I was back on the road. The shop that did mine told me around 2007 Ford figured it out and newer 4R100 transmissions have fewer issues. Side note, I was able to drive the truck home and to the shop later.

While nearing the 200K mile mark my engine experienced multiple spark plug coil failures of the factory installed coils. This engine is Coil-on-plug design so the remaining cylinders continued running and the truck was driveable but with reduced power. I had a V7 for a few days! Just drove it home and later to fix it. I decided to replace all 10 coils and spark plugs at the same time with 200K approaching the odometer. At the time coils were $50 each and plugs about $9 each. My son and I did the work ourselves so labor charge was lunch on me. I think those parts are cheaper now.

Around 247K I had the dreaded spark plug blowout on the #3 plug. Of course I was on a road trip and not just down the street from home. So, a $400 tow home and a $250 repair (plus parts) I was back in business. This is a common enough issue most any competent shop can do the repair. Side note, DO NOT drive a Ford engine with a blown out spark plug any longer than absolutely necessary to get out of traffic, to the highway shoulder, etc. Driving longer results in more damage to the engine. You will know when it happened, the engine sounds like a machine gun firing away.

Other issue was a PCV elbow. Just below the throttle body is a tube for PCV going to the passenger side valve cover. The tube from the cover plugs into a near 90 degree rubber elbow to plug into manifold vacuum. The elbow is a separate part and tends to degrade from engine heat and will get a hole in the bend outside edge, making a vacuum leak. Replacement elbows are available at any auto parts store and is owner replaceable. The vacuum leak should cause a check engine light.

A few other random Ford bits of info:

The different generations of this engine have specific parts that do not interchange so positive ID of what you have is critical. Online retailers will sell you exactly what you ask for so be certain its right.

ONLY buy/use Motorcraft parts on a Ford. The cheap stuff on ePay or CrockAuto will not last for the small upfront savings.

All engines need prompt engine oil and filter changes but the newer 3 valve (2007-newer) are really dependant on the maintenance, they have a version of VTEC where critical engine camshaft timming parts are controlled by oil and need to be kept clean. Forget 15,000 mile oil changes keep oil changes between 3000 to 5000 miles. New filter each oil change! Thats many months of driving for most of us.

Change all the fluids besided oil at least once in the vehicles life. Engine coolant will need it a few times. Budget for it if you have to, vehicles live longer for the money spent.

Good luck people!
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skwersbus View Post
I found a 4 window with a Chevy 5.7l gas engine. Will that engine be powerful enough with all that weight to get to and maintain speeds?

Yes. Don't expect Corvette acceleration. 5.7 GM is really good engine and will live a long time with good driiving habits and routine maintenance.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:06 PM   #17
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Besides smelling like, well, a diesel engine, they have particulate emissions that are unhealthy. While they get better mpg, diesel fuel costs more, so you are paying to get more mpg. Diesel engines last a long time because they must be so overbuilt to even survive running and run at low rpms. If you take any gas engine that is twice the size it needs to be and run it like a grandma, it will last a long time too. I have a v10 bus.
So my advice is get a gas engine but the bigger the better.
Watch this video..
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