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Old 03-26-2018, 07:16 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
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Question I just bought a bus

I now have a 1992, e-350, 15 passenger; 4 window;,bus 7.3L; 190,000 miles

I feel like robert redford in "the candidate", Now what happens?
before converting to a RV I mean.


It came from a school with regular maintenance but it has been siting for a while.
What should I do:
oil change, other fluids and ??
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: NorCal
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: Ford E350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel
Nice dude. Good find, I just bought a similar one (1996) on Friday. My first steps are measuring and planning out the layout while I remove the seats (which is almost done today). Next I'm gonna remove the floor, walls, and ceiling to reinsulate and remove the wiring/coolant hoses, and replace with a finer cover.

However, let's not forget... I still have to go to the DMV this week. I can't drive the bus to pick up supplies until then. I also need to take it to a mechanic to give it a one over, replace the batteries (they've died--we had the lights on the first night to look over it, and apparently that was enough to kill 'em. I have no idea how old they are, so I'm just gonna replace them), and change the oil/filters since I don't have any records of when that was.

Be sure to keep updating this thread as you go, there are a ton of lurkers who read these (I was one of them for a year) and I'm sure they will find it super helpful.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinekid View Post
I now have a 1992, e-350, 15 passenger; 4 window;,bus 7.3L; 190,000 miles

I feel like robert redford in "the candidate", Now what happens?
before converting to a RV I mean.


It came from a school with regular maintenance but it has been siting for a while.
What should I do:
oil change, other fluids and ??
Brakes, including flex lines...check belts, hoses...I'd drive 20 or 30...from stop-n-go traffic to freeway...than park it overnight with a old sheet or cardboard spread underneath the engine and tranny...to check for location of leaks

Mostly, enjoy the adventure

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Old 03-26-2018, 08:59 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
Question what about spare tire

I've never had a vehicle with dually. I know I have 2 spares for the rear

What if I loose a front; can the rears be bolted up with just one wheel and I use the "spare" for the front.
¿Does the flat front have to go on the rear to make the rear set complete enough to get to a gas station?

How do you tell if one of the rears is flat?

So many questions as I think about what i did today.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by alpinekid View Post
I've never had a vehicle with dually. I know I have 2 spares for the rear

What if I loose a front; can the rears be bolted up with just one wheel and I use the "spare" for the front.
¿Does the flat front have to go on the rear to make the rear set complete enough to get to a gas station?

How do you tell if one of the rears is flat?

So many questions as I think about what i did today.
Truckers can hit the tires to check them...there is a stick you can buy just for that...

Yeah the rims interchange with the front...but if you blow a front tire you may have more issues than a flat...

Best to check(visually) pre-trip and with a gauge

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Old 03-26-2018, 09:38 PM   #6
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Inner tires are easily checked with a tire billy, sometimes called a "thumper". As long as the tires are about the same sound when whacked, you are good but extreme cold can throw the sound off.

Another option is a set of dually valve stem extensions so the inner tire is more easily accessible. That's the route I'm going.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:44 PM   #7
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Inner tires are easily checked with a tire billy, sometimes called a "thumper". As long as the tires are about the same sound when whacked, you are good but extreme cold can throw the sound off.

Another option is a set of dually valve stem extensions so the inner tire is more easily accessible. That's the route I'm going.
Thx tango...I couldn't remember the term...

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Old 03-29-2018, 12:32 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
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Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
Just a progress update; I got it home

Its in the driveway, still need to get the backyard cleared out enough to get it where I can work on it.
For those following along.
The process so far:
step 1 : win auction; done
step 2; get insurance, done
step 3: wire money; done
step 4: pick it up; done
step 5; gas it up, done
the seller left about a qt of diesel in it. They didn't even want to let it idle until it was signed over to me
step 5; drive home with friend following, no plates; done
step 6; get it registered with our government; wish me luck

I'm in CA, first attempt this morning was a failure.

Parking lot full to overflowing, lines literally out the door and down the block. Tried to get an appointment, they said come back near the end of April, almost 4 week from now. o'course in CA they want to throw you in jail or punish you in some way for not registering within 10 days or 3 days or some ridiculously short amount of time.
Even thou our government already knows that i have the vehicle because the seller told them and they saw the money get transfered. They arleady have all the information on the vehicle, we have been paying them to track it for the last 26 yrs.
It should all happen online I have pgp encryption on my email, keybase for secure file transfer and a secure telegram account so personal and private information can travel safely. I'm frustrated right now.
I know that even if I had a significant-other; I doubt she would want to do this paper work stuff any more than I do.

I'm really looking forward the design, welding, building it out and all the other fun stuff.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:44 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: NorCal
Posts: 33
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: Ford E350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel
I had the same issue with the DMV... I got out of my car, saw there was a line around the block, and promptly got back into my car.

If you’re just going to register it as a regular auto like I did, you have two better options.

AAA: They said they can only do private party transactions (I bought mine from a dealership) and only the DMV itself can transfer an old school bus (this is false; I was just talking to a guy who didn’t want to do the work).

Registration Express Group: I walked in, no line or wait, sat down and gave them my paperwork from the dealership. Five minutes later, after paying a total of $150, I walked out with new plates and valid registration. Totally worth it to me.
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Old 03-30-2018, 06:15 PM   #10
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I got it registered, after 3 trips to the dmv. I'll write up the long story and post it someplace so others can learn. Stay tuned.

Right now I'm wondering that transmission I have. The bus is a 1992 ford e-350 and the body is by sturdivan, if that does matter.
The GVWR is 10,000, front 4600, rear 7800
unladen 7640.

Where would I look and what would I look for?

Right now it seems to shift ok but only after the engine seems like its spinning a little too fast, If I lets off the pedal a little it will shift. When its going from 1st to second around 15mph, I also notice, or atleast I think I notice a slight second shift a little latter and then around 25-30 it will do another major shift.
Never driven an auto this big so I dont know what to expect and I havent taken up to highway speeds yet. I want to change the oil and do general PM on it. I would hate to ruin my new toy.

It does have a button on the end on the shifter but one person at the school told me they modified to disable it and another said they didn't. havent tried it.
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Old 03-30-2018, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinekid View Post
I also notice, or atleast I think I notice a slight second shift a little latter and then around 25-30 it will do another major shift.
I don't know what transmission you have either, but this "second" shift is usually a torque-converter locking up. This is a good thing.

My F150 does it too. Sometimes I feel it, sometimes I don't.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:22 PM   #12
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Year: 1993
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 14
Your bus is very similar to mine...

Should be a 7.3 IDI (non-turbo unless someone added a kit), backed by an E4OD automatic.

Does the speedometer and odometer work correctly? If they both work correctly/smoothly, then you can skip the speed sensor on the rear diff and the speedo control module (built onto the rear of the speedometer.. takes the signal from the diff sensor and tells the gauge & trans controller what to do).

How does the fluid look? Any record of being serviced?

There is one other sensor that controls shift points and firmness... it is mounted to the driver's side of the injection pump. It functions like a throttle position sensor and is adjustable. They are a common failure item with high mileage and can cause your issues.

Is the O.D. light on the shifter lever flashing?

As far as things to check with the engine and such... go through the brakes. Inspect the hard lines (had 2 of mine fail completely). Make sure to heavily grease the caliper slides. Check the wheel bearings up front while doing the brakes. Replace or just repack depending on condition. Flush the brake fluid if all the hard lines and such are in good shape.

With the engine... the IDI is pretty robust. It's an industrial engine used in many medium duty applications... designed to run at full tilt.. non-stop without fail. Not a power house... but a work horse. Also, very alternative fuel friendly.

Check the belt(s), hoses, injector return caps (little plastic caps on top of the injectors... they like to start leaking). If the coolant looks clean, pick up some SCA test strips. The IDI requires SCA additive in the cooling system to prevent pin-holing the cylinder walls via cavitation. If you are unsure... fully drain/flush the system and refill with peak fleetcharge (precharged with SCA additive).. 50/50 with distilled water. Check the SCA levels at every oil change. When you change the oil, use a powerstroke oil filter (Motorcraft part # FL-1995 or similar). It will fit in place of the IDI filter... is a better/larger filter and will increase oil capacity by roughly 1 qt. Plan on ~11qts (Just buy 3 gallons and you'll have some to top off between changes).

How easy does it start when cold? If it is temperamental... it is more then likely due for glow plugs. ONLY use Motorcraft plugs. If they are the round pin style connector, the part number is ZD-9. Other brands are known to swell which makes removing them without breaking off the tip nearly impossible. Break off a tip and pull the head (or get very lucky using a shop vac through the injector port).

Anyways... Ive just been through about every mechanical system on my '93.. so if you need any info, feel free to message me as I'm not on the boards on a daily basis.
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:43 AM   #13
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 109
Year: 1992
Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
thanks, that is good news. My last vehicle with an auto-trans was a 65 galexy. Don't ever remember TC lock-up
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:47 AM   #14
Skoolie
 
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Location: CA, USA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
thank for the part numbers,
I wasn't able to get any of the maintenance records on this bus. My parts gal has said I should look for the "build list" on this vehicle. She said all special built vehicles have one. It will save her counter folks a lot of work.
I have heard that international dealer are good about such thing, dont know about ford.
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Old 04-01-2018, 10:35 AM   #15
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Typically on a light duty platform (such as van cut-a-ways), it is up to the coach builder. You can call any ford dealer with your vin.. and they can give you basics.

As far as mechanical parts, most coach builders don't change anything.. they just build off of the cut-a-way chassis. Any part you need should be as easy as walking into a parts store and buying it for a dual rear wheel 1992 E350. Leave off the part about it being a bus as that will just confuse things. All of the mechanicals are basic E350 parts and 99% of anything you'll ever need will be sitting on the shelf at any parts store due to how common the E350 platform is. Parts are also cheap.

There are only a handful of parts that are "motorcraft only". Glow plugs and thermostat are the main ones.

Oh... and if you ever need a radiator... dont go buy some pricey piece from a parts store that are plastic/aluminum junk. Get on E-Bay and search for Champion 4 Row 1993 F350 Diesel. It will not be listed as fitting the E350 but it doesn't take much to make them work. They are all aluminum.. tig welded and have a lifetime warranty which they stand behind. Can be had for ~$300 which is a little cheaper then what most parts stores want for the cheap plastic crap.

Anyways.... lol
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Old 04-01-2018, 03:30 PM   #16
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Posts: 109
Year: 1992
Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
thanks for the tip. I'm starting an organized list of parts and options.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:40 PM   #17
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Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
working again

Its been a while, I hate it when life happens Its now the winter solstice but I've got time to work on the bus again. It has just been sitting in the backyard.
Today i started to change the coolant. I have decided to go with the OAT stuff. I choose Peak Final Charge global. Their code is FXA0B3.


The first step was to drain as much of the old stuff out as I could. I got about 5-1/2 gals out. It was looking kind of pale, but not rusty so that was good. The school didn't give me any maintenance records on this bus, I can only guess what they put in and how often. I know when I got it, it was down a gallon or so.


I refilled with distilled water. I could get about 2 gals back in. I then ran the bus for a while, and the engine temp gauge went way above normal. I'm guessing there was a 2-1.2 size air pocket around the engine. Water would come out the radiator fill but it was cold. Must be the water pump was pumping water through the heater core but not through the engine. I shut it off and and after while I tool the cap off and was able to add the other 2-1/2 gal of distilled water back in.
Some how the air pocket was gone.


I then restarted it and the engine temp gauge never moved, I let it idle for 15mins but nothing, so I took it to the gas station, about a mile and then came home.


Now its cooling off. Next is to drain the distilled water, hopefully it circulated enough to dilute the remaining old coolant in the engine.
I want to prophylactically change to lower radiator hose. It is kinda soft when I squeeze it and it still has a spring in it. Since the hoses from the factor have springs but replacement hoses generally don't, I'm guessing this may be an original hose. The number is B2 ????? 2 with a red stripe running down it. The hose clamps are not the SS ones I'm use to. They are two wires and then the screw assemble to tighten them; and the wires are held in place with small staples and they are rusty. That is what leads me to think they are factory originals, 26yrs old. Could it be



That is tomorrows assignment, finish the coolant flush and refill with a new lower hose.
I'm always looking for advice and comments.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:08 PM   #18
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1992
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Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
old coolant

In the interest of full disclosure, here is an image of the old coolant. I dont know if anyone can learn anything from this or not but let me know if your calibrated eye sees anything note worthy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg raw59_4144_oldBusCoolant-1.jpg (389.2 KB, 3 views)
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinekid View Post
In the interest of full disclosure, here is an image of the old coolant. I dont know if anyone can learn anything from this or not but let me know if your calibrated eye sees anything note worthy.

Did you test the strength ad PH of the old stuff? Then you know what temp it was good for at the least. Maybe you will need to strengthen your new stuff.


Oh and don't let anyone drink it thinking it's wine or something. Keep kids and pets away too, wouldn't be a good thing.


John
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:46 AM   #20
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Year: 1946
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Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
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For the record...


For reasons unknown, dogs and cats are attracted to most antifreeze mixes. And they will kill them. So please, dispose of properly.
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