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Old 07-09-2019, 03:31 PM   #21
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Tabernacle, NJ
Posts: 25
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thor
Chassis: E450
Engine: Ford 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Bird View Post
Ford started putting the Navistar 6 litre in pickups in late 03, people liked them for the first 150,000 kilometers after that the trucks took a steep drop in value. I have talked to die hard Ford fans who had their engines "bullet proofed" for about $7000 and claim to have got good service out of them.
https://www.autonews.com/article/201...vistar-diesels
Man, I didnt know it was bad enough for all that. Really make me want to stay away now, which sucks because most buses around me seam to be 6L Fords or gas.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:57 PM   #22
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Dowdy Lakes, Colorado
Posts: 1,437
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Bird View Post
Ford started putting the Navistar 6 litre in pickups in late 03, people liked them for the first 150,000 kilometers after that the trucks took a steep drop in value. I have talked to die hard Ford fans who had their engines "bullet proofed" for about $7000 and claim to have got good service out of them.
https://www.autonews.com/article/201...vistar-diesels
My bulletproof kit was $3000, that was four years ago. That 6.0 is still running very strong. I'm a very firm believer in the kits and the engine.

M
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:00 PM   #23
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Tabernacle, NJ
Posts: 25
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thor
Chassis: E450
Engine: Ford 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031A1 View Post
My bulletproof kit was $3000, that was four years ago. That 6.0 is still running very strong. I'm a very firm believer in the kits and the engine.

M
I know I sound really cheap, I just won't have 3k to put into any time soon after buying it. Did you/would you have trusted it with out it? Do you have any info on the kit you used?
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:56 PM   #24
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: BC Rockies
Posts: 108
Year: 93
Coachwork: Corbiel
Chassis: Ford
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 36 pass
Besides the engine there are some other considerations.
I don't know about all the options out there but I can tell you that Ford used a complicated (but very safe) emergency brake system on older buses and medium duty trucks. So far I haven't had any trouble but am told it can get expensive. A lot of buses use a simple drum brake on the drive line behind the transmission which would be much cheaper to service and does not involve auxiliary pumps and hydraulic maxi pots or delicate slave cylinders in hard to service places.
If you plan to do long road trips you will not be satisfied with the Allison AT 545 transmission (common in many brands of older buses) it was good at what it was designed for but it never locks up. Mine is great for around town but useless on bush roads (low gear is too high) and sucks on the highway (hard on fuel, high gear is too low, known to overheat on long climbs, not suitable for towing, doesn't hold back well). I'm going to put a standard transmission in mine, it's what I wanted, but could not find locally when I was buying. In retrospect I would probably travel a few thousand miles to get the right bus.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:39 PM   #25
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Dowdy Lakes, Colorado
Posts: 1,437
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Srad600 View Post
I know I sound really cheap, I just won't have 3k to put into any time soon after buying it. Did you/would you have trusted it with out it? Do you have any info on the kit you used?
I did trust it without the kit for about three years. My kit came from:

https://www.bulletproofdiesel.com/Articles.asp?ID=387

These guys were AWESOME!!! Very helpful and great parts!

M
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:23 AM   #26
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Tabernacle, NJ
Posts: 25
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thor
Chassis: E450
Engine: Ford 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031A1 View Post
I did trust it without the kit for about three years. My kit came from:

https://www.bulletproofdiesel.com/Articles.asp?ID=387

These guys were AWESOME!!! Very helpful and great parts!

M
Thank you, A lot of good info on their site and videos.

Free Bird, I was not aware of their Ebrake difficulties. One of things making learning about, searching for, and shopping for a bus vs any other vehicle Ive toyed with (for me at least) is that there are many configurations and possibilities and it seems almost no way to know them all from quick looks. In some cases the owners do not even know.

As for my shopping range, my searches are spanning from NJ to KY and up and down the coast, but if would be much easier obviously to find one local. Plus as silly as this sounds, Id like to just go look at a bunch to start learning what to look for and find patterns.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:51 AM   #27
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: BC Rockies
Posts: 108
Year: 93
Coachwork: Corbiel
Chassis: Ford
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 36 pass
Your idea to look at different buses is sound. I've done plenty of that, whether they are for sale or not, you will learn something and get a feel for dimensions and such.

It's a long way from the ground up onto the floor of a full size bus, personally I would not want to ride up a ramp and try to duck through the back door. The second problem is that you have to share space with a couple of motorcycles as you hurtle down the freeway. You could build a strong steel bulkhead to keep the bikes out of the passenger area should you get in an accident but I can a imagine a hot day and a venting fuel tank would strain the romance of bus travel.

I would consider carrying a bike on an outside rack but if spares were needed they would all go in a trailer.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:59 PM   #28
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 42
In regards to the 6.0. I had a ford F-550 pickup (and yes, it really was an F-550...) that had the 2004 6.0 (the 2003 was notoriously bad). I owned the truck for 6 years and drove it carefully from 65K miles to about 116K miles. I put $16,000 u.s. in maintenance in the engine. I personally would NEVER EVER EVER own a 6.0 that wasn't bullet proved again. In the bus world this is commonly called the VT365. Research the reviews on them. Pretty terrible.
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Old 08-01-2019, 04:11 PM   #29
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: BC Rockies
Posts: 108
Year: 93
Coachwork: Corbiel
Chassis: Ford
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 36 pass
[QUOTE=Srad600;335085]Evening,

I am on the hunt for a short/shorter school bus that I will be using as a toy hauler for my motorcycles. I wont be doing a full on camper conversion but more like an enclosed trailer that drives its self and has some amenities if I need to stay in it.
QUOTE]

In case you missed it there is a recent thread on a short bus cutaway doing exactly what you propose. The guy is loading through a wheel chair door. Looks as close to what you want as possible.

Look for "MOTO BUS BUILD" in July 2019 week 30
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