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Old 07-29-2017, 06:54 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 1
Year: 1998
Engine: Econoline V8 Triton
New Short Bus Owner Looking For Any Advice

Hey all!

So my best friend and I have been wanting to buy a short bus for awhile now but never stopped to look at any until the other day when we passed one driving and stopped to check it out and couldn't pass it up. We bought this 1998 Ford e350 short bus for 2.5k with it having 252k miles on the engine and a newer motor (unknown miles) but it seemed to drive fairly well for the price and all. Our plan is to have the bus all ready for the summer of 2018 as we are quitting our jobs and road tripping to all the National Parks so the bus must be capable of covering around 16k miles in a span of 4-6 months.

Our very less detailed plan...
-get it checked out by a mechanic and fix any problems.
-fix air conditioning and some loose exterior plastic pieces.
-take out all seats and carpet the bus.
-paint interior and add some exterior touches.
-build 2 foldable sofa beds we found on Pinterest.
-add in storage options.

If anyone has any advice or knowledge on these buses, space saving tips, a/c fixes, etc.. I would love to here about any and all of them!

Excited to join this community and get our bus national park road trip ready!

Have a good one,
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Heavenandgerth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2017, 10:36 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: SW New Hampshire
Posts: 1,334
Sounds like a plan to me! Welcome. Ask questions, and read a lot. Believe it or not, it's easier to search this site using straight up Google appending "" to the search terms than it is to get usable results out of the native search function.
dan-fox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2017, 12:38 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
roach711's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,968
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Welcome to the madness!

With 250K miles on it I would assume that many parts have been refreshed already. Just the same, have your mechanic look at brakes, U-joints, Rear axle bearings, front steering gear, and transmission as well as the usual engine bolt on's (alternator, AC compressor, steering pump etc.)

Unless you got service records with your bus you should have all filters and fluids replaced (oil, trans fluid, coolant and rear end lube).

Having an oil analysis done will tell you a lot about what shape the engine is in. Check out Blackstone Labs for the oil analysis.

My 2000 Ford has a magnetic oil drain plug and a magnet inside the trans pan. Metal shavings on either one can be a warning sign.

Look at the date codes stamped on each tire to find out how old they are. Unless the bus was parked inside out of the sun they should be changed out at 5 or 6 years old. Sidewall cracks are a sign that you'll be making a trip to the tire store soon. The codes are in a week/year format. A code of 2312 would tell you the tire was made in the 23rd week of 2012.

Your AC compressor is likely engine mounted with the condenser coil down on the driver's side of the bus and the cooling coil up on the ceiling in the back of the bus. If you won't be moving any of those pieces fixing the AC will be as easy as fixing any leaks and recharging the system.
The Roach Motel
roach711 is offline   Reply With Quote

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