Originally Posted by Woody60606
Hi everyone. I'm now looking at a 1998 Ford shuttle bus with a 7.3 turbo diesel, not sure of the transmission, has only 43K with very little rust underneath. They are asking $5500. Question is is this vehicle viable for a motor home conversion? Top speed is supposedly 65 mph but it seems that this kind of bus was made to take 25-30 people short distances at relatively slow speeds. Anybody have opinions about shuttle buses? Thanks in advance for any help
I owned three mini-buses on the E-350 chassis. All had the 7.3L diesel engine and E4OD transmission. If I had it to do all over again I wouldn't have touched those buses if they had been given to me for free.
To be fair, since I got out of the business there are a lot of options to upgrade the E4OD but it is and always be a light duty transmission that did great in F-150's and Crown Vic cop cars and taxis but it really isn't up to the task of handling the weight or torque that is in a bus. In three years I put seven transmission into those three buses. The furthest we got was 42K miles and the least miles we got was 12K miles.
Fuel mileage averaged 11-13 MPG.
Final rear gearing was 4.56 which allowed 70 MPH top speed. Even with such short legged rear gears they got really pokey on the steep parts.
The plastic bodies, regardless of who made them, are all junk IMHO after about ten years or 300K miles, whichever comes first. The marriage between the steel cowl and plastic body is never a happy marriage. In the out years it usually results in a really ugly divorce requiring bracing and a lot of gummy putty to stop up the leaks.
Most came with big windows which is nice for passengers but a nightmare to keep warm when it was really cold outside and a bigger nightmare to keep livable when it got warm outside.
If I was going to convert something on a mini-bus chassis I would look for a G-3500/4500 with the 6.0L and 6L80 or 8L80 power package. I would stay completely away from any Ford for two reasons. Outside of the 6.9/7.3L diesel engine all of the rest of the engines were nightmares or gas hogs. And regardless of what Ford called the follow on transmissions, the E4OD was a piece of junk.
But that is all just my opinion.