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Old 08-27-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
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Smile 2008 ford e-450 advice

Looking to purchase this bus but I need some advice. Thanks in advanced!

Here are my notes on it:
  1. Thomas Minotour
  2. 6.0L Diesel Engine
  3. 209K Miles
  4. Driver seat missing
  5. Brake lines look ok
  6. All the fluids look ok, but the coolant is low.
  7. Clean title.
  8. Batteries are shot and need replacement.
  9. Engine runs and (I think) it sounds good. Had to attach a jump starter pack to start it and keep it running (not sure if this also means the alternator is bad too or some other electrical problem?).
  10. Interior Electrical seems ok. All the electrical devices power on.
  11. Tires look ok, but probably will need replacement.
  12. Has some rust and needs a little body work.

They want $2500 for it.

Also, there is an A/C plug on the front bumper (see attached) that I am not sure what is used for. Any ideas?

Here are some pics...
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:23 PM   #2
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6.0 with over 200k? if it hasn't been worked over and "bulletproofed" it probably doesnt have much time left. add the thru rust to the mix and I'd offer 800 bucks... wouldnt pay a cent over 900. That A/C plug is for a block heater that is very important in cold climates.
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:32 PM   #3
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6.0 with over 200k? if it hasn't been worked over and "bulletproofed" it probably doesnt have much time left.
Really? I thought diesels could get closer to 500K miles?

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Originally Posted by E450Shorty View Post
That A/C plug is for a block heater that is very important in cold climates.
Ok, I thought so.

Thanks, I'll keep looking.
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:49 PM   #4
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Hard pass!!!!
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:53 PM   #5
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That things ready for the crusher.

Its interesting though that it has a steel skin. My 07 Minotour has an aluminum skin.
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:57 PM   #6
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:00 PM   #7
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Really? I thought diesels could get closer to 500K miles?
Yes most do... BUT the 6.0 has some major flaws that cause the engine to be running fine one day and a pile of broken pieces in your driveway the next...
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:02 PM   #8
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Haha, OK OK I will. I apologize for posting about this monstrosity. This was the first one I looked at in person.

So from what I gather, look for no rust and around 100K miles would make more sense for that price point?
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:03 PM   #9
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The golden age of diesel buses in the US ended in 2004.

That particular engine has an awful reputation. THere is a process called "bulletproofing" that can turn them into reliable motors but that's a big extra expense and effort that I personally wouldn't consider on a rusty Type A bus with 200k on it even if I got the bus for free.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:04 PM   #10
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Yes most do... BUT the 6.0 has some major flaws that cause the engine to be running fine one day and a pile of broken pieces in your driveway the next...
Ok good to know. So is the GMC variant a better way to go then?
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:07 PM   #11
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The golden age of diesel buses in the US ended in 2004.

Or not diesel at all for newer models?
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by turtlepants View Post
Haha, OK OK I will. I apologize for posting about this monstrosity. This was the first one I looked at in person.

So from what I gather, look for no rust and around 100K miles would make more sense for that price point?
Getting a bus from 04 or earlier with 100k miles are few and far between. If you do find one, likely its had its speedo changed and has many more miles than the speedo shows. The issue here is the particular motor. My DT466E had 250k on it when I bought it and has many 1000 miles more left in it. Don't apologize for posting, it has been a learning experience for you. Had you not posted it here and then bought it, I can only imagine your disappointment when you tear into it and find the floor is gone from rust. Divide the country into quarters, don't look in the upper right corner for a bus. What you pay in travel expense to go out west will be saved in money and labor doing repairs before you even get started building.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by turtlepants View Post
Haha, OK OK I will. I apologize for posting about this monstrosity. This was the first one I looked at in person.

So from what I gather, look for no rust and around 100K miles would make more sense for that price point?
I paid $5K for my 07, Chevy Express Thomas Minotour 5 window with 130K in near perfect condition. I maybe overpaid a little, but Im starting the conversion from a good place.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:02 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for all the great feedback! I am really glad I posted before buying. This saved me a lot of headaches. The search continues...
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:23 PM   #15
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like others mention the 6.0 can be built-up and its a 350k motor then.. if the 6.0 is in perfect running order now.. then bulletproofing is a couple grand in parts and accessories.. no idea how much a shop charges to do it.. but you srtill have a 200k motor unless you work the heads at the same time.. then you have a freshened enginethat would go for a good long time... the bottom-ends on the 6.0 were damn solid from the factory.. it was just the EGR cooler, oil cooler, radiator, and head bolts that were its main issues.. alkong with injectors which on any HEUI engine could become nightmares..



but the engine isnt what u would worry about... that RUST!!! is pretty severe in my book. thats the visible rust.. what about all of it you cant see..


-Christopher
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:46 PM   #16
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Ok good to know. So is the GMC variant a better way to go then?
the GM 6.6 diesel has a good reputation
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:07 PM   #17
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I would just look for an older bus. Lots of 7.3 or 6.5 type a buses out there.
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