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Old 02-21-2019, 05:10 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 22
Need your 2 cents worth!

Looking at a 2003 Ford E-450 mini school bus by Bluebird with no handicap ramp. The bus has a 7.3 Powerstroke diesel with an automatic transmission. Not sure of the model on the trans. The vehicle has approximately 186,00 miles on it and seems to be in really clean shape. The owner says that it received regular maintenance and has no known defects. What do you think? I'd love something this size to convert in to a gypsy wagon style camper for the dog and I. It's a 3 hour road trip to check it out so I thought I'd get your input first.

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Old 02-21-2019, 08:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,388
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Great engine and reliable. The E-series chassis is great, but makes working in the engine a very tedious job because of the tight quarters.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:41 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 22
Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:11 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 102
I picked up my 2002 E450 Thomas H/C bus in 2017. LOVE it even though not done with it yet.
The 450 chassis is a better platform than the 350 due to all the weight. I'm 9660# with 2 seats and the wheelchair lift and almost full tank of fuel. 7.3 is a great motor and the 4R100 is a good transmission. If you keep it under 60 you'll get around 9-10mpg in stock trim. I put a Diamond Eye 4 inch turbo back straight pipe exhaust (no muffler) and a tuner and got average of 15mpg on the highway same speeding (60+mph). LOUD though inside.
Go get it before someone else does n good luck. Took me a while to find mine and because I did not ask questions other than if ran n drove (called and told seller unable to make it that day but would be there tomorrow morning to take home then to Washington state) I got it. Seller said had a couple before me asking dimensions lots of calls after me but I got her.
2002 E450 Thomas/ U-JOINT 4X4, family hauler
1954 Crown 35 foot RV conversion, guest house
1945? City Bus (unknown manufacture), yard art
1940s 'Binder 7 window, man cave
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:42 AM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 24
I got my 2002 ford e450 and love it. If you do get it check out this post by roach711 it has helped me a lot.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:02 AM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Central Utah
Posts: 53
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Conventional
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Rated Cap: 84
We've got a small fleet of them where I work. They're reliable and plently powerful. They pretty much drive like cars.
"Guess what, daddy! Boys have a penis, and girls have an agenda!"
-Hank Nichols, age 3 (some 8 years ago)
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:21 PM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 22
Angry Did a little sleuthing....

The F-450 fell off of E-bay, but I had saved the number of the owner. Called and they said it was still available. Lost the number so I went back to E-bay to find it and they directed me to something similar. Same engine description, "no smoke, shifts perfect", " I drove it for 2 hours on the highway" etc., except that the bus for sale was listed as an F-350 and the body dimensions changed. What do you think, lazy poster or shady deal? I found a listing for a GM 4.8L V8 gas cutaway with 96,000 miles for $5,500. A better deal?
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:18 AM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34
Year: 1990
Engine: 6.0L 366 Chevy Big Block
Rated Cap: 47
For a diesel the engine has a low amount of miles . Still plenty of life left in there .

Gas engines are typically cheaper to work on however have lower overall life.

Honestly any rig you are able to understand the maintenance it had in its life would be the best to go to . A well maintained vehicle will last a long time .
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