Good & Bad News About Our New & Used Bus
Wed., Apr. 11. 2012 12:13pm EDT
On Monday, we bought a 1996 Ford E-350 minibus with a 7.3 liter turbo diesel engine in Fayetteville OH. It's 15 feet shorter than our old bus but should have much better hauling power.
It's certainly a step up from the vans we've been renting; it has a bathroom, two booths with work tables, mini-fridge, microwave, and two mini-bunks. Keith and his son, Sam, examined it in person last week, and Monday they met J. in Fayetteville to purchase and pick it up.
Because it's been sitting awhile, it needs some tender-loving care. But, even more importantly, it needs a trailer-hitch package, which could cost $750-$1500 installed, although we knew that when we bought it.
What we didn't know is that the bus would have problems on the 300-mile journey home. It started losing power about an hour from Keith's house and wouldn't hold a charge. Sound familiar?
Poor Keith and Sam had to get AAA to bring our new bus home on a flatbed. Ohio doesn't require vehicles to pass inspections, but Pennsylvania does. Here's what our mechanic says it needs:
- large replacement alternator (also powers the appliances)
- six new tires (old ones are dry-rotted from sitting too long)
- new windshield (old one is cracked)
- tie-rod ends and a ball joint for steering
- a trailer hitch and wiring for the harness for the trailer
Consequently, we have to rent a van again this weekend, adding more expense. The good news is the vehicle is structurally sound, and the engine and brakes look good. Please pray for us that we can get everything taken care of quickly.