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Last Post 20 Mar 2013 04:35 PM by  F125AXer
Need a Tow Vehicle assessed, Seattle!
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F125AXer
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07 Mar 2013 10:57 PM

    A possible new tow vehicle for me has come to my attention, but it is pretty remote from Michigan. What I need is help from someone in the Seattle area to take a look at it for me.

    The person acting as my eyes would only need basic car/mechanical knowledge to get the job done, as I can be a guide for pretty much everything I have concerns about.

    An Ideal investigator would have a bit of experience with Motor Homes and/or Ford E-Series, and maybe also Diesel Engines.

    As with all things listed For Sale, the sooner I can get a Go-No go decision, the better, before someone else buys the unit. It does appear to be pretty uncommon.

    If you can help, or know of someone who might be able to, please pop me an email ASAP: pbpied@aol.com for the details.

    It's ok to also cross-post this request to anywhere that might help move this along, racers, rallyists, etc.....

    Alan Sheidler

    snaponbob
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    08 Mar 2013 09:19 AM
    Alan, which engine does it have? The following statement will generate some pushback, but since the 7.4 Navistar Ford has had a LOT of problems with the diesels. As for the REST of an RV, it might be worthwhile to find a GOOD RV dealership and pay for PPI (pre-purchase inspection).
    F125AXer
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    08 Mar 2013 11:38 AM

    Bob, this is an older class B, and it is cheap, hence my interest. The engine is the 6.9L unit, with 105K miles, in a 1986 F350 Class B.

    I have heard of issues with some of the later engines, and note that the fixes can be pretty expensive. And also that Ford got some kind of EPA release for some types of trucks they were used in, as one cure means deleting/bypassing an ERG system. This is not one of those engines. But, I have never owned a diesel, and have asked elsewhere specifically about any $$$ issues with this version. So far, not much negative has come back

    snaponbob
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    08 Mar 2013 07:13 PM
    F125AXer wrote:

    Bob, this is an older class B, and it is cheap, hence my interest. The engine is the 6.9L unit, with 105K miles, in a 1986 F350 Class B.

    I have heard of issues with some of the later engines, and note that the fixes can be pretty expensive. And also that Ford got some kind of EPA release for some types of trucks they were used in, as one cure means deleting/bypassing an ERG system. This is not one of those engines. But, I have never owned a diesel, and have asked elsewhere specifically about any $$$ issues with this version. So far, not much negative has come back

    I have owned three Cummins 5.9 diesels in Freightliner tool trucks. NEVER AGAIN. Diesel now sells at prices OVER premium gas. Add to that additives to offset super low sulphur fuel, and more frequent oil changes with much larger sumps, and the perceived economy is just not there. Add that not everyone can fix diesels and suddenly a large displacement gas engine starts to make sense. Regular gas, 5-6 quart sumps with 7500 mile changes, easier to repair anywhere, and a Ford 460 starts to make sense - and I don't like Fords at all. Somebody is selling a Ford box truck as a hauler that sounds better. RVs have their pluses and minuses, but I have not seen the math that makes a truck/trailer + motel room less reasonable. One NEVER has to winterize a motel room !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BTW, I almost bought an RV a couple years ago, and am SO glad I did not.

    ron
    Advanced Member
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    08 Mar 2013 07:44 PM
    If you are going to buy a deisel, buy a detroit or cat deisel pusher used motor home with the allison tranny and enjoy the unbelievable ease of towing and steady gas mileage.
    F125AXer
    Basic Member
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    08 Mar 2013 08:20 PM

    Great suggestion, Ron. That would be great. In fact, it is an ultimate goal, for when I don't have two kids in college @ $20K + per year EACH! (25 is probably closer to the truth)

    So, you're thinking something maybe... $30K on the low end, and the sky is the limit. Well, besides the fact that I'd have to rearrange the pavement around my house and take out a couple of big trees to get anything longer than 25' into my back driveway... There is that darn budget. Think in terms of oh, say... $7 thousand. The Class B I am talking about is... $3500. If it is clean, appears to run well and be in good mechanical and functional condition, I will probably go for it. And drive it back to Michigan. And take the family to Hilton Head in it, and tow my trailer to some autocrosses with it.

    Contributors to this thread can save the dire warnings about catastrophic failures and expenses, as in "Money Pit". BTDT with a much newer (2001) gas SUV, which now has a DONE engine at only 120K miles. I love that one, I really do, but after two sets of rear axle bearings, one set of front axle bearings, and various other issues (not even including the severe rot along the lower body), I can't see how I could go nearly that far wrong here. The SUV was a significantly higher investment, like $17K btw, bought 2nd hand with pretty darn low miles.

    So, horror stories are out there, and I have them too. If you think about it, we probably all do.

    The point of this thread was not to ask for advice on what I should or should not do for a tow vehicle. I may post that kind of inquiry in say... 6 years?

    The point of the thread was to ask for help in the Seattle area with something that I think could work for me. Thankfully, I have had one good response in that direction, we'll see how it works out.

    snaponbob
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    08 Mar 2013 10:02 PM
    Hey, at $3500, WTF. Worth the shot.
    ron
    Advanced Member
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    09 Mar 2013 08:19 AM

    Hopefully the one that responded legitimately to the thread will give it a good looking over for you. I couldn't resist putting in my 2 cents worth, sorry. I guess my point was that deisels have come a looooong way since 86 with the use of turbos and direct injection to the tune of much more usable power and better gas mileage and drivabilty. Step one make those darn kids pay for their own schooling and step two buy what ya want.:):)Jk

    Good luck with the purchase.

    Ron

    Sonoma GT
    New Member
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    09 Mar 2013 11:50 AM

    Sent PM/email with contact info for a diesel tech in our area.

    Shane

    F125AXer
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    Posts:253


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    20 Mar 2013 04:35 PM
    Many thanks to the people who offered to lend a hand with this. It fizzled late in the game when I discovered an issue with the title which may have created problems for me when I got back home to Michigan. Just glad I had not already bought the plane ticket to Seattle!

    Right now it appears as though I will be going a much more conventional route, with still a Ford product, but much newer, and a gas motor as well.

    If anyone ever needs a pair of eyes local to SE Michigan for a look-see on anything related to cars/competition, I am your man. Have to pay it forward somehow!

    Thanks Again,
    Alan Sheidler
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