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Old 11-18-2014, 07:07 AM   #29
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Many inspection companies can do a fluid analysis on the engine and transmission. That with the other information will tell the whole story.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:16 AM   #30
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$500 for the Dyno test is steep. It only takes about 10 minutes to run the test. But, it lets you know if there have been any error codes where engine has been overheated, misused or abused or problems it's currently having.

As for the pre-purchase inspection, those are usually done if you can't physically get to the coach to inspect it yourself.
If you can get there to view and check, have the seller walk through and show you how everything works to confirm operable. As this is your first coach, you'll want to learn everything you can to be able to function on your own once you've made the decision to buy. Try all the switches, check all the gauges when running and use all the facilities.

If you don't feel comfortable in doing it yourself, then by all means, spend the money for inspections. You have to sleep at night regarding your buy.

It sounds like it has had a lot of work done and been cared for.
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:58 AM   #31
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Post a photo of you & your wife with the keys in hand!
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:56 AM   #32
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I'll continue to keep everyone updated! Thanks again, and if we do purchase, pictures are indeed in order!
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:33 AM   #33
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Update: The owners dropped off the coach last Wednesday at Cummins, so because of the holidays, it should be going into the shop tomorrow. I have also asked them to perform a SCA coolant test, and an oil analysis for me. Ill keep everyone posted!
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:18 PM   #34
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Hope it goes well. We bought a 1994 Gulfstream, cummins 8.3, Allison World tranny, and Spartan Mountain Master in 2004. Have spent last 10 years making it our own. We did have to replace exhaust brake and exhaust manifold as PO let cooling system go to $&@. Ours still only has 79,000 miles and drives like a dream. We get it serviced at Cashman Cat in Las Vegas where service department manager swears by the C8.3 engine. Think you are getting great deal if all checks out.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:14 PM   #35
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...That 250 might be a little light if you plan heavy loading and towing in mountains...
That's just what they put in them back then. We have friends with a '94 Safari, exact same engine with over 200k on it...runs fine. I would not worry about the mileage.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:45 AM   #36
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Update:

I am still waiting on the generator, chassis, oil and coolant analysis, but here is what I have so far:

-PERFORMED A VISUAL INSPECTION. NOTED AN OIL LEAK. FRONT GEAR
HOUSING GASKETS APPEARS TO BE BLOWN OUT. INSPECTED OIL LEVEL.
INDICATING LOW OIL LEVEL.

-MUST ADD A 1 GALLON TO TOP THIS LEVEL TO THE FULL MARK. (ADDED OIL TO THIS ENGINE OIL CRANK CASE).

-ALSO NOTED AN EXHAUST LEAK AT THE OUTLET SIDE OF THE TURBO PIPE
CONNECTION. THE WELD HAS BROKEN OFF/CRACKED.

-DROVE AND SET THIS UNIT ON THE DYNO.
SET AND INSTALLED AN OIL PRESSURE GAUGE,FUEL GAUGE AND USED A HEAT
GUN FOR COOLANT TEMP VERIFICATION.

-RAN ENGINE TO RATED SPEED. HORSE POWER ON THIS ENGINE IS @ 155 TO
160 HORSE POWER. ENGINE IS RATED AT 250.

-OIL PRESSURE WHEN COLD START WAS 60 TO 70 PSI. WHILE ON DYNO RATED SPEED, THE OIL PRESSURE MAINTAINED 40 TO 45 PSI. AT IDLE ENGINE AT NORMAL TEMP OIL PRESSURE WAS 25 PSI.

-COOLANT TEMP ROSE TO 203 BEFORE THE COOLANT FANS CAME ON.NOTE
FANS ARE HYDRAULIC CONTROLLED. ENGINE COOLANT MAINTAINED @ 180 TO
200 DEGREES.

-INSPECTED FUEL PRESSURE OK (NOTE MANUAL FUEL PUMP WAS 25 TO 30 PSI.)

The manager is going to get me a quote on the repairs. So far, what is everyone's opinion?
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:15 AM   #37
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Gear Housing Gaskets Blown Out

"-PERFORMED A VISUAL INSPECTION. NOTED AN OIL LEAK. FRONT GEAR
HOUSING GASKETS APPEARS TO BE BLOWN OUT. INSPECTED OIL LEVEL.
INDICATING LOW OIL LEVEL."

I had a similar leak diagnosis on my c8.3l Cummins.

It is a common repair Cummins says.

Cummin's West estimated $1700 to $2100 for the repair back then.

I did the repair for about $7.00 several years ago using brake cleaner and Permatex sealer. All good since.

No guarantee that my repair would work in your case.

Oil pressures and coolant temps seem to mirror our rig's stats for the past 12 years.



PS: My dipstick adds two quarts too much oil when to the full mark. The engine then just blows oil out the tube onto my toad until happy. So I always under fill by 2 qts as that seems to be the measure of happy.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:40 AM   #38
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I'm planning on buying a used diesel coach, though not quite this old, and have budgeted $10,000 to $20,000 for verifications, maintenance, and upgrades.

Sounds like this coach would work for you. Therefore, it is an issue of your comfort zone with unknowns.

For example, a representation that the roof doesn't leak would be something I would verify by 1) a careful inspection by myself and a professional also 2) having a pressure test done where they pressurize the inside and spray a soap solution on the outside to see if anything bubbles.

Diesels like to be used more than gas rigs and the higher mileage is probably ok and maybe indicative of regular use and maintenance. I would look at any logs and receipts, compare it to the required maintenance, both miles and time, and see if I can verify that the maintenance was done 2) I would car fax it and auto check to verify its history, and 3) happy play $1,000 or more to have them throughly check it out - mostly likely they will come up with several thousand dollars of surprise repairs which you can then use to either say NO or negotiate the price further or say good enough I will do them...assuming you are not a qualified mechanic you really can't be sure on your own, right??? and still there are hidden issues a qualified mechanic might not uncover anyway...just like a doctor...my friend died of a heart attack shortly after he was cleared by his doctor for bike riding-he had a heart attack and fell of his bike-was dead before he hit the ground.

Did you look underneath for rust? You said nothing about that and if it is heavily rusted you have a potential deal killer. That may be part of the mechanical review - be sure it is.

Really don't think this is a car, but a complex vehicle. You can plan on pouring more money into it, lots more, so why would you be worried over $1,000 or so - pin money, actually. Unless you plan to park it and not use it, like some rvers who got over their head financially or just like showing it up for the neighbors.

Update: have them do just about everything and anything short of completely tearing down the engine into its separate parts. Called risk minimization in what you seem to feel is a high risk situation that might turn into a reasonable risk.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:49 AM   #39
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2) having a pressure test done where they pressurize the inside and spray a soap solution on the outside to see if anything bubbles.
I can only speak for my rig but I would not put any faith in such a test. There are so many holes and leak points that it would be impossible to pressurize. I suppose a jet engine blowing into the thing might build up some pressure but in any reasonable form, not possible.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:09 PM   #40
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:28 PM   #41
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If there's no evidence of existing leaks, then I wouldn't worry about it. Truth is, over time, I've always found tiny spots every couple of years that have to be touched up; the trick is taking the time to check everywhere when it rains, looking for the first sign of a leak.

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Old 12-02-2014, 12:32 PM   #42
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I agree, forget about leaks until you find one. Same about the engine, forget about the engine until it breaks. Two valid ways to do things. And yes, this leak test is impossible, a con job...right!
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