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Old 08-20-2019, 09:34 PM   #1
Vintage RV Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA & Dallas TX
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Low mileage Low use 2004 ISC 8.3L 350 HP

I am looking for advice on issues and what to inspect and/or look at/for with specific to the above listed engine in-light of its history. While I wasn't actually in the market, I've been offered the opportunity to purchase a '04 Winn. Vectra w/ ISC 8.3L 350HP with only 15,000 actual miles, for a crazy-good-price. The owner's, who are neighbors of my brother, purchased it new, traveled in it far less than they thought they would, and decided a lake home would fit their needs better. Apparently, it hasn't traveled much in the past ten (10) years, and was actually used as an on-site home while they built there lake/vacation home next to my brother. The owner states he has started and operated all the systems every month, and driven it a few times a year to exercise it and to get fuel, about 30 miles each way. Anyway, it runs smooth, and starts up quickly on the first turn of the key. My brother has the keys, but the owner's are currently out-of-town, so I don't know about, nor have I seen the maintenance records, but I can assume a few "duration of time" oil changes were missed during the past ten (10) years, but maybe I'll be surprised. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance!
1988 EMC Starfire 31' (stored in TX)
1985 Winn Elandan 31RT (stored in PA)
1973 Landau Continental 29' (Sold to Brother)
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:39 AM   #2
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Location: Rio Rancho, NM
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Crazy good price? Whatís not to like ?

As one who was a foolish novice who bought a 2003 a couple years ago with only 16,500 miles, no service records, only a Carfax for any history, not sure I am the wise guy to offer advice- except that - experience has been a harsh but thorough teacher. Oh yeah, & I wanted it too bad, that I have to concede I paid a crazy too high a price. That being said, if you can get a rig with not only fairly good service records including the one previous ownerí availability to answer questions, & assuming he has integrity, if it is a smoking good deal, sounds really promising. BUT YOU MUST DO YOUR RESEARCH. Donít assume anything. Check conditions of engine, transmission, chassis, appliances, plumbing, etc. Pay an expert to inspect it & give you a full assessment. And donít forget tires. Any tires 6 years or older need to be replaced, no matter how good they appear. The sidewall condition is the concern here. Finally, every rv has the potential & probability to require a lot of time & $$ for issues that arise. That is reality. Not a week goes by that I am not spending a few dollars on some issue. Often minor, but must be addressed before they become major. They require maintenance. With the Winnebago be aware there have been delamination issues with some in the past. Hope this helps. Owning s Motorhome carried responsibilities b
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:57 AM   #3
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A few things off the top of my head, check to see if that is common rail injection or caps. That year could be either. If common rail, nothing really to check, if caps fuel system check the lift pump for leaks. Easy to do, Google or search here for more info. Check the exhaust manifold, a number of them cracked. Not a big deal to replace. Other then that they are great engines, no big worries. The trans should be an Allison 3000, good to go there. Check the usual b.s. age of tires etc. My friend just bought that same coach a few months 3and is super happy.

Plan on doing engine fluids change and trans as well before hitting the road.

Despite what some on this forum say, (have seen tons of arguments) owning a older diesel pusher is not a major money pit. I myself have a 2002 Holiday Rambler Imperial. It has 146,000 miles and still doing well.
2002 Holiday Rambler Imperial 38PKD
370 Cummins ISL
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:16 PM   #4
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Yep, good to know if it is CAPS or Common Rail/VGT ISC. If CPS, check the area around the Lift Pump carefully for leakage.

In general, this good either be a real score, or a real barrel of snakes - agree with due diligence.

I'd personally do:
-Full fluid changes (Oil, Coolant, Transmission change over to Transyn, if it is not Transyn already. If it is Transyn, then I'd still change the transmission filter. And of course all of the other filters (Fuel, Air, Oil, Hydraulic.)
-The above is for both the engine and generator, minus the Transyn.
-I'd also dump in several cans of Seafoam, and tun the engine to clean up any deposits, generator too.
-At this age, all belts and at least the Radiator main hoses, toss in a new Thermostat when doing the hoses. (Generator too...).
-Tires by age, replace at 7
-Full chassis lube
-House. Check the roof and windows for attention and refreshing of caulking.
-Inspect inside carefully, for sings of leakage

Well, and etc - Look for PDI check list on buying a used coach...

Best of luck to you - hope it's a gem, or can be polished into one,
07 Country Coach Magna Rembrandt 45' ISX600
Roo II was our 04 Country Coach Allure 40'
OnDRoad for The JRNY! Enjoy life...
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:52 AM   #5
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I got the model in my sig on the date included (24K miles- 830hrs); Its been flawless. Coolant was clear and bright at date of purchase. Never used any oil (put on 14K since purchase) and never got less than 7.6 mpg - and that was into a good headwind recently. Generally gets 8.5mpg.

I would say do it if it sounds good when running.. and no smoke. It should also make at least 23lbs boost at full throttle.

You should do a full fluid analysis after purchase.
2003 Scepter 40PDBB - Roadmaster RR8S - Cummins ISC350 - purch aug16
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:05 AM   #6
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I don't think that service records mean a thing, since Time is the big factor with a coach that sits alot.

We bought a 13 year old DP with 9,000 miles on it that had been used as a lake cottage, so it sat for who knows how long?

A diesel can sit for a LONG time and not degrade; you need to have fuel filters available for replacement if there's sludge in the tank, and have spare belts to combat the time issue. Otherwise, run it for 600 miles and get the old fuel out of there, then change the filters (all of them) and you're done.
Rick and Sandy
2003 American Eagle, 59K miles
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:42 AM   #7
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Low miles is not your friend. Time is the enemy. Rust can eat oil pans, coolant pipes, wires and connections etc. Inspect it completely. Big dollars lurk at every corner. Take qualified people to look at it, once you determine its not a dog on your own. Money well spent. Good luck.
2000 coachmen santara 370 5.9 cummins isb
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by winniman View Post
Low miles is not your friend. Time is the enemy...

AMEN! I would pass on this one. Too few miles and too many years.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:11 AM   #9
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Mine is a 2000. It has now 60,000 kms. I have had it 3 years. It had 50,000kms when I bought it. That is about 30,000 miles. I was going on a long trip, so I took it to a mechanic friend. He suggested we pull the rad to inspect and clean between the rad and CAC. The CAC was dirty, but in good shape. The rad was iffy, so I decided to change it out. While we had the rad out, the water pump was a must, as well as belts and tensioner. The alternator I changed last year. A custom metal cross over rad tube looked well rusted, so I ordered a new one. $875 cdn. OUCH. Only two in North America, I looked everywhere. The two tranny lines looked questionable, so out they came and got replaced. We noticed a drip of oil on the floor of the shop. Closer investigation with the engine running detected a pin hole in the oil pan at the top due to rust. We replaced the oil pan. Also I was having a low fuel pressure code coming up, and a leak was detected at the lift pump. A new lift was installed but failed to get rid of the code. When the engine light would come on, it would derate the engine. We decided to go all the way, and change the main vp44 injection pump. $7000 cdn in parts total, and many hours of labour that I will have to pay back in favours, I was good to go. If I had taken that to the shop, my bill probably would have been $15,000 dollars. My friend is a 45 year Cat diesel mechanic, so he is as qualified as any diesel mechanic you will find anywhere. People always say check the tires. I say get a qualified mechanic to look at it. There is a lot more money hiding in the engine bay that can bite you. Garages don't like rvs, and finding good service at a reasonable price is next to impossible. Mine had new tires by the way. lol
2000 coachmen santara 370 5.9 cummins isb
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:57 AM   #10
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I bought my isc coach a few years ago with 16000 miles on it. It also had been lived in mostly. I needed to fix or repair most appliances and such. It sure was nice to see the chassis with very little wear a nice running engine and tranny. Fortunitly it came from a dry state.
2002 country coach allure 32 foot dual slide 350 cummins ISC
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:10 AM   #11
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I would not overthink the mileage. As others have said, change all fluids, belts, hoses, etc. Plan on new tires. Check the roof sealants, especially the ones along the sides where the fiberglass roof seats into the J track at the edges. If the price is good, then hit the road and have some fun in it.
Zeb and Teena
2005 Mandalay, 2013 Ford Edge
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