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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
guys i ,ve had alot of these engines ( 25+ ) from the p30 vans and almost everyone has something wrong with it. alot have burnned pistons ( which isnt a problem that cant be delt with ) , alot are in need of overhaul due to very hi-milage . hardly any are good runners upon delivery ready to install with no attention needed. if they were good running engines the fleet wouldnt sell them ..... they can switch one out in 2 hrs so that must tell you a little ......i,am not saying there junk but i am saying if you plan on having a good engine you better plan on a complete overhaul. symptoms---- if your seals are leaking this means its getting alot of blow by not that the seals are all bad !!!!! , if it blows blue smoke its burnning oil & in need overhaul. do it once and do it right and it will serve you a lifetime. a overhaul isnt a ton of money and yes it takes some special tools made just for the b series engine. yes an individual can do it but if you dont know the b engine do yourself a favor and pay someone who does or it will never run right and give long service life . dont mix and try to match parts....... stick with the cpl or i promiss you,ll never be happy with it and you,ll throw alot of ben franklins (100.00 bills ) at it.......
JMO
BOB IN TN.
 

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Would you be able to obtain, overhaul, then ship an engine to someone for a price? If so how much, I'm sure many on the forum would like to know.

-TJ
 

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Not looking for an argument here at all, but there can be other factors with these stepvan engines. Mine runs great, is very strong, doesn't smoke and doesn't knock etc. It has about 87,000 miles on it. The Grumann/Olsen stepvan it came out of had a TH400 behind it. The tranny was rebuilt once, then again, and when I got it reverse was shot. The steering was terrible, had a small dent on one side.

It was retired because it wasn't cost effective to repair all. These can be a fat tax writeoff when replaced or whatever. Most of the TH400 stepvans like mine didn't have enough or any tranny cooler, and didn't have enough torque converter. Because of this many were retired instead of rebuilding again. Don't know why they didn't ever put the right coolers and TC's in them.

Several friends have gotten stepvan takeouts and have been very happy with them. There may be other things going on with the srevice facilities in different areas of the nation, or with different companies. Mine was Frito-Lay but MANY other companies use these vans. Some might be excellent service centers, which most Lays facilitites are, and other companies may be slack there. One Fritos stepvan that just sold on dovebid.com in the Pacific Northwest near Portland OR had only 36,000 miles on the engine! I spoke with the Service Manager and he had full service records.

So, you may be absolutely right about buying these stepvans from some companies in some areas, but it may not apply across the board to all vans from all companies in all areas.
JimmieD
 

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I've seen a lot of the bread vans with bad front ends, seems like that is a common problem too and one of the reasons they were dumping them, at least around here. I have also lucked out, both of mine have been good strong runners at 150 and 185K miles on the motor...
 

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Might be a good idea to note just where the good engines are coming from and where the bad engines are coming from. This could save a lot of future swappers from some serious headaches.

Mine was good, from FritoLay. Where were yours from D/C/H? And where were yours from, B/C?
 

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one was from frito lay, the other maybe from frito lay originally but I bought it from an ice cream company that used it as a mobile unit..

I have had good luck with calling and talking to Frito fleet managers and mechanics. That said, the fritos are definitely run hard, mine did end up needing a head gasket, havn't done it yet (pretty easy/quick job) but is in good shape and was maintained well... But I am now helping service a couple others that belong to my land lord (exo frito turned recycling trucks) and they are not in good shape. Head gasket, turbo failure, some coolant leak, all recently..
 

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Interesting, but not really what I expected. I'm surprised I've never heard so much negative comment on these takeout engines in other threads here and elsewhere. On the contrary, I've only heard dozens upon dozens of people say how much they liked their engines and conversions and without any real complaints. I haven't had mine running long enough to form an opinion. Guess I'll have to find out for myself.
 

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guys i ,ve had alot of these engines ( 25+ ) from the p30 vans and almost everyone has something wrong with it. alot have burnned pistons ( which isnt a problem that cant be delt with ) , alot are in need of overhaul due to very hi-milage . hardly any are good runners upon delivery ready to install with no attention needed. if they were good running engines the fleet wouldnt sell them ..... they can switch one out in 2 hrs so that must tell you a little ......i,am not saying there junk but i am saying if you plan on having a good engine you better plan on a complete overhaul. symptoms---- if your seals are leaking this means its getting alot of blow by not that the seals are all bad !!!!! , if it blows blue smoke its burnning oil & in need overhaul. do it once and do it right and it will serve you a lifetime. a overhaul isnt a ton of money and yes it takes some special tools made just for the b series engine. yes an individual can do it but if you dont know the b engine do yourself a favor and pay someone who does or it will never run right and give long service life . dont mix and try to match parts....... stick with the cpl or i promiss you,ll never be happy with it and you,ll throw alot of ben franklins (100.00 bills ) at it.......
JMO
BOB IN TN.
BOB, You are full of SHIT!
 

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BOB, You are full of SHIT!
Please be respectful. There is nothing wrong with being oppiniated and disagreeing with others so long as you are respectful and back up your arguments with fact.
In my own experience my van is not falling apart or belching blue or black or grey smoke. In fact it runs great. It starts up so fast even at 20*f with no starting aids that it blows my mind. It has good oil pressure, does not smoke, and pulls hard. The body is in great shape and so is the suspension and steering. It even tracks better down the road than my jeep. The only thing wrong with it is that the transmission does not want to shift until it is warmed up. Oh, and an instrument light was burned out. :rolleyes: I have driven it over 500 miles so far. After I figure out what is up with the transmission I will loan it out to family to put 5K miles on it as a moving truck before I scrap it out and drop the engine in my jeep. That is how much I trust this van. It is in such good shape it almost saddens me to scrap a perfectly good vehicle, almost.
I have also talked to two head frito lay mechanics in person in two locations 400 miles apart who said that frito lay was restructuring and didn't want to keep any vans around that were older than 10 years. Maybe I was given wrong information on purpose, they were trying to sell me vans after all, but I doubt it.
Matthew
BTW anyone want to give me pointers as to what may be wrong with my th400 trans and how I can fix it myself? If so please pm me.
 

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Though it's a TH400 it's still similar enough to a Dodge auto tranny. On the Dodges it's usually the torque converter that's the problem when this happens. See if it makes a difference if you shift it immediately into neutral, let it run for a few seconds, then drop it in desired gear. If it does work better that way then the converter is geting flaky. The stock TH400 conveter they used isn't up to the task after awhile. Never will figure out why these vans didn't have a transmision cooler!!??? Dumb, just plain dumb.

It's not that hard to swap converters if you have some help and a floor jack.
 

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Never will figure out why these vans didn't have a transmision cooler!!??? Dumb, just plain dumb.
The last ones with the rebuilt transmissions have one attached to to the grille.
 

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I bought my 4BT From Avant Salvage. It was still in the P30. They guaranteed it for 1 year after I installed it (of course it's been sitting over a year :eek: ). I heard it run prior to buying in Georgia. Benny & His Son are good folks, I'd highly recommend them. He had about 5 different trucks & let me pick out the motor I wanted.

My $.02
 

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Discussion Starter #17
little tricycle bob. you showed yourself again. i,ve been through 37 of these engines. how many have you been into ? i,ve scraped out 15 complete trucks how many have you ? i,am on first name basis with several companys to buy all there salvage and get records with every truck or engine . how big is your stack of records ? i just wanted to share my experience with the unexperienced so they would not be dissapointed thinking there getting a choice piece when in fact under normal conditions there getting at the best a hi-milage engine. as far as the front ends being shot, all fleets keep completely rebuilt front end assemblys ready. when the front end is in need of rebuild they unbolt it complete and roll another thats been refurbed under it. same with rear axles, trans, engines etc. these trucks are made to be refurbed. and common the have well over a million miles on the chassis. now heres your chance to show your a big wheel . and... oh never mind.
 

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I'm not personally disagreeing with anybody. That said, the dovebid.com trucks list the vehicle's mileage. If that listed figure isn't correct, and especially if they are consistently incorrect, then they have opened themselves up for lawsuits and for criminal charges.

They are a very large company and one of the top asset liquidators in America, also handling foreign dispersals. It is my opinion that they are not willing to risk their reputation, their business, their financial investment and dividends and their personal freedom just to defraud people on stepvan sales. Because of these things I've listed above I believe they can be trusted to state correct mileage on the vehicles they offer for sale.

I'm not disagreeing or agreeing with anybody here, just stating what is known of the company and their business dealings. Other companies liquidating stepvans might be different. I would only buy from dovebid.com or some other source proven to be trustworthy.

At last report Frito Lay had an exclusive contract with dovebid.com to sell ALL their retired fleet ONLY through dovebid.com, which closed the back door on buying retired Frito Lay vans direct. I don't know the status of other companies or their business agreements.
 

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Bob, your experience's dont ever seem to be anyone else's. Of the about 40 or so trucks I have bought since the first of the year alone, I have got one bad one, and that was because it was smacked in the front, and it is a 6.5 anyway, so I didnt care. The rest were all 4bt's, and ran good. I am not sure where you are getting yours from, but the one's I have gotton have been good drivers.. So not everyone needs to buy your rebuilds to have a good conversion. If you want to sell something, including services, put it in the classifieds, or vendor section.
 

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What it all comes down to is how the shop is ran,there are always those that will be run down and other that are kept ,just like any other trucking company ,when they get new trucks it's a tax break,so they let the old trucks go .Now not all trucks will be junk,you just need to check them out before you buy,if your lucky you can catch a repower with low miles.

I have two of them to prove it * Thanks goes out to BigWheelBob.


Thanks
Scott
 
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