laz New Reader
Aug. 4, 2009 12:39 a.m.

Being a long time BMW guy, last year I picked up an E350 7.3L IDI diesel ambulance to tow my BMW race car. Stuff is starting to break occasionally (alternator just died, had some hoses blow, belts throw, etc).

So I'm looking for a parts database and somewhere to buy parts. In the BMW world, I'd use realoem.com and any number of vendors (typically autohausaz and/or pelican). Ford people, what do you use? NAPA/Kragen/Autozone/Pep Boys?

And how about a repair manual? It seems that I can only get the crazy overpriced factory service manuals. For BMW, between the Bentley and the parts diagrams, I'm usually all set.

Finally, I'm pretty much getting all my Ford community love over at thedieselstop. Is there anywhere else to go?

I'm a fish outta water here... help?

Ian F HalfDork
Aug. 4, 2009 7:52 a.m.

www.fordtrucks.com (aka Ford Truck Enthusiasts; FTE). Good Ford truck website.

As for manuals, I had a similar problem... Chiltons and Haynes aren't horrible for the vans... but after using a Bentley, you long for something better... Unfortunately, the factory manuals are expensive... even used... and there are 4 manuals that cover all of the systems and IIRC, they are: Body/Chassis; Engine; Vacuum/Emmissions; and Electrical.

When I had my '90 E150, I searched for quite awhile before finally collecting 3 out of the 4 for the van off eBay; sold the van before I could find the 4th. At the time, they did not go cheap - I lost a few auctions before finally biting the bullet and bidding stupid-high maximum bids to get each one. YMMV.

However, IMHO the Ford factory manuals are well-worth the effort to get them. The best I've ever seen, so far (and I have manuals for a number of cars). MUCH better than the Bentley manuals for BMW's an VW's (which are basically print-versions of the dealer TIS procedures, which seem to assume a certain level of factory training and tool access). The step-by-step diagnostic procedures alone are worth it. Much more "nuts & bolts" oriented than similar tasks in Bentley.

aussiesmg Dork
Aug. 4, 2009 8:37 a.m.

Another good Ford truck forum.

http://www.f150forum.com/

What year is your E350?

RossD Reader
Aug. 4, 2009 8:51 a.m.

RockAuto.com is good for consumable parts. I've been ordering from them a lot lately, and they ship quickly.

laz New Reader
Aug. 4, 2009 1:16 p.m.

It's a 1990 e350.

I'm replacing the ambulance alternator that died with a 3g alternator from Taurus, and the pulleys don't interchange ... so I pulled a same era pulley at the junkyard off a gas motored Ford truck (no diesels in the junkyard that I could find). One of the V's looks a little too small for the belt that I have. It'd be awesome if there was a way to look up the part number from the pulley and see if it's the right one for my 7.3L diesel motor and I just have a crazy belt, or if I have the wrong pulley and need to go fish in the junkyard some more.

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