E-450 Short Bus Diesel

goatherder

no trepidation
Recently snatched up a 2004 Ford E-450 based 6 window short bus w/ 6.0L diesel. 157k miles. Supposedly this bus was mistakenly put up for auction when it was only supposed to be sent out for a new alternator. Somebody put it on the wrong list. I bought it for $3300. Rode the train to central Oregon, bought the bus and drove it 250 miles back home. The plan is to eventually turn this into a dirt-road capable expedition camper. I've had it a couple weeks, and made a bit of progress. Rearranged the interior, installed shore power and 1500w inverter, painted the damn thing and added a small roll-yer-own suspension lift. Currently installing a propane tank behind the left rear wheels. I'll just throw up some pics:

























Link to the entire album here:

http://s36.photobucket.com/user/Uglyoldpirate/library/Short%20Bus
 
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goatherder

no trepidation
Absolutely. I've read that you should try for 5*+.

So...now to get it looking decent:





And after painting it a color I called "Liberace Green", I decided to darken it up a bit. So I mixed a new batch of paint and resprayed the entire rig again. Here's the result.





These photos were taken BEFORE the suspension lift. Here we are AFTER the lift.


And with the paint finished. FYI paint is Rustoleum from Home Despot. 5qt Hunter Green, 1qt Aluminum Silver, 1/2 pint black is the mix, sprayed with HVLP gun. 5 parts paint, 2 parts acetone, 1/3 part Magic Enamel Hardener from Tractor Supply. Paint job cost me $240 in materials. And it's far from perfect...but thats not the paint's fault.


SOMETHING had to go where the huge SCHOOL BUS placard goes, so...it's a Pirate Fish. I'm a boat captain, spent 25 years as a Bering Sea fisherman, and might've stole a fish or two in my time so it seemed an apt design. It's kinda like the Jesus fish...but all pirate and no Jesus. Which suits me just fine.

 
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goatherder

no trepidation
Propane install

Got a tank off CL for $40. "Ehh...looks like that'll fit." Scavenged some 1x2 from a previous project to build a mounting frame, and managed to get it all tucked up in there just perfectly under the skirt. I couldn't have special ordered a better tank. Also went to an RV boneyard, and found an access door which I cut into the side.

Here are some pics:













Entire album:
http://s36.photobucket.com/user/Uglyoldpirate/library/Short%20Bus
 
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goatherder

no trepidation
Bulletproofing the POS 6.0L

So, next on the list is this engine; notorious for failures caused by the internal oil cooler and exhaust gas re-circulation system. These two systems have caused numerous failures of this engine type and given these engines a bad reputation. Apparently the end result is often blown head gaskets, and the fix is to pull the heads, replace the gaskets and use ARP head studs. If you own this engine in a van, that would mean complete engine removal... as these engines are packed into the van chassis like 10 gallons of ******** in a 5 gallon pail.

So here goes:

WTF? wheres the engine?





Homemade fan wrenches, and a punch with a curved cheater bar handle...

Here it is! 10 gals of ******** in a 5 gal bucket.

FuuUUCK! I need a cocktail!

Back view:


Turbo and assoc piping removed, now to remove intake manifold w/ EGR cooler, then filter adapter & oil cooler housing. Then rebuild oil cooler housing w/ new core, seals & O-rings, also install stiffer (blue) spring in fuel pressure regulator and reseal secondary fuel filter housing.


And last but certainly not least; disable the EGR system that causes SO many engine failures. I bought the "delete" kit that includes a dedicated bypass tube...but in the end welded up the exhaust side of the factory cooler and reinstalled it. Apparently this is considered best practice now.


Now it's just to put it all back together...and hope it starts.
 
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goatherder

no trepidation
Yeah, this is what happens when you decide to organize your Photobucket account into "albums". The photos change location and the links no longer work. Guess I shoulda known. I'll try to fix it.
 

goatherder

no trepidation
Ripped out the radio/cd player, as I absolutely hate airwave radio and there is really no need for CD's anymore. Installed a plywood hunk in it's place. The countersunk bolts thread into a piece of aluminum flat bar that's a tad bit wider and grabs the inside rim of the dash hole. Then industrial strength velcro and a Google Nexus 7 tablet. I charge the tablet using a 90 degree charge cord that I sneak out thru the corner of the dashhole. It goes to a USB charger stuck in the lighter socket...but will eventually get wired into a charger inside the dash.



Google Nexus 7 tablets have a really good internal GPS antenna. I use Backcountry Navigator, which allows you to download map imagery at different zoom levels for use offline.



This tablet also functions as an engine monitor, using a PLX Bluetooth OBDII adapter
http://www.plxdevices.com/Kiwi-2-OBD2-Wireless-Bluetooth-Diagnostic-Scanner-p/897346002573.htm

And the Torque Pro app from the Google app store. This app will read an extensive set of Parameter ID's (sensors) specific to Ford Powerstroke. I can monitor these sensors in real time as I go down the road, and it can also scan for codes... and if it has a wifi signal will go online and get code explanations. And do a whole lot more stuff that I have yet to discover.





I got this tablet off Ebay, used...for $60. It has 32GB of memory, and wifi (no cell) capability. I can store music on it, link it to my iPhone for an internet connection if I want to go online, use it for navigation or as an engine monitor. For music I'll install an amp and speakers and connect a USB Bluetooth adapter to the amp's input. Then I can link the tablet to the amp via Bluetooth and play stored music or video. Or I can link my iPhone to the amp and play Pandora One...which costs $5/mo and has NO ADS. This is what I do in my Jeep.
 
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