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Old 08-03-2019, 03:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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4WD Conversion

Hello all, I have looked and looked all day and I used the search option to no avail. So can someone direct me to any and all posts regarding converting a full size (not a shortie or van converted skoolie) to 4WD? I saw something on this a few years ago, the individual used a divorced transfer case and an axel from a similar large truck (like a dump truck) by the same manufacturer. I have seen converted 4WD buses on YouTube but they are finished and no one seems to share how it was done.

Why you ask, well I was thinking of acquiring an LMTV retired military vehicle to build an overland expedition vehicle (Sean Fillner on YouTube) but I now realize the expense of just acquiring the vehicle will probably exceed $10K. I already have a 30' bumper pull trailer for family camping at a seasonal site. I'm 56YO and looking at what I want to do when I retire in about 10 years. I'd like to travel the lower 48 and venture up to Alaska for a multi year tour of the country. Some of this I would like to be remote/off grid in the lower 48, but I'd really like to be as prepared as I can be for the 6 to 9 month I'd like to spend making the trip to, around, and returning from Alaska.

I know it's just an idea right now but I believe in planning and educating myself to best accomplish or scrap my dreams.

Thanks to all who help to educate me as I begin this journey.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:16 PM   #2
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There was another bus I recall seeing that replaced both front and rear suspensions with military Rockwell axels but I can't find this again. The rear Rockwell may have also been a steering axel.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:20 PM   #3
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There are already 4x4 buses they're just not terribly common. Expect to pay 10-20 grand for one used.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:21 PM   #4
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Really haven't been any build threads on the subject. A few have considered it and most think it's too much work. If I were doing one, I'd find a 4WD truck I could just mount the bus body on


http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f33/4x...ion-11851.html

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/8-...lue-24300.html

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f34/fr...ive-15666.html

There are more links if you use the search bar and search "4 wheel drive"
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:22 PM   #5
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:23 PM   #6
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I'm just guessing but if you could find a bus and a 4WD vocational truck like a dump truck of similar enough models that you could combine them but you'd still need a lot of mechanical expertise to overcome any hurdles you may encounter and that's not even considering whether mixing powertrain components will even work because electronic components tend not to want to play together without manufacturer programming tools.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:26 PM   #7
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Hadn't ever seen an FE 4x4
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Old 08-03-2019, 04:43 PM   #8
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Look for surplus auctions from school districts that get lots of snow at high altitudes with residents living up mountain roads.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:39 PM   #9
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Thank you for all the replies. I will try "4 wheel drive" in search, I tried 4x4, 4wd, 4X4, 4WD, 4 wd, 4 WD, and all of those with conversion added. I guess I'll also try four wheel drive.
I was thinking about the buy 2 vehicles to build 1, and I will probably end up going down that path. I am at the beginning of my journey and I am looking to acquire as much information as I can. I was looking on Pirate 4x4 as it is a good source if you can find what you are looking for. I agree that they (and many other forums, like Ford diesel ones) have members who seem to enjoy jumping on the pile instead of pointing out the path to start on.
I'm not real good or patient with the internet for those reasons, also I was raised to smooth the path for others not to throw road blocks in their way just because you can. Sorry I'm running on, many "other" things called life going on too.

Again thanks to all. Any additional help, links, or direction is appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:59 PM   #10
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I think the biggest question you need to answer, Brian, is if you feel like you need the pilot's chair in the living quarters? It seems like buying that LMTV you mentioned, and building the house on the back. And a scrap bus body could make a good donor. But if you've got the skills to do any of the above scenarios mentioned in this thread, either by yourself or others, it's really just a matter of choosing the easiest and least expensive path. I'd probably just build a custom box on the back of a reliable and off road capable truck.
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