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Old 11-30-2009, 09:04 AM   #1
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Year: 1957
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: B700
Engine: Ford 272 cid
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1957 Superior 4x4 Bus deconversion

I recently purchased a 1957 Superior Bus (20 seater) on a Ford B700 chassis.

She has been named "The Beast" by friends.




Not much info around about Superior buses of that vintage and I am deconverting it back into a passenger shuttle for our Paragliding School http://www.flybc.org

Unique feature is that it was converted into a very robust 4x4 when it was a Whitehorse Yukon Mine shuttle bus in the 70's.

Huge front diff and twin stick transfer case and it all that stuff works!





It was converted into a Skoolie in 1974 and when I got it the interior was pretty wrecked and smelly.





So out it came down to the steel floorboards.





I am looking for info on the Ford 272 cid engine that powers this old bus, as the one in it used 6 quarts of oil to drive home 300 miles and it had very little power on the hills. It has a 5 speed manual tranny that works well, but I suspect it won't mate to any other powerplants according to Ford experts.

Otherwise this old girl drives as good as new, corners well and body doesn't rattle much.



I am also looking for exterior body panels from a graveyard to replace some destroyed by the Skoolie conversion to make vents, etc.

I did reconstruct some panels with fibreglass molding, but it just doesn't seem the same as original steel.

Our goal is to make this a safe roadworthy shuttle bus for 16 pilots and gear to climb our local mountains and to pull our travel trailer, so I think a Big Block 460 or 454 is the ticket for repowering.

Damn the gas mileage, we need horsepower!

Any one with past experience repowering these old Fords? Please sound off as to which route to go.

Any one with an idea where I can get the Superior exterior body parts?




Thanks for your input.

Jim from Western Canada
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:10 PM   #2
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Re: 1957 Superior 4x4 Bus deconversion

hi jim and welcome to the site always nice to see bc buses here,especially oldies but goodies.First where are you located?That will help as i know where there are some buses that may be able to donate some panels.THAT 272 IS OLD SCHOOL FOR SURE! Im thinkin the 312 is in the same engine family,not sure about 352/390 might be worth a look.Very cool bus and have fun workin it! timbuk
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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Re: 1957 Superior 4x4 Bus deconversion

I'd agree with Smitty.. A diesel conversion would be much better, give better mileage and give you more torque by far than the old big gas fords. Ideally find a donor Dodge Ram 4x4 with a 5.9 cumins diesel in it with a five speed. Simple mods on those motors (a bit more boost, turning up the fuel in the injection pump) will give all the reliable power and torque you could ever ask for. The only caveat would be to see if the transfer case comes out the same side as yours (pass. side drop or driver side drop) and then make changes accordingly because there are many combinations to have the transfer case drop on the side you need it to. Just an opinion, long as your making a big change anyway, might as well get something thats going to do the job and at the same time save you some money at the pump.

Regards,

Rev. D.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:21 AM   #4
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Year: 1957
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Chassis: B700
Engine: Ford 272 cid
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Re: 1957 Superior 4x4 Bus deconversion

The "Beast" has a divorced transfer case that is huge and also has a PTO output drive to eventually run a winch or ???

That said I am considering either a Cummins 12V with tranny from a 2WD or a Ford 7.3 2WD with tranny.

Nothing mates to the existing bellhousing and manual tranny except a Ford 292, or 312 which are pretty much extinct and poorly designed gas motors anyway.

The good news is that the 2WD engine tranny combo is cheaper and will be easier to swap as I just need to remake the output drive shaft that connects the tranny to the T-case.

Jim


http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_div ... nsfer_case
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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Re: 1957 Superior 4x4 Bus deconversion

yes the divorced transfer case wil make it easier to update running gear for sure!Unless you have a spare t-bird from the 50s thats would be the best way to go,motor and trans swap,fab up a shaft.You can go anyway you wantto!You could put a parachute on the back for that flying dragbus effect!
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: 1957 Superior 4x4 Bus deconversion

Use the PTO to power a fast winch for pulling paragliders up into the air! Or gyro-gliders like the old Bentsen, or the ones the Germans used on U-boats.
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