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Old 05-13-2009, 11:16 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1947
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1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

hey y'all. i just got a 1947 ford shortie that i plan on making into a party/chill with friends bus and i had a few questions.
how do i find out what kind of body it has? all i know is that it was made in 1947 and that ford made the chassis and the front end
would kind of alternator would i put in to bring power to the batteries from the engine?
how would i fabricate a door or who could i get to do it?
whats the best way to get the dents out of the top?
any suggestions on how to get new windows? i only have the 2 of the frames?
any other random tips you guys might have would be greatly appreciated. i am really new to this but really exited.
oh and btw i am putting in a ford 394 engine with a 4 speet tranny and a completely new front and rear end that im getting from the guy i bought it from.
thanks
josh

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Old 05-13-2009, 10:51 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: phoenix az
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Year: 1947
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Rated Cap: 36
Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

yeah, thats what im hoping to do. make a bus where me and my friends can party it up and hangout, possibly a roadtrip or two.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: phoenix az
Posts: 17
Year: 1947
Chassis: ford
Rated Cap: 36
Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

yeah, i am planning on getting someone else to do it for me who knows what they're doing, i might have been able to do it but its a weird curve so im gonna need help. the windows are odd. they aren't like normal bus windows, they slide into the body panel, so there's a gap from the window to the floor on each side of the bus. and for the dents in the roof i was planning on just taking off the headliner and beating and or pushing out the dents and then finding a way to smoothe it out. the engine, from what i've looked up, its a 350 bored and stroked to a 394. but its a v8 out of some hauler. but it is a full engine/tranny that worked the day he pulled it out, (like 2 days ago) the guy we got it from gave it to us with the bus because we traded and we all knew it wasn't a straight across trade.
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:08 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
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Year: 1947
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

ok, heres all the pictures i have, and i'll have to chenk on the motor, now that you put it that way it does sound pretty dumb. haha. i actually just got the bus delivered yesterday, and boy do i have my work cut out for me. its gonna be quite a bit, so i'll probly by comin to you guys every step of the way. along with my gearhead friends. haha.












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Old 05-15-2009, 08:59 AM   #5
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

sweet project

If it was an old dodge I'd offer to buy it and solve your restoration challenges

depending on your skills and abilities you might want to consider puting that body on a newer chassiscomplete with modern driveline, suspension, brakes and steering. I'm thinking something like a ford f450 that has been rolled over, just swap the body and have a super cool bus with modern everything that is easy to get parts and service for.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:34 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Year: 1947
Chassis: ford
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

wow, that would be amazing. does anyone know how i would even start to go about that or even how i would find out what truck would fit?
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

measure the wheelbase of the bus, front tires straight ahead, measure from the center of the rear wheels to the center of the front wheels on both sides, the average distance in inches is your wheelbase, measure the frame width, outside to outside, measure the front and rear frame overhang, from the center of the wheels to the end of the frame. draw a stick figure picture of the frame with the aboe dimensions, then visit your local truck dealers and have a sales person help you find a 1 1/2 or 2 ton chassis with matching dimensions for front overhang, width, wheelbase, rear overhang in that order. tire size and capaity can also help identify the weight class of the chassis requirements.

Tyically once you get into a chassis larger than 1 ton the frame rails are straight front to rear and all of the modern frames are the same width, front overhang or axle setback might create some challenges if they are to long to locate the bumper where it's visually correct, the wheelbase can be adjusted by moving the rear axle and suspension forward or back and haing the driveshaft modified, shorter is cheaper, the rear overhang can be cut off or added to with basic fab skills. once your sales person has helped you identify what you want/need it's time to get your insurance agent to point you in the direction of the vehicle salvage auctions and start looking for your desired chassis preferably a rollover that the body/cab is trashed and the frame/driveline are good. stay away from fire and water damaged units, some repairable frame damage would acceptable.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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Year: 1947
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

wow thank you so much. that is an amazingly thurough answer. it helps a lot. im gonna start looking into it. and actually the bumper location isn't going to be a problem because the bumper on the bus is bolted to the body as far as i can tell.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:51 PM   #9
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

ok, so i got all the measurements today. who do i bring it too? like, a used truck dealership? would they be able to help me at least find the make/models possible? and what would be involved in swapping the frames? would there be a lot of fabrication nessesary?
thanks
josh
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:22 AM   #10
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

new truck dealers are going to have the printed sales literature, try a ford,dodge or gm dealer that sells medium duty trucks, larger than a pickup, if your bus has the same frame width that new trucks do the back should sit in the framerails and be a Ubolt type of mounting, thr front end will require some custom body mounts.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:50 AM   #11
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

ok. thanks. so, more of a ranch or work truck dealer ish? and will the mounts be super hard to do? i have some mechanical experience, but not a whole lot, and most of it is with old muscle cars and such, this jump to a bus is new and pretty scary. but exiting.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:43 PM   #12
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

Paul was saying earlier something about an F450 chassis. If you get specs from a Ford medium duty chassis, you're probably going to want to stay with a 450 or 550. If you go larger than that, you're going to be stepping up to the heavier side of medium duty and the axles are going to be wider than a 450 even if the chassis still has 19.5 wheels. The 450 and 550 chassis have a front axle that is the right width for a F350 light truck cab. When you go to the higher capacity chassis such as an F650, the bodies use extended width fenders and the axles are quite a bit wider. They'll be too wide for your front clip and the tires will stick out way past the sides of the fenders. That would look really tacky.

There are plenty of other chassis out there like what's under the Internationals that they use for tow trucks, but again the front axle is going to be a lot wider than you need. The nice thing about the International chassis is that there so many of them out there that finding one wouldn't be too tough.

As far as fabricating body mounts for the front clip, that wouldn't be all that hard. Just make something along the lines of some L-shaped brackets with triangular plates welded to the sides for strength. Of course it probably won't be that simple. Never is... Just have to get creative.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:25 AM   #13
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

hey all, ok so ive been pretty bust with school lately, but i got to work on the bus with a couple friends yesterday. i re did all the measurements and i had a couple questions about that and general things too. ill get pics as soon as i find my chord for my camera. ha. but i was under the bus getting the measurements and at the rear of the bus, the frame doesn't end in a horizontal bar, its like open. is this normal? and for the measurements shouldnt i measure the engine compartment too so when i get a new truck frame i can make sure it fits?
on another topic what kind of insulation did they use in the 40's? because i started taking off the interior panels of the roof and there was a LOT of insulation. we probly scraped upwards of 10 pounds off of just the 4 panels we have removed so far.
i would have taken more panels out of the inside but some of them are spot welded in about 5 spots along the seam. so,
what are the best/easiest ways to either cut through or get rid of a spot weld? i dont want to bend the metal if i can help it, but i am not afraid of a little cutting.
i think thats it for now, but if anyone wants to request any pics, i'd be glad to take them and put them up as fast as i can.
oh and i'm still tryin to find someone to identify the coach maker! so please help there, i'm tired of knowing its not a ford, i wanna give credit where credit is due
thanks y'all,
josh
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:00 PM   #14
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

Not having a cross member in the far rear of the frame isn't all that uncommon. Nothing to worry about there.

It probably couldn't hurt to measure the engine compartment, but it may not be all that important. The cool thing about medium duty and up chassis is that stuff like suspensions, steering box locations, motor mounts and nearly everything else aren't all that hard to move where you need them. The frames on pretty much all these trucks are straight and that makes it so much easier because of not having arches in the frame over the axles and such.

Lets just say that the frame you use has the motor mounts in the perfect place but the steering box mount and suspension won't be right. Usually on these frames, the spring hangers are either bolted or riveted to the frame, usually riveted. It would be easy to cut those rivets, move the mounts where you need them, re-drill the holes and remount them with grade-8 bolts and lock nuts. Pretty much the same thing with the steering box. One thing I can foresee is your new steering box having to be remounted and the steering shaft no longer working because it's the wrong length. Easy fix... Go to Borgeson's website and you can order a custom steering shaft with ends that will adapt your new steering box to your old steering column. I bought one of these steering shafts from Borgeson for one of my projects, and I can't tell you how impressed I was with the quality of their stuff. I didn't know whether to install it or frame it and hang it on my wall!

Not sure what to tell you about the insulation. I never got into the walls in my old bus so I don't know. But as a precaution, you might want to wear some kind of respirator/filter if you're removing it. Back then they didn't know that some of that stuff wasn't good for your lungs.

As far as the spot welds, you're probably going to have to drill them or grind them out and re-weld the holes shut and grind them back flat. No real easy way to get around that.

BTW, post lots of pics when you get them. We all love to see progress pics!
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:14 PM   #15
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

Forgot to mention that there was a coach maker back in that time called Royal Coach or Royal Coachworks or something like that. They did lots of conversions for the military on on the old Powerwagon chassis. A friend of mine had an early '40s Royal bus that was 4 wheel drive on a Power wagon chassis. His looked like the picture below, but it was quite a bit shorter.

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Old 06-12-2009, 11:46 AM   #16
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Re: 1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas?

ok thanks, that all sounds, well, not simple but not amazingly impossible, one of my biggest worries about the whole conversion to a different/newer engine is that im worried about it fitting in the bus under the hood. i mean, its pretty big but i'm worried about buying everything and not being able to fit it into the compartment with anything other than simple-moderate modification. on the lucky side for me i think is that i found out about a guy who lives close to me that has done the same thing, he replaced everything from a 70's ford truck with a 2001 f-150. so i'm gonna go try to talk to him about the process as he did it. so maybe that'll help. thanks everyone for thier comments and help! and if i get a newer truck it might actually be 4wd, would that be benificial or do you think it would just be better to get a 2wd just for the little gas that it will save.
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