Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-15-2019, 06:45 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 323
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Ford E-350 Box Van conversion

The saw has spoken! There is no turning back. I have officially started my E-350 Box Van conversion. It's about time after one year and 6000 miles have gone by since I bought the box van.

After removing the plywood wall and ceiling panels together with the fiberglass insulation, I took out the divider with the sliding door to the cab. This wall will be reinstalled after the new floor is finished since it provides effective sound and heat insulation between the cab and the box.

The floor was made from 1-3/8" shiplap pine boards and had several rotten areas that were covered with 1/4" aluminum plates by the previous owner.

I decided to cut the floorboards close to the steel cross beams since the screws holding the floor down were hidden by fiberglass panels glued to the floor. The fiberglass was impossible to remove in large sections.


Peeling the covering off the remaining strips was easy and I could then buzz out the screws with an impact driver.


Very little surface rust on the frame of the vehicle and the box. The vehicle was used as a mobile water testing lab by the town of Hampton Roads, VA for 19 years before I bought it.


Cab is temporarily sealed off with foam board to keep the dust out. The rearmost wall panels are under the tracks for the rollup door and will be addressed later after building and installing a toy hauler gate.
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2019, 08:46 PM   #2
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NUNYA
Posts: 4,233
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT408, AT545
Rated Cap: 23 500 gvw
Beautiful!!
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2019, 10:07 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
plfking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: N.C.
Posts: 852
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine44 View Post
The saw has spoken! There is no turning back. I have officially started my E-350 Box Van conversion. It's about time
"It's about time" is right......have been waiting patiently to see you get started on your build.


Quote:

This wall will be reinstalled after the new floor is finished since it provides effective sound and heat insulation between the cab and the box.
You're going to reinstall the wall AND the sliding door, right? Can't remember if you were going to title as RV, but seem to recall reading something about how the driver had to be able to transit 'in an upright position' from the driver's seat to the living quarters.

The interior looks great.....that's not even enough rust to mention.

Good luck, and good building.
__________________
Don

The Busted Flush
plfking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2019, 10:31 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 598
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Quote:
Originally Posted by plfking View Post
"It's about time" is right......have been waiting patiently to see you get started on your build.




You're going to reinstall the wall AND the sliding door, right? Can't remember if you were going to title as RV, but seem to recall reading something about how the driver had to be able to transit 'in an upright position' from the driver's seat to the living quarters.

The interior looks great.....that's not even enough rust to mention.

Good luck, and good building.
Donít know if itís true about being able to walk, but there certainly must be something about an emergency exit.

I donít know why youíre doing a box. Is it to be stealth in the city? If it is maybe you want to keep the roll up door

Check out this guys step van. His front porch is pretty cool

Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 07:44 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
joeblack5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 1,504
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
That looks great, Are you having ideas of taking the box frame rails out and so lowering the box on the frame as is done with most skoolies. Your height would getting less and the walkway from cab to box would become more comfortable..Then of course you would loose the flat floor and have wheel wells... But one less step to get in from the ground..Will all this floor work done you could insulate 4" between the floor profiles and 1" on top and then plywood and put more insulation in the ceiling ?
Wonderful to have all these possibilites, it slows you down thinking about it.


Later Johan
joeblack5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 07:45 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
joeblack5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 1,504
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Oh, I forgot, since you want to go 4x4, are you adding a three point swivel to compensate for frame flex?


Later Johan
joeblack5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 06:35 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 323
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by plfking View Post
"It's about time" is right......have been waiting patiently to see you get started on your build.




You're going to reinstall the wall AND the sliding door, right? Can't remember if you were going to title as RV, but seem to recall reading something about how the driver had to be able to transit 'in an upright position' from the driver's seat to the living quarters.

The interior looks great.....that's not even enough rust to mention.

Good luck, and good building.
Thanks.

I also remember reading about the upright access to the lving quarters but do not remember which state requires this.

North Carolina requires 4 of these items in what they call a 'house car':
  • cooking
  • heating or air conditioning
  • separate 110-125 volt electrical supply
  • portable water system including faucet and sink
  • refrigeration or ice box
  • self-contained toilet
  • LP gas supply

I am going to install a fiberglass wind deflector cap over the cab and use that for storage with access from inside of the box. The roof of the cab stays original.
__________________
E350 Box Van build
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 06:39 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 323
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Don’t know if it’s true about being able to walk, but there certainly must be something about an emergency exit.

I don’t know why you’re doing a box. Is it to be stealth in the city? If it is maybe you want to keep the roll up door

Check out this guys step van. His front porch is pretty cool

Thanks for the cool video.

My roll up door needs to go. It does not close weather tight and takes up space under the ceiling where the lift bed will go during the day. The toy hauler gate will have a dutch door for views and ventilation.
I am trying to maintain somewhat of a stealthy look but do not want to go overboard with this as I do not have to live in the city.
__________________
E350 Box Van build
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 07:05 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 323
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
That looks great, Are you having ideas of taking the box frame rails out and so lowering the box on the frame as is done with most skoolies. Your height would getting less and the walkway from cab to box would become more comfortable..Then of course you would loose the flat floor and have wheel wells... But one less step to get in from the ground..Will all this floor work done you could insulate 4" between the floor profiles and 1" on top and then plywood and put more insulation in the ceiling ?
Wonderful to have all these possibilites, it slows you down thinking about it.


Later Johan
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Oh, I forgot, since you want to go 4x4, are you adding a three point swivel to compensate for frame flex?


Later Johan
I could drop the box 4"by removing the longitudinal C channels but this is not worth the trouble, IMO. Also, the fiberglass cap I got for the front would not fit then.

The walk-through form the cab will never be very comfortable due to the limited height. But I have found a kitchen layout where I can reach the fridge from the driver's seat.

After reading you comment about frame flex I drove one side of the rear axle onto ramps. There is no ill effect on the box and the longitudinal C channel of the box lifts less than 1/4"off the frame hump on the low side.

420190916_103747.jpg

320190916_103435.jpg

120190916_103400.jpg

There is no gap on the high side, as it is the case on both sides when the vehicle is on flat ground.

220190916_103823.jpg

I could easily close the gap with a C clamp and I may put a Grade 8 bolt there to tie frame and box rail together and get rid of the banging on rough roads. At least I know now where that mysterious noise came from on some trails.

I am still on the fence about the 4WD conversion and this is not going to happen this year anyway. My front springs have sagged so badly that they need to be replaced right now and I ordered custom springs with 2'' lift. If that's enough for the 235/85R16 BFG KO2 tires, I may just install a locker in the rear and call it done.

This vehicle is intended for exploring this continent and here in North America we do not have the extremely gnarly thoroughfares like those found in South America or Africa. Yes, we have offroad parks with very challenging trails but they are not a potential obstacle between point A and B and are typically not a good destination to find peace and serenity. There are also some dirt roads that become very muddy during the spring thaw and after heavy rain but they are from my experience a bad choice for anything but a tracked vehicle. If there is a sign "Impassable when wet" it is probably a good idea to believe that.

If I am done with my list of destinations here in the USA and contemplate taking this vehicle south of the border, I am going to install the 4WD and another locker up front. Then, I may cut out the longitudinal channels of the box around the frame hump, weld a profile on the outside for reinforcement and put a pivoting bracket in the rear. That would allow the frame to flex 4" at the rear axle hump with respect to the box.
__________________
E350 Box Van build
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 12:34 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
joeblack5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 1,504
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Wow, that "non flex" is impressive, Nice pics, ..
Both our 4x4 e350 quigley's van bodies are flexing more then that with one rear wheel lifted of ground. Did you have the rear box door closed and or did a diagonal squareness measurement in the door opening?

The flexing is a function of the weight / load / inertia.

I was surprised with frame flex of the 4x4 heavy trucks but then their living boxes are designed to not flex at all.


I agree, 4x4 is very rarely needed and will get you easily in trouble. Nut it looks cool and is pretty good in snow.


Later Johan
joeblack5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 10:36 AM   #11
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 7,969
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Wow, that "non flex" is impressive, Nice pics, ..
Both our 4x4 e350 quigley's van bodies are flexing more then that with one rear wheel lifted of ground. Did you have the rear box door closed and or did a diagonal squareness measurement in the door opening?

The flexing is a function of the weight / load / inertia.

I was surprised with frame flex of the 4x4 heavy trucks but then their living boxes are designed to not flex at all.


I agree, 4x4 is very rarely needed and will get you easily in trouble. Nut it looks cool and is pretty good in snow.


Later Johan
I once owned a 91 Ford F150, 4x4. In 100k miles, maybe 100 of it was actually in 4wd. Just a bunch of extra weight to carry around to burn fuel.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 07:16 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 323
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Wow, that "non flex" is impressive, Nice pics, ..
Both our 4x4 e350 quigley's van bodies are flexing more then that with one rear wheel lifted of ground. Did you have the rear box door closed and or did a diagonal squareness measurement in the door opening?

The flexing is a function of the weight / load / inertia.

I was surprised with frame flex of the 4x4 heavy trucks but then their living boxes are designed to not flex at all.

...
The roll up door would not carry any load; it's too loosely fitted. There was no change in the door frame dimensions, which is not a surprise since the door frame is a rather sturdy, welded steel profile.
__________________
E350 Box Van build
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 07:19 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 323
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post

...I agree, 4x4 is very rarely needed and will get you easily in trouble. Nut it looks cool and is pretty good in snow.


Later Johan
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I once owned a 91 Ford F150, 4x4. In 100k miles, maybe 100 of it was actually in 4wd. Just a bunch of extra weight to carry around to burn fuel.
4WD is useful in states with 4+ months of winter, but I am trying to stay away from the white stuff (snow and salt) as much as I can.
__________________
E350 Box Van build
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 07:37 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 323
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Installed an auxiliary diesel tank today to take advantage of low prices.

20190916_112103.jpg

The right side bolted right to the frame rail and the left side needed some spacers that I turned on the lathe from 1" round stock.

20190916_133837.jpg

I was at first leery about drilling into the frame but went ahead after I saw the huge holes that Ford had stamped into the flange.

The plumbing of the main tank will stay unmodified and the fuel from the aux tank will be pumped over with an electric pump. I will have to add either a vented loop or a anti-siphon valve since I installed the aux tank higher to maintain a good departure angle.
__________________
E350 Box Van build
alpine44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2019, 04:58 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: South MS
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine44 View Post
4WD is useful in states with 4+ months of winter, but I am trying to stay away from the white stuff (snow and salt) as much as I can.

A good winch with plenty of ropes, straps, and snatch blocks is indispensable in off road situations.
2po2watch is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×