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Old 12-17-2009, 02:06 AM   #1
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

I have a 92 E-350 skoolie, its a good size for what I've used it for, though cramming any more than 2-3 people in a bus my size with all their gear for a trip does get cramped. Ideally I'd like something full-size but that will come in time. I've been very happy with mine since I got it. Having a Ford chassis makes it a lot easier for me to find parts like brake pads and such because there aren't many heavy equipment parts places around me. I haven't actually ever really recorded my mileage but I think its somewhere around 10-12? 7.3 diesel in mine, by the way.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

Are you talking about a fiberglass shell unit as opposed to a metal 'handi-van' style? I've seen some video and photos of one of the glass units being done. Looks a little busier in terms of interior appointment, and it's definitely a more complex shape to build into.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

Works for me!
http://rides.webshots.com/album/574697073bcKqck
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:34 AM   #4
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

There are tons of different sizes of E350 based busses. Mine is about 20 feet long all together, with an interior floor space of about 11x7.5 feet. This may not be of much importance as mine is a school bus body and not a shuttle, but width tends to to be a consistent 7.5' in a lot of these busses. Length can vary widely...I think I read through some of sdwarf's build and remember seeing that his was a bit longer than mine.

As far as miles go, the 7.3 diesel engine in these things will last 300,000+ assuming it's been well maintained. One thing in specific to ask the maintenance guy, if you have access to him, is about the coolant additives ( I think they're called SCA additives). Running this additive is crucial, as the engine will basically eat itself without it (that may be a little melodramatic, but the additive really is important) . You can buy a coolant test kit to check if there are proper amounts of additive in the system, and the additive itself is only like $5 per bottle from the Ford dealership or Napa, I just picked some up a day or two ago. And of course routine things like regular oil changes etc.. My bus currently has 228?,000 miles on it, I think I bought it at 223,000 or so. It's dragged me through some of the most demanding environments I can think of (steep, loooong grades in the middle of the SWELTERING hot Mojave, etc.) and for a few months I even daily drove it through heavy city traffic .

A lot of these 350's have the E4OD trans though, which unlike 7.3 diesels, is not known for being especially reliable (IIRC, it doesn't pump fluid when in reverse..wtf?) Watch out for a slipping/hard shifting/code-throwing tranny (its throwing a code if the "Overdrive Off" light on the shifter is blinking).
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

My bus is 7.5' wide and 16' from behind the drivers seat to the back door. (It was a 16 passenger)
The best advice i can give is check out the wheel arches. The body sides have a curve to them-and the floor/wheel arches are cut straight-they just us blown in expandable foam to fill the gap. Once water gets in, i works its way around the arches + rusts things out. Its repairable but just something to be aware of.
I have a 7.3 ford + love it-good power + quiet going down the road and you can drive down the hiway at 75 if you wish. I'm only getting 11 mpg but think i can improve that. (Its the 4.10 gears)
I have enuff room for what Need-2 people + a large dog with the rear 5 ft. of the bus as shop space devided by a wall + pocket door.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:40 PM   #6
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

There are two insurmountable problems with shuttle buses:

1) Weight. This applies to all cutaway vans, shuttle or skoolie. I have driven one that was overweight EMPTY. They are, especially the larger units on E-350 chassis, and most especially diesel E-350's, severely limited in how much weight can be added. Gassers, very-short (17-19-pax) E-350's, and mid-sized (21-pax) E-450's are better. A 25-passenger bus on an E-350 chassis with a diesel WILL be overweight if converted...a gas E-350 or a PSD E-450 will be marginal. A gas E-450 might squeak by. Again, this applies to ANY cutaway van, shuttle or skoolie.

2) Construction. Bluntly, many are decidedly lousy. Starcraft (henceforth known more accurately as "Starcrap") is the worst of the worst. They tend to leak, flex, rattle, and generally shake themselves apart. This only applies to shuttles...a cutaway van skoolie is held to school bus standards and is just a small skoolie.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

Well mine is an E-450-and is rated at 14k lbs. I weighed it after the interior was complete-with the rear 5 ft empty, it comes in at 9000 lbs. It rides pretty hi on the rear springs too -which will be good by the time i get my tools + spares in the back. (I dont think I'd want to add 2.5 tons to it though)
The body on mine (Champion) is fiberglass. It was built pretty much as one would expect-somewhere between Caddilac + Coganstoa wagon-closer to the wagon but not too bad. Comparable to most trailers or box trucks I've dealt with. I had to go around with sealer to things like the escape hatch + various seams-but can be expected with 242k miles and no love for a long time. Its actually pretty rattle-free.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:26 AM   #8
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

so true zen, so true!

Also my 90 E350 weighs in at 3500~kg and the GVWR for it is 7300 but the chassis says 5000..
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #9
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Re: Ford E350 Shuttle Bus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by projectman
We just recently bought a 1992 e350. Any recommendation on where we can find parts?
Ford parts are pretty easy to find. Ford dealers and the independent parts shops will be able to get most anything you need.
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