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Old 03-08-2014, 08:36 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Starting this thread with my project in progress. I bought this 1996 Ford E-Super Duty MetroTrans shuttle bus with a 460 gas engine to convert into a hauler for my Cobra replica. Took quite a while to find on the right length. Most were too short or too long. This one gave me enough room between the car and the drivers seat to haul luggage, etc. I knew that the floor framing was too weak to support a car, so I needed to beef things up. What I came up with was to gut the bus down to the floor framing and fabricate a new framework on top and tieing in to the original, basically making it a 6" raised platform where the car sits. To help the entrance angle, I sloped the floor from the rear edge of the wheelwells down to the rear bumper and sectioned about 1 1/2" out of the wheelwell height. I used 6" x 2" x 3/16" tubing for the cross pieces and 4" x 2" and 2" x 2" tubing for the rest of the framework. Then covered with 3/4" Marine Grade plywood. I will attempt to attach some pictures.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Lets see if this works.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20140201_112613.jpg (114.7 KB, 1882 views)
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Still have to cut out the back and build larger doors, but I'm trying to get everything else done before I tackle that. Found a great place to buy Aluminum Ramps. Discount Ramps can build just about any kind of ramp you want and at a reasonable price.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:08 AM   #4
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

A couple more:
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Welcome.

Cool project. I always love seeing skoolies turned into toy haulers.

Looking forward to more pics.

Nat
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:14 AM   #6
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Tip of the hat to you sir! This is what I did for years--using a cube van. My (small) race car fit in the back leaving just enough room for a small area that benches converted to a bed. I had the back of the floor "beaver tailed" going up to wheelwell height-and flat forward from there.
I was really really close to doing the same with my short bus--but mama won out-before it was 10 ft car space-5 ft living area- now its 11ft living+ 5 ft shop space-car in a trailer. (And I hate trailers. ) I love the flip up door-always wanted to do that.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:39 AM   #7
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

This week I mounted a couple of seats for use when the Cobra isn't being hauled around. One can stay, but the other has to be unbolted for room for the car. Wired up the winch, installed the backup camera, sealed around the windows, and cleaned up a lot of "jury-rigging" done over the years. Pictures to follow.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidshelton
This week I mounted a couple of seats for use when the Cobra isn't being hauled around. One can stay, but the other has to be unbolted for room for the car. Wired up the winch, installed the backup camera, sealed around the windows, and cleaned up a lot of "jury-rigging" done over the years. Pictures to follow.
Any thoughts of use a quick release like in a Dodge caravan, or a Chevy astro van?

Nat
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Just 4 bolts and I welded plates with nuts on the bottom side to make things easier. The seats close to the winch can stay. A few more pictures.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

2 more. Teflon wear strip on the floor so the winch cable has something to ride on.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:13 PM   #11
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Lookin' Good! And is the Cobra an original or replicant...and for show or go? Bad ass either way. Had a California Navy buddy who bought one of the very first 427's from Carol Shelby in '65 or '66. To this day, I'd still have to rate it as one the most brutal production cars ever. Sadly, it only lasted about 6 months before he totaled it. He walked away but that car would be worth a small fortune today.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:09 PM   #12
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

The Cobra is a replica. After over 10 years on the road, is is a driver and not a showcar. Plenty of rock chips and scratches to show its use.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:31 AM   #13
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Like I said...either way it is bad ass...and sweet to boot. Gotta be a fun ride.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:45 PM   #14
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Got my insurance card today, so my wife and I went on a bus shakedown cruise this evening. Very easy to handle. Drives very good, very happy with the new trans valve body and the firm shifts. The E-code halogen headlights work very well and the sound system is a little better for the 60s and 70s rock. (still needs some tweaking) Maybe I will drive it to work in the morning. Cruise control doesn't work. A/C compressor is a little noisy. Will change belt and look at idlers also.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:00 PM   #15
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

I think I have an idea for the rear door that will work. I am going to retain the rear swing-up door and add side pieces to it to cover the wider opening I cut out and frame up. This whole idea depended on my re-engineering of the gas shock setup and I must say it was a success. I moved the pivot point up 7" at the door opening so it would be higher than the cobra windshield, and moved the mounting point on the door closer to the hinge so I could use a shorter, but stronger gas spring. It was a wild guess, but I went with a couple of 175# springs instead of the 150# longer springs originally on the door. Also removed the inside trim panel (about 35#) to lighten things a little more. With the new setup, it's a little stiff, but should give me plenty of capacity to add the weight of the side panels. So far the only drawback is the door raises about 8" higher than if did before, so I will have to add a strap that hangs down for me to reach.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:12 PM   #16
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

Many of the Ford E-vans had bad brake pressure switches that would prevent the cruise control from working. Mine was toast.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #17
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

While I have been doing all this thinking about the rear door, I have been taking care of a lot of details. Replaced the cruise control switches, got all the speakers working, installed 12v power plugs at all seating positions. Next is replace belts, one tensioner pulley, hoses, and rear differential lube. Trying to get this thing as reliable as possible. Bought a cruise brake pressure switch also so I will get around to changing that too.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:43 AM   #18
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

I decided Saturday was the day to get out the saw and cut out the rear for the modified door. Did the layout several times to get the right "look" and to get the opening centered up (the door was installed 1/4" offset to the right at the factory). Added angle bracing inside and tubing around the opening to stiffen things up. Still have to fab and add the side pieces on the door and also parts for the door to seal against. Found some Bargman taillights that are narrow enough to work without installing them on the door.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:53 PM   #19
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

I got to thinking. I better make sure the Cobra will go through the opening before I do anything else. IT FITS!!!!
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:54 PM   #20
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Re: My 1996 E-Super Duty MetroTrans

One more.
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