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Old 09-01-2009, 09:32 AM   #1
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short bus 4 x 4

I am looking for a short bus with 4 x4 since I will be using it out on the Outer Banks as an RV for my annual "scratch, fart, and burp" fishing trip at Cape Lookout. The conditions out there are quite harsh and bus must be able to drive in sand, lots of it. It doesn't have to be fancy outside or in and I can work on it before October. If there is not one out there for sale, what is a good price to pay for a short bus and where do you recommend I look for one in South Carolina or North Carolina? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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Re: short bus 4 x 4

I don't have a lead on a 4X4 bus but wanted to say I miss the Outer Banks... used to drive our old trusty-rusty Subaru 4X4 Wagon (the Boobdie) out on the beaches, deflate the tires & go! beautiful beaches & just plain private! (or it used to be - been a while)
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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Re: short bus 4 x 4

Seems like Ford has some 4WD vans out there, might be worth your while to shop for a Ford short bus and modify from there. No sense in reinventing the wheel.
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:50 AM   #4
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Re: short bus 4 x 4

Pathfinder is the company the converted a ton of vans, mostly Fords. They might be your best bet. Otherwise, how good are you at fabrication? It wouldn't take much to put an axle and transfer case under any other rig.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:39 PM   #5
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Re: short bus 4 x 4

Hey Papa... Here is a nice 4X4 Shorty I found while searching for other things...

Specs:
1980 International - Thomas 4X4 School Bus - Marmon Herrington Conversion.
345 ci. - 5 speed manual transmision - Hi Lo transfer case with PTO output - Locking hubs - Rockwell 6.2 axles

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Old 09-28-2009, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: short bus 4 x 4

Doing your own conversion isn't easy, but it certainly can be done. A few years back, I converted a 2WD Ford F150 to 4WD using all stock Ford components. I won't bore you with all the details, but here are a few pics to show what I started with, some of what was done and the final result.

This is what I started with.


Tore it down to the bare frame and cut out any 2WD components, including spring cups, and that huge 2WD crossmember that sits under the engine. That huge crossmember is where the IFS "axles" bolt to.




Some of the 2WD components that were removed.


Putting in the 4WD crossmember.


Bolting on the 4WD spring towers and bolting up the axle. 6" lift springs.


Frame horn from a 4WD frame.


4WD frame horn in place and ready to be welded.


Completed 4WD conversion, except for the steering box.


Steering box in along with a 460, C6 tranny, and NP205 transfer case.


Cab back on and hooking up electrical and plumbing.


The completed truck. I'm about 5' 10", so you can see how big it turned out.


This black truck was actually the second conversion I've done. The first was several years back with my '70 Ford Crew Cab.



The flat bed I built for it.





Converting something to 4WD can be a pain, but the end result is certainly worth the effort because you have something unique! With the black truck, I had something no one else had. Ford never made an extended cab short bed 4WD in this body style. All the 4WDs were longbeds, and all the shortbeds were 2WD. I had Ford truck enthusiasts everywhere asking where I got this truck. I just told them that you can't buy a truck like this - it has to be built. Even had a couple of guys ask me to do a conversion for them.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:58 PM   #7
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Re: short bus 4 x 4

Just a Dana 44? C'mon. I've done the solid axle swap thing a few times also. 1993 Toyotas didn't come with them either. Likewise, mine is a little taller than I'd like, but I'm going to fix that soon enough.

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Old 09-28-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
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Re: short bus 4 x 4

Cool truck! Love her "shoes" too!
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