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Old 01-06-2016, 11:20 AM   #11
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You are scaring me now! How can I swap the dashboard? Do you mean the clocks or the whole thing? Having read this it may be cheaper to buy a running bus in the USA and ship it over to the UK. A bus and shipping will be approx $7000 though I would rather fix the one I have.
What started simple is turning into a disaster!
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:25 AM   #12
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Sounds almost as much fun as stuffing a Cummins 4BT and Allison 6 speed into a 46 Chevy!
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:11 PM   #13
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Sounds almost as much fun as stuffing a Cummins 4BT and Allison 6 speed into a 46 Chevy!
Way more fun. I'd rather do the fabrication on something custom like what you have. Working on vans suck, period. There's no room, everything seems to be in the way, and the pathetic excuse they call a hood might as well not even be there. I'm almost positive they build the chassis and engine first, then lower the van on top, and then laugh at the poor fool that has to work on it.

Simply changing the belt on one requires the removal of the fan, radiator, and all the junk in front of it. Supposedly it's a 2.5 hour job. HA, I'd like to see the person that could have that done perfectly and back on the road in 2.5 hours.

The worse part is that most of these things can be had used for a song and a dance. The buyer thinks they're getting a great deal with it, and it only has one slight little problem like a bad power steering pump, or idler bearing. Then they realize that it wasn't a deal at all.

I'm not saying a swap can't be done, it just won't be done by any old average Joe. If you don't have a good mechanical background, more patience then the Dalai Lama, and a unquenchable desire to succeed at it, then I wouldn't even try it.

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:26 PM   #14
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As much as I love vans, Booyah is right. They're horrible to work on!
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
I'm almost positive they build the chassis and engine first, then lower the van on top, and then laugh at the poor fool that has to work on it.
That's the way most vehicles are assembled. The running gear (motor, frame, wheels) comes along and the body lowers down over it. I've toured three of the Ford assembly lines and both cars and trucks were built the same way. As you say, no one thinks about ease of maintenance.

Working on the front of my E450 7.3L diesel isn't too awful but certainly much more inconvenient than the same engine in a pickup. Once I remove the air filter cowling I can get to the alternator, steering pump, serpentine belt, etc but it's a tight fit. The sole advantage of a van is that the turbo is very easy to work on from inside where the same job in a pickup is a real bear.

I am extremely jealous of dog nose buses with engines that you can actually see.
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:13 PM   #16
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Oh, they thought about maintenance alright. That's why it is designed in a way that almost no one but a dealer with a couple of hundred grand in computers and special tools can work on the damned things.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:17 PM   #17
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With a shuttle, the chassis rolls down the assembly line-the PARTIAL body (just the cab) get lowered on the chassis-then the bus company puts on their box. With no thought of ever being able to remove it in one piece. So you're stuck with what you have.
You want an example of how tricky the Fords are with electronics? I've have an off + on problem I've been chasing for a couple of years with how the tranny shifts. There are time it won't go into OD. (Actually its the torque converter locking up.) Searching the Ford diesel forums (Thedieselstop.com and powerstroke.org are 2 good ones) to solve the problem-the first thing they tell you to check is the bulb in the 3rd brake light! I finally just put the the TC lock up on a toggle switch.
I tend to do most all the work on the engine from the back. I can get the turbo off without even opening the hood. Injectors+glow plugs too. I can do a serpintene belt in about 20 minutes. (from the front of course) Just unbolt the fan shroud + let it fall back.
When I say dash- I should have said gauge cluster.
Without knowing your mechanical skills or budget, you would get on the road quicker starting with a running bus shipped over. Or buy a dead 6.0 engine + get it shipped. Replace the defective head bolts with ARP head studs and have a drop in engine.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:12 AM   #18
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Roach and sdwarf, you both have older vans. Those are easier then the newer ones with a 6 liter. Supposedly there is a little lever you can flip to hold the tensioner in place to be able to change the belt without removing the radiator. I've never gotten it to work though so out comes the radiator, intercooler, AC condenser, tranny cooler, power steering cooler, etc.

Sdwarf, good luck with your wiring. Large oem's seem to be pretty consistent when it come to diagrams but every time I've had to deal with a van body, the wiring diagram might as well have not even been color coded. That and you'll have to have both the chassis(ford) and the van body wiring diagrams and try to correlate between the two, it becomes a headache real quick, and I'm fairly competent at electrical schematics.
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