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SweetSpot 10-13-2016 11:26 PM

Powerstroke Newbies
Hi all, my husband and I are just getting started with the school bus lifestyle. We've always enjoyed road trips and seeing new places but weren't fond of staying in hotels or sleeping in our car. So, we decided to try a camper van. Bought one and found it wasn't big enough for us.

After some random searching, my husband found some YouTube videos about bus conversations and we loved the idea. After that, we did more research and decided on a short bus, that could fit in a regular parking spot, with a 7.3 powerstroke engine. Then, spent months looking for the right bus. Finally, bought a short bus from California and spent a few more months researching and designing the layout and features of our new home.

Now we are finally ready to start the build. We've join this forum in the hopes of finding great tips, alternative ways of doing things and help or input with anything that might arise during our construction phase.

We have already ripped the rubber mat off the floor and removed the handicapped lift. Next, is to pull up the plywood floor and adding insulation. Thanks in advance for any input or ideas and glad y'all are here.

I've been unable to attach pictures of our bus on this post but was able to post them in an album on this website. Once I find out what I'm doing wrong to attach the pictures, I will post them here.

DAVEHOLMAN 10-14-2016 12:12 AM

Welcome Aboard! I'm kind of new here, too, but I have to tell you...great and helpful people on this board. I finally got my bus torn apart today, so I can start putting it all back together, but I've already got some great advice/suggestions from some of the other members.

SDR76 10-14-2016 03:59 PM

Welcome! How big is your bus that it can still fit in a normal parking stall? My friend painted "26 ft" on his so he could park in normal parking (2slots) and not have to park with big rigs and buses.....

Carytowncat 10-14-2016 07:08 PM

Welcome, glad you're here!

roach711 10-14-2016 09:26 PM

The 7.3L is a good engine.

1olfart 10-14-2016 11:59 PM

Roach.....Did you need to add any sound blocking insulation, to reduce motor noise? It's been a while since I looked at your build, and need to review it, for tank positioning, as well as several other things. Your "motel" was one of my inspirations.

roach711 10-16-2016 03:04 PM

These things tend to be noisy. :oops:

This year I added some "peel & seal" to the metal floor at the front of the bus and that did help to keep the sound level down a bit. Wind noise is most of the problem in these buses at highway speeds and engine noise is worst when getting up to speed. Ours is quietest when cruising at about 62mph. The engine is quietest there and the wind noise isn't too horrible.

One spot to look at on the 7.3L is the turbocharger connections. The up pipes tend to leak at the donut seals after a while and the turbo/down pipe joint may be leaky also. Mine had both those problems.

Liberal use of carpeting on ceilings and walls helps cut down the racket too. It absorbs noise rather than reflecting it.

cadillackid 10-16-2016 03:39 PM

dont foerget on the 7.3 (and the T-444E).. if you get a sound like a rod knock at slow idle when the engine is hot, its a harmless known issue.. IHC and ford both put a TSB out on it...

7.3 is a good motor es pin a small bus.. take care of it and you can run it forever..


roach711 10-16-2016 06:53 PM

Many Powerstroke owners add some two-stroke oil to the fuel at each fill up. It quiets the "rattling" somewhat and adds back some lubricity to the low sulfur diesel fuel. Walmart tcw-3 outboard oil is a favorite.

! ounce per gallon is about right.

cadillackid 10-16-2016 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by roach711 (Post 167083)
Many Powerstroke owners add some two-stroke oil to the fuel at each fill up. It quiets the "rattling" somewhat and adds back some lubricity to the low sulfur diesel fuel. Walmart tcw-3 outboard oil is a favorite.

! ounce per gallon is about right.

you put 2 stroke oil in the fuel and it helps the "cackle" as they call it? im assuming it applies to the 444E since other than the turbo and computers its basically the same,,

does it smoke a lot?

cadillackid 10-16-2016 07:16 PM

I tried forcng my HPOP up with the computer but that made the rattling worse.. lots i have to learn about the HEUI system.. i was thinking more oil would quiet it.. then when I dropped the HPOP down the engine died.. lol... although I could control that single "injector tap" (does anyone else's do that? i hear them in the field that way but not all do it)..


roach711 10-17-2016 01:16 PM

I've been adding the 2-stroke oil since I bought the bus and never had an issue with smoking.

I read in a couple of places that the Ford quick release connections in the fuel system can let air into the fuel lines and cause more rattling but it never bothered me enough to make the mods at the fuel pump and the fuel pickup in the tank.

SweetSpot 10-27-2016 12:33 PM

Ours is a 5 window short bus that's just under 21 feet. I'm trying to attach the picture. Hope you can see it.

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