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Old 05-18-2011, 10:20 PM   #1
Crisco
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Chassis: Ford E450
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New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

Hi! I just picked up a 2003 Ford E450 17 passenger van. I think people call it a transit bus? It has the hydraulic handicap lift on the side.

Currently I bought it to move across the country with, and plan on converting it to a full on board WVO system and basic motor home amenities.

I have quite a bit of experience working on cars and 1 ton trucks, but this thing is pretty new to me. The wiring added by the coach company is very extensive! The spot where the passenger air bag would be is full of circuit breakers, relays etc. And they are all controlled by a master body disconnect switch by the driver.

Has anyone had any luck getting a wiring diagram for these buses? I want to make the entire rig a little less idiot proof and less redundant. IE easier to trouble shoot.
For instance the rear Carrier A/C works great, as does the heater, but they only work when the master body disconnect switch is on. Shouldnt the heat and A/C work all the time?

The next question is batteries.
I read on here quite a bit, and think I want to go with 2 8D batteries under the frame and a regular starting battery under the hood. It already has a 2 battery system. How are these typically done on these? Both in parallel? Does one run the A/C like some threads said? I didn't see a battery isolator under the hood.
Since I plan on running WVO I want to make sure I have the cranking power needed if I run into a problem and also to run 12v heaters as a backup.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:40 PM   #2
Stuff
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

who makes the body? that would be the best thing to google up to begin with.


Also, PICTURES MAN!!
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
lornaschinske
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascend
I know someone said they start their diesel with just one battery but as I stated in another thread, the factory manuals for the 350's and 450's w/ the 7.3 diesel show the vehicles require 2 starting batteries. I found out personally the other day how true this was as one of my batteries was going and finally went bad. The bus would turn over but not fast enough to start with just one battery. I replaced both and it starts like a charm now.
You people do know that you can wire your bus up to use the house bank as an emergency starting bank don't you? This is a common setup on the highway coach buses that drop their starting bank down to one battery. Considering how big my house bank is, I would rather spend the $$ on a big house bank and a switch rather than waste a starter battery. But that's me. It was how we were going to set up the Eagle and how we will do the Skoolie.

Our batterry that we use to crank the bus... when it's not being used on the food cart... and yes, we know the battery cables need to be replaced. We have plenty of the wire to build all the new cables we need from stripping out the Eagle.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:44 PM   #4
Crisco
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

The rear A/C and the blowers for the floor mounted heat exchanger don't get power (or I should say the switches to run them) until the master body disconnect switch is on.

I want them to have power when the ignition is on, and as of right now since they work great I would like to keep them. I don't venture south too often so if I have to I can use electric heat when plugged in. That is once I figure out how to do a house panel, switch, converter or whatever it is I need!

I do prefer the idea of having a bank of house batteries and a starting battery that can be tied together IF needed to start.
If I go that route, and have a switch, how does the house bank charge if they aren't connected?

The coach was assembled by these guys

http://www.coach-equipment.com/
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File Type: jpg transit bus.jpg (414.1 KB, 2365 views)
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
lapeer20m
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

The ac doesn't work if the engine isn't running, correct? If you have to run the engine anyhow, what is the point of circumventing the master switch?

If u do want to make the ac fans come on with the ignition, simply find the relay that feeds the ac and replace the low current + wire(s) with a + wire that gets energized with the ignition.

All relays for this application have the same basic function. A pair of Low current wires (1positive 1 negative) that make the relay "actuate" or turn on. And a pair of high current wires, usually larger in diameter. One larger wire connects to battery and the other connects to the device you want to power.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:50 PM   #6
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

The master switch generally removes the ground.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:04 PM   #7
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

looks good!
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:38 PM   #8
Crisco
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

Thanks!
I got a SMOKING deal on it. 1600.00
Has just under 160k on it.

As for the relays and just bypassing them, tomorrow I'll take a pic of the "glove box" It's quite a bit more than I would have thought necessary for a bus! I can only assume once the coach builder adds the handicap sign to the side they cover their ass ten fold with safety measures!

That was my first thought though. Bypass the trigger for the relays and switch it to a key on power source. The heater has 2 relays, and the A/C has more. I called the coach builder today and asked for a wiring diagram. They wanted to fax it to me. Didn't know how to email it. I might have to make a drive down there!
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:19 PM   #9
Crisco
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Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

I do plan on getting a generator, if I can get a good deal on one.

Is there any good write ups on starting from scratch and wiring up a generator? Do I need a transfer switch?
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:10 PM   #10
Stuff
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Re: New to me 2003 E450, looking for help!

take a look around in that pannel box above the driver seat.

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