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Old 02-25-2015, 11:22 AM   #21
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WHo has put an inline six in a van since the 60's? and when were there ever straight six diesels in one ton van chassis?
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
WHo has put an inline six in a van since the 60's? and when were there ever straight six diesels in one ton van chassis?
Anytime someone builds a custom van.

Auto manufactures have engineered their products to deliberately take as long as possible to fix. This is due to 90% of their profit coming from the service industry, with only 10% being from the sale of the vehicle.

Sad that you can't get a decent, Cummins powered van right off the show room floor.

Also sad that people have to get a specialized company to convert their van to 4x4.

While I'm at listing the sad shortfalls of the auto industry, How about the lack of a small diesel pickup on the market. I love diesels, but hate having to drive a monster of a truck just to have a diesel.

Sad sad greedy world we live in.

Now back to the OP's conversion.

Nat
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:01 PM   #23
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This might be slightly off topic, but of interest to Cummins fans.

Cummins just announced they are building an all new 5.0 V-8 diesel engine for Nissan's Titan line of trucks.

Cummins Engines

How long before an American maker wakes up and smells the diesel fuel?
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Anytime someone builds a custom van.

Auto manufactures have engineered their products to deliberately take as long as possible to fix. This is due to 90% of their profit coming from the service industry, with only 10% being from the sale of the vehicle.

Sad that you can't get a decent, Cummins powered van right off the show room floor.

Also sad that people have to get a specialized company to convert their van to 4x4.

While I'm at listing the sad shortfalls of the auto industry, How about the lack of a small diesel pickup on the market. I love diesels, but hate having to drive a monster of a truck just to have a diesel.

Sad sad greedy world we live in.

Now back to the OP's conversion.

Nat
But we aren't even talking about any of that. WE are talking about short buses based on vans. You insinuated that Ford was deficient due to having the v8 diesel when in fact that's what all the manufacturers are running.
The engines that you are talking about wouldn't even fit in this chassis.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
The engines that you are talking about wouldn't even fit in this chassis.
There is no such thing as not fitting in the chassis.

You need to go read a few builds on Pirate 4x4.

Nat
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:30 PM   #26
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Meh, this thread has nothing to do with shoehorning an 1100-1500 lb straight six into a van chassis.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:53 PM   #27
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PROBLEM SOLVED! Clogged fuel filter.

I love all the feedback/opinions on this forum. Already this has been a huge help to me. I am hoping to learn a lot about my new diesel in the coming months and what better way to start than changing a fuel filter. I put in a new $50 fuel filter last night and drove up the highway several miles. There is no longer any loss of power and the bus sounds great! I was able to really open up on some straight aways and there is a night and day difference. I have documentation of the entire process and will post up in a little bit. Here is a pic of the old fuel filter for now.

As for mechanical aptitude, I would prefer to do as much as I can myself so that cross country trips don't require me to trust any mechanics in the middle of nowhere. I have a B.S. in Applied Physics and worked as a mechanical engineer for a bit. I grew up restoring classic cars (mostly Chevys) with my Dad. I don't have any experience (yet!) with diesel engines, but that should change soon. I'll do my best to document the hell out of this conversion and appreciate any input from all of you.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:51 PM   #28
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Fuel Filter replacement

Alright.

So the Air intake needed to be removed first. There were 4 hex mounts on it, came off pretty easy.

I had to go back and forth between hood and inside the cab in order to take off the other three brackets that allowed the Y shaped hose section which is in the way of the top of the fuel filter. There is a box hooked up to the side of hose that I guess is my air filter? I was able to leave this in, though unbolted it so I could move it to the side.

Once the Y shaped hose was removed, I could easily get to the fuel filter. I put some rags around it, to minimize spillage. Also, I cleaned off the cover of the fuel filter so there was less chance of debris falling into the open fuel bowl. Using a mallet and lever arm from a jack, the lid was able to be loosened so I could unscrew it. The filter was really dark and cruddy. I just carefully popped the other one in there and tightened it with the same mallet method.

I turned the key on without cranking the engine for a few minutes, thinking that the fuel would be cycled through? I don't know if this was necessary/useful. After a bit, it started right up and drove amazingly better.

From what I have seen online, there is a valve that can be opened to flush the water out of the line that has been removed. I couldn't find that, does anyone know where it could be and how important it is to empty? Also, any other maintenance related to changing the fuel filter?
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:37 PM   #29
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I'm glad the filter made the difference.

Nat
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:59 PM   #30
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Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Progress!!!

My air filters are under the "Turbo diesel" plastic cover on the cowling. Just lift the spring clips and the cover should pop off easily.

The thing hanging off the intake hose over the engine is an intake air sound dampener. It's just an empty echo chamber as far as I could tell.

An easier way to remove the fuel bowl cap is to use an oil filter wrench.

The water drain is a small lever on the lower left side of the fuel bowl and likely pretty well buried by wiring and stuff. Some years have a cable attached that runs up to the cowl area. You open the thing for a few seconds and water/fuel/crud drains out of the fuel bowl, down the side of the engine and all over your driveway. If your fuel bowl was clean you shouldn't have to bother with it for a while.

I believe your year 7.3l has an engine mounted, cam driven fuel pump while the later years have an electric pump mounted down below the driver's door. Easy way to tell is to turn the key to "accessory" and listen for a hum down there. Either way, these engines don't seem to suffer from fuel line air locks like some others do.

The thing covered by insulating foil is your turbocharger. It's the only thing on these vans that's the least bit easy to work on. Easy to rebuild too.

One other easy thing to check is the serpentine belt and the belt idler pulleys. Two of us here have had an idler fail in the middle of nowhere and when that happens you ain't goin' nowhere. Both are easy to replace (but you'll have to remove the cowl again). To un-tension the belt, slip the drive end of a 1/2" breaker bar into the tensioner body and pull like hell toward the passenger side. When the belt goes slack just slip it off one of the pulleys and ease off the breaker bar. If you're replacing the belt leave the old one in place to show you where to route the new belt.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:58 PM   #31
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Rated Cap: 19
Other bus maintenance stuff:

Engine oil - Use only diesel rated oils (I use Delvac 1300 Super). The Powerstroke engines use oil pressure to fire the injectors and when the oil gets old it tends to foam which makes the injectors fire erratically. I change mine at 3000 - 4000 mile intervals or once a year.

Coolant - Our engines use the old style green coolant (Walmart SuperTech is a good one) and require supplemental coolant additives (SCA) to keep the coolant from cavitatating near the cylinder sleeves and causing pitting (and potentially, pin holes) in the sleeves. I use Fleetguard DCA4 in mine. You test the additive levels with test strips also available from Fleetguard.

Fuel tank - Diesel doesn't absorb water as well as gasoline does and water tends to fall out of the fuel in cold weather. This can cause algae to grow in the tank and cause rust in the tank itself. I throw in a container of Power Service's Clear Diesel (Walmart has it) once a year to keep the tank healthy. Keeping the fuel tank full also helps keep condensation from forming in the tank.

Tires - These rigs tend to sit parked a lot so tires usually rot before they wear out. Look for small cracks in the casing which show that the rubber is drying out. The conventional wisdom among RV folk is to replace tires every 5-6 years regardless of tread wear.

Tire pressure - Most short buses run light truck rated tires that can be inflated to 80 lbs. but you don't have to inflate them to 80 lbs if you are lightly loaded. I run mine at 60 lbs for a better ride. Have your bus weighed at a truck stop then consult the tire manufacturer's inflation specs for the proper inflation for your axle loads.

That's all I can think of for now.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:38 PM   #32
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You paint that red, yourself? Mine's red as well. Shanghai Portland Party Bus | The Funnest Party Bus in Portland !

I'm about to paint another and try and do it myself rather than pay a professional
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:03 PM   #33
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 15
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3L Turbo Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711 View Post
Other bus maintenance stuff:

Engine oil - Use only diesel rated oils (I use Delvac 1300 Super). The Powerstroke engines use oil pressure to fire the injectors and when the oil gets old it tends to foam which makes the injectors fire erratically. I change mine at 3000 - 4000 mile intervals or once a year.

Coolant - Our engines use the old style green coolant (Walmart SuperTech is a good one) and require supplemental coolant additives (SCA) to keep the coolant from cavitatating near the cylinder sleeves and causing pitting (and potentially, pin holes) in the sleeves. I use Fleetguard DCA4 in mine. You test the additive levels with test strips also available from Fleetguard.

Fuel tank - Diesel doesn't absorb water as well as gasoline does and water tends to fall out of the fuel in cold weather. This can cause algae to grow in the tank and cause rust in the tank itself. I throw in a container of Power Service's Clear Diesel (Walmart has it) once a year to keep the tank healthy. Keeping the fuel tank full also helps keep condensation from forming in the tank.

Tires - These rigs tend to sit parked a lot so tires usually rot before they wear out. Look for small cracks in the casing which show that the rubber is drying out. The conventional wisdom among RV folk is to replace tires every 5-6 years regardless of tread wear.

Tire pressure - Most short buses run light truck rated tires that can be inflated to 80 lbs. but you don't have to inflate them to 80 lbs if you are lightly loaded. I run mine at 60 lbs for a better ride. Have your bus weighed at a truck stop then consult the tire manufacturer's inflation specs for the proper inflation for your axle loads.

That's all I can think of for now.
Thank you! I am going to go through this checklist over the weekend, this is great!
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:07 PM   #34
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Year: 1996
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Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3L Turbo Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanghaiPortland View Post
You paint that red, yourself? Mine's red as well. Shanghai Portland Party Bus | The Funnest Party Bus in Portland !

I'm about to paint another and try and do it myself rather than pay a professional
Nice bus!! I did not paint it myself, took it to a spot in Fremont that did an awesssommme job for 1000. They took off all the decals, prepped and did two coats of paint. Everyone else quoted 2500 or more. I recommend them if anyone is in the bay area. Almost Anything Autobody in Fremont.

I'm going to be driving up to Portland in early April, I'll keep an eye out for your bus. Mine will also have lasers and party lighting haha. I play in a psychedelic funk band and this is going to be our tour bus.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:54 PM   #35
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The weak link on all of the Ford products was the E4OD transmission and all of the follow on versions of the E4OD.

It really isn't anything more than a small car transmission that has been made to fit in light duty trucks.

Even with modifications you can not physically move the oil through all of the passages without the oil getting hot. Heat will kill it faster than anything else.

Get your transmission serviced by a shop that knows what it is doing and have a transmission temperature gauge installed. You may even want to install an auxiliary transmission cooler.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:04 PM   #36
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 15
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Ford E-350
Engine: 7.3L Turbo Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
The weak link on all of the Ford products was the E4OD transmission and all of the follow on versions of the E4OD.

It really isn't anything more than a small car transmission that has been made to fit in light duty trucks.

Even with modifications you can not physically move the oil through all of the passages without the oil getting hot. Heat will kill it faster than anything else.

Get your transmission serviced by a shop that knows what it is doing and have a transmission temperature gauge installed. You may even want to install an auxiliary transmission cooler.

Good luck and happy trails to you!

Awesome advice, I will look into that asap. Thank you!
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:02 PM   #37
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Rated Cap: 19
One more thing to check (that I just found out about myself) is the oil reservoir on the transmision mounted emergency brake. It holds a small amount of Mercon automatic transmission fluid (4 ounces or so) that keeps the bearings lubed. There's a fill plug on the body of the brake unit (17MM if memory serves) so to check it you pull the plug and check that the ATF is up to the edge of the hole. These units are EXPENSIVE to replace (like $1200 plus labor) so checking them out once in a while is well worth the effort.
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:38 PM   #38
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Location: Moodus, Ct.
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Hmmm-thats a new one to me too. I'll check it when 2 ft of snow melts. Thanks!
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