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Old 11-05-2017, 08:50 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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E450 race hauler

HI everyone, im new here.

A good friend of mine has converted a full size international to a race hauler, so now its my turn.

We have traveled together road racing cars for the last 2 years, his car inside the bus, mine behind in the trailer.

I just purchased a 2009 E450 shorty Collins with 115k on the beloved 6.0 powerstroke.

My plans are to tow my small enclosed trailer and turn the bus into living quarters. The bus will occasionally haul motorcycles as well so I need to keep the floor plan open and adaptable.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:04 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Good luck with that 6.0L
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Truckinduc View Post
HI everyone, im new here.

A good friend of mine has converted a full size international to a race hauler, so now its my turn.

We have traveled together road racing cars for the last 2 years, his car inside the bus, mine behind in the trailer.

I just purchased a 2009 E450 shorty Collins with 115k on the beloved 6.0 powerstroke.

My plans are to tow my small enclosed trailer and turn the bus into living quarters. The bus will occasionally haul motorcycles as well so I need to keep the floor plan open and adaptable.
I'm actually searching for a bus to do this as well! I had actually toyed with the idea of a similar setup as your friend's bus. I'll be hauling an ITA Miata. However, I believe I'm going to go with a mid-size bus (8-10 window) and just tow the car. I had considered a shortie like yours but it just doesn't provide enough space for my needs. Definitely going to follow your build!!!
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:14 PM   #4
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2009 with a 6.0 that one is actually probably pretty good.. ford had worked out many of the kinks by the end of the 06 model year.. the 6.0 was done in the pickups after 07 but you could get it in the van chassis through 09.. only issues would be oil and EGR coolers in that year.. coolant filter helps.. he should be able to fix that pretty easily.. if he doesnt tune it with a bully dog or such then that 6.0 has a good chance of lasting a long time. running a tuner without head studs is a good way to ruin that engine.. but no tuner just stock power should be fine.

as with all 6.0's Dont get the darn thing hot!! heavy towing (like race car trailers).. on plugged oil coolers will cause issues.. oil temp of 260 and you melt plastic inside the engine and time for a new block...

-Christopher
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Old 11-06-2017, 02:57 PM   #5
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With a 6.0.. I would dump the coolant.. back flush the oil cooler.. and refill with a EC1 rated ELC and use a coolant filter.

We've been running this combination on a 2006 F550 for the better part of 150k miles (has 300k on the clock now) with no issues out of the coolers.

The 6.0 is pretty solid if you keep it stock and don't abuse it. Ours is ready for head gaskets now (slow coolant loss not from the EGR cooler.. no external leaks). It'll be getting studded when we get around to it.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
Welcome aboard. Good luck with that 6.0L
Thanks

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Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
With a 6.0.. I would dump the coolant.. back flush the oil cooler.. and refill with a EC1 rated ELC and use a coolant filter.

We've been running this combination on a 2006 F550 for the better part of 150k miles (has 300k on the clock now) with no issues out of the coolers.

The 6.0 is pretty solid if you keep it stock and don't abuse it. Ours is ready for head gaskets now (slow coolant loss not from the EGR cooler.. no external leaks). It'll be getting studded when we get around to it.
Thanks for the advice. Ill do that along with the EGR delete. Im pretty happy the bus lacks the emissions stuff the trucks were required to have.

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Originally Posted by toyotechwv View Post
I'm actually searching for a bus to do this as well! I had actually toyed with the idea of a similar setup as your friend's bus. I'll be hauling an ITA Miata. However, I believe I'm going to go with a mid-size bus (8-10 window) and just tow the car. I had considered a shortie like yours but it just doesn't provide enough space for my needs. Definitely going to follow your build!!!
Thanks. The International is definitely sweet, he has alot of work in the thing. The only downside is the size when your in tight spaces, that and trying to back up a trailer.

My shorty will be a dedicated tow rig for my small enclosed 16ft trailer. Im thinking of keeping the wheelchair lift for loading motorcycles easily.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
2009 with a 6.0 that one is actually probably pretty good.. ford had worked out many of the kinks by the end of the 06 model year.. the 6.0 was done in the pickups after 07 but you could get it in the van chassis through 09.. only issues would be oil and EGR coolers in that year.. coolant filter helps.. he should be able to fix that pretty easily.. if he doesnt tune it with a bully dog or such then that 6.0 has a good chance of lasting a long time. running a tuner without head studs is a good way to ruin that engine.. but no tuner just stock power should be fine.

as with all 6.0's Dont get the darn thing hot!! heavy towing (like race car trailers).. on plugged oil coolers will cause issues.. oil temp of 260 and you melt plastic inside the engine and time for a new block...

-Christopher
Thats what I have read. I plan on and egr cooler blockoff and keeping it 100% stock other than that. I will use an OBDII tool to display engine vitals the simple cluster doesnt display. Do you have any recommendations on a good budget friendly one?
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:45 PM   #7
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The thing that really sold me on this bus was the cargo hold down system. These rails will come in super handy, and it came with 20 of the ratcheting wheelchair straps. I can even hang my hammock from the upper rails above the windows.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:16 AM   #8
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Nice looking buses you guys have. I have an 02 E450 Thomas Shorty like yours that I'm using to haul bikes and family around. As long as your bikes are not street (saw the dirt bike) and under 300 pounds you "should" be ok using the lift, been warned by everyone in the business not to use it as you'll blow the ram seals. Most of my bikes are street and well over 300# so I don't use the lift, it is nice to have though.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:23 PM   #9
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Nice looking buses you guys have. I have an 02 E450 Thomas Shorty like yours that I'm using to haul bikes and family around. As long as your bikes are not street (saw the dirt bike) and under 300 pounds you "should" be ok using the lift, been warned by everyone in the business not to use it as you'll blow the ram seals. Most of my bikes are street and well over 300# so I don't use the lift, it is nice to have though.
Interesting. Ill be mostly carrying sportbikes in the 300-500lb range. The lift is rated at 800lbs so I would assume it would safely lift that much.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Truckinduc View Post
Interesting. Ill be mostly carrying sportbikes in the 300-500lb range. The lift is rated at 800lbs so I would assume it would safely lift that much.
Those lifts all seem to be rated to lift at least 700 lb. They would lift my FJR1300, but getting it turned and into the bus would be a problem as the bike is too long to lift with the front or back pointed at the bus.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:53 PM   #11
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Those lifts all seem to be rated to lift at least 700 lb. They would lift my FJR1300, but getting it turned and into the bus would be a problem as the bike is too long to lift with the front or back pointed at the bus.
The 2 main bikes ill be loading are a buell xb9r with a super short 52" wheelbase and a wr450 supermoto. I had planned on loading them sideways but i could make wheel chocks and load them front to back too, not sure which would be easier.

Im currently building the trailer hitch. I started with a piece of 4" square 3/16" wall tube. The 2" receiver will go through the center of the tube and protrude through the bumper. I dont want to loose any departure angle with that long rear overhang.

In other news it looks like i need some new battery's. The 2 blue top optimas dont seem to be holding a charge very well. Does anyone have any budget minded recommendations?

Im also contemplating having another set of deep cells for running other stuff but not cranking the bus. Im not the best with electronics.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:29 PM   #12
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Look at Dredman's latest bus. He just uses a regular, single, ramp, attached to the lift at a point where the whole bike fits on the combined parts. Secures the bars, via strap, to the handrail on the lift, up they go, and bike rolls in. I'm sure it's much like getting things in your pants just right, and some adjusting might be needed.
Hope everything fits(-:
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:48 PM   #13
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I've done things both ways. Currently have a E450 used as a tow vehicle. (I have a hitch mounted bike carrier for times I'm camping and not trailering) And before that I had a Cube van that I hauled race bikes and (small) race cars in. Same size-same shape-same chassis+ overall layout. I've had a long hate of trailers-fought it for as many years as I could-but we (and when I say we I mean SHE ) needed more amenities camping. Before it was 5ft living area and 10ft car--now its 10 ft living area and a 5 ft area in back for a shop.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:45 PM   #14
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Running the bikes sideways will take up less living space which is one of the reasons I bought the bus over a type II ambulance as I can put 4 bikes in the length of 1.
As for the lift and the bikes and weight, it's the design of where the center of gravity is, up against the body and not in the middle of the lift body. Granted they are tested with a 750# weight in the center, but that's a one time lift not multiple. I have a folder down ramp that I tie to the handles until I figure out something else and finish lifting it.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:32 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
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started on my trailer hitch today.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:07 PM   #16
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You could look at blem batteries. I can get any size for $35. I had one in my Jeep for 3 years. The alternator bearing took a dump & I changed the battery with another blem when I replaced the alternator.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:21 AM   #17
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Thank you, Ill look and see if I can find some blems local.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:31 AM   #18
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spent a little time last night and tacked my new hitch to the frame. the drivers side rail is a little twisted and i pulled most of the twist out before tacking it in.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:45 PM   #19
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Hope your welder's running hot enough to penetrate the heat treated steel.
If your using wire the welds might look pretty especially if you didn't clean the paint but that doesn't meen the weld actually penetrated the tempered metal? In my mind some grade 6-8 bolts are in order or a stick welder with a 60 rod as a penetrator and a 70 rod as a high strength cover with a spray bottle with oil sprayed while hot to keep the temper in the metal.
I know a lot of us don't care about manufacturers specs because we are not held to them but your and the others insurance company will eat your !!! If there is ever a problem? They are going to anyway but a custom hitch hauling a trailer comes loose from a SKOOLIE?
Not saying your not doing it right? And not trying step on toes?
A wire welder won't stick to heat treated steel properly without some extra steps.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:26 PM   #20
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https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/non-html/Q18.pdf

According to this Ford document you can weld on the frame. The bumper mounts and some braces are welded on by the bus manufacturer. I have a 300 amp tig machine ill be using.

The only frames im familiar with that are heat treated are semi tractor frames, everything is either bolted or riveted.
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