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Old 04-03-2017, 06:23 PM   #121
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That's a good idea. A place to put things you don't necessarily want in the bus.

My bus actually has ballast behind the rear axle hanging from the frame in that same area. I'd say that ballast could just as easily be lots of tools using your storage idea.

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Old 04-03-2017, 08:16 PM   #122
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Yeah, made a similar storage on the other side directly after the door. This will be easier because I did it before. Then their is the leaf shackle. Need to go around that. Probably will split it in two section so that I can remove the section around the leaf spring if I need to work on it.

Robin, why is there ballast behind the rear wheels. How much weight?

Later J
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:52 PM   #123
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This model has ballast because these things slide really easy if there's no weight in the back. Especially if the roads are wet. There's four or five stacks of steel plates bolted between the frame rails.
Things should work out well if I use the back of the bus as a garage for quads or dirt bikes, especially with the weight of tools.
It's tempting to drop the ballast but I don't have much weight in this bus yet and I know it does slide easy.
I thought the whole ballast thing was nuts, but we put weight in PU trucks all the time for traction. It just seems odd for a vehicle this heavy to need ballast.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:57 AM   #124
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This model has ballast because these things slide really easy if there's no weight in the back. Especially if the roads are wet. There's four or five stacks of steel plates bolted between the frame rails.
Things should work out well if I use the back of the bus as a garage for quads or dirt bikes, especially with the weight of tools.
It's tempting to drop the ballast but I don't have much weight in this bus yet and I know it does slide easy.
I thought the whole ballast thing was nuts, but we put weight in PU trucks all the time for traction. It just seems odd for a vehicle this heavy to need ballast.
I think what the designers were going for is a more equitable distribution of weight front-to-back. If the distribution is 70-30 or 80-20 front-to-back it'll want to swap ends under heavy braking. If it was a tailwheel airplane it'd be called a groundloop, and it's no fun in either vehicle.

The 61 thru 67 Econoline vans carried a weight plate in the rear also.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:17 PM   #125
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Yes, I can appreciate the idea of a good weight distribution, it just baffles me that the engineers could not come up with a little more useful solution to accomplish that. This extra weight has costed fuel economy at every start stop over all those operating years.
A Boeing 747 has about 600LBs depleted uranium as balance weight and I am pretty sure that the engineers did that only as last resort. A school bus is way more simple design .

Later J
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:19 PM   #126
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So far I've only skidded when kids try to run in front of me while I'm in town. As large and noisy as a bus is I'd say the kids were attempting to get me to lock up the brakes. Also that was when I first got the bus and wasn't used to the air brakes yet. It does tend to fishtail during hard braking, and that was at low speed while going through town.

I plan on replacing the ballast with heavy objects I can use, like tools. I'm avoiding using tanks as replacement ballast weight because they're not full all the time.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:28 PM   #127
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During our last trip we had some problems with our AC clutch bearing.
With help of some very generous peaple in Salem we were able to keep it running and made it home. With Christopher's help we were able to find the same or pretty darn similar compressor and with fleabay we found some replacement parts.

Took the temp, pulley back of and cleaned up the front of the compressor.

School Bus Conversion Resources - joeblack5's Album: Elf Bus E350 Corbeil II - Picture

The threaded holes were buggered up. They seemed to be smaller then M6 and larger then #10. The new screws were M6 so I decided to clean them up and run a M6 tap in them.

Then during cleaning around the AC shaft it seemed to be oily. Cleaned it out and took a picture. In the rear is a snap ring, not really visible in the picture. Will see if this thing will still cool, it runs smooth and has no play but maybe it overheated and damaged the seal?


School Bus Conversion Resources - joeblack5's Album: Elf Bus E350 Corbeil II - Picture

the last picture is just for documentation



School Bus Conversion Resources - joeblack5's Album: Elf Bus E350 Corbeil II - Picture

On the left the new made in China one... complete with magnet $ 69
Inthe middle the one with the inner bearing missing
On the right the one we used to get home. It is slightly different, thicker and the bearing offset does not allow the new clutch plate to be used. It also had some damage to the serpentine grooves, will keep it a spare and memory of the good people we met.

Later J

Funny that the new ones do not have friction material anymore
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:21 PM   #128
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Well put it all back together. The heads of the three M6 screws were rubbing against the pulley. Skimmed the heads of a little with the grinder. Went together well. The shims for adjusting the clutch plate gap were to large in diameter and useless. So was the new bolt they supplied. The old screw and shim did the job.

Started engine and turned on AC. As became cold. The clutch did not disengage with the engine idling. Not sure if that is normal or not?
May be it needs more R134? For now it is good. We will need to go to Florida next week for some more work, we will see how it holds up.

Later J
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:07 PM   #129
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Just thought to push a little further on the rear wheel storage.
As in the between wheels storage on the passenger side I bend 1/8" SS sheet to fold around the lower frame lip.
Thought it would be stronger and also to protect the lower frame lip from exposures that would increase rusting. Will see of that pays of.
Here is the first piece of SS installed..

School Bus Conversion Resources - joeblack5's Album: Elf Bus E350 Corbeil II - Picture

I wanted to use the space directly behind the tire as well and keep access to the spring hanger so made a separate piece that can be more easily unbolted. It is also thinner 1/16" to be able to give it the more complex shapes required by all the other stuff going on.

If my AC compressor experiments work and I can drive the compressor with a belt and DC motor then the AC hoses are going to be rerouted.


Still have to finish the piano hinge and then put the original piece of metal back in. Tomorrow I hope....

Later J
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Old 04-29-2017, 02:53 PM   #130
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After an almost flawless trip "Elfie goes Florida" I came limping home with a possible broken crankshaft position sensor and a fuel leak in the fuel damper.
Technically this happened during a trip so should not be under "built" . I post here some copy pictures just to show what all happened with Elfie.


the leak was a crack in this disk. I had one from my other van that got upgraded to an electrical fuel pump. I hope also in Elfie's future.


In my hurry to get this done I took a shortcut saving 5 minutes but costing me 4 hours to get this broken bolt back out.



could not resist adding a picture of the turbine wheel while I had the exhaust pipe of. No play and no damage that I could see.

Later J
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:56 PM   #131
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The good point is you made it back home instead of having to fix things on the road. I'd call that a success in itself. You've done a lot of preventative maintenance too, and things can still go wrong.
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:05 PM   #132
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EGT gauges

Yes Robin, made it home, that was extremely lucky. . Fuel came out pretty quick in the end.
Any how it is buttoned up again. see how long it lasts.
Found a rebuilt sticker, still have to check the number but I assume the fuel pump.
While I had the exhaust apart i installed EGT probes. I want to run bigger tires and there is a chance that I will lug the motor down on a hill or so.
Exhaust gas temperature is a good indication of the load on the motor.



School Bus Conversion Resources - joeblack5's Album: Elf Bus E350 Corbeil II - Picture

I was lucky and did not have to drill a hole in the fire wall. There was a small hole with a rubber plug right above the engine . Pulled the thermocouple cables thru that and slices the grommet to protect the wires from abrasion.

I put the gauge here:

School Bus Conversion Resources - joeblack5's Album: Elf Bus E350 Corbeil II - Picture

There was a cigarette lighter there but I did not have a use for it.

I hope that I will be able to detect problems with a temp difference between the right and left cylinder bank.

While I was in there I also removed the air intake resonator box. It takes up a lot of space in the already cramped engine space.

Later J
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:42 PM   #133
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I pulled my resonator as well.

Where did you get your pyrometer?
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:14 AM   #134
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This a westach dual gauge. westberg and gaffrig makes them also. fleabay or new. paid $60 used including probes
I like the dual design and wanted to see the difference between left and right to spot problems early.
used a dremel to cut a hole in the dash and took the second 12 volt powerpoint out. Needed to cut the hole in the structure below the dash larger as well. This gauge fits a 2"hole.
My probe wiring was not long enough to put the probes or gauge anywhere else without extending the thermo couple wires.

Later J
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:35 PM   #135
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Wow, it has been awhile on Elfie. All energy had gone into Dory. Yesterday we restarted our work on Elfie with straightening the rear bumper and installing the last under- bus storage space. Then today we passed the annual PA vehicle inspection.
Our old Bulan 4*4 ambulance got towed to a spot where we can disassemble the 4*4 system and reinstall that under Elfie. Also got a couple of nice rear axle airbags at the scrapyard today. Still enough to do on Elfie.

In parallel we are working on Dory. Hope to start the solar frame this weekend.

Later j
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:28 PM   #136
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I had a diesel cluster from a F series diesel and rewired the cluster so that it is compatible with the cluster connectors of the E350 Van cluster. Used the white / pink wire CTS close to the brake booster All works but the tach reads to high.
Also replaced the timing sensor since the engine occasionally stalled for a split second.
Later J
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Old 10-29-2017, 06:43 AM   #137
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On the road for the last 5 days. Pulled a 16 hour day to help with an emergency repair in Cincinnati yesrday day and night. Elfie has been running good. The nights have not been to cold and the webasto keeps it good at half power. Even with the two heat exchangers and the engine it produces more heat then I can transfer to the interior without running bigger fans. I do not want the extra fan noise so maybe some floor or wall heat?
Thanks for meeting in Xenia Christopher. That was nice hanging out.
Downloaded torque lite and it works. Can that display coolant and hpop and such? Or do I need the pro version?
Now at the waffle house in Cincinnati. Another 4 hours at ge aviation and then onto west Jefferson in wv.

Later j
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Old 10-29-2017, 07:25 PM   #138
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torque should be able to display the HEUI information .. i remember someone on here with a 7.3 that had it on their screen.. however they may have been using torque pro.. where you can put in custom PID's

I loved hanging out!! fdun times and cool stuff we talked about!
-Christopher
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Old 10-29-2017, 07:37 PM   #139
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torque should be able to display the HEUI information .. i remember someone on here with a 7.3 that had it on their screen.. however they may have been using torque pro.. where you can put in custom PID's

I loved hanging out!! fdun times and cool stuff we talked about!
-Christopher
What do you use, Christopher? Specifically, what do you use that allows you to reprogram various parameters, like the Max Speed, etc?
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:23 AM   #140
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Paid for the pro version last night and got the other pids working. Nice to see hpop and oil temp. Now I have to gain the experience in what they say about the health of my engine.
Left yesterday around 13.00 from Cincinnati. Gorgeous drive direction Lexington and then thru the mountains to west Jefferson north Carolina. In the evening the alternator light started flashing. Checked belt but it was still there. Voltage stayed at 14.3 so I hope it is only the warning light circuit. Nevertheless stopped north of bristol along i81 at a Walmart parking lot. Now breakfast at MCD.
Later j
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