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Old 03-28-2021, 07:07 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 34
FIDO, 2006 E450, Collins, 6.0

Purchased about two years ago. 5 window out of TX. Turns out was originally from Ohio with more rust than originally planned. Drove fine from TX to Fort Collins, CO. Headlight plugs were corroded resulting in only one headlight working. Figured that one out later. Met a very cool TX highway patrol officer in the middle of the night/middle of nowhere and ended up chatting for 20 minutes about converting buses until letting me go with a warning. Transmission cooling line was leaking and eventually used a bunch of hose clamps and fuel line to patch that and keep going.

The floor on these things consisted of 24 gage galvanized with 5/8 plywood over the top and then rubber flooring. The galvanized was more like a vapor barrier which was completely gone in several places resulting in rotting/disintegrating plywood. Took around a month a few hours a day to get the floor up. Then had to use a needle gun, grinders and wire wheels to grind all of the rust from the body frame, bus cross members and newly exposed truck frame. Laid down 18 ga galvanized across over the bus body cross members. Over that I ripped some 1"x1-1/2" across the cross members, over the sheet metal. 1" pink board was then laid down overlaid with 3/4 plywood.
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Old 03-28-2021, 09:06 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 785
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Well, at least you know it's pretty clean and well fixed. Now you can start putting things on top of that new floor.

Are you aware of the issues with the 6.0 engine? Sorry if I'm the bearer of some worry, yet it's better you know, than not know. If you don't know, research and you'll find that if they are left stock and not driven like an 18 y.o. would, likely to go for a good while. People who tried to build them up and push them soon found the engine had major issues. There's a solution, to "bullet proof" them. Basically resolve all the weak parts of the engine. Then, you'll be good for a long time.

It's funny, because a friend is thinking of converting, but not a school bus. We were searching the web and found a non-school E350 with a 6.0l in it in Florida. $4,500 with 77k miles. At that price and mileage, even if he put money into bulletproofing it, it would be such a long running vehicle that it would be worth it.

Look forward to seeing what you do with your bus.
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Old 03-29-2021, 07:33 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
Well, at least you know it's pretty clean and well fixed. Now you can start putting things on top of that new floor.

Are you aware of the issues with the 6.0 engine? Sorry if I'm the bearer of some worry, yet it's better you know, than not know. If you don't know, research and you'll find that if they are left stock and not driven like an 18 y.o. would, likely to go for a good while. People who tried to build them up and push them soon found the engine had major issues. There's a solution, to "bullet proof" them. Basically resolve all the weak parts of the engine. Then, you'll be good for a long time.

It's funny, because a friend is thinking of converting, but not a school bus. We were searching the web and found a non-school E350 with a 6.0l in it in Florida. $4,500 with 77k miles. At that price and mileage, even if he put money into bulletproofing it, it would be such a long running vehicle that it would be worth it.

Look forward to seeing what you do with your bus.
Thanks Steve. Yeah that 6.0 thing was a concern that I knew going in. It has 125K miles. My basic understanding is that the oil and coolant temps have to be within a 15 degrees. Since the conversion started haven't been able to get insured and do a run to check with a scan guage. Other than a faulty glow plug in number 8, Diesel shop gave it a clean bill of health. Plan on flushing the coolant system and installing a coolant filter, water pump and EGR Cooler (if close to 15 Degrees difference) from Bulletproof after the conversion.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:36 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 34
Window Covers and Roof Racks

Built roof rack supports and bolted to body using sikaflex. This particular model of Collins has the windows pretty low so I was able to run bolts on either side of the vertical bows above the windows. Sandwiched from the inside of the bows with 1/4" by 2" flat bar. The goal was to avoid bolting onto the top. Probably a little overkill but pretty solid.
Covered the windows with 18 ga galvanized and 1/4 rivets. Amazing how may spots the original windows were leaking. Eventually plan on adding smaller windows next to the dining table and above the bed. Removed the horizontal structural thingey under the windows and re-installed over the window cover using sikaflex and 1/4 rivets, 3/16 rivets. The key to this was use lots of sikaflex around each rivet inside and out. Had to replace several rivets on the bottom of the window cover due to leaking.
Added 2x4 pieces screwed to the sides of the bows on the inside allow for thicker insulation and to mititgate thermal bridging. Havelock Wool insulation comes later.
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Old 02-26-2024, 11:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brian S View Post
Purchased about two years ago. 5 window out of TX. Turns out was originally from Ohio with more rust than originally planned. Drove fine from TX to Fort Collins, CO. Headlight plugs were corroded resulting in only one headlight working. Figured that one out later. Met a very cool TX highway patrol officer in the middle of the night/middle of nowhere and ended up chatting for 20 minutes about converting buses until letting me go with a warning. Transmission cooling line was leaking and eventually used a bunch of hose clamps and fuel line to patch that and keep going.

The floor on these things consisted of 24 gage galvanized with 5/8 plywood over the top and then rubber flooring. The galvanized was more like a vapor barrier which was completely gone in several places resulting in rotting/disintegrating plywood. Took around a month a few hours a day to get the floor up. Then had to use a needle gun, grinders and wire wheels to grind all of the rust from the body frame, bus cross members and newly exposed truck frame. Laid down 18 ga galvanized across over the bus body cross members. Over that I ripped some 1"x1-1/2" across the cross members, over the sheet metal. 1" pink board was then laid down overlaid with 3/4 plywood.
Hi - how is the engine? We just purchased a 2006 e450 6.0 then read a lot of bad reviews. Hoping yours is doing well!
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Old 02-27-2024, 06:55 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 19,034
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinoJen116 View Post
Hi - how is the engine? We just purchased a 2006 e450 6.0 then read a lot of bad reviews. Hoping yours is doing well!

the 6.0 got a lot of bad raps... however some of it can be traced back to ill maintenance by the end user..


1. tuning a 6.0 for more horsepower was a sure-fire way to blow the headgaskets.. running them stock in their lower horsepower configurations typically found on vans and busses helped with this.


2. poor coolant maintenance resulted plugging up of the EGR cooler and oil cooler passages.



3. poor oil maintenance also resulted in plugged oil coolers..


the signifiance of a plugged oil cooler is that a truck pulling a heaby load with an engine that was aging resulted in more blowby and hotter oil.. there is no oil temp gauge on the dash.. the water temp rising up to 220-230 could easily result in the oil temp reaching the meltdown temp of 260.. what i mean by meltdown is the oil filter standpipe and related parts are plastic... if these melt, the engine is gone.. no rebuild, no fix.. you throw it away...



like most tier 1 emissions engines, adding EGR to the mix to help re-burn unburned fuel in the exhaust resulted in higher temperatures and more failures.. short trips where the engine doesnt warm up all the way results in EGR coolers rusting out on the exhaust side and coolant gets leaked into the exhaust.. obviously coolant in cylinders is a bad thing, you can steam pistons, lose enough to overheat or in extreme situations hydrolock the engine....



when you hear of people "bulletproofing" a 6.0, there is acompany clled bulletproof diesel that came out with specifically EGR coolers and oil coolers that were of much higher quality than the ford (International) factory parts... and along with that many people felt it necessary to also pull the heads and install ARP head studs which allowed for better holding power and less likely to blow headgaskets..



while you can read about many instances of failures on any forum or website, there were and are many 6.0's that have been well taken care of and continue to run every day.. International made these engines for both their own trucks and busses, and for ford..



I go back to the story of my 2 friends (husband and wife) who bought two box trucks brand new in around 2005/2006 with the VT365 (6.0).. and ran them to 400K before they traded them in on new ones a couple years ago.. they put a set of injectors in each truck at someplace around 250K if i remember right.. they kept up on their maintenance and didnt tune the engines.. while these trucks didnt win any races, they had very few days of downtime...



bulletproofing the EGR and oil coolers is something that can be done with the engine in the truck, and its not necessary to pull the cab to do it.. that said it does involve removing the turbo, intake manifold, fuel system, and the like to get to the parts.. a person with good backyard mechanic skills can do it with care... head studs are a little trickier but also something someone with good to expert mechanic skills can do...



I myself would buy a 6.0 in current working order in a heartbeat if the deal is decent on it.. in the ford configuration they were paired with the 5R110 transmission which is one of my favorite ford transmissions..



I wouldnt let the 6.0 stop you from your build unless it shows obvious signs of imminent failure like water in the oil / oil in the water, or excessive blowby, steam from the exhaust even in warmer weather..



while it may seem anemic in the hills, i would resist the temptation to install a tuner on it.. that is in fact asking for trouble..


the predecessor 7.3 responded very well to tuners as it has 6 head bolts per cylinder vs the 4 head bolts er cylinder on the 6.0.. no idea why IH did this esp for an engine they wanted to produce more power than the 7.3...



the assumed since the bolts were bigger and could be torqued down further that the holding power of the head would be better.. they were wrong... there just werent enough bolts.. the ARP studs clamp better and resist bolt stretch or incorrect torque that bolts can create thus why studding a 6.0 resulted in much better reliability...





thats my take an opinions and experience with the 6.0, take it as you will, everyone has different experiences...
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Old 02-27-2024, 09:06 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinoJen116 View Post
Hi - how is the engine? We just purchased a 2006 e450 6.0 then read a lot of bad reviews. Hoping yours is doing well!
I would recommend getting a scan gage from Bulletproof Diesel for the Powerstroke. They come preprogrammed with the codes to monitor this specific engine. You are specifically looking for the engine oil temp, engine coolant temp Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM) voltage and transmission fluid temp. If the engine oil and engine coolant temp are greater than 15 degrees, it could indicate a failing EGR which can result in poor performance/serious damage. FICM low voltage can result in damage to injectors. I have experienced excessively high transmission fuel temps during hot days on steep grades at low speed, the scan gage let me know so i could stop and let cool down. I would also do a blue-wire set-up to better manage heat during extreme temp days, low speed runs (bluewire is discussed on various forums). Good luck.
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