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Old 08-29-2022, 09:26 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Eaton Rapids
Posts: 20
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: E450
Engine: 6.0 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14+2
Talking 2004 Eldorado Aerotech 220 Conversion

Hi all,

I've been looking for some kind of motorhome that would meet my desires in regards to size, fuel efficiency, and quality of building materials for some time now.

this included a transvan that snapped the back 3rd off when we stepped on the entry-way, a whole bunch of non starter facebook marketplace ads and finallllllyyy i picked up a 2004 Aerotech 14+2 based off an E450 for a price that, frankly, i expected the bus to me a total POS and was pleasantly surprised.

This particular bus has the 6.0L powerstroke - so I went through the usual suspects as well as i could - looking at codes, temps, fluid levels and consistencies, etc. but honestly, mechanically, the motor looks solid. I attribute this to the fact that the E series powerstroke being detuned compared to the F series and closer to the original Navistar build - that said, I still plan on pulling the EGR valve and exchanger to make sure they look good, pull and clean/flush the oil cooler, etc.

This bus was sitting for quite some time - it has only racked up about 1000 miles since 2011, and the brakes were in quite bad shape - so the first order of business beyond getting it to somewhere i can work on it was replacing all of the components. the rear is fully rebuilt with new calipers, seals, etc. the only thing remaining is replacing the flex lines, which i am still waiting on in the mail.

the front got repacked bearings but the seals were in really good condition - also have the flex lines and calipers coming for that.

Once that is tackled, I've got rust abatement on the frame, and then sealing it. Also looks like the front shocks are ready to be replaced, there is a lot of rust around the top mount and it is relatively cheap insurance to have them new.

After that - I've got some exhaust to rebuild - the catalytic converter was cut out so i've got some welding to do, as well as some.. uh.. very questionable repairs on the exhaust south of the cat that i'll probably redo, as well as potentially replacing the muffler as it is showing some seam rust and i suspect is shot.

then i plan on using liquid based thermal insulation/sound dampening products to make the shell a bit quieter and cooler the shell is a monocoque construction fiberglass composite - it has a honeycomb core with glass on either side, so, it should be pretty near waterproof except for windows, which all need some sealing and loving - but it kinda looks like that stuff is all still available, so, that is pretty cool.

then of course the real fun of "how do i stuff 4 people in here and make it still comfy"

i stumbled across this site while searching on that last question - thinking space saving features like murphy beds and the like - since this is a full standing height shell - i'm 6' flat and my head doesn't touch the top, and it is ~9 feet wide, so, we've got some space to utilize.

i don't expect this build to go fast, because i have a lot more time than money to throw at it, but, we shall see, and i'm excited!
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Old 08-29-2022, 01:20 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 2,988
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
welcome.
i would question the motor but it seems that you know what you have and what to keep an eye out far.
definitely was not made to be turned up much if any and religious maintenance and any bells and whistles you can add to monitor the engine.
none of us are made of money and understand the time it takes.
we will be here to help when we can and looking forward to follow your build.
i actually have a 6.0 piston on my desk as a paperweight that my son brought me from the dealership he worked at from a truck that the man had turned a brand new engine up with every tune he could find and was pissed that the dealer would not warranty it after it ate itself up.
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Old 08-29-2022, 01:28 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Eaton Rapids
Posts: 20
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: E450
Engine: 6.0 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14+2
Fortunately, i have a good friend that builds and services light and medium duty chassis built for utilities like propane, emergency services, etc so he knows what he is looking at (not me 😁)

I was hesitant, but we poured over codes (which, fortunately had not been reset for years), the mechanicals and the frame - we figure we can fix anything else.

I'll be getting an EGR temp gauge, coolant and fuel rail pressure as well as a scanner ro track less critical data.
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Old 08-29-2022, 01:43 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 2,988
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
cool deal.
never been near a 6.0 just heard the stories.
my son was a ford mechanic when they first came out.
but since covid came around and they started playing with his hours he didnt like piddling around so now he works for me as a pipe welder and structural steel and we do odd mechanic jobs on the weekends including some of our own crazy ideas besides bus stuff.
i am bus stuff and he is the one with the crazier ideas for his stuff but we all need someone to bounce ideas off of and a helping hand sometimes and then sometimes someone to say thats crazy? why? why not this?
like his idea already in progress is building a built up DT360 diesel to cram in his super duty that has a V10 in it right now.
it will fit but we have to cowl the hood because the fan blade sits higher than the core support.
anyway.
all of us here can help in one way or another.
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