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Old 01-18-2015, 09:00 PM   #1
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Year: 1956
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lurker with a 56 ford

i've enjoyed watching people's projects around here for a couple of years... thank you.
i've been wanting a bus but i had to be old and cute for my wife to even consider.. an di finally found it:
a 56 ford/superior b600. not in such bad shape either. just missing the motor. no broken glass. only one window removed for a chimney at one point.


i went to look at it but was still on the fence until he told me his price... $500. sold! i don't care at that price if i don't have the whole project lined out... has the title too.





still haven't decided exactly how i want to build this... i do have an extra nv4500 trans and was thinking to put in a cummins. wife is excited to be my minion for sanding and bodywork (i'll probably just sandblast the entire body..)

anyway, i'm a forester and live out in the woods all sumer long and the woman gets tired of camping in the back of the truck and cooking in the open. -wonderful, ain't she? so this needs to be good for dry living/sleeping/cooking space and be both dependable and reasonably fuel efficient. i'm a decent mechanic and enjoy welding/fab work so i have no doubts except choosing the right color.
this will be a gradual project. better to take our time and make it what we want than try move in too soon and never finish. i'm guessing it'll take a couple of years at least.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:27 AM   #2
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cool, welcome and pics are a good thing
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:57 AM   #3
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What a great find! There was a 70 IH shorty for sale in my area for the past year for around 1k... nowhere near as cool as this but still so much more character than a newer bus. My entire interest in converting a bus started out with this ad:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/sale...a1113-not.html

It was for a an old 1940 or 50-something Mercedes Benz la1113 4x4 which was a bus in a former life, and that had been converted to a expedition camper and driven literally around the world back in the 60's I think. The ad used to have a link to a slide show with pictures of the bus the way it used to be in various locations all over the globe. It was absolutely beautiful (though it's a rust heap now) and I wish I could find the slideshow again, the bookmark I had doesn't work anymore. Anyway, ever since I saw this I'd always thought that if I could find a bus from that era I would restore to look just like that old MB....
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:24 AM   #4
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Here's an idea of what that old LA 1113 looked like but it was much cooler looking :

The inside was all carved wood panelling, persian rugs, brass oil lamps... everything hand crafted and oozing with quality.. I have GOT to find those pictures somewhere...
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:45 PM   #5
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Yeah a 4x4 Benz would awesome.
I had been hoping for an international since my family is partial to ihc... ( I have a kb5) but never found one to my liking that was within my price range.

Thanks for the welcome..
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:58 AM   #6
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bluejeans, that is a cool find! gotta love a ford with a well rounded beautiful butt! cummins? man, that ford just screams for a pwerstroke. and those curves and fenders would look really good painted like the bus in RV movie.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:11 AM   #7
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Nice find! Real fun looking project. Welcome and keep us updated!
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claydbal View Post
bluejeans, that is a cool find! gotta love a ford with a well rounded beautiful butt! cummins? man, that ford just screams for a pwerstroke. and those curves and fenders would look really good painted like the bus in RV movie.
Power stroke is a great idea... It would be much more fitting being a ford and all... Though I wouldn't be and to use extra parts from my dodge which is what I had in mind... Have to give it more thought.
I don't think I've ever seen rv...
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:27 PM   #9
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Gotta LOVE that old iron.! Even though just about every bus has something cool about it, there REALLY IS something extra special about the ones that wear classic sheet metal like that. My first one had a 1958 Dodge Power Wagon nose piece. OMG it was so ugly it was beautiful.!!

FYI: For anyone considering one of these beasts... And you're thinking it would cost too much to fix it up?? You WILL spend about the same money no matter what year it is. Why not save an old beauty queen while you're at it.??
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:48 PM   #10
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Welcome! Outstanding Find! --- Love the full ribbed siding. And I would consider the motor being missing a plus. Much easier to work with since something more economical and reliable is in order anyway. If you are thinking Cummins...check out 4BTswaps.com. They have been a big help for me and my 4BTAA. And you have much more room in the front end of yours than is in mine. Piece-O-Cake.

Best of luck with the build and keep the pix coming.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight Rat View Post
Gotta LOVE that old iron.! Even though just about every bus has something cool about it, there REALLY IS something extra special about the ones that wear classic sheet metal like that. My first one had a 1958 Dodge Power Wagon nose piece. OMG it was so ugly it was beautiful.!!

FYI: For anyone considering one of these beasts... And you're thinking it would cost too much to fix it up?? You WILL spend about the same money no matter what year it is. Why not save an old beauty queen while you're at it.??
I feel that way too. For example, all buses for sale can be divided into two categories: those that need new tires right away, and those that will need 'em later. And cheaping out on tires can have disastrous consequences.

If you really must have an RV that's cheap above all else, there's always plenty of S&S rigs out there.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:50 PM   #12
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I vote mechanical Cummins. For the sake of simple, reliable, cost effective, low maintenance, ect.

IMO Gas engines aren't even worth the time to mess with them anymore.

Nat
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejeans View Post
i've enjoyed watching people's projects around here for a couple of years... thank you.
i've been wanting a bus but i had to be old and cute for my wife to even consider.. and I finally found it:
a 56 ford/superior b600. not in such bad shape either. just missing the motor. no broken glass. only one window removed for a chimney at one point.

i went to look at it but was still on the fence until he told me his price... $500. sold!....

still haven't decided exactly how i want to build this... i do have an extra nv4500 trans and was thinking to put in a cummins. wife is excited to be my minion for sanding and bodywork (i'll probably just sandblast the entire body...

...this will be a gradual project. better to take our time and make it what we want than try move in too soon and never finish. i'm guessing it'll take a couple of years at least.
Nice find, Bluejeans! Sometimes we're in the right place at the right time.

Ever wonder if some things are meant to be? I waited a long time to find an old Dodge with either a Wayne or Superior body; eventually the opportunity to buy one practically fell into my lap.

I've thought about getting a Cummins for mine too. (Good tip, Tango). My bus will be drivable with just some minor repairs; its gas Mopar V8 is in my mechanical comfort zone, but info from other Skoolies tells me that it'll take to petrol like a sot to liquor.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:13 PM   #14
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If you do decide to go the Cummins route...keep your eye out for one of the older,"Two Wire" (one hot + one ground) motors and avoid the later computerized units. They are great engines but...anything that relies on computers to run is well...like...going to the moon in something built by Microsoft. Risky and expensive business. As a result, the newer motors can be bought cheaper than the old ones. Why?...'cause people who've done their homework just don't want'em.

You can also get a 6BT for less money than a 4BT. That is mainly a function of supply & demand. There are tons of 6BT's around. Either will serve you far better than any gas guzzler. And the only real difference between the two is the number of cylinders. Nearly all parts are interchangeable and plentyful. The six weighs in at about a thousand pounds, has a few more horses and feet of torque and gets a little less mpg. The four weighs about 750 and can be had in stock form from 80 horses up to 130 (what I have) with about 330 pounds of torque. Plenty to pull a small bus if geared right. And with just minor tweaking, it is safe & easy to get 250 hp out of a four. There are some sled pullers getting around a thousand out of the same four banger, but at the expense of only lasting for a pull or two. Pretty amazing little motors that when set up properly are good for a half-million trouble free miles between recons.

Am I believer...well, ya. You might say that.

PS...they can also be tuned and geared to get an easy 25mpg even in something like a small bus. A few people are even claiming 30.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:43 PM   #15
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bread trucks have 4bt in some of them, stay away from non T type
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:30 PM   #16
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And...when looking, make sure any engine you consider was an "over the road" type and NOT a stationary...like pumps, generators and such. They can be converted but the cost is prohibitive in nearly all cases. Also preferred is the P7100 inline injection pump. There are some rotary pumps still out there but are a PITA to dial in/tune.

With a serial number, you can go to the Cummins site and get a history of nearly every engine they have built in the past few decades. Very handy to verify how it was originally configured and any factory recon work will show up as well.

And while it likely of no interest other than for specificity...I just remembered the 4BT was also avail down to 55 hp.
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:13 PM   #17
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Wow, that 4bt should last forever at 55hp.

Nat
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:05 AM   #18
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Definitely longer than the 1000+ monsters. Still amazes me what can be done with these little four bangers. And many of the mods up to about 500hp involve nothing more than injector tweaking and adding another turbo. Upgraded head studs are a good idea too but it can be done in a weekend. Nuts!

Me...I'm going the other direction. MPG and reliability. Plenty of hp & grunt just the Cummins built it.
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Old 04-25-2015, 02:15 AM   #19
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I'm familiar with the 4bt. To me the bummer is that there's so much hype around this engine ( granted, its amazing) that prices for one are not often reasonable. I have a 6bt 12v and am happy with and with one in my bus I'd never have to worry about the bus getting too heavy.
Nat, I agree; diesel is the only way to go unless you plan on the bus never leaving your back yard.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:45 AM   #20
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Ya...the Super Hero hype has definitely driven up the prices on the older 4BT's. They make the 6's look like a bargain if you have the room for one. I didn't.
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