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Thread: "No More Projects!", says I. And then...1972 Superior 2200. Couldn't pass it up.

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    Default "No More Projects!", says I. And then...1972 Superior 2200. Couldn't pass it up.

    So yea. About 20 years ago I swore off projects. Put in too much time wrenching and not enough time using and got tired of it. Long time ago, I picked up a 1976 Ford E-250 RB camper van for 200 bucks and swore I wouldn't put a dime into it that I didn't absolutely have to. And I didn't. I figured it wouldn't last long. But here we are, many years later, and the stupid thing just won't die. It's become a contest of wills to see who will kick the bucket first, me or this bloody worn out beat up old Ford.

    Oh sure, I've thought about restoring it. But it would need a complete "Overhaulin'" treatment. It's got a rusty quarter panel, the door locks and window cranks are all shot. Hinges, seals, etc. etc. Name a part - it's worn out.

    So I'm at the point I have to decide...put money into it, or get something else. And truth be told, it's big enough for one guy, but still...pretty small. That's good for parking in the city, but spending a few weeks out on my buddy's acreage in the desert, or my other buddy's acreage in the mountains starts to make me long for something just a bit bigger. But not much. Just a bit. Okay, fine. I'll check out Craig's List and see what's out there.

    Decided right off the bat, nothing over 24'. Period. Less than that, even better. Been checking the CL RV ads once a week or so for about a year because I knew this day was coming.

    Then one day a couple weeks ago...lo and behold! A 1972 Superior... I want it. But, crap...it's a project and I don't want a project. But, I want it. Because, well...

    s-l400.jpg

    Yup. Built by Superior Coach. As in "Body by Superior". As in, SCHOOL BUSES! All steel jig-welded framing, with a steel skin. And the whole works zinc galvanized to last forever. On a Dodge RM-400 chassis (I think. Pretty sure. Anyone knows better, speak up.) It's a frigging TANK. RAMMING SPEED!




    Called the guy up, he says it was an out of state vehicle, got impounded and he bought it at auction. He's asking $1300. Hrmm. Interesting, but...not that interesting.

    Then a couple weeks later, he drops the price to $1000. So I give him a call and arrange to go check it out, and...

    IMG_20171016_114228327.jpgIMG_20171016_114211556_HDR.jpgIMG_20171016_114255378_HDR.jpgIMG_20171016_114235943.jpg


    Ugh. Well, it's dirty, that's for sure. But, it's remarkably complete. The only thing missing that I can see, is the generator. Empty compartment with wires and fuel line just sitting there. Also, it's been vandalized. Just a bit. A big of tagging, a broken headlight, and someone drove a knife through the wall of the head a few times. And of course, the upholstery is all fully dry-rotted. There's a few dents here and there, but mostly it's pretty straight. A couple of external hatches bent from being pried open, but so what...it's all steel. Any body and fender shop can straighten it out.

    But the thing I noticed most - it's dry as a bone. Like it just got dragged in from 30 years sitting in the desert or something. I can't see any leaks anywhere, except where the two roof vents are broken. Who cares if water got into the head, it's a wet bath anyway.

    But again, it's complete. Even has the overhead drop-down bed over the cockpit (apparently missing on quite a few Superiors) and the flip-and-fold dinette arrangement.


    I ask if it runs. He says they couldn't get fuel to the carb, thought maybe it was a bad fuel pump, so they disconnected the mechanical pump and temped in an electric. Still no go. But spray some ether in there and it does run. So we did and it did. Ran pretty smooth actually. Got the Dodge/Chrysler "413 Industrial" engine (later version of the "RB" block was bored to make the 426 Wedge and eventually, the 440). The water pump on this thing is amazing. Prolly big enough to irrigate a few acres if need be.

    And, it has no brakes. Probably a bad master cylinder. I spent quite a while under there with a flashlight, and it's again, remarkably, clean. Well, not clean, but not rusty. Muffler looks new. Or new when it was parked anyway. I couldn't find any rot or leaks, except the plate under the holding tanks was somewhat corroded (they came with insulated heated holding tanks). Even has the spare up under the back. Couldn't see any signs of brake fluid leaking, so I'm thinking he's probably right - bad master cylinder. But I don't care, I'd have to do all new brakes anyway or I'd never trust it.

    Well...crap. It does run, it is complete. It doesn't really need anything I wouldn't do anyway. So I got the auction paperwork and called the DMV. They don't have it in their system, so it's either out of state, or been off the books long enough to disappear. (I don't think it's actually from out of state. It has one of those decals from a quicky lube place in Inglewood, Ca. (too faded to read the date). So I think it has always been a SoCal vehicle.) They quote me approx $120 + tax to reg it, and I'll have to get them or the CHP to verify the VIN.


    So...what the hell. I bought it. Bill of Sale says a buck. DMV actually charged me $93 for the reg plus a buck sales tax. Geico applied a bunch of discounts (good driver, Class A commercial, etc.) and I got 6 months of liability only insurance for a grand total of $54. Yes, $54 for the whole six months. They say after it's fixed up, if I provide pics and reciepts so they can value it, they'll be happy to issue a full-coverage policy. NADA thinks it's worth between 8 and 10 grand:

    http://www.nadaguides.com/RVs/1972/S...3030138/Values

    I'll take that with a grain of salt.



    They guy says it's okay to leave it where it is. Been there a while already. So this weekend me and a buddy head down there with a trunk full of tools and a DMV temp operating permit to tape in the back window. Here we go...


    KIMG0002.JPGKIMG0003.JPGKIMG0004.JPGKIMG0005.JPGKIMG0006.JPG


    And there's the image limit (10 per post)...more to come!

  2. #2
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    And more pics (everybody loves pics)...


    KIMG0007.JPGKIMG0008.JPGKIMG0009.JPGKIMG0010.JPGKIMG0011.JPGKIMG0012.JPGKIMG0013.JPGKIMG0014.JPGKIMG0015.JPGKIMG0016.JPG


    And again, the image per post limit. More to come!

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    Still going...


    KIMG0057.JPGKIMG0058.JPGKIMG0059.JPGKIMG0060.JPGKIMG0061.JPG



    Got some shots of the roof my buddy took. But they're all upside down. I'll have to rotate them before I upload them, and I need a break.


    But, just one more...


    KIMG0071.JPG


    BOOYAH! Dunno if that's 38k or 138k, but from the condition, I strongly suspect it hasn't rolled over yet.

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    So yea. It has factory cruise control with the control on the turn signal lever. Has a/c (condenser on the roof like a commercial truck). Hell, it even has a complete set of original hubcaps in decent condition. Like I said, complete.

    So I pulled the master cylinder. Nasty with a capital NAST. Had to order a new one, no one had rebuilts. $70. Haven't installed it yet. Next weekend.

    Inspected the fuel system. I think the tank is 40g. But there's a second fuel gauge on the dash, so there might be a second tank somewhere. Maybe for the generator. Coming out of the top of the main tank is a threaded brass ninety, with a metal fuel line flare fitted to it. The line runs down the frame to just behind the right front wheel, then for some strange reason, there is like a 4" rubber fuel line, then more metal line along the frame to the mechanical fuel pump. That little 4" piece was dry-rotted and cracked all the way through. I couldn't get to it without pulling the wheel, and I didn't bring a big enough jack. So my buddy, who is a bit smaller than me, spent about an hour changing that one little bit of hose with one hand. I owe him. Hooked the mechanical pump up and ran a new fuel line up to the carb (with a new filter in it). Sprayed some ether and cranked it over and within a few seconds, the filter filled up with nasty smelling 30 year old varnish that must have been broken loose by the fresh gas we added. But it started right up. Ran nice and smooth too. But it would only idle. If I tried to goose it a bit, it would starve out and die. Which is just as well, since the carb was dumping about a gallon of gas onto the intake manifold. Shut it down right quick.

    By this time, we were ready to call it a day. Went back this morning by myself and pulled the carb. Carter AFB. The secondary butterflies are locked in the closed position. I couldn't budge 'em even with a touch of dead-blow persuasion. Carb shop quoted me 200ish to rebuild it. Dropping it off in the morning before work. Also picked up the new master cylinder from the parts place.

    So maybe next weekend, it'll actually be running and have brakes.

    We'll see.




    And before some wiseguy asks...yes, 4WD is on the table. I'm undecided, but it's already got a leaf-sprung straight axle in the front. I think it's a Dana 70 or 80 in the rear. Drum brakes all around. But I've got a couple years of resto-modding to do before I even consider 4WD.



    Damn...another project...

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    dwh,

    Nice score.....I would give me left nut for something like that here in Oz....
    Goin g to follow this rebuild big time .....

    Cheers Fugly

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    Thanks. I am pretty stoked about it. But meh...projects. Hopefully this'll be the last one. (crosses fingers, knocks on wood, sacrifices a goat)

    Whack. The roof pics image previews are all upside down on my computer, but when I open up an image program to rotate them, they are rightside up already. And they seem to upload rightside up here. Friggin Microsoft.


    KIMG0062.JPGKIMG0063.JPGKIMG0064.JPGKIMG0065.JPGKIMG0066.JPGKIMG0067.JPGKIMG0068.JPGKIMG0069.JPGKIMG0070.JPG
    ...
    ...
    Current: 76 E-250, bubble-top, self-contained|couple of old Yamaha enduros
    Previous wheelers: 41 Willys|78 FJ40|78 Bronco|84 Bronco|74 Ramcharger|78 Ramcharger|79 D150 PowerWagon|77 D100|79 D400 dually, converted to 4WD, utility bed, 10' Lance|75 Westy|69 Scout, RHD|bunch of others|bunch of bikes|couple of boats|couple of motorhomes|blah blah|so what|not my idea|just doin' what I'm told|wank wank|this space for rent|candy is dandy|but liquor is quicker

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