Low594's Adventure Short Bus

Low594

Member
Starting point
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Currently
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2002 Ford E-450 Super Duty w/119,000 miles
Thomas Bus body
7.3 liter Turbo Diesel (Garrett GTP38)
55 gallon fuel tank
~9mpg @ 70-75mph; 12mpg @ 60-65mph
14,000 lbs GVWR
250bhp/505lbs/ft
Current capacity: 6 adults & 3 bikes (soon 5 dirt bikes)

Comfort
-Seating: Driver bucket, Passenger bucket & (2) 2passenger benches
-Moto grip Passenger door release (11/23/15)
-Sheep skin seat cover (12/4/15)
-Drivers Floor Mat (1/16/16)
-Travertine print puzzle mat (3/12/16)
-Engel MT60 Fridge (6/14/16) Thanks to Happykamper!
-Cruise Control (3/24/2019)(wheel/clockspring from '99 E150)
-new A/C compressor & R134a charge (4/19)
-Henrys TropiCool silicone roof sealant/insulation (ongoing(4/2019)

Suspension
-A1 Spring dual stage rear spring pack rebuild w/ new bushings (2/2019)
-WeldTec Designs 4" Ocotillo Cruiser front lift kit w/Fox 2.0 valved by Agile Offroad (3/2019)
-Moog bushings/balljoints/tierods/etc (3/2019)
-Wagner HD front brake pads (3/2019)
-Falken WildPeak AT3w tires 235/85-16 or 32/9.5-16 (3/2019)
-WeldTec Designs Steer Stabilizer Kit w/Fox 2.0 valved by Agile Offroad (5/2019)

Cosmetics
-Grill painted Rustolem 2x Satin Canyon Black#249844 (11/23/15)
-Body painted with Rustolem 2x Satin Nutmeg #249070 (3/4/16)

Electrical
-H4 headlight conversion (blacked out w/extra LEDs) (12/1/15)
-Front Corner Markers (blacked out) (12/1/15)
-(3) Pro-Comp 130watt 8" lights (12/31/15)
-Blue Sea Dual USB outlet (1/16/16)
-Cyclops Adventure Sports 3600lumen H4 LED bulbs (2/16/16)
-Pioneer DEH-P2400UB deck (AM/FM/CD/Aux/USB) (3/12/16)
-Pioneer TS-X200 rear speakers
-Polk/Momo 6.5" front speakers
-SuperBriteLED 4" Turn/Run/Brake/Reverse Lights (flush) (9/17/16)
-(1) Interstate MT7AGM (65 Amp/Hours) battery (3/19)
-Sterling 12/12 Aux Battery Charge Controller (3/19)
-Blue Sea 12ckt 12VDC fuse block (3/19)
-Blue Sea cig socket (3/19)
-Blue Sea dual USB (3/19)
-Shore power male exterior socket (3/19)
-Shore powered Uground outlet w/GFCI (3/19)
-Shore powered quad USB outlet (3/19)

Engine/Performance
-DieselSite 203* Thermostat(1/9/15)
-DieselSite Billet Aluminum Thermostat Neck(1/9/15)
-AFE ProGuard7 Air Filters(1/12/15)
-Banks Power Monster muffler(8/9/16)

Hauling
-(3) Motorcycle Wheel Chocks, automatic (12/10/15)
-Cast steel Tye-down Loops (12/10/15)
-4'w x 7'l snowmobile ramp (12/10/15)

Navigation
-Ram Mount X-Grip (11/23/15)

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Low594

Member
Overhead wire shelves, in cargo area
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Blacked out & insulated bottoms of cargo area windows
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Wheel Chocks
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Passenger area
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I picked up swivels for the drivers and passengers seat, which will be getting mounted tomorrow, really tempted to put the passenger seat in the drivers position!
 
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Low594

Member
The plan for this project is to set up as a toyhauler for bikes as a primary, secondary use will be as an Operations office for different events that I help out with from time to time. So it wont be going full RV or serious Overlander, but I still feel like it belongs here, since this site has been a major source of info and ideas!

I plan to put in 120VAC shore power connection and a 12VDC/120VAC fridge behind the drivers seat in a cabinet that will have a fold out writing/computer desk. Sleeping will be anchor points for hammocks and possibly a couple naval style webbing bunks. For a bathroom, it will probably go no further than a 5gallon bucket with toilet seat and peat moss. The cargo space will have folding counters that will work for repairs and cooking.

I already extended the rear bumper out 6" and will probably redo it, roughly 12". After that the 4'wide ramp will be hinged to the bumper, so it just folds upright and locks & legs to elevate a bike like a mechanics lift. Then a Jeep style rear rack welded up to hold fuel cans, 3-4 5gallon cans per side.

Im also hoping to weld up a roof rack/observation deck and make up some sort of collapsing awning.

Suspension wise, I'd love to do a 4x4 conversion, but I really dont need it! Im going to do leveling blocks in the front, since its raked like a '60s muscle car and get some oversized AT type tires.

Big plans, time will tell what I need!
 
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Treenail

Adventurer
YOu're on the road that I'm considering.

I'm torn between a short bus and a Uhaul type box truck though.

Nice to see the data list at the beginning of this thread.

Tom
 
This is a pretty sweet start. They build Thomas buses where I used to live. I had several friends who worked there. I like that you put insulation in. The buses here go offroad all of the time with regular tires so if you put something aggressive on the back you would probably do well. You could also think about putting a locker in the back if you are afraid of losing traction since you do not want to go full 4x4.
 

Low594

Member
YOu're on the road that I'm considering.
I'm torn between a short bus and a Uhaul type box truck though.
Nice to see the data list at the beginning of this thread.
Tom
Ive read a couple builds on here using the Uhaul boxes, really seems like a good way to go. Im a bit of an addict for customizing vehicles and build threads are fun, started doing the threads this way from others influence, it really works well!
This is a pretty sweet start. They build Thomas buses where I used to live. I had several friends who worked there. I like that you put insulation in. The buses here go offroad all of the time with regular tires so if you put something aggressive on the back you would probably do well. You could also think about putting a locker in the back if you are afraid of losing traction since you do not want to go full 4x4.
The Thomas' seem to be built very well. They have weight, tire contact area and tons of torque, so as long as its not deep mud/sand or big rocks, it should be ok. Years ago I had a long travel 2wd GMC Sonoma and was exploring/camping out of it, but once I started moto traveling and camping, the truck just didnt see use. Currently I have a Suzuki VStrom 650 and Kawasaki KLX300R(plated), just sold my KTM AdventureR
welcome fellow shortbus-er!
Got a thread for yours?
Good start, I like.

Thank you all!
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DougsE350

Observer
No real thread, its a narrow body 4 window E350. Been fighting a transmission issue so I think a new trans is in order. Ford has a pretty good warranty on their transmissions.

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Ill probably get a real build thread going once I get some miles on it and decide how I want to go with it.
 

Low594

Member
No real thread, its a narrow body 4 window E350. Been fighting a transmission issue so I think a new trans is in order. Ford has a pretty good warranty on their transmissions.

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Ill probably get a real build thread going once I get some miles on it and decide how I want to go with it.
Good idea to not get too deep too fast, but easy to do!

nice to see this here as well as on ADVrider.

Haha, yes!
 

Low594

Member
Over the weekend we got the whole lower half of the bus painted brown. Gotta complete the cab and the top half then hit the trim with black and it'll be done. Its a huge task!
Also accomplished getting the passenger seat mounted with forward, 90*left and reverse locking notches cut in the swivel. As well as making the inside a complete disaster! I know what I am doing for the next couple days after work.

These are the bulb housings I got off Ebay a while back. They are drop in and upgrade the headlights to an H4 bulb, with LEDs(can be wired to running light, turnsignal or any source). It is a glass lens, so no polishing every few years like composites! I just received the Cyclops Adventure Sports 3600 lumen LED bulbs for them!
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Ive been running these bulbs in my Vstrom for a year with no issues, plug and play!
 
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Low594

Member
Its been raining off and on and I have been working a ton of hours, but the paint is coming along!
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Low594

Member
Ive been removing these old bulky ugly running lights.
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Besides being ugly, they have been the source of massive leaks and they use 5watts of power each(12 lights x 5watts = 60watts!)

So today I installed my first one of these guys from superbrightleds.com
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I had to drill a 5/8" hole and the OD of the light is about 3/4"
Here's the link if anyone is interested
 

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