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Author Topic: TomC Truck Conversion  (Read 5589 times)
TomC
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« on: November 12, 2009, 10:10:32 AM »

Here's some pictures of the truck conversion as it sits now.  The windows have not been cut out yet-but are framed in.  On the exterior views, the chrome bumper is goofed up, and has been redone.  This is the front right view-the hardware for the doors isn't in yet.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 10:11:37 AM »

Left front.
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 10:12:17 AM »

Left Front
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 10:14:08 AM »

Rear view with the tail gate, and the hardware in for the side doors.  The upper roof railings are not correct-they are being rebuilt without them sticking up so much (for the roof top view platform).
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 10:15:03 AM »

Right side (Osps)
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 10:15:26 AM »

Back of truck
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 10:16:01 AM »

Back inside showing the framing.
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 11:24:20 AM »

You are off to a great start.
Lonnie
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 12:04:35 PM »

I'm curious why you choose those aluminum moldings for the top edge of the box?  It makes the whole thing look more like a box truck or a semi trailer than a motorhome.

I suppose the look will change with the windows installed.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
TomC
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2009, 02:58:28 PM »

Mainly because it is built by American Truck Body that uses the same top for their commercial boxes.  I figured, its' worked for hundreds of commercial boxes-works for me.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 03:01:34 PM »

What an interesting statement. It's clearly easier to build the corners that way, and it provides a great deal more room on the inside for cabinets, bunks, etc. I think the look is great, but then I like trucks, too.
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2009, 03:28:25 PM »

Tom, How do you think the back will ride going down the road..
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2009, 04:30:00 PM »

Tom,

Looks good!

This is also something I have a passing interest in.

Looking forward to future updates and pictures.

Any pictures of the frame extension???

Cliff
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2009, 04:36:30 PM »

What an interesting statement. It's clearly easier to build the corners that way, and it provides a great deal more room on the inside for cabinets, bunks, etc. I think the look is great, but then I like trucks, too.

I wasn't commenting on the square corners, but rather the specific aluminum molding used.  Square corners are a very good thing to have.

Unlike many, I like the Eagle model 25 with the square corners as the interior is the easier to build that way.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2009, 05:13:05 PM »

Florida Cliff- here's the frame extension.

Travelingfools- The rear should ride very well with the Kenworth 8 air bag suspension, and the over hang (12ft) in the back-especially when the car is inside.  That should slow down the rebound to about bus like.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2009, 07:10:32 PM »

Tom
Can you post a pic of the back with the door open. What size car are you planning to fit in there.

Lonnie
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TomC
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2009, 09:46:02 PM »

This is a picture before skinning the outside, but you can see the ramp with E tracks on the side wall to tie down the car and anything else.  To the first step is about 13ft.  I hope a Honda Fit will fit, if not, then a Mini Cooper.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2009, 05:29:38 AM »

Do you have any idea what the finished weight will be?
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TomC
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2009, 08:46:24 AM »

I'm guestimatting the weight at- 18,000lbs for the truck chassis + 10,000lbs for the 32ft box + 4,000lbs for the actual conversion + 2,800lbs for the car = 34,800lbs.  The truck has a GVW of 46,000lbs which is 12,000lbs front, 34,000lbs (actually rated at 38,000lbs, but 34,000lbs is legal limit).  If I have 12,000lbs on the front, then the rear should come in at 22,800lbs-almost light enough to eliminate one of the axles-but I like the extra braking and traction of the tandem drive.  Then if I pull a 10,000lb boat trailer, I'll be at 44,800lbs total.  Considering when I used the truck for business, the truck/trailer weighed in at 46,000lbs empty, this truck will barely be working.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2009, 11:05:45 AM »

I really dislike having a toad, so your garage would be wonderful.  Since the box is 32 feet to begin with though, it does seem you lose a reasonable amount of interior space.  How do you think it will compare to a 35' or 40' bus in that way?  It would be great if the garage space could be transformed to interior space if desired.  It's always a problem to get a 45' interior into a 35' exterior.
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2009, 02:23:49 PM »

I am loosing no floor space to the garage. The garage will be below the rear bedroom-albeit with only 5ft of headroom in the bedroom.  The box has 31ft 6" interior space plus another 32" in the cab that was the sleeper-which I'm making an office out of.  So technically my true usuable floor space is 34ft 2".  Exterior is right at 40ft, so I can drive anywhere and my wife can also drive it without a special license. 
I also detest pulling my car behind-it is a pain-especially if you have to turn around in a tight spot.  This is the main reason for my garage design.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2009, 02:47:48 PM »

Well now, pretty cool but it still doesn't make it a bus now does it! Grin

No offense Tom, I just prefer buses over trucks anyday, although I've seen some pretty neat truck conversions on the road. It's the up and coming thing for those that can afford one. I'm cheap, what can I say.

You have a great idea turning the back into a garage, at least you won't get your toad all dirty with DD droppings.

Have fun and maybe we'll meet you on the road someday and swap lies over a cold drink.

Paul
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2009, 03:28:43 PM »

No reason you can't have a garage in the back of your bus if you choose a mid-engined model. It's an arrangement that has been traditionally used for many years by amateur race car teams here, but seems to be going out of fashion now. I took my Dad to a car race meeting for his birthday last year and only counted three bus-based vehicles in the paddock - although one of those had driven all the way from Sweden.



I thought for a long time about building a truck-based motorhome before deciding to use a coach. In the end it seemed more sensible to start with a vehicle that had been designed in all respects for the job of carrying people rather than freight. I've no doubt you can achieve the same end result with a truck (or a better end result if you're planning on towing big things), but actually having to coach-build the body from scratch on top of everything else just seemed like too much work.

Jeremy
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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2009, 03:32:24 PM »

TOMC, that is one HECK of a big project! My hat's off to you, Will
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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2009, 03:36:03 PM »

A huge advantage of a truck conversion with a conventional cab is the ease of servicing the engine.  The engine is visible all the way around without pulling it.  The disadvantage is the extra length of a conventional.

I have a couple of minor oil leaks on my Series 60 that I can't find the origin of because I can't see much of the engine on that side.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
TomC
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« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2009, 04:17:31 PM »

Thanks for the compliments.

The advantage to a cabover is that when you tilt the cab all the way over, you get complete access to both the engine and transmission from above.  Also, when checking fluid levels, the cabover has access doors that allow checking the oil, transmission, radiator and power steering.  You don't even have to tilt the cab to change the oil.  About the only time you have to tilt the cab is for maintenance above oil changes.  I just got tired of working on the bus and the difficulty in finding decent mechanics that know how to work on it, up and above Don Fairchild.  All the parts, engine, and transmission (HT740) are still easily obtainable and most any mechanic knows how to work on it.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2009, 06:25:22 PM »

Very Ken Worthy!!!! that should be a fun rig to drive. Maybe i missed it but what is the drivetrain? Good lookin rig in my opinion. i like it! good look and keep us updated.
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« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2009, 06:54:54 PM »

Just found this

Bj and the bear truck in georga


http://videos.streetfire.net/video/Bj-and-the-bear-truck-in_117976.htm
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TomC
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« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2009, 07:10:01 PM »

Drive train is Caterpillar 3406B 400hp jacket water aftercooled with Jake brakes, Allison HT740 with manual torque converter lockup override, 3.55 rear ends, 11R-24.5 rubber.  Gearing wise, it will be 55 @ 1549rpm (good fuel mileage at that speed), 60@1690, 65@1830, 70@1971, 75@2112.  This is why I didn't use the World transmission, plus it would have been another $10,000.00.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2009, 07:32:28 PM »

Aren't those RPMs kinda high for a 4 stroke for the speeds you are getting?  My S60 with 4.10 gears and a B500 does about 64 MPH at 1500 RPM.  I like to drive about 65 MPH on trips.  Of course you don't have overdrive.  My B500 only has one overdrive enabled.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
TomC
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« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2009, 10:44:47 PM »

The mechanical Cat's with jacket water aftercooling were a bit higher rpm then the air to air intercooled ones.  I found that 16-1800rpm was the right cruising speed that kept the pyrometer (exhaust temperature) from creeping up.  The continuous speed rating for this (and most truck Diesels) is 1800rpm-which is just under 65mph-fast enough for me.  Your right about engine speed, if I had a Series 60, 3406E or C15.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2009, 06:43:28 AM »

Tom, GREAT work thus far!
I always LOVED those KW's.
We had one at a company I used to work for, the power in that CAT was awsome!  It kept having the drive axle tire replaced...had so much power that when going up a mountain it would burn the rubber right off the tires!
Not to hyjack the thread, I saw a guy that had on of the BJ and The Bear trucks, (There were three I think) and he said that ape had completely ruined the interior...he had to replace it!
Jack
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« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2009, 08:09:46 AM »

Jack-the first BJ and the Bear truck was a 1980 108" Aerodyne that had a Cummins 300hp and a simple 7spd transmission in it so the driver didn't have to think much about shifting it.  The other two had Cummins 400hp and 13spds.  And you're right-everytime they sold one, they had to put a new interior in it from the smelly monkey.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2009, 07:25:53 AM »

Nice job Tom, I was thinking before the bus that I would like to build a truck conv. I was going to use a conventional cab so I could tie in the living are with the driving area like the bus. Pretty hard to do with a cab over, having to tilt the cab.
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TomC
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« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2009, 08:48:00 AM »

If you look at the other post of the interior, I have a boot that separates to connect the cab with the living area.  Granted it is only 40x20, but easily accessible.  The only real drawback to the truck design is missing the big windshield for forward observation.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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