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Discussion Starter #1
To start I have to say I love the powerstrokes and have ran hundreds of thousands of miles with minor issues. That being said I had a scare with my current truck and decided it was time to build the truck I want. My current truck is a 09 F550 6.4 auto cc 4x4, this is a railroad truck with all the decals, vinyl seats and floors, manual locks windows, only options are Cruise and AC. I searched for a long time to find my exact truck with low miles, I did a full delete as soon as I got it home with Spartan Tunes. I have put just over 50k on the truck heavy loads with equipment and hay, with not an issue, last week running back from a hay run I hear a pop like a turbo boot coming off and look back to see a cloud of white smoke pouring from my truck, I immediately shut it down, fearing the worst, I got it towed to the shop (first time in my life I've ever went to a mechanic). Having no truck for two weeks and needing to deliver hay and pick up stock is not acceptable. I set my sites on making my truck at home fixable with my skills and tools, I've been researching swaps since I started looking for this truck. Power, reliability, cheap and easy to find bolt on parts were at the top of the list.

Over the weekend I drove 5 hours each way to pickup a 93 international school bus, just over 107k miles on the clock, DTA360 motor planted right up front. After a quick look over drove it the 5 hours home hoping I had made a good purchase. No issues on the drive at all, actually only used 1 tank of fuel at interstate speeds. I woke up bright and early to give it a good inspection, to my surprise, no leaks or any problems whatsoever, even the tires are above 80% in tread, let the tear-down and build begin.

Got a call fist thing this morning, my truck had a bad injector O-ring, with all new o-rings, and some other small parts I had more money in this one fix than in the whole bus and trip there and back plus some, mechanic said my motor looks like new inside and was impressed by how clean everything was, I went ahead with the fix so I can drive it while I collect the rest of my parts. To me this also means I can sell the motor and make up some for the swap when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Some pics of the bus as I got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Few more
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My biggest hurdle is going to be the transfer case, lots of reading other builds, I have decided to either marry my NV271 or get a 2.5 ton t-case. There have been several 271's done so the specs are out there. I would build 2 adapters in case one failed. I like the idea of the 2.5 ton t-case and the air shifter, I just can't find dimensions specs or clocking information on them. If I can pick one up cheap I might just play around with it and resale if I don't keep it. Benefit to the 2.5 ton is the strength and its divorced, cons it huge and heavy.

The motor might be adjusted a bit for increase power, but not much, this is a work truck and tows 70% of the time, I need torque which the DTA360 has plenty in that dept.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, I've not always been this prepared and it has bitten me more than once. I was looking at bus today, I need to get the majority of it to the scrap yard quick so my wife doesnt bury me in it. I crawled underneath and was suprised at how the body attaches to frame, it makes me nervous now to put my kids on one everyday. There are just several t brackets that bolt from body over frame with a single bolt. I couldn't find anything else holding it together. Good for me a quick job for the torch this weekend then I will get body off the frame.
 

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sweet! subbed
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Drove the bus to work today just for the hell of it, motors starts and runs great even in cold weather. Got shop cleaned out today, this weekend will start bus teardown. I'm taking body off the bus and hauling to scrap to recoup the bus cost.

I'm going to keep rolling chassis with drivers cockpit till I'm ready to take everything I want from bus. Still reading on everything I want to swap over, idler knob, fuel shutoff, air cleaner, for sure getting used, the aftercooler radiator split is very interesting and would save a bunch of space if I use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Started disassembly of the bus, scrap yard pays best price if there is no foam or covers on seats and windows removed, so got all that done. Started removing bolts that hold body to frame, 25 years of road dirt on the bolts made that slow going. I did get front cab section unbolted from the chassis and opened up rear motor cover. I can get good measurements from all the motor angles now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
On of the things I have been held up on is the gauges, I like to see what everything is doing especially when taking off on a 10hr loaded run so running any time without them isn't going to happen. I prefer non computer read full mechanical gauges. I have found a factory gauge cluster at the local pick and pull that I can cut up and use it to house all my mechanical gauges so the dash appears factory. I will be running a Tach, Speedo, Fuel, Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, Coolant Temp, EGT, Voltmeter, probably a Rear Diff Temp.

What computer if any do I need to keep on the truck to control the heat, AC, air bags, and abs controls, if any, everything else will be a new wiring job like cruise control if I can get that figured out.

End goal is to have everything mechanical, motor, trans, transfer case.
 

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wooooohoo....watching!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have my engine cage built so I can assemble the motor transmission and transfer case to get everything aligned and measured for a quick transplant.

I am still having a hard time getting the components together for the transfer case. I find a deuce case with the air engage I will probably use that, I will already have air for the eaton 9 speed. If anyone knows a good place to get a big divorced T case let me know, there aren't any around here to be found. If I had a spare 271 laying around I could mockup and figure that out.

List of priorities, get body off of bus and to scrap, Do all the tuning and work to motor and Pump prior to pulling out of the bus so I have easy 360 access and can drive and run before dropping it in the tiny engine bay, pull motor from frame get it cleaned up, get fly wheel and clutch mate with the transmission, then hopefully have the T case problem solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So another build has this as the transfer case setup, can anyone help with what was changed on the transmission output shaft or transfer case input shaft to mate them I'm assuming its just having one of them cut and spline to match the other then using the correct spacer.

Fuller FSO6406A or FSO8496A with attached transfer case



All off the shelf parts except for the plate in the center.

Used stock companion flange and broken 29 tooth stub from the NV5600 to mate the NP241 T/C
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well made the decision and bought a Deuce Tcase, one of the newer years with the parking brake and air engage, its a lot of weight, but a lot easier to install and no worries on strength. I head out tonight to pick up my Eaton 9 speed transmission. After doing some research I see I have bigger U joints on my truck than the school bus has, even though I have a Dana 135 and bus has a 175.

Does anyone have any recommendations on U joints to upgrade to if needed, I currently have the 1410's
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Picked up the transmission this weekend, it was out of a cabover truck, so has the cabover linkage on top to big to use on the truck, but would be awesome to locate my shifter where I want. Drove to Arkansas to pick it up, truck it came from was running and driving just donating the motor to a 5 ton build.

Got the big beast home and i mean big. Sprayed off, looked up the Eaton build plate info, and I have a 10 speed instead of a 9 speed I was supposed to be purchasing. To be fair the shift knob was for a 9 speed so he might have believed it to be a 9 speed as well.

After doing some research i think i ended up with a much better transmission than i was planning on buying. This one is a heavy duty high torque model. It isnt an overdrive transmission which might have to change, with two new gears it can be a double overdrive with a .68 high gear. My truck is low geared so this might be a must.

I am going to be adding some serious weight to the truck, with transmission and transfer case alone being 1k lbs almost as much as my entire engine trans and t-case. Thank goodness it's a 550.
 

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I am not sure on the U-Joints, but the Spicer website has a lot of good info on this. I'll see if I can find the post on the other forum that has the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you bbslider,

I got the bus body completely disconnected from the chassis today, its lifted about 4 inches off frame.now I have to figure out how to put it on my flatbed trailer. If you have any ideas I'm all ears. Right now I'm thinking parking trailer beside bus and pushing it over with the tractor.

Another nice surprise, I went to remove batteries from the bus and found some nice napa batteries that I can put in the tractor.

I'm going to call Eaton in the morning to get part numbers for both over drive gears for the transmission. I won't need the two lowest gears but two OD gears would be great, with the dual shaft design it appears to be a simple change over.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have decided I'm going to use the front part of the bus chassis as a mockup and test platform, I will be able to move it around on the axles and move in and out of the shop. I dont have an engine stand or hoist big enough to move motor so the tractor will be used for the heavy lifting. I will be able to setup clutch, and transmission get all the tuning done on the motor and airlines ran and tested prior to setting in the truck frame. Hopefully this will knock a bunch of time off the build in the long run.

I would like to get cross members built ahead of time but I think doing it once the motor is set in place will be easiest.
 

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Thank you bbslider,

I got the bus body completely disconnected from the chassis today, its lifted about 4 inches off frame.now I have to figure out how to put it on my flatbed trailer. If you have any ideas I'm all ears. Right now I'm thinking parking trailer beside bus and pushing it over with the tractor.

Another nice surprise, I went to remove batteries from the bus and found some nice napa batteries that I can put in the tractor.

I'm going to call Eaton in the morning to get part numbers for both over drive gears for the transmission. I won't need the two lowest gears but two OD gears would be great, with the dual shaft design it appears to be a simple change over.
I helped a friend scrap a bus and we had a 24' deck over. We used used pipe as rollers and a winch to pull it straight onto trailer from bus frame. We did use a skid steer for guidance and another on front of bus to hold frame on ground.

He was trying to save the body so pushing or crushing was not an option.
 
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