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Old 02-10-2017, 08:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Box truck to RV conversion. Crew Cab f450

I have been half searching for a replacement for our Ski Bum truck (and E350 4x4 winnebago), I love the truck, but the long overhang and fiberglass construction limit me a bit. I had gotten a quote from Tri Van for an all aluminum body for an F450/550, and was keeping an eye out for cab chassis to com up cheap on CL.

Then I found this truck, Nearly the same body I had a quote for, on a 2008 F450 4x4 frame, which had been stretched 36" to allow for nearly no overhang. It was built as a chase truck for a UTV racing team. I wasn't really ready to pull the trigger for a new truck, but this was too good to pass up. Deal was struck and the truck headed to my driveway.



About the truck, Its on its second motor, the first owner towed horses with it, she attempted to drive it home after the CEL came on, #8 injector had failed, rod ventilated block. PO bought it, had a local shop drop a long block in and used it to go to Vegas for races a couple times. Then it sat, this is good and bad, it has ~4k miles on the new engine, but it leaks. A fair bit. Oil pan, valve covers and #6 glow plug harness connection. And the dreaded flex joints in the up pipe. Not the end of the world, but a lot of stuff to remove to get to the problem areas. It seems most procedures on these new trucks is cab off or trans out. Fun.


Everyone home in the driveway, I need a bigger driveway for this many large trucks...


The box is a bare shell.The cabover is 4' tall. Very high interior roof. First order of business is the roof, two vents were framed in, and covered over with plywood and Plexiglas. They leak. So two Maxxfans were ordered and have arrived!


Maxxfans and sealant, first of many parts deliveries.


The back is insulated barn doors. They will be staying. One will be for exterior storage, the other can be opened to the end of the bed if its used in summer. Four 6V 250Ah AGM batteries can be seen here too.


Design

Condensed version of our current layout. I think it works pretty well. Toilet will just have a curtain, leave a bit more space at the door. Cabover bed for the kiddo, back bed for us, fixed dinette. Counter space is limited, but will have a fold out over the crawl through, and is across from the dinette table that can be used as well. Small bar sink, three burner RV cooktop, and the space below used for a marine fridge. Exterior storage for skis, other tall stuff at the back. Still debating on propane tank placement, I am thinking two BBQ style tanks on a swing out on the drivers rear.







Plans

First order of business is getting the crawl through, windows and doors framed and cut. The crawl through is going to be a challenge, I have some thinking and blue taping to do still, but it should be doable. Accordion seal will be used there. If anyone has done this I am all ears.

Once the framing is done I will have the entire thing spray foamed. I am still debating on ceiling thickness if anyone has input. Walls will be 1 3/4" foam with 1/4" plywood interior skin. Spray foam will be a big $$ item, but I fell it will be worth it in the long run.

Then its on to interior finishes. Dinette and vertical walls I am thinking will be small steel tubing with a thin plywood skin. Maximizes interior spaces of the compartments that way.

I am leaning towards doing EGR and DPF delete stuff to the engine while I am in there, but it adds a good budget hit. It may be a couple years down the road. Lift is a ways off too, but for most of what we do it should be ok for awhile. FS roads and snow/ice covered roads to ski areas. It has brand new tires that I wouldn't mind using up either.

This will be a very slow build. I am very budget limited, so it will be plugging away a bit at a time as budget allows. I will need to sell the RV come spring, and would like to have this one done shortly after, but I think that may be a lofty goal.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you think a grand to do a dpf/egr delete are a hit to your budget, you'll lose your shit when you put another long block in it because one of those 2 items failed. Sct X4 with a good custom tune (gearhead is my choice), straight pipe in place of the dpf/cat, egr delete will get you a truck that will last a lomg time.

I have an 08 350, Im about to find out in the next 10min if Im putting an engine in it at 230k/10k hrs. I deleted it 40k mi ago.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you think a grand to do a dpf/egr delete are a hit to your budget, you'll lose your shit when you put another long block in it because one of those 2 items failed. Sct X4 with a good custom tune (gearhead is my choice), straight pipe in place of the dpf/cat, egr delete will get you a truck that will last a lomg time.

I have an 08 350, Im about to find out in the next 10min if Im putting an engine in it at 230k/10k hrs. I deleted it 40k mi ago.
Yeah I saw the receipt for the last long block... And he had a dealer buddy do it for cost.... Its got 4k on the reman thats in it now, so I am hoping it can go a few months before I need to do the deletes.

Know what went on yours?
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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hmmmm leaking roof "vent"


Pull off plywood, scrub with MEK


MaxxFan shroud, covered in sticky stuff.


Roof hole #1 done! Only broke one screw off. Stupid stainless.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TireFryerSS View Post
If you think a grand to do a dpf/egr delete are a hit to your budget, you'll lose your shit when you put another long block in it because one of those 2 items failed. Sct X4 with a good custom tune (gearhead is my choice), straight pipe in place of the dpf/cat, egr delete will get you a truck that will last a lomg time.

I have an 08 350, Im about to find out in the next 10min if Im putting an engine in it at 230k/10k hrs. I deleted it 40k mi ago.
As you know you did good on your truck getting a 6.4 to last that long. Most of the time they hardly make it to 150k and some don't even make it to 50k. The 450 with that overhand on the box should be fun since you can't lift the cab to work on it.



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Old 02-10-2017, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As you know you did good on your truck getting a 6.4 to last that long. Most of the time they hardly make it to 150k and some don't even make it to 50k. The 450 with that overhand on the box should be fun since you can't lift the cab to work on it.



Yeah.... It can be unbolted.... would not be fun....

I have found a lot of things dealer says are "cab off" can be done creatively. up pipes etc can be done, just not real fun in tight spaces.
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Old 02-10-2017, 05:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The dealer method is just most $ for least hours. There are ways that are less hours and/or more money but the dealer method is to plot an uphill course from labor to profit.

I've really enjoyed your threads on Expo and am glad to have found this one here. Look forward to updates!
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I put about 2" of closed cell foam in our promaster grooming van. It makes a big difference in noise and makes it feel much less of a tin box. I also sprayed and plated the underside of the van. We use a espar d2 heater to keep the van above 50* during tne winter. It does pretty good but if i was going to do it again i would upgrade to a d4 unit. I had my local home insulation company do the spray with their mobile truck and was $750.

I would suggest vinyl over foam covered luan for walls. Would give even better accustics and more insulaton. Did this in the pete sleeper and its dead quite but its a fiberglass box.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I put about 2" of closed cell foam in our promaster grooming van. It makes a big difference in noise and makes it feel much less of a tin box. I also sprayed and plated the underside of the van. We use a espar d2 heater to keep the van above 50* during tne winter. It does pretty good but if i was going to do it again i would upgrade to a d4 unit. I had my local home insulation company do the spray with their mobile truck and was $750.

I would suggest vinyl over foam covered luan for walls. Would give even better accustics and more insulaton. Did this in the pete sleeper and its dead quite but its a fiberglass box.
Thanks for the info! I'm actually a bit ahead of this thread..... I'll get it updated soon!

I did polyiso spray foam, 1.75" in the walls, 3.5" in th ceiling. Using 1/4" ply on the inside.

I was planning to use a 3.5kw webasto diesel heater, is yours a 2k?

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Old 02-10-2017, 07:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Heat output:
7500 BTU on Boost
6150 BTU on High
4100 BTU on Medium
2100 BTU on Low

From espar on the d2 model.

The heater came with the Thermoking apu that is used to power the truck. I really didnt look into that far. I figured it heated a large freight shaker cascadia sleeper, but because it has to heat the space without the help of the truck heater it cycles a whole lot.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Heat output:
7500 BTU on Boost
6150 BTU on High
4100 BTU on Medium
2100 BTU on Low

From espar on the d2 model.

The heater came with the Thermoking apu that is used to power the truck. I really didnt look into that far. I figured it heated a large freight shaker cascadia sleeper, but because it has to heat the space without the help of the truck heater it cycles a whole lot.
Ok thanks! Mine is 11,600 ish btus, I'm hoping that does it!

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Old 02-10-2017, 09:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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More small progress. Climbed under, with tarp this time (i managed to park on the non gravel, ie mud section of my driveway), to investigate oil leaks. Headlamp, UV light and torque wrench in hand.

Oil pan bolts are to torque spec (9.5 ft lbs, really?!) but are dripping from the heads around the back of the pan, front looks dry, that makes me thing its seeping past the bolts/threads, but could be running down from above. I just don't see it getting to the heads of the bolts.

Valve cover area on passenger side is wet and running down the block, may be valve cover gaskets, may just be the glow plug harness on that side (DUMB design). Likely both though. Still determining if I want to tackle those or farm it out.

Stripped the interior down. I was getting a bit of water at the back edge of the cabover, need to find it. I had a suspect in mind.


Marker lights were the suspect, and sure enough, you can see the tel tale dribble line coming out the bottom. (there may still be a little coming in from the gutter-body joint, but that is TBD)


Passenger side is better, but still a little drip.


In case anyone is interested, here is how the panels clip together and form the ribs.


Brown Santa has been leaving me lots of goodies.

12/3 SJTW for the 12V circuits. I could buy 100' extension cord cheaper than the wire, go figure. Made in the USA too.

14/2 Anchor Marine Tinned cooper wire for the 12V circuits, 250' roll, also Made in the USA.



Also got a switch panel and the interior lights I will be using.

I only had an hour or so, but I started on the cab.



Stripped the back wall.





I knew there were some mice at some point as I found some turds under the back seat.... But they made a home in the middle seat belt housing. No fresh, but stinky mouse pee. Somehow they seemed to have made it above the headliner too... I really didn't want to pull that.

Planning for the pass through, it looks like I can unbolt and slide the box back about 6" I hope thats enough! And of course this is a glued in back window.

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Old 02-11-2017, 05:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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At least it not a dodge of that year you have to brake the rear window to get it out. Hope the 6.4 doesn't give you to much trouble. I was looking for a truck just like this for quite a while. I wound up with a all aluminum 5 horse trailer that I converted. I had the roof spray foam insulated and its the best.
Build thread http://www.texas4x4.org/projects-for...-hauler-62249/

Last edited by painter66; 02-11-2017 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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At least it not a dodge of that year you have to brake the rear window to get it out. Hope the 6.4 doesn't give you to much trouble. I was looking for a truck just like this for quite a while. I wound up with a all aluminum 5 horse trailer that I converted. I had the roof spray foam insulated and its the best.
Build thread http://www.texas4x4.org/projects-for...-hauler-62249/
Back window was glued in.... Stupid.

Nice looking trailer you built!

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Old 02-11-2017, 09:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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wiring rough in is just about done. I used that entire 250' roll of 14/2, and i didn't use it for the lighting circuits (18 gauge for the LED's). I didnt quite expect it to go tat fast! I need another 30' probably. Need to run circuit for the heater and water pump still. I will likely run those ousisde the wall later on.

Door and double pane windows have been ordered too!







Two main areas for the elec, under the bed, where the batteries, inverter/charger fuse panel and breakers will live, and the end of the cabinets of the opposite side, where all the switches will be. The rest is lighting circuits, and conviniance plugs. I need to figure out a way to keep the end of the wires poking oout of the walls/ceilings where I want them, duct tape may work, but the entire inside of the box is covered with frost at the moment, its cold out...

I got some rigid insulation to start furring the ceiling down with as well!

A little more every day is the idea right?

One table saw, one sheet of 3/4 ply turned into little pieces.



Got one wall almost done. It was butt berkeleying cold. The missing areas are doors/windows.

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Old 02-11-2017, 06:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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So I tried insulating the aluminum channels. That was a failure. The foam would only expand ~6" either side of the hole, no matter how much you tired to pump in. Im not going to put a 15/64 hole very foot.... Looks like they will remain uninsulated unless someone has a genius idea. Thoughts? I am trying to avoid cold bridging.

You can see the foam puking out of the holes in a few spots here. That stuff was not cheap.



Got the ceiling channels filled at least.


Box of goodies is growing


Battery interconnect cables. Check, CL score.


Got an on demand hot water tank on Ebay, killer price, should be a nice unit, 60K btu's.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If you are talking about the channels you showed above and called them ribs, wouldn't filling the space in between be a little pointless for preventing cold bridging? The metal is all touching so I would think that the temperature change would be transferred through the metal itself rather than the air gap in a little channel. I would think you would want to insulate the metal from in the interior airspace completely and not worry so much about what is surrounded by the metal that outside air can touch. Maybe I'm not thinking about this right but it seems logical.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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If you are talking about the channels you showed above and called them ribs, wouldn't filling the space in between be a little pointless for preventing cold bridging? The metal is all touching so I would think that the temperature change would be transferred through the metal itself rather than the air gap in a little channel. I would think you would want to insulate the metal from in the interior airspace completely and not worry so much about what is surrounded by the metal that outside air can touch. Maybe I'm not thinking about this right but it seems logical.
Nope your right, that was the conclusion I came up with too. I didn't end up filling them

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Old 02-11-2017, 06:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Heat rise

Might be too late, as you mention being sprayed already, but remember, heat does not rise, hot AIR does.

So it's important to insulate in all directions, make sure your floor is insulated similar to the rest of the box.

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Old 02-11-2017, 06:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Might be too late, as you mention being sprayed already, but remember, heat does not rise, hot AIR does.

So it's important to insulate in all directions, make sure your floor is insulated similar to the rest of the box.
I plan in insulating the floor as well! Likely polyiso sheets cut to fit the floor structure. Haven't gotten there yet. Have woken up to plenty of frost covered floors in the old truck, it wasn't insulated at all.

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Old 02-12-2017, 10:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Roof hole #1 done! Only broke one screw off. Stupid stainless.
Put a dab of anti-seize on stainless hardware to prevent galling when you tighten it. Then anti-seize will still be there if you ever need to take the hardware out. If you know you'll never be removing it, use blue loctite instead. It works as a lubricant during installation.

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Old 02-12-2017, 10:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Put a dab of anti-seize on stainless hardware to prevent galling when you tighten it. Then anti-seize will still be there if you ever need to take the hardware out. If you know you'll never be removing it, use blue loctite instead. It works as a lubricant during installation.
Yeah I should have. I didn't pre drill that one hole big enough. Hopefully they don't need to come back out since they will nicely galvanize themselves in place...

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Old 02-12-2017, 10:35 AM   #23 (permalink)
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My door showed up, but the UPS guys had their way with it , edges are good and dented in a few places....


Picked up a used inverter/charger as well, only 1250 watts, but should run a microwave (i hope!). Charges at 55 amps, a bit slow there as well, but the price was right. Came with a 200A Blue sea breaker too.


Whats in the crate?




Windows!!! Not fancy flush pane ones, but they are double pane insulated ones, they latch and slide very nicely, I am very happy.

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Old 02-12-2017, 01:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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headliner dropped and moved forward.


No going back now! It was a bit scary to take a sawzall to my new truck.... Rough cut in the box.


Window out, got 3/4 of the way around, then it broke... ugh


Yikes!


Need to cut the inside lip down to 1/2" still. Ran out of blades.


Window infill pieces, ran out of time today....
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:49 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Cut....



Hole....



Door!



Got the window infill panels done. Used the cutout from the box! Has a rib on either piece, makes a nice stiff panel.



Almost done! Cutting the last bit of the cab and box.



done, that was a bitch!


Whatever aluminum they used for the floor is HARD
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