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Old 02-13-2006, 05:29 PM   #1
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I'm new to da truck conversion thing but know my way around bus conv's fairly well however,... feel like a novice again. We are changing direction from an MCI-9 to (most likely) to a Century or Columbia if I can find something reasonable so, here goes! Questions: Where is a a good source(s) to locate a tractor? I'm in OKC but can travel in any direction for a good buy. Is anyone close to OKC(?) I would like to see a shell under construction, ask a million questions, & get ideas. Appreciate any & all suggestions,...will likely have lots more questions.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:16 AM   #2
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Bob,
Go to a freightliner dealer and take a look at the "Select Trucks". Usually 3 year old trucks that will have a warranty and are great for this type of thing. Usually have many to choose from. Then feel free to contact the various builders that are listed on this site and setup a time to go and tour the manufacturer's facility. You can plan to do 3 or 4 of the manufacturers on the same day and then once you have seen how they all do it. Start narrowing the list down based on what you discover on the visits. Then ask lots of questions here. We would all be glad to help you in the process.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:49 PM   #3
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Bob, wick is right on that. Ask Freightliner Select Trucks dealer about the reconfigured day cab program. Freightliner takes condo sleeper trucks off lease and converts them to day cabs. You decide which parts to replace or upgrade- you decide which color to paint. Interiors are new and warranties are available. You can also order as a truck and save removing the fifth wheel hitch. I've seen nice trucks with autoshift trans from $34,000 to $40,000.

Most of the conversion companies will build a conversion on a customer supplied chassis.

Good Luck!!

Bob
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:51 AM   #4
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34,000 to 40,000 is way too much to pay for a used truck. I used to build on and own FL trucks and I had the occassion to own a Volvo VN64. I'm completely sold. Quieter, more comfortable, better aerodynamics and it just feels like a beter truck. You can get good used units all over the US for under 25K. The common combo is Detroit 60 series with Eaton or Rockwell trans. Both adequate in my humble opinion.

Depending on where you live and whether you drive in winter, I would recommend either aluminum or steet framing with minumum or .040 aluminum siding.

As for interior finshes we use a hardwood plywood exclusively. The 'printed" luan is impossible to repair if it gets scratched and the plywood we use paints like sheetrock and it therefore easy to repair.

There are a few ideas. The people on here are a wealth of information. You will get shat you need on here I'm sure. If you have any more questions for me, feel free to contact me.
Tony

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Old 03-04-2006, 07:52 PM   #5
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Anthony - since you are in the business I'll ask you a couple questions which you can answer or not as you see fit. Why does everyone use conventional nose out in front truck chassis? Seems far more better to use that length as part of a vehiclesd overall length as living space. What do you think is the practical limit that a chassis can be stretched? Have you ever considered a COE conversion?
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Old 03-04-2006, 08:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chevy57PkUp:
Anthony - since you are in the business I'll ask you a couple questions which you can answer or not as you see fit. Why does everyone use conventional nose out in front truck chassis? Seems far more better to use that length as part of a vehiclesd overall length as living space. What do you think is the practical limit that a chassis can be stretched? Have you ever considered a COE conversion?
I like you man! Bound and determined to fid out if this COE can be done and how. I looked into it very briefly but needed to get into something so I gave up the research. BUT there is always next time so I am following your quest with interest.

It would be great if one of the COE had a cab that slid forward to reveal the engine. There would be no issues with doing a conversion on one of those.
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Old 03-04-2006, 10:11 PM   #7
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.....mount the cab on rails like a bus engine is ....so you can slide it forward.....the new army tanks have engines mounted on rails so they are easily repairable/replaceable.....course they are 1500 hp gas turbines....but what the hell!.....you might want to ask someone like Randy Butler for ideas on this-he is very inovative and cutting edge....IMO...geofkaye
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:45 AM   #8
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If you could create a double seal so that when the cab was "open" it "broke the seal and closed it would reseal. I personally think that most people prefer conventional trucks for two reasons. One, the ease with which you can build directly (or with a seal) to the cab and two, aesthetics. I think most people are willing to give up the length and efficiency for the cool factor of a conventional cab. If you want to maximize the efficiency of the interior space a bus conversion, where you said you have experience, might be the way to go.

As to maximun length, that is determined more by what is allowed vis-a-vis overall length and what the law allows. Make the frame rails deep enough and thick enough and beef them up correctly and technically, the sky is the limit.

Tony


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Old 03-05-2006, 05:30 AM   #9
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United Specialties did at least one conversion on an COE Freightliner Argosy last year, I will try to get a couple of pictures from them.

Bob
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