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Old 04-06-2006, 09:02 PM   #1
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My father and I are looking into building our own conversion. We have a van body manufacturer that is going to do most of the big work for us. The chassis we are looking at is the M2. We do not want a full on semi, but rather something along the lines of an F-750, similar to our Endura's 5500 chassis, just bigger.

Application:

-23/10 garage coach used for hauling motocross bikes
-about 200 gallons of water will be hauled
- 8.5kw gen.
-super slide
- possibly used for towing once in a while but nothing heavy and over 20'

The motor we were quoted on waws for a 330hp/1000ft-lbs. We are trying to make it a cost efficient coach, and the chassis is quoted at $70,000, to finish the box was quoted at $90,000 approx. Columbia is out of the question.

Also, the two main drivers of the rig are over 6' tall. I myself am 6'2, 160 lbs and my dad is 6'1 200lbs. Will the M2 be spacious enough for driving loooong distances, and how will the motor handle our weight?

Currently we have a 2005 Gulf Stream Endura...35' ft, 2 slides, and a 20' trailer. It's got hte Duramax and the power isn't that bad. Would we be happy w/ the M2?

Thanks
-Matt
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:01 PM   #2
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....why 1600# of water...opening your own water park?...plus black water and gray water?......$160,000 for a truck that relly costs about $50,000 to put together used is a considerable investment......I'd suggest you look at your numbers kore closely....geofkaye
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:54 AM   #3
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I have no problem with someone carrying that amount of water, maybe it's for washing down the motocross bikes and lots of showers after a dirty days riding. Black and Gray comes mainly from the fresh, just moves across.....

330 hp and 1000 torque would be very nice for what you are doing. I have 350 hp and 1350 torque and have no probs with a 26ft 9,500 lb loaded trailer.

2 years ago I was quoted $9,000 to build a 24ft box with entrance steps, RV door and insulated, $90K sounds a lot too much. Try buying a used unit, look on RacingJunk.com and see what's around for much less money.

Good luck.

Peter.
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:28 AM   #4
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Hey Matt -

The price on your M2 seems a little high, but I am not sure what has happened to the price of trucks over the past year. You may want to shop that a little more just to be sure.

The price on the motorhome/garage could be inline depending on how you have it spec'd out. If it is pretty well laid out I would say that is a fair price. Who's doing the conversion?

I have the M2 which weights in at about 30,000 lbs. Just yesterday I found out that the wrong motor was installed from the FL factory. Should have known better when someone but a cheesy sticker over the spec info saying it had 300hp. Should have been 300 hp / 860 tq. and it has 280 hp / 800 tq. The way mine is setup now it is a dog. Off the line it is very slow to wind up, pretty good torque from about 20 mph up to 45 and than dogs way out at 50 up to 65. Pretty good at 70 & 75.

Having said all of that, and knowing how it performs with 280 hp, I think with the 330 hp it should perform pretty well.

As far as leg room goes, I am about 6' and it is perfect for me. The cab depth is about the same between the Columbia & M2 as far as seating position goes. You seem to sit a little more laid out in the M2 and more upright in the Columbia.

For the intended use I would say the M2 is a good choice. Real maneuverable and I am sure it gets tight at MX events.

Keep us posted.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:29 AM   #5
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The prices seem high because they are quoted in Canadian dollars. the $90,000 is for a 30' box, fully finished inside.

The 200 gallons of water is because when you are stuck parked in a cow field (pretty much) for a week and you are washing bikes all day and 4 ppl showering everyday you will be surprised how fast the water disappears! haha. It would also be equipped with 100/100 black/grey tanks just for that reason.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:00 PM   #6
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Than it sounds like your right on track. (no pun intended)

Do you race Canadian MX?

I love the 2 announcers Speed TV uses for that series. They make a battle at the back of the pack sound like it is for the lead. Awesome.

Keep us posted on how your rig progresses.

BTW I just got off the phone with the dealer and they are working on Freightliner to get the warranty work going on updating my motor to the proper horsepower. If that happens in the near future I will post my thoughts on how the M2 performs with 330hp.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:21 PM   #7
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yah I race the MX series up here. I just moved up to Pro this year so we'll see how it goes. I have been living in Georgia since January. Kevin Boyle of Concept Haulers actually lives at the same facility as me (well, his kids actually), kinda cool. I was in Texas for a month travelling around too. The Endura works good but we don't like pulling a trailer. Had a fun mover but it was a POS. Wanted a side entry Show Hauler but too much $$ w/ the exchange so we decided we are gonig to build one ourself.

the people manufacturing it for us is PK Van bodies out of Oshawa, Ontario. I havent seen their shop or their work yet. They built a work truck for my dad and he loved it, and he says they can do anything. They are building like a $1 million trailer for Ontario Power Generation (Ontario's nuclear power plants) and he said the work they do is phenominal, so...

Keep me updated on the 330. how did you ever find out it was a 280?

Oh yah, and Brian Koster and Marc Travers do a really good job at announcing, thats for sure!! Koster is a great guy, I dont know travers personally though so I can't comment...
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:40 PM   #8
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....Warpath: If you have any problems with the up-grade let me know ,I have friends in dark places with the electronics and hardware if needed and they are a big Freightliner dealer group....geofkaye
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Old 04-08-2006, 07:23 AM   #9
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From the day I picked this one up, I knew something had to be up with this motor. I have a buddy running the Cat 330hp/860tq in a similar size rig close to same rear end gear and he would pull me easy on any hill.

I finally got around to looking into upping the hp to 330 and that is when W.W. Williams found out it was only the 280 hp motor. The way the Mercedes 926 7.2 liter works is they have 4 horsepower ratings 250/280 & 300/330. The 250 & 280 share the exact same components and the only difference is a ECU program change. When you move up to the 300/330 it shares everything that the lower version has but has a larger turbo, injectors, fuel pump & maybe a few other small components. Again just a ECU program change between the 300 & 330.

I will say the Mercedes is a good motor and now knowing I was only at 280, I can't wait to see what this motor will do at 330! Should be a awesome setup.

I think I have seen Brian doing another program for Speed, maybe Monster Jam?? I really wish Speed would take Koster, Travers and even Gouldy and us em for the the SX series. I think OLN picked up the MX series so i need to switch out my Dish network to Direct TV since they do not carry OLN. And there is no way I am going to miss Outdoors this year.

I ran my first conversion through Kevin at Concept Haulers, awesome to work with. Georgia facility? Is that the Millsaps? Can't wait to see Davey on a fourfiddy outdoors, maybe tough to keep up with the GOAT and Bubba though.

Will you be running the #295 ? Whose 250 will you be running? I always like to root for someone I have chatted with.

I have ridden since I was 6 years old, never got competitive other than a GNC. Back about 4 years ago I was riding my DRZ400 at my brothers woods track and hit a boogie creek crossing wide open and the back tire hit a submerged rock which kick the back of the bike up so hard it exploded my L7 vertebrae. That was the end of the fun for me. Being laid up for 6 months made me get rid of most of the fast toys and poke around tamer 4 wheelers and sleds. The price you pay for getting old and sitting at a desk all day.

Keep us posted on the rig and the riding and stay safe!
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:58 AM   #10
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Gauldy is actually my trainer. He's a super nice guy and he can certainly ride bike, let me tell you. He is working on getting into Sx next year for speed, thats his goal anyways. He is way better then Denny Stephenson and that other meathead they got announcing.

I won't be running the 250 class because I want to keep my amateur status in the USA, so if I do the 125 (Mx2, lites, whatever) then it is "Pro-am" so I am not "really" a pro. and yes I run the #295

the facility I stay at is not Millsaps (MTF). It is Josh Woods' place called GPF. It has been here for 6-7 years and its a great place to stay. Yesterday was my last day there though. Right now I am sitting in the Tallahassee airport terminal waiting for my flight to Miami...Meeting the parents there fora week on a cruise...hard life I tell ya, haha.

That's funny how small the world is and how you are into MX and such! Craziness I tell ya.
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:00 PM   #11
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Matt295, we built a 2410 United Specialties garage last year for a motocross customer. We used the M2 crew cab chassis with twin screws. The MBE w/ 330HP 1000 torque was perfect with plenty of power. Freightliner raises the cab 5", I believe, to fit the larger radiator. Make sure you get extra height to have a useable bunk over the cab. Our twin screw crew cab with the Mercedes and Auto priced out at just under $75,000. Good Luck!! You will like that set-up.

Bob
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:53 PM   #12
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I take it you must have used the M2112 and not the M2106? Or can you get the M2 106 w/ twin screw?? Doesn't say so in my brochure. The FL brochure is terrible, information wise.
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:22 PM   #13
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Matt -

You can get the M2-106 w/ twin screw.

As a update on my motor issue, Detroit is working on getting the parts to get my motor to the origional 300 hp that was spec'd, and a simple ecu program update will take me up to 330 hp. I can't wait!! Should be done in the next 2-3 weeks.
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:54 AM   #14
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Matt, Yes it was an M2-106, the only change was raising the cab 5" to fit the bigger radiator, more space in wheel wells but same engine cowl.

Warpath, you will like the power difference of 1000 lb/ft!!!

Bob
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:43 PM   #15
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Boy Warpath, I can well imagine you being royally p---ed at not getting the power you paid for! At least they're making good on it. As was said, it will be nice having all 330 ponies on call! Have a great one!
Gary
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