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Old 12-17-2017, 08:50 AM   #1
brp
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Intro and ?, Ford Quigley Van Terra Bus/Van

Hi everyone. I've made a few random posts here, but I'll consider this my introduction. In August I purchased a 2005 Ford E350 SRW Turtle Top Van Terra shuttle bus with the intention of building out the inside to a simple camper. Quigley 4x4, 5.4, 4.10's, 128,000 miles, full float I think, with an exterior color that is/was salmon, maroon, pink and/or purple, depending on what side you were looking at and if it was steel or fiberglass.

So, I had the entire vehicle coated in Armaflex, basically Line-X, and chose a blue color (Toyota Calvary Blue, same as some FJ cruisers) that is a little louder than I normally go for, but I think it gives the vehicle some nice personality. I am going to add black access doors, bumpers, etc., that will break up the blue in the end.

Besides having the vehicle painted/coated I have taken out the interior limo seating and I have made a bunk-bed frame that just needs paint now.

I also sprayed the chassis in Lanox Mx-4 to prevent corrosion...I live in MN. The vehicle came from Colorado and was a shuttle bus for Bridger Gulch ski area at one point and Dinosaur Ridge. There is no body rust and very little on the chassis, I hope to keep it that way.

I replaced the exterior clearance lights with LED units, some of the previous bulb housings were cracked and letting in water, others were burned out. I thought the LEDS were worth it, no leaks, no bulbs, and just a few dollars each. I used Geocel Proflex RV Sealant for sealing the LED housings and it seems like a great product to this point.

My next goal is to take the interior walls out and make them birch paneling. The upholstery shows some water staining, so going with the birch will get rid of that and make it feel less sterile.

The bus drove from Denver to Minneapolis with no problems.

I have two kids and I really happy about the livability of this van. It has a lot of space, room to stand while on the fly, great windows, and is only very slightly larger in footprint than an EB.

Sorry for the rambling introduction.

My first question to the community is regarding the maximum tire size that can go on the factory 16x7 wheel. I'd really like mount the 34.6" (LT315/75R16) General Grabber on the 16x7, but General advertises an approved rim width of 8-10 inches. I'm seeking and advice about this combo or just generally going narrower than the manufacturer recommends.

I attached picture of the nearly complete bunk frame and the vehicle before it was painted. I realized I have not taken a photo of it painted, I'll post one when I get that picture.

Thanks for the great resource and community, I hope to learn and contribute a lot.
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before1.jpg   before.jpg   bunk.jpg  
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:50 AM   #2
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Welcome, looks like a great base to start with. I'd like to see your after photos. I can't address your going narrow situation, but I've got tires on wider than recommended wheels with no issues so far, thousands of miles after install. I do think you won't get full advantage of the tire with too narrow wheels. Have you discussed with a reputable tire shop?
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:02 AM   #3
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Thanks Marret. I do have a tire shop I like but I don’t want to ask them because then they can’t play dumb and mount a narrower tire than the manufacturer recommends.

I’m not getting tires for a few months, but I’ll ask them if I can’t find good info somewhere else.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:13 AM   #4
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I suppose every shop and state are different, but the shop I bought my wheels from had no issues mounting the tires on wider than recommended wheels. I actually ended up with an inch wider than asked for wheels, but I decided to just stay with them. Maybe if needed you could ask in hypothetical terms rather than specifics about your interest. Just thinking out loud...

You might ask this question in a different forum too, like the 4x4 and/or Tire and Wheel Gallery thread. Don't know how many people look in the Welcome Mat.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:14 AM   #5
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Welcome brp! Looking forward to see the blue, I am running 315/70/17 BFG KO2s on my 2004 E350 EB Quigley. I have bigger springs in the front and the fenders are trimmed so no fender rubbing at full rack, but 35's do rub the control arms slightly. I have a buddy that is running the same tires with out bigger springs but trimmed with the same rubbing. I can't speak to narrow rims but my guess is if a tire shop say OK then it's probably good. Only question would be airing down that might be an issue, not sure...
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:30 AM   #6
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Rim width is one issue...rubbing while turning the front wheels is another...

I have a solid axle leaf 4WD and I'm running 285/70-17's with some minor rubbing even after a few trimming sessions.

There is at least one source for Quigley radius arms that have adjustable threaded spherical rod ends (Heim joints). I think member REF has them on his van. These allow moving the front axle forward a smidgen to eliminate rubbing.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:37 AM   #7
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Thanks boywonder. I am planning on getting the Agile R.I.P. kit and was thinking a 34.6” tire would be managble with that. I understand the RIP is not a lift, but it seems most people gain a little lift from the fresh springs, I also have the lightest motor. I’d like to keep things simple and/or cheap, so I may consider a 33” if saves a lot of headache.

Any idea where I can get more info on those control arms? Wouldn’t the coil spring be out of vertical if the axle was pushed forward?
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brp View Post
Thanks boywonder. I am planning on getting the Agile R.I.P. kit and was thinking a 34.6” tire would be managble with that. I understand the RIP is not a lift, but it seems most people gain a little lift from the fresh springs, I also have the lightest motor. I’d like to keep things simple and/or cheap, so I may consider a 33” if saves a lot of headache.

Any idea where I can get more info on those control arms? Wouldn’t the coil spring be out of vertical if the axle was pushed forward?
You won't have any issues with 33" and RIP, you actually won't have any issues with 33" and no RIP.
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