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Phone Truck Obsession #752275
September 08th 2019 12:15 pm
September 08th 2019 12:15 pm
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
P
Phone_Trucker Offline OP
stranger
Phone_Trucker  Offline OP
stranger
P
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
Starting point for a project to convert three Ford E350 ex-Bell telephone generator vans originally from Canada. I am not sure why I have three of them but I have noticed everything seems to be costing 3 times as much. A bunch of these low mileage vans showed online a while back. I remember seeing more than a dozen of these for sale at one dealer in Ohio alone. I picked out three, two were in Ohio and one was in MA after being surplus'd by Montreal Bell. I had each one shipped here sight unseen and started going through each one of them. Each one needed repairs for one thing or another like a buch of needy kids. I had to replace back doors on one of them due to corrosion but finding replacement Econoline doors at a salvage yard was pretty easy. I put new weatherstrips and door gaskets on each one and I was sticker shocked at cost of a complete set of Ford OEM gaskets for each van (about a grand), but when factoring the cost of a new van it does not seem quite so bad.

Attached Files
1FTSE3EL5ADA70635_08.JPG (142 downloads)
1536248-5-large.jpg (142 downloads)
1536248-7-large.jpg (142 downloads)
1537046-0-large.jpg (142 downloads)
1537046-3-large.jpg (142 downloads)
Last edited by Phone_Trucker; September 08th 2019 12:41 pm.

2001 Dodge 2500 Cargo Van 5.9L V8 HOA Violator
2008 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 6.5 KW Onan
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Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #752277
September 08th 2019 2:11 pm
September 08th 2019 2:11 pm
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
P
Phone_Trucker Offline OP
stranger
Phone_Trucker  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
I did as much of the paint prep that I could and some corrosion repair in the driver step wells where muddy snow-laden boots once were. I started working in my driveway which got me on the HOA radar and I started getting letters and fines, but I got quite a bit done before I had to move the work elsewhere. Two 50 foot storage units solved that problem. Each van went for a professional paint job, but only the areas that needed it to cut costs. Nothing fancy just standard Oxford White because I still want these to look like a commercial vehicle, concealing a high-tech interior when finished. The only way to tell the trucks apart at first glance, is the license plate #. The A/C units I chose are low profile Coleman 15K BTU with the hope these will look more like commercial cable splicing trucks as opposed to RV's when finished. I refuse to fly or go to airports I had enough of that and I don't like truck stop coffee, nasty food, and motel rooms. The current plan is to configure each one differently, each for a slightly different purpose, but with the same basic amenities.

Attached Files
unnamed.jpg (126 downloads)
IMG_0383.JPG (125 downloads)
IMG_0409.JPG (125 downloads)
Last edited by Phone_Trucker; September 08th 2019 2:16 pm.

2001 Dodge 2500 Cargo Van 5.9L V8 HOA Violator
2008 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 6.5 KW Onan
Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #752298
September 09th 2019 8:07 am
September 09th 2019 8:07 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 884
Indiana
tuner4life Offline
old hand
tuner4life  Offline
old hand
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 884
Indiana
That's pretty wild building 3 vans like this! What are you going to use them for? What are the "3 different purposes"?


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Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #752302
September 09th 2019 11:56 am
September 09th 2019 11:56 am
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
P
Phone_Trucker Offline OP
stranger
Phone_Trucker  Offline OP
stranger
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Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
Van #1 is for a custom mobile office that can get into congested city areas, while also providing amenities yet still look like a ubiquitous white service vehicle. I work on the internet, and for the past few years I have used the HOA Violator (a.k.a Dodge Cargo) setup as an office, but it had no A/C. For example, I would park it on the public street out front of a client location in Tempe, sneak out there on breaks to work for the second client remotely, thus doubling my income. The only real drawback was the furnace-like temps in Phoenix during the summer, even with the engine idling to run the dash A/C, that only did any good when sitting in the front seat and that made me look suspicious. It also made all of my electronics overheat with interior temps hitting up to 140 F. I decided if I ever upgraded that I would get the biggest baddest A/C I could find and move the work area to a totally concealed compartment in back, like a law enforcement surveillance van, minus the periscope.

Van #2 provides a mobile platform for projecting high power lasers at outdoor entertainment events such as remote desert locations (with FAA permission - sample picture below). It will power the equipment and keep the electronics and operator cool. The interior layout will differ slightly to lose a few amenities to suit the purpose.

Van #3 a spare, in case one breaks down, and for interstate travel. I added shore power connectors to each van so they can also plug into house current.

Thank you for asking, and giving me a platform to talk about it. There is so much great information on this board!


Attached Files
unnamed.jpg (95 downloads)
Last edited by Phone_Trucker; September 09th 2019 12:35 pm.

2001 Dodge 2500 Cargo Van 5.9L V8 HOA Violator
2008 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 6.5 KW Onan
Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #752304
September 09th 2019 1:06 pm
September 09th 2019 1:06 pm
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 140
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Just4fun1991 Offline
member
Just4fun1991  Offline
member
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 140
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Van #2 (your pic) is cool!! That would be fun....

Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #752307
September 09th 2019 1:19 pm
September 09th 2019 1:19 pm
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
P
Phone_Trucker Offline OP
stranger
Phone_Trucker  Offline OP
stranger
P
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
Thanks, yes there is something about lasers + desert + star-filled sky + vans, it's magic, it was 10 degrees F the night that pic was taken, and no van for shelter. Van #2 is the "Laser Rig".

Last edited by Phone_Trucker; September 09th 2019 1:28 pm.

2001 Dodge 2500 Cargo Van 5.9L V8 HOA Violator
2008 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 6.5 KW Onan
Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #752526
September 17th 2019 5:20 pm
September 17th 2019 5:20 pm
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
P
Phone_Trucker Offline OP
stranger
Phone_Trucker  Offline OP
stranger
P
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
In order to keep it real, yes I found some rust. The worst example was the right rear wheel area of the one from Quebec. It was just a little red spot on the white paint about a quarter inch in diameter when I first, um spotted it. I started sanding and hit bondo, lots and lots of bondo, and opened up into this giant cavity filled with all sorts of nasty sh^t. See the little hole in the wheel well sheet metal? The wheel flung salty sand into the pocket, it rusted out and it was apparently just covered it up with bondo and a coat of new shiny paint, leaving the corrosive sand to fester inside for the next guy to deal with (that be me).. I cut away the bad metal and cleaned it all out, and while doing so, it reminded me of the last time I went to the dentist for what I thought was a very small cavity. I ordered new replacement sheet metal stamping for this area and had it professionally butt-welded to get fresh metal on the area, now it is as good as new. The void behind the new metal was coated with rust conversion paint and filled with expandable foam to prevent anything else from ever getting behind there again.

Attached Files
IMG_0587.JPG (61 downloads)
IMG_0586.JPG (61 downloads)
Last edited by Phone_Trucker; September 17th 2019 5:32 pm.

2001 Dodge 2500 Cargo Van 5.9L V8 HOA Violator
2008 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 6.5 KW Onan
Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #752531
September 17th 2019 7:49 pm
September 17th 2019 7:49 pm
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
P
Phone_Trucker Offline OP
stranger
Phone_Trucker  Offline OP
stranger
P
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Phoenix
A/C units were added on top after rust rot was fixed. A truck shop fabricated additional steel support brackets fo hold the 90 pound Coleman units. The bracket was riveted to the roof cross member supports. Nothing original here I just copied the same thing from what another guy posted on a Sprinter forum. There is already a household type circuit breaker box with some open spaces to add another breaker for the A/C unit and some blank knockouts for another conduit run. Having a seat placed temporarily under the A/C unit with the output vents pointed at my forehead is the cat's meow. The generator housing gets pretty hot though making the right arm rest a bit toasty.

Attached Files
IMG_0635.JPG (47 downloads)
IMG_0293[1].JPG (47 downloads)
Last edited by Phone_Trucker; September 17th 2019 8:06 pm.

2001 Dodge 2500 Cargo Van 5.9L V8 HOA Violator
2008 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 7 KW Onan
2010 Ford Econoline Ex-Bell Telephone Generator Van, 6.5 KW Onan
Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #753437
October 19th 2019 5:20 am
October 19th 2019 5:20 am
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 7
West Jordan
SaltLakeNorseman Offline
stranger
SaltLakeNorseman  Offline
stranger
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 7
West Jordan
Dude,

Will you be my Sensei?

Three vans, three jobs and like 10 different puposes!

You are taking Van Life to the next level!

Props!

Skol!!!


Pursue happiness with diligence.
Re: Phone Truck Obsession [Re: Phone_Trucker] #753440
October 19th 2019 8:32 am
October 19th 2019 8:32 am
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 26,517
Pittsburgh,Pa USA
newkirkinc1 Offline
Old Timer
newkirkinc1  Offline
Old Timer
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 26,517
Pittsburgh,Pa USA
Looking good and nice work!


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