I have a Grumman Bread van. Its taller than many, called a Kabmaster rather than a Kurbmaster, if memory serves. A E-350 chassis that is really really long. So far, all the parts for an E350 have fit really well. It is a Hercules conversion, meaning the 300 Six was dumped and a 3.7L Hercules Diesel installed in its place. The torque is fine but I have nearly no horsepower...around 80 I think. Because its a single rear wheel rig rated at a GVW of just 10,000...the engin just barely works. Way less power than my 60's Volkswagen Bus had but...I get 20 MPG wherever I go. At just under 60 MPH. If I go just 45 MPH, I can reach 25 MPG...really! NO electronics, all mechanical. Very reliable and easy to start. IF THERE ARE ANY OTHER Herculas owners out there...please respond so we can start a support group! Thx and sorry, I just noticed this post is in the wrong GVW post. Ooooops!
Suggest some of the inquiries be submitted to the incredible 42 page, Step Van thread on the H.A.M.B. forum I posted the link to. It is w/o a doubt the best concentration of Step Van knowledge I've yet to encounter.
Wish FORD would develop something like a turbo charged "3.7L Hercules 3.7 Diesel" option for E-Series.
Also came across a very informative Diesel Forum, but unfortunately neglected to Book Mark it.
Yeah, turbocharging really wakes up those little diesels.
Club Wagon, has anyone steered you to Mill Supply? They have a catalog full of stuff, and if you don't find what you want, phone 'em and sometimes they can find it. millsupply.com
I have one of these P-350s. If you want to read the discussion, Search for my thread entitled, "Old Bread Truck". It has been parked since I bought it due to the demands of more immediate projects, but I hope to get to it soon and start showing pix of work in progress.
Club Wagon, this is a good time to let you know that for a lot of the info you want, you don't have to look any farther than right here. At risk of annoying him with too much praise, Bill aka "Number Dummy" is a parts-number genius and appears to me to have a ton of useful intelligence about our big boxy vehicles, all of which he supplies free. I wish I could find people like him for some of the other orphan cars I've tried to fix up!!!
Club Wagon, this is a good time to let you know that for a lot of the info you want, you don't have to look any farther than right here. At risk of annoying him with too much praise, Bill aka "Number Dummy" is a parts-number genius and appears to me to have a ton of useful intelligence about our big boxy vehicles, all of which he supplies free.
I wish I could find people like him for some of the other orphan cars I've tried to fix up!!!
You may already have, what other orphans have you owned? I owned all sorts of orphans. And if you want to know where to find some, I just spent 17 days drivin' around WA
Bill / Retired Ford Parts Manager / SoCal Chapter Member / Part number research: 1928/2001 trucks & 1928/89 passenger cars.
 "The E350's rolling chassis soon replaced the P Series, which Ford cancelled in 1977"
Thank you NumberDummy for this bit of history. I could not seem to find the "bottom line" on why my 1982 Wonder Bread van paperwork reflects it as a plain ol' E350. Although this beast is huge...its essentially just a big Ford van. I love it and hope to convert to an RV this fall and winter. Woo-hoo!
Most recent Ford semi-orphan, with which I am reluctantly about to part (too many projects) is a '79 Ford Fiesta. In this country, these were regarded as cheap simple cars that could be used up and thrown away, and when the wrecking yards get them they are generally crushed very soon after, so I almost never see one on the street. Parts, FoMoCo or aftermarket, are nearly all NLA here. But the '78-'80 Fiesta has an active following, a "car-cult", in the U.K., where it is known as the Mk1, and they do still have some NOS parts. The Fiesta website I generally visit is fiesta-mk1.co.uk
But my current orphan seems to have almost no parts support either here or abroad, even though versions of it were sold in many countries under many names. This is a 1987 Dodge Colt Vista, a versatile 4WD micro-wagon known to its few dozen active fans as, "The Swiss Army Knife of Cars". Built by Mitsubishi, in which Chrysler is a large shareholder, it was a fairly ordinary front-drive car as sold around the world. But Dodge thought it might sell better as a kind of tiny sport-ute, so they had Mitsu make a 4WD version with an overdrive manual 5-speed box, big brakes, and a quite sophisticated long-travel suspension. As with nearly any car, there are a few weak points, but they are all easily addressed and upgrade-able for the owner who is mechanically savvy.
But there are very few parts. HEY BILL!!, . . . can you find me some NOS front turn-signals and rear taillight lenses????? (Now, this is really asking a lot of poor Bill)
I regard my old bread truck as an orphan because NOS parts are not readily available for it from Ford or the auto parts chain stores, and can mainly be found, if at all, at places I'd never previously heard of, such as Mill Supply. That's why I made the wistful comment wishing I could find "number dummies" for other orphans I've owned. Bill then riffed off of that, so I followed up.
If you feel that compromises the purity of your thread, Club Wagon, I apologize and will desist, but with the observation that it is in the nature of these discussions to go off on tangents, tangents on which followers of the thread often are interested, and with the further observation that both Bill and I had attempted to offer you whatever helpful tidbits of information we might have on your topic.
Bill, you mentioned seeing some interesting orphan cars on a trip through this state. If there were any you think I might want to know about, please PM me, and we can continue there.
If we are talking purity here, note most of the P and step vehicles here are light trucks. The top end of such trucks is the medium world. This is the large truck forum. That said, most discussions are mediums. I always laugh when someone with and F/E350 thinks that's a "large" truck. It screams "compensating".
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