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1954 Ford Bus

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Old 05-15-2018, 11:33 AM
TwokSiR
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1954 Ford Bus

So I acquired a family heirloom. It's a 1954 Ford bus. My uncle bought the old girl in 1972, when he was 18 years old. Sometime in the 80's the motor crapped out, and it was swapped for a 1978 Cadillac 425 with a TH400. In 1998 that engine and transmission were rebuilt, and its mostly sat since then. I had her running about 3 years ago, and running well at that. I am digging into her starting this weekend. I know she will never be a show stopper, but I wouldn't mind getting her cleaned up enough to not scare children.

He has a parts bus about 90 miles north of me which I am going to check out this weekend. I am told that it is just body parts, and no drivetrain.

The fenders are rotted out, and the hood is pretty damaged from drunk hipping standing on it in the 70's.

The interior is decent. I will get more pics all around when I get her out of storage this weekend.
 
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:52 AM
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Welcome. The stories that bus could tell! As you do your research about the truck please learn about its wheels. I can tell by the shine on the outer rear dual that it has what are called “widow maker” “Firestone RH-5°” wheels that few shops will touch these days. Some Google time will give you better pictures, and old discussions here with replacement solutions. Stu
 
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:04 PM
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Here are more pics of the wheels



 
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:44 PM
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Yeah, widow makers. The raised band area on the concave side is the joint. I mentioned the shine seen in your picture as a clue to them being widow makers. The width of that side ring, and the fact of the ring being galvanized and shinier than the rim are the give aways. Plus the simple fact that just about all big Fords of the 1950s were fitted with them. Below is a factory new picture. Search using my user name and you’ll find lots of discussions on safer replacements. Stu



 
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:26 PM
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Can't wait to see what you do with this!
 
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:56 PM
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Hi Two, welcome to FTE the best Ford truck Forum on the world wide web! That's a neat bus you got there. Thanks for the pictures.

Here another 54 bus:
 
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by abe View Post
Hi Two, welcome to FTE the best Ford truck Forum on the world wide web! That's a neat bus you got there. Thanks for the pictures.

Here another 54 bus:
Interesting. I always wondered what time machine they used to get a 1954 bus in a 1950-53 war...or, do I mean, police action.
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:35 AM
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So here is another question that I was hoping someone could help with.

The cap on the brake master cylinder was stuck on, and broke in the process of removing.

The master is located under the drivers seat. Does anyone know where I could source a replacement?

Second questions is, I want to go through and replace the cylinders in the drums. Does anyone know if something like this would have been a Ford part, or something that the bus maker would have sourced?
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:36 AM
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Also, as a update, I went out on Wednesday, and was able to get the old girl up and running. 6 year old gas, and 6 year old battery, and she fired up after sitting since 2012.

Maybe took 6 cranks, and 2-3 puffs of starter fluid before she idled on her own. Took her for a drive up and down the street, and I think a light tune up, and she will run pretty smoothly.
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by TwokSiR View Post
Also, as a update, I went out on Wednesday, and was able to get the old girl up and running. 6 year old gas, and 6 year old battery, and she fired up after sitting since 2012.

Maybe took 6 cranks, and 2-3 puffs of starter fluid before she idled on her own. Took her for a drive up and down the street, and I think a light tune up, and she will run pretty smoothly.
You really should drain that old gas.
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by TwokSiR View Post
So here is another question that I was hoping someone could help with.

The cap on the brake master cylinder was stuck on, and broke in the process of removing.

The master is located under the drivers seat. Does anyone know where I could source a replacement?

Second questions is, I want to go through and replace the cylinders in the drums. Does anyone know if something like this would have been a Ford part, or something that the bus maker would have sourced?
I just checked the Dennis Carpenter site. He sells them for $14.95.

brake cylinders..... I'm not sure about . They sell repops of the F100 cylinders, bigger trucks, or buses, I don't know.
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by abe View Post
You really should drain that old gas.
I already have. Just needed to move it to a place where I could do so.
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:34 PM
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Here is a 54 that is sitting out in the boonies near me, looks like someone had converted it to a camper at one time.
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:49 PM
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NAPA carries the brakes.
 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by TwokSiR View Post
Does anyone know if something like this would have been a Ford part, or something that the bus maker would have sourced?
School bus builders (and other custom truck body builders, like delivery vans, etc.) would order what is known as a 'cowl and chassis' from a major manufacturer, like Ford, and build their custom body off of that. It would include the frame and full running gear, plus the front end sheetmetal and cowl. All of the running gear, axle and brake parts should be original Ford stuff. Here's an example in the lower right corner.

 
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