Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our 2000 Ford E350 Goshen Coach survives and thrives!

So I have to step back a month now, I'm rested up and ready to talk about it.  Our Ford Powerstroke E350 cutaway Goshen Coach minibus handicapped wheelchair vehicle made another trip to Florida this time without a single non-manmade hiccup flawless execution of it's duties!

We Took a trip to Walt Disney World in May in our Goshen Coach towing our 30' steel framed toy hauler and it performed perfect.  In evaluating this I have to discount the things I caused as this wasn't an uneventful trip.  To start out with at mile 300 I forgot to reinstall the gas cap so it fell off the side of the truck somewhere in the mid south sorry for the littering.

Somewhere at about the 500 mile marker some welding between where our Ford E350's windshield ends and the Goshen Coaches ample roof begins started tearing loose.  Now you would think this would be terrible and catastrophic but no it was just a little squeaky and you could see movement between the 2 pieces while rolling.  The whole connection between the windshield and the cap was all busted free when we aquired the truck and we just haven't quite gotten the right mixture of grade 8 bolts and welding yet I don't suppose.

Then at mile 800 I piece came off the trailer due to the vacuum between the 10 foot tall truck and trailer.

But the truck never failed to start and the wheelchair lift never failed to work painlessly with it's intended switches (I've spent many an hour overriding the switching with jumper wires to get our Braun Millenium Lift to cooperate in the past).

We did Disney World up proper due to our faithful truck.  Now our truck has not always been this faithful. It has ate up 2 alternators plum up I tell you.. and it's on it's 3rd ac compressor since we've owned it, it's had a fresh set of injectors and glowplugs installed and really enjoys eating up 50 dollar oil changes with it's 14 quarts of Rotella T 15W40 and 10 dollar motorcraft oil filters. The 7.3 Powerstroke is a proven performer and I don't doubt we will see many more years of service out of our ex-fleet owned municiple bus.  You see our bus was bought used after 10 years of service driving the citizens of Paducah, KY around in style. It was beat up and still looks it. It was abused with 112,000 miles of city driving and 8 hours a day of idling for 10 years but it couldn't be killed! We've put an additional 30,000 miles on her now and have a pretty good knowledge of her quirks.

But where was I? Bragging about our truck? You betcha!  Recently I've had truck envy again wanting a dodge/mercedes/freighliner Sprinter but really this flimsy sprinter with 2.7/3.0 liter 5 cylinder diesel is just not going to perform in all duties like our 7.3 powered Powerstroke diesel.  And to top off the problem with the sprinters is that they tend to sell for above retail in the used market around these parts which makes them a poor choice for us in our disability budget.

So I just want to say Thank you Ford and Thank you International for making such a robust truck and motor combination in the Ford E350 cutaway and the International 7.3L Turbocharged Powerstroke Diesel. And Thank you Goshen Coach for piecing this drivetrain into a very wheelchair capable machine (especially after you remove all but the first row of rear seating) and Thank you Braun for making the Millenium Lift with it's extra lifting capacity above and beyond what is needed and simple electrical that can be easily over-riden upon switch failer ( and believe me after 10 years of fleet duty these switches are worn out) to still operate flawlessly (now I have to state here that at 12 years a hydraulic cylinder did go out, the one that kicks up the toe plate, leaking tremendous amounts of hydraulic fluid, and that their dealer network is not easy to find and work with and especially moreso online they are still in the oldschool mentality that you will buy it new from a dealer and only and forever deal with them whoever they should be).

Well if you were looking for a more exciting and seat clenching write up for a wheelchair journey of 1,700 miles you came to the wrong place as we have made a few now.  But if you just wanted to hear a success story this is the right place as we succeeded in making another long journey.

Please write me some comments below about how you want to make trips or how you have managed to make trips in your wheelchair vehicle or how you manage with your daily travel issues with your disabilities.

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