Ford Mud Bus: E-350 Van to 4x4 Bog Monster
Just add diesel, 39.5-inch Boggers, and equal parts soil and water.
Sure, you've seen mud trucks lifted sky-high, tube buggies, and Jeeps of all kinds at the mud bogs—but have you seen a Ford Mud Bus that started life as an unassuming Ford E-350?
We found the Ford Mud Bus at Yankee Lake Truck Night, in Brookfield, Ohio, cruising the deepest mud pits the private off-road venue had to offer. What was more exciting than watching the 7.3L diesel-powered people-mover sling crud skyward? Hearing how the Mud Bus came to be.
The Ford Mud Bus began as a stone-stock 1997 Ford E-350 bus with the 7.3L diesel engine and 130,000 miles on the clock, and its primary job was hauling churchgoers. All it needed were some all-terrain tires, and the bus was ready to cruise the dirtâat least for a while, until the modifications began.
Building the Ford E-350 Mud Bus
First up for the Ford Mud Bus were longer front leaf springs that were meant for a Ford F-250 and a Dana 50 frontend from a 1999 Ford F-250 donor truck. To accommodate the longer springs, the frame on the Ford Mud Bus needed to be extended about 8 inches in the front. To make clearance for the big, knobby mudding meats, the Mud Bus needed 3-inch wheel spacers, and the front bumper off the donor F-250 was transferred to the bus, as well. To mate the Sterling 10.5 rear axle to the bus frame, the leaf spring perches also needed to be moved outward a bit.
Next up on the list for the Ford Mud Bus was a pair of double-cardan driveshafts, a 13,500-pound Superwinch for the front bumper, and a set of run-flat military tires.
Toward the heart of the Mud Bus sit the transmission from the Ford F-250 and a transfer case donated by a 1992 Ford Bronco.
Later upgrades to the Ford Mud Bus were a set of 39.5-inch Boggers wrapped around Trail Worthy Fab beadlock wheels, reconfigured seating to accommodate more passengers, and LED lighting throughout the build.
The Ford Mud Bus can be found having more fun than you at Yankee Lake Truck Night and other off-road venues around the Ohio Valley and frequently serves as a recovery vehicle for stuck rigs.
Read more about Yankee Lake HERE!