03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/22/21 10:24 p.m.

I am not actively trying to sell my FL50 - I should fix it back up and ask more for it. But it has earned some intrest here, so I start a post for it and its pictures.

First, what it looked like new:

Cabriolet took a brand new Freightliner FL 50 (some were 60's, and a few were 70's - same trucks, more payload) and made custom haulers out of 'em. Other company's have done similar, but Cabriolet is one of the most visible names. Mine is a FL50, but a lot of the specs are FL70 specific, special order on the 50.

Catapillar 6 cyl diesel 3126. 7.2 liter (later called the C7) tuned at 275 hp / 800 Tq. Allison 3060 WC 6 speed AT. GM used its little brother, the 1000 series, in their pick-ups. Exhaust brake (pick up guys tend to call it a Jake Brake, but that is a bit different) tied into the trans computer. When turned on, and you touch the brake, it downshifts and applies a flap over the exhaust, for better engine braking. Large Hyd. disk brakes on all 4 corners. Air ride suspension, air ride cab mounts, and air ride seats. Very easy on my wifes bad back. Is still louder than a pickup, and vibrates a bit more. Hey, it is a "freight-shaker" after all!

99K miles on it when we bought it, only has about 140K on it now.

I pulled a fair bit of interior out to make the entire floor flat. Long story, will tell later - suffice it to say HUGE improvement, that 90% would never even know was done, unless they had lived with the way it was. I completed all the structural work, added a lot of insulation / sound dampining, but have not reinstalled interior (except drivers seat... I drove it home from TN)

Current picture:

 

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/22/21 10:36 p.m.

Its in South Alabama, W of Dothan, not far from Ft Rucker. Lets start around $8,000 for it, but I am very negotiable depending on what all we work out. Going to a good home is extremely important to me... my wife thinks I'm nuts!

To be ready to go across the country, pulling a load, it needs 2 tires (245/75R22.5) and 2 batteries (Group 31, I think). To be comfortable, it needs AC charged, and the list starts getting longer after that, depending on comfort level needs!

I also have a nice 26' extra height enclosed V-nose car trailer, again asking $8,000. Not quite as negotiable, but there is some room, and can make one heck of a deal on a package!. Partial trades of cool stuff is welcome by me, but has to be approved by my wife... and she wants less projects around!

Again first the new photo:

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/22/21 10:46 p.m.

I throw this out there as well;

2000 Kingsly Coach. Its a 95 Freightliner FLD 120 Semi, that was converted into a 46' Coach by Kingsly in 2000. Interior was redone in 2012 or so (I'd have to ask previous owner) shortly before he traded it in  on a brand new one. Perfect running Caterpillar 3176 10L 6cyl tuned at 350 hp / around 1000 tq., with a brand new old school (all mechanical) 4 speed Allison AT. Want $80,000 for that... Its a chunk of change, but a lot of coach for the money.

Cooter
Cooter UberDork
3/23/21 8:42 a.m.

That's a whole lot of truck.

I need to turn around and forget this thread exists.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/23/21 8:57 a.m.

Interior pics of the FL50? 

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/23/21 8:58 a.m.
03Panther said:

I throw this out there as well;

2000 Kingsly Coach. Its a 95 Freightliner FLD 120 Semi, that was converted into a 46' Coach by Kingsly in 2000. Interior was redone in 2012 or so (I'd have to ask previous owner) shortly before he traded it in  on a brand new one. Perfect running Caterpillar 3176 10L 6cyl tuned at 350 hp / around 1000 tq., with a brand new old school (all mechanical) 4 speed Allison AT. Want $80,000 for that... Its a chunk of change, but a lot of coach for the money.

 

This would be a dream but 80k is out of reach, for now lol

yupididit said:

Interior pics of the FL50? 

Seconded. 

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/23/21 8:05 p.m.

To continue the theme I have started, I'll post tow pictures of how the interior did look...

The conversion couch is electric to fold out into a bed.  The Air suspension seats, are stock freightliner, recovered in the same blue fabric, and mine had the stock plasticized and padded metal dash, instead of the conversion wood panels.

When I took the interior apart to make the entire floor flat, I saved all pieces removed... I have not put anything but the drivers seat back in yet.

 

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/23/21 8:15 p.m.

Mine does have the wood overhead panel for radio and switches, as well as the center consol, but not the dash panels. And blue cloth seats, door panels and carpet.

Looks more like this, with out the stick shifter (has Allison push button like above)

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/23/21 8:21 p.m.

It does have dual power mirrors, with heated mirrors. Cruse control, and an exhaust brake. The service brakes are hyd. discs; parking brake is air on the drive shaft... one at output of trans, and one at rear end. Tilt/telescopic steering wheel is stock FL. Power windows, but manual locks. has cab and rear AC and heat.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/23/21 8:27 p.m.

The aluminum Western Hauler bed has take a beating while I have had it. the rear horizontal seam has split several times due to Cabriolet's shortcuts... I've had it welded a couple times, but has some other damage. We currently have a plan to fix the whole thing so that it will not happen again, but I have to get the fab guy, the al. welder and the machine all together at the same time, and we are all in different states!

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/24/21 12:02 a.m.

Sorry to any that have e-mailed me, I'm a bit slow getting to them! Also, having gotten several, I get confused as to who is who one here, and who I've talked to include what you prefer to be called, and your screen name, if you want to help me keep up! But I'll answer any questions eventually either way. I'be never been real e-mail frendly, so I do get confused easy!

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/24/21 2:03 a.m.

To make their conversion, Cabreiolet took a single cab  truck, and cut a hole in the rear panel, leaving a few inches all the way 'round for structural support. Then put a piece of sheetmetal in a brake, and bent it up 6'', over 4'', and down 4'', placing this bend over the bottom ridge left by the hole they cut in cab. This is the floor of the fiberglass sleeper extension, that is their signature look. So floor starts down low in the foot well of the stock cab. Raises several inches to the level where seats are mounted (stock). then at back of cab, behind the seat mounts, you have to step over a ridge that goes up 4", and over 4", all to step down to a floor that is 4" lower than you are leaving. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but when traveling, it is. Trust me.

The stock air ride seats that Ferightliner uses in their MD trucks are identical, mounts and all, to the ones in the full size Class 8 semi's. Only the Semi's have a taller cab. So to use the air ride feature of the seats, you head is all the way in the ceiling, or the mount bottoms out over every bump. We cut that whole area out, made it flat all the way from where the foot well starts to come up (only a couple inches now) all the way to the back. With modified seat mounting brackets, the seats are now at a good height with a proper amount of air in them. May need to be raised about an inch. YMMV.

While doing this, I added a lot of insulation and sound dampening.  There is insulation under plywood for the floor - needs carpet (or desired flooring) put down. Drivers seat has been temporarily installed; couch is still in TN at shop that helped with floor mod. The fabric covers for the seats just zip over the cushions... I moved the cleaner passenger covers over to the drivers, and intended to throw the drivers covers in the wash, while I was doing some mods to the passenger seat. Intend to make the seat able to lean back farther, and make the seat bottom adjustments easier for my wife to make while moving. Seat is still fully disassembled, but I have all the parts!

I have all the wood cabinetry from the sleeper, and any upholstery removed. It could all be put back, and not look bad, but I was going to upgrade from the 1999 Cabriolet choice of blue velour!

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/24/21 2:55 a.m.

When we bought the truck at 99,000 miles (A company that makes high end horse trailers had it asking $35K. We bought it for $30K) and was super clean The photos showed a penny in the tire tread wit Lincoln's head buried. Unfortunately, the center tread grove was the only one that had any depth - the rest were smooth rubber. Nice trick, holding the camera at an angle that doesn't show that. No, I will not ever doe business with that gentleman again. Dixie Horse and Mule in Wicksburg AL. Big internet presence.

But I didn't catch that during my inspection, so shame on me.

Was also told it had just been serviced. Later found out that meant "well all the filters you can see are nice and clean (on the outside) so they must be new. Also told my they had driven it themselves, so they knew it was good to go.

Didn't take me long to find out it was getting oil in the fuel, and fuel in the oil. Common problem with this style injector. I finally got a good set of new injectors, after having some problems getting it there. I have two good sets of cores around somewhere from buying used.

I had a problem with the factory water separator/pre pump fuel filter; replaced the entire system with a Fass ( Former AirDog partner - the son) fuel pump system and ran all new lines for using the two 60 gal saddle tanks as dual tanks (with a switch) instead of drawing from both at the same time. Just using one tank right now... need a very coarse filter at each tank to prevent fuel from clogging the switch, and run the wire for the switch up to the dash. I've got well over a grand (prolly closer to two) just in parts in tubing, fittings and filters, including the Fass, and I had over half the fittings! But am very happy with the Fass set up, and my SS lines, instead of the factory plastic lines.

New water pump, and new alternator. Runs better, and more dependable, now than when we bought it. New front brake calipers new rear discs, and all new pads. Fresh Transmission service, and all Allison synthetic fluid will need new filters (external access) and top off the fluid in another 50K miles.

At 120K miles, we serviced the transmission filters... still had the original filters. Should have been changed 3 to 4 times by the book. But in the trucks defense, the fluid and filters all looked brand spanking new. With the Allison synthetic fluid, I can't imagine what it would take to wear this trans out. Have to really abuse it, or need a lot more torque and a lot more weight than this truck is rated for!

Only air leak is after the valve that locks the rear (yes, factory air locker!) that i have not gone under to find. But it only leaks if you need to lock the rear.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/25/21 8:21 p.m.

If anybody notices, amongst the junk on the back, is some of the SS wheel simulators, as well as one of the taillights, that needs to be remounted after flattening that panel again.

Also, mounted there is a high dollar 25K lb air ride 5'th wheel hitch, with the RV size plate. The air bags on that will raise and lower that about 7". Drop it all the way down, let the air out of the rear suspension (switch in dash) and back under the trailer. Turn air to suspension back on (about 4" of lift) add air to hitch and lift the jacks up effortlessly!. Reduce the air to about half, putting hitch about 2" above low (by pressure gauge and mark on hitch, and the trailer rides on air bag hitch!

I'm interested in keeping the hitch, if new owner doesn't need, so that would be a big negotiating point!

I'll try to get some stuff being stored inside the cab this weekend, and snap some pictures of the "as is" interior.

Even though it is mechanically structurally sound, the stuff it need is a bit more elbow grease than some are interested in ( obviously me to!) but I can help find some for sale that need nothing. But this kinda rig starts at about $30K. Mine would cost a fortune to restore to original cosmetic condition, but rolling you own mods - mine has good bones at a low entry price. I can help with some of those mods, or am extremely negotiable just to sell it as is.

Tires were high, back when I bought the first 2 - needed all six when i first bought it, but I nursed them along a lot longer than I should have! The next two, several years later prices were down. Found some for less than $200 a piece. Just looked online, and I guess those days are gone; 'bought 300 a piece again! 245/75R22.5 

And 2 batteries:  Group 31

Don49 (Forum Supporter)
Don49 (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/29/21 6:26 p.m.

Panther,

This keeps calling to me. I have a 44' gooseneck trailer , so don't need the hitch. I would have to do a fly and drive from Pa. My email is don49@aol.com.

What would be the bottom line with  the tires and batteries replaced and the thing made roadworthy ( taillight installed on rough straightened rear panel and whatever else is needed}. I would want all the removed interior pieces also.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
4/8/21 9:58 p.m.

I got the truck cleaned up some for Cotton to look at today. He liked that it was a bit better than expecting, after me totally describing all it need in complete detail! We did not finalize the deal yet... He got the first full quote on insurance!

I've told the story on here before. Before I bought it, I called around and found one company that would insure it as an RV, since it is titled as a Cabriolet Sportliner RV Toter. She used the VIN to make sure and we were good to go. She did need me to bring it to office in person, to show that she had seen it, and verify that it was not a work truck. I had Friday off, so I bought the truck, drove it to her office... and found out she was out sick. Her boss, the owner, FREAKED out (tiny parking lot) that I had driven a full size semi (its not... just looks like one if it ain't setting next to one!) into his lot. Refused to honor her quote, and claimed it could only be insured as a commercial work truck. I was unable to dispute him, since Cabriolet used the same VIN as the FL 50 cab and chassis it rolled off the assembly line as. Even though the outfitted it as an RV Toter when brand new.

I'm going to put a porta poty, microwave, and a cooler in it and have DMV certify it as a actual RV, and see if that convinces insurance it does not need commercial insurance.

On a positive note, we did make a deal on the LT1 thunderchicken (and parts car) my wife has wanted to leave her property, so he is now her best friend! And I am two cars closer to being out of the dog house!

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
4/8/21 10:35 p.m.

I described earlier how Cabriolet cut a whole in the back of the cam and attached their "sleeper" extension... this is a picture of how they 'glassed it in, from the inside:

Top passenger side, looking fwd.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
4/8/21 10:59 p.m.

Current pictures of the interior... only took the lower half out to modify the floor; haven put it back yet.

That's the drivers door panel, and the passenger seat covers on the right, and the rear heat/AC in the center. (Mounted under the conversion van couch that goes there)

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
4/15/21 8:32 a.m.

Even though we did work out a deal - He found a good price on insurance  - I've been cleaning her up for him. Looking pretty good

I was able to get the two bad tires off and up to the truck tire shop. One of the guys I talked to there has been looking for a MD conversion truck, that needs some work, so it would be affordable. The range he is looking at are in worse shape than this, for twice the price!  Asking prices on everything is gettin' crazy!

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