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Old 04-11-2008, 09:59 AM   #1
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SMB or Quigley: quality+function vs. cost difference?

I'm considering a Ford E350 EB V-8 (gas) van for my SMB conversion.

The idea of having a 4x4 intrigues me. I'm not "sold" on it yet as being necessary here on the East Coast, but it's still a possibility. I'm not anticipating hitting MOAB or baja or rock climbing w/ it, but it could come in handy for beach trips, more off-the-beaten-path park/campground sites, crappy snowy winters, and the horrible bumpy/pothole roads around here. This will also be my daily driver....

I took a look at SMB's cost sheet, and since I'm inexperienced w/ the components of a 4x4, I have no idea what is better:

Quigley:
Ford front drive axle w/ 4-wheel ABS
Coil Spring front suspension
Manual lock-out hubs
Magna Gear (Ford) #271
2 speed transfer case
4x4 indicator lights
5 ea Ford 17â€
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:25 AM   #2
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Re: SMB or Quigley: quality+function vs. cost difference?

Quote:
Ford front drive axle w/ 4-wheel ABS
Used under F-250s and 350s. Known for ball joints failing in the late 90s and early 00s. Which means abnormal tire wear, klunking and about $700 in repair (if my 99 F250 with 40K and failed ball joints is any indication).

Quote:
Coil Spring front suspension
In Jeeps my personal opinion is the coil front, leaf rear is the best ride. Coil vs. Spring is like gas vs. Diesel discussions, but essentially coils are a better ride and springs make for much less complicated suspension.

Quote:
Manual lock-out hubs
SMB has the same thing, but Quigley's are probably the stock Ford. Either or both can be upgraded with better ones, but it's doubtful you will ever need better than the Ford.

Quote:
Magna Gear (Ford) #271
Do what now???

Quote:
2 speed transfer case
Give you the option of 2wd, 4wd "Hi" which is the same speed as 2wd and 4wd "Lo" which is about 1/3 of the speed.

Quote:
4x4 indicator lights
In SMB if the light is on the front axle is engaged. It doesn't tell you anything else. The Quigly might actually have lights that say "2wd, 4h, 4lo" or something along those lines. But it might just be an on off light.

[quote]5 ea Ford 17â€
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:30 PM   #3
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The 46 gal fuel tank, installed, runs over $1,400, so that would be quite a bit of the difference. Also, in your earlier posts you were looking at starting with a used van. Sportsmobile has definate guidelines on retro fitting 4x4 to used vans: year, mileage, etc. I bought my van used through them, and even though it was only a 2004 with 32,000 miles they didn't want to do it. oclv
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:33 PM   #4
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Panion got a real nice setup built at a 4x4 shop in Tucson, it has coil fronts but compares more to the SMB in clearance. That's always an option if you can find a good builder.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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Thank you, jage, for that detailed reply, and to you oclv - good point about converting to 4x4 on older years.

Through my email conversations (more like Q&A sessions) with Quigley, they require a new, untitled vehicle to do the 4x4 conversion on. So I guess anything older or used is out of the question.
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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Thanks Jage

While it wasn't my question or thread, this was helpful to me as well.

-Mark
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:32 PM   #7
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We went with Salem Kroger for our 4x4 conversion since Sportsmobile was out of the question. I am planning on picking it up this Friday. I will report back early next week. They have been doing them for about 20 years and have done hundreds. They also do ambulances, fire trucks, government vehicles. They were finishing up another Sportsmobile last week. oclv
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oclv
We went with Salem Kroger for our 4x4 conversion since Sportsmobile was out of the question. I am planning on picking it up this Friday. I will report back early next week. They have been doing them for about 20 years and have done hundreds....They were finishing up another Sportsmobile last week. oclv
May I ask why SMB was out of the question? Was it a timing issue or a quality issue?

I had emailed SK and they sent me some nice info and pictures. And their lift sounds like it can be higher than Quigley and SMB, too, if I'd want it.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:48 AM   #9
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I like my S&K ride. No negatives in 11k miles, has had semi-real offroad usage (enough to scrape the bottom of the rear anti-sway bar) and rides nice.

I really enjoyed working with Craig, he was willing to put together whatever kind of upfit I wanted.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buji
I like my S&K ride. No negatives in 11k miles, has had semi-real offroad usage (enough to scrape the bottom of the rear anti-sway bar) and rides nice.

I really enjoyed working with Craig, he was willing to put together whatever kind of upfit I wanted.
Yeah, Craig is the one who emailed me. He provided lots of info in the first email. He said they recently finished a SMB w/ 37" tires and a 7" lift... Wow!

How do you think your SK conversion (Ford parts) compares to what Guigley or SMB would have done? (i.e. better, not as good, same).... And in relation to what you paid for it? (Craig quoted me $14k for a conversion).

I'm considering a SK conversion over the Quigley now, despite significant geographic differences....
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Homebuilt RV Project: Design Phase is 80% Complete! (but on hold until I win the lottery)
Ford E-350 EB w/ Cruiser Top, Flip-down "Gaucho" sofa/bed, custom cabinets, AGM batteries, solar panels, water heater, fresh/gray water tanks, sink, porta-potty....
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