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Old 11-17-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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2006 Ford E-150 RB Too Light for Full Conversion?

Having recently sold a VW Westfalia I'm watching for a 2wd SMB to replace it.

I saw a 2006 Ford E-150 RB SMB on the Pre-Owned Texas site and it caught my eye for being garageable and equipped about like I would want. I got the build sheets which show it as a full conversion with no significant deletions. Also shows that SMB supplied the Ford van for the conversion with this note on the vehicle page: "E-150? GVWR? 7700lbs".

So I'm wondering how much useful load would I have left with this conversion on an E-150 chassis? Also, I thought the GVWR is 6700lbs for 2006 not 7700lbs. Could SMB have done something during the build to increase that rating? Can I assume that SMB would not perform an over-weight conversion for a given chassis?

Any other thoughts on this vehicle? Thanks.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: 2006 Ford E-150 RB Too Light for Full Conversion?

This info isn't specific to your van, but maybe it will give you something useful anyway.

I have a late 90's Ford RB 2wd SMB with PH, 5.4 V8 gas engine, and a layout similar to an RB-30 or 31. It is on an E-250HD, so not comparable in that way, but what I thought might interest you is that I drove over a scale this summer. Just a driver in the van, and the propane and holding tanks nearly empty; but water tank full and the van pretty well loaded up (out SMB-ing around for some time, so it's literally jammed with tools, food, supplies, etc.).

Scale weights:
Total = 7560#
Front axle = 3420#
Rear axle = 4140#

My GVWR is 8600, btw, on the E-250HD. Of course they might have upped capacity on the various models by the mid-2000's (I notice "half ton" trucks seem to have practically become 3/4 tonners, for example).

Even though I don't "need" to lose the weight, I often wonder how much less weight there would be in the SMB simply by removing the thick particle board cabinets and replacing them with something modern/better. Not that I'm about to do that, as my SMB works fine as-is, but it would be a fun experiment!
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: 2006 Ford E-150 RB Too Light for Full Conversion?

I got somemore information on this one from SMB Texas today.

Here's how the weight breaks down:

4800lbs Curb Wt (cargo van per Ford)

5610lbs Empty Wt after conversion (per SMB Texas)

7800lbs GVWR (per SMB Texas)

6700lbs GVWR (cargo van per Ford) http://autos.aol.com/cars-Ford-E_150-2006/specs/

So I wondering, does the full conversion really add only 800lbs as shown (5610 - 4800) ?

How does the GVWR get from 6700 to 7800? Does SMB do something during a conversion to increase it?

Thanks for any comments.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:27 PM   #4
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Re: 2006 Ford E-150 RB Too Light for Full Conversion?

We had a 1988 E150 and now a 2009 E250, both with high tops. I wouldn't even consider the lighter duty again (even though they have been upgraded). It's not just the weight capacity, it's more about handling - tires/wheels, shocks, brakes, gearing, and body roll all contribute to driveability. Ground clearance is also a consideration.

Our current E250 with RB50 style conversion and high top weighs 7400 fully loaded with 2 people. GVWR is 9000 lb.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:27 PM   #5
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2006 Ford E-150 RB Too Light for Full Conversion?

I think if you dig a little, you may find that E150s, in later years were upgraded to higher GVW'S. Im pretty sure that eventually Ford used the same axles as on the E250. The tires and springs may limit the axle weights but the axles and brakes may very well be rated for more than the door post sticker states. Maybe SMB put LT (light truck) tires on it and upped the GVW, while it may have come from the factory with P (passenger) tires. My old F150 "heavy half" came with "extra load" P tires and heavier springs that upped the payload from 1500# to 2400# compared to a regular F150.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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Re: 2006 Ford E-150 RB Too Light for Full Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
We [now have] a 2009 E250... with high top...and RB50 style conversion [which] weighs 7400 fully loaded with 2 people. GVWR is 9000 lb.
Interesting consistency. I have a late 90's E250HD RB 2WD SMB with 5.4, PH top and 31-ish layout. Mostly loaded for bear (all the stuff for a long trip, full water, but only 1/3 tank fuel and nearly empty propane tank) and with one person, mine weighed in at 7460 lb. (GVWR is 8600 lb. on mine.)

I don't know whether a 150 (of any year) would be good or not. I can say that when fully loaded, my E-250HD doesn't sag in the rear. Even towing my trailer (~4500# so around 400# tongue weight), the rear bumper probably only sinks by a couple of inches - still not lower in the rear than the front. I'm happy about that. I might always be slightly "worrying" about a 150, even if it was technically fine. Especially since there is really no "penalty" for having a 250 (I mean, if a 150 would get another 8 mpg or something, that would be different!)

Maybe a non-SMB-ized 250, when unloaded, would have a harsh or bouncy ride quality? I don't know. But with the typical SMB conversion (particle board, etc.), I don't find any problem with it being "too light" even when unloaded.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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Re: 2006 Ford E-150 RB Too Light for Full Conversion?

Thanks everyone for the useful replies. It looks like the 2006 Ford E-150 RB SMB on the Pre-Owned Texas site has sold, but I'll likely avoid the earlier E-150's in the future based on this information.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:16 PM   #8
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Re: 2006 Ford E-150 RB Too Light for Full Conversion?

Starting with 2007 MY E150's the GVWRs went way up to 8500-8600 GVWR, with a corresponding upgrade with both axles, and a move to 8-lug wheels. That equals the former E250 numbers, then in '08 they bumped up the E250 slightly.
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