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Old 08-04-2010, 07:40 AM   #11
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Re: 2WD off road

Due to a small hub problem I found out last week how bad 2wd sucks in a 10,000lb van. We eventually got unstuck without incident but it really made me appreciate 4wd.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:32 PM   #12
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Re: 2WD off road

In some steep situations I often use 4WD even if I could make it 2WD to avoid heavy action on the rear axle/diff when the tires cut loose even though I have a full floater. But my van weighs over 11Klbs.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:02 AM   #13
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Re: 2WD off road

I just spent two weeks in Moab Utah with a 2WD van and oversized tires for a stock non lifted van. 265/75/R16 - any larger and they would have rubbed. Often there was less than 1/4 inch between the tire and the wheel well. Somehow over 5000 miles and 400 miles off road the tires never rubbed.

I was amazed at what I was able to do with 2wd, but if it had rained or snowed I would have been screwed.

You can watch a video of me on pretty mild fire roads to get an idea of what is possible. Every now and then as you can see in the video I spun the tires a bit and had to back up and hit the obstacle with a little more speed to clear it.

Two weeks and I never got stuck, but I did hit a few trails where I decided to turn around and go back the way I came. Turning around on a narrow ledge is no fun in a van!

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Old 11-25-2010, 12:56 PM   #14
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Re: 2WD off road

So far I've gone to the remote Toroweep Overlook in the Grand Canyon with 2WD, no locker and standard Pathfinder 245/70/16 tires. I would have had no problems whatsoever on any part of the road except I didn't see a rock and got stuck. I had to be winched out by another vehicle. I think if I had a locker or 4x4 I could have backed out without a problem. That said, I have tried to get my van lifted and a locking differential put on, but I've had some delivery problems with Camburg. The one month delay in delivery has caused me to cancel my order with Camburg. But it's also given me time to reconsider converting to 4x4 instead of just getting the van lifted. Although it is a lot more expensive, it seems to have some significant advantages that have been stated in previous posts. I still question the value (e.g.: ROI) expense of the 4x4 conversion on a 2002 E250, 5.4L gas engine van. I'm not sure my van can go the 100,000+ miles the diesel engine vans can go in its lifetime. I'm only at 35,000 miles, but I don't know if its worth adding $13,000 more expense to my van.

There are a lot of roads I would like to go on in the Moab area but wonder whether it would be wise to do with only 2WD. I would not hesitate with 4WD but would be a little less bold with 2WD. So there is some desire to convert my van to 4X4, but only if I thought it was worth it for the long-term value of my van.
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:02 PM   #15
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Re: 2WD off road

macmcintire,

It all depends on what you want to do with it. 4x4 is great on snow, great on beaches, good for mud and obviously good off road.

I'm going with 4x4 for all those reasons but when the trails get really nasty I plan on either towing a modified jeep with 37" tires or a 250cc trail bike.

I don't ever want to push a van to a point where I might flip it because more than likely I'll be a couple thousand miles from home when it happens. I can flip and destroy the Jeep or a trail bike and simply throw them on a trailer and drag them home.
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:44 PM   #16
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Re: 2WD off road

In reality I'm really not all that adventuresome and definitely not extreme. I would like to go on the moderate roads around Moab but not the difficult ones. I'm not interested in rock climbing with a vehicle; just getting to some of the beautiful scenery that most people don't get to see because they don't get off road far enough.
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:16 PM   #17
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Re: 2WD off road

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
..... I still question the value (e.g.: ROI) expense of the 4x4 conversion on a 2002 E250, 5.4L gas engine van. I'm not sure my van can go the 100,000+ miles the diesel engine vans can go in its lifetime. I'm only at 35,000 miles, but I don't know if its worth adding $13,000 more expense to my van.......So there is some desire to convert my van to 4X4, but only if I thought it was worth it for the long-term value of my van.

Mac,

Ford has been putting that 2 valve 5.4L in their vans since 1997 and will likely continue to do so until the Econoline is discontinued sometime around 2014 (?). It has remained relatively unchanged for that entire time, save for a sparkplug thread update and increasing the H.P. slightly. They have not done this because it is an unreliable and incapable engine. A production run of 15- 20 years should tell you something. The 6.0 Diesel on the other hand had a run of a handfull of years and has been abandoned altogether, for good reason. Many 5.4's have gone 4-500,000 miles without a problem, one has even gone close to 1,300,000 miles, you will not be able to wear it out. Just use Motorcraft sparkplugs and oil filters.

As far as value goes, if the for sale adds mean anything, the 4x4 conversion will likely hold its value fairly well, all the other crap like bumpers and "stuff" most likely will not.

Bob
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:08 PM   #18
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Re: 2WD off road

Thanks for the information Bob. Sadly I have no mechanical skills whatsoever so I'm always wondering what to expect from my Sportsmobile. I'm also a cheapskate, so I want whatever money I invest in this vehicle to have value for the long run. I don't anticipate selling this van and getting another one. I just want this one to last for a long, long time. If there is anything I can do to extend the lifetime of my van (with my lack of knowledge about vehicle maintenance), I want to do it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:51 AM   #19
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Re: 2WD off road

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
I'm not sure my van can go the 100,000+ miles the diesel engine vans can go in its lifetime. I'm only at 35,000 miles, but I don't know if its worth adding $13,000 more expense to my van.
FWIW my buddy has a 5.4 in his Expedition with 403K on the original motor and its still running very strong, he says it will hit 500K no problem. The secret? 3K religious oil changes and that fact its a Ford. The 5.4 is a great engine when properly maintained.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:20 AM   #20
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Re: 2WD off road

I have 295,000 miles on my Triton V10. I expect it to last many more. I change my oil every 8500 miles.

This guy has 1.2 million miles on his Triton V8 E250 van. He finally had to rebuild the transmission this past summer.
http://millionmilevan.com/
His van has seen some very long oil change intervals.
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