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Old 03-08-2019, 08:14 PM   #1
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Body swap

I have a question hopefully someone can help with.
I have a 99 E150 thats been in the family for a few years. Done lots of family trips in it. The kids grew up with it. Moved a few times with it. Towed alot of things with it. However she's getting tired. The engine needs a good going through. Suspension needs going through. And theres some electrical gremlins going on.
I can't really afford a replacement van as there is also sentimental values going on with this one, and the list of parts needed to really fix it up are close to the cost of a replacement. I know it's alot of work and I know its not an easy task, but I also know I'm not afraid of the task and hard jobs don't bother me.
The real question is would an E150 body bolt down on an E250/350 frame? As well as will the body fit on a chassis with the V10?
If not what would have to be changed? Whats different between the bodies as far as mounting to the chassis?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:34 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure you can mount any Ford van body to any Ford van frame/chassis within the same generation. 92 up are all the same generation.

Where it's going to get difficult is swapping/merging wiring harnesses I would imagine. I've never done it but a few here have.

I don't really see sentimental value in vehicles. If this one is tired you're easiest be is to buy a new one, especially if fixing the old one will cost the same as getting a newer one. Whatever you decide though, you'll find lots of good info here, on the Expo 2/4wd van thread and also on the Ford Truck Enthusiasts (FTE) forum van section.

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Old 03-09-2019, 04:36 AM   #3
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I agree with 86Scotty to a degree----sentimentality is great for some things but in the case of keeping an entire vehicle "alive" could be unnecessarily costly and far, far, far more work than anticipated. Unfortunately the end result could be less than satisfying IMHO.

More to the point bodies from '92 through end-of-life (for the full body E-Series) will fit on any other chassis built during those years. The biggest changes came in model year 1997 with the introduction of the gasoline Modular Motors---engine bay interior sheet metal changed along with the dog house. If you're looking for a donor chassis just make sure you buy one with the same "generation" of engine. Anything from '92 > '96 would be a direct swap, same with '97 > '13.

Also FWIW front doors changed ever so slightly in 2003 when a 4 stud mounting scheme was introduced for mounting rear view exterior mirrors. That's a small issue but one to know about beforehand.

Electrical wiring can be a big time consumer as Ford did make changes from year-to-year. Some of those changes were small, others were much larger but the common factor is you can't take one part of a wiring harness from one year and connect it to another year body and have everything it powers to work as designed.

Most importantly here is how the PCM interfaces with the engine, transmission and other sensors through the wiring harnesses associated with its year and model designation.

Swapping bodies isn't impossible as others here and on FTE have done this---their relative levels of success were very dependent on their knowledge of Ford's general approach to building vehicles. Even then some discovered aspects they were completely unaware of, wiring issues after the swap being the biggest it would seem.

So my thought would be carefully consider what you're contemplating to include if you really REALLY have the time, space, tools and patience to do such a swap. Even after the bodies are transplanted the work of assembling a working functioning van is maybe 25% completed.

HTH
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:37 AM   #4
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I totally get where you guys are coming from. And normally I'd be right there with you guys. My thouht process on this though is this. I mess with salvage auctions alot. Copart and things of that sort. I can find a van listed as runs and drives on the site thats wrecked at a point the body would need to come off anyway or have most of it replaced and get almost everything I need if not everything to put it together and get it for around 1000 bucks or less. Basically a running chassis. Yeah its a ton of work but as a body technician stuff like this is half the fun.
I don't have all the stuff like alot of people here do as far as interior cabinets and stuff in the van. It has the fiberglass top part on it but the wood and stuff inside was getting faded and such from years of being inside and has been removed for refinishing. The only thing really inside is the far back seat, the front seats, and the dash, plus the interior wall panels. Basically its at the point of it could be stripped out in probably less then an hour. The actual body of the wrecked vehicle I wouldn't be opposed to removing from the frame in big chunks with a saws all if nothing else. The only thing wrong with the body of mine is a spot of rust which could be fixed in less then an hour.
It would basically be replacing the wrecked body with my good body and getting one well functioning van out of it.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:57 AM   #5
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Given all this then Rooster210 proceed as you will!

In the OP all this new info wasn't known so I myself incorrectly assumed you didn't have this experience, a space to work in and the resources for obtaining parts. From that perspective you should do well AND have a lot of fun in the process.

If you care to post updates or photos of your progress along with some of the unexpected snags you run into it would be nothing less than interesting to most of us here. On FTE there have been several body and/or drive train swaps that have made for good reading and a furthering of knowledge how the various parts of the Ford E-Series fit or don't fit together.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:50 AM   #6
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Disregarding the practical considerations of the swap, another issue may be the legal implications. When you are done, you will have a VIN on the dash that says "E-150" and an engine and chassis that say something else. Depending on how emissions inspections occur in your state, this could be a problem. So whatever chassis donor you get, make sure you get the dash as well.

Where I am in Pennsylvania, the VIN on the dash needs to match the engine. BTDT (long, sad story...)
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:25 PM   #7
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If I were contemplating the swap you are, and knowing the wiring may change year to year, I would just swap the body, but pull the Dash Electronics, any other electronic widget I discover, and every single strand of Wiring from the donor chassis vehicle. That way all electronics and wiring will plug and play with the engine/trans

It is a lot of work, but in the end, everything should function as intended. Otherwise, you'll need to get wiring schematics for both years and compare them for discrepancies. I've done the schematic comparison with motor swaps in other vehicles and it is time consuming.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:48 PM   #8
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Oh yeah. JWA I forgot to mention those specifics. I was a military mechanic working on things like bulldozers, road graders, earth movers and numerous armored vehicles for almost 8 years and I have an Associates Degree in applied science focused on automotive collision repair. Experience is no issue. I have a giant area to work in. Granted its outdoors, as long as I'm not doing structural type repairs involving needing a completely level surface I'm golden. As far as parts I was planning to use a running and driving salvage vehicle so I have all the parts required.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:52 PM   #9
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IanF where I live I don't have an emissions test to pass. My beater car had no exhaust worth mentioning on it. No Catalytic converters. And the check engine light was shining bright. Passed with flying colors. They just require a safety inspection. Working lights, horn, wipers, seat belts, and no cracks in the windsheild that impede the drivers line of sight. Kind of nice actually
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:57 PM   #10
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Shadetreevanman I'm 100% in agreeance. Right now I have the headlight harness from a different year on mine due to an incident in south carolina with large wildlife in the road. If I turn the lights off the brake light illuminates. I also believe that when I turn my lights on one is bright and one is dim though that could be my imagination. And a couple other little quirks. I had already planned on using the entire harness from the donor. Id still retain all the conversion van portions like for the entertainment stuff and such. All the ford stuff would get swapped.
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