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Old 03-06-2009, 11:18 AM   #1
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Convert old vans to the new front end

Current van sheet metal designed 1992 didn't change again until 2008 with the Super Duty inspired front end of the van. Is there any interest in people knowing how to upgrade the front end to all 08 and later parts?

As always it is never that simple. But it would not be too difficult to compare parts list and come up with an accurate list of the required parts and cost. Maybe fenders and hood could be reproduced in fiberglass or carbon fiber to save weight along with the new look.

I like the older style myself. Not to say some of the new 4x4s look pretty good now that I'm getting used to it. Two wheel drive vans with the new front end look too heavy up front. That's just me, I think anything looks better when it's four wheel drive.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end

Im interested to see what this takes, however being late model stuff.. the dealer will charge an arm and a leg for any item. Plus we'd need a ton of parts to make it happen like fender, well, hood, grill, light housings etc etc... it won't be cheap. I already thought about it and figured it wouldn't be worth trying.

Are there any differences in the crush zone, sub frame areas?
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end

I wouldn't be surprised if the frame was longer. The radiator looks like it's in the same position when I have done comparisons at the dealer.

Is it called a "front clip" at the junkyards?

Ford didn't change anything on the body from the fenders back because of all the up-fitters who don't want to re-engineer their products.

Does that suggest the front end is going to more or less bolt up to the van body? Why re-engineer an existing firewall or a-pillar when the new part can be made to fit. Oh wait, that's logical. Forgot.
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:08 PM   #4
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end

I wonder if putting a grille and headlights in the hard way and then refinishing the figberglass hood would be easier.
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end

Quote:
Are there any differences in the crush zone, sub frame areas?
A local 4x4 shop pointed out to me that the SMB 4x4 conversion welds solid plates over the crush portion of the front of each frame rail where the front of the springs mount. He really didn't like the fact that the SMB design eliminated this safety feature. I don't let it bother me, but then again I've never had to use this energy absorption part of the van (and hope I never do).

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end




I will have to look, but with our 2008 with SMB 4x4 conversion, I do not think there is anything welded that would defeat the crumple zone. I say yhis because of a conversation I just had last week with SMB about a front receiver for an '08 Ford. They said that they need to be fabricated to attach in such a way as to not cause a problem in that same area. ...and I don't think they would worry about it if it had already been defeated....

Maybe another change for 2008?
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:34 PM   #7
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpvi
Quote:
Are there any differences in the crush zone, sub frame areas?
A local 4x4 shop pointed out to me that the SMB 4x4 conversion welds solid plates over the crush portion of the front of each frame rail where the front of the springs mount. He really didn't like the fact that the SMB design eliminated this safety feature. I don't let it bother me, but then again I've never had to use this energy absorption part of the van (and hope I never do).

Phil
Phil it doesnt bother me at all either... look at what we're driving! Just make sure whatever you hit, it's smaller than you!
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:06 PM   #8
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureduo
Im interested to see what this takes, however being late model stuff.. the dealer will charge an arm and a leg for any item. Plus we'd need a ton of parts to make it happen like fender, well, hood, grill, light housings etc etc... it won't be cheap. I already thought about it and figured it wouldn't be worth trying.

Are there any differences in the crush zone, sub frame areas?
Don't forget the 08 Aluminess Front Bumper! Doh!
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:13 AM   #9
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end

I have a 1992 e150 econoline van. I cannot find a grill guard anywhere. Does anyone know where I can get one?
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:20 AM   #10
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Re: Convert old vans to the new front end

I'd be interested to see what it takes, if there maybe any more room with an updated clip, you never know. It would be great to add an intercooler and while your there (if there was more room) figure out beater cooling for our shoe boxes.
It looks like the 08 & newer, might be able to run at lower engine temps because of that large mouth grill, so a new front clip, may have more to offer then just the cosmetic appeal? Just a thought.

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