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Old 09-26-2013, 03:03 PM   #1
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1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles - SOLD

11/8 edit: Price lowered to $8,900. SOLD 12/3/13

Hi All,

We are looking to change vehicles and therefore have to let go of our 1998 GTRV with a 5.4L V8 and 120K miles. Interior is the standard GTRV conversion (similar to an SMB RB50 layout) with rear bench/folding bed (with added adjustable/removable headrests), side cabinetry, suburban furnace, microwave, AC/DC refrigerator, stove, door mounted A/C unit, and hot water heater. The pop-top has a bed suitable for two kids or even two adults if you are not too tall. The low profile of the GTRV top (~87" to the top of the roof racks) makes this more "garageable" than taller profile tops.



The biggest modifications I have made to the van involved replacing the stock E150 front axle and suspension with new 2012 E350 take-offs from Quigley. This gave the larger bearings, brakes, the new design radius arms (and all new bushings) of the newer vans and made a big improvement in the ride. Along with the front swap, I replaced the stock semi-floating Ford rear axle with a full-floating Dana 60 (4.10 gears) from a 1998 E-350 and intalled an extra leaf and KYB shocks. This swap allows the van to run stock 16Ē 8-lug wheels all around, and with the E-load rated tires (Michellin LTX M/S2, ~7,000 miles), gave me a lot more confidence on long drives.





Other changes weíve made include installing a Fantastic Fan in the top, a pull out shelf in the rear to better access the suitcase of clothes that we usually stored there, and the bumper box I added which fits in the receiver hitch as well as bolts to the hitch to eliminate sway. This box allowed me to move the spare fluids, tools, hose, electric cord, and other stuff used around camp, out of the van to someplace easy to access. Sort of a poor-mans Aluminess box (made from a HF trailer tongue box and some steel angle!).







In addition to the outside storage, there is carpeted door storage in the two side, and one back, doors. The counter features a small, but useful, hinged storage area and I have mounted a pocket organizer next to the side window which is very useful for those little things needed around camp (sunscreen, bug spray, toothbrushes, etc.). Stored behind the drivers seat is a small table, useable with the tripod legs and post that are stored in the top area. The ď40Ē side door also features a fold up table, behind which, we store the windshield curtain which snaps in place across the windshield and side windows. The passenger seat rotates and really opens up the living area once you are in camp. Both side and rear doors have been converted to pop-out (opening) windows using Ford parts with factory tint.







Up front, I have installed a Ram mount ball which Iíve used to mount my tablet (running Copilot) on trips. The mount works great at holding the tablet and can be swiveled over for passenger use as well. When I recently replaced the original front carpet, I added the Quiet-ride insulation kit and it seems to have helped quiet road noises.



The bed up top is in two pieces. The front half can either stay attached to the roof and lift with it, be stacked on the back half for additional head room (providing a shelf when the top is up), or completely removed if not needed. The original screens for the side windows up top had disintegrated by the time we purchased the van, so I made velcro-in screen panels which stay in place, but can be removed. The three conversion interior lights have been converted to LED to save a little power, and a voltmeter has been installed to keep tabs on the house battery system.





The electrical system consists of two wet-cell deep cycle batteries (~4 years old) mounted in the rear near the furncace, a two year old Progressive 45A smart charger/converter, and charges from the alternator when running. Water is the standard GTRV system with 10 gallon fresh water tank behind the seat and a six gallon gray water tank located under the cabinet to the left of the refrigerator. Dump valve and hose are located underneath and a drain valve for the fresh water tank is located behind the rear bumper.



One major item that is missing is a propane tank. When we bought the van five years ago, the previous owner had removed the propane tank to install on his new vehicle and I have not replaced it. Therefore, the furnace, stove, and hot water heater are currently not able to be used. I have fired up the furnace at home connected to a 20lb tank just to see if it would run, and it did. Since the stove is rather simple, I would assume that it is still functional, but I have never tried to use the hot water heater and have no idea what shape it is in. The propane lines remain, but were cut to remove the tank. I actually purchased a new Manchester, van-style (with the lower valves) tank to install, but have not done so. This tank will go along with the van.
Other things to note are a persistant ABS light, likely due to the mismatch between the 98 ABS computer and the 2012 ABS sensor, a small chunk missing from the step, and a crack in the passenger side running board (the driverís side has been removed to make it easier to slide under for servicing the van, and I never really like the look anyway ).









Overall, the van seems to be in fine shape, and with 120k miles and some newish components, I would hope that it is only nearing middle age. The body has some small dents, including left rear quarter as pictured, and the interior shows some wear (including some holes in the headliner where the previous owners had mounted, then removed, something) but is still functional. Much of this wear was likely due to the van being used as the ďtour busĒ for a three member band ("The Spring Standards") who used it for shows around the country. Likewise, the tree on the side of the van is a remnant from the band days, but quickly grew on us, so we kept it. We recently returned from a 2,000 mile trip that brought us from Maryland into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and back without any mechanical issues. Itís gotten regular oil changes (Mobil 1), has fresh gear oil (Redline synthetic) and recently had the coolant replaced and brakes bled, The only reason we are selling it is to move up to a newer EB van and a different layout, which we hope will better fit our family of five.

We are asking $8,900 for the van which is located just west of Baltimore, MD. I've put more pics in my album, but please donít hesitate to ask any questions as Iím sure there are things Iíve forgotten in the description.


Thanks for looking,
Robert
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:47 PM   #2
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles

That is a nice looking van. I really like the axle upgrades, the E150 was a little wimpy.

Another member was looking for a garagable van? Will that GTRV top go in a standard garage?
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:37 PM   #3
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles

What? You are selling it after just doing all that suspension work?!!

RE: The ABS light, when I did the same front-end swap my mechanic somehow used the old ABS sensor, and I've had no problems. Are there sensors on the rear, too? Maybe the issue lies there.

GTRV vans are garageable, I'm pretty sure, unless this one sits a lot higher due to the upgrades.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:26 PM   #4
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW
RE: The ABS light, when I did the same front-end swap my mechanic somehow used the old ABS sensor, and I've had no problems. Are there sensors on the rear, too? Maybe the issue lies there.
Older E150s had a smaller rear diff, so smaller tone ring (less teeth). Should be able to fix it with a a signal converter. U-Joint sells one. So does Dakota Digital.
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:29 AM   #5
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles

Interesting that the bench has full shoulder belts plus headrest- the SMB 50 only has one shoulder and two lap belts.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Interesting that the bench has full shoulder belts plus headrest- the SMB 50 only has one shoulder and two lap belts.
I actually added the headrests after the kids got tall enough to need them. They're from a Dodge Caravan (and the color match is a little off). I basically stripped down the minivan rear seat and attached that framework to the stock folding seat. I can still remove them to fold down the bed, and in fact they worked perfectly to level out the small bed I made for the front seats.

The belts are the similar to the 86Y harness except they have the attached lab belt. I actually used the 86Y belts for a while, then tried these. They are both a little clumsy and the younger kids would always need help adjusting them. Just one of the reasons I am looking forward to our new van with standard 3 point belts for each seat.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
That is a nice looking van. I really like the axle upgrades, the E150 was a little wimpy.

Another member was looking for a garagable van? Will that GTRV top go in a standard garage?
Although it won't fit in my garage (DIY home builder left out a row of block so the door is shorter than standard ) the van measures about 87" tall and this could be lowered a little bit if the roof rack cross bars are removed, but the fan still sits up above the stock roof height.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:48 AM   #8
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles

The GTRV top makes a lot of sense with a 50 style floorplan. Headroom where you need it and a lower profile. Wouldn't make much sense with and aisle floorplan.

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Old 10-09-2013, 02:50 PM   #9
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles

Pickup date for the new van is getting closer and I'd really like to make some room in the driveway. Plus there's still alot of great fall weather to get out and use this van. Price lowered to $10,500.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Re: 1998 GTRV pop-top 120K miles - price drop to $10,500

Some people explicitly look for vans under a certain height, and seeing the low profile of the GTRV top makes me think this might be a selling point for your conversion. I'd measure the height and post it in your ad.

Just a thought.


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