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Old 05-03-2017, 09:53 AM   #1
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Advice on 4x4 van purchase

Hopefully this is a good spot for this.

My brother is obsessively looking at vans (aren't we all?!?!) and has his eye on one. I have my concerns, but would love to hear some opinions from those around these parts.

here is the info about the van, not going to post the link until he decides one way or the other, just so it doesn't get swooped from him. But those that look frequently have for sure seen this one.

Anyways, here it is:









Says its a 1994 4x4 E350 with a 7.5 Liter Big Block, <100k miles.

When asked who did the 4x4, he said probably Sportsmobile, but it has 2003 F350 Super duty axles. Also said to just watch ujoint videos to see how most van conversions are done as.

Power everything, and overall van looks in very good condition given it's age. I wont spoil it with my opinions just yet or of the price.

So, what do you think and how would you price it?
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:00 AM   #2
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It ain't SMB conversion, they didn't start until 2002/2003. And they wouldn't have worked on a 1994 back then.

Van looks fine, motor is pretty reliable from what I've heard, as long as you can afford the gas.

The key is the 4x4 conversion.. get some pictures of it and we might be able to help identify. Looks like maybe coils?

As for price? Depends on condition and who did the 4x4 (or was it a home brew), but I've seen similar vintage vans go $5-15k.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:27 AM   #3
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Looks like a nice van. Be careful it isn't a Javier conversion.

The 7.5 is a great engine for its time. One thing to consider is the axle ratio. I've got 3.55 and it is unbelievably slow when towing. Go with 4.1 minimum on that engine IMO
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:09 AM   #4
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Not sure what his budget or style is, but this one seems like a decent deal.

https://rockies.craigslist.org/cto/6068328431.html
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplesez View Post
Looks like a nice van. Be careful it isn't a Javier conversion.
I bet you it is. Saying "probably Sportsmobile" on an otherwise unconverted van is their style. I don't think that's a total deal breaker, but get someone that knows about lifting trucks and futzing with their geometry take a really good look at it.

A friend of mine has that engine in a class b rv. It's a nice engine, I've driven it and very much enjoyed the motor. It does use considerably more fuel than even the v10.
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:19 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the comments. Pretty much echoed what I was saying to him, right down to the mention of Javier haha. Guy has created quite the name for himself.

Yeah, total BS on the sportsmobile doing the conversion. The way I look at it is best case, you have a ~3-5k van on a 10k conversion. IF the conversion was done well. List price is 17,500.

Other funny note is you can buy it with Bitcoin!

He is tired of my advice of finding a 5-8k van and paying 16k to convert it, but it is worth it to know exactly what conversion you are getting (agile).
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bemerritt View Post
Thanks for all of the comments. Pretty much echoed what I was saying to him, right down to the mention of Javier haha. Guy has created quite the name for himself.

Yeah, total BS on the sportsmobile doing the conversion. The way I look at it is best case, you have a ~3-5k van on a 10k conversion. IF the conversion was done well. List price is 17,500.

Other funny note is you can buy it with Bitcoin!

He is tired of my advice of finding a 5-8k van and paying 16k to convert it, but it is worth it to know exactly what conversion you are getting (agile).
If it's a well maintained good conversion (realistically only options would be Quigley or UJOR for this), then $17,500 isn't out of the question. But high.

But in that same price range, I'd MUCH rather have this: https://santabarbara.craigslist.org/ctd/6098030353.html
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bemerritt View Post
Thanks for all of the comments. Pretty much echoed what I was saying to him, right down to the mention of Javier haha. Guy has created quite the name for himself.

Yeah, total BS on the sportsmobile doing the conversion. The way I look at it is best case, you have a ~3-5k van on a 10k conversion. IF the conversion was done well. List price is 17,500.
That is basically the niche Javier co. are serving. If a solid used 2wd van was going for say $15-22k, putting another $9-15k into it to do the conversion wouldn't see quite so off-putting to most looking for a used 4wd van. The thing you have to remember is that the e-series is a very long lived and easy to service vehicle. Thanks to the numbers that are out there, they are super affordable. Oddly this makes people resist putting more money than the purchase price into a good used example in order to make it meet their needs.

BTW, I bet you can push his price some with those numbers in hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bemerritt View Post
Other funny note is you can buy it with Bitcoin!

He is tired of my advice of finding a 5-8k van and paying 16k to convert it, but it is worth it to know exactly what conversion you are getting (agile).
If I did it again today, I'd probably pick up as close to a new van as I could find and have it converted. However, an extra couple thousand is much easier for me to stomach now than it was when I bought my van.

I think I've spent about $3k fixing stuff that wasn't done really right on mine, none if which was absolutely required to use it. That really doesn't disqualify their work from a purely economic standpoint.
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:21 PM   #9
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Heres is a van on expo. It's not 4x4 but it has some camping goodies in it. Its got the 6.0 so not sure if that's a deal breaker, but it seems like a good price at $10k obo.

Its in socal too.

2004 e350 6.0 rb passenger van - Expedition Portal
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallypanam View Post
If it's a well maintained good conversion (realistically only options would be Quigley or UJOR for this), then $17,500 isn't out of the question. But high.

But in that same price range, I'd MUCH rather have this: https://santabarbara.craigslist.org/ctd/6098030353.html
If accurately represented, that's a great price, almost too good of a price.


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