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Old 11-12-2009, 11:35 AM   #11
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

I bought this from Nate.

I had a Lake Tahoe mechanic look at it. It was actually someone Nate picked out. He had a good review on Yelp so I went with it. The mechanic said everything checked out - no leaks, everything looked good. I drove from Boulder to Lake Tahoe to take a look.

The van was in a bit more rugged condition than I expected. Oil gauge didn't work, shifter on the column wasn't screwed it (can take the handle right out). Exterior is super rough. Doors don't seal too well. But the engine and drive train seemed good. I made Nate an offer and we had a deal.

I drove 1500 miles home in it. After the hard climb out of Salt Lake City, we got a hotel room in Park Cities for the night. The next morning there was oil on the ground under the truck. I was low by about half a quart. This was the first step in the wrong direction.

Once I got back to CO, I took the rig to a local mechanic that does 4x4 conversion vans. His inspected yielded the following:

Rear Diff - Seals shot, bearings shot, needs rebuild to the tune of about $1k. This was not leaking when I left Lake Tahoe. However, it's all wet now and drips just a tad.

Xfer Case - Seals shots, might need a complete rebuild. Is visually leaking, I can see it clear as day.

Front drive shaft - Needs rebuild, has "play" in it. I can feel this myself. It was something I didn't even know to check for myself. I'm a piss poor mechanic, as is becoming obvious. *sigh*

Engine Oil Leaks - I had the oil pressure sender replaced so now I have an oil pressure guage. I think this was the bulk of the leakage that happened on the drive. However, I've got some other gasket seals that are leaking a bit. Header and oil pan...

All total, it's about $3500 worth of repairs needed. The engine is in good shape, brand new tires, and lots of other good components. The van starts like a freak'n monster and it's really fun to drive. Unfortunately, with the rear diff problems, I'm trying to drive it as little as possible.

I took the rig to a second mechanic to get a second quote and second opinion. Same results. They did tell me that it looked like things were "cleaned up" a lot but that you could still see the "gunk" up in tighter places. Someone cleaned it up. I'm feeling a bit burned. At the very least, the mechanic I paid $45 to inspect the rig in Lake Tahoe should have caught *some* of this.

Most of these repairs don't have particularly high cost for parts - just a ton of labor. I want to do them myself - I want to learn. I don't have a garage much less a shop. I'm currently parking on the street. I definitely don't have the tools.

I'm hoping to sell it to some back yard mechanic who'll want to put time into it... and just get out of it. I don't want anyone else to feel like they're get'n taken advantage of. There are a lot of valuable parts in the van. I'm sure the tires and rims are worth an easy grand. I've seen the i6 online for $300 and the c6 tranny for $350. I'm hopeful this rig will be valuable to someone.

Meanwhile... I'm sorta out of the market until I get this cleared up. I was really hoping to be using this rig for snowboarding trips in about a month. My happy-o-meter is on the low end of the gauge.

~Scott
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:51 AM   #12
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

When you buy something that old you can count on repairs to get it where you want. Take it to a mechanic you trust who can do one thing at a time, as you can afford. You have the makings of a good van.

Prioritize the work. Start from the ground up. Fix the drive train, get the body painted and do the interior. It'll be nice.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:52 AM   #13
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

Sorry to hear that Scott. Hope it turns around for you. Good luck.

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:03 PM   #14
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

At 4500$ (or less if you negotiated) I would say it is ok...
I bought my 4x4 Pajero (Dodge Raider) year 1990 for 5000$ and spent 4000$ getting the manual shift box rebuilt after only 10k miles... Old vehicles need work and $$$ but they hand it back later...

I have had 50k miles trouble free drives and off roading since...
I think you have a realy nice van there
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:32 PM   #15
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

Scott,

I can appreciate the frustration of things not being as they seem or as they were described. Let things sink in for a few days before you make any decision. Don't let frustration and anger make you walk away from a van that meets your wants/needs.

One possibility to reduce your restoration cost would be to go to a junkyard and pull a rear diff (assuming your axle has a third member) and also a transfer case. It might be cheaper to have them swaped out instead of rebuilt, though you do take some chances with not knowing the condition of parts from a junkyard.

If the fundementals are good (body, engine, transmission) you may be better off sticking with what you have, than beginning the search all over again.


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Old 11-12-2009, 04:40 PM   #16
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

Thanks for the positive comments guys, it does help. The girlfriend also photoshopped up some of the cosmetic changes I've wanted to make and emailed it to me today... It made me smile:



I also noticed this on e-bay today:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ford-E-S ... 500wt_1182

That's the first penthouse top I've seen on a van body of this style. **IF** I knew that van was mostly solid, I'd start looking into what it would cost to convert it to 4x4.

I keep wondering... everyone has a lot of new custom parts built and added when they convert these 4x4's over... but can't you find a junked f250 4x4 and take the xfer case and front axel off of that and install them???
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:51 PM   #17
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

You sure can. Quadvan or Salem-Kroger kind of do that, but they use factory new parts.

But, those aren't the parts that you have to fabricate or customize.

How about:

- transfer case shift linkage
- front driveshaft
- shock mounts
- sway bar brackets
- steering linkages
- front crossmember
- fuel tank (cut down to clear transfer case)
- axle mounts
- brake lines
- and more

Mike
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:29 PM   #18
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

Scott,

Is that a solar panel hanging off the front of the future penthouse? I think it would act like a sail and rip right off the first time you got up to speed. Looks like a fun project to comletely monopolize your free time over the next couple years! Can't wait to see the build report.


If you are interested in the eBay van, why not post here if there's someone in Carlsbad/San Diego who could take a look at it for you. Hey for the right price, it might be a cheap way to get a penthouse top and transfer it to your van. Maybe it even has a good rear diff!


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Old 11-12-2009, 06:56 PM   #19
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
You sure can. Quadvan or Salem-Kroger kind of do that, but they use factory new parts.
I tried calling Salem-Kroger tonight on Sportsmobile's recommendation. Both phone numbers on their website are no longer working =(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco_hauler
Is that a solar panel hanging off the front of the future penthouse? I think it would act like a sail and rip right off the first time you got up to speed.
I think so... I wouldn't actually do that. I think the girl just found the first pop-top she could find at the right angle to do the photoshop. Personally, I'm much more interested in having a basket up top rather than the cargo container. I'm also not sure what I would do regarding solar panels - but that would be a "way down the road" feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco_hauler
If you are interested in the eBay van, why not post here if there's someone in Carlsbad/San Diego who could take a look at it for you.
I think I'll do just that, thanks =)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco_hauler
Hey for the right price, it might be a cheap way to get a penthouse top and transfer it to your van. Maybe it even has a good rear diff!
Well, I talked to Boulder Off Road tonight too. We talked about quality and expense. Moving the camper top would obviously carry and expense with it. The rear diff would also have the wrong gear ratio for the tires I have.

He suggested selling what I've got and putting the money towards doing a new conversion on the eBay van. He said that even if I used the parts I have now, he would have to fabricate some pieces which would raise the cost. He also said the quality of a new conversion would be much much better than the way they used to convert them. It would run me over 11k to do the conversion brand new... however he said they build all their parts to fit these older vans (he builds his own front axles).

Right now, I'm leaning that direction.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:54 PM   #20
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Re: 1987 FORD E-250 4X4 FOR SALE

Did you happen to catch these tops on denver craigslist. They do have one for short wheel base early ford.


http://denver.craigslist.org/pts/1458895686.html
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