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Old 06-20-2007, 12:15 PM   #1
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More on Jage's SMB

Well having gotten my SMB back from the dealer on Saturday, we packed and took our first trip Thursday to the Grand Canyon. Everything was great until we put the top up for the first time and found the roof has been leaking. When I bought it two weeks ago the roof light and canvas were spotless.



And on the way home from the Grand Canyon (~5 hrs) the engine light came on again! So we unpacked and it's now back at the dealership. I've actually had it in my possession and driven it without the engine light on for only three full days out of 20. The rest of the time it's had the engine light on or been sitting in the dealership or my driveway (the latter all of 4 days).

As far as the leak and stains go, I've washed the van once and it has rained once since I've owned it. This was the first time I put the PH up since inspecting it with the PO. I guess I'll have to start looking for the cause once I get it back from the dealership...
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:28 PM   #2
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That SUCKS! I wonder how easy it will be to clean the spots out...
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:52 PM   #3
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I feel so bad for you. Hopefully you can get the stains out and get that darn engine light problem fixed.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:16 AM   #4
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It's getting hard to convince myself that I wasn't taken for a bit of a ride on this purchase. The dealership just called and said the Turbo unit needs to be replaced. Luckily it's under warranty, but it will be awhile before I get my SMB back again.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:44 AM   #5
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They diagnosed my CEL, and had my turbo replaced in 2 days.

Doesn't mean I was happy about the need to have it replaced, but it was done quiuckly and under warranty. There have been a number of turbo warranty denials by Ford, for people using aftermarket air intake systems. Luckily for us, no one seems to manufacture one for the E-series. I would recommend that anyone running a non-stock filter swap it back to a stock filter though.

The variable vane turbos that Ford is using, haven't had the greatest rep. Once out of warranty, a number of people have gone with aftermarket turbos instead.


Good luck and keep us informed,
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:28 AM   #6
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The check engine light on my "05 came on about 75 miles from leaving Fresno. I think the van had about 150 miles on it at that time! I've had the turbo and engine wiring harness replaced in the first 5k miles. Been good since then (knock on wood).
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:34 AM   #7
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Did you turn around and go right back?

Yikes, I don't like these stories.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:05 PM   #8
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No I kept right on going. The engine is not really SMB's problem nor are they properly equiped to handle mechanical issues. I had done my homework on the Ford 6.0 before I bought the van and was not that supprised. I own an auto repair shop so we get all the manufactures TSB's (technical servise bulletins) every month. The 6.0 has at this time about 75 TSBs on it. By comparison the Cummins used in Dodge pickups has had one or two TSBs issued in the last couple years. By the middle of '04 "most" of the issues with the 6.0 had been worked out however they are still not anywhere as reliable as the Dodge or Chevy diesels. IMO ford does have the highest quality body construction of the big 3 however. If I had to do it all over again I would seriously consider buying a Quigley 4x4 Chevy Diesel van instead. I recently drove a new chevy diesel and it is twice as quiet as the noisey 6.0 in my SMB. Too bad the Chevy van is so ugly. BTW Jeffrey don't take your SMB to any of the local ford dealers. They don't have any knowedgeable diesel techs in SB. I take mine to Jim Vreeland Ford in Santa Ynez. A little hassle but they have 2 really good diesel guys working there.
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:53 PM   #9
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If I could build my ideal Frankenstein van, it would be the Ford chassis and body, Dodge diesel (Cummins), and the Chevy trans (Allison).

I will admit that the latest Ford trans is very nice, much better than the trans in my '02 F250. Once you get into the industrial trucks (e.g. F650), Ford uses Catepillar diesels and Allison transmisssions. Too bad they don't have the same business arrangements for the consumer trucks.


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Old 06-21-2007, 04:20 PM   #10
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Herb, That would be my ideal van also. While we are dreaming up this van how about the suspension off a range rover?
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