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Old 05-16-2017, 10:12 AM   #11
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So a little more of the story...... So since I was on my soon to be 3rd van I needed to find the right one this time. I knew I wanted diesel if possible for the longevity if nothing else (of course that's not 100%), and I wanted 4x4, and needed a EB, as far as the other things well I could make compromises with my entire list but these few were a must. I also needed to stay under $30k price wise. I searched for a good month and funny enough ended up getting one I had seen many times and was even posted up on this forum but never really payed that much attention to the first few times I saw it. Then I realized this van had some potential and filled in pretty much all my boxes but had 200k miles so that's probably the reason I was weary at first. I contacted the seller on Craigslist through text and that was a bit weird. I asked tons of questions and cant remember all the details but he responded fine but stated he had no idea if the water system or heater worked and the fridge was broken. I was like how could you not know if the water system works, that seems fishy. Well apparently that pissed him off and he replied to never contact him again and stopped responding to any calls or text messages and I had cash in hand ready to head to Colorado the next day. My parents were visiting from AZ and could have dropped me off on their way home and I would drive it home. My wife informed me I had insulted him and I didn't realixe he would be so sensitive and was mainly just joking but also was a bit confused how he had a vehicle like this and had never used heat, water, fridge, anything camper realated really. I apologized profusely (with the wife's help) and still heard nothing that day or the next morning, weird. Finally 30 minutes before my parents leave he called back and we worked it out and I packed up real quick and headed to Colorado, whew that was stressful and still confuses me, what a weird guy, I think he was sick of the annoying CL people you get and I just set him off. I didn't arrive till about midnight since he messed up my original plans by ignoring my calls so it wasn't ideal timing but I had to get back home so I couldn't wait till morning. He was fine with the lateness but it defiantly wasn't ideal to look over a van and at this point I had already come out that far and was pretty committed.
It was a 1996 e350 7.3l mega high top with 205k miles,quigley 4x4, fridge didn't work, water heater corroded, water system unknown, heater unknown, built in propane generator in spare tire location ran great and only had 20 hours, microwave that worked off generator, power inverter didn't work,new front brakes but needed rear brakes, Starcool Ac system that can run off the generator (cool) but wasn't working and no ac seemed to be working for that matter, very dirty (moab dirt) but cabinets in very good shape, high top clear coat peeling but van paint in very good condition, no rust, new tires but small (265), ran great, had auxiliary fuel tank (nice), 4x4 seemed to work great, and I loved the layout (not the retro colors so much but they are growing on me). That's about all I could tell that late.

So it was midnight I needed to decide, It defiantly was a good base and had lots of potential but also needed a bit of work and who knows what other gremlins it had being 20 years old and midnight, haha. So what do I do? Buy it of course, payed $27,500 and drove it a few hours with a big smile on my face and slept in a Walmart parking lot with my 4yr old son that came along.

Drive home past Arches

Interior with top bed deployed

Interior rear bed, this thing has tons of storage on the side and seatbelts for 6 in the back, not the best pics
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:11 PM   #12
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So this trip home unfortunately didn't end like I had hoped, when I was about 4 miles from home I went to switch my tanks and it didn't seem to be working so I thought maybe it would just take some time or the needle wasn't working. Then I ran out of gas well that was stupid of me.. I tried for hours to get it going, added 15 gallons of fuel, hooked up my car to it since the batteries were dying from trying so much, had roadside assistance try and jump, nope not happening. then I had to get it towed home, well this is a bad start to a new van.
Had to take it to a shop and they replaced the lift pump and ICP and we were back up and running with a nice little $1,000 bill to top off my new purchase, hooray (sarcasm).
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:22 PM   #13
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On to the upgrades, I am sure I will forget things as this all happened months ago and I am trying to play catch up.

First things first, wheels and tires, found a crazy deal online that discount tire matched and got a new set of 5 wheels/tires: 285/75 r16 BFG KO2 tires with american racing 16" Baja rims all for only about $1450 out the door

Before:


After:


The only thing I had to do to make them fit was grind down the bottom edge of the front bumper, I really wanted/want to eventually go to 35" tires but didn't want to re-gear and cut up my front fenders yet and my rear leaf pack is pretty shot too and needs to be replaced as you can see in the pics, its de-arched, yay for me more money to spend, ugh.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:52 PM   #14
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Other updates/ new parts as I get to them:

New Fridge from truck fridge they are well priced and good quality:
TruckFridge Model: TF65 AC/DC [115 Volt AC/12 Volt DC]

new water pump, the rest of the system is good besides electric water heater:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Replaced all bulbs with LED:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These very nice and bright LED dome lights to replace the florescent ones (2 pack) I highly recommend them:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

New radiator cap (hear its good to replace):
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

A Trasharoo:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These floormats that fit decent and are cheap:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Fire extinguisher:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


finally I am getting somewhat acquainted of the systems and ready for the maiden voyage
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:06 PM   #15
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Nice van with the high top, looks clean.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:19 PM   #16
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I had 6 days off work so I made a plan to leave SLC and first stop to be in Capitol Reef, then head down to Escalante to see Calf Creek Falls and camp there for a night, then we went to peek-a-boo slot canyon and had it to ourselves, our kids loved it. From there we headed straight through to Zions and spent 2 nights (no time to stop at Bryce Canyon this time) and made our way to St. George to spend a day with Family and back up to SLC. It was a great trip and a good intro to Southern Utah, there is so much out there to explore and every time I go there is so much more I want to see.

Peek-A-Boo was fun and I defiantly want to head back and check out more that way and do the whole Hole in the Rock road to lake Powell.

Capitol Reef:


Trailhead for Peek-A-Boo slot canyon:




Zions:


St. George:
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pschitt View Post
Nice van with the high top, looks clean.
Thanks, I really love the high top, wasn't looking for one but now I wont go back, love being able to pull over and walk around or go change a diaper or make lunch etc, its just always ready to go, and the extra storage room is really nice.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:21 PM   #18
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Great story, thanks for sharing - it's fun to hear how other smb'ers acquired their vans.

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Old 05-16-2017, 03:35 PM   #19
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On to the exterior, I couldn't stand the green on the outside of the van and it looks like there used to be fiberglass steps that were removed as well so I wanted to update the look. I had used Raptor liner before as you can see at the beginning of this thread from the before and after pictures and had good results with that so I stared there. I did the lower rocker panels, bumpers, wheel wells, and dropped the propane tank to cover that as well.
My fiberglass top had some clear coat peeling so I completely sanded that down and considered a whole van repaint and did a whole thread about it here:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...lor-18196.html

In the end it was going to be very expensive even if I helped prep and the paint probably would have just gotten spider cracks in it again from flexing offroad plus who knows how many trees will be hitting that huge high top so I decided to raptor line that as well after changing my mind many, many times.

the Prep:




Spraying (I would recommend tarping the whole van, I have a lot of little overspray that is a pain to rub out, still working on it months later in fact. This isn't a full write-up on raptor lining there is lots of info on it but I am happy to share any insights or tricks to anyone looking to tackle something like this. You will notice the doors are open, I also sprayed the foot wheels to protect them and make it all look more complete:




Bumpers, propane tank and tank door:



Finished product (minus the top, hadn't made up my mind at this point on the top or the middle stripe, I first tried to use vinyl on the stripe and that failed miserably) I really like how it came out with just a very small line over the wheel wells to tie it all together without trying to look like bushwhacker flares since I won't be using those:



Lined the Propane heater outlet too






Fast forward a couple of weeks later and I decide to raptor line the top (color matched, or at least tried, its a bit darker) and middle stripes now black too:

"As a note I decided to take the liner all the way to the bottom of the gutter to help protect it from rust and it was a good breaking point I feel."

Exterior paint Protection/update complete!!!
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:24 PM   #20
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It's amazing how good that lined portion looks, and how it sets the silver off. Great job!
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