Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-25-2019, 11:07 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
sbgrimm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Durango, CO formerly Seattle
Posts: 109
We think we'll keep it... but need some advice

After seeing all the great new SMB's at Overland Expo costing north of $140k, we've decided to keep our current van. It's well loved and has no known issues other than having 193,000 miles on it. We're thinking if we put a little money into it we can have improved functionality and hopefully make it last for another 100,000 miles.

I'm hoping to get some advice from the forum on what preventative maintenance I can do to make this high mileage van continue to run reliably and not leave us stranded on some dirt road in the middle of Baja.

Here are the van details:
2005 Ford E-250, 5.4L V8, 2WD, not lifted, RB-50 with propane and solar, 193k miles
We run Mobil 1 synthetic, changed regularly, and deal with problems as they come up (new ball joints this month), but other than have our mechanic check it yearly we haven't done anything else.

Is there such a thing as bulletproofing a 5.4L gasser similar to what people do to the 6.0 diesel?

Finally, I'd like to do a mild lift for improved clearance and to run larger tires. And while I'd love to have 4WD I think our needs would be met for a lot less money if I just switch the differential to a limited slip like the TrueTrac. I'd welcome any thoughts on the wisdom of making these changes on a high mileage van.
__________________

__________________
Bardo
--------------------
2005 RB-50 5.4L V8 E250 "Blanca"
sbgrimm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 12:01 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: San Clemente, CA
Posts: 755
I would do a weldtec lift with good springs in the back. Having a good suspension setup saves wear and tear on everything because it softens out all the bumps and stuff.

As far as the motor, replace all the rubber parts like belts and hoses. Then start with the other auxiliary parts like alternator and starter and radiator. Plenty of those motors go 300k miles without issue but a dead starter will leave you stranded in the boonies. Many of those things begin to fail with age, but Iím just getting around to replacing them on my 93.
__________________

Grampswrx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 08:34 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
arctictraveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,796
My 2001 5.4 has about 180K miles, and I've only had to replace a couple coils, and fuel pumps. I'm thinking along the lines you are too, but haven't started to replace things guessing they may fail. Instead, I carry spares, so that when the day does come that something quits, I can fix it in the field. Since I've experienced so much trouble with fuel pumps, I carry a spare along with the tools and materials needed to drop the tank if needed. I also carry a couple injectors, a fuel pressure gauge, coils, a belt, a tensioner, and more stuff I can't think of at the moment. This is in addition to about 40lbs of tools, bags of hardware, electrical supplies etc. I don't have a starter though, but in an emergency one can usually tap the starter with a hammer to get a few more starts, or worst case, take it apart to stretch the brush springs for a couple more starts. Not the best plan, but it usually works. Fortunately, the 5.4 seems to be a very reliable motor with few known failure points, but I do wonder about all the sensors. When one of those quits, it may be tow truck time without a spare.
__________________
Arctic Traveller
KC6TNI
2001 GTRV
Advanced 4wd
Agile Ride improvement package
www.arctictraveller.com
arctictraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 11:29 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,160
No bulletproofing needed on a gasser. That's the whole reason to buy one.

__________________
Currently vanless. Weird.
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 12:17 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,132
"Bulletproofing" the Triton motors involves nothing more than following the maintenance schedule.

I carry a spare coil, and fender-mount starter solenoid. I should add a fuel filter to that.

I've though about carrying a belt, but the Triton can limp-home without a belt or coolant for that matter. It'll just go into reduced power mode.

Crankshaft sensor is the only one that will render a no-start/no-run condition. But those don't really fail. It's more like to get wire damage from rodents or debris. I'm pretty sure worst case you could swap in the rear diff speed sensor. If just about any other sensor goes out, it'll throw a code and might cause a limp home condition, but shouldn't keep you from driving.
__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 12:33 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 50
My 2000 5.4 also has 180K. So far, Iíve had to replace two coils, the fuel pump, and the alternator. Right in line with what others have said.
Dogmobile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 12:48 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
shadetreevanman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 295
The problem with preemptively replacing parts is the replacement might not last any longer than the original.

Reminds me of the 3 rebuilt alternators from Autozone I put on my 1.8T swapped VW Vanagon, where each of them failed. Finally went to a salvage yard and pulled an original alternator off an Audi. It has lasted for years now.

Driving home from Utah one year without a working alternator, I was glad I had Solar.

That VW now has a spare alternator stored in it, which just means the alternator will never go out again...
__________________
Tim Potts

2012 Ford E350 EB
shadetreevanman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 01:23 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: San Clemente, CA
Posts: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
"Bulletproofing" the Triton motors involves nothing more than following the maintenance schedule.

I carry a spare coil, and fender-mount starter solenoid. I should add a fuel filter to that.

I've though about carrying a belt, but the Triton can limp-home without a belt or coolant for that matter. It'll just go into reduced power mode.

Crankshaft sensor is the only one that will render a no-start/no-run condition. But those don't really fail. It's more like to get wire damage from rodents or debris. I'm pretty sure worst case you could swap in the rear diff speed sensor. If just about any other sensor goes out, it'll throw a code and might cause a limp home condition, but shouldn't keep you from driving.


This right here is why I would take an econoline to Baja and never a sprinter.
Grampswrx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 02:07 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadetreevanman View Post
The problem with preemptively replacing parts is the replacement might not last any longer than the original.
Yeah, I think about that, too. I always try to go for Motorcraft replacement parts when available, even at the higher cost, but I'm sure quality has dropped on those, too, compared to OEM ones from years back.
BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2019, 02:27 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 130
True story - if you're prepared you won't need it.



If I consider the perspective of buying a high mileage vehicle, the things I would want to do are: check compression (or leakdown test) to get a baseline and identify any bad cylinders, pressure test cooling system and check all fluids for any metals or debris at change.



I'm pretty impressed with the array of things that can fail on my older Ferd that I couldn't anticipate, up to and including the oil pressure sensor (though it happened on a Harley I had too). But expecting the water pump, radiator, alternator, air conditioning compressor and other things to fail at some point and be ready for that is a good thing.


Sounds like you have a nice rig so keep enjoying it.
__________________

SMB123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Agnes

ranchero

2015 Ford E350

Hondo
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.