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Old 06-09-2017, 07:49 AM   #1
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2003 7.3 cargo van build

After months of lurking on Craigslist I finally found the one and pounced this past week to start my first van build. It is a 2003 Ford e350 7.3 power stroke diesel with 91k miles! It was government owned previously, so was very well maintained.

Sorry for the bad pictures, driveway was too narrow to get a good angle and I backed it all the way up to my garage. Also on mobile and some of the pics came up the wrong direction.

Time to let the fun begin!
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:01 AM   #2
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First goal, remove all the shelving. Easy right?

We are headed up to Yosemite this weekend and I basically had a 2.5 hour window to actually work on it after work. Grabbed my tool set and a coors light and started going to town, mostly just to realize within 5 minutes that there is no way I am going to be able finish and it is going to be way harder than I thought.

Bemerritt stopped by and helped me get one of the shelves out, and then I got about 90% of the way on the front divider. Unfortunately I couldn't get at the last couple bolts because the huge weather guard drawer was in the way. But I can't get the weather guard drawer out because the front divider is in the way....

So I left it there and had to pack for the Yosemite trip.
The van will have to wait sadly.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:45 AM   #3
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Taking out the annoying shelves in a cargo is a right of passage!
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:36 AM   #4
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congrats man!

we had to do the same thing only the dealer we were working with were so awesome that they were willing to remove some of that stuff for us so we could at least fit an air mattress in the back for the drive home. didn't have near as much stuff in the back as yours though...

try not to think about the van too much over the weekend
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by shenrie View Post
congrats man!

try not to think about the van too much over the weekend
HAH. If only it were that easy. Really wish I had more time to work on it so I could have driven it out there. Instead I am in my in-laws Toyota Sienna which I secretly am planning to take the captain chairs from.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:05 AM   #6
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^^^ lolol, just leave a few folding chairs in there to replace them??
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:38 AM   #7
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Finally got some time to work on the van and removed all the shelves! Only had to cut one of the mounting brackets for the weather guard drawer because one of the bolts was physically impossible to access from underneath the car. Also some of the upper brackets holding the side shelves in will be a problem. Pictures attached. If anyone has any good ideas on how to get these off short of cutting/grinding the bolts down I am all ears.

Goal for this weekend will be to remove the current floor and patch all the holes from where the shelves were mounted. Any suggestions on the best way to do that would be appreciated!

Side note: Huge win for the neighbors... I found the reverse speaker and cut the wire so they don't have to listen the beeping every time I back in the driveway.

Also threw in one of my favorite pics from the yosemite trip last weekend. Waterfalls everywhere!
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:01 AM   #8
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Welding is best for filling holes.. but also the most complicated.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:09 AM   #9
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Lucky for him he has less than 20 holes and I have a mig welder...

grind, disconnect battery from frame, grind, reconnect battery, paint

Paging Flux to tell us how many holes he had!

I didn't do it this way and in hindsight I wish i did.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:10 AM   #10
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Oh, and have a backing plate, probably copper
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