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Old 10-26-2018, 06:00 PM   #1
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'94 Dodge B350 highroof

Hello! I've been hearing about Sportsmobile for years and drove my bro-in-law's E250-based van several years ago. We've owned a VW Westfalia for over a decade and have long wanted more room than the Westy offers, and we discussed doing a Sprinter buildout when a Sprinter was the only big van out there. With the arrival of the Transit and Promaster the field opened up but the prices are still high, so we decided to try something different.

My wife found this thing on the local Craigslist and we went for it. Here it is with the VW it will be replacing. I particularly like the roof configuration; extra tall for stand-up-straight headroom, tall rear doors (motohauler!), and normal side doors. This one did have a wheelchair lift but the previous owner removed it. It's solid with a couple of rust bubbles at the bottoms of the side doors and low miles but it will need some work and, of course, the buildout.

I'm trying to find out the manufacturer of the roof. It's not a Fiberine; I sent them pix and asked and they replied that it's not theirs. If you recognize it I'd like to hear about it from you.

Progress on this will be slow since we're involved in a couple of extensive home projects but I'll update as we begin working on it.
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:52 PM   #2
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Well, when it rains it just freakin' pours. Here's a second '94 Dodge B350 maxivan with highroof for sale in the area. This one looks like it has tall side doors and normal rear doors, the reverse of the one I bought, but it also probably does not have the head gasket problem mine does although I do prefer the shape of this roof to the one on my van. I'm not going to call about it because if the roof is the same height as mine and permits standing up I might just go nuts and buy it.


https://richmond.craigslist.org/cto/...737771900.html


94 dodge van - $1500 (Richmond)






1994 Dodge van

fuel: gas
title status: clean
transmission: automatic

1994 dodge van with power washing equipment tank ,pressure washer etc. runs great call or text me @ show contact info
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:58 PM   #3
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The 2nd one has potential. Might be able to sell off the equipment and buy down net cost of the vehicle or start a rainy day fund.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:47 PM   #4
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I agree that selling off the equipment would be a way ahead, but I already have one van (well, two if you count the existing Westy) with no time or space for another one. I'll let someone else get it and have their fun. I prefer the one I got for its tall rear doors, better suited to load a motorcycle than tall side doors, but I'm just marveling at the sudden proliferation of highroof vans when I've been looking for a while unsuccessfully.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campism View Post
Hello! I've been hearing about Sportsmobile for years and drove my bro-in-law's E250-based van several years ago.
I found a pic of the bro-in-law's SMB. He let us borrow it for a week during a California trip about a decade ago. He died since and we probably could have bought the van from the estate very reasonably but that just did not happen. Anyway, I don't recall the driving experience as being very daunting, which is probably why I was not scared away from the B350 we bought, but both are vastly huge-er than our current Westy and may take some getting used to. It was also my first ever $75+ fillup.

In addition, I never had the chance to explore the SMB's potential because he had the back end of it absolutely crammed with crap, evidently using his van as closet space, or an attic, or a basement, or some combination of all of those. Barely room in back for our own luggage. Too bad.
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:15 AM   #6
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Good news! User @MSD alerted me that the builder of the high roof, and probably the whole conversion by the looks of the website, is a company called FGME in Thomasville NC. Fiberglass Molding & Engineering looks like the place.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:50 PM   #7
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After three months of looking at the thing in the driveway and having enough time off from the landscaping project I finally did a little work on the van. I'd pulled the doghouse already to see how involved the engine work will be so today I improved access by removing the seats and pulling the old carpet. Quick vac and it looks great. Sprayed PB Blaster on all the fasteners and removed the heat shields. Made wooden blocks to fit on the seat mounting bolts to prevent injury when scrambling around inside.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:16 AM   #8
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Glacially slow progress on this beast. I knew going in that it would take a back seat to the extensive landscaping project but I thought I'd get a compression test done before now, and I finally did it this week. Looks like I have my work cut out for me. All eight plugs were black; sooty on the left bank and oily or gassy on the right.

Incidentally, another Dodge B350 highroof (also an FGME conversion) hit CL this week for cheap, this one with the tall side doors. Jeez...
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:32 AM   #9
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First guess is the engine needs to have the plenum gasket replaced.

Donít bother with any plenum gasket supplier other than Hughes engines. Get the complete kit and an INCH-pound torque wrench.

If you tear into it further put a Hughes timing chain set in it with the tensioner from the same generation V6 Mopar. The chains are long and like to stretch. The tensioner was used in some of the V8s.

Let me know if I can help... spend more of your money.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:00 AM   #10
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@campism make sure to put the dog house back on each time when you are done working, or otherwise securely cover the opening. Otherwise itís a very tempting open front door for lots of critters that would like a cozy place to spend the night or longer.
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