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Old 07-18-2017, 02:33 AM   #1
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Advice Request - Should I buy it this van?

I spotted two vans for sale online recently. I have been interested in going the van route for quite awhile but haven't had the funds until recently. Budget is still tight but I figured I could get in with something I can work on myself. I'm pretty handy and have a better half that is also mechanically inclined, possibly even more so than myself.

I need the community's advice on if or which of these vans I should purchase, what to look out for, or any other wise suggestions for someone that has never owned a 4x4 van before.

The first I actually had a chance to take a look at. Some surface spot rusting, expecially around the slapped on rear mirror and rear lift gate. This van is the 5.4L gas with a little over 200k miles and RWD. Guy is selling it for 5200, but I'm going to offer lower.


https://lexington.craigslist.org/pts...221976343.html

The second is an ad for an already converted Quigley. I have not looked at this one in person but the pictures look to be similar in body condition as the previous van. I inquired with the seller and they indicated it does move forward under its own power and has a 4l80e transmission with the rest of the converted drivetrain being from an 04 silverado. The quigley conversion added front electronic lockers. Is there anything else I should ask about this van?


2005 Chevrolet Express 4x4 Quigley extended power locks

Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:34 AM   #2
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If you're wanting to build a camper van on a budget I wouldn't buy either. The Quigley Chevy is a good find but super high miles and it's going to cost you a few thousand for a tranny right off the bat. It's definitely a better project for a pretty good mechanic or you'll be at the mercy of a tranny shop, possibly doubling the price from the start.

The Ford is going to have holes in it from removing the haz placards and no rear bumper after you remove that Tommy Lift. It also has rust and if it's on the body it's on the chassis too.

There are lots of great deals on vans right now. I'd keep looking if I were you.

Tell us what you're looking for and lots of people here can help you find one.

Also, watch this thread daily:

FOUND Vans For Sale! - Expedition Portal!

Welcome to the gang and good luck!
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:50 AM   #3
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Nothing special about the first van. You can throw a rock and hit a 5.4l extended cargo van and I agree with Scott.

As for the Chevy, having the Quigley is nice but it sounds like a total rebuild as far as the trans and possibly the front end. Even if it sells for 4k you are gonna need another 5 or so to get it up to speed.

So I am pretty much echoing Scotty here. And I would ask what kind of build you want to get into, how much DIY you intend to do, and what you want to end up with. Assuming you are on the East Coast, I would keep looking for Quigley vehicles or other fleet vans. Consider balancing how much cash vs time you are gonna put into a vehicle and be careful about the base model you choose. Building a rig is not a trivial task and getting frustrated mechanically before you ever even get to all the fun stuff is a tough way to go.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:54 PM   #4
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I was also on the fence about purchasing either.

I would love to stumble onto a reasonably priced 4x4 van already equipped with some version of selectable lockers, so that I would have a base for building up a rugged off road camper. I do need some more education on what a good Sportsmobile setup is. Having watched some videos of these 4x4's in the mud, I saw some that indicated they had lockers still having the rear spin faster than the fronts, with left and right still matching. Is it not possible to get 4 wheel lock like Jeeps?

My significant other is a film photographer and we would like to get out there and really see everything. We also motorcycle though, so it doesn't have to rock climb. She has a yamaha SR400 that needs very little to be converted into essentially a dirtbike and I'll probably find a light ADV bike when the van we want becomes a reality. If the trails get absurd or tight then the plan would be to setup camp and take off with the bikes.

As far as which model I am interested in, MPG and total range are important to me. The type of gas not that much. Getting an extended version is also important due to having some dogs and a huge slew of camera equipment to haul around.

I would say between myself and my SO, we have enough mechanical skill to rebuild parts and replace or upgrade things on our own. I have in the past rebuilt little DOHC Japanese engines and the transmission on my Sportster successfully.

I look forward to hearing more of your suggestions, and the advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:48 AM   #5
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You say budget is tight, but how much are you willing to spend on the van purchase? That will ultimately dictate what type of van you get and what goodies it might come with.

You mention you wanted an extended length van. I would suggest getting the Ford van for that since the wheel base is the same as a regular length van so your turning radius stays pretty much the same. The overhang is longer, but 99% of the people that wheel their extended vans seems to be ok.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlasMick View Post
I was also on the fence about purchasing either.

I would love to stumble onto a reasonably priced 4x4 van already equipped with some version of selectable lockers, so that I would have a base for building up a rugged off road camper. I do need some more education on what a good Sportsmobile setup is. Having watched some videos of these 4x4's in the mud, I saw some that indicated they had lockers still having the rear spin faster than the fronts, with left and right still matching. Is it not possible to get 4 wheel lock like Jeeps?

My significant other is a film photographer and we would like to get out there and really see everything. We also motorcycle though, so it doesn't have to rock climb. She has a yamaha SR400 that needs very little to be converted into essentially a dirtbike and I'll probably find a light ADV bike when the van we want becomes a reality. If the trails get absurd or tight then the plan would be to setup camp and take off with the bikes.

As far as which model I am interested in, MPG and total range are important to me. The type of gas not that much. Getting an extended version is also important due to having some dogs and a huge slew of camera equipment to haul around.

I would say between myself and my SO, we have enough mechanical skill to rebuild parts and replace or upgrade things on our own. I have in the past rebuilt little DOHC Japanese engines and the transmission on my Sportster successfully.

I look forward to hearing more of your suggestions, and the advice is greatly appreciated!
I don't look at my van as a Jeep. I can't hard core rock climb with my van but it is surprising where it can go. If you don't plan to get into medium to easy rock climbing (you mentioned bikes) I wouldn't waste my money on lockers. I'd be looking into an E-350 EB with a full float rear axle with a rear limited slip. Maybe a winch and a good on board air compressor. Chevy's are a better more comfortable drive and a Chevy 4x4 is a great vehicle for snow or easy forest service roads but their wheel base is kinda long.

My van was a standard SMB 4x4 conversion. I can't speak of the other companies that build conversion kits but there are several here such as Quigley, Agile, Ujoint as well as some active members on this site putting out top quality kits.
I've got a Dynatrac pro rock 60 up front with an ARB locker & Warn prem hubs. The front also has a disconnectable Hellwig sway bar. I ditched my old 06 SMB shocks and springs and went with a Deaver Spring package. The SMB build has an Atlas II transfer case and beefed up drive line. They've built the conversion to have a really good turning radius and that helps when driving switchbacks with a long vehicle like my EB. Brakes are a bit lacking and a hydroboost conversion is probably going to happen in my vans near future. The newer 08 and up have a different setup compared to my 06. Their lift is a bit higher than what they did earlier and they went with (IIRC) F-550 brakes. SMB puts an 42 gal aftermarket fuel tank in as a option that most seem to purchase.
If your pockets are full or you like to work on engines, maybe you can score a good deal on a 6.0 PSD... great trail fuel mileage but maintenance is expensive. I do like the way a diesel can crawl in tricky situations.

I'm guessing you are going to need to put at least one trail bike inside?
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