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Old 05-31-2015, 08:24 PM   #1
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Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

Hey everyone. Been reading as much as possible around these parts, but it came to the point where I needed to break the seal and get the introductions out of the way and introduce my new project that I'm picking up tomorrow!

Here are some pics. These are actually of an identical van that this person sold, so I'll update with my own pics once i get my hands on it. It's a 1998 Ford E-350 STD Econoline Cargo Van, 7.3 Diesel. 125k miles. 2 owners, looks like a 3 year lease and then it was purchased and entered into a fleet.







Like i said, buying it tomorrow hopefully. They won't sell it to anyone else, so it's mine if i want it, which i do! Any words of advice going into it? I've seen it in person, but didn't drive it. They hadn't even processed it or cleaned it yet. I showed up to look at the other one they had, but it was sold, so now i get this one.

Also, I have never driven a diesel before, but after researching for a while, it seems like the 7.3 should be able to handle anything that i throw at it. All comments and tips very welcomed and encouraged.

Once I actually get it, I'll post a little bio and what I hope for the van both short and long term, don't want to jinx it too much!

ps. not sure if it's bad form to post a price, but I would love to know if I'm getting a good deal or not. maybe pm?

- Brian
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:52 AM   #2
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

Welcome and congrats! Feel free to post the price, I'm sure you'll get some responses.....

A couple of observations, at least for the van pictured. I love red vans

This van has a side slider door instead of barn doors. The slider limits the use of fender flares and door galleys, although it's possible to modify the slider mechanism to clear fender flares. Two folks here who have done this are BajaSportsmobile and MGmetalworks.

The van in the picture has a full float rear axle, and excellent upgrade from a semi-float. Some vans have FF and some have SF from the factory. You can tell it's FF from the hub that protrudes through the center hole in the rear wheel. The SF axle does not stick out through the wheel. FF axles are substantially more robust than SF especially when you end up with a 10,000 lb van.

I see the van has a CA plate; where are you located?
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

Awesome. I love the slide doors and red is my favorite color. That's exactly what I was looking for when I was looking for my van. I had to settle due to time constraints. And don't worry about spacing issues, just make it a gulwing door
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:50 AM   #4
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

Thanks for the info on the rear axle. Did not know that. So much to learn, and I'm very excited about that.

Regarding the sliding door, it is actually what I was looking for as opposed to the barn style. We do a lot of car camping and festival camping here in california where we will want to leave that slider open while we are hanging out in camp. So i figured the slider would be better for that because it will be more out of the way when open.

We live way down south on the coast in San Clemente so weather is our friend down here. Still deciding on how much insulation I'll eventually put in it.

List price is $7k, thoughts? As i stated earlier they sold an identical van listed at the same price within days of it being listed, so not sure how much negotiating power I have. That and I am a terrible negotiator haha.

Fingers crossed, work can't end soon enough!
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

I'm a slider door fan myself. Here is a detailed DIY tutorial on the process of modifying the hinge...

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=14656

I've done a lot of them for customers too. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:11 PM   #6
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by bemerritt
Thanks for the info on the rear axle. Did not know that. So much to learn, and I'm very excited about that.

We live way down south on the coast in San Clemente so weather is our friend down here. Still deciding on how much insulation I'll eventually put in it.

List price is $7k, thoughts? As i stated earlier they sold an identical van listed at the same price within days of it being listed, so not sure how much negotiating power I have. That and I am a terrible negotiator haha.

Fingers crossed, work can't end soon enough!
Check the van you are buying and confirm it also has a FF........not a deal-breaker, but not all vans have them.

I'm also in South OC......Coto De Caza
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:38 PM   #7
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

ok, so the dealership posted pics online. Looks like the rear axle is different on this one.



Probably explains why this one is $1k cheaper. That and it is a little more beat up i think with the bumper and peeling tinted windows.

Kinda happy about this. Adds $1k into the immediate budget to get things going.

While the rear axle isn't as heavy duty (i think that is the right way to explain it haha) it should be just fine to fit my needs.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:41 PM   #8
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

There could very well be a FF axle behind that hubcap.........pop the hubcap when you check it out.

The bumper dent is nothing......
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:15 AM   #9
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

dents add character.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:29 AM   #10
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Re: Clifford - 1998 E350 Build

Well, quick update. Drove her home last night and couldn't be happier! Guy said it was $1k cheaper because it had 10k more miles, fine by me. Now that i bought it, somebody can tell me i got ripped off haha.

Your suspicions were correct.

Front wheel



Rear wheel



Going to start the tear down tonight after work. Once it gets dark I'll give a full intro, post some more pics and list out the first mods. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions.
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