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Old 07-26-2018, 12:42 PM   #1
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E350 2wd Communication Van Thread

Hi All,

I'm traveling tonight and tomorrow to go pick up my van. I wanted to go ahead and start my build thread since I'll have time during my travel to think about my wish list and start getting recommendations.

2005 E350 2wd extended high top, 6.0 powerstroke diesel turbo, 50k miles
Currently has a jack-knife bed in the back that will need to go
Other than that, the interior is fairly empty except the walls appear to be finished with some sort of aluminum paneling.

Wishlist and in order of Priority.

1. Rear seats for the kids - there is currently no rear seat. This is/was a cargo van. I will need seats and seat belts including shoulder belts for the kids, bolted down right to be safe. I picture the installing the front swivels and leaving enough room between the front and back seats to have a card table in the middle. Need advise on seats, mounting process, etc. Especially with the seat belts.

2. Powerstroke preventative care. At only 50k miles, I'm not too worried, but I will have my mechanic go over it closely and do any preventative things that need to be done. I'm not going to be thrashing this thing like the rednecks do the trucks... , but i will be hauling a 6k lb camper.

3. Interior - in addition to the seats, I want a removable bed concept so I can utilize the rear like a truck bed when needed. I would also love some sort of DIY bedslide for under the bed storage, but I'm not shelling out $1500 for the real deal.

4. Exterior - I'll probably bedline a bunch of it, like the lower quarter and bumpers all around. Not sure about aftermarket bumpers as it's only 2wd and I won't be doing any rock crawling with it. Eventually I'd like a bit snazzier of a paint job than the creeper white it currently has so it looks a little more presentable as a family vehicle.

Thanks in advance for any input and stay tuned for pictures. I didn't want to post those until it was a done deal for sure...
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:32 PM   #2
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Where are you located?

Kids seats will need floor reinforcement if the van started as a cargo van.

Bed frame can be pretty simple, this one came in my van although looking into building a new one that folds up. Fits a queen mattress.
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:00 PM   #3
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Located near Harrisburg PA

Yes, definitely want to install the kids seats and seatbelts properly.

Also looking for some sort of bed design that folds up along the sides out of the way.
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnm115 View Post

Also looking for some sort of bed design that folds up along the sides out of the way.
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...rior-5601.html
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:26 AM   #5
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Haha. I love his build! I can only hope I get just as good of a setup
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:06 PM   #6
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Got 'er home!

Ok, got the van home late yesterday. I had an epic road trip with my 'Cuz who helped me drive it home.

We flew from Philly to Omaha on the cheapest tickets I could find. The plane was half empty, and our fat butts were apparently too heavy to be at the rear of the plane, so they bumped us to first class! The owner picked us up at the airport, we did the inspection, title, bill of sale, and were on our way.

We only had the Bill of Sale, and the Signed title, no plate... so we were a little nervous. Sure enough, we got pulled over the first day, but were sent on our way and told we were perfectly legal, but he had to check us since we didn't have a plate (and we obviously tried to not get in front of him, which he picked up on)

We blew through Missouri and spent the first night at Cuiver River State Park. The owner and thrown in some swivel chairs that he had planned to install, so we used them as campfire chairs. We got lots of interesting looks from our neighbors...


Next, we went on through St. Louis, to Kentucky. Toured the Buffalo Trace distillery, and spent the night at Kanawha state forest in West Virginia. Felt bad because we had a little trouble getting out of our camping spot with only 2wd and left a burnout in the grass... maybe a limited slip is in the van's future?

Then we went on through New River Gorge for a quick visit, a quick run on the Blue Ridge Parkway, then on up I-81 to get home.

First things I may need help on (still doing research)
1. Rear seat with integrated seatbelts and flexibility?
2. Replacement driver side mid windows, hopefully with venting options
3. Can you replace door windows with venting ones? or do you just go get doors from the junk yard?

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:06 PM   #7
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Question 3: yes you can replace just the door windows if you can find them at a yard. Ford stopped offering them in the late 90s or early 2000s. See my how-to post from a few years ago on the subject.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:34 AM   #8
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Well, it's legal now at least. Just finally got back from the DMV with a regsitered plate.

A little head's up... a 1 ton van is $212/year for registration! I should have known that, but it completely slipped my mind. They wouldn't let me convince them to register it as a station wagon or anything silly.. ha.

I'm looking to tear into it this weekend before taking it to the shop next week for inspection. Going to start by ripping up the floor and the aluminum paneling off the walls.

Need to also look at the engine cover area because a LOT of heat is getting through there...
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:32 PM   #9
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Add a few windows to the sides and you can register it as a station wagon in PA. There’s a form to submit. I have it in my office somewhere as I’d love to change my SMB from motor home plates to passenger here in PA.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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But it has windows! She said it was all about the weight. That it had to be registered as a work truck basically. It has a truck plate now...
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