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Old 11-26-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a campervan.

first off, wanna say thanks to everyone whos taken the time to post thier projects. this site has been invalueable with my research for one of these builds. big thumbs up

second a little about my wife and i. we love camping, period. however we are sick of setting up tents and loading up a toyota to the hilt each trip. weve wanted something dual purpose as we arent really all that well off. just scrapin by most months. our other intrests are racing cars. all thats available around here is autox, rallyx and hillcimbs. ive been racing for about 14 years and enjoy it, but really want to travel and hit some lapping days and a few other hillclimbs that i generally wont go to due to not having a tow rig. we also love mt biking and snowboarding and would gladly give up a day in a racecar for some fresh powder turns without a flinch.

we talked about a fullsize pickup and getting an rv trailor, but that defeats the purpose of being able to tow a car. we talked about a slide in camper, but the layouts never really suited me and the looks are terrible and i really dont enjoy putting them on and taking them off to use the truck for other things. we also discussed an rv, but they are bulky, get terrrible mpg's and really cant get to where we like to camp...AWAY from the dumbfounded dipshits we are forced to share the city with.

i started talking with a friend whos 97 f350 i borrow when i needed a real truck. he suggested a campervan. my first thought was the old westfalia vw's. great little campers, but thats about it. he mentioned that you could do a poptop on a fullsize van. this got my attention and off to the nets i went. started looking around and was oh hell yes! now, i just needed to convince the wife.

i had my 88 sr5 toyota for 18 years. was a great pu and only left me stranded maybe twice...and i was not nice to that thing, lol. the wife actually fell in love with the truck a few years before we even met (i lived around the corner from her). i mentioned the van idea to her and got some smartass comments about molester vans, free candy, etc...so i figured the best way was to test drive one and go by her work and show her how much room was in one. I test drove a rb quigley passenger that had 4 captin chairs. she got in and said wow. the for sale sign went in the toyota that night. if we had sold it sooner, i would have bought that 5.4 rb, but someone in utah bought it sight unseen 2-3 days after i test drove it.

we sold the toyota a few weeks later. i had been looking for 3-4 months prior for a van, but once the toyota sold I really fell slave to craiglist and google. i searched everywhere. had dealers looking, friends from all over etc. we had got to the point of not finding what we wanted and i actually sat down with the wife and told her we were gonna have to not be so picky. we decided that the first 4x4 van in our range we would buy. no matter what motor, rb or eb, passenger or cargo, color, whatever. if it was 4x4 we could deal with the rest. i decided to do one more random ass search and about page 8, I found our van...across the nation of course.

i did research on shipping vans by truck, trailor, and train. this beast was too big and we ended up taking a plane there and driving back. cost us 830 bucks in fuel. cheapest shipping we found was 1900. our plane tickets were 20 bucks due to the graciousness of a pharmicudical rep we know that has gobs of miles banked. the journey was fun, but we are glad to be home. anyway, on to our project...

our 2003 eb e350 7.3 4x4:











wife and i are really happy with the van. we never imagined we would own such a freaking huge vehicle and we are both super excited to get our conversion completed. it will be slow going as I will be doing most of the work myself (and of course roping friends into the mix too). we also want to use it a while to figure out exactly what we do and dont want in the van. it will be a simple build, but with the ideas ive got from builds on here, I think i can make a pretty usefull setup on the cheap.

im all ears with suggestions as im a total rookie to this, but i have decided that i will be using a ccv top. i stopped and chatted with derek on our way home. he was the only person i talked to that had the time of day for me. i dont think he realizes how much help he was in the few conversations we had prior to me going to his place and while I was there. super nice guy, and very down to earth. either way, i like the way he thinks and after seeing his work in person, ive decided to go with his products when i get the money to do so.

i still need to decide how i want to power things, what all we want inside etc. so overwhelming, yet so exciting. just wish i had a bunch of cash to get it rolling, lol. i hate being poor
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
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intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

Congratulations and welcome. It looks like a nice looking rig. Where are you located?
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:42 AM   #3
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intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

Welcome and congrats on the buy.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:51 AM   #4
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Re: intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

thanks for the welcomes gents!

im in boise idaho, and the van ended up being in really good shape. only a few things we couldnt see in the pix, but no major suprises. however, i did come out to my driveway right after making this thread to find a big puddle of fuel on the ground. after doing a little teardown and making a call to one of the diesel wizards i know i discovered that the valve used for separating water from the fuel was leaking and is actually pretty common. one will be ordered and replaced asap. getting my hands dirty early and broke my van hymen. its obvious this thing will be a joy to wrench on.

while I was in there i did my first mod. i removed the bafflebox from the intake. soooooooo much more hp < sarcasm btw...

hoping this weekend i can get in the van and remove the paneling from walls and floor the previous owners installed. get it down to the bare bones. start with some insulation and maybe figure out what window im going to replace that weird little door with on the drivers side.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:51 AM   #5
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Re: intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

Welcome to the forum! It's good to see more vans from the PNW. Looks like a great chassis for a monster build.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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Re: intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

SWEET......another person we can all give expensive advice to and see how he reacts!

Welcome to the world of many choices, some of them will cost way more than you think.

Remember Pictures.....we need pictures.

Nice lookin van to start with. How many miles are on the clock?
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:56 AM   #7
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Re: intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

lmao, sticker shock is gonna be a bitch with this build for sure. my usual projects are civics and parts are super cheap compared to what ive priced for this badboy. but wife and i are prepared for that. were even prepared to give up racing till this is done if need be. im kinda ready for a break other than rallyx. that shit is funner than hell. havent laughed that hard in a car since highschool. either way, i know everytime i price out a part i need to be sitting down. derek gave me some prices during my visit and ya, sticker shock is gonna own me often during this process.

van had 144k when i left GA. now its at 147k. i get to go to the dentist today, but hoping tomorrow after work I can get some detailed pix of the inside before i start the demo. im familiar with forums... pix or ban, pix or ban!

appreciate the comps on the new ride and especially the warm welcomes. look forward to meeting some of the people that lurk around these parts!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:01 PM   #8
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Re: intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

Welcome aboard

There is a lot of stored information in the previously posted threads. Be sure to use the search function first if you have any questions. If that doesn't help just ask away. But be warned. The answer almost invariable involves the spending of money.

But it's better than sleeping in a tent in the rain.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:16 PM   #9
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intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

Hi;

I love the passion with which you describe your discovery of these road and trail beasts.

May it continue in all of us as we roar downhill and crawl uphill.

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:33 AM   #10
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Re: intro/build thread and our poorboy attempt at a smb.

thanks guys.

definitly familiar with the search function. sometimes its great, other times it yeilds nothing, but Im spending a lot of time just sifting through old threads anyway. sometimes you find info where you least expect it.

i do have questions, but want to take pix so im not releying on bad descriptions, lol. things just keep coming up after work and by the time I get home, Im out of daylight. damn short winter daze.

one question i do have concerns the lift on my van. its a quigley conversion, but im curious what lift is in it. its got blocks in back, but what are the springs from up front? forgive my ignorance as i really dont know much about the ford pickem ups, but i thought that the majority of the f350's had leaf spring setups up front.

also, if i gave my vin number to quigley, do you think they would give me info about what all they did to my van? would they be able to tell me what gearing i have, what fuel tank, etc? would just like to know all that if possible. the other quigley converted van i test drove had all the original info in it, mine didnt have squat.
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