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Old 09-16-2018, 08:45 AM   #1
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trekgurl - 2013 Ford E250 Super Duty Cargo Van

I bought this van to use as a tow pig for my 1969 bronco. Factory specs say itís supposed be able to tow 7400lbs. (trailer weighs about 2200lbs and the bronco is about 4200 lbs) so Iím hoping thatís the most average of any load I would encounter. I also go saltwater fishing a lot, some camping etc so Iím trying to make the van into a camper, expedition, tow pig, go to take naps in type vehicle. My friends call me the crazy van lady.

It has a Super duty emblem on it, but Iím not sure what that means? I know I have the 5500 lb springs though. It has a 5.4L, and had 76K miles on it (81K now) and looked to be in pretty good shape. Going by the VIN, it was set up for towing, but was not used for that in it's previous life. How do I know this,,, I ordered the online factory manuals (workshop/ owners manuals) 8,000 pages and part of the service was they researched my VIN and sent me a printout of what the van came from the factory with. The printout states it came set up for towing although something's connected with towing were removed (or not added at the dealer?) at some point.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:53 AM   #2
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tires, towing, surface rust

The first PO was the Illinoisís Dept of Education and the second PO hauled motorcycles I think. At some time, someone had a ďtommy liftĒ installed on it. Someone removed the step bumper, trailer light pigtail, and the spare tire. I donít think it came from the dealer with a trailer hitch as I cannot tell if one was ever installed or it was taken off.

So one of the first things I did was get a set of new 10 ply tires and then and I installed a class IV hitch. I need to get the trailer harness pigtail to plug into the existing wiring harness plug (located left rear side on the frame next to where the spare tire goes). and I've not been successful in getting that to work.

When I had the tires put on I had new TPMS sensors installed as I was getting a warning light. It worked fine for about three months and I have a warning light again. GRRRRR those things were expensive and the system is a PITA.

I need to change the oil, filters etc,, but got sidetracked by the surface rust issues I discovered a few weeks ago and then this dang storm has put everything on hold.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:01 AM   #3
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moved from the hijacked thread.. Surface rust , Raptor

I just had the inside floor of my E250 raptor'ed.
________________________________________
I wasn't planning on too but in the process of checking the OEM rear bed rug/mat I found lots of surface rust. :-(. and so I pulled up the front mats too and as I suspected the drivers side was well on its way to rusting. I had a feeling I might be dealing with rust issues since I bought a van that started its life in Illinois but didn't think this would be on of the places I needed to be to concerned with. Wrong,,,,, the floor's metal is paper thin so that doesn't help. I had a guy remove all the surface rust and raptor it. He bought a kit and had about a day's labor in rust removal and the raptor and cost me $600. I feel lots better about this step in preventing future problems.

The floor looks good , but its a little slick and I noticed the raptor "gassed" stronger than I anticipated but the odor eventually settled down. These issues should not be a factor after my permanent floor system is installed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trekgurl
... the floor's metal is paper thin so that doesn't help. I had a guy remove all the surface rust and raptor it...

Have you inspected the floor from underneath? You may have addressed the top surface of the floor, but you need to look at the underside as well.


Herb


Quote:
Originally Posted by trekgurl
I wasn't planning on too but in the process of checking the OEM rear bed rug/mat I found lots of surface rust. :-(. and so I pulled up the front mats too and as I suspected the drivers side was well on its way to rusting. I had a feeling I might be dealing with rust issues since I bought a van that started its life in Illinois but didn't think this would be on of the places I needed to be to concerned with.
If the stock floor matting pieces (both rear and front) live in any climate that's subject to humidity swings (like IL) the mats absorb moisture to the point they become saturated, never evaporating out. In turn the water-soaked mats lay against the interior metal floor for years causing unseen rust.

My own 2003 E250 EB lived its entire life in Ohio (still there) so first inspection of the cargo-only van had me pulling up a section of the stock mat to find it water soaked. Once the purchase deal was struck I flipped the mat upside down to begin drying. A week later it was still very wet--once home it was laid out on a patio deck for a whole week in the sun (no rain that week) and only then was it thoroughly dry. That was in May 2012

FF to this very week where that same mat was needed for a new floor pattern---it had been laying outside on my porch since 2012 unprotected from the weather. Unbelievably it was NOT water-soaked, pretty dry considering its storage location. All this is just saying those type floor mats absorb and trap moisture while inside a van---left outside they don't do the same thing---interesting I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trekgurl
The floor looks good , but its a little slick and I noticed the raptor "gassed" stronger than I anticipated but the odor eventually settled down. These issues should not be a factor after my permanent floor system is installed.
Once cured RaptorLiner et al shouldn't continue to out gas whether or not something covers it. As often as possible leave the doors open and the smell will or should dissipate soon enough.

Another point about flooring on top of the body sheet metal--it needs to be something non-absorbent and placed so the floor ribs open areas are maintained. I've seen so many add layer upon layer of insulation and sound deadening materials thinking or hoping that will provide monumental improvements in heating/cooling and noise reduction. IMNO it does no such thing---a stout plywood floor does such a great job AND leaves the open spaces for air flow there's not a lot of improvement to be made going much further.

Put your money into the side walls and ceiling, don't forget the door cavities too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Have you inspected the floor from underneath? You may have addressed the top surface of the floor, but you need to look at the underside as well.

Herb
Good observation and it makes sense however I've crawled under my own vans after driving in rain or snow/ice and apart from the wheel wells the under side in general isn't a bit wet, not to the degree we might assume.

Having owned and seen a few Ford rusted floors it almost always originates from the top, under the stock mats as I pointed out. Mind you the cross rib just above the rear axle is prone to the most and quickest deterioration, the remaining floor area doesn't seem similarly affected.

IF the area right above the rear axle is showing signs of rust it should be addressed which involves cutting that section out and replacing with new sheet metal. Not cheap but its better to treat it soon rather than later.

That's what I know...................
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:07 AM   #4
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yes I agree with what your saying on all this.

Having a 69 bronco I have an intimate relationship with rust I crawled underneath several times with a flashlight, and the floor looked to be in surprisingly good condition, as where the body bolts and mount areas. It was not under coated so I'm not sure if that was good or bad. I had other situations with undercoating covered up trouble and as far as going forward I think I'll leave it bare and keep it well maintained. The tops on the body mounts bolts inside where rusted bad but the bottom underneath not. I suspect there are nooks and crannies where some rusting may be happening and all I can do is keep searching for them and try to address them.

What I did notice was lots of surface rust on the rear axle, brake drums various other steel parts. (I'll try to post pics later as it's still raining). It looks bad but not sure I can do anything about that as I have limited resources to fix that. I noticed the muffler had rust and some spots that look to be almost rusted through soon, so I see a new muffler in my future. The tail pipe and tubing didn't seem to be rusted like the muffler.

Seemed to be more surface rust issues towards the back (i'm guessing from driving on salted roads and spray catching the back mostly. The front of the van does not seem as concerning.

Oh those OEM floor mats don't get me started. The design of rubber mat with some kind of cellulose insulation is asking for trouble, but I'm thinking I've see that type of insulation on firewalls, trunks and other places which rust out. The insulation is like a sponge and never dries out.

Interesting thought on the "air space" on the floor as I was thinking along the same lines. The next thing I need to do is put the floor in and planning it. I've been reading as much as I can find about the way everyone does it. Nobody seems to mention "air space" and from what I understand "gaps" between layers can critical to the insulating process. That's why we layer our clothes as it provides spaces for things to breathe. You can get something too "tight" and that can cause problems with condensation and odors too.

I know the way people insulate houses now they go to extremes and your can f-rt and it never goes away. lol.. that's what my daddy always said and he was a builder contractor for many years. That's also why I probably know more than the average lady about stuff like this. He had six brothers all were carpenters, as were their Daddy and grandfather. I got more advice about more stuff that I could ever retain
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:30 AM   #5
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Just a quick note about the Ford vans body construction, why most of them don't seem to rust away as many of us might be accustomed to from past vehicles.

Each body part isn't bare steel, once pressed into shape they're electroplated before being welded together. I believe the completed bodies are treated once again before painting, an envelope of rust protection in place. Traditional aftermarket undercoating doesn't do a lot towards preventing or delaying rust formation with this sort of body construction.

Those who drill or cut into a finished body (mostly exterior) and don't do something to restore that envelope will experience rust (climate dependent) at some point.

Surface rust you're noticing isn't a huge problem but is unsightly---I hate it. Undriven vehicles in 3- or 4-season climates tend to have a lot of this, the lack of heat and air motion normally present during normal driving pretty much encourages surface rust on bare metal parts. As you say there's not a lot to do after manufacture to combat this---the good news is its typically not overly injurious to the van's general health.

You're also spot on about insulation being too tight---we have to remember vehicles are NOT houses or buildings and cannot be built to be 100% environmentally sealed against the weather. Insulation is imperative for comfort but adding it without regard to what's being insulated can lead rust formation completely out of sight, not presenting itself until considerable body damage has already happened.

The air gaps under nothing more than a single layer of plywood (my choice is 3/4" BC) is a good plan--IMHO anyway. I don't drill into the steel floor as that pierces the body envelope albeit very slightly. Instead I run my floor under the small projecting flanges near the base of the sidewalls then capturing the entire floor by cutting pieces to fill that space between the floor and bottom of those flanges.

Hope this is helpful, looking forward to your progress!
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:45 AM   #6
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yes,, any comments or ideas are appreciated. I was hoping to get outside these past weeks to get started on my floor but this storm has got everything put on the back burner. We got hammered this morning we rain and tornado warnings,, (no tornadoes on us) but rain 4 in per hr. We went all through this hurricane with out many issues but the back side when its pulling away is getting us this morning.

I need to get out there and look at the flange your talking about as I sorta wanted the floor to "float" as your about and not screw it down. I was going with 3/4 plywood and using a good grade. I am concerned about the plywood sitting directly on the ribs and "rubbing" the raptor off? Maybe I should pad the ribs with something like cut up inner tube or something?

The other thing is how to cut up the plywood? You mentioned you put yours in in 3 pcs? I have included pics of some guy that special ordered 4x10 sheets and put his in 2 long pieces. Not sure I can handle it that long.

That takes care of the back but how does everyone do the front under the drivers/passenger areas.

If anyone has any links to pics of floor being put down let me know.

thanks
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:29 AM   #7
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If I didn't know better I'd say your photos showing plywood floor were my own---that's very similar to my own method.

Here's some images of my floor, no particular order: https://imgur.com/a/nNnMq5b

I did and will use 3/4" BC interior grade, sanded one side. When picking out your sheet goods pick pieces without any voids etc in the "good" side--makes applying your final floor covering massively easier and a better finished look too.

I did mine in nothing but 96" lengths---there's no practical benefit to special ordering 10' sheets. In fact three 4x8 sheets will do the entire floor from just behind the front seat bases to the very back. Any seams or joints you'd want to add for ease of handling the material can be easily crafted so you're not handling anything larger than 4x4 pieces.

On my next floor install (soon to begin) I'll run two 8' sheets from the back to halfway between the wheel wells and gas filler bump. They will be cut to fit the body just under the flange, the template being the original floor mat but I'll add about 1/4" to the pattern and trim as needed.

I'll split each sheet somewhere near the middle of the van so they meet near the middle where they'll span a wide space between the floor ribs. IIRC that space is close to 2" wide. The gap is about 1/2" deep so I'll cut 1 1/2" rabbits in the plywood sheets along their length and across the front edges too. Length-wise I'll run strips the full length and screw through the top sheets into the strips between the ribs--this is a super strong joint in this use.

At the leading edge of the longer pieces I'll use the same 1/2" strips but more as "fingers" running under the cross-wise seams, long enough for maybe 2 screws on each side of the seam.

It might not be easily seen but I did eliminate the factory side step as that's very convenient for my van's use. Because I run DIY running boards entry to the interior isn't an issue, the space resulting from covering the side step used for miscellaneous storage. This might not be desirable for RV/camper use.

In the last two photos of that link I show how I capture the floor under the flange I mention.

If the floor is cut for a snug fit there would be little to no real movement of the plywood against the Raptor lining to cause any issues. You won't gain anything with pads ect between the plywood and metal floor ribs I dare say the Raptor liner is strong enough to not be bothered by even a little movement---its mostly used in pick up truck beds anyway so it has to be able to resist quite a bit of wear and tear.

HTH
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