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Old 12-15-2017, 08:41 PM   #1
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Yolanda my TURBINE PRINCESS E350 7.3 powerstroke build to 4x4 pop-top

Back in 2007 I purchased my first E250 6.9 diesel Ford van and fell in love with her.



After my family grew we realized that she wasn't going to be big enough to camp in. so I sold her and sent her out west, bought a tundra and a slide in camper.

Many years later when I left my job decided that I needed a new work truck and was torn between buying another full-size diesel van or a diesel half ton pickup. Unfortunately Ford no longer made diesel vans and I just didn't need a sprinter. Fast forward 2 years from then after building the Flip-Back I've changed the kind of work I do, so the truck isn't being used as more than a glorified Prius...

With a family of 7, all of the trips that we've taken we've always ended up having to take 2 vehicles. Last summer this resulted in my wife's windshield getting smashed when the trailer threw a board from the road!! we were lucky nobody got hurt!!

For the last several months have been kicking around the idea of picking up another van and started searching an Earnest about a month ago and that's when I ran across an extended Bonnie 7.3 L Powerstroke with about 200,000 miles on it. Went down last week and test drove it and had to wait until last weekend to be able to go down and pick her up..


And here she is I've decided to name her Yolanda cuz she reminds me of a white girl with a big old booty!! And turbine princess was something said late one night after too many DRINKS and too much ANIME!!!


She runs drives and shifts like she's brand new doesn't leak a drop of any fluid I got her home after 300 mile marathon trip from picking her up in Southern Ohio all the way out to Dayton to pick up the leather seats for the inside back across to a meet and greet at Quaker Steak Saturday night and then home she never missed a beat never gave me a lick of trouble but she needs to do front tires because the standard Fords are cupped pretty good!!!


Last night I got her in the garage and got a stripped out.we think she was a security vehicle probably hauling cash dispensing ATMs judging by the E Track and the elaborate security system in the doors!! But I didn't find any extra hundred dollar bills wedged in the cracks just yet.

She's full polyline on the sides with reflectix insulation underneath of it I'm going to go ahead and get the floor cleaned up por15 and then put Dynamat on all of the walls and the flooring, foil bubble and batt insulation in the walls bubble insulation the floor then reinstalled the pre-cut plywood flooring that was in great shape throw the rubber mat down on top of that it already has the sound deadening on the backside of it and then a little chunk of carpet run from the front to the back.

I've already order the track and the metal for the roof and it should arrive next week so that I can get the penthouse roof cut then start laying in the superstructure get the lifting mechanisms in the roof rack built and the whole thing painted then installed!!!! She should be able to lift her top by thanksgiving!!!

Then I can get her insides done..2 full 6ft couches as the main lower bed. 4 captains chairs all on swivel bases..led lighting and accent lights..and a tv on an arm mount for the kids to watch movies on the in dash DVD or play video games.

Backup camera,360* site lighting, 200 watts on the roof and 135ahu battery feeding 1500w inverter, bumpers front and rear and the rear storage box for kitchen..


Then ill source a d60 for the front and a divorced Atlas...the trans shifts way too good to wanna pull it apart and risk messing something up!!...that's probably going to be late summer if not next fall!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:44 PM   #2
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Got the side panels down and she keeps showing me she's in good shape!! Quick scuff and wipe it all down...found a bunch of new cans of paint and spray glue in my cabinets in the garage...they are warming up inside for this weekends painting.

I'm gonna Dynamat the walls and floor..then spray glue the bubble foil to the inside plastic liner so I've got an air gap between between the mat and foil to help with noise..

Then the rubber floor liner goes back down..and seat bases get mounted!!


OH AND NEW SHOP LIGHTS CAME IN!!! They are AWSOME!! 3 Light my 24x40 shop completely!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:45 PM   #3
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Ive seen several people struggle with making Fiberglass tops so I decided to go with something similar to GTRV and use metal...

Im no stranger to making tent toppers so Im doing 6 windows with screens plastic and curtains for a 360* view!!!


Clean rust free and fresh paint!!

Spin bases being picked up tomorrow then sound deadener going down before they are mounted to insulate noises from following up metal in the bases!

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Old 12-15-2017, 08:46 PM   #4
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So much done with my little helpers!! Deadener installed and had to get the heat gun and extra hands!! Modified and installed 3 of 4 new seats!! They all spin!! Middles lay way back and even fold forward into tables!! Couch is about a FOOT too narrow but will work until I can get the bigger seat (or 2 small seats) made that will be storage/bed...I need to trim the factory floor mat and it will go over top the bases...the current setup has 5x6ft of empty storage...

Kids did AWSOME and we had a fun day!!

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Old 12-15-2017, 08:47 PM   #5
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Got the bench frames built and mocked up..they are gonna be SWEET!! spy photos arnt that great with no webbing yet...


Spent a few hours servicing door locks..and adjusting hinges...they had some issues from the bedliner and A WHOLE LOT of nasty stuff inside the locks..gross!!!!

Got middle seats modified so they slide spin and lay down as they are supposed too!!

Also installed 2 of the 8 overhead LED lights so the back isn't so dark right now..others get installed once top gets cut and interior finish panels n carpet go up! Super bright!!

I've got the driver seat ready to install (and found I need to modify the passenger front seat so it slides full length not just 3 inches..as I pulled the driver side I found that the driver floor was the only cancer I've seen!! Its been cleaned and prepped..currently drying..tomorrow it gets a tin patch caulked and screwed in..and 3 layers of sound deadener...then mat back down..

Then doors deadenered on primary panel and some on the secondary with some stuffing insulation...


Should pick up the roof metal and track this week.

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Old 12-15-2017, 08:48 PM   #6
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Supervisor approves of the work...got seats mounted too!! Significant reduction in sound!!!

3 layers of deadener on firewall front fender wells and front floor!! All 200sqft is now used!!

Next insides of doors..and hopefully the pop top!!!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:50 PM   #7
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Got the front seats finally mounted after the first few snags ive encoutered...the driver seat wants a lot more power than normal...after struggling with it for 2 days to behave I hooked the battery charger to it and got it adjusted where I wanted and unplugged it...

also got the doors foam filled (spare stuff from my pelican cases..)

I got the wiring schematic done and started on the 110 and 12v stuff (solar 200w and 135ahu house battery setup already built Im moving it from my cargo trailer to the van)...The Fridge and 2 of the 5 USB dual 2.1amp (2 plugins at each chair and bench) sockets wire pulled...and started building the 110 boxes....

My 110 setup will be closer to an RV than typical van setups...Ive got the shore power socket already..it will run to 3 RED outlets (one in each dual outlet box) it will also be direct wired into a 3amp battery maintainer that will do the house battery..also there will be a battery ISOLATOR that will let the factory alternator charge both batterys and allow me to cross link them to jump the van battery from the house battery with the flick of a switch...AND the block heater for the diesel that I always plug in when it is gonna be 30* or lower (my current truck has one..doesnt need it but it DOES let us have heat early in the morning faster when taking the kids to school..)...so plugging in at night in the winter will keep the cold from killing batteries and help the van start easier...with one plug!!


That allows me to plug in at campgrounds whenever we stay at one even if its mid longer trip and fully charge batteries if its cloudy..and the red plugs are so we arnt doing the 110-battery charger-battery-inverter to 110...that way we KNOW we are using shore power not van battery power and Im not guessing which one I can run an extention cord off of without damaging my inverter (plans are 2000 watt pure sine wave...we are putting in a flat screen and gaming system during road trips for the kids...and flip the fridge to 110 if research proves the amp draw is less..and lets us put it on shore power easily)

ALSO BIG NEWS...I ordered the D60 from Ebay...and low and behold I found one in a recycling yard 2 hours from me for $350!!!! Im still freaked out that I got it MUCH cheaper than I guessed it would cost!! and Ive already contacted MG about brackets...so YOLANDA might be 4wd AND a pop top before SPRING!!! IM STOKED!!!!!!

Ive got plenty left to do...but already the sound deadening in the floor walls and doors have made a HUGE diffrence!!! tomorrow shes getting her first couple gallons of Waste Veggie Oil(peanut) added to the tank...I had a system on my old 85 E250 6.9....it LOVED IT!!..more power...and QUIETER engine...If I remember I will do a decible check and see the comparison..

Im gonna try and get out to the garage tomorrow...today was thanksgiving at our house (kids were all at other parents last weekend)...hence the peanut oil...
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:52 PM   #8
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my first build in 2010



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Old 12-15-2017, 08:53 PM   #9
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My son and I took her out today for a ride...with the deadener and foam in the doors....its probably only 25% as loud as it was before...so AMAZING!!!

I still have more insulation in the driver wall...and padding backed carpet...also the roof is bare metal right now...the topper will have 1in foam board inside..Im anticipating cutting the interitor sound by 50% from current levels....as of right now there is ZERO engine noise in the front area...the exhaust sounds that were coming from the passenger front floor are totally GONE...even the noise from the mid seats is barely perceptable..the rear area noise is mostly wind and road...but its such a large open area without seats and other objects it acts like an empty warehouse...so the seat foam and carpet should zero it out!!!

Merry Christmas to me Merry Christmas to me I'm in so much trouble I bought a Dana 60!!!!



And she is fat and heavy I didn't realize the radius arms are going to be three and a half feet long it barely fits in my six and a half foot deep bed!!!!

It DOES have the radius arms..it doesn't have brakes calipers or steering arms...all spins SMOOTH...but the difference between these 2 kits make it a no brainer to swap the unit bearings to brand new!

$350 steering balljoints and unit bearings and seals
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073X7MHHQ...251RP9R1&psc=0

$284 OE calipers drilled and slotted rotors and ceramic brakes
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ES3D4O8...251RP9R1&psc=0

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Old 12-15-2017, 08:58 PM   #10
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Well I got the 60 painted with an industrial spray very similar to POR15...and work was throwing it out...hello painted van frame!!

Im doing some searching across here on EXPO and thru some of the vendors Ive used in the past....

Yolanda doesn't have power windows OR door locks..the back doors have security key locks that are UBER secure (spring load double cut keys and reinforced lock cylinders)
so I dont wanna really change those...but they ARE NOT on the regular Ford key...its a security key...and its not something the kiddos will be able to turn and pull the doors...but the van doesn't have the actuators for door locks...and OEM stuff is pricy..junk yard stuff is ignorant to buy with how its installed usually mangling the old one getting it out.

also I would LOVE a remote start and remote unlock...that leads me to aftermarket kits...Ive ordered quite a bit from this company over the years so why not see what they have...

full alarm kit, actuators for all 4 doors..ignition disable..lighted interior and egress lighting (probably be the 360* roof lights..that should be fun in a parking lot!!!! )and a free channel...(hmmmmm.....windows?? Fantastic Fan?? cappuccino maker?? who knows!!!)

Now Yes...there are a few cheaper kits...this company even sells them...HOWEVER the LONG RANGE TRANSMITTER HAS AN ISSUE....I installed a remote start on the F150 and it had the long range transmitter...which WAS COOL!!!!...untill I was constantly called by guys in the groundskeeping department that my TRUCK WAS RUNNING....and I had been across campus all day....and I would often ride by and find it running...I eventually made a metal guard for the FOB to keep me from hitting the freaking button...THIS SYSTEM has the 2 way remote...it will tell me the engine runtime left (both for warmup and Turbo Cool Down Timer) also the internal temperature of the van so if its getting too warm I can hit the AUX button and crack a window or turn on the Fantastic Fan in the roof vent...

and Best Buy usually installs them for $150...(they did my wifes VW rabbit that are NOTORIOUS HORRORS TO DO and my F150 in 6 hours on the same day!!! that dude was KICK ***!!!)

https://www.sonicelectronix.com/item...ctpage-nosto-1
[ATTACH=CONFIG]427760[/ATTACH]

and poking around looking at things on the Pork chop express build (Ive joked about calling this the Pork chop express as we foster mini-pigs and Im ususaly the transport for Vet and Foster stuff...).....and he mentioned just swaping out the window regulators for power ones...so I go looking...some INTERESTING choices out there for sure!!

this one uses the factory hand cranks and puts a worm gear driven outer ring over the handle....

[ATTACH=CONFIG]427761[/ATTACH]

so I start looking at OEM stuff...its not bad...then I get the idea maybe just put power window motors on the exisiting assembly...head to ROCKAUTO.com and start poking around...

OEM power window regulators are $45 each....thats a BIG no brainer!!!

2003 FORD E-350 5.4L V8 Window Regulator & Motor Assembly | RockAuto
[ATTACH=CONFIG]427762[/ATTACH]

so about $400 for power windows-doors an alarm, a turbo timer, egress lighting switch and to know if my DAMN VAN IS SITTING BURNING FUEL WHILE IM NOT IN IT...yea...thats a no-brainer...
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