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Old 07-04-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
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Crossing 200K Miles on a 98 E250 with a Triton V8

I am just about to cross over the 200K mark on my 98 Triton V8 and was wondering if anybody has done an engine swap and if they did.. what too? New V8 Crate motor? (whats the gotcha's?) what are some alternatives?

I am also wondering if the transmission should be swapped at the same time and go to something more than the tired old three speed! - If I do that what else do I have to swap (Controls/computers etc). I realizes that this could be like renovating an old house.. you go to add a recepticle and end up re-wiring the place and then replumbing it etc...

Any opinions, thoughts, comical bi-line welcomed..

The old motor is tired, buring some oil, drinking a little water and probably needs a couple of K put into it.. wondering if that is worth it..

Thanks
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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Re: Crossing 200K Miles on a 98 E250 with a Triton V8

Ah yes, vans with lots of miles. We had a 1990 Chevy van that we bought new and drove for over 20 years and 300,000 miles. Over that time, I spent more than $15,000 on various repairs, service, etc. $2,400 for rebuilding the head (they didn't seem as good as before, but they were leaking antifreeze and had to be removed. Spent a couple thousand on the transmission and similar amounts on the AC over the years. Still, it was doing the job and only averaged $750 per year on repairs. My springs were soft and the shock were gone, but it still made a trip to California from Indiana and back with 260,000 miles on it in 2006 to celebrate my retirement. Kept if for 3 years after getting the SMB, but finally traded it in for $500 discount on a used Porsche Cayman S. Not sure what the salesman thought, but we still hated to let it go. We did a 4 month trip once and never stayed in a hotel.

If your van is doing what you need, and you can spend a few thousand to get 3 or 4 years, it may be worth it. The thing is, the older they get, more little things start breaking. We had to remove most of the dash in New Mexico in the parking lot once to repair the fan motor on the heater/AC. We got to the point that we could fix most problems because we had seen them before.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:37 PM   #3
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Re: Crossing 200K Miles on a 98 E250 with a Triton V8

I'm at a similar crossing point with my pickup. Nickle and dime me to death or get a loan for a new vehicle. If I had the cash on hand to buy new I would avoid the interest but I have other irons in the fire. The only other solution is buy used. A new lemon over knowing what I have and spend the bucks to bring it back to life.

I'd be more incline to say run your van till it dies...then do a rebuild but look how many nice vans are out there and weigh the difference. Seems like many SMB owners are selling really nice vans due to lifestyle changes and most of the rigs are kept in very good condition.

Hard decision for sure.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:49 PM   #4
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Re: Crossing 200K Miles on a 98 E250 with a Triton V8

Thanks for the updates..

I am really happy with the van. I have put a lot of work into it and the only 'original' SMB parts are really the pop top, the propane tank and a few angle brackets. the 4wd conversion is only about 40K old and was 'all new/fully reconditioned'. My worry is the engine and tranny. I had spark plug blow in the wash in UT and limped out to Price but we are 'off tarmac' people and I dotn want to be stranded so I would rather be preventative over reactive.. not that something new cant break.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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Re: Crossing 200K Miles on a 98 E250 with a Triton V8

The replacement cost of the 4x4 conversion would surely far outweigh the cost of any amount of engine and tranny replacements?

If you want/need 4x4 it seems like the lowest cost option would be to replace or rebuild the engine. Some feel that a good rebuild is better than a new, remanufactured, or rebuilt engine. A good shop can troubleshoot actual problems and get things right, whereas a new or rebuilt engine can have factory defects.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #6
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Re: Crossing 200K Miles on a 98 E250 with a Triton V8

200k is really not that much for a Triton v8, assuming it was properly cared for.
http://millionmilevan.com/

Mild oil consumption isn't really a bad sign. GM says a qt. every 1000 miles is normal on their big blocks. I'm not sure what Ford says though.

FWIW I have 312,000 on my '00 V10, and it still runs strong. The only parts that have needed replacing have had nothing to do with the engine or transmission.

I also don't get the comment about a "tired old 3-speed". All Ford vans have had a 4-speed since the late 80s, up until the 5-speed came out with the bigger motors in '04/'05.


That said.... I think the new 5.0L crate motor would be sweet!.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:55 AM   #7
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Re: Crossing 200K Miles on a 98 E250 with a Triton V8

Transmission: Is it shifting hard, slipping, OD light flashing?
Your Transmission is a 4 speed. If you only feel 3 speeds maybe its time for a rebuild. At 200k you may want to rebuild it as preventative maintenance.

Oil consumption: A quart every oil change or every tankfull? Oil is cheap.

Sparkplug: When it blew out, did you need to have the threads repaired or did they just put it back in? Maybe you just need to check the torque on them regularly, like once a year/ 20K miles.

Coolant: Do you know where it is going? It could be as simple as a bad rad cap, loose hose clamp or as difficult to find ad an internal leak with the coolant going out the exhaust. It may not be the engine at all.

Depreciation: Spending $10K on this van is NOTHING compared to what you will loose on a new one.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
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Re: Crossing 200K Miles on a 98 E250 with a Triton V8

BTW - very rare for the engine to consume coolant. If you have rear heat, this is the likely culprit, and a bottle of Bars-Leak will easily fix that.
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