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Old 11-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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Preventative maint on Ford E350

'03 E350 SMB w/5.4 L engine.

Elena and I toured the northern States and Eastern Canada this summer. Started out with 133,000 miles. Drove 20,000 miles between June and November.

Before embarking we replaced the U joints and rebuilt the trans and both axles. The van performed exceptionally well. The only problems we faced along the way were due to the idle control valve and two ignition coils. Both were easy to replace tho Ford ar sho proud of they parts.

The van now has 155,000+ miles on the engine and chassis. Since we are normally crawling through remote canyons and over even more remote ridge tops, I want to avoid breakdowns. This winter I am planning to take the grille/radiator assembly off and the dog house out and start replacing components. I do not expect to have to replace the engine for another 100,000 mi.

The question is: What components (alternator, water pump, power sterring pump, A/C compressor, fuel pump, etc) have you had to replace after 100,000+ miles? Which components will most probably need to be replaced after 150,000 miles?
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:02 AM   #2
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Re: Preventative maint on Ford E350

Fender mounted starter relay. This goes out for me every 150,000 to the dot (well, within 1,000 miles of that). Good news it.... It won't leave you stranded. You can jumper the posts with a Leatherman.

150k is a good time to replace the coolant too.

Besides the starter relay, my only other failures have been the radiator at ~265,000, and recently my rear axle carrier. I still drove home 300 miles, with trailer, after the radiator burst. The Triton motors can actually drive without any coolant at all. It will shut off half the cylinders and pump air through for cooling.


I wouldn't pre-emptively replace anything other than the starter relay. The vans are generally pretty reliable. Much more so than the pickups it seems.

Carrying a large capacity jump-booster pack would my only recommendation. It'll save you from dead batteries, and if your alternator ever kicks it you can limp back on booster pack power. We use 1000-amp booster packs from car quest. We can get ~20 jumps-starts between charges, and have even used it on our Peterbuilt when the alternator on that went out at 11PM, about 40 miles from the shop.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
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Re: Preventative maint on Ford E350

I'd like to change the brake system like Eric Badger did. When I lost my brakes going to Valley of Fire, I think I could have limped in to Vegas without having to be towed. Loosing brakes like I did there on an off road route would be bad news.
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