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Old 07-17-2016, 06:17 PM   #11
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Thank you Gentlemen!

So much good input. I like the life cycle cost approach, but then I did engineering estimating for a while so kinda geeky that way. considering I drive a 4 cyl manual Accord coupe, I have not had much maintenance cost to consider lately! YES! I will make some worksheets for operating expenses to get a better picture of that.

I live in WV right now and there's just not a lot of public land as I was used to out West. Visited a friend in VT last year and it is pretty rugged camping in national forests there. Also I do love winter- so far anyhow. If I have 4x4 I will definitely find excuses to use it. I don't see myself breaking axles like my sons and his friends do (although hmmm they know who allows wheelin on their property!)

Therefore: road use with part time backcountry use. I like to fish so my imagined setup has a place in back to hang waders for example, and the space for drawing board, as mentioned. I have friends from Louisiana to NM to WA which I plan to visit and that is another factor. I may want to travel up the Cassiar highway again if i can find willing partners. Anyhow I can see putting lots of miles on the rig I buy.

RE: towing,, i would love to have a drift boat so nothing too big... I do not own a house right now I can't say it is impossible I would tow something bigger, never say never right? Will deal with that later since i don't even know where i want to retire yet!

Back to the engine... friends who love their diesels are either mechanics themselves- have a neighbor who is- or love to tear trucks apart and put them back together, never ending. thus my impression is to own one is to fix one... or live down the road from POWERSTROKEHELP.COM - The Information Source for Ford Power Stroke Diesel Owners & Mechanics

Thanks for the summary of he 4x4 combos and suggestion for the Ford 5.4 V8! There are some on the market nearby- late models/low mileage are not inexpensive. I haven't seen that many 7.3s listed- is that diesel only? .... V10 I have heard are problematic, if only due to size making for high labor costs.... i won't break a nail but I'm not planning to be a mechanic soon.

I may have to find a broker because looking through van listings is getting to be a pain... they don't put engine spec in ads so much research I am having to work too hard if they want me to pay so much! (end of rant)

Would anyone mind looking through this link for me? It seems indicative of pricing around here.... Used Cars Millersburg Automotive Repair Columbus OH Cleveland OH Windy Hill Auto and Truck Sales

again THANKS EVERYONE- your time and input is much appreciated!
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:47 PM   #12
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OK i I am back on vansvansvans.com so research much faster
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:30 PM   #13
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For me, the biggest draw to the Nissan would be if they end up sticking that new Cummins in it. Meow......
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:25 PM   #14
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That vansvansvans database is not so good. Commercial truck trader is ok. I'm going to start a thread about shopping and buying remotely unless there's already one.

Meantime I found a decent e350 5.4 v8 SD and about as basic as they get.... Problem is fords are so uncomfortable for me (cheap seats hurt my back) Although driving from looking at the van to dinner I already had ideas on interior up fitting! Looking at this forum so much has definitely helped me think with vision

Meantime I emailed to UJOR for a quote to convert. E350 is super duty so that should cover one axle at least.

I still like the Nissan nv there are a handful of cargo style with lower tow load. They are bigger and heavier than the ford so I guess there's a mph ding at the start.

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For me, the biggest draw to the Nissan would be if they end up sticking that new Cummins in it. Meow......
RandallDee, do you not like the large Nissan engine? or just love the Cummins engines (which have their own cult following like all Diesel engines )?
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
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E350 is super duty so that should cover one axle at least.
Maybe....over the years the E-350 came with semi-float and full float rear axles.....the full float being the desired config.

If you pop off a rear hubcap (assuming it's a stock van with Ford wheel covers), the full float (FF) rear axle has a rather large cylindrical appendage that sticks through the center of the wheel, like this:



The semi float axle looks like this:




Many folks here have heavy rigs with semi floats without issues, but some have had axle failures.
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
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RandallDee, do you not like the large Nissan engine? or just love the Cummins engines (which have their own cult following like all Diesel engines )?
I don't know enough about the Nissan gasser engines to have an opinion on them. And honestly, I don't know that much about the Cummins that they are putting in the Titan. But I had the 5.9 in my old Dodge and I loved it. Noisy, but it was bone stock and had all the power and torque I could ask for and got 22 mpg.

So if I was in the market for a Nissan I would be willing to roll the dice on the new 5.0 liter that they are putting in the Titans if they were available in the van. Internet buzz is close to 21 mpg hwy in the Titan.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:57 AM   #17
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@TomsBeast: excellent considerations- thanks so much! Offspring can be money pits! I was lucky my kids preferred to make their own expenses, had modest college savings.... Plus I told them "Well, I can finance your college educations or fund my own retirement and not have to live with you for the rest of my life THAT got their attention!

I am leaning towards newer model van.... add 4x4 in 2017.... other conversions as decided. My daughter has a business & I sometimes travel with her so it will be great to have for road trips in any form.

@BoyWonder: MOST helpful axle 101, and pics speak to me best. Im going to assume by the wheel covers the van I drove had the OEM FF axle- thankS!

@RandallDee I think you either love the nissan or you hate it! Ive been generally costing out ford with upgrade to just comfortable seats and the 4x4 and it does get pricing since i have to source that work out. I hear you on the cummins engine. Kind of scared myself the other day I heard one coming up the street- behind me- and correctly called it as a Cummins. Guess I have spent more time around motor heads than I realized! I agree, a bit more soothing sounding that say, powerstroke I ran some mental math to compare operating costs of diesel vs. gas but I am not at ALL sure about maintenance costs on a diesel. guesstimate is diesel on an NV is 3 years out at least? No one seems to know. I just don't feel informed enough to buy a deisel with any age.

I would utilize one of the legit diesel shops to comb it over and upgrade what is needed - and who knows how much Id be spending on that ya know?

@CaptainVo I did finally see a 2000 7.3 listed! The seller is taking forever to answer my second reply- so it either sold or he's a flake. I am guessing it would be most efficient to be yer own mechanic on that because it had low miles (did not look driven much- from the interior pics)
So what is needed to bring an older deisel out of storage?

To anyone else: great input here- this forum moves at a fast clip and I am learning a ton
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:48 AM   #18
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.... V10 I have heard are problematic, if only due to size making for high labor costs.... i won't break a nail but I'm not planning to be a mechanic soon.
Not sure where you heard the V10's were problematic. Seems that they are pretty solid with the exception of the spark plug thread issue. Theres a member on here that has like 300k miles and they're HARD miles. If you get a 2005 or newer with a V10, you also get the 5 speed trans that is a little more robust.

The increased costs associated with mechanic work is only due to having 2 more cylinders. So replacing spark plugs costs more and if you need to replace coil packs (but you usually only change the bad ones as they pop up).

I have a V10 with 130k miles. I bought it with 106k miles and it's been rock solid. Only major expense for repair was an ABS unit, but that is not motor specific.

I think I read you live in WV. Are you willing to travel to purchase a van or are you looking to find one near you? If you post up what your budget is and what type of van you are looking for, I'm sure people will send you links and leads to vans they find on CL or autotrader.

FWIW, I have a V10 with Agile Offroad 4x4 conversion and I couldn't be happier. My 4x4 usage will mainly be for trips to the snow and driving on the beach, so no rock crawling for me. The independent front suspension makes the road manners very nice and since I'll be driving on pavement 99% of the time, that was important to me. UJOR offers a great kit too. I would try to get a ride in all the different flavors of 4x4 so you know exactly how they ride and handle before dropping all that cash!
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:57 AM   #19
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@BoyWonder: MOST helpful axle 101, and pics speak to me best. Im going to assume by the wheel covers the van I drove had the OEM FF axle- thankS!

Annie: It is best to NOT make any assumption re: rear axle being FF or SF without looking. Even the Ford spec sheets on what axle SHOULD be in there not reliable. ONLY way is to look. (shared from personal experience)
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:41 AM   #20
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Someone mentioned 5 sod trans helps.
ider, right- not to assume that- just preliminary since its a 2013. it was a bit of a drive to see that E350, now I am getting ready for a trip Sunday so I must take a break on my new hobby (van shopping)... Son thought the VIN has axle code embedded but now I can't put my mouse back on the VIN decoder I came across last week. e350 5.4 v8 SD ad says 4 spd (?)

mikracer- since i was told and read some info about V10's being a pain I have new insight from the forum. Most engines are ok if in the hands of knowledgeable mechanic and owner. Sure there are duds but I feel much better infromed now. Great idea about posting what I want... and what I want would look a lot like your lovely moss green V10! Is it for sale? half kidding- but YES I will travel to buy the right van!

Meanwhile asked for insurance quotes and my company won't insure 'commercial' vehicles which is how their database lists the Nissan NVs (even passenger model). apparently other people have had the same issue with insurers per quick google search.

Will get busy again after upcoming trip to Maine. I will def get better gas mileage on this trip driving Carla (my accord coupe 4 cyl manual transmission) than with any ol' van out there right?
gtg catch a run before it rains
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