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Old 10-04-2016, 01:16 PM   #1
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Looking to Purchase 1990 E250

Hi All!

New here so I think this is the right section to post this in!
I have a friend who is selling his Deceased grand fathers 1990 e250 sportsmobile. It has 62,000 Miles on it but has probably been sitting for a couple years. I have not seen it up close in person yet but have some photo's sent to me from her. I Have a couple questions for y'all if you don't mind!

1. How much should I pay for it? I was thinking $1500 since it will most likely need new tire, oil change, DMV fees, Spark Plugs Ect.

2. Beyond what I listed above what do you think I should do to it before starting?

3. What things should I look for when I go see it?

4. Also what are the different types of engines/transmissions that can be in these and what is there reliability like?

Any Advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:46 PM   #2
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1500 bucks? If the engine is sound, there's no major body rust and the pop top is in good shape I would say that's a screaming deal.
A little out of date but worth a read I guess:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...smbs-5678.html
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Old 10-07-2016, 10:39 AM   #3
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Lot's of good info in there thank you! Are there many people on here with pre 1991 SMBs? When I have tried search I only find for sale ads and not much talk about them. I guess that means they don't have many problems?? lol Thanks for all your help with a newbie. I have been camping all my life in my parents 94 Bounder and have always liked the thought of the the ease of a camper van!
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:51 AM   #4
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Yup. These are great vans, affordable and go forever. My 90 has is slow but so reliable currently about 177K on the clock. Ph roof and all the smb stuff still works too. Main issue as mentioned is rust - so roof seam/drip rails and around windshield and every place underneath the van take a look. Check carfax that it's always been ca or hopefully someplace dry. Find a mechanic who's local and kick them some cash to go thru it before you pull the trigger. But man at that price hard to go wrong.


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Old 10-07-2016, 12:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavrick300 View Post
Lot's of good info in there thank you! Are there many people on here with pre 1991 SMBs? When I have tried search I only find for sale ads and not much talk about them. I guess that means they don't have many problems?? lol Thanks for all your help with a newbie. I have been camping all my life in my parents 94 Bounder and have always liked the thought of the the ease of a camper van!
While a 1990 Econoline might *look* like it's a lot older than, say, a 1995 Econoline....it's not really the case. There's a lot more "the same" than different, at least where it truly counts (under the skin).

True, the Econoline went through what is acknowledged as a "major redesign" in 1992 (the introduction of the body style that carried through, with a front-end redesign in 2008, all the way until 2014)......but those first "redesigned" fourth-gen Econolines in 1992 were still remarkably similar, mechanically, to the third-gen ones they replaced.

Same Chassis (Ford "VN" platform)......Same engine (5.8L 351W) .....same transmission (E4OD, a transmission that saw continued refinement and use for quite some time)......same axles (more or less).....same "twin I-beam" front suspension.....

Great reading here --- (quick overall understanding of what made a third-gen (1975-1991) different from a fourth-gen (1992-2014) E-series van.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_E-Series

In short -- I don't think your potential 1990 Sportsmobile would be any different in overall issues/reliability than one built as late as 1995 (or 1996), the last years for the 5.8L engine. (In 1996, Ford switched over to the more modern "OBD2" engine computers; older vans use the simpler OBD1 systems.)

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