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Old 08-15-2016, 11:43 AM   #1
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New here from Santa Cruz ca

Hey everyone, I'm Daniel, my wife and I are looking to buy a van to build into a 4x4 diesel camper. We r looking to buy a E-250/350 so I can eventually put a diesel in it. I'm a cabinet maker/woodworker at heart and did it as a career for some years. I plan on buying a 98-2005 van with a blown motor. I've found a couple for $500-$1000. I also plan to make it 4x4 eventually. I have a transfer case in my work truck that is now a 2wd. I've found it cheaper and easier to find Dana 50 strait axles than a Dana 60, so I might end up buying a 99 donor truck for the axle and transmission and such. We have been long time travelers and campers but recently got married and hope for kids on the way. So id like something we can just fold down a bed rather than pop up a tent and fill an air mattress. I grew up in a 87 vw westy traveling the country with my family till I was about 13 and I would like to give the same childhood to my kids. We r both excited for this undertaking, but in the end I know we will hve one mean camping machine.
My first steps will probably be the interior so we can still go on trips while I'm building it. But before that we r going to prank my wife's little brother (12) who thinks it ok to sneak out of the house at1am to play Pokemon!
Can't wait to learn a lot and maybe meet some cool people on our travels!
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:00 PM   #2
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welcome! I was just in santa cruz for raindance.

Certain rare pokemon should have a pass for getting in trouble for
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:29 PM   #3
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That's ambitious!
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Old 08-15-2016, 07:04 PM   #4
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My take on your project is to start with a van that has the type of engine you want, blown or not. With those years of vans your wallet will become thin doing any engine conversion and you will be in the van way more than you want to be. I would then work with Agile or Ujoint on the 4x4 conversion. Meanwhile you can spend your time and use your carpentry skills building out an awesome interior.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:41 PM   #5
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My take on your project is to start with a van that has the type of engine you want, blown or not. With those years of vans your wallet will become thin doing any engine conversion and you will be in the van way more than you want to be. I would then work with Agile or Ujoint on the 4x4 conversion. Meanwhile you can spend your time and use your carpentry skills building out an awesome interior.

I know quite a bit about the engine swap in this thing. I can either spend $5000-$10000 more for a diesel or I can buy a wrecked donor truck for ~$2000, some man hours and fabbing and have what I want. I know a 7.3l in and out and I know what is needed to fit one in a van. I'm definanlty not going to spend money on someone else to work on my rig. That's not my style. I would love to buy a diesel van, but for the cost it's not worth it. That's the reason I'm buying a cheap van to build myself, if I wanted to spend $20k I could have a 4x4 diesel van. But I don't, I have a couple grand in savings and I have a skill set to do a lot.
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:06 PM   #6
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You sound like you have it figured out and it will be a fun project!! Good luck and the guys on here have a wealth of information and are very helpfully. Will be looking and following your project so keep us posted.
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:16 PM   #7
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You sound like you have it figured out and it will be a fun project!! Good luck and the guys on here have a wealth of information and are very helpfully. Will be looking and following your project so keep us posted.
Sorry if i sounded like an @ss, I wasn't trying to. That's exactly what it's going to be! A project! A long term project..... little by little, I know the diesel swap will be later down the line with the 4x4, but I'll start with a locker to get me going!
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:18 PM   #8
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No harm or foul here!! Please keep us posted! Love following project like yours.
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