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Old 06-25-2019, 05:03 PM   #1
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Hello everyone.

I have been dreaming of my very own SMB for a while now. Unfortunately I'm on a budget so buying one out right is not an option for me. But I just maid my first step and purchased a 2010 E-350 with a 6.0L diesel and only 35k miles, so I feel I really found my self a gem. Although this purchase was scary because I found it on eBay, I'm actually deployed currently so I won't see the van in person for a couple of months. I had a family member pick the the van up and check it over. I am aware of the potential problems that can come with but I plan to bullet proof it ASAP to hopefully ensure it will last for years to come.

Here is a list of things I want to do and then some questions to help make this build come alive.

I want to do a 4x4 conversion, bullet proof the engine, add either a pop top of a high roof but would like the option to have a 2nd bed up there, I would also like to add storage inside and solar panels on the roof.

1st question: in which direction should I do the build? ground up, roof down, or just as I can do it? Mainly don't want to put something in and have to remove it later to add something else.

2nd: I am trying to figure out what the best 4x4 conversion for me would be. It would be a weekend warrior type camper/ to visit family and road trips.

3rd: I would like to do a starcool unit like SMB offers but I cannot find info on how to get or set up one. I do a lot of dessert dirt bike riding and a place to cool off would be very nice plus for kids and dogs.

Thanks in advance for your help. All info and links will be appreciated.

If your interested here are photos of the Van.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:56 PM   #2
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Hey, welcome to the forum!


I'd go with Ujoint on the 4x4 conversion if you want to stay with leaf springs. Otherwise, MgMetalworks or Agile. Kinda depends on what you want.


With regard to bulletproofing that is indeed a low mileage motor. Nice score! As a 2010 it will have most of the update parts from Ford. If money is no object then pull it and install ARP headstuds. Otherwise, at 35k I would save the coin and monitor your ECT and EOT temps to check the health of the oil cooler. If the spread is decent (less than 14 deg on an even grade at 65mph) then swap the lame Ford Gold coolant for a proper ELC coolant and install a coolant filter. For the most part that will address the need for bulletproofing. My 2 cents.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:15 PM   #3
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Hey, welcome to the forum!


I'd go with Ujoint on the 4x4 conversion if you want to stay with leaf springs. Otherwise, MgMetalworks or Agile. Kinda depends on what you want.


With regard to bulletproofing that is indeed a low mileage motor. Nice score! As a 2010 it will have most of the update parts from Ford. If money is no object then pull it and install ARP headstuds. Otherwise, at 35k I would save the coin and monitor your ECT and EOT temps to check the health of the oil cooler. If the spread is decent (less than 14 deg on an even grade at 65mph) then swap the lame Ford Gold coolant for a proper ELC coolant and install a coolant filter. For the most part that will address the need for bulletproofing. My 2 cents.
Awesome I appreciate it. From what iv been seeing is I get a tuner mod to monitor the temps, delete the EGR, and add a coolant filter I should be good for a while (fingers crossed). I would like to have the head bolts swapped to studs but from my understanding the cab would probably have to come off, and unfortunately I definitely am on a budget so trying to save money best I can but still do it right.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Skyler4991 View Post
Awesome I appreciate it. From what iv been seeing is I get a tuner mod to monitor the temps, delete the EGR, and add a coolant filter I should be good for a while (fingers crossed). I would like to have the head bolts swapped to studs but from my understanding the cab would probably have to come off, and unfortunately I definitely am on a budget so trying to save money best I can but still do it right.

An empty panel van and you can do a cab off but starting building out that interior forget about it! That puppy is going to have to come out the front.


So this is just my opinion but I'd leave the EGR system alone. It's the coolant that is the issue. With proper maintenance it's probably ok but it has silicates which drop out and form a sludge. That, combined with leftover casting sand in the block is what clogs the small passageways on the oil cooler. The oil cooler is upstream of the EGR cooler. If it clogs that restricts flow to the EGR cooler which can then rupture and coolant get's in the cylinders blah blah and voila no more head gaskets. Get that coolant filter on there and replace the Ford Gold with an ELC. That might be all you need to do for now. Drive it like you stole it!


An EGR delete is a big job on a van. All the top end stuff has to come off including the intake manifold. You might consider waiting until your oil cooler eventually does clog. On a 2010 you already have the improved OEM cooler with an additional passageway. In the meantime you could get a tuner (for example, an SCT tuner) and have it programmed to turn off the EGR valve. You'll still have coolant flowing through the cooler but you won't have the soot issue and clogging of the valve. That turbo likes to be pushed so don't baby it. If you do decide to do a delete then the one I like is the one-piece unit from IPR. It also comes with a stainless up-pipe.
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