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Old 08-28-2011, 10:20 AM   #11
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Re: Newbie researching first SMB purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver350
Does the 6.0 need USLD and is that available in Central and S. America?

I would keep it simple and functional, parts left out cost nothing and dont break down. Also, keep the bling down to a minimum, you don't want to come across like another rich Gringo even if you are one. Lower middle class in N. America is wealthy beyond measure in mist if the rest of the world.
The 6.0 does not need ULSD, and actually it's better off without it, as are all diesel engines.


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Old 08-28-2011, 12:46 PM   #12
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Re: Newbie researching first SMB purchase

You sure about that Herb? I thought reg diesel is harmful to the new motors.
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:12 PM   #13
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Re: Newbie researching first SMB purchase

Not harmful to the 6.0 or any diesel for that matter.

It can damage the catalyst in the exhaust, however.

The higher sulphur content can lubricate and protect some part - like injectors and fuel pumps. Our 6.0's were designed for it, but adding some lubrication will significantly quiet the injectors. And hopefully, protect the injectors at the same time.

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Old 08-28-2011, 04:47 PM   #14
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Re: Newbie researching first SMB purchase

I will second the full floating rear diff. Esp because we have two broken axles reported on the semi floaters within the past year on this forum. Personally I would not drive anything through Mexico right now. If you do, go with a caravan of no less than 5 vehicles. The 4X4 platform and oversized tires will get you a lot of attention - some of which you do not need. Skip the custom bumpers. The more it looks like a stipped down type of van the fewer problems you will have with night pickers or outright hijacking. You do not want to be mistaken for someone from in a rival gang or leave the impression that you have lots of equipment inside that could be sold at a local plaza on Saturdays. Stay with steel on the outside. It is cheap, harder to damage and can be welded with very basic equipment. The Warn winch cradle is very strong, will provide exceptional collision protection for the front of the van and can be used as a purchase for a hi-lift. The wench cradle cannot be blended in but you can mount a spare tire on it. Use a welder to strike an arc across the exposed threads of the exterior bolts so that the nuts cannot be removed without a cutting torch. Consider run-flat inserts. I have seen locals slash tires at night in Baja to disable a vehicle. Re altitude; I have driven the 5.4L in remote areas at 12,000 ft and it has perfomed very well.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:30 AM   #15
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Re: Newbie researching first SMB purchase

Since you're looking for 6.0 and talking about changing components of the 4x4 system, why not seek a 2wd build with the engine and van/interior options you want and spend the money converting the van to a 4x4 system that is bomb proof and serviceable based on worst case in South America?
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:34 PM   #16
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Re: Newbie researching first SMB purchase

A very late follow-up to this thread. My wife and I finally found the van we wanted:

2009 E350 SuperDuty Diesel, EB with a Quadvan 4x4 conversion. We bought the van with under 15k miles for a very nice price. The van has some nice upgrades: a lift, upgraded wheels/tires, tinted windows, wheel flares, etc.

I've read extensively on the 6.0 problems and while they clearly exist, it is also clear that the 6.0 problems we primarily with the earlier engines; later engines seem far more reliable. There are some reasonably priced bolt ons (like EGR cooler and coolant filters) that are worth while additions.

As this is an E350 SD Diesel, I believe the rear axle is already a full floater, but I am not certain.

We are off to Quadvan in July to have the PH pop-top added. We live near Van Specialties and will likely have them do our interior.

All in all, we are extremely pleased and very excited about getting the top done!

Our blank canvas:




Cheers,
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:49 AM   #17
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Re: Newbie researching first SMB purchase

Congratulations, that's an awesome looking rig.

I am happy with my 6.0, and would buy one again over the V10, but I'm wondering what made you decide on the 6.0. It's interesting to hear people's opinions on this subject.

Looking forward to seeing more photos as you build...
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:08 PM   #18
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Re: Newbie researching first SMB purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDieselVans
Congratulations, that's an awesome looking rig.

I am happy with my 6.0, and would buy one again over the V10, but I'm wondering what made you decide on the 6.0. It's interesting to hear people's opinions on this subject.

Looking forward to seeing more photos as you build...

We decided on the 6.0 for a few reasons:

We were pretty set on having diesel; if I could have found a 7.3 similar to my 2009 van then I would have jumped on that. The only 7.3 vans I found were already converted SMBs and they were asking a very high price, even with pretty high mileage. I talked to several v10 owners who noted they very poor gas mileage; we are planning on some rather long trips, I do think the additional range will matter. We also wanted espar heating...

Finally, after reading extensively, on the topic, it becomes clear that there are many 6.0 owner who are very happy with their trucks reliability. Our van was very low mileage and in very good condition and we did get a very, very good deal; it was even within a reasonable driving distance to go pick it up.

Cheers,
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