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Old 11-01-2018, 02:10 PM   #1
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SMB does have 4x4 build information?

Good day,

I am new to the SMB world. Just bought a low mileage 44K, 2013, E350 EB, SMB 4x4 from the SMB Texas site from remote seller. He came down $5K in price. Picked up in MO and drove it back to CO. Noticed the drive was bit more squirrely than it should be, even with the lift. Took it to my local 4x4 mechanic and he did thorough inspection. Came back with front sway bar broken and lots of teeth in the Atlas transfer case. He sent me pictures. Now have Pitman arm issues as well as tie rod bushings. There goes the $5K to make it driveable again.

So, my mechanic calls SMB Texas (interior build) and they direct him to him SMB CA for 4x4 build out information. Took him several calls before he got a call back. He needed to know sway bar and tie rod parts on the build. The sticky on 4x4 builds was not current for 2013 builds. After talking to SMB CA, my mechanic calls me and questions the intelligence, capabilities and family heritage of the SMB CA personnel. My mechanic sent them pictures and ask for build sheet for my van. SMB CA said they did not have it and do not recognize components on the build. Atlas case is easy and ordered an Atlas case rebuild. Shout out to Hellwig. Kevin looked at pictures and said it was not their sway bar, but 99% confident he has a replacement and sending 2 without any money upfront.

OK, reaching out to the forum members to give me the truth in case my mechanic got a schmo on the line. Is it true SMB does not keep record of 4x4 builds (could seem like a huge liability issue)? If my mechanic got a schmo, is there a better guy to contact at SMB CA for 4x4 build information?

Grazie mille
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:50 PM   #2
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When I contacted them, they told me they maintain all records by purchaser's last name. So giving them the VIN did nothing.

Sounds like a stupid way to keep records, but that's what I was told. It was a 2wd, so this may not be relevant to you.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:15 PM   #3
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Are you certain it is an SMB 4x4 conversion? Just because it has an Atlas t/c doesn't automatically make it an SMB 4x4 conversion. If it is, it also could have been modified after it left SMB. It takes a lot to mess up the gears in an Atlas, so who knows what someone did.

It would help a lot if you could post some pics of the front end, including sway bar, tie rod, pitman arm,...


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Old 11-01-2018, 03:42 PM   #4
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If you have the original SMB paperwork, it's listed in there.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:32 PM   #5
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SMB West has an excellent reputation. We do have one or two folks who are unsatisfied with them, but that is in contrast to hundreds upon hundreds who are very satisfied.

Just because you found this advertised on the SMB TX site does not mean it was a SMB conversion. Of the three SMB factories, only SMB West has done E-350 4x4 conversions. Is Sportsmobile written anywhere on the vehicle? It sounds like the vehicle may never have even been in any SMB facility. There are numerous places that converted E-350s to 4x4. Besides SMB-W, Quigley and QuadVan are two of the largest, but there are hundreds of mom and pop local garages who ordered OEM Ford parts for 4x4 Ford pickups and converted E-350s to 4x4. It is also possible that someone bought a 2WD E-350 SMB and then had someone else convert it to 4x4. I suggest we establish whether the vehicle actually was a SMB West conversion before we pit your mechanic against the good name and reputation of SMB West.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:28 PM   #6
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Bummer this happened either way it will get sorted out but not a fun process to go thru after a expensive purchase.

First thing is find out who the original owner is so SMB can frigure out if they’ve done the work on the 4x4 side of the conversion. Since it was sold on the SMB site they should have disclosed who did the 4x4 in the first place or disclose that they didn’t know... that is pretty come practice from looking at there ads.

Wish I could be more help, welcome to the group & congrats on the new rig once it’s dialed in your gonna enjoy the heck out of it.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:31 PM   #7
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Atlas transfer case does point to an SMB conversion but does it have a Dynatrac ProRock60 front axle?


Does it have something like this on the driver's side door jamb indicating build date, GAWR, etc?
Attached Thumbnails
build info.jpg  
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:05 AM   #8
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OP, please figure out a way to post pics. You've peaked the interest of us van nuts here and I'm betting we can tell you a lot, including possibly who had the van. An overwhelming majority of the offroad vans out there have been owned or looked at by someone on this site. I'm betting you'll wish you'd posted here before spending all the time you did so far but you didn't know probably.

Pics please. If you find it a pain to post them then post through Tapatalk app on a smartphone or use a 3rd party hosting site like Flickr, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:26 AM   #9
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Pictures and responses

Good morning,

Thank you for all your replies. Here is web link that shows the SMB 4x4 logo on the van and scroll down to see pictures of the Atlas transfer case and the broken sway bar. Also, have separate picture of transfer case showing the the toothless cog.

Yes, it does have the Dynatrack ProRock 60 front axle. Assuming since the SMB 4x4 logo is on the van, they did the conversion. SMB Texas confirmed it as well. Van was purchased through SMB Texas new and it was delivered to SMB CA for conversion. I'll try reaching out myself to SMB CA with owner name and build order and VIN.

I have the interior build sheet, but no build sheet on the 4x4. Also, has the original owner listed as resident of Atlanta.

Sorry, no offense to SMB, was just repeating what my mechanic said.

Here is the web link showing the van. Remember to scroll down for the pictures.
Digital Inspection

Here is a picture of the transfer case opened up.
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1540240534757.jpg  
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soloalpinist View Post
...Yes, it does have the Dynatrack ProRock 60 front axle. Assuming since the SMB 4x4 logo is on the van, they did the conversion. SMB Texas confirmed it as well. Van was purchased through SMB Texas new and it was delivered to SMB CA for conversion. I'll try reaching out myself to SMB CA with owner name and build order and VIN...
Logo is irrelevant as SMB sells the decals and we've seen them applied to rigs very clearly not from SMB. The pedigree you provided however seems rock solid.

The broken teeth in the Atlas is strange, very strange, but you already have a fix for that.

The tie rods ends are not that big a deal, aren't hard to replace, and shouldn't be very expensive if you do it yourself. Here's a write up I did on my '06 just to give you some idea. Your part numbers may easily be different however, and I did not replace the end attaching to the pitman arm.
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ends-1995.html

Front sway bar mount should be an easy replacement, and SMBw should be easily able to ID that part and sell you one. If you continue to have struggles getting the appropriate info directly from SMBw, I would suggest using SMT Texas as an intermediary, given that they sold you the van and frankly should have noticed the broken mount.

Don't let any of this steal the excitement of the cool rig you bought. Just a speed bump.


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