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Old 08-29-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
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1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

Newbie here. The forum has been a terrific source of info.

I've been thinking of a small camper for eons. For the last 5 years I've been fixated on VW Westfalias. Then about 6 months ago I realized it might be a better idea to get an SMB. My budget is $8-$15k's.

I came across a 1990 Ford Sportsmobile - 2WD. 63K original miles. 460 V8 engine. Towing package, dual gas tanks, new tires, Fridge, microwave, porta potty, sofa couch, sink, portable stove. The seller wants $13k but I've yet to see it in person. Seller said his family is the original owner and it hasn't seen much use in 7 years. Starts up fine.

If I get serious about it I will definitely have a Ford dealer review it.

Beyond making sure the various items listed above work, what else would you look for in checking the quality of the vehicle? How is the 460 V8 in terms of reliability? And what would be a fair price? I feel somewhere in the $8k range seems fair.

I would mostly be using this for local beach camping and an occasional stint to Yosemite with my wife and two younger sons.

Thanks a lot for the insight.

Ron
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:29 AM   #2
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

460 is easy to work on. Not sure Ford Dealer is the place to go, due to age it might be out of their wheelhouse so to speak. It's a gas hog though, depending on how much you roam if you're not towing it might be overkill vs. gas prices these days- considering your budget, can you afford to pour gas through the engine?

search.php?keywords=460+mileage&terms=all&author=& sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&sub mit=Search+It
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:47 AM   #3
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

A 1990 460 is fuel injected. Actually, the HP and torque numbers are similar to the current V-10 (albeit at different engine RPM's). It's a good engine that is very reliable. It has the Ford EEC-IV ignition/EFI system which is robust and has tons of parts and aftermarket support.

I'll side with Jage - forgo the dealer and find a local independent wrench to look it over. Many independent shops specialize in Ford/Dodge/Chevy...see if there is one in your area.

Sounds like a nice van. Good luck!
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:50 AM   #4
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

Though I agree with Jage that the 460 is a gas hog, remember that all SMBs are gas hogs. None of them get great mileage. The 460 is about the same as the v10, some say they get 10, others swear by 14 or so. My 5.4 usually gets about 14 and I just bought a 460 van that got 12 over 500 miles through the mountains. Unless you plan to use it as a daily driver, don't let that be a show stopper for you.
I think your concern is more about price. 13k is way too high, 8 is better. Got any pics to show us more so we can give you a better idea?

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Old 08-29-2013, 07:59 AM   #5
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11729&view=unread#unread

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Old 08-29-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

Thanks for the relies. I'm not too concerned with the mpg because I won't be towing and it won't be my daily. Good to hear the engine is a good one too. I emailed the seller and this is what he told me:

- needs new shocks. How much will this run?
- new gasket needed for penthouse. Expensive?
- some rust on the top where water settled during the years when it sat unused. He thinks a little grounding and paint would cure. Thoughts?
- minor leak which he thinks is the steering line. He is trouble shooting and will remedy.



Here's a shot of the interior. I want to be able to sleep 4. Does this couch configuration allow for it to be laid flat to sleep two?



Again - thanks for everything.

Ron
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

instead of "photo" in the tags, use img.





i dont know much about the older vans, but that one looks pretty clean from the pix.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

Thanks shenrie.

Still would love some feedback and thoughts on some of the repairs that the seller said were needed. Are they expensive? Thanks again.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

We had a 460 in a pickup and its a great engine. Same mpg towing or not. Just don't overestimate your ability to stomach low mpg and huge fuel bills!! Figure it will get 10mpg under all conditions. If you go on a weekend trip 500 miles, that is $180.00.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:48 PM   #10
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Re: 1990 Ford SMB e250 - newbie potential purchase

Gasket is about $60 and labor; pretty easy but tedious.

Shocks really depends; could be a lot or a little.

Maybe have seller grind that rust to see just how deep it goes. Rust in some seam areas, especially where water collects, can be a PITA. I always get some where the penthouse rubs but it's been easy to remedy since it isn't in a seam.
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