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Old 01-28-2014, 12:59 PM   #1
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Good deal/idea????

First post. I was wondering if you guys could help. I recently decided I needed a van. Our family is growing and the vehicle I would be replacing would be a 2002 2500HD w/ 93k miles. It is our tow vehicle and our general get it done vehicle. We go camping a lot and need more room. I recently found a 94 E350 Club Wagon 4x4 w/ 160K on it. This thing is clean. Original owner, new transmission (with dealership warranty) loads of work documented at the dealer. The 4x4 was installed by Advance upon original purchase. My only real concern is going back to a vehicle that is 20 years old. Although he has taken very good care of it, older vehicles need a little more attention.

He had mentioned the exhaust manifold had been repaired by the dealership a few years ago. Assuming the repair was done correctly, is it worth it to buy a 94 4x4 7.5L with 160K for $8500? The stories I read about the issues of the manifold is the only thing I would worry about with this vehicle. I test drove it and it rides a little stiff, but looks like it just left the lot, seriously.

Is the exhaust manifold on these engine an ongoing issue, that need constant attention? Also, what would a vehicle like this go for w/o 4 wheel drive? Clean, 160K, original owner, new transmission, service records galore, new tires, completly stock? The appearance is a 9.5/10. Is the 4wd worth the asking price?

My current truck is 2WD, and I've been stuck a few times with it, so this is why I wanted a 4x4, but I also want a van.

Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:26 PM   #2
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Re: Good deal/idea????

I posted this van in the classifieds section (its not mine, I just found it on CL). I really like it and the seller mentioned that the exhaust manifold gaskets were replaced at some point due to a leak. The 460's were known for eventually getting exhaust leaks at the manifold, but it looks like the seller already addressed that issue. Depending on when he got them replaced, I would imagine you could go a while without having any issues. I've test driven some older F250's with the 460 and same amount of miles (or more) and they were silent. Ive driven others that sounded like chitty chitty bang bang.

I think you'll have a hard time finding another van in that condition, original owner, and for that price. I KBB'd the value of it without the 4x4 conversion and it came out to about $3,000. If I were to buy that van (my wife said NO), I would get some new wheels and some all terrains and I think it would look bad ass.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:35 PM   #3
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Re: Good deal/idea????

DirtyWater,

Do you have a particular van in mind? RB or EB? V8, V10 or diesel? Price range?

Ray
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: Good deal/idea????

Thanks mikracer, I looked at your post in the classified and the responses, and it seems like a good deal for a 4x4 van. I was just concerned about the 7.5L manifold issues. Seeing as this vehicle is 20 years old, and my truck that is 11 years old, which I would sell at a lower price than what I'd buy this older van (with more miles) is different to me.

But I like the van and my wheels from the truck (8 lugx6.5) fit.....right??? I understand the lug pattern of older Fords are the same as newer Dodge/GM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: Good deal/idea????

The major issue with changing the gasket is that a lot of times, the hardware is rusted and either break or strip off. If that happens, you have to take the head off. But since the gaskets were changed within the last couple of years, that means they were able to get the hardware off and put back on. So in the event that it happens again, you should be able to get them off.

In the research that I did, it seems that there aren't any other major issues with the 460. Everyone says they like to drink gas, but theres also enough power to pull whatever you have in it or behind it. I don't know why I'm pumping this van up so much to you, especially since I really want to buy it!

If you've done any research on 4x4 conversion of vans, you'll find that it usually costs more than $10k to get it done...and they all seem to retain their value. You could take that van to SMB and have them put a pop top on it and basically have a very capable family camper van that can be used for much more than just camping.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: Good deal/idea????

That's kinda how I'm figuring it, but thought I'd get some input from owners of 4x4 vans.

And I'm picking it up Wednesday, so don't worry about pumping it up too much, lol.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:26 PM   #7
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Re: Good deal/idea????

Nice! My SMB is only 2wd so that's why I was itching to get an affordable 4x4 and do a slight home build for it. As soon as I saw that one, I wanted it, but the wife was not interested in having 2 vans. Post up a new thread when you pick it up. I'm jealous.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:13 PM   #8
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Re: Good deal/idea????

Very nice van. Congrats! I really like the Chateaus and always have. I had a 92 that was my first 'camper' van. It was a 460 too and I can share what little knowledge I have. You've bought it now but I'll go ahead with a couple of considerations. It's pre-96 so no OBD-II. This is unfortunate because code scanners and tuners use OBD-II. Also, the Scanguage is out and it monitors everything important including trans temp. I was pretty worried before I bought mine because is had about 210k on it. Everyone told me that 460s generally poop out about 250k. They were right in my case. When I got up to 250 it was using tons of oil and had low compression. It was pretty much toast. This isn't the end of the world though because there are LOTS of 460s around in older motorhomes etc. with less than 100k that can be had for little or nothing. I wouldn't worry so much about the manifold issue. I think it is more common on motorhomes that work a lot harder and generate a lot more heat than our vans do. What I was told, and what I will be practicing with my current 460 van, is to not do a lot of short trips and starting and turning it off when hot. I was advised to let it idle for a few minutes after high speed trips to let it cool itself down slowly. This may be completely senseless but it seemed to work for me.

Enjoy your new van!

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: Good deal/idea????

Solution for the exhaust manifolds:
http://catalog.remflex.com/

Also like every other gasser Ford truck, the 460 is pretty choked up and some basic breathing enhancements can open up more power pretty easily.

Even though its not OBD-II, it still has a diagnostics port, and old Ford scanners are cheap.

I like having an analog trans temp gauge anyways. More/better info at a glance, instead of having to read a number and mentally process what that mean. Needle pointing up or left = good. Needle pointing right = not good. The E4OD has a sender port so installing one is easy. Hardest part is mounting the gauge.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:46 PM   #10
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Re: Good deal/idea????

Thank you guys for all the info. Keep it coming if you have anything to add. I will be putting in a trans temp gauge. I was wondering if it had a port similar to the trans in my Silverado. I added one on my truck and I think it's pretty vital to know the temperatures in the transmission. I'm getting excited now, as before I was a little nervous about it. This will be my first van. From what I read, some people never go back to trucks/SUV's.

I had read about letting the engine cool down after trips, I will be sure to live by that rule....and explain it to the wife when she uses it (but some probably know how that goes).
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