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Old 12-04-2019, 01:32 PM   #1
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Should I buy a 2009 or 2008 E350

I posted a couple weeks ago about my search for a van with a poptop to replace my 1994 e150 that I just sold.

I got a lot of great response, and several members reached out with various offerings. I have found that I should really just build my own based on my needs as the vans I am finding are either over-built for our needs (full kitchen, propane, etc), or too spartan and in need of modifications that I am not comfortable with tackling or just don't want to bother with (interior panels, insulation, seats).

Sooooo I have kind of decided (well hopefully with your help) to buy a low miles van and add a poptop..have a folding seat installed in the back....and get to travelling.

I have found two vans locally:

2008 e-350 Super Duty XLT RB
5.4l V8
52,000 Miles
This van is super clean, aftermarket wheels, white, has 'church van' seating. RSC, advancetrac
$15000

2009 E-350 XLT
5.4L V8
59,000 miles
Also has church seating, has the updated interior dashboard and controls, RSC/Advantrac, Flexfuel.
$14000

So, by my math:

Van - $13K (I am confident I can negotiate down)
SMB poptop - $12k (is this a pipe dream? The website allows a user to build a quote and this is installed...is this truly possible?)
rear manual fold down seat installed - $2000

Could I have the basic 2wd 5.4L SMB van of my dreams for $27000? The benefit to me is that I can buy the van and use it a little bit while we are on a wait-list for an SMB top...

So my questions for the group:

- Am I dreaming?
- Has anyone else taken this approach? (again 4wd is NOT important to me)
- Would you choose one of the vans over another?
- 2008 vs. 2009 E350.....what are the things to be aware of (other than styling changes)

I appreciate the guidance of the group, it has been hugely helpful already.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:14 PM   #2
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Lots of folks here have taken this approach, including me. Buy the “church van” with low miles, install a poptop and/or 4WD and then have at it. If your personal dream is simple then, yes, your numbers are close enough.

On the poptop side of things, I went through a several-year evaluation process of both options (SMB and CCV) (while saving up the cash) and decided on the CCV top. It’s so much more spacious, among other advantages. I would recommend looking into that when you’re ready.

Here’s my build thread. You can see it started out just like what you’re describing. Mine was a bit newer (2014) and lower miles (7K) but the same idea. Good luck to you!

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...rig-17377.html
.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:42 PM   #3
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If you take it to texas, SMB will install a top (non-power) for $8500. However, I would go with CCV just to be able to store your stuff in it and to get the more comfortable mattress. The SMB mattress is like 1" thick. You will bottom out sleeping on it.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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I really really like the CCV. The space, the safety design, and certainly the comfort.

I have read the complaints, and in some cases I feel the complaints are based on some unrealistic expectations like their communication, and timeline. An unrealistic timeline and a customer demanding work be done in that unrealistic timeline is going to lead to a lack of communication and rushed work, not shoddy work. I have no problems dropping it off and leaving it for a few months to get done right and I almost prefer to do that, vs demanding that its done in a couple weeks. It also seems like the folks who have had issues, also had them fixed by CCV which you never hear about that part in detail. In these modern times, I am very careful to consider negative reviews and consider all aspects and how I intend to use it (just read some reviews of ground tents and you will see what I mean!)

Anyhow, Otter has built my dream van and I am using many of his elements to consider my own.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:40 PM   #5
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2009 gets you the updated dash. The exterior got the upgrade for 2008 (along with the brakes). Besides the center console being improved (and about a 2 minute swap if you want to DIY on the 2008) then 2009 dash has far more space for added switches and gauges, which keeping a factory-ish look. But mechanically it will be nearly identical.

One upside of the 2008, is it should have a full-float rear axle, while the 2009 will have a semi-float. The semi-float should be sufficient for your build, but the full-float is always much more robust.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
2009 gets you the updated dash. The exterior got the upgrade for 2008 (along with the brakes). Besides the center console being improved (and about a 2 minute swap if you want to DIY on the 2008) then 2009 dash has far more space for added switches and gauges, which keeping a factory-ish look. But mechanically it will be nearly identical.

One upside of the 2008, is it should have a full-float rear axle, while the 2009 will have a semi-float. The semi-float should be sufficient for your build, but the full-float is always much more robust.

When did the switch to plastic gas tank happen? My 2008 is steel.....


For the OP....as Carringb mentioned the center console swap is plug and play.....as are the seats. I have the new style console and 2009+ style seats in my 2008....and my 2008 has a full float rear axle, very common on the passenger vans.



To check for full float, pull off a rear hubcap, the semi float doesn't have anything the sticks through the hole in the wheel; the full float has a large boss sticking through with a cast end cap retained by a bunch of bolts in a circular pattern.


Full float looks like this...


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Old 12-04-2019, 06:12 PM   #7
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Very good to know. I was leaning towards the 2008 for a few reasons:

- Full float rear-end is a good selling point for me as we do use our rigs, and to the limits sometimes.
- The 2008 has fewer miles
- It has a hitch already installed (a Uhaul hitch, but I only pull motorcycles on an open wheel trailer)
- I really like the wheels on the 2008 that I am looking at...

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Old 12-04-2019, 06:17 PM   #8
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That's a nice looking van! Power isn't a bad dealer network either.

U-haul hitches are fine BTW. It's probably a Class-4 (5k weight carrying 10k weight distribution) which would be equivalent to the factory hitch.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:26 PM   #9
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Those wheels are nice, but they are only $100 each, so don't let them persuade you too much. Especially when you're spending $1000 more to get that van.
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Old Yesterday, 08:03 AM   #10
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Any pics of the 2009 van?
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