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Old 07-04-2020, 05:36 PM   #1
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Interior Work & Paint on 1991 E150

First timer here, I hope this is the right forum. I’m a novice looking for some advice on work I’m planning to do to my van. 

I already removed the rear closets and I want to re-make the couch/bed system to extend it all the way to the back. Possibly re-make the drawers/ice chest to match.

 While I’m at it, I’m planning to tear up the rug and replace it with some kind of fake wood flooring. I noticed some old water damage in the back corner where the subfloor is rotted, so that will likely need to be replaced as well.

My questions are:

1. Is this a bad idea? Am I potentially opening a can of worms I don’t want to with such an old Sportsmobile? 

2. Would it be worth it to have this van painted? Curious how much that would cost and if that’s a complete waste of money, or if it would add to the re-sale value. There are currently some small rust patches (see photos).

Vehicle History:

I purchased this 1991 Ford E150 Sportmsobile last year.
Interior is in good condition, the previous owners had replaced the AC compressor and both gas tanks.
In the past year I’ve done the following upgrades: Ignition tune-up, new plugs, new starter, front brakes, new rear shocks, replaced the cracked right exhaust manifold, replaced both side valve cover gaskets. 
It runs well and is used lightly, mostly for weekend trips. 

Any advice or suggestions are welcome. Feel free to tell me if I’m an idiot for buying this in the first place. She’s been good to me so far.

Attached Thumbnails
van01.jpg   van04.jpg   van03.jpg   van02.jpg  

shall54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 05:25 AM   #2
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Makes sense to me.

Many people modify or completely redo their SMB. Make it work for you and repair damaged areas.

I would fix and/or address the rust for sure. Painting, not sure, it would be expensive and you might not get full ROI, but it would help.

2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
2006 BMW HP2 Enduro
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:30 AM   #3
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Re: Rust repair

The rear door cannot or should be not repaired---existing rust is just too severe to even consider. Find a good or near-perfect door for replacement. Yes it will require refinishing to mostly match the rest of the van but you don't see such things from the driver's seat.

Upper right side gutter---needs to be addressed ASAP, possibly removing the plastic trim material for further investigation. At that angle of view its tough to know how extensive it really is but given its location and potential for bigger issues attending to it soon would be advisable.

Right side lower rust----the doors are deteriorating much like the right side rear door, they're pretty much in-line to be replaced as well. While they could be surface repaired the rust has begun inside the door shell and can't be stopped to any high degree of success at this point. (Just a bundle of good news huh? )

The lower B-Pillar rust looks to not yet perforated the metal, rust most likely having began from a small rock chip in the paint that exposed the bare metal to the elements. We'd want to see other single views of that area with front and side doors open showing the pillar where it joins the lower rocker panels. Also crawl under the van checking that area to see if rust has found its way there.

FWIW I'm a former body shop owner who has a bit of knowledge with rust repair, might be able to share some useful info.

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Old 07-05-2020, 01:45 PM   #4
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A good reminder to us all to regularly clean the drain holes in the door bottoms and elsewhere!
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
A good reminder to us all to regularly clean the drain holes in the door bottoms and elsewhere!
Yep---and it wouldn't be a bad idea to thoroughly clean, prep and apply some POR-15 a few inches up the door skins on the inside of the shell, making sure to keep the drain holes open so water can still pass through.

Once rust gets started in the hem flanges of the door shells you'll only buy a small amount of life for a door, prevention always the best step.

Its worth noting if you do any sort of off-roading that might have mud thrown against the body and it becoming trapped in spaces like the inside of the rocker panels those areas need to be cleaned and dried occasionally. There are or should be openings to aid air flow so slight water pressure flushing those areas free of debris should be "easy".

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