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Old 07-29-2020, 02:16 PM   #1
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2009 E350 4x4 Hi/Pop Build

Hey everyone, longtime reader/lurker, joined 2 weeks ago. Bought a 2009 E350 last week and have a long list of things I want to do.

First off, it's a white 2009 E350 XLT with a Ujoint 4x4 system installed by Green Fab in Alaska. 51k miles on the 5.4 V8, purchased in Tucson and drove 1400 miles home to Texas (detours in northern New Mexico). Aluminess ladder, Vantech rack, ARB canopy, 2000 watt true sine wave inverter with 200ah batteries. There's a cheap wood table/rack the previous owner installed which will probably come out first.

Things to do:

- new wheels/tires
- want a CCV or SMB pop-top but don't want to pay $12-15k
- possibly install a junkyard hi top instead
- swivel seats
- new paint
- solar panels
- roof rack
- interior needs bed/sink/cabinets/toilet/table/seats
- front grille guard
- rear swinging tire holder/storage
- new dash stereo/rear camera


I've done some minor mods on my Wrangler and 4Runner, but nothing like the major mod/fab work I see here. Right now I'm basically paralyzed with indecision on where to start. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:36 PM   #2
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I would go for some sustainable power first - Solar panels - I would start with suitcase panel(s) just to keep your battery charged (since you are eventually going to do the top), This way you can get a fridge.
Depending on where you want to travel, and if you plan to lift the Van, I would do the wheels & tires next...getting stuck or blowing a tire (because it wasn't intended for off-road use) will just leave you inconvenienced.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:51 PM   #3
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Start with the cheap stuff. Some things on your list are affected by other things on your list. for example, your roof rack is totally different if you go pop top or high top.

I would start with stuff you can do yourself like the interior, stereo, seat swivel. Then decide how much money you are willing to spend to do the other stuff and prioritize. My suggestion is always to start with what you must have to use it TODAY. Then start using it! Your needs will manifest themselves through use.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:55 PM   #4
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I would go for some sustainable power first - Solar panels - I would start with suitcase panel(s) just to keep your battery charged (since you are eventually going to do the top), This way you can get a fridge.
Depending on where you want to travel, and if you plan to lift the Van, I would do the wheels & tires next...getting stuck or blowing a tire (because it wasn't intended for off-road use) will just leave you inconvenienced.
I'm fairly certain the alternator charges the two 100ah batteries I have, but I could be wrong. I have a 52q Massimo fridge that runs off 12v. The van is already lifted from the 4x4 conversion and I don't plan to lift it any higher, unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:57 PM   #5
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Start with the cheap stuff. Some things on your list are affected by other things on your list. for example, your roof rack is totally different if you go pop top or high top.

I would start with stuff you can do yourself like the interior, stereo, seat swivel. Then decide how much money you are willing to spend to do the other stuff and prioritize. My suggestion is always to start with what you must have to use it TODAY. Then start using it! Your needs will manifest themselves through use.
Thanks, I posted on the group swivel seat buy thread. I'm just not sure about the interior. Tear everything out or leave as is? It's in perfect shape right now, but tearing everything out will obviously give me more space for a bed/kitchen/storage.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:29 PM   #6
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Congratulations! Lots of threads on here that can inspire your creativity. Take a look at mine. We have a similar vehicle. My build thread might give you some ideas about where to start and some smaller things you can do right in the beginning that will be satisfying and fun.

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...rig-17377.html

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Old 07-29-2020, 03:44 PM   #7
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I'm fairly certain the alternator charges the two 100ah batteries I have, but I could be wrong. I have a 52q Massimo fridge that runs off 12v. The van is already lifted from the 4x4 conversion and I don't plan to lift it any higher, unless absolutely necessary.
I'm sure the batteries are being charged by the alternator - point was more that when your out camping you will not have to run the engine for any length of time to maintain a comfortable charge on your batteries as you use the Fridge, lights, USB ports to charge stuff, etc.
200amh batteries will net you about 100 usable (shouldn't go below 50%), so if you're out for just two days without moving the Van you'll probably discharge about 88amps a day just with a 4amp fridge - doesnt leave much for anything else like lights, fan. etc..and again that 88amps is just one day.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Otter View Post
Congratulations! Lots of threads on here that can inspire your creativity. Take a look at mine. We have a similar vehicle. My build thread might give you some ideas about where to start and some smaller things you can do right in the beginning that will be satisfying and fun.

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...rig-17377.html

.
Thanks! Is dropping Sienna seats in a popular thing around here?
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:56 PM   #9
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Yes, some of us do like the Sienna seats. They’re very comfortable, especially for lounging. If you go that route, you can find a few being sold on this forum. And you’d need to get the seat bases from Ujoint.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:52 PM   #10
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Yes, some of us do like the Sienna seats. They’re very comfortable, especially for lounging. If you go that route, you can find a few being sold on this forum. And you’d need to get the seat bases from Ujoint.
Do you guys have them set up to be quickly removable? I wouldn't want 2 chairs permanently mounted in the back.
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