Re: 78 Ford 4x4 First Time Build For Pan American Trip
Sweet! We're doing something similar with a 2001 7.3 except we'll drive it back or ship it to Florida if we make it all the way. We both love the looks of those older vans and considered a couple ourselves before buying our 2001. Ours wasn't converted yet so getting to the walls and floor was, we're sure, easier than what you are going through. We used a wire brush attachment on a drill (3 actually) to knock every thing down before coating it with POR-15. We have never done this before so using POR-15 was something we learned from this forum. That stuff is great but pricey. Wear gloves. If it dries on your skin you wear it until it wears off, I had a mishap last night and now have a half mechanic and half zombie looking right hand. Not awesome.
Are you guys heading South first or North and running it proper like? We haven't decided yet as when we leave town will determine what we end up doing. What's the height of your van? We're almost 8 feet with the Quigley and pop top and we plan on container shipping across the Darien Gap so we can't get much taller. We don't know much about the Pam Am but we follow a few overlander blogs and have learned a ton through their trial and error.
We say don't stress about the van too much. Follow your gut. If you want something different change now before you're in too deep, if you're sure this is the vehicle for you than do the best you can to get it in the best shape before you leave. It seems many people break down during the trek, it'll be part of "the experience" for sure.
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