Having been drooling over SMB vans for more than a few years, I pulled the trigger and bought a cheap E350 van project Friday, January 20th. It is a salvage van, and I got it for a song, in my opinion. It needs some love, but should be on the road shortly.
First things first, I have to find some replacement bits. You can see most of what needs immediate attention here in the first photo, but there is a handful of suspension parts that I can pull from the local parts yards. This isn't my first salvage vehicle, I have been here before, in 2010 with my Jeep Rubicon, which this should pull easily enough to Moab, etc. Now, we won't have to sleep on the ground anymore.
On to some pictures, then some questions!
My shopping list looks like this:
front and rear anti-sway bars
assorted plastic bits
And that's just to get us started.
Does anyone know if I can use a steering wheel from an F series truck, or SUV? Something leather would be nice.
Since I have to pull the airbag anyway, I am halfway to replacing the wheel... might as well.
The interior is pretty spartan, rubber floor, vinyl seats, FM stereo. After the essentials, it would be nice to upgrade the amenities to make us more comfortable. Nicer junkyard seats, carpet, door panels from a newer van, etc.
The goal of this van is to make something we can use as a utility vehicle, camping vehicle, base camp for desert trips, rock climbing, dirt biking, mountain biking, etc. It won't have a bathroom, or kitchen, but I have a little portable toilet, we have some parts left over from our last RV project (a bus) so it's not going to be just a van.
Eventually, we would like to convert to 4x4, for access to ski areas in the winter, sandy or otherwise slippery areas in the desert, etc. The Jeep is for off-roading, the van is the base camp so it's not going to be doing any rock crawling.