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Old 12-22-2022, 09:18 PM   #1
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Here we go again - 2011 E350 build

So, i bought another van. Not a surprise to those of you that know me I'm sure. I've come full circle I think. We really enjoyed our family trips in vans with the kids years ago but now life has changed. It's just the two of us and after various experiments with truck campers, overland Jeeps and a few other ideas we have both agreed that for us there is nothing like a van.

So, a little backstory. October of 2021 I ordered a new AWD Transit (cargo) with every option we would ever want. Supply chain issues slowed this down and eventually killed it though, Ford eventually cancelling the order on me. I was/am not willing to wait another year to see if they can come through. During this time giving it a lot of thought I've sort of come back to the idea of an E-series after thinking for years that I had probably owned my last one. Nothing wrong with them of course but they are old school, no fancy sound systems, 360 cameras or safety and comfort features like we have gotten used to in our other cars. There are other benefits though. They are tough, durable and proven. Also, built properly they are capable. Far more capable than any Sprinter or Transit will ever be.

As the people multiply and the public lands shrink we want a rig that will get us further. Further than anyone, preferably. The boxes I wanted to check were few but specific. The newest E-series I could find was paramount, meaning 09-14 to get the new body and dash. Secondly, V10 with 5 speed was near the top of the list. Other things I personally wanted included almost any color but white (just our personal preference, no offense) and the 4wd conversion already done. Also, I wanted a wagon/passenger instead of a cargo. I don't have as much free time as I used to so I wanted more of a usable interior to build from and 4wd from day one. Also, I like the windows. Another biggie was no rust, and by this I mean NO rust. I've played this game before. I have no interest in dealing with it again.

So, I narrowed my search to a V10 Quigley/Quadvan and waited patiently. Luckily, it only took a couple of months. I found several good candidates in the $30k range which I was willing to pay and was just starting to feel a little stagnant when one popped up at a Ford dealer in Page, AZ. Oddly, at a dealer, it was not on ANY of the Autotrader/Cars.com type sites. When I found it he said he had it listed for the past couple of months and got no interest. I asked him his price and did a double take. I was on a plane a day later. The poor guy didn't know what he had.

Well, here it is. 2011 E350 Quigley V10 passenger sold new from an LA dealership. It lived in Montana North Dakotah for a time but mostly in AZ. It is supposed to have a factory limited slip and full float rear per Quigley but I fear both of these are wrong. It definitely doesn't have a full float rear but it does have factory 4:10 gearing. Oh, 95,000 miles.

Moving on with this novel I flew out to Pheonix and got a commuter to Page AZ, did the deal with the dealer in about 15 minutes and was rolling back east 8 hours after leaving home in Tennessee. The van came with a cracked windshield, some missing interior trim, a non functioning driver mirror and the general lack of routing maintenance you get from people who plan to sell a car soon. In other words, it badly needed a tune up and the tires aren't great.

First Walmart I came across for wipers and some groceries:

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr

Driving 65-70 home I got about 12.5 but that didn't bother me. What bothered me was how sluggish it was for a V10. I'm fine with doing the maintenance on new-to-me vehicles so I know it's done right but man, I was starting to get the feeling the PO was pretty lazy.
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Old 12-22-2022, 09:38 PM   #2
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I think I had a huge order in to Rock Auto before I even got home. She needed some love. In the first couple weekends I did:

Transmission fluid, full pan drop and filter. It was awful. No burned odor but black.
Oil and filter, plugs, coil check and new boots, every single hose, serp belt and tensioner, coolant, brake fluid, tranny fluid, PS fluid, both axles serviced (by a shop) and muffler replaced. I also added Ford all weather mats, replaced the windshield, shortened the insanely intrusive t-case shifter, got new key fobs, replaced both mirrors and replaced driver seat base cover since it was worn on left side.

The difference was unreal. I've had a boatload of vehicles and never had one so night and day different after a tune up. It now runs like an empty V10 van ought to, fast and strong.

Next up was rear pop outs and window tint:
2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr

And some housekeeping and moving in. Here are some pics of how clean the interior is:

Untitled by Arendale, on Flickr

Untitled by Arendale, on Flickr

Untitled by Arendale, on Flickr

Untitled by Arendale, on Flickr

Untitled by Arendale, on Flickr
Next came a shakedown run to grab a vehicle I'd been looking for for a long time. The van towed it like it wasn't there. The V10/5 speed combo is an impressive workhorse.

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr
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Old 12-22-2022, 09:56 PM   #3
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I put down a basic subfloor of 1/2" rigid foam with 3/4" plywood over it so I can use the van and work in and around it for awhile. After this I got busy with door insulation and redoing panels. That's where I stand now. I'm about half done but have lots of parts lined up and not enough time to work on it. I predict this van will take me at least a year to complete.

Here's some door panel progress. Simple gray carpet but I like it. I was able to work out some in-door storage but it's not complete yet. I like how quiet everything is with carpeted panels and lots of insulation in the doors.

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr

Rear doors complete with handles now, the pic makes the carpet look darker but it's all the same. Also, rear speakers are intact. I perforated the panels under the carpet for a cleaner look

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr

This van will have a full indoor kitchen (fridge, stove, sink, micro) but I wanted an outdoor stove for back up use:

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr



Still working on the forward side door. Lots of storage to be found there. It will have a deep shoe tray that fits in the footwell. Shoe storage has always been a problem in our vans. This will be right at the entry door and should hold 4 pairs of shoes. More to come:

2011 E350 by Arendale, on Flickr
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Old 12-22-2022, 09:58 PM   #4
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Congratulations. Nice looking rig and welcome back to the E series.
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Old 12-22-2022, 09:59 PM   #5
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Next up will be swivel bases, RIP kit and Bushwackers and then I'll be on to wheels/tires and Raptor liner around the bottom of van followed by Aluminess, CCV top and eventually the interior build. Ugh.

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Old 12-22-2022, 10:25 PM   #6
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This thing is going to be sweet! Can't wait to see the rest of the build.
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Old 12-23-2022, 03:48 AM   #7
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Looks great and it will be sweet. Look forward to the rest of the build as well and interested in your shoe storage.

Are you going to do a pop top or high roof?
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Old 12-23-2022, 04:31 AM   #8
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Kind of sad we won’t be able to offer any advise/assistance in the build since you already know everything - so I’ll just ‘high five’ your progress as it’s showcased.
*** I really like your version of the barn door storage for the stove (opposed to the larger ‘bulky’ boxes some have).
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Old 12-23-2022, 04:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
Kind of sad we wonít be able to offer any advise/assistance in the build since you already know everything - so Iíll just Ďhigh fiveí your progress as itís showcased.
^^^ that is perfect, lol. So Iíll just echo what he said. Looking great already Eric!
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Old 12-23-2022, 05:16 AM   #10
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Sad to hear about the Transit debacle, I was looking forward to your build on that. Totally understand your decision to leave them behind. New build is looking great.

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