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Old 03-16-2009, 04:51 PM   #1
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photo mobile

Hi all,
a glance about myself and a bit more about my plans..:
I'm a photographer moved here from Germany in 2005. I'm planning on building me a "photomobile" on a e-series base. I want me to build that mobile "a bit at a time". The final product is gonna be a lightweight (as possible) unit with a penthouse top and 4x4 .
Now my questions: If I get that right, sportsmobile only puts a 4x4 on a e-350 or could i come up with a 250 or even 150? It also seems they only wanna do it on a 6.8L V-10 or 6.0L diesel - so I can't show up with a 4.6 or a 5.4? remember - I'm wanna be lightweight.
Once i figured which chassis/engine is needed - what do you guys and gals advice to look out for when buying an e-series van (other than the usual things one looks at when buying a used car)?
I'm planning on getting me the bare naked cargo van, let smb put me the penthouse top in and I start doing the interior using "kee klamp". Next season then I go back to smb and get the 4x4.
Thanks a ton for any advice,
the picster
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:53 PM   #2
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Re: photo mobile

Hello Picster,

I am a photographer, and that's one of the main reasons I bought the 4x4 SMB. I'm very comfortable and warm, and always right where the action or sunrise is. Yes, I camped on the ground for most of my life.

You'll love it.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
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Re: photo mobile

My only thought is you'd be ahead looking for a lightweight van with the 4x4 already installed. If you're willing to forgo the SMB 4x4 and find a S&K, Quigley or other maker you have a higher chance of finding a v8 in some type of work or service van.

Also I think the E250 and the E350 are the same body, frame and front axle. The only thing different are the rear springs and possibly axle. It doesn't get significantly heavier until you go to the E450 which only comes in a cut away, or lighter unless you go with the E150.
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:04 PM   #4
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Re: photo mobile

Quigley will make a 4x4 E150. See the website:

http://www.quigley4x4.com/

You could have the penthouse done by SMB and later fill in the cabinets, etc.

Mike
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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Re: photo mobile

I Gooooooogled Kee Klamp:

http://www.keeklamp.com/





I am interested in what ideas you have.

Have you seen the 80/20 Inc. product?

http://www.8020.net/

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Old 03-16-2009, 08:15 PM   #6
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Re: photo mobile

Thanks for the feedback guys.
@jake - I don't want to spend more than 15 grand on the vehicle including the penthouse top at the beginning. The 4x4 increment is scheduled for next year.
@TXdavid - Besides the reasonable price and the low weight of the kee klamp system is,that it is so customizable. I have a rough layout of what I want to have, but what I want to do is buy me a box full of the kee lite (aluminium) fittings, plenty of (1") pvc pipe and some square feet of nylon netting. With that I'm gonna do some field testing for one season or so and see what fits my needs - once that is figured, I'm gonna replace the pvc pipe with aluminum pipe and the nylon netting with birch plywood. Haven't seen that 80/20 product yet. Seems to be a pretty good concept. I just love Kee Klamp since years. In germany it was pretty hip in the 90's to build furniture and showrooms with it. Still love it for it's versatile uses and plain appeal.
What can you guys tell me bout the engines smb could bolt the 4x4 to? the 4.6 is the least thirsty one i guess, isn't it?
Thanks again,
picster
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:35 PM   #7
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Re: photo mobile

Interesting, I came across this "grid beam" system when looking at tote goats, inspired by stumpalump's mc hauler article. Who ever knew there were so many build systems?



http://gridbeam.biz/photos.htm

Two other things:
Why the emphasis on lightness?
and
I'm moving this to Homemade section since the discussion will be most useful there.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:42 PM   #8
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Re: photo mobile

somehow I never liked the grid beam system... but the tote gote is a true gem
you move it wherever it makes sense.
my emphasis on lightness... well, my maxim is: "the less stuff you have, the less you have to take care about stuff" and reducing the demand for horsepower is always a good thing - I think. So everything I do not add to a vehicle gains me agility and every thing i have to add, I wanna have it as lightweight as possible altho not at any cost.
I did backpacking and mountain biking for years. During that time I figured with how few things one can survive. Now you are probably asking: "why a ford van then?", right? the answer is, that I'm gonna have customers sitting in the vehicle quite often - and I just can't manage that in a toyota tacoma (which I would choose if i would be all alone all he time).
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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Re: photo mobile

I would go for E150 4.9 inline six for ligtweigth durability and less gas and dana 44 ifs front axle
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