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Old 09-05-2016, 11:37 AM   #1
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What makes the best foundation van for a build?

Greetings. First time caller, long time listener of this forum.

I work at a huge auto auction. If it is a used van chances are it will roll through our auction block sooner or later.

So the choices are vast but the budget is limited.

What in the long run is the best option for the foundation of a build?

Sprinter?
Chevy/GMC Full sized AWD or RWD
Ford

Cargo or passenger?

I have a current option to buy a 98 15 passenger van with a 190k 7.3 PSD. It has some light rust and parasitic draw that is killing the batteries. But for the low low price of $1900 cash.

Thoughts are welcome
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:06 PM   #2
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I think it depends a lot on your budget and how much you can do yourself. As far as which make and model the best thing to do is just go drive them and decide which you like more and go from there.
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:16 PM   #3
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The Ford is the most common van and has the most parts available OEM or aftermarket.
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:48 PM   #4
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I just bought my first van to convert. I opted to go new considering how much time and money will be spent. I also made sure I got the powertrain I wanted. I am not a mechanic, so having newer made sense to me. I got good advice from the folks here.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:32 PM   #5
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Flux

great point. I have a fear of over spending on a cheap foundation van.

I am at a bit of a comfort point as I have diesel mechanics in the family. One of which tears down the 7.3's and the 6.0's to bullet proof them. Boy did I prove him wrong with my .45 cal 1911.

Axles and parts should come easy supply as I have salvage yard friends. Any ?I put on will be able to be unbolted and swapped over to a new foundation.

Just want to make certain that I am not starting off worse.

That said I have driven many and not too much of a ride/feel snob. More of a can it go from A to B without breaking down or burning down. If it can drag something behind like a trailered 4x4 or such then all the better.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:35 PM   #6
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Thank you. I saw that this was a majorly repeated question. My bad.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:38 PM   #7
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If you have diesel mechanics in the family, then that makes it easier. I saw an F250 today with the 7.3 and 4x4. It was a fine vessel.

Here's where I started:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-0l-17808.html

The folks on this board are top notch and a big help. Use the search tools, there's a wealth of information here.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:51 AM   #8
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Go with Ford, far more common, and essentially the same van was made for 25 years.

As for which one, definitely 250/350 unless post 2009 (ish, not sure exact year they upgraded the 150), and diesel is nice, but not required..

I'd say find the one with the least mileage and best condition you can afford.
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