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Old 10-26-2020, 08:59 PM   #1
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New - Need Conversion Advice

Hey Everyone!
NEW RIDE
This is my and my girlfriends new baby and we are excited to fit it out as an adventure van. We have actually been designing and planning the layout for the last few months and are excited to get going on the interior when we meet up next month to do the flooring, install Sienna Seats as our "second row" and put swivel bases on the Driver and Passenger seats as well.

4X4 UPGRADE
One major item that I would like to do is get the van customized with a 4x4 system. I've seen a couple companies that do this, but I live in North Carolina and hauling my van out to Denver or Portland just isn't feasible. I know UJoint is out here, but their quote was $25K and I've heard that, while their leaf spring front suspension is rock solid, a coil spring with shocks may be more suited to my needs as I will be travelling 80-90% on highways to get to my offroad adventure.

SHOP RECCOMENDATIONS
Do you think this kind of conversion is something that my local Jeep outfitter could handle? I'm sure they would say yes, but I don't want to go down a rabbit hole if this is extremely specialized. I thought about buying a system from Timberline or some other company and getting it installed locally. Any other companies that sell the kits that I might not have been able to find on a google search?

SPECIFICATIONS
Ideally we would like to upgrade to 17" wheels with an overall 34-35" diameter and then re-gear the rear to 4.56.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:49 AM   #2
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Congrats and welcome.

See this thread for info on member MG's conversion:
https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...are-22440.html

For MG's conversion kit, see this site: https://expovans.com/conversions/e-series/

It is just expensive to convert to 4x4 unless you can do the work yourself.

Most of the converters are in CO or out west as you have seen, except for UJoint.

I don't know about the Jeep outfitter, really depends on their experience, but I would think they could install a kit. Again though, depends on their experience.

I think Agile Offroad stopped doing E-series conversions.

Weldtec Designs sells van stuff including suspension upgrades and does some conversions, I don't believe they sell a kit.
https://weldtecdesigns.com/
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:49 AM   #3
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Any 4x4 shop that can do fab work should be able to install the expo vans/mg kit. A 4x4 shop that has ugly, scratched up rigs parked out front of their shop, not one that has shined up, no mountain or desert pin stripe having, and no mud stuck to the bottom of the rig type of shop. Some 4x4 shops just do bolt on stuff for bro trucks and mall crawler jeeps. Find a shop that can actually build a capable off road vehicle. Iirc, there are 4x4 parks scattered around your area. Go out to one of them and ask around about who can do that type of work. You’ll find out quick what shops to try and what shops to stay clear of.

Another member and myself did a mg kit on his van in his driveway. It’s a great kit and is very straightforward. Only special tool we borrowed was another buddies plasma torch to trim the front crossmember. It can be done with a cutoff wheel and a grinder but the object is to work smarter, not harder.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:00 PM   #4
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I thought Quigley in Pennsylvania (I think) stopped doing E series 4x4 conversions, but I thought a member recently wrote they may be doing them again? Many vans on here have Quigley and are very happy with them. That would be my first call given your location.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ctb View Post
I thought Quigley in Pennsylvania (I think) stopped doing E series 4x4 conversions, but I thought a member recently wrote they may be doing them again? Many vans on here have Quigley and are very happy with them. That would be my first call given your location.
The reply I got from Quigley in July:


Quote:
We work on 2014 and newer Ford Transits, GM full size, and Nissan NV models currently with less than 60,000 miles on them
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by marret View Post

...MG sells front coil kits for UJoint conversions as well....
Not sure what you mean by this but let me clarify...

When I first started selling our conversion brackets, some of the bracket kits were sold through UJOR. We discontinued our working relationship back in 2017. It's been a while since there was any cross-over.
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:31 PM   #7
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If I had a suitable garage, I would try a kit on my own, but as it is my space is too small, so I'm looking for a shop locally that could fab their own kit or buy one to install. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:39 PM   #8
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Might reach out to this outfit to see if they have any interest in installing a 4x4 kit for you... Located in Richmond Virginia - I've only heard about some of their work, never actually used them for anything.
https://www.davisoffroad.com/
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:07 PM   #9
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Unsure of the exact location, so using NC as a starting point.

Maybe these guys? https://www.facebook.com/TheGarageShop1/
The Garage Shop seems to do some fantastic fab work.

Learned of them while watching a youtube channel about the trans-america trail -

Here's another option...searching the big 4x4 forums = https://www.pirate4x4.com/forums/usa-southeast.87/

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/f...-a-vanlife.58/
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Scotmotzny View Post
If I had a suitable garage, I would try a kit on my own, but as it is my space is too small, so I'm looking for a shop locally that could fab their own kit or buy one to install. Thanks for the advice!
I am not sure if you meant precisely what you wrote about looking for" a shop locally that could fab their own kit..... " - I would only consider doing the "buy one to install" part of this.

Why? A well known, proven kit will retain a much higher value upon resale than a one off or "few" off kit. The well known kits, conversions are well documented and when getting repairs or maintenance done you will know what to use. Having been through the Franken-Van Pathfinder route twenty years ago, and being super lucky to find a parts list to detail out what on the Chevy van was Chevy, or Ford, or Dodge, or custom was a life save when getting the brakes serviced.

And, of course, the well known and well respected kits have been well engineered.

Congrats on the new rig!!
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