So we just purchased our first Van! We are a family of 4, and we live in arllington MA, near boston.
1994, 130K miles, Ford E250.
We plan to use it to go camping in new england this summer ( cape code, white mountain, etc). And next year we will probably do a bigger roadtrip ( may be all the way accross canada to Alaska).
We occasionnaly go to some dirt road, but I dont need a proper 4x4. I conisreding to raise it a little bit to gain some clearance. But the cost to raise it seem really high.
And we will most likely resell the van at the end of next summer at the end of our roadtrip as we will go back to live in europe.
I think I got it pretty cheap ($6K), so I am willing to do all the required maintenance and few upgrades.
I know a little bit about car but I know nothing about this particular van.
pre-purchase inspection revealed the folllowing:
- ABS light on
- Tires dry and rotten
- Rear Main seal is leaking oil ( that could be a big one)
- Suspension is tight but it's rusty
- Front Rotor are glazed
Other thing that I know are absent or not working:
There are no clear water tank and the grey water tank need to be replaced
I don't know if the water pump for the faucet is working.
These are my priority:
- Tires ( already ordered)
How urgent is the main seal?
- Kids safety: I know seating sideway is not ideal, so what can i do to mitigate the risk and improve my 8 and 10 years old safety while we drive? I am thinking to buy some these safe travel vest. There is a latch that will kind of transform the lap seat belt into a safer setup. https://ridesafertravelvest.com/.
Alternatively I could weld some support to add a 3 point or 4 point harness.
- I d like to get the water running, what tank should I buy / where?
- I'd like to be able to connect a computer, what do I need to do? Should I add solar to the roof? why can't the computer run from the extra battery that is charged while driving?
- I have all the documentation regarding starcool II and there is a broken thermostat that says Heat, cool, or off. I d like to check if that is working or not and if not is it worth fixing? The dash AC is working when the van is running.
- Should I replace all light with LED bulb? Will that make a difference for the energy consuption?
- I have a small leak on the back door, it look like it's just the seal that need to be replace.
- one small rip on one of the pop up windows that is currently fixed with tap. I'm thinking to ask a local soft top specialist if he can do anything about it.
Do I have my priority right?
Do you reccomend something else?
Do you know a good and affordable mechanic in the arlington / boston area?
Sorry for the swarn of questions (maybe some are very naive) ! But I'm a newbie with this car, and I'm eager to learn!