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Old 11-27-2010, 10:41 PM   #11
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Re: Ford Van Generations (1975-1991 vs 1992-present)

here's another really nice older style rig, and closer to home:
http://medford.craigslist.org/rvs/2072660626.html
In 1991 they still had the older body style yet started using the E4OD transmission I believe (this may be an AOD, but I don't think so.) with the 351W, so that would solve your overdrive wishes. Some of the older vans with a 302 had the AOD 4 speed tranny option - not as robust as the C6, but with less power behind it likely less of an issue.
edit to add: check out the link to the '95 Quigley / Dodge SMB posted in the classifieds. good bang for the buck for someone!
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:55 PM   #12
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Re: Ford Van Generations (1975-1991 vs 1992-present)

I appreciate the effort guys, but i'm not trying to find vans for sale, i'm looking for input on differences between the new and the old. Even more so than tech-spec differences (which i can research) i'm looking for first hand real-world experience. Those who have spent time in both older and newer vans can perhaps share things they noticed. Maybe there aren't many here who have spent time with both.

What about the steering death wobble? Was that a problem in many (all?) older vans, and cured in the newer ones? Is handling in general greatly improved in the newer style, or is it not a big difference?
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:43 AM   #13
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Re: Ford Van Generations (1975-1991 vs 1992-present)

For what it's worth here is my opinion. I have spent time driving both, but the only catch is that they were ambulances. I am by no means an expert or even very knowledgeable about the older engines either.
The older models with the 6.9 and 7.3IDI non powerstrokes were dogs IMO. They started off the line great but fell flat on their face shortly after as they were non turbo. They smelled and rattled and I hated the dash design. The 7.3 IDI is supposed to be a long life, unstoppable engine though and I admit we NEVER had engine problems with these units. I only drove one gas early model and it ran like a raped ape.

The newer body style also had the 7.3 IDI I believe until around 1995 (carringb would know specifics) Those models were still slow up the hills. The dash/interior changed in this body style and I must say the newer years 1998? seemed to rattle and squeak much less.

As far as handling, they all seemed similar regardless of body style.

In my opinion I would stick with a newer model. The best of all would be one with the 7.3 Powerstroke. They are workhorses and have had very few problems.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #14
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Re: Ford Van Generations (1975-1991 vs 1992-present)

The PowerStroke came out in late '94 (as a 1994.5 model), and the 7.3L IDI continued through the end of the '94 MY, so there is some overlap.

One thing that makes breaking down E-series generations is Ford has always been on a continuous improvement plan, making minor changes each year, and rarely making a making a major change all at once.

The '92 vans came with the new body, on top of a revised chassis. Main chassis changes were making the chassis larger, and going to a heavier duty front suspension (however, also moving to Ball Joints which seams to required more frequent servicing vs king-pins), and also going to softer spring rates.

The pre-'92 vans don't ride quite a smooth, and the steering is over-boosted. You can steer through a rock garden using just your pinky. The '92 vans became a little more car-like (and then it was improved again in '97, then again in '09). The good thing about the stiffer riding old body style vans, is they actually handle a little better without sway bars. One that note.... pre'92 vans have a better front sway bar (with linkages instead of in-axle bushing) compared to the '02-'08 vans. Ford went back to linkages for '09.

As far as gas engines go, I believe there isn't much difference between '89-'93 vans. I believe they had multi-port fuel injection. '94+ vans got Sequential fuel injection. There was some throttle body fuel injection in the late '80s as well, but not for very long.

One note about carbureted vans... The fuel systems were not designed for ethanol. We just replaced the carb's seals and hoses on our spare '85 van, since they were rotted, most likely from the mandatory E10 now used in Oregon.

I believe in '88 Ford went from a Brake Proportioning valve to Rear ABS. 4-wheel ABS came out on '92 vans, but only as an option. It was phased in as standard equipment for the following few years, depending on trim level and engine.

Even '80's vans could be had with power everything, rear AC, and steering-wheel mounted cruise control. It was just less common.

So in a nutshell, the most noticeable changes you will feel as a driver are the improved ergonomics, and the less-truck-like steering on the '92+ vans.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:06 AM   #15
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Re: Ford Van Generations (1975-1991 vs 1992-present)

Great feedback, thank you! I guess i'm coming to the conclusion that since i'm going to have to get a van that is at least 10 years and 100K+ old, that the model year is not going to be nearly as important as the maintenance level and condition.

In other words, for me, a $7,000 1988 van, well maintained and equipped and clearly in good condition, is going to be a much better deal than a $7,000 1994 van that has no service records and appears to be in questionable condition.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #16
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Re: Ford Van Generations (1975-1991 vs 1992-present)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TroySmith80
In other words, for me, a $7,000 1988 van, well maintained and equipped and clearly in good condition, is going to be a much better deal than a $7,000 1994 van that has no service records and appears to be in questionable condition.

Agree 100%.


When it comes to the Triton motors, I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up with over 200,000 miles, as long as it was serviced. Especially if it has the 4R100 transmission. There's some good deals on high-mileage vans about 10 years old.

My V10 is coming up in 300,000 and has only needed a radiator (burst upper tank towing last spring.... drove 40 miles to find JB-stick, and towed the trailer another 250 miles home), the starter relay (~$40) and both front O2 sensors. And a MAF sensor which was damaged when I used brake clean to wash off the coolant when the radiator burst.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:43 PM   #17
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Re: Ford Van Generations (1975-1991 vs 1992-present)

edit to delete what I already said!
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