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Old 08-06-2020, 04:58 PM   #1
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Need Help Deciding Between 2 Vans!

Hope this is the right sub forum as I thought the drivetrain forum might work too...

I need advice from all of your experienced minds on choosing which van to keep.

I have a 2004 E350 5.4 with a home made interior (pretty nice, not junk), roof rack, electrical, etc. 130k miles but just put a Jasper engine in it 10k miles ago. Clean RB passenger with nicer tan interior with green paint.

In February I bought a 2005 E350 with a 6.0 because I needed better towing capacity and wanted more power. Van was a stock fire vehicle but came with a MG Metalsworks 4wd kit unistalled along with axles and transfer case. 75k miles and pretty good shape but a little rust to it. Okish RB Cargo w fire engine red paint and gray beat up interior.

Realized my camper is just too big for me to tow comfortably (10k lbs and 38' total length) so no longer care about the towing ability. I also spend a lot of time envision worrying over the 6.0 issues (even after doing the EGR delete and cooler) when on road trips far from home and the time to convert another van.

To convert the diesel I am looking at a bit more money converting depending if on how much I get for the 5.4 gas van. To keep the gas van, I am stuck with the slower motor (no towing) and losing a bit on the resell of the diesel. The interior is done in the 5.4 but I would modify it a bit to make it fit us better. The diesel would be a ground up build.

This van would be our touring/travelling van. Would keep tire size to 33/34" with either with the 4wd conversion. Do all my own maintenance and have a pretty low annual income.

Which would you choose to keep and convert to 4wd? Why?

Thanks for any help. I know questions like this get annoying to see but I am kinda stuck.



Joe
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:03 PM   #2
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Can't seem to find any better pictures of either one...Click image for larger version

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Old 08-06-2020, 05:33 PM   #3
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From a strictly financial observation;
The 5.4 will get you where you need to go, requires considerably less maintenance $'s, has a new motor already, and an interior build that will get you by.
The 6.0 needs fluids changed regularly and will require more $'s for upkeep. From the photo, I suspect you'll have to sink quite a bit more money into the 6.0 than what you already have in the other Van.
I'd keep the 5.4 and upgrade what-ever you're not satisfied with - be a whole lot less expensive in the short & long term. This alone will allow you some freedoms to continue your travels, and with little concern (as you already mentioned) of being stranded - removes some frustration from the equation.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
From a strictly financial observation;
The 5.4 will get you where you need to go, requires considerably less maintenance $'s, has a new motor already, and an interior build that will get you by.
The 6.0 needs fluids changed regularly and will require more $'s for upkeep. From the photo, I suspect you'll have to sink quite a bit more money into the 6.0 than what you already have in the other Van.
I'd keep the 5.4 and upgrade what-ever you're not satisfied with - be a whole lot less expensive in the short & long term. This alone will allow you some freedoms to continue your travels, and with little concern (as you already mentioned) of being stranded - removes some frustration from the equation.
That does make a lot of sense. That extra power of the diesel is so tempting but the 5.4 is the devil I know. After installing the engine myself I feel pretty comfortable working around it. The 6.0 would be a lot to learn and those oil changes are $$!

Thanks for your feedback!!
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:29 PM   #5
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Im on my second SMB with a 5.4 (98 and now 2011) and have no complaints with the engines power. Sure a diesel will have more torque and whatnot, but Id never personally consider a 6.0. Keeping the green 5.4 van seems like a no-brainer. New engine, built out already, great color, a known entity, etc.

And apart from being cool, do you really need the 4x4? If you are mainly after the look, get a lift kit, locker, and wheels/tires and keep it 2WD for better mpg, serviceability, and reliability.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:50 PM   #6
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Im on my second SMB with a 5.4 (98 and now 2011) and have no complaints with the engines power. Sure a diesel will have more torque and whatnot, but Id never personally consider a 6.0. Keeping the green 5.4 van seems like a no-brainer. New engine, built out already, great color, a known entity, etc.

And apart from being cool, do you really need the 4x4? If you are mainly after the look, get a lift kit, locker, and wheels/tires and keep it 2WD for better mpg, serviceability, and reliability.
I have driven all over the country in the green 5.4 and power was ok but not the best. 3.73's and 32" tires didn't help. I think a 5 star tune and lower gearing would help.

I definitely want 4wd. I actually was just interested in the kit originally but wound up buying the kit and van together since I wanted to tow. Now that heavy towing is out I could install the kit on the green 5.4. I already have 80% of the parts, why not? I guess I could sell the parts but it wouldn't be worth it for me. Whatever van I keep will get converted to 4wd.
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:00 PM   #7
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Yup....I agree, keep the 5.4 and install the MG kit on there with 4.10 gearing
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:42 PM   #8
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I agree with REF. 5.4 and all the stuff you want. The 6.0 will let you down at the worst possible time.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:57 AM   #9
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If you dont need to tow, then def keep the 5.4. Regear to 4.10 or lower and you should be good to go. You mentioned getting a 5 star tune, but I heard that they no longer support the 5.4?
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:16 PM   #10
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If you dont need to tow, then def keep the 5.4. Regear to 4.10 or lower and you should be good to go. You mentioned getting a 5 star tune, but I heard that they no longer support the 5.4?
5.4 still listed on their website:
https://5startuning.com/product-cate...ries-4-6l5-4l/
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