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Old 06-04-2010, 11:19 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Need help deciding on a 4x4 van... or should I just wait?

Just sold my 4x4 truck and will be selling my 2WD conversion van in order to get a van that will serve the combined purpose of both vehicles.

I have three vans I am currently considering, but have only been lightly researching 4x4 vans for a year now and need advice.

A little background: I need something pretty basic because I don't want to pay for cabinets, sinks and stoves I will only have to remove from the van to suite my needs. Aside from that, I've always wanted a cosmetic project vehicle. I am a recreational dog sledder and backpacker. The van will have to be reliable in some of the coldest places in the U.S. in the winter and also work well for getting to cool camping spots in places like Indian Creek (near Moab) year-round. The reason I can't have any extras inside besides a bed, is that it has to fit a 9.5 foot long dog sled, at least two large dogs, gear, and maybe even two cats on occasion. I don't like the factory window van look and am currently trying to figure out how to get rid of the fixed side windows and replace some with vented windows.

The 3 current winners:
1999 Ford EB V10 with 245K miles:
1994 Ford EB 7.4L V8 with 63K miles:
1991 Ford EB 460 big block V8 with 130K miles: ... GXMHB40226

Any advice, suggestions, opinions, etc. will be much appreciated. My husband likes the '91 because it looks cushy inside and already has the conversion windows. I am more concerned with function as an adventure rig and the ease of finding parts and donor vehicles later on. I am content to sleep on the ground and figure out problems as they come up, my husband likes first class lodging and hates surprises... this van is to be our compromise. Thanks!

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Old 06-04-2010, 12:57 PM   #2
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Location: Southern New Mexico
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Re: Need help deciding on a 4x4 van... or should I just wait?

FWIW, I kind of like the '94. The '99 has a lot of rebuilt items in the drivetrain, which could be a good thing or could be indicative of a drivetrain (or driver) problem. The '91 has a fair number of miles, but I just can't get past the aesthetics of it.

well, it's interesting and on eBay(not mine, no affiliation,...). I think it's one of the conversions that had an electronic antenna mast on the back, and it looks like someone has converted it to an RV-ish-like vehicle:


SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
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Re: Need help deciding on a 4x4 van... or should I just wait?

I would hate to drive that thing in a wind storm, and I would be pulling lots of un-needed stuff off it. Yikes!

And, yeah, the '91 makes me think of a villain off of the old Super Mario Brothers games. Really wish it was one year newer and not solid black.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:20 PM   #4
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Location: Heeney, Co
Posts: 66
Re: Need help deciding on a 4x4 van... or should I just wait?

I would avoid the one w/ the 460 that motor is an absolute pig on gas. expect less than 10 mpg and they are really not that powerfull. the V10 has the power but isn't much better than the 460
for mpg's. also to many miles. the low milage diesel is probably the best of the three. personaly I would look for somthing 2001 or newer. thats when they put disc brakes on the rear. I found my 2003 extended cargo w/120,000 mi. on the 5.4L V8 for $9,000, although it did take 9 months of searching, I'm glad I waited for the one I really wanted. good luck w/your search.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:23 PM   #5
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Re: Need help deciding on a 4x4 van... or should I just wait?

The '99 would be my pick. Just run 0w20 in cold weather so the cam followers pressurize sooner, and you won't get valve clatter.
2000 E450 dually V10 wagon
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