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Old 11-29-2022, 11:10 AM   #1
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Possible Conversion Van ?

Greetings --

Possible conversion van ? Photos show a pretty clean van inside and out - yes I know - a 5.4 - but fiberine top - but a good starter van at a very reasonable price - even if a passenger van originally. NO AFFILIATION here.

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/r...559128745.html
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:26 AM   #2
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Fair price, looks to be in decent condition but two things I'd be concerned about.....

1st is the CC servo---those might be very expensive should it fail ($400 NOS) or tough to find.

2nd is those infernal cheap aluminum running boards that are typically mounted with self-drilling screws into the body; pinchweld, quarter panel and fender. As most were never properly treated against rust is an issue especially in a 3 or 4 season climate.

The Fiberine top is certainly a benefit.
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:35 AM   #3
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Starting w a passenger van has many pluses - rear air/heat, windows, interior trim pieces that can be adapted to a build out. I would certainly not shy away from a passenger w barn doors to begin a build, especially if it has the XLT trim package.

On this van, besides the other comments, the extended height rear doors would be a deal killer. Very interesting use of the factory headliner affixed to the Fiberine roof.
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:43 PM   #4
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JWA curious as to why you bring up the cc servo? Was it an issue in those years? The age of the van? Something else?
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
On this van, besides the other comments, the extended height rear doors would be a deal killer. Very interesting use of the factory headliner affixed to the Fiberine roof.
Should I be interested in this particular van the extended height rear doors would be a huge positive.

I have a similar '05 and not sure who made and installed the fiberglass top but its pretty much a carbon copy of my own when it was new to me in 2017. Its quite creative IMHO how the original rear heat & AC headliner was installed.

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JWA curious as to why you bring up the cc servo? Was it an issue in those years? The age of the van? Something else?
Typically that year was before the "fly by wire" throttle body meaning the cable-pulled servo is the heart of the VSC or "cruise control". Those are mechanical devices subject to failing due age etc. I mention it to make anyone considering it aware it could become an issue at some point.
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:53 AM   #6
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Should I be interested in this particular van the extended height rear doors would be a huge positive.
I'm wondering about the pros verses cons of the taller doors. My van has the standard height back doors and it's not uncommon for me to bump my head when exiting out the rear of the vehicle. The taller doors look a little odd, but functionally might be better. I guess they use up some potential upper rear storage space.
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Old 12-01-2022, 10:06 AM   #7
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I'm wondering about the pros verses cons of the taller doors. My van has the standard height back doors and it's not uncommon for me to bump my head when exiting out the rear of the vehicle. The taller doors look a little odd, but functionally might be better. I guess they use up some potential upper rear storage space.
I bought a 2000 E350 XLT V10 lift van with about a 16" bubble top (steel reinforced sub-structure) that has both the rear and side doors extended. The van still has the Ricon 800 lbs lift and I'll be keeping it.

The obvious positive for the extended doors is that you can walk around in the van albeit somewhat crouched and not worry about hitting your head when you walk out.

The downside I have noticed with mine is that the extended doors are "aftermarket retrofits" and can be of dubious quality (mine included). The primary concern is to get the latch at the top of the doors to work so the door remains secure. Another concern is the paint (and bondo quality) for the custom extension in an older van. You will probably notice in an older van that these doors will have faded more than the other door van doors due to less durable paint than the factory.

For me with the Ricon lift, there is no alternative but to have the side doors extended. I have the parts to close off either (side or rear) but have no plans along those lines.
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Old 12-01-2022, 11:32 AM   #8
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Typically that year was before the "fly by wire" throttle body meaning the cable-pulled servo is the heart of the VSC or "cruise control". Those are mechanical devices subject to failing due age etc. I mention it to make anyone considering it aware it could become an issue at some point.
That's good information. I have a '99 Chateau XLT with the same cruise setup so I'll keep it in mind.
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Old 12-03-2022, 06:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N147JK View Post
I'm wondering about the pros verses cons of the taller doors. My van has the standard height back doors and it's not uncommon for me to bump my head when exiting out the rear of the vehicle. The taller doors look a little odd, but functionally might be better. I guess they use up some potential upper rear storage space.
From personal experience being in the glass business the typical 48" height of door openings in a standard configured van can cause a lot of broken glass in one isn't careful. The taller rear doors and raised roof allow me to haul windshields that just don't fit the "normal" E-Series (or similar) van bodies, no matter what brand name they are.

The taller doors and accompanying raised roof do take away some potential overhead storage space but because I'm on my 4th van DIY converted for my use this isn't an issue at all--I have more than enough storage. Sadly I have enough stuff packed away inside in "found space" it increases the GVW just over 2200#

I couldn't go back to a standard E-Series van body but this is one of the highly subjective things we have to consider when buying something, trying to foresee how we'll make it our own.
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:38 AM   #10
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We bought a similar van for a project a few years ago, a +30" highroof Dodge with the tall rear doors. I had about 2" overhead clearance so if stand-up-straight headroom is one of your requirements then that van probably won 't do it for you. We wanted windows but that configuration can limit your interior build options.
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