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Old 04-17-2020, 11:05 AM   #1
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Pricing Request: 1990 Ford Sportsmobile

Here's the listing: https://www.carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/60805092

This would be our first van. $14k seems waaayy overpriced and I wanted a quote of what you guys think it is worth?

It has 38,075 miles, but I'm suspicious because there is only 5 digits so I assume it just resets after 100k.

Also, any thoughts on what mechanical issues to look out for would be great to know about before I check it out.
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:16 PM   #2
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I guess my first question is what it is you're looking for, and what the constraints are. There are a lot of people around these parts that are happy to help spend other people's money.

Things I would think about before even looking at that:
1) A 1992 van (I think, should) has a lot of parts interchangeability all the way up to 2014. 1997-2014 has a ton of interchangeability, with a few exceptions here and there. A 1990 van would not have this interchangeability
2) This van costs $14K. Presuming there is a budget of $15K, how much are you really putting aside to re-do anything with the interior that isn't exactly how you want it...? Compared to spending $10K & doing an interior build-out for a further $5K?
3) How do the creature comforts, noise, fuel economy, etc, stack up to that of a newer van?


Now looking at the van- I'm not entirely sure if I buy 40K mi, I suppose it's plausible. Either way, it has rust issues (Look at the bottoms of the doors), and someone either backed into something or the van was rear-ended. As a disinterested party, seeing that it's got body damage, rust, and the seller admits to some non-working windows, etc, I'd have a hard time saying it's worth a whole lot over $5K.


I literally opened the SFBay Craigslist and this was just posted 10 minutes ago: 2012 E-350. It has 65K (real) miles, is less than 10 years old, and you can buy aluminum blanks to cover the windows and still have $7K to build the interior out. Doesn't look to have any significant body damage or rust related issues. If you want to do upgrades later down the road, these 4th gens have SO many more options than 3rd.


Just my two cents.
Erik
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Old 04-18-2020, 04:23 AM   #3
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That particular listing is fairly close to me---I'd be happy to take a look at it if that'd be helpful?

I too would shy away from this mostly because its age which would be problematic sourcing parts for the van itself and any of the RV-type components as well.

PM if I can help!
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:16 AM   #4
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As someone who bought an '87 camper van, I think that price is too high. I've ended up putting about 8k into mechanical fixes alone, but I bought my van for only 2500. The thing is even if it's had some repairs, you'll need to keep repairing new things because everything is very old.

I joke around that each trip I take costs me 1,000 because my van usually ends up in the shop when I get back from some new problem.My newest issue? All my door locks and latches are seizing up. Go figure.

It is hard finding shops that want to take the time with old vehicles, it's hard to find junkyard parts in decent condition, it's hard to find parts in general, and you won't be able to get most of the cool add-ons everyone on the forum has. That being said, I love my old van, and I'm using it as a practice rig for remodeling the interior. What makes it worth it to me is that I got it so cheap to begin with.
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:33 AM   #5
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On first glance, it looks great - like a peach almost. But that back door being jacked up and the inside being very dated and rather ugly - it just doesn't have that timeless eclectic quality like a similar year VW pop top would have, for instance. They think they found the crown jewels and since it's a dealer, you probably don't have a shot at a reasonable price. If the thing runs like a top and is otherwise flawless, it could be in the 5 to 7 range. But good luck getting the dealer to that point.



I love the 5.8L engine but if it's before fuel injection - it will drink fuel like it's going out of style.
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Old 04-18-2020, 03:51 PM   #6
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I would definitely try to stay with the "Gen4" Econolines (92-on) when they changed the body style, for parts availability. Actually, I'd have a 1997 as my minimum year when they started with the Triton/modular motors (4.6/5.4/V10), since they basically used them up to present. Also, having OBD-2 diagnostics is really handy; I think they started with that in Econoline around 96-97 IIRC.
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:31 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for there insights, its really great to have this knowledgeable community.

Anyone had experience with an 2005 conversion van. Found this one in Akron and seems like a steal (maybe too good to be true): https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...11502416208625

More info:
Clean title
v8 5.4

Are the interiors of these crappy or are they useable for someone just using for weekends?

Also some people say they get 20 mpg with these engines? Bullshit?
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:16 PM   #8
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I like conversion vans if you don't need or can't afford a pop top. They can be nice or garbage. There used to be lots of conversion companies but many went out of business. You really need to look at them in person to determine if they are decent or not.

There is no way any econoline is getting 20 mpg. Especially not a gasser. Maybe you can get it going downhill or something, but not on average.

I would consider getting something pretty cheap, using it a bunch then figuring out what you want more long term. Many people go on 1-2 trips and realize there is something missing that they really need. Like, do you spend a lot of time inside the van? if not, you don't need a dinette. Do you need to change outfits (biking, kayaking, surfing, etc)? Then standing room might be really important. If your trips involve a lot of highway driving, you will want something quieter inside.

Get something decent on the low end of your budget then figure out what you like and don't like. Lots of people buy a new $150k van and then realize they really want a standing shower inside and sell it for something else. Don't do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsboebel View Post
Thanks everyone for there insights, its really great to have this knowledgeable community.

Anyone had experience with an 2005 conversion van. Found this one in Akron and seems like a steal (maybe too good to be true): https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...11502416208625

More info:
Clean title
v8 5.4

Are the interiors of these crappy or are they useable for someone just using for weekends?

Also some people say they get 20 mpg with these engines? Bullshit?
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Old 04-21-2020, 03:40 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info.

I think I like the conversion vans as I'm not quite handy enough to build out a whole van rn and maybe I can do a build little by little in a conversion. For example cabinets and a kitchette, maybe some swivel chairs.

I've got my eye on an 2002 as well: https://m.facebook.com/marketplace/item/546761472621244/?ref=MESSENGER_BANNER_SEE_DETAILS&showCheckout=fal se

With lower miles, 96k. If I can get them down to the $3-4k range I would be happy.

Is it a danger sign that this has only been driven 5k year or is this no big deal for econolines?
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Old 04-21-2020, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsboebel View Post
Thanks everyone for there insights, its really great to have this knowledgeable community.

Anyone had experience with an 2005 conversion van. Found this one in Akron and seems like a steal (maybe too good to be true): https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...11502416208625

More info:
Clean title
v8 5.4

Are the interiors of these crappy or are they useable for someone just using for weekends?

Also some people say they get 20 mpg with these engines? Bullshit?
Conversion vans... IMO hard to say what is 'too good to be true'. I've seen so many listed high, so many listed low, some listed average. Think there's a lot of people who just want to get rid of them, and others who are adamant about holding out for the one-in-a-million buyer.

$5K for a '05 Conversion van may very well be legitimate, FB Marketplace always seems to be full of people looking to dump vehicles cheaply (I've always wondered if half of them are stolen/belong to an ex). Buddy of mine got a decently loaded '03 Ram Cummins (200K mi, 4wd, quad/longbed, etc) for like $10K. Same truck in CA would have been "$35K don't lowball me, I know what I got!"


As far as the interior being usable... I don't know. I think I'd sooner go with a retired ambulance. I would hope that vehicles responsible for saving lives had meticulous maintenance done. Most of the time, reasonably cheap. I think some people have figured out ways to turn the ambulance red/blue lights into outdoor lights.



Now.... 20 mpg in an Econoline... You might approach 20 mpg if you drove it off a cliff.

With a '97 Quigley 5.4, I was lucky to make 14 mpg in Teton National park/forest. Adjusted for wheel size, that might have been ~15.5 mpg, which is close to what they were rated for from the factory as 2wd. But also keep in mind, I was only ever driving ~35-50 mph, no stop signs, and only ever tiny throttle inputs (sight-seeing with family).

When I've got things to do and places to go, I get anywhere from 10 mpg to 13 mpg @70-85(+) mph... At the end of the day it's a five and a half liter V8 or a 7 liter V10, driving a 3-4 ton truck with the aerodynamic properties of a brick down the freeway. Anything over 10 is good, if you're approaching 15 (especially with 4wd), amazing.
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