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Old 12-23-2010, 09:11 PM   #1
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Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I've been searching for a used diesel to try and shave off some $$$ on a Sportsmobile conversion. I found a 2006 E350 6.0L TD with 87,500 miles. It has a 4.10 limited slip axle and towing package. Overall condition is very good. The asking price is $13,000.

Phase 1: Add a lift kit by Camburg or Action Van or Advanced 4X4. Still debating these options. I absolutely need this for the type of camping we do.
Phase 2: Sportsmobile RB50 floor plan with penthouse

Is there anything I should be aware of that would create a problem for Sportsmobile? This Van was manufactured 10/2005.




Thanks for looking.

Ron
Huntington Beach, Ca
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:20 PM   #2
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

i question the logic of spending on new smb conversion on a van so old with so many miles.
it would make for sense to look for a used smb.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

Nice looking van. Without a doubt, get an Oasis Report from Ford. They will do this for free and it will tell you the complete repair history of the van.

The only other thing is that it's a passenger van and has the windows in place. The RB50 plan will cover some of the windows in various places. If you're fine with that, it's no big deal.

It has a few miles on it but I wouldn't say it's too high.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:25 PM   #4
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

Quote:
Originally Posted by saline
Nice looking van. Without a doubt, get an Oasis Report from Ford. They will do this for free and it will tell you the complete repair history of the van.
Couldn't agree more, but I've never had luck having a Ford dealership run one and provide me the results. Probably dependent on the particular dealership. I have had luck posting a request on TheDieselStop.com A response from one of the Ford techs there may take a little bit of time however.

Seems like a reasonable deal and reasonable approach to me.


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Old 12-24-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

The miles are a bit of concern but a properly maintained diesel should go for 200-300k. I will only be putting about 10k per year on this vehicle.

I'm glad the windows aren't a deal breaker for the conversion, I wasn't sure.

My main reasoning for this approach is purely economic. I don't have 100k lying around and i couldn't cost justify the 15 year loan for the amount of camping we do.

Here's my figures

Used van 15k
Lift, wheels and tires 5k
SMB conversion 30k
Total - 50k

I can do this in phases or buy a used vehicle like this one http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/2117161945.html(52k + 5k for lift/wheels + taxes = 60k)

I really want to be part of the SMB club but I'm also a frugal person who doesn't like to pay retail for anything if possible.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:49 AM   #6
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

I know SMB will put a top on a used van but will they do a conversion on a used vehicle?
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:11 PM   #7
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

SMBW, probably won't convert a used van. Indiana might. Certainly worth a phone call.

With a $5K budget for the lift, wheels and tires you are limited to a 2wd lift.

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Old 12-24-2010, 02:32 PM   #8
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

I recommend doing the interior conversion before doing the suspension, that way the new suspension can be matched to the actual weight post-conversion.

Van Specialties in Portland will do interiors on used vans. http://www.vanspecialties.com/

If you want a solid-axle leaf spring 4x4 setup, I suggest looking at U-Joint Offroad. http://ujointoffroad.com/
If you want a factory Ford coil 4x4 setup, than look at QuadVan. http://www.quadvan.com

Another option for a 2wd lift is J Flame customs: http://jflamecustoms.com/
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:35 PM   #9
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

There are certain years of Ford vans that have "twitchy" steering. Maybe 2004 - ???. Apparently the steering gear was different. I drove a 2004 with 4WD and stiff suspension and it would be tiring to keep it pointed down the road on rough pavement. The 1988 and 1992 vans I had did not have this twitchy feeling. I understand that newer ones have a slightly different steering gear.

I would suggest driving the 2005 and also a newer van to see if it is a problem for you.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:10 AM   #10
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Re: Seeking advice on 2006 Ford E350

I'd up the budget for 4x4/lift quite a bit. Say 12K minimum if you're planning on going 4x4.

Also budget for a PH or fixed top (~5K) separate from the build out. Maybe you can have someone local do the buildout, do it yourself or find another builder. You can also delay the full buildout and run around with a $500 interior, the top and 4x4 system to save for the buildout that way.

Another way to save might be to seek a van that is already 4x4, but has none of the other options you want to add. That way at least one piece is in place.

Or, add 4x4 to this:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5763

Sorry, I know, listing every possible option probably isn't helping!
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