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Old 05-26-2011, 07:04 PM   #21
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Re: TGTBT

Thought I'd catch y'all up on the progress. Got the van back from round1 of the freshening. These items done by a 16-year veteran Ford Service mechanic (the van is also 16 years old) now working in a private shop that I've trusted for more than a decade:
Hose and belt exam. All like new (thanks PO)
Every fluid and filter replaced... all looked normal and "fresh" (thanks PO)
Hubs repacked
Lube
Tie rod ends exam, boots replaced
Complete brake exam. Front calipers replaced. They had been causing "pull". All good now
Replace rear leaf springs/bolts. Ujoint set up (Thanks Chris). No more rear sag, nice ride
Sloppy P and D door panels fixed. Like new!
nut/bolt tightening/locktite all around
Removed 3rd bucket seat and mount
Tire rotate (1500 miles since bought from Jage)

Paid the bill and brought home to play this weekend. Back next week for Bilsteins all around (on order...real PITA to get correct type) and new steering damper (though the steering is currently OK). Mechanic sez the van is in great condition all around and praised the 7.3 as a "best of".

So, I figger I'm up to about $23,700 if you add up all the inputs (includes airline tix, bring-home expense, tire/rim, shox, springs, bushwax-on-order, refresh, etc.) I've got a wishlist for upholstery work that'll add 2k and about that much for some fabwork (new house batt boxes, underfloor storage, hoop step improvement etc.) which'll bring me to about $28K in the rig.

Then it is off to bumper/winch land. All this will put me at about the cost of a new van (before conversion).

So, does it end there? Should it end there?
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'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
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... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:13 PM   #22
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Re: TGTBT

The PO took such good care of the van, I'm just continually surprised at the state of those take off tires. I mean he sprung for new rims to make a full set, but the tires were out of balance and worn to the bone.

So, you're still running around with my rachet straps holding up your battery?
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:09 PM   #23
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Re: TGTBT

@Jage...Yeah, PO told me that they had taken a ~3Ktrip just b4 listing to sell, so I guess he wanted the last out of the tires... plus I put 1K on 'em b4 I got to Franktown at (avg.) 75 mph (they bounced a helluvalot at 70)
The hubcaps were a bit of an enigma... CL post showed one missing... I get there and now there are 6 total


Yep, the ratchet strap is still there If it stays on till I get my fabs done, it'll go on the "SMB Wall of Pain" sorta like that brokeup hubcover you "kept". Never did hear what happened to that thang to bust it so bad

Oh... I owe ya' a road trip story. On the way back (into the maw of river flooding, and tornado damage back home), I remembered at about 550 miles that you suggested I tighten my lug nuts at 500 miles (still got your 4 way lugwrench too... it's permanent now). So, just inside the first toll booth in OK, I pulled over and got out the 4 way and DANG, them nuts was loose ... not falling-off loose, but scary, falling-off next week loose. Snugged 'em up, said a little "thank ya' Jage" under my breath, and less than a mile down the road, saw a lifted Dodge on 35-37's sittin' on the side of the road w/ the rear driver's brake hub on the ground, driver scratchin' his head, no tire is sight
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'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
https://www.taylorarts.com
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:42 PM   #24
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Re: TGTBT

I like the trailer video. Looking forward to seeing the full length Sportsmobile adventure video! I am glad that you are enjoying your new van.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:41 PM   #25
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Re: TGTBT

Congrats on the great new van, looks amazing! FANTASTIC videos as well, more please. Kind of thinking a feature film is in order for a future meet and greet. First video reminds me of driving from CA to DSW4x4 in Co to drop my van off and then picking it up and driving it back home through the first snow in Vail and some NASTY storms through Utah and Nevada. Only wish I had more time to camp on the drives, beautiful country.

I thought the second video was an add for eHarmony !
Eric
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:53 PM   #26
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Re: TGTBT

Y'all Just got the van back from install of new Bilsteins, all around, and SkyJacker steering damper. WOW!!! all is right with the world!

First, let me say a big " KUDOS, BRO" to Chris (UJoint) for his perfect call, sight unseen, on new rear leaf springs. He got it right via phone. Ride is perfect, and no more saggy @ss. Plus, when I asked him for part numbers on Bshox, he deferred to Quigley as best source for info... instead of giving me some kinda guess. Dude's a real pro!

Quigley suggested replace w/Bilstein "application" for '95 E350 EB 2WD. My parts folx were unable to find solid info for that "application" Quigley gave me specific # on the damper, but had to get it from the shelf, as that # has gone out of production. I will say that I only replaced the damper 'cause of it's age ... now I'm glad I did.

So, I got on the interweb, found a thang called bilstein.com... on a site called allshocks.com.. and investigated Came down to two choices. Called up the human feller on they eighthunnerd number, and laid out my dilemna. He (wish I had his name) told me to go w/ the HD shox that go on 350/450 chassis... very confident in his recommendation, understood the vehicle and utility

My local shop installed the sh%t I brung 'em and I cannot express how much the combo of Ujoint spings and Bilstein shocks changed my ol' SMB Dang, what an improvement... no side-to-side sway , no second bounce, really as good as I could have dreamed up

Lesson I'm sellin' here is this... Ujoint (Chris) is a wise man, understands these rigs, and, allshocks.com humandude was perfect for sorting out the huge list of choices on shox. BTW, I'm no expert, but it is clear that Bilsteins are the only appropriate shox for this type of vehicle

All that said... Every single one of us should buy a Tshirt from Pretty Good Ol' Jage... He is the ONLY reason we can do all of this...together. Support the Forum Drive!
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'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
https://www.taylorarts.com
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #27
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Re: TGTBT

Thanks for the props! Glad everything worked out & the SMB is even better now!
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:24 PM   #28
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Re: TGTBT

Wow, Congratulations! Weed is just a few hours away from me by car; if I had seen that ad................., well, let me just say again, congratulations on that fortunate and great catch you made!

The video was fantastic, great content and great editing. Just a note on the navy bombing range: The Soviet Union is the only other country ever to have a super carrier (and that is carrier, not carriers). With them gone, the main task of F-18s and soon to be F-35Cs on our 11 active super carriers has been to attack ground based targets in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and if necessary, Iran and North Korea.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:27 PM   #29
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Re: TGTBT

Update on the SMB: After the good progress on the mechanical wishlist, I moved toward upholstery stuff, got a little bogged down on choices/delivery dates and postponed changes until after an already-planned three week camping trip in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire in late July

So, moved over to some fab wishlist items which are currently getting completed at a good pace
Items include: Reattach two loose interior panels, install Bushwackers (includes 1" front fender trimaway to improve tire clearance), improve mounting of side cargo door Carr step, sandblast/paint rusting propane door (the only rust anywhere on the body... 'sup w/that aftermarket folks? ), replace totally ragged-out fiberglass batt boxes w/steel ones, and steel custom underfloor storage. All of this will be finished this week

Now, some of you may be interested to know whether I've written any "reality checks" in this process Yep, we all knew a surprise or two was coming in a van this old, and here they are
A few days after replacing the fluid in the front diff, I noticed wetness around the passenger side knuckle/ujoint. Turns out the seal was leaking fluid and had to be replaced... also replaced both front ujoints while it was all apart ~$425
That was not a huge surprise since we prolly cleaned out some gunk that was keeping the seal closed and I was glad to get the new ujoints.

The painful one was this: On two outings, the van was difficult to start after stopping briefly. Cranked and cranked, finally it would fire right up and run perfectly. Dealer shop computer tested, found out a book-sized thing called an IDM(?) was not "waking up" correctly, and would not make the injectors inject. I went for the OEM part vs. unknown internet part (half the cost, but no warranty) and got out at $1450 total That one was a real surprise. Excellent and widely recommended mechanic said the module was original equipment, had lived a nice long life and he wasn't surprised to see it fail. He actually had one laying on his bench from another replacement.

Anyway, these things are to be expected and I am really glad to have our van. I see now that I may never stop working on it, but it is a lot of fun when I have it between shops. Look out New England in July! Then seat and fabric replacement, coupled with a big custom-bumpers project and blackout of all things that aren't blue. Sadly, so far the only thing that a picture will show out of all this massive list of work is the Bushwackers, and y'all already know what they look like.
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'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
https://www.taylorarts.com
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:05 PM   #30
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Re: TGTBT

More stuff you can't see... wheel spacers on order from Ujoint. The Bushwackers magnified the width difference between the front and rear wheels (about 1 3/4"). The rear wheels sit well within the Bushwax even though the difference is so small. Getting the 2" per side billet steel ones. Chris (UJOR) knew exactly the problem and the correct setup. You still won't be able to see the %#$@.

Christine has promised a video of all the hidden parts that we can find to film, it oughta be fun...kinda like a scavenger hunt. My fabdude is really making magic happen IMHO, but the $$$, oh the $$$
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'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
https://www.taylorarts.com
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
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