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Old 06-24-2019, 10:24 AM   #1
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Question Value Question for van & parts

We picked up quite a nice 1996 Dodge SMB last week with 58k miles. 2500 Extended with the 360 engine and penthouse.

(Click here if you want to see pictures)

She's really in pretty great shape but we are still considering some modifications and I'd like input on how that might affect the value. I'm not looking to flip/sell, I'm just wanting to get an idea what I may do to the resale either positively or negatively.

1. I am strongly considering 4x4ing this. Yes, I know it's difficult and expensive. What would you estimate the value add for this?

2. While it is in really nice condition, we aren't a huge fan of the interior carpet, the cabinet functionality/design that was built to hold an old tube TV, the double couches etc.

If we were to do a high quality "remodel" assuming somewhat similar layout and change the floor to a non-carpet option (rubber or vinyl probably) and replace the dual couches with a single with similar ability to have a full-back-area bed and some additional storage, what do you think that would do to the value? Would it increase it or lessen it?

3. Is there any $ value in selling the current cabinets and couches? The stuff appears in near perfect condition. I was considering keeping them in case converting back to original would be better, but I don't know if that's worth it. Or maybe just selling them? I have no idea if that's even worth the hassle for older stuff like this or what they might be worth?

Thank you

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Old 06-24-2019, 10:57 AM   #2
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What an odd post. Advice on value? It isn't a bitcoin, it is a 90s dodge van RV. Enjoy it and/or flip it. What it sells for is what it is worth.

Installing 4x4 on that van is beyond silly. Get the suspension sorted and put on great tires like KO2, get chains, and enjoy. Unless you have a full donor platform don't bother with 4x4.

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Old 06-24-2019, 12:12 PM   #3
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With any vehicle I've ever touched, I've always considered modifications to be a net loss no matter what I did. Anytime someone uses the term 'investment' with a personal vehicle I chuckle a little. If you want to do something - do it for your wants/needs 1st, resale value 2nd. There is no ROI in vehicle ownership parlance.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:15 PM   #4
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Yup. Skip the 4x4. There's no good way to do this in a Dodge. You'll end up with a Frankenvan that nobody can fix and nobody will want to buy.

Remodel is a good proposition if you want to keep it a while. But its unlikely to add much resale value.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:37 PM   #5
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Looks pretty good as is. I concur with the other replies, forget a 4x4 upgrade, good money after bad. At most a limited slip diff if she doesn't have one and a beefed up rear suspension. That big ole rear end hangs out a bit. Turn the TV hole into more storage space. I think you're going to find you like those 2 couches. That,s a nice size bed all folded out. Clean it up a bit and get out there!
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:07 PM   #6
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Even though I agree with the others comments, I say go ahead and spend all the money you want on your van till you achieve your vision. You'll enjoy it while you have it, and the next owner will likely appreciate your commitment as well.
These Rigs tax your savings...the return is the fun & excitement they provide.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:37 PM   #7
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I wouldn’t even try to add 4x4 to a dodge. There’s a reason it’s the least loved platform by the aftermarket. Get a Chevy or ford and you have your choice of at least 4 great shops that will work on either or both.

As for the interior, remodeling almost never adds value unless you have junk and make it really high end. Spend $20k rebuilding the interior and you’ll get $5-10k back.

Do the mods you want for yourself. The only things that add any real value are 4x4 done by a reputable shop and adding aluminess goodies. Everything else is a terrible “investment”
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:00 AM   #8
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Welcome. Open your wallet!

I own 8 Dodge vans including a 96 and a 4x4.

Putting aside comments from non Dodge owners I will generalize my response to your questions:

Put all systems back to factory new equivalent.

Drive it and use it as is until parts start falling off it. By then you’ll have received more than full value from it.

Every dollar you spend on it will provide a poor return. Regardless of manufacturer. It’s a vehicle.

Here is my generic just bought a Dodge what to look for list:

Battery tray and inner wheelhousing beneath it will be rotted out from battery acid.

It’s a unibody vehicle so check all the suspension mounting areas for rot and cracks.

The strut rod bushings will be shot and not look bad. Creaking and groaning at low speed, like speed bumps, is the symptom. Replace them with factory or Moog pieces only. Install exactly as instructed.

If rad is not plastic and aluminum replace it.

Timing chain on small block Chryslers is very long and prone to stretching. Replace it with a Hughes engines’ deburred unit and run the V6 Magnum engine chain tensioner.

Front brake pads start to rattle over time on unpaved roads. Beat the ears of the pads over HARD with a hammer.

Replace the rear end lube. No one ever does and the rear axle gets noisy.

Watch your weight. Fully converted B250/2500 3/4 tons are almost always over their legal gross when loaded and ready for a trip.

Older units; If the alternator goes use a very high quality reman unit and check the output at idle. The internal parts on Mopar alts are very close in size and shape and regularly get mismatched by rebuilders. There is an adjustable voltage regulator on the market that fits and helps boost the idle voltage.

Exterior rear view mirrors have a clip in them that breaks and the damn thing folds in when you slam the door.

When the key is first turned to “run” the check engine light comes on as a test of the light’s function. The day it doesn’t replace the pcm/ computer. It’s toast.

Turning the key to run then off to run to off to run should cycle the pcm code reading feature. Handy when diagnosing gremlins.

Buy the factory service manual. Get it on CD. Cheaper.

My 96 would burp and sputter with low fuel levels. New fuel pump fixed it. Fixes gas gauge issue too. is your friend.


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Old 06-25-2019, 11:59 AM   #9
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I do understand that it's not an appreciating investment although I've been successful with a few unique vehicles. I guess I'm asking whether I'd add or remove value by doing certain things. It seems to me that the 4x4 vans are listed (I have no idea if that translates to selling, but presumably some may) for more. I don't expect to add 20k to the value with it.

But the point of it being a frankenvan and having less appeal is valid feedback. It may just make it less desirable, and that's the kind of feedback I'm looking for on all these.

Thanks for the direct responses/opinions.

G, thanks for that list. I'll print it and keep it with the manual.

Wallet is open, hasn't started flying out yet but it's about to start this week as things are start to get ordered!
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by optionsexplored View Post
It seems to me that the 4x4 vans are listed (I have no idea if that translates to selling, but presumably some may) for more. I don't expect to add 20k to the value with it.
This is true on Ford and Chevy vans that use OEM conversion components (like Quigkley, QuadVan, UJoint etc) or other better-than-OEM components like SMB.

Home conversions don't typically carry the same premium, especially using non-OEM parts. There's no factory-approved conversion for Dodge vans, and they don't really share anything common with the Dodge pickups besides the powertrain (and don't even have ladder frame), so any 4x4 Dodge will be a non-OEM-spec home-build, unless you find a rare SalemKroger conversion. But even those would not have support from the conversion company, since S/K shut down.

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