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Old 07-15-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
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Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

Today I found that my nice 2001 EB350 4x4 SMB has terminal cancer (rust) throughout the undercarriage. Almost all brake components, fuel system (lines and 2 tanks), drive train components, power steering lines, frame, exhaust system and on and on are rotten and failing or near so. The repair estimate for the brakes alone was $3200 (full system replace), similar for the fuel system, and the prognosis if these fixes were implemented is a never-ending series of repairs. A thousand here, a few thousand there and soon youíre talking real money.

Iím looking for options and would really appreciate any suggestions. Here are a few things that Iíve thought of. A few might actually be worth considering:

1. Since the body and interior are in very good condition, get a new chassis and transplant, if thatís possible.

2. Mechanic suggested (sheepishly) that I could remove the body and sand blast all the rusted components.

3. Terminate life-support. Part-out everything of value.

4. Donate to a worthy charity and take the tax break.

5. Insurance fraud (Kidding. Really, Iím kidding.)

6. Sell as-is for whatever I can get. Understand this is a brake-less, soon to be gas-leaking potential death trap. I wonít do to anyone what was done to me, so there WILL be full disclosure.

7. ?

I really donít know what is technically feasible, and what costs would be justifiable. But Iím pretty sure I could never feel confident, safe and secure either on the highway or in a remote area without some pretty radical surgery, if ever.

Suggestions appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:14 PM   #2
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

Where do you live? is it really that bad? For an 01, that's crazy.....
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:30 PM   #3
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

I'd run, but I'm sure there are body folks out there that would be interested. I have a buddy that cuts different vans into, and makes campers out of them. I just would be wary of stuff like that but for the gifted few it might be a gold nugget. Or maybe a bronze nugget.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

I don't know enough to comment on moving the body to another chassis but probably the next best thing is to do an interior transplant. All the Ford vans are near identical inside so buy a newer van. Then using the old van as a guide, disassemble everything from one and reassemble in the other.
Anyway, my $.02.
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:34 AM   #5
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
I don't know enough to comment on moving the body to another chassis but probably the next best thing is to do an interior transplant. All the Ford vans are near identical inside so buy a newer van. Then using the old van as a guide, disassemble everything from one and reassemble in the other.
Anyway, my $.02.
I second this option. Both for interior and exterior.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:20 AM   #6
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

Since you say the body is in good shape, I would think it would be much easier to replace the complete frame. A good full service wrecking yard would be a place to start looking for a donor.

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Old 07-16-2010, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UJOINT
Where do you live? is it really that bad? For an 01, that's crazy.....
I'm in Ohio. The van spent its life in Vermont and PA. I suspect big snows, road salt and neglect but it's still crazy. Mechanic said it looked more like a rough 25 years old.

Thanks for the response.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
I don't know enough to comment on moving the body to another chassis but probably the next best thing is to do an interior transplant. All the Ford vans are near identical inside so buy a newer van. Then using the old van as a guide, disassemble everything from one and reassemble in the other.
Anyway, my $.02.
Certainly beyond my abilities to cut-in a penthouse top, install the fresh and grey water systems, the electical etc. Maybe something to explore, but I wonder how much would be saved vs. just starting over. Hey, maybe I'll give Sportsmobile inc a call and see what they suggest.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
it might be a gold nugget. Or maybe a bronze nugget.
Neither gold nor bronze rusts, so either would work!
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:54 PM   #10
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Re: Where do SMB's (and dreams) go to die?

You all need to have grown up in Indiana. Unless the frame rusts through (even if) then it's nothing. If the body isn't rotting off the frame and doesn't have cancer, then you probably just have normal underbody rust. Seriously, I've looked at year old Jeeps on the dealer lot that were already rusting. I can see a mechanic out West freaking out about something like this, but I doubt your problems are nearly that bad.
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