used van ownership Q's

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by team ftb, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. papalobster

    papalobster With Gusto!

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    The starter isn't bad. The intake manifold gasket and spark plugs though:bluduh.
    #21
  2. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    This is again - this is the second van I've done and a buddy did his as well. It makes a huge difference.

    I want to an outfit that makes sound deadening material for the marine industry. It's really expensive (about $12 per running foot, 54" wide) but they had "reel ends" - 5' to 10' sections that I was able to buy for less. This stuff is 2" thick self-adhesive flame-retardant foam with Mylar covering.

    Many of the other van insulation setups I saw didn't dampen sound, absorbed moisture, weren't flame-retardant or all of the above.

    On the wheel wells I put some of their multi-layer damping material. You can buy stuff like that at auto sound shops also - lining the wheel wells makes a huge difference. The noise in an unlined cargo van on the highway in the rain is something else.

    The vast majority of cargo vans sold are the 250/2500 grade. The 350/3500's are usually either passenger models or for very heavy equipment. The 150/1500's are for - florists? Most of the local dealers don't stock more than one or two of those. They're no bargain.
    #22
  3. Johno33772

    Johno33772 Johnny Africa

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    I run both Chev & Ford Vans in Electrical contracting biz....all E250' or 2500's
    The Chevy vans ride more like a car IMHO, are more comfortable. The opening on the rear door is about 2" lower in height compared to the Ford. The Ford sits higher & seems to handle weight a little better. The pasenger side in the Ford is more cramped for legroom. Chev had a major paint peel issue on the early 2000 to about 2006/7 vans where the paint just peels off ????
    The best performance/ fuel economy has to be the Chevy 5.3l & I towed my 10000' Boat with ease.
    The extended version are better if you plan to have bikes inside & passengers.
    I have had vans that just fall apart at 100k and others that just keep on going, on both brands.
    The only Van that I reallly regretted buying was a Dodge 2500...biggest piece of shit, no wonder they stoped making them!
    Lately I have been buying off lease vans (U-haul) best value howevern ther are way more than you want to spend.
    Good luck
    #23
  4. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    This is some great info thank you. Do you have a link or brand/name for the insulation. I'll add it to my van database as most likely I'll be insulating whatever I get.

    I owned a '75 Dodge van that I insulated and paneled and that was waaaaaay more habitable than my uninsulated 91 E350 cargo van. Kicking myself in the arse for selling the E350 now.
    #24
  5. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    awesome datapoint with the post thank you.

    Thats not the first time I've heard about paint issues on the Chevy. Was it an intermittent problem or universal?
    #25
  6. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Don't fear the horned ones.
    I always had Ford trucks until looking for a van to go to the races in . I bought a Dodge full size and drove it problem free for 80,000 miles. I only changed when my Father in law passed and I bought his Maxi-van with 100,000 fewer miles on it . I still have that one.
    You can change the starter on a V-8 Dodge van in minutes.
    #26
  7. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    Must be a subset as our 2005 is fine.

    The main reason we got the Chevy at the time was actually that it was a lot easier to find a GM cargo van with cruise control than a Ford. They had a $350 package with cruise and tilt wheel. We never found a Ford cargo van in dealer stock with cruise control, although they are typical in the passenger vans and existed as an option. Has 117,000 miles on it now and gets much better mpg than our Ford.
    #27
  8. KenR

    KenR Long timer

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    I bought this 02 E350 extended van this summer in Los Angeles to do the same thing - haul bikes. It had been previously owned by a forklift repair company. I was cautious because it had 175k miles and had clearly been a shop truck, but it passed smog, rode reasonably well and was only $2,300. I spent about a week degreasing the interior - it was pretty thick but no rust. :D

    I was surprised to discover it had the 6.8L V10 (the seller thought it had a V8), but the mileage is acceptable for a motohauler that isn't a daily driver. It pulls grades easily, even when loaded.

    The tires were questionable so I put a new set on, along with the wheels. I found a passenger van getting parted out and snagged a rear bench seat and some odds-n-ends. Also found a cheap used receiver hitch. Now I can carry three bikes (four with a hitch hauler) and 3-4 people pretty comfortably.

    I never intended to drive it so much, but now its got 187k miles and just got back from a trouble-free trip to Baja Sur. It's great to have all the bikes, tools, etc. locked up, dry and out of sight when traveling.

    The Chevy's do ride nicer but I couldn't find one used for the money I wanted to spend. That said, I'd buy another Ford for sure.

    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. Ko

    Ko Observant as never

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    Don't know how it works in your area, but a friend of mine regularly buys vans for work by calling school boards/schools. He managed to get well maintained vans for a good price. If you're going cargo vans, definitely go maintained vans. HOWEVER, keep in mind that, at least around here, maintenance/service vans have their engines running 24/7 or close.

    Another suggestion is to look for a Chevy/GMC Rally van. Had 2 mid '90s, and both were bullet proof. Regret selling the last one, which even had a raised roof nonetheless- used it for 2 years, then sold it for 50% more than I paid for it (but got it to run like a Swiss clock, everything was perfect- other than mileage, but what can you expect from a 7.4l gas engine).


    Ko
    #29
  10. PaddedHat

    PaddedHat Been here awhile

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    Interesting to see that you have such a negative opinion on the 1/2 ton vans. I have an '06 Chevy with the 4.3. It runs like new with 120K on it, it gets 17ish in rural driving, and it's stupid cheap to operate. I know plenty of painters, trim carpenters and others who have gotten excellent service from 1/2 ton GM and Ford vans, including several that have ten years and well over 200K of service so far. Better mileage, cheaper parts, doesn't ride like a brick, I'm happy.
    #30
  11. Ghostyman

    Ghostyman Been here awhile

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    I have a '73 Dodge Maxivan (extended length for 15 people). There is 11' from the back of the drivers seat to the rear door. I measured my DR350 at 7' so that leave 4' for a fold-down bed. A bit more if I angled it but then I could only fit one bike in. I don't know if it's going to work out but I'm planning on checking into it. If anyone knows the dimensions of commonly used beds, I'd be interested.
    #31
  12. papalobster

    papalobster With Gusto!

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    They must have grown a bit over the years, I have 16.5 feet from the base of the doghouse to the back door in my 99. :lol3

    Bed sizes

    With the middle row seats in and the dirtbikes tied to the rear of the seats, I have about 2.5 feet from the back tire to the door. I don't think there's enough room for bikes and a bed. But, being 6'7" I need a little more bed than most.
    #32
  13. Limey 1

    Limey 1 Been here awhile

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    On the Ford Modular engines I think between 2001 and 2007 not really sure of the exact dates. ...the spark plugs can be a Major issue.....The plugs separate on removal.and you are left with the bottom piece stuck in the hole....(.Google Spark plugs Ford triton) etc..The dealer will quote upwards of $800.00 to replace them, but warn you it will be much more if the cylinder heads have to be removed!...
    Different people have their own ways to remove these things, but there is a special tool to help get the broken piece out...It's a royal pain in the rear....There is even a class action law suit ongoing with the design of these plugs...pos!...If I was looking at a clean high mileage Ford I think I would insist on a New set of plugs before I signed on the dotted line....
    #33
  14. Ko

    Ko Observant as never

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    You sure?!? I never measured one, just seen them around, but I doubt there's 16.5ft inside. Both Chevs and Fords have about 13.5ft, a bit more if one removes the map/drink holder.

    Ko
    #34
  15. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    In many cases there's a lot of overlap in how they are equipped anyway.

    We tow boat trailers up to 6,000 lbs so things like 8 lug rims, higher load rating tires, and standard oil coolers are worth the extra money. The equipment we move is seldom over 1,000 lbs so otherwise the 150/1500 would work just fine. We use the Transit Connect for most light hauling as it gets 25+ mpg.

    At the moment the price difference between a Ford E150 and E250 is about $1200. On the Chevy website, the MSRP of a 1500 is $25,750 while the 2500 is $27,255. Go figure.
    #35