Ford E350 Extended Van

A client of mine has a Ford E350 Econoline van (89) that they fancied up for a salesman/field demo rig, put 105k miles on it.then in 1998..parked
it. Since then..it was moved a couple times in the shops yard..but its largely sat for the last 9 or so years.
He offered it to me for a very cheap price..but not free..so Ive taken a little time to dabble with it before I committed myself to it.
E350 van... AKA the Titanic (or is Moby Dick the great white whale better?)
Pulled the plugs Thursday, spritzed the cylinders with P'Blaster.. waited a couple hours, then pulled the engine over a few times with a socket and a ratchet. Felt nice and smooth. Got better the 3rd or 4th revolution.
(Id like to have access to a dull razorblade and the Ford engineer who put the shit around the front spark plug on the passenger side.... Just for an hour or so.....prettyprettyplease....grrrrr.....)
Got it running Friday late. Sounded good after blowing out 10 yrs of hornets nests and spooge, then it warmed up and built a bit of pressure up and Blew the bottom seams of the radiator. Im pretty sure the radiator is simply rotten to the core <G>.
Probably not gonna be able to fix it. Will likely need a new one. Ill pull it next week and take it to a radiator shop for estimate. All I got on the ground was "Barrs Leak" leak stopper and clear water...cringe....seems to have been previous issues....and rust..lots of rust....
Starter is also bad. One wire starter..and the bendix magnetic pull-in is weak . Got the old girl started by pushing on the bendix a bit, then holding it while I hit the key.
Stuck $20 of gas in the tank. Started right up after bleeding off the feed rail. Lifters quieted down after a few minutes..but it has been sitting idle for about 5-10 yrs, so the oil is about like roofing tar most likely...
So far..needs new starter, new radiator, new heater core (someone rerouted the plumbing..probably because it was rotten too) 2 new batteries and (5) 235 /16" tires.
So far Im looking at about $500 figuring recaps or used tires.
Not counting a couple fuel filters that are gonna plug up after all the vintage Green Goo left in both tanks starts breaking loose... couple oil changes, couple cooling system flushes ...tranny filter and atf changes...(also leaks around the tranny pan gasket...)
I dont mind fixing her up, kinda fun actually, but...she might be expensive to put back on the road. Will likely need to replace all the water ho$e$ too....they are a mite..crunchy.... might be all that bentonite in the cooling system...cringe.....springs inside the hoses are rusted to bits likely and what appears to be maybe an infant front main seal leak. Maybe (crossing fingers)not.
This old girl is gonna be a bundle of $urpri$es for a while until she shakes out. Gonna be as much fun as getting to know a new lady friend. Hope this one isnt a drunken neurotic..with a curb weight of 6000lbs... will be a mite hard to push out of traffic...
Also need to find out when it was registered last. Hopefully MORE than 7 yrs ago...cringe..if not..the fees...ohmygod the fees....California....
Im still pondering this beasty. Sounded really nice while it was running. Couldnt move it though...one of the rear tires was totally rotted and flat..so they put blocks under the axle so it wouldnt sag....
I think I posted a couple pictures of it a few weeks ago.
Im wondering if I should fix it up, and drive it for a bit, then sell it, or simply pass it by. I probably can get my money back out if its too expensive to drive. It IS nice looking, or will be once the oxidized paint is buffed out.
Any comments, suggestions ? Anything to watch out for?
Gunner
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
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<snip>
I have a '98 Club Wagon 15 passenger (E-350) 5.6 Triton and it is my favorite vehicle ever! Handles and drives wonderfully! I have a set of Goodyear Wranglers you can have, they have another 20k or so on them, probably not worth the freight. I got new LT commercial tires for $100 ea on eBay. You're back to 12-14 mpg city 15-17 HW. Have Sears put good shocks on, you DON'T want to do it yourself. I had to rebuild the trany when the torque converter exploded. I got it from the US Navy 2 years ago with 27k on it. It was never titled and never left the base, I'll bet it shifted millions of times. Put a grand in it and sell it for 3-5k or better. I paid 10K for mine.
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On Sun, 1 Jul 2007 23:25:34 -0700, "Tom Gardner"

YOu have the Triton...bunch of valves in it. Has it spit out spark plugs yet? I understand that its pretty prone to do this, particularly right after a tune up. Seems the plugs on the right bank need to be torqued EXACTLY else they get launched right out of their holes.
If I get this..Im gonna use it for my heavy hauler. Sitting in the drivers seat..looking backwards..makes me feel like Im sitting on the end of a lane in the bowling alley..and looking out the window at the rear view mirror..now I know how the guys standing on the bow of the Enterprise feel looking aft...geeeze...
99% of my driving is hiway. Some oilfield fleet mechanic buddies seem to think they can boost up the mileage a bit, but she aint never gonna be my "Run to the 711 for a Slurpie" vehicle....
Whats with the shocks? Based on my memory..looked just like any other van..shocks not struts. Pretty simple stuff, Ive done a gazzillion times before. How DO you test the shocks on a 1 ton? I dont think even my big old body gonna make that thing bounce up and down much, no matter how hard I jump up and down on the bumpers....
I figure if I cant afford to drive it....if I can get it cheap enough..I can at least break even and I an sell it to 21 Guatamalans to live in.
And it does have a fridge in it...chuckle...nice Magic Chef fridge built into the oak cabinetry (most of which has to come out..damnit)
Now I need to find a phone company van internal rack and drawer setup somewhere. Sigh..I knew I shouldnt have thrown all 7 of em away 15 yrs ago.....
Gunner
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
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I'll pass this on to my bud that does my car mechanical for me, he's going to do a tune-up next week and go over everything for my Canadian trip. The shocks are such a motherfucher to do that when I took it to Sears during a shock sale, I overheard one of the mechanics say: "Shit, these things are a bitch!". Three guys took over an hour to do 4 shocks. One was cutting the rears off with a 3' long air chisel, they are hard to get to I guess. I like the feel of new, good shocks so I replace them every 3 to 4 years.

The right mirror is very deceiving, I've cut-off a few people REAL good until I got used to it. The wheel base isn't as long as it seems, it's about the same as my mid-sized Dodge that this replaced. I have hauled 1,700 lb pallets full of brush blocks from the Amish mill 60 miles away. It handles better and gets better mileage loaded like this...go figure. For fishing trips, we can fit ALL our ever-increasing load of stuff and travel in spacious luxury and the AC is ice-cold, rear AC too.

At least the company fills my 36 gal tank at >$100/fill-up, it lasts me > 2 weeks.

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I have a long bed crew cab, and that problem got solved by putting convex mirrors on both sides. Small one on the left and a bigger one on the right. That's about the only one I look at now; I mostly ignore the full size mirror it's stuck to. My wife wasn't big on using mirrors before, but now she is. And with those, I can easily back that truck up into a compact parking spot, since the compacts take all the full sized spots!
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Sounds like a lot of money and effort for a van that's almost 20 years old and sat for 9 years.
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wrote:

It may be. Though the same can be said about a Logan 14 rescued from a dusty corner <G>
Gunner
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
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On Mon, 02 Jul 2007 18:31:45 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Gunner

Hah! Tools are MUCH more forgiving about sitting for long periods. There are hundreds fewer parts in them, too.
- Metaphors Be With You -
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On Mon, 02 Jul 2007 19:54:32 -0700, Larry Jaques

And they are not slapped together quite as carelessly. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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On Mon, 02 Jul 2007 19:54:32 -0700, Larry Jaques

I uploaded some pictures. Nothing from the inside as of yet.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1381/701648319_f0faadce90.jpg?v=0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gunnerasch/701648249/in/set-72157600616301606 /
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1275/701648295_6a579251cc.jpg?v=0
I do NOT like the FLICKR interface. Yahoo is shutting down their Photos section and suggested migrating to Flickr..a Yahoo subsidiary.
It sucks
Gunner
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
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On Tue, 03 Jul 2007 07:08:03 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Gunner

David and Goliath pic, wot? She's one stretchy suckah, ain't she? Looks surprisingly clean.

Most online pic farms suck.
- Metaphors Be With You -
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On Tue, 03 Jul 2007 03:03:08 -0700, Larry Jaques

Inside and out she IS clean and neat. The paint is slightly oxidized, but thats it.
Never been pressure washed either..all the labels and decals are on/in the engine compartment and hoses and the few graphics on the hull are clear and crisp.
Hence my interest. If she were the usual beat up van..it would have been a non issue.

Gunner
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
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Try the Google one. It works OK. Karl

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On Tue, 03 Jul 2007 11:16:09 -0000, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Google has one???? THANKS!!!
Gunner

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
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Your're welcome. I forgot, I think you have to install Picasa on your computer. Hope thats not a problem. Karl

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On Wed, 04 Jul 2007 11:31:21 -0000, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Already done. Thank you Sir.
Gunner

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
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You're welcome. Now if only Google made an OS. Karl

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But a work vehicle is a different situation. If it's a labor of love, OK. I've come to the conclusion that restoring vehicles is a rich or single man's game. You might want to join triple A and call it a personal vehicle if you end up driving it. For parts, www.rockauto.com is pretty competitive, even with the shipping.
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Why not dig out an old copy of Consumer's Reports on vehicles first? I seem to remember that Ford has has a LOT of electrical problems. Do you put a dollar value on your time to get this vehicle back to life? If you don't, and you aren't worried about future reliability issues, and you wanted a rusty project to do anyway, go ahead. I see in your future: Gas Tank Brake lines, wheel cylinders and probably master cylinder Calipers (or drums, etc) Water pump Poor grounds all over the place leading to loss of taillights, headlights, etc. Bad switches Parts places having to order parts more and more often Body rust and noisy body Windows turning cloudy
Do you want to ask why I can say these things?
Pete Stanaitis --------------------
Gunner wrote:

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wrote:

Please do.
I should mention that this van has lived its entire life in Southern California, far far away from the ocean. Ive more rust on my Gorton mill table than this van has anywhere visible.
Gunner

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Lazarus Long
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