Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

ME's Van

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ME's Van

    Mutt and the Volvo are, of course, still ongoing projects with little bits being done here and there but the immediate project is getting the '99 E150 conversion van up and flying and meeting ME's goals. She's been wanting one for many years and we were able to pull it off - now to make it her prefect travel vehicle.

    The stuff done so far isn't very picture-worthy but I'll post up shots as stuff gets made and/or installed. The first step was to drop it off at Rackley's (my buddy Dave's shop) for a State inspection. They found the ball joints and outer tie rod ends were toast and in a fit of laziness (or sanity) I had them do it. I'd never done a twin I-beam front end and while I'm sure I could have blundered my way thru it it was worth getting it done (and with a guarantee). Surprising to me that the front end was loose at 55K miles but they said they've seen them get screwed up from sitting. Interesting note - some of the new Moog joints no longer come with rubber boots. Instead, they're sealed internally with some sort of O-ring deal (I guess) and are supposed to hold up better. The march of (hopefully) progress.

    So the van's now back home and I'm installing the new radio (pretty straightforward) because there was no CD player (anyone need a cassette player/radio combination?) and refinishing some of the interior wood that was looking pretty ratty (pics to come, probably tomorrow). And in the realm of woodworking, the van only had 2 smallish cup holders up front and we often travel with more than 1 drink each (a long story) so I'm building some pretty oak cupholders that attach off the doghouse (again, pics in a day or two). Eventually we'll go with a power inverter and a fridge. I have a heck of a deal on a small CRT TV and a VCR player which may or may not work. I have an Auber Instruments trans temp gage to install so I'll need to find a spot for that, hopefully in the dash.

    Now a question: Does anyone know of a tuner that will work on a '99 E-van with the 4.6 engine? I've called Hypertech, SCT, and several others to no avail. Some of the tuner makers have them for the 5.4L version but none for the small engine. I'd like a little more grunt in case we decide to pull the trailer/Mutt with it. If we can get a portal into the factory computer the local dyno guy can build a tune but first we have to get access to the brain.

    There will be lots of odds and ends to do (it'll need a trans cooler, for example) but all in all it's a sweet van with by far the lowest miles on it of anything in the fleet.

    Dan
    Last edited by DanStokes; July 21, 2016, 08:21 AM.

  • #2
    A tuner for a conversion van? So Dan, what is your projected LSR going to be with this? which is faster, it or the s10? enquiring minds want to know
    Doing it all wrong since 1966

    Comment


    • #3
      Other than the intake and the exhaust, I always thought that the 4.6 was the same in the cars (mustang / panther ) and the E /Fs were about the same. Wonder if a car programer would work?

      Check the rear axle if it does not have 4:11s I would bet that would be the wise / easy tow improvement.
      Last edited by Russell; July 23, 2016, 07:49 AM.
      http://www.bangshift.com/forum/forum...-consolidation

      Comment


      • #4
        Mutt, for sure (remember, I'm knocking on 130 now and plan to hit that at the next meet). I'd like more towing power and maybe a bit more MPG which may take different tunes depending on whether there's a trailer on the back or not. If I can get a portal into the computer we have a local guy who can build the tunes - he's the guy who dynos Mutt for me. He has a ton of Ford tuning experience but so far I haven't come up with a tuner system that will allow access. Open to suggestions.

        No LSRing this one! For a change. Besides, it's ME's van and I doubt she'd go for that.

        Dan

        Comment


        • #5
          Dan, you are wise beyond your substantial number of years - but if you don't see the inevitability of this running down the track; well, it means you have more to learn (even from a young, cocky, handsome whippersnapper like me). It always starts with "well, if we just tune it a bit" next you'll be looking for an aero kit for it. Pdub ran his wife's car, you will run the van.
          Doing it all wrong since 1966

          Comment


          • #6
            I know the tuners make a hell of a difference in the F-350 tow rigs.
            Set to "hot rod" chirps tires on the upshift while empty, I'm told..
            But tow wise yes. Way better than stock tune.

            Comment


            • #7
              Got some stuff done today. One of the requirements was to fit the van to us. Given my short stature and ME's loss of height we found that the driver's side seat cushion was too far from the floor even with the power seat all the way down. Given that this will be our long-distance cruiser it's pretty uncomfortable with the circulation cut off in your legs from the knee down. The solution was to lower the seat so I hacked an inch out of the riser and welded the whole deal back together. The welds are ugly but stout.

              Here's a shot of the modified riser and the 1 inch strips I cut out of it.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1432.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	394.2 KB
ID:	1115461
              Example of the ugly welds. I really wish I could see as I weld - the penalty of old age! The other side is similarly crappy.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1433.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	349.8 KB
ID:	1115462
              The riser back in the van. Everything's all back together now and ready to go get detailed tomorrow. Sorry about the lighting but I'm doing this outside so you get what you get.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1435.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	247.7 KB
ID:	1115463

              Now onto the interior. The wood in a more-or-less armrest position was BADLY sunstruck so I sanded it down and poly'd it. No clue what species the wood is but it seemed to just have a single coat of lacquer on it and that had deteriorated years ago. Anyhow, here it is all spiffed up:

              Driver's side:

              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1436.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	240.3 KB
ID:	1115464
              Passenger's side:

              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1437.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	252.1 KB
ID:	1115465

              Love my cheap wide-angle lens!

              We're really looking forward to the results of the detailing. It'll be interesting to see how much of the paint cleans up and the interior needs a major scrubbing.

              Dan

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Russell View Post
                Other than the intake and the exhaust, I always thought that the 4.6 was the same in the cars (mustang / panther ) and the E /Fs were about the same. Wonder if a car programer would work?

                Check the rear axle if it does not have 4:11s I would bet that would be the wise / easy tow improvement.
                there should be a slow ramp, based on torque.
                gm altered 350s to cars and trucks too.(305 as well)
                tuning can alter one engine, car or truck.
                trucks/vans stay linear. No romping a snapper...a lot more weight.

                My sport truck is truck below 2500rpm, animal to 130 something after that. Like opening an old 4 barrel.. expect it is a 75mm multiport throttle.
                All in the tune.

                Dan, good luck with the van man. I only joke about the walker stuff.

                at 55k, it must be bad castings on the balljoints.
                I never have done my own, never will. i consider them very serious.
                I break frames and weld them in the mud.. but balljoints? not going near them.
                Last edited by Barry Donovan; July 24, 2016, 05:43 PM.
                Previously boxer3main
                the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The ball joints didn't last too long on my van from work. I took out the plugs and installed zerk fittings, I got about another year out of them. they were groaning pretty badly before that. My van or I should say the school's van is on it's 3rd set of ball joints I believe. 63,000 on the clock. it's a 09 E250. The 4.6 in that is a gutless wonder that gets a steady 9.5 mpg. Even though I'm a Ford guy, I hate that twin I beam, Not one of there better ideas. Driving it is like herding cats. maybe I should talk to my boss about getting a Transit van with the Ecoboost.
                  Tom
                  Overdrive is overrated


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I bought a Nova back in the early 80's that had a chunk of wood screwed onto the throttle and brake pedals...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Russell View Post
                      Other than the intake and the exhaust, I always thought that the 4.6 was the same in the cars (mustang / panther ) and the E /Fs were about the same. Wonder if a car programer would work?

                      Check the rear axle if it does not have 4:11s I would bet that would be the wise / easy tow improvement.
                      As far as I can tell (based on Internet searching) it seems to have a 3:55 gear. Ill kick around that thought of a gear change but mostly this is a cruiser (I still have Truck) so it's a maybe.

                      As far as a car programmer - I've called Hypertech and SCT and they tell me that theirs won't load the programs as they won't recognize the VIN. I'll get back to the guy at Carolina Dyno and see what he recommends. I know he works with SCT and maybe he can work thru the firewall on their stuff.

                      Dan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The wood is looking good! Does the back seat lay flat for naps? I would bet the rear is an 8.8. There should be a tag on the rear cover, next time your under there with a light, check it out.

                        When more power is needed the best answer is boost!
                        http://www.bangshift.com/forum/forum...-consolidation

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes the seat folds flat, a major consideration now that we're old folks. Comfy place for a snooze has become more important.

                          Yep, the rear is an 8.8. Should be plenty stout.

                          Boost is good! I'm guessing that would be a packaging nightmare in that doghouse!

                          Dan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Fridge, bed, the only thing it's missing is a potty! and I could move in
                            http://www.bangshift.com/forum/forum...-consolidation

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I fixed the step yesterday. It was soggy when you stepped on it and sloped away from the van, both of which made it hard to enter thru the side door and you knew it eventually would fail completely. Anyhow, I failed to get a "before" pic but it actually had a bend in the center.

                              Here's the completed repair. Lying on the driveway is the material I used to make the reinforcement under the step. Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1441.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	289.1 KB
ID:	1116044



                              A close-up of the material. That's 2X2" 1/4" wall aluminum which allowed me to tap directly into it. Worked great. Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1440.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	354.6 KB
ID:	1116045



                              And a closeup of the repair. Lots of 1/4" SS screws as shown. If you look at the bottom of the running board you can see the repair material hanging down a bit (maybe 3/8" or so) below the running board itself. Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1439.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	249.4 KB
ID:	1116046


                              The difficult part of the repair doesn't show. There are two braces underneath that add strength and they took considerable reworking to make them work with the added bracing. Of course, I had to re-engineer them to make everything stronger just 'cause I'm me.

                              All in all, it's VERY stiff and I'd do it this way again. It's now much easier to climb in back there. The next step is to add grab handles. I harvested a bunch of them at PnP the other day and now I just have to find places to mount them.

                              Dan
                              Last edited by DanStokes; July 28, 2016, 05:26 AM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X