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Capt's New Tow Rig

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  • Capt's New Tow Rig

    The plans were laid already in the spring of 2019 to replace the "Shaggin Wagon", a gas guzzling 1985 Ford E350, with a 460 4 bbl custom van. Click image for larger version

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    It has 250K miles, and suffering a Rust Explosion.

  • #2
    Just by luck, this spring (2020), went fishing with my Dad, and Found this 1988 Ford E250 for sale by online Auction near his home in Tomahawk, Wisconsin.
    No Rust, 4 New Tires, and 45,500 documented miles.......
    IT WAS A GOING OUT OF SERVICE POLICE/DEA SURVEILLANCE VAN !!! Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1280311 No the roof mount A/C unit wasn't included, I picked that up on the way home for Another Project.....


    • #3
      Took it too my local paint guy, had him take care of any stone chips, surface or starter rust spots, and reshoot the metallic silver.
      I got started on all that "Just hanging out of the walls wiring" left when they stripped the electronics equipment out.
      Basically there were inverting 12VDC to 120 VAC via 3 very large deep draw batteries that were in a compartment in the floor thru the side doors. Click image for larger version

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      Attached Files


      • #4
        Now, the Old Van was Called the Shaggin Wagon.......
        Being the Newer Van was a Drug Enforcement Agency retiree.......
        It is Named the ;
        "Marrakesh Express"
        And here's some of the New Upholstery that I started for a Moroccan Thyme......
        started with the six interior door panels Click image for larger version

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ID:	1280319 will keep you posted on my progress


        • #5


          • #6
            What is under the hood of the 88? Not sure I can see your vision yet but I look ing forward to seeing the end result.

            Ia there an hour meter on that thing. I would be it sat still on steak out running to keep the batteries charged.


            • #7
              It's has a 351 V8, fuel injection, and a C6 automatic.
              It had a charging system plugs like electric fork lifts, independent of the vehicle system from I have taken apart so far. The alternator is stock, and could never keep up to the batteries that were in that huge battery tray in the floor.
              Here's the multiple power cords under the passenger seat Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                Nothing like romex inside a vehicle - Surprised they didn't start with an ambulance package van that would have come with a huge charging system - I think they had two 130+amp alternators.

                351W EFI with a C6 is a pretty bullet proof combination - ran one in an F250 for years, with a pro torque "tow truck" converter. Plan on 10-15 mpg depending on drive cycle, and weight of right foot
                There's always something new to learn.


                • #9
                  Click image for larger version

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ID:	1281125 Nothing to report for now. Just some small projects while the graphics shop has the van.
                  they didn't have enough gold material to do the whole job. They didn't want a color difference so are waiting for New Vinyl to come in.
                  Even the pro shops are having trouble getting supplies.
                  ​​​​​​​cleaned up some Pick-A-Part Yard cloth seats to replace the bone stock vinyl seats


                  • #10
                    There has been Progress but mostly things that pix wouldn't show.
                    It's been to the Graphics Shop (Two Different Ones)
                    Been to the Custom Exhaust Shop, Two 2' to a Turbo Muffler with a single 3" out.
                    And Many Days/Weeks on Wiring.
                    Also did a Fuel Injector Upgrade (Posts in Tech Section)


                    • #11
                      Here is the graphics so far, have one for the roof yet when we can get it outside again.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      • #12
                        And the wiring..........There had to be some Muiniciple Shop rework or add ons done over its Enforcement Life Time.
                        Some Strange and Bad Voo Doo shit found. Did find 2 hidden mini camera lens hidden in the rear corner body trim !!
                        Here's the Battery Cables we removed Longest was 23 feet Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          We are hopefully done with pulling and routing wires. We have kept parts of the 120 volt circuits, and some 12 Volt circuits and isolated them to the rear area
                          set up like a Camper. Here's the passenger side where Click image for larger version

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ID:	1285015 I pulled out the jump seat by the side doors. (A pick a part yard van bench seat that folds into a bed is going in)


                          • #14
                            still have wiring to do, but all the layout is done, now just tying things together, install a couple of the 120 volt boxes, and clean up the breaker box. Click image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              Next Time, will have pix of starting on the 12 volt aux. system with a Charger/Converter Isolator like in a camper.