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What to look for when looking for a Motovan


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I am officially on the hunt for a Motovan, and currently I am thinking about a mid 90s, e150 with a v6, AC, auto, power windows, and power locks.

Anybody have any tips on what to look for when looking at these vans? My budget is anywhere from $1k-$2k. Im going to be storing my bike in the van at school outside my apartment, and hopefully taking a couple trips down to NC over the winter to go ride.

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I've heard not so great things about the ford 4.2L(?) V6 as far as reliability. It seems like a crap shoot, they're either "great" or the "worst engine ever built" depending on who you talk too. There's enough bad written out there to make me a bit weary about purchasing one of these engines. The 300 I6 is a great motor, a little thirsty, but bombproof. My dad had one and it ran forever with no problems. I wouldn't rule out the 4.3 chevy, it's just a 350 with two cylinders cut off. Great motor by all accounts. For what your looking for I would think there would be a bunch of conversion type vans for cheap, with nice easy highway miles on them. Good luck with your search.

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I'd stay away from the 4.2L V6 that Ford has to offer, not because of reliability issues, but because it's a bit on the weak side for something as big as a van. It's going to drink just as much fuel, and produce less power than a 5.4L.

If you find a clean one with a 300-6 (inline), they are good motors. They're not any better or worse on fuel than a 302 V8.

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Im going to look at a van on Sunday, only catch is that it's 5 hours away...Ugh. But it appears to be in very good condition.

Is there anything I should check when I look at it? Wheels moving, engine noise? Anything like that?

This is gonna be my first car, since motocross is so darn expensive haha.

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If it's a Ford, look at the tires for irregular wear patterns, more wear on one edge of the tire than another (check the rears for this too, they may have rotated them to hide it). This is a sign of an alignment problem. Nothing that can't be repaired-it could be as simple as an alignment, or it could be bad ball joints (Ford was NOTORIOUS for ball joints in the Econolines) or tie rods (not so common).

Check the trans fluid-it should be clean and pink, should not be dark or burnt smelling.

Radius arm bushings, these are the bars that extend back from the twin I-beams towards the frame, where they connect with the frame there is a rubber bushing. These should be pliable and not cracked, if they are, they can cause a loose or wander-y feeling in the wheel.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a extended 05 E-250 that I got for 5 grand with 87,00 miles on it, which I feel was a pretty good deal.

If your on a low budget them look for Fords, chevys are more expensive.

I doubt you van find a work van with power anything, I didn't when I was looking for a van.

I have put 15,000 miles on my van since I got it and I have had no problems, I have just done oil changes every 3,000, tire rotation every 5,000 miles, air filter every 10,000, and Im about to get the transmission and coolant flushed.

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb13/kx250f26/117.jpg

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How is it having an extended van? I think the room would be nice for me, but Ill have the van parked at school all year and I think for that smaller might be better for me.

Im going to hopefully look at 3 vans tomorrow, 2 E150s and an ext E350. Hopefully one is nice enough to throw down on. 😏

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What are the major differences between the 150, 250, and 350? Besides engine size, is payload the only difference?

Between a 250 and a 350 there isn't much difference unless you go to a dually box van.

Between a 150 and 250, it's much heavier chassis components. Heavier Springs, larger brakes, calipers, rotors, ball joints, axles (E150 uses a C-clip axle, E250 & 350 use a full floater), 250 runs on 16" tires and much higher weight rated tires, etc.

And a 250 or 350 will be a bit tougher on fuel (that extra weight don't move for free).

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Hahahaha that is actually really close to me. But I think I have a contender for a purchase that I am going to look at on Sunday, 1998 E150 with a lil bit of rust but only 99k 😏

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Has anybody thought of picking up a raised roof conversion van and gutting it from the front seats back? I would guess most of these would be the E150 or Chevy 1500, version(non extended also).The extra height inside sure would be nice,even though they would not be as heavy duty as a E250 or 350. But it opens up your search to include vans that might not be as abused as a cargo van.

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Extended is the only way. Just bought it a month and a half ago. Power windows,tilt,cruise and the 5.4l engine.

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This is my second choice and for sale.

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Hey how much is the custom cube? Where is it located, thats a sweet set up!

K

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