1990 FORD ECONOLINE 150 VAN - Ford Guru - please advise

I bought a Ford 1990 Van about 6 months ago. It only had 80,000 miles on it, bought it from an old couple who just used it to take trips to Florida. Anyways, the van runs great, never gave me a problem (besides
the fact that after driving it very long distances - 1500 miles or more
- or sitting in traffic for a few hours - it would idle low, cut off, then not start up right away - it would click - then nothing for 2 minutes - then start right up - only happened 3 times total in 6 months
- and I had the alternator and battery tested - they were fine. The tech concluded that when the starter got too hot, it would temporarily malfunction). Then I stopped driving the van much during the winter, as I acquired other wheels. The weather was very mild during the winter, however it fluctuated from 80 degrees one day to 30 degrees the next.
After letting it sit for about a month-long stretch about 6 weeks ago -
I started the car on a hot day & it overheated on me on the freeway. Found out that there was a leak, added water & drove home without a problem. I put off getting it looked at, but I drove the car twice anyways - just adding water at filling stations periodically. No problems.
Then about 3 weeks ago - the third time I drove it - there was a light on in the dashboard that didn't go off when I turned off the car - it's
a little light that's connected to the cruise control button - but ever
since I had an alarm installed - twice the blinkers didn't work on the dashboard - but they worked outside - so I didn't think anything about the light, just figured it would go off eventually.) However, when I tried to start the car next - the battery was dead. I jumped the battery & the alarm chirped - but I couldn't get the engine to turn over. It had juice because the alarm kept chirping its ass off.
I called AAA to come jump the battery - since I figured the little car we tried jumping from just didn't have enough juice for the van - the AAA guy tried unsuccessfully to jump me a few times before concluding that the starter probably froze up (he said it may need cleaning or replacing) - it had been particularly cold the night before. He said there had been a few AAA calls about batteries & the probs were starters.
Since I was taking a trip out of town, and the wind kept tripping up the alarm & it kept chirping - I finally had to just turn the ignition on to drain the battery so the alarm would stop chirping before I left.
SO after all of that drama - wondering 3 things. Someone's interested in buying the van - and I've related all of this information to them. I
want to know if A) The battery is still good since I just left the car sitting with the battery drained for 3 1/2 weeks. B) The leak sounds like it's a hose (like a friend suggested) or if it sounds like the actual radiator. C) Whether a starter is a hard thing to clean or replace. I've heard you can tap them with a hammer sometimes and they'll work temporarily.
The couple that are coming to look at her - is semi-handy with fixing cars - I just want to know if anyone thinks they'll be able to get it running enough to take it, like they seem to think - or if I should just try to get it fixed myself before selling (I'm REALLY hoping against this.)
If anyone has any advice - it would be GREATLY GREATLY appreciated.
I should also probably mention that the starter pump plug was rigged to
the windshield wiper fuse area before I had the alarm installed. The car would start on the third try - but the alarm guy rigged the starter
to the same place he wired the alarm to - and the car started up on the
first try ever since. The starter cable hangs out under the car though...you can see it hanging if you look under the car.
Anyways, thanks for reading & if there are any Ford Gurus out there - any advice would be stellar!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If the guy that's buying it is interested, and good at repairs, this is somewhat what he expects of the car. The main thing he'll need is the name and location of the shop that installed the alarm and what model it is.
You've told him all this... He'll appreciate it.
You knock off a couple hundred in return for not having to mess with it.

Actually none of the above really requires Ford expertise.. just experience.
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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OK - thanks for the heads up. Much appreciated!
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OK - thanks for the heads up. Much appreciated!
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If you were to repair it before you sold it, the starter sounds like the number one item on your list. It is probably what drained the battery down as well, if in fact the brushes inside the motor are worn out. Yes, sometimes if you are lucky and the starter is just beginning to die, you can tap it with a hammer and possibly it will engage the flywheel, best to do this very carefully while someone is cranking the ignition. Just stay away from moving parts if it decides to start. As for the condition of the battery, you would have to have it load tested to know for sure if it's still any good.
Your coolant leak, without being able to look at the van, sounds like either bad upper or lower radiator/heater core hoses, bad water pump bearing (which would drip coolant from the weep hole in the pump if it is), or broken/loose hose clamps on one of the hoses. Or as you suggested, bad radiator.
It may be worth spending the extra money to fix it, figure out whats wrong with each area, the cost to fix and then whether it is worthwhile to spend VS what you are asking for the van.
Good luck Sharky
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Thanks so much for the advice. Really appreciate it! Ciao, GG
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