Econoline Body R&R Questions
I have a 1978, 351W, 4 speed stick [3 speed Overdrive] Long Wheel Base
E-150, Cargo Van with a sliding door.
Apparently this drive train was available by order only.
Has anyone else seen one like this?
[If this was a garden variety 351W, C6, I would not bother, but this
is the only 4 speed econoline van I have ever seen, and is just
To repair a half a million miles of body damage...
[including recently being hit by a suburban]
I am arranging for a body shop to install a used body on my 78's frame
and am looking for someone to answer the "been there done that"
While I have been told by the ford dealer that the sheet metal is the
same from 76 - 91. Is there any differences in the sheet metal that
make a particular year a pain?
It seems that I can find 6 cylinder standard transmission vans, or
dual fuel tanks, but not both. Am I correct that a dual tank,
automatic van body would easier to install, than a standard van, with
What are the most rust resistant years?
[I know that 76-78 are very prone to rust and corrosion, but which had
the best galvanic treatment]
I've helped do the pickup cab swap. but then four men can lift a cab
easily. Is there any one out there who has done a van body swap
[regardless of make]?
If so, can you tell me the various pitfalls, that you ran into and
how you lifted the body?
[floor hoist lifting the body, vs dropping the frame, with the body
On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 10:18:48 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I don't qualify under the "BT, DT, body swap on a van" criteria, but
I've swung a wrench or three in my life...
Is there a lot of rust damage, or is this all age related wear and
collision damage? If it isn't rusting much now, I would suggest you
buy a matching year family and wheelbase donor body (same slide or
swing door layout, etc.) for pieces, tear your existing van down to
the fairly bare chassis and repair/rebuild what you've got.
Section out all the bad spots on the body and make it whole, using
repair panels if the donor van is rusty there too. Coat it thoroughly
with zinc cold-galvanize primer inside and underneath and paint &
undercoat it - that's where the factory skimps, they dunk it once in
primer, one thin coat of paint on the inside and bottom, and they
think they're all done. Once the body is finished you start on the
suspension and drivetrain.
A full body swap or other major mods can be a gold plated pain in
the ass and you can't think of all the pitfalls ahead of time. And if
you get it 80% done and get stuck, you're going to end up scrapping
the whole mess, or selling it at scrap prices to someone who can
This is the same advice I give when people want to pull out an
automatic and put in a stick (or vice versa), or pull out a gasoline
engine and put in a Diesel (or vice versa) - Sure you /can/ do it, but
/should/ you do it? And when you get done, can you get a title and
tags for it? Sell what you've got and buy something that's a lot
closer to your ideal.
One big bugaboo with a full body swap: The VIN is stamped and/or
tagged in several places on the body as well as the chassis. You can
swap over all the numbers and file evidence of having bought the donor
van body with your state DMV, but that's a pain.
And there is always visible evidence you did so, which may raise a
lot of uncomfortable questions if a cop sees it and gets suspicious
about the ownership of these parts. You can clear yourself of course,
but it takes time and effort and you have to retain all that paperwork
proof forever. And if the cop impounds the vehicle you have your life
interrupted for a few days, and the towing fees and impound costs...
The nylon bushings, heim joints and other 'soft parts' in the shift
linkage were taken from the corporate parts bins, and can be ordered -
it's just a matter of figuring out the part numbers.
And the front firewall is totally different - the pedal box with the
clutch master and the brake master is all different, you'll need to do
a lot of work on an automatic firewall to fit the right pedals and the
--<< Bruce >>--
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