The Van

This page is in chronological order with the most recent entry on top.

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February 2019. Two years and 32,000 miles.

How happy am I? Would I do it again? In two words: “Hell yes!”.

The van itself is awesome. It is fast, it is a hoot to drive. The heavy floor put some weight nice and low and handling is pretty decent for a van. I don’t get the top heavy feel associated with vehicles like this. I’ve had to do a few immediate evasive maneuvers and they did NOT scare me. (Handling wise….) Reliability wise I’ve had ONE gripe and that was a leak in the AC system which unfortunately was hard to locate as it was in the evaporator behind the dash. It took two visits to the dealership but was fixed under warrantee and that’s now 15,000 miles ago.

Mileage wise…. well…… If I try I can get 16-17 mpg. That’s at no more than 65 mph going EASY. But where’s the fun in that? So my road trips without trailer pretty much happen in the high 70’s low 80’s and that gets me 13 mpg. Oh well. Speaking of towing, it does so with gusto. Stable and plenty of power. At a price of course. My biggest trailer is 7000 pounds and it’s no problem. Does take me down to 10, sometimes less mpg. Oh well.

The conversion? Loving it! Comfortable and (almost) everything I wanted. There’s always ideas to improve and change little things. Still want to add combustion heat and a roof rack with roof AC and a bunch of lighting. But, that’s part of the fun. Keep tinkering.

I’m a happy camper.

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February 27th, 2017

And we have taken custody. Drove out with Sparky with the dolly behind it. (Yes, Sparky has a trailer hitch) And then hitched him on his dolly behind the Flying Dutchman!

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February 25th, 2017

It has arrived! Still needs prep and PDI…. picking up Monday! With my man Justin from Koch33 Ford…..

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With it’s older brother Hannibal……

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February 3, 2017

Justin (my sales guy) reports it should be at the dealership March 13th, 2017

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February 2, 2017

We have a window sticker! Build date is 2/10/17

windowsticker

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December, 2016

First choice: Which van? As a life long fan of their products I was disappointed to find that GM had no entry into the market. The choice of many is the Mercedes Sprinter, and it does the job well. My objection to it was the cost (anything with “the Star” on it is not cheap to buy or maintain) and the fact that the dealer network is not as large as one would want. The Dodge/Ram van for some odd reason wasn’t talking to me. Don’t know if it was the look or the fact that it doesn’t seem to have gotten any traction in the DIY conversion world. Enter the Ford Transit. Readily available, dealers on every corner in America and popular with a growing legion of home converters it seemed a good choice. When I saw a test drive article in Car and Driver with the statement “Quicker than it needs to be!” the deal was sealed!

http://www.caranddriver.com/ford/transit

Next question: New or used? I have bought many a vehicle new, and a similar amount with low miles and the first (big) bite of depreciation taken by someone else. But as I plan on keeping this for a long time and as the used market for the color and options I was looking for was non existent I decided to go with new. In fact, even the new supply did not offer what I was looking for. Thanks to the intel sources on THE forum for this project:

http://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/forumindex.php

I was able to establish that the configuration I was looking for, body style, engine, color and options did not exist! So I ordered it, just the way I wanted it, on November 30th, 2016. Not long thereafter I received an email from Justin Shaika, my trusty salesman at:

http://www.koch33ford.net

that it is scheduled to be built at the Kansas Ford plant in the second or third week of February.

So what did I order? There were a LOT of choices to be made affected by drivability, load and towing capacity, looks and the requirements for the conversion, most of which I will get in to later in this blog. The body choices were: Half, 3/4 or full ton, short, long or extra long body and low, mid or high roof. On the full ton there was the choice of single or dual rear wheels. Engine choices were the regularly aspirated V-6, the Turbo V-6 or the diesel. The Ford website offers an in depth description of all of these choices and after much research I settled on the T250, regular long body, mid roof with the 3.5L Turbo V-6, in Shadow Black with the 3.73 limited slip rear axle. Options include everything needed to tow, privacy glass in the sliding and rear doors, 10 way adjustable heated seats, decent sound (MUST have Sirius/XM!), heavy duty alternator and batteries, and some other sundry convenience/cosmetic items.

So, now it’s waiting for the build. I have my VIN number and there’s a website you can plug it in to follow the progress. So far it’s reporting to “Check back later.” Meanwhile I am diligently researching the conversion process. I am doing lots of reading on the various forums, and I am also slowly filling my office with parts and pieces. Amazon is loving me!

What it looks like as computer generated by the Ford website based on my choices…..

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