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Full Sized Vans



  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    I am on my 4th Econoline since 1977. They have not been without problems, but I like them. the first 2 were basically large comfortable means of moving 5 people to and from school, camping, family gatherings etc. I have always been impressed with the mass of the van vs. a car. The visibility is much greater, the comfort is unequaled and the utility is unmatched. My 3rd and 4th Ford vans are cargo versions which I use for my alarm installation business. We recently bought the 4th Ford econoline cargo van and also a Chevy Astro cargo van. The reason we bought the Astro is because the Ford version of a mini van is too nice to use as a cargo van. I could never understand why so many Ford jokes abound. I guess they are due to jealousy.
     I agree that there could be more entries made in the full sized van forum. It may say a lot about drivers of full sized vans, less interest in computers, fewer problems with their vans, etc.

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    Thanks - and I found it interesting that you had more than one brand in your hanger.

    Maybe a Quigley conversion is in your future too ;-)

    Steve, Host
  • We purchased a nearly new Savana Van from Lou Sobh GMC in Lithia Springs about a year and a half ago. We were there for a number of hours when the threw us a curveball. They were offering us zero percent interest rate because it was new for the year. Then, when we got in the financial room, they jacked the interest rate up to 5.9. If we werent in such need of a new van at the time, we would have walked out, but it was needed. Now, we are upside-down by $9,000 and tried to trade it back in to the same dealership for a 2004 Safari. They just looked us in the eye and said "What am I stupid?"... So, learn from your mistakes. Since vans like this have bad depreciation, dont get stuck with a high interest rate and end up upside down. The more sensibble thing would be to buy a Safari instead of a Savana. Also, if your budget permits, Chevy and GMC Suburbans have excellent resale value. Although they cost more, in the long run, it will be better for you (plus they get better gas mileage). Also, Toyota Seqouias have great resale value, better than the Suburbans. Never buy minivans, though, they have terrible resale value and generally have bait and switch on interest rates and incentives.
  • raywhersraywhers Posts: 3
    I received a 1995 E-150 van last year without the manuals or any of the paper work that goes with a vehical. I can get the manual for the van part but the conversion part has become a big lost. I have a conversion made by CENTAURUS , it is the CENTAURUS LTD model manuafacted 03/07/1995 in IN.. The company has gone out of business and I been unable to connect with any one that has one of these vans or that knows any one with a CENTAURUS conversion. Please help, at this time I am having trouble with the conversion electrical system.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    Well, I have mostly always owned PU trucks. Two years ago, my PU got the front munched in somewhat, while driving to a motorcycle race a few states away, and decided that, for racing, an additional vehicle would be great.

    I bought a 2001 E350 on EBAY, with 1200 miles, for about $21,000. Had A/C, LimSlip, Power W and Doors, but not much else, other than the 7.3L diesel.

    Here I am, two years later, and quite happy with the van. I still use my CC PU thru the week, but we use the van (to which a single bench seat and 3-place dirtbike tiedown system has been added) for weekend road trips. I'm at 44k miles, and average 16-18 mpg when running roughly 82mph on the interstates not towing. When towing my 5,000lb travel trailer, mileage drops to close to 10mpg at same speeds. Have added Sirius radio, and pretty much love the vehicle. When we want, I can hotel it, and not worry about getting stuff ripped off out of the back of the truck.

    Well, thought I would chime in and let folks know that, at least for me, I am quite happy!
  • I have read the archived posts relating to full sized vans and have found that generally most prefer the Chevy/GMC vans to the Fords. My question is:

    Is there a marked difference in mechanical reliability between the Chevy Express/GMC Savanna 2500 and 3500 and the Ford E250 and E350.

    I purposely omitted the 1500 models as I read they have had transmission problems; listed in the archived posts.

    However, I have not seen any recent posts that address the transmissions in the 1500 models since 2001. I am interested in the years 2001 and newer. Maybe the 1500 models have improved their mechanical reliability? Any thoughts from current or former owners of each?
  • Nope. The minivans all have about 200 cubic feet of interior volume. The Econoline has nearly 300.

    Maybe people here think the GM vans are more reliable but Ford still has over 50% market share.

    We have a 94 E250 HD with 155,000 miles on it. We've replaced a radiator and idler pulley in addition to tuneups, brakes, and tires. This vehicle has towed sailboat trailers of 2,800 to 4,500 lbs for over 25,000 miles - try that with a minivan. I know several folks with Econolines with up to 326,000 miles without any rebuilds. I may not even look at the GM vans when we buy tne next one.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Most Mini vans do have terrible resale - but Hondas and Toyotas hold ther value very well
  • bobd3bobd3 Posts: 1
    I have wrecked two starters because the solenoid has stuck after the engine started and the engine and starter were both running. Even after a new solenoid was installed it did it again. What's the problem?
  • w6dwfw6dwf Posts: 2
    Dodge 1996 B3500 1-ton 12 passenger van
    I'm searching for an electrical connector to match an existing underdash connector. The shop manual labels this connector as "Van Conversion Provision" with no C- number. It has 4 wires: 2 fused high current wires, a control wire from the ignition switch, and a ground wire. I'd like to find a source for the mating connector.
    Thanks -- W6DWF
  • I recentally purchased a 1992 E-150 full Conversion van, also with the Centaurus package. I too am having difficulty with the electrical system and have no information what so ever. Did you ever get any answers?

    The battery drains when it is not used longer than 1 or 2 weeks. I do not know if the extras are on or off as the buttons don't say what is what. I love the van, but I am frustrated with the lack of info. If you know anything, please share. I appreciate it.

    Thanks, arielsgranny
  • chevanchevan Posts: 10
    Hello Conference. Everybody happy with their full size vans? I'm ready for a new van and am considering replacing my '99 Ford Chateau with a similar model. I purchased my van in 2000 with 16k mi on it. I now have 112k mi on it with minimal problems. This Ford has been a great truck.
    Any comments, experiences, prices paid, gas mileage, etc. would be welcome.
    Thank you. PBL
  • drsmeddrsmed Posts: 2
    Hi. I have a 1993 Ford Conversion Van E-250. The conversion was done by Companion Vans. The van runs a little rough and occasionally stalls after being on for a couple minutes. If the a/c is used, the stalling and lurching pick up. I have taken it to my mechanic who has done everything possible with the fuel system and then some. He is very stumped -this never happens. I'm are being told it's electrical but we cannot find the schematics for the van's conversion. I have contacted the conversion company and nobody will respond to me. Can anyone help me with this?

    Things that have recently been replaced since I bought the van in May:
    - oxygen sensor
    - spark plugs & wires
    - fuel, air, and oil filters
    - distributor cap & rotor
    - PCV valve
    - brake pads & shoes
    - radiator

    Thank you for your help.
  • maddoggmaddogg Posts: 2
    Hello I just got a 1994 Dodge Ram 250 van and I'm planning to restoreing it. There are something missing and would like to find out what was there. On the engine cover (dog house) the front part is missing, I can't tell what it looked like. Also on the side door there was something removed, can tell by the screw holes. I did not get any owners manauls with the van. Does anyone know of a web site that will show the inside of the van?
  • drsmeddrsmed Posts: 2
    Just an update to my previous post (#710) - The van is actually a 1994 E-150, not a 1993 E-250. And I was finally able to contact someone at the manufacturer, he tried his best to be helpful but he says they didn't really have schematics for the conversion wiring back then, they didn't even make their own wiring harnesses. They simply ran individual wires from a common point behind the drivers seat to each of the items they added (TV, VCP, rear stereo, and so on).

    So again I ask, can anyone offer me any advice or tips to try? With gas prices jumping like they are, I am desperate to improve this engine's behavior!
  • Claire@EdmundsClaire@Edmunds Chicago areaPosts: 968
    drsmed, you might also want to ask the folks in the Idle or Stalling Problems: All Vehicles discussion what they think.



  • Hi all, been searching the net for the right solution but can't find one; this is the next best thing. I own a 1998 Dodge Ram Van (1500) conversion. Great little wagon, love the upholstered interior. I have Capt chairs and recently, the driver's side armrests suddenly flopped down. Didn't realize how much of a difference they make as now my back is hurting me. The passenger side armrest doesn't go all the way down. Now the driver's side just hangs there. It can also be easily removed, which I did, and found a metallic 'stub' with a factory indentation in it. The stub doesn't appear to be damaged (nothing torn or stripped) and can be easily re-inserted in the opening. My guess is there's a clip that may have come loose. Anyone offer any advice?
  • jhartjhart Posts: 10
    I bought a 94 E-250 retired church "bus" and threw out the seats and use it for construction work. It is huge inside and has the headliner and floor mat which makes it quieter. I have found and fixed a few problems with it over the last 50,000 miles. It now has 200,000 miles and runs well. The tranny will "jump" out of gear on occasion and thump back in. Low speed or high speed. No OBD codes. I changed the fluid and filter twice. I will try cleaning all electrical connections on the trans next. Sometimes it will go weeks without doing it. If it rains it may do it more often. I wonder if the torque converter is unlocking for some reason. I had the clockspring replaced in the steering wheel but it still does it. I think the brake light switch may unlock the torque convertor when applied as it should and sometimes if I hit a bump at speed the cruise will de-activate. Any one else had this problem? My mechanic has tried everything. Thanks!
  • I have a 1994 Ford Conversion van by Centaurus, and am having the same problems with the battery draining. Has anyone found any solution to this problem yet?
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