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Mid life crisis van conversion or not? #731123
December 24th 2017 9:51 pm
December 24th 2017 9:51 pm
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 4
Ontario,Canada
B
Brenner Offline OP
stranger
Brenner  Offline OP
stranger
B
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 4
Ontario,Canada
Hello all, I come across this forum while researching information for my latest project. Being a licensed tech I have always built and maintained my own vehicles. Over the years I have had many trucks and cars, and looking back now I realize that I have had only one van. My previous was a 1978 VW panel van that was budget built but lots of fun. Sadly it was sold when I bought my first home and I had no place to keep it. Much has changed in life lately and I have been considering travelling as a form of vacation. I was considering riding cross country on one of my Harleys but I don't think I could make it due to being saddle sore so I decided that I would look for a full sized van to put the bike in and take it with me. While looking for what was available I see many due to living in the rust belt that are in major need of reconstruction. Having done this time and time again I thought I would look for something that was not as cancered. My findings are that most are beat up work vans or overpriced conversions. I search this forum as well as others and see most people are sticking with the older model vans. I love the nostalgia, and the tried tested and true approach but have not as of yet found one that tickles my fancy. I love the old but have been thinking that it be best to go newer for my needs which leads me to my next observation or problem. I note that many vans in the last 20 or so years have changed and that not many people are doing them up. Of the manufacturers I prefer are the big 3 Dodge, Ford, and GM. I love the dodge but I want a full frame van but not a tall van so a 1/2 ton or low riding van is what I was looking for. I am not brand biased but looking at the models it seems that the ford has not changed alot and retains the boxy van look that I am after so I have been looking in that direction. with my searches I have seen a few as they are common. I did purchase one already as it had a few features that I wanted and am unsure of whether to repair it or part it for my build. I bought a 2000 Ford E150 Starcraft Conversion low top just so I could have the visor and a few other goodies I don't see that much around my area. The van has a bad head gasket and for the most part compared to most vans I have seen is not that rusty. Now that I have explained where I am in the project I would like to ask what forum members think. I don't see a large amount of conversion vans being customized or being returned to service. Would it be better if I found a windowless cargo and use the parts I like from the conversion on the cargo? I bought the conversion mainly for the visor and flare kit but the electric fold down bed has grown on me and now I am thinking of having a van for travelling on trips and trailering the bikes. I would like my project to be of a late 70's -early 80's taste and have been considering some wild paint schemes. The van I have was not equipped with a ladder or rear tire carrier so it is close to what I envision but for the life of me I cannot see past the conversion or not conversion part of it. I am on the fence on whether to rebuild this van or not. MY last van the VW I had gone over all of it as I normally do and it was done as a hippy van. This project I would like to be of a disco etc.. style. I don't care for average looking vehicles. Thoughts please? Recommendations?

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Re: Mid life crisis van conversion or not? [Re: Brenner] #731127
December 24th 2017 11:11 pm
December 24th 2017 11:11 pm
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 275
Washington
O
oldskool73 Offline
enthusiast
oldskool73  Offline
enthusiast
O
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 275
Washington
Welcome, Brenner. I owned and loved '70's vans in the '70's, so I am biased. I like the idea of saving a van that has been around for over 40 years. I wish I had your skillset. Everybody's tastes and needs are different, that's what makes life interesting. You really need to figure out what works for you.

Re: Mid life crisis van conversion or not? [Re: Brenner] #731130
December 25th 2017 12:55 am
December 25th 2017 12:55 am
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 13,595
Lake City Florida, United Stat...
lukester Offline
Supreme Master
lukester  Offline
Supreme Master
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 13,595
Lake City Florida, United Stat...
They all have their pros and cons. If you are willing to trailer your bike I would suggest a cargo style van. This way you will have more of a sleeping/living area. If you want the bike in the van you can go cargo or striped out conversion. I will say it is much easier to load a bike in a gutted high top then a low top. I don't recommend sleeping in the van with the bike due to the gas fumes.


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Re: Mid life crisis van conversion or not? [Re: Brenner] #731131
December 25th 2017 1:25 am
December 25th 2017 1:25 am
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,354
Van Diego California
frscke1 Offline
frscke1  Offline

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,354
Van Diego California
Chevy's cost more but parts are readly avail & cheep.

Dodge & Ford are cheep but parts are harder to find & cost more.

Either way no matter what van you choose the auto company gets their's.

I you ask me about the hi top van I say GO FOR IT ... rockers is an easy fix & lots of donor vans around.

Chevy G-series is a very strong stable platform to build on.


SUNSHINE VANS-VAN DIEGO
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146" WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146" WB
Re: Mid life crisis van conversion or not? [Re: Brenner] #731138
December 25th 2017 11:33 am
December 25th 2017 11:33 am
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,355
Georgia, USA
CatFish Offline
carpal tunnel
CatFish  Offline
carpal tunnel
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,355
Georgia, USA
A good towing rig like this:

https://watertown.craigslist.org/cto/d/1993-chevy-beauville-van/6425244799.html

and a good enclosed trailer for the bike. (and all that other "stuff" you'll find you can't leave behind)

Last edited by CatFish; December 25th 2017 11:36 am.

They can have my fried bologna sandwich when they pry it from my cold dead hands.
Re: Mid life crisis van conversion or not? [Re: CatFish] #731139
December 25th 2017 12:17 pm
December 25th 2017 12:17 pm
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,354
Van Diego California
frscke1 Offline
frscke1  Offline

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,354
Van Diego California
Originally Posted by CatFish
A good towing rig like this:

https://watertown.craigslist.org/cto/d/1993-chevy-beauville-van/6425244799.html

and a good enclosed trailer for the bike. (and all that other "stuff" you'll find you can't leave behind)


If it runs & no major rust spots that is a good price !



I wonder if this has a 454 ? I would buy it on the spot !

Last edited by frscke1; December 25th 2017 2:16 pm.

SUNSHINE VANS-VAN DIEGO
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146" WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146" WB
Re: Mid life crisis van conversion or not? [Re: Brenner] #731160
December 26th 2017 1:37 am
December 26th 2017 1:37 am
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 4
Ontario,Canada
B
Brenner Offline OP
stranger
Brenner  Offline OP
stranger
B
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 4
Ontario,Canada
Today even though being Christmas I ended up looking at the condition of the body on the van I bought already. I cleared the snow away from the van and removed the body flares/running boards. My neighbor came over and commented on how good of shape it was in with minimal need of repair. It is not that bad for its age and our area and he knows my delima and mentioned that even though it is a conversion it is a cool van considering it has all the rear and rear side windows all limo tint dark. He mentioned that knowing me and seeing what I have rebuilt in the past that he believes that I will put this van together quite quickly. I am still on the fence but I am really thinking that he might be right. I noted the van suggested and yes the price is cheap. I am only 4 1/2 hours from it but for my taste even though beggars can't be choosers I think I would prefer a standard length or shortie. I don't know why but I have the itch for a low riding van, and with me considering my options I am starting to realize what I want be eliminating what I don't want. My trailer is a 7x14 v nose tandem and will haul my bikes quite well as it is a top of the line trailer not an economy model. I think I am going to concentrate on building the van into a street machine for travel rather than only concern myself with hauling a motorcycle as that would only be on a long trip. I appreciate all input and am listening as it helps me find my direction. I have been contemplating on how to build and even colors and may try to use what I have in stock to keep the cost down. Perhaps I may start a new thread showing the budget build of a van like this. I don't want no bondo bucket so I will do my best to do it right as a hobbyist. I look forward to any advice and suggestions.

Re: Mid life crisis van conversion or not? [Re: frscke1] #731161
December 26th 2017 9:50 am
December 26th 2017 9:50 am
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 920
West Texas
W
Wedgy Offline
old hand
Wedgy  Offline
old hand
W
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 920
West Texas
Originally Posted by frscke1
Originally Posted by CatFish
A good towing rig like this:

https://watertown.craigslist.org/cto/d/1993-chevy-beauville-van/6425244799.html

and a good enclosed trailer for the bike. (and all that other "stuff" you'll find you can't leave behind)


If it runs & no major rust spots that is a good price !



I wonder if this has a 454 ? I would buy it on the spot !



9:00 in the East is about a cuppa joe to go... Who you gonna call? Fly and drive, or Road Trip! I know you've got priors...


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