I found a couple older vans on craigslist last night one is an 81 the other an 82. The ad didn't specify whether 150, 250, or 350 though.

The 82 has an excellent body, a 300 I6 engine (easy to work on, super dependable, reasonable mpg), and odometer says only 70, 000! Seller is firm @ $2000. For its condition, it seems like a good deal except it is missing all the interior panels and only has one row of passenger seats. Looks like it was the beginning of a camper conversion. Lots of insulation has been done. I need a people hauler though.

The 81 has minor surface rust from the pics. It has some fiberglass fender flares/ running boards where I can't tell if the PO was trying to mold them to the body with bondo or trying to fill in rusty fender lips. I hope not the later! The interior is complete and it has 2 rear bench seats. I'd need to add a 3rd since we are expecting kid #7! Interior looks fairly clean but shows its nearly 40 years of service. He is asking $600 but is open to offers.

My current van (98 Dodge Maxi-Wagon) is still serving us well but we need to start saving for / building a replacement soon. I'd like to have something nice (someday show worthy) that'll hold its value, plentiful easy to find service parts, and easy to work on. I'm hesitant to spend much money on my Dodge since it is not the best platform for my future plans.The body is pretty rough from its previous life as a gov service van and would take more money patching rust and fixing dents than I'd take to buy a better van to start with.

Any of yall Ford guys have any experience to offer up, concerning potential trouble spots to be on the lookout for? How much are these vans worth? My family does have a long history with Ford cars and Trucks but we never had a van. What areas are prone to rust? Rust is Enemy #1!!! All the Suspension components are interchangeable with the trucks right? Was a manual tranny an option with this generation van?