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2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion #747118
April 07th 2019 9:56 pm
April 07th 2019 9:56 pm
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
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Dw89xj  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
This is going to be a slow process because of me being paraplegic and my friends have families and lives to live too. But, this is going to be my 02 Econoline build.
It's ultra budget because of me being on disability and most of my income is spent on bills, but so far I'm doing pretty well for the budget.
I'm starting with an 02 e250, 5.4, ex medical transport van, which is nice because it already has a side load hd bus wheelchair lift, hightop, tie downs and s clean plain interior. It's regular length but that doesn't bother me and I'm glad it has jump seats for 4 extra riders in back if the need comes that I want to haul 4 extra people. It's rusty on the rockers and quarters and high mileage (191,xxx mi.), but it runs excellent and shifts perfect and doesn't make any funny noises, although it does show a lean and rich code on bank one so I'm guessing o2 sensors, an egr code, and cam sensor circuit code. But the price was right and I already have panels ordered for the rust and have body work lined up through a local guy with good prices and good quality work.
I started with eraser wheeling the red stripes off, I need a couple more wheels to get the gray vinyl off but for now getting rid of the red will do.

Attached Files IMG_20190312_161112059_HDR.jpg

98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747119
April 07th 2019 10:01 pm
April 07th 2019 10:01 pm
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
member
D
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
Eraser wheeling the red off and the hood stripes. Getting rid of the red really makes a difference in a good way to me

Attached Files IMG_20190312_161141214_HDR.jpg

98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747120
April 07th 2019 10:14 pm
April 07th 2019 10:14 pm
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
Scored an 01 f250 parts truck with everything I should need for 200 beans. Has axles, driveshafts, t case, 4r100, all the frame brackets and a spare 5.4. other than the stuff I need it's been picked over pretty good but I definitely got my money's worth just out of the tires on it alone. Going to take the front hubs apart and clean and lube them up, there's no leaks that I can see anywhere under this truck. So I'm not real concerned with rebuilding everything just yet, I'll let my differential guy take care of that when I regear but for the time being I'll just change the fluid and run em. I'm pretty impressed with how clean it I'd overall under the parts truck not rusty not muddy, I'm sure this was a nice truck before the gentleman I bought it from stripped the body for his diesel super duty.

Attached Files IMG_20190327_191428940.jpg

98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747121
April 07th 2019 10:18 pm
April 07th 2019 10:18 pm
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
member
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
I really wish I could figure out how to add multiple pictures it's only letting me add one per post, and only certain pictures so I'm trying to use the best of what it will allow me to add.


98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747122
April 07th 2019 10:40 pm
April 07th 2019 10:40 pm
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
member
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
For some reason all of my pictures say they exceed 4.81mb, any tips to load my pictures up? I'm using an Android not desktop. I'm not real savvy with this electronic technology voodoo but I'm hoping my build can help someone else. I'm basically copying the power line party bus build over on pirate off road forums, but trying to stay as low as possible and I'm going to change up a couple things but basically I'm just copying his build but trying to do it a little different.
I really hope I can get away with using the leveling kit that's on the f250 to get the height I need but if that doesn't cut it I'll be ordering 4" springs.
So far I know I need to extend the front of the van frame, I'm going to try to accomplish this by using the frame "horns" from the f250 because I'd like to use a super duty truck bumper. The truck bumper sticks out quite a bit when used on the vans and lined up with the fender opening. This will give me a great spot to mount a 12k lb winch and hide some storage for shackles and clevises and tree straps and such. Plus I like the look of the truck bumpers on the van, but that's just me, I'm a bit weird I guess.
I'm also open to any experiences or tips on doing what I'm doing. I know Jared with the e350 party bus and me aren't the only ones who have/are swapped/swapping an Econoline in this manner. It all seems very straight forward if you've done anything like this before. It doesn't seem any more difficult than doing a b52 swap on an old Chevy to make it really flex. Although that's not my goal here because I don't want to sacrifice too much driveability. I'll be able to go more places than I need to with 4x4 and good tires. I don't need crazy flex, if I have it I'll try to use it and just end up with another can of worms opened up.


98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747125
April 08th 2019 2:54 am
April 08th 2019 2:54 am
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
member
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
Pictures

Attached Files IMG_20190312_181814287.jpgIMG_20190312_181804686_HDR.jpgIMG_20190312_161128992_HDR.jpgIMG_20190312_161125689.jpgIMG_20190328_112711962.jpgIMG_20190328_112824620.jpgIMG_20190328_112859726.jpgIMG_20190328_112723533.jpgIMG_20190331_143519703.jpgIMG_20190328_112839859.jpg

98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747127
April 08th 2019 3:08 am
April 08th 2019 3:08 am
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
member
D
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
The tow hook bolts were tight the whole way out. They were the worst bolts so far. The brace across the bottom on front, the brackets are welded to the spring hangers, just an FYI for anyone else, this will help keep everything square during the conversion, I hope. Also use plenty of penetrating oil, I'm sure it's helping that as I go, I am spraying the bolts and stuff down to soak every couple days.
The vans frames are boxed in whereas the truck frame is a channel where the front shackle hanger is, this will require a hole to be cut on the insude of the frame and a holesaw on the outside. The frame has a bend in it in this area also so the shackle hanger will need shimmed to be square with the springs, rather than square with the frame which would create a bind. You could also holsaw through both frame rails and weld a tube in and put spring bushings in it, just be sure to drill it square to the spring NOT the frame. It's not rocket science so don't let it intimidate you just remember it's better to measure a dozen times and be sure of where everything will be than to have to add and cut metal to fix a mistake. There will be detailed pictures showing everything to come, I'm just kind of thinking out loud and sharing my plans with all of you who care to see the progress.


98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747128
April 08th 2019 3:15 am
April 08th 2019 3:15 am
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
member
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
The front spring hanger has a bump wgere it was stamped, this bump will be just about where the van bumper brackets will be. This is why the frame will need lengthened a bit, thus is if using tge brackets from the truck. U joint off road makes a killer bracket that gets around this issue but again budget build and my plans this doesn't really bother me because I want to use the truck style bumper. The rear most spring hanger bolt hole is also the only that catches the van frame if using the truck brackets, again U joint off road gets around this if you'd rather take that road, I would have but again, budget build.

Attached Files IMG_20190331_164419593.jpg

98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747129
April 08th 2019 3:36 am
April 08th 2019 3:36 am
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
member
D
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
I'm going to try to use a section of the truck frame in front to stiffen the front frame up where the van frame crumple area is. There's not really anything going on in front of the suspension on the van frame so it's a pretty straight clean slate to work off of. I'm pretty sure anybody motivated with a couple 30 packs and 2 or 3 buddies to help muscle stuff around could do the major part of this swap in a weekend. Then spend a couple weeks working out the little stuff.
If I had the cash I would definitely suggest the U Joint off road kit or at least using some of their brackets, they put in tons of hours on r&d and testing in the real world and pushing these vans to the limit. Also they take out any guess work in what you are doing. I don't want to steer anyone away from them but do want to show the guys on a tighter budget there are options, but you're going to have to work for it. I can't stress enough how important accurate measurements and maybe even writing you're measurements down is. Measuring and being accurate is probably the most important part of this whole undertaking. You don't want your van to "crab walk" or have wonky steering.
None of this really takes any fancy tools, most guys probably have everything needed in their shop or garage. My build is happening in my driveway in a trailer park. The fanciest tool needed is a decent welder I'm lucky and able to have my son in law bring his over, if needed though you could have a shop do the little welding needed and drill the holes at home and mount all your brackets. If you take your van to any decent welding shop with the bumper removed and ready to go should be able to hook you up for a reasonable price .


98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
Re: 2002 Econoline 4x4 conversion [Re: Dw89xj] #747131
April 08th 2019 3:56 am
April 08th 2019 3:56 am
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
D
Dw89xj Offline OP
member
Dw89xj  Offline OP
member
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 117
Pennsylvania
On my side barn doors I will be using linear actuators and eliminating the latches. I will be using a remote so I can hit the button on my way to the van so it's ready to fold out the ramp when I get there. I will need to wire in a fail safe switch too in case the remote dies. I've been reading up on this sort of thing on the12volt forum. It's sort of confusing for me to read but after seeing some simple schematics it shouldn't be hard at all. This takes care of the brackets bolted to the doors and being able to close the doors after I load into the van, also the idea of hitting the button from a distance and being ready to load in when I pull up in my chair will be nice too, especially when it's raining out. Being in a chair your whole body gets wet instead of just your head and shoulders.
If anyone has suggestions on good actuators for a budget price I'm open to suggestions, thus is my first go with them so it's all new to me. Also if anyone has experience with setting up actuators on the doors like I am doing Id love to see or hear about it.


98 Dodge shorty hitop mark iv
95 Chevy van 20 regency hitop conversion van
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