When we last spoke, I was franticly searching for 17'' Sparco wheels with 215/50ZR17 tires. But parts sites and tire shops kept telling me, if we were to go with larger wheels and thin tires (load index of 95) we could risk liability issues down the road. We couldn't get a any straight answers, So we settled for 16'' Sparco wheels and Maxxis tires.
I finally found those wheels and tires through Tirerack.com The wheels required wheel rings which allowed the 73mm center bore to match up with the smaller axle size. We drove the van for several years without issues.
2021 rolls around and we thought it best to say goodbye to the old 2015 TCXL and get us a brand new 2021 TCXL. We left the dealership without one of the key Fobs not working because it was getting late. Once home I removed the fob cover and found that the pc board was completely rusted. We'll have to drive back to the dealership this afternoon to have them replace the fob.
Also, while at the dealership, the factory tires looked low, but because the salesman could not access the service area on Sunday to check the tire's PSI, I waited till I got home. Once home that evening, checked the tires and they were all 30psi.. which they should have been 41 front & 42 rear. Glad I had my Viair compressor on hand. The battery is still in a tough spot under the hood to access.
The most positive thing about the new blue van, is that back in 2015 when we first purchased the white van, Ford did not offer any other colors and we always thought Ford should have offered a blue van. Years later, they finally did.
Another thing, with the 2015 van, I had a difficult time viewing the speedometer. This time around the 2021, For the first time, I can now see the speedometer along with a few other gauges, because Ford redesigned the dash as to allow for more viewing of the instrument panel. The drivers seats has also gotten a redesign and is more comfortable. The passenger seat, not so much. Seems ford can't get the passenger seat right. There's always a glitch in the seat's back rest wanting to stay forward or more upright. I'm hoping to correct this myself by adding spacer/shims on the rear seat frame mounted to the floor. A 1'' or 2'' spacer should do or we'll find out soon.
We always thought it would have been a great idea if Ford deigned a heads up display that reflected onto the windshield. But that never happen. Though we never got a speeding ticket and no matter how far back the seat went or how far forward the seat went, when you tilted the steering wheel it would block the speedometer and other gauges. 2015 Ford Transit Connect has a "Hooded" Instrument Cluster & Display which is hard to view.
With the new 2021 TCXL the instrument cluster, It is wide open without any molded hoods or covers to block ones view of the instrument cluster.
The 2021 listed for 27k but with military discounts and a few other discounts, we were able to get the van under 19K and a astounding 6% interest from our credit union, we'll have the van paid off within 2 years. The 2015 van cost us 24K at 12% interest and took us 4 1/2 years to pay off. I think right now is a vandwellers buys market.
Last edited by LostInTransit; March 12th 2021 10:51 am.
Haven't had a chance to take "real" pics of the new van unless dealership pics count. The white one 2015 / The Dark Blue One 2021. Dont miss the white 2015 cause we had so many non-major issues with it.. couldn't see or read the speedometer on the 016. Can and very clear unobstructed view on the 021 van.
Last edited by LostInTransit; March 11th 2021 1:17 pm.
Arianrhod:2003 Chevy Astro Black Magic: 1985 Dodge B-250 Serenity:1985 Chevy G-20 The Outcast:1983 Ford club wagon Luna 1974 VW bay window transporter Freedom:1990 Ford E-150(parts van) Outcast Vanners van club Support your local 2%
Yeah man, that windshield layout looks tons better on the 21 as far as visibility is concerned. Awesome. Keep us updated as you work on it and make it your own. I always thought these vans were neat during my trips overseas around 2005/07 but they were very uncommon here in the states, at least in VA. Potential for a fun little hauler/camper.
So Our first issue and I should have known. Even the 2015 Transit Connect had the same issue. The passenger seat does not want to remained in an upright locked position. I've taken on the challenge of correcting this myself with the use of plastic spacers or shims. Placed under the rear floor mounts of the passenger seat. I'm hoping that this will raise and tilt the passenger seat back rest more forward. if not, Looks as if I'll be driving the van from now on.
Something else, although I appreciate all the kind thoughts by the vandwelling forums and members, I'm just not feeling that this is some where I belong. I mean the other morning, a fellow told me "all you want in your van is a bed?" this struck him as being odd after viewing his van with all type of junk just thrown in and mounted onto the walls. This is not how we are. We're merely traveling minimalist taking in only what we need and leaving the site better than it was upon entering it.
However I will say, since our return, Here's what we're looking at:
A Lot being done in the next few weeks/months:
We've taken the plunge and decided to run with the shims under the rear of the passenger front seat. I've already ordered a set and had them sent to the shop. Along with the shims, we've also ordered a set of the Powerstop carbon fiber/ceramic brake pads to install on the van. Although I'm disappointed in what Powerstop had to say, they did confirm that at some point they will offer custom powder coated calipers.
This means at some point we'll swap the factory calipers for the custom powder coated calipers from Powerstop when they have them ready.. For the time being. having the CF & C pads installed on the van will eliminate the massive amount of brake dust we're getting on the front rotors, we may have some exciting news about acquiring a strut tower brace for the connect, we have our shop designing/welding a brace and a totally unexpected manufacture thinking of designing a brace also. One will be designed before the other. But with the hopes of introducing a totally new product for the van.
Something easy this weekend, we've lined up to have the vans front half windshield tinted along with full tints on the two side windows. Least we may forget, we'll be ordering those 17'' Sparco wheels with an undisclosed tire brand.
So I'll leave you with this thought: A roof over our heads, a place for us to sleep with gas in the tank, the rest we'll make up as we go along. With that in mind, we must take to the our travels and leave the forum.
Yep, what frscke1 said. You're more than welcome here. Doesn't matter what kind of "Vanner" you are, all vanners are welcome here and we love watching vans progress through changes and the travels associated with them. Whatever you decide, safe journeys and have fun.
I'll do my best, Just going to get very busy and very soon. Going to get the windows tinted this weekend, then schedule a time for a long weekend trip to my nephews house in western North Carolina to have him upgrade the brake pads to carbon fiber/ceramic pads and help adjust the passenger seat with shims, then head to TN to check out a fab shop willing to make a few things for us. Then the following week may have to turn around and head back to the nephews house to have the new wheels and tires installed. Then run over to our shop where the engineers are working on their version of a strut tower brace for the TC. Thinking of starting my own van conversion speed shop with the nephew and his son who's a welder. I just felt this was not the correct forum because we don't live in the van, merely travel and camp where we can.
Nah man, this is a vanning forum that is all inclusive. Sure there are probably more specific van groups for what you do, but we love vans of all shapes and colors here. Everything from old 70s boogie vans, to modern camper "van life" vans, euro vans, race vans, lowriders.
That's actually one thing that really made me feel at home with the vanner crowd in general. A lot of car culture crowds that I have been a part of over the years seem to have little clicks that they separate down into. Whether it be muscle cars, minitrucks, hot rods, VW, whatever. You'll have the crew that only believes in factory resto, then the crowd that pushes for period correct, then the rat rod beaters, and the high performance crowd.
With vanners it doesn't matter where I go, or what my style is, I'm always a part of the family and welcome. Heck, there are even panel trucks and minivans at a lot of the vanning events. And they're always welcome too.
Have fun with your project, do it your style and enjoy it, but know that you are always welcome here because you are a vanner.