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  #1  
Old 10-25-2013, 08:28 PM
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Used 2009 Expy EL in the rust belt...

Hi all:
Yes, I have done some many searches on this forum and on the Internet in general....

I have had full sized vans since 1986 and have had my 2002 E150 since new. 116k miles on it right now. I love my van but with the doghouse, my wife (who sits in the passenger seat) has knee problems and cannot do long trips in the van without discomfort. Further, a couple of the doors are starting to rust and this may be the right time to move on... Or not. My van has the 4.6 and I don't carry heavy loads--it is not fast but gets decent gas mileage (14-25ish city, 18ish road). And the mechanicals are solid.

E vans are good for left amputee passengers. Fortunately my wife is not a left amputee.

My local Ford dealer just got a 2009 Expy EL, with 83k miles on it, for a very reasonable price.

I took a look at it today and it has the tailgate bubbling on the inside tailgate seam. Hard to check the doors, and I did not see any bubbling on the hood. Yet.

The Expy is 4WD, which could be nice in Michigan, but it's 10" longer than my van, has a 3V 5.4 instead of my 2V 4.6, and I am assuming that it will probably do a bit worse in gas mileage than my van.

It will cost me a LOT more money than my van is worth to buy it. The load height is a lot higher than any van. I will lose gas mileage. I have had full sized vans since 1986 but the EL is bigger yet.

What I really need is a minivan, and I am secure enough in my masculinity that a minivan will not be a problem...but I would have to buy a Chrysler (or Honda/Toyota, or wait for a new Transit/Connect). I don't want to be an early adopter of the new Connect or Transit.

I could spend a lot of time searching for drivetrain reliability (5.4 3V, which had the stuck plugs fixed by 2009, right? And the 6 speed trans, which was scary in its early days but by 2009 was mostly OK, right?) How is the 4WD system on these? The EL is an XLT, no sunroof, no climate control, so it is not quite a 747 with regard to etronics.

Having lived in Michigan for my whole life, I do not want a "rust or oxidation bucket" vehicle, especially if I have to pay a chunk of change up front. If the tailgate is bubbling now, I don't want to spend the next 5 years being worried about more rust or oxidation. Frankly, my van is white, and getting a new 40% door for the right side and maybe even new front doors is gonna cost me a lot less than what I'd have to pay for the Expy.

I don't think I really want the Expy, but if anyone has some VERY positive words to say about it, I would like to hear them. I imagine my van will last another 10 years the way I drive it, but the noise from the passenger seat (my wife moaning about her knees) is bothersome... And I hate sitting in the passenger seat too when my wife is driving.

Looks like the Expy is good for maybe 13 mpg in the city, and maybe 17-19 mpg on the road if I take it easy (and I don't usually take it easy). Talk me down, or give me a nudge to mention the Expy to my wife and go take a test drive.

For what these cost new, I am bummed that Ford can't do better with regard to rust issues. I have had years to ponder this, and am not finding resolution.

Thanks,
George
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:43 PM
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Do you need that much vehicle ? I bought my wife a Mountiner . WE love it . How bout an Explorer or something that size ? If you Need that much truck , try finding one in better shape body wise . Not sure when they fixed the plug issue . Just a thought !
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:56 PM
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Do you need that much vehicle ? I bought my wife a Mountiner . WE love it . How bout an Explorer or something that size ? If you Need that much truck , try finding one in better shape body wise . Not sure when they fixed the plug issue . Just a thought !
I have a 2009 Subaru Forester as my DD with ~70 cubic feet behind the front seats. Moving to an Explorer or a Flex with 80-85 cubic feet almost duplicates what I have. The Forester is really cool and has a stick (on purpose). And it doesn't break.

The EL and minivans are like 130-150 cubic feet and that makes a huge difference. I really want an Econoline with legroom on the passenger side. The new big Transit may be the ticket, but will cost too much $$$ new and I don't want to be an early adoper.

But I have had full sized vans with 250 cubic feet behind the front seats for 27 years running and a big pickup for 8 years before that. I am spoiled and want something huge. When we travel, we take 2 bicycles inside the vehicle, at least an acoustic guitar, and my wife's quota of 100 lbs of stuff for each day we are away from home. 3 week vacations are a bear....

I had a '96 GMC Savana and that solved the passenger footwell problem but also consumed 7 valve bodies, 3 transmissions, a starter, alternator, 2 fuel pumps, etc in the 66k miles I owned it. Biggest POS I ever owned aside from some old English sports cars from the 60's.

So yeah, my "created" need is for 150 cubic feet or more at this point.

I keep landing on a minivan and would like something American. The EL is American, has room like a minivan, is a Ford which I prefer, but has the issues or potential issues I discussed.

I have driven Explorers/Mountaineers and like them, but they are duplicating the Subaru Forester I already have.... So yes, for this slot in my motor pool, I DO need that much vehicle.

Thanks,
George
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:20 PM
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I owned a 93 Legacy years ago , 5 speed with hill holder , Loved it . I have a friend with a newish Expy . Southern truck , no rust . Not sure of year , but plug issue fixed ( I tuned it up for him ) he loves it ! He takes his elderly parents places in it , the only reason he bought it , lots of room fair fuel MPG . Hope you can find a good "truck " that fits your needs .
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:26 PM
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I owned a 93 Legacy years ago , 5 speed with hill holder , Loved it . I have a friend with a newish Expy . Southern truck , no rust . Not sure of year , but plug issue fixed ( I tuned it up for him ) he loves it ! He takes his elderly parents places in it , the only reason he bought it , lots of room fair fuel MPG . Hope you can find a good "truck " that fits your needs .
Me too. I have had a full sized American truck or van since 1978 (this is over 35 years) and would love another, but it seems like US mfrs are just not hitting my targets in terms of needs. When my late mom was in a wheelchair, we could hoist her into a big van with one of the middle row seats out and that was a blessing as it was the only way she could go anywhere with us.

The new big Transit has promise, but I guess I have the "new vehicle bug" these days and I don't want to spend $30k or more as an "early adopter" of a new platform...

From what I recall, the '09 has the plug issue fixed with full threads and not the blowout issues that my van has, and not the "stuck plug" issue of the early 3V mod motors.

There is a lot that is "right" about the '09 Expy EL, but the oxidation/rust issues are bugging me. And it is just huge. I should just shut up and buy a new Dodge minivan for $22k. But I'm a Ford guy.

Not that I carry 4x8 sheets of anything much, but a van/truck that can carry a 4x8 sheet is kind of a "benchmark" for me when I think about carrying 2 or 3 bicycles, a guitar, and my wife's "stuff" with us.

And no, our bikes do not go outside. They are $1-$4k machines so they always travel inside to keep them out of weather and to keep them more secure....

George
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:35 PM
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Isn't the new to us Ford fullsize just a carryover of the European proven platform ? I haven't read up on them , but I know Ford has been making them overseas for decades . Just asking ...
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:53 PM
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Isn't the new to us Ford fullsize just a carryover of the European proven platform ? I haven't read up on them , but I know Ford has been making them overseas for decades . Just asking ...
I believe the Transit will take a lot of parts from the Euro Transit (but a newish platform), and the drivetrains will be all American spec (3.7, 3.5 EcoBoost, a new diesel(?) and probably US transmissions). And even though a vehicle is well proven in Europe, they sometimes do much less well in the US (any Fiat, Renault, Alfa, Merkur, etc...)

Another problem is that the new big Transit will probably come in at 30-35 grand for a decent passenger van and I won't go there although that's probably what I want. I looked at Sprinters in '03 before I bought my E150 but they were just weird and had that "Jeep rustbucket body panel vibe" which has proven to be true in terms of rust. And they were 30 grand compared to the 23 grand new for my E150...

Drifting off topic, though...somebody tell me that I really want or really don't want an Expy EL...

Thanks for your thoughts, though.
George
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:44 AM
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It's big. For better or for worse, it's big.

I use mine when I need big, and it's great.

The rest of the time, it's too big. So I don't use it the rest of the time.

But if you want big, it's big!
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:17 PM
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I have a 2008 Expedition EL Eddie Bauer with the 5.4L 3 valve. I get 14.5MPG day to day mixed driving. Personaly, I would never buy one smaller than the EL. I use every inch of the space inside. Depends on what you want/need. The 4WD in the snow works well. It has traction controll and lots of weight over the rear. I will also say that I like the independent rear suspension. I live on a gravel road that washboards out a lot and the rear suspension does much better than a solid axle on such roads.
Dave
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:53 PM
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gpfarrell: these ARE big. I spent some time looking at one and it seems harder to drive than a big van because of the long, high hood. And the load lift height stinks compared to my van. I am really thinking that a minivan may better fill my needs when I decide to move on from my E150.

Another issue is that the seats have to be stashed somewhere whereas minvans have a "disappearing" 3rd row seat and the Chryslers even have a "stow and go" 2nd row seat.

Thanks also Dave (shady dell)...having had big vans for the last 27 years, I definitely get the "big" part of the equation and am trying to address that. Still, a minivan has the same interior room as an Expy EL and I can probably deal with a minivan without feeling my masculinity is compromised (lots of my scouting, musician, and bicycling friends drive them with no shame).

I'd be losing ground clearance and 4WD with a minivan, but I have my Subaru Forester as daily driver which has both of these things. The EL would definitely be the ticket if I was towing, but I am not...

Thanks for the input,
George
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:58 AM
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George,

We have two Dodge Caravans at work as part of our Government Vehicle Motorpool. Like you, I'm a a Ford guy, but I will say these vans are very comfortable to drive and ride in. They are very easy to get in and out of, and the stow-n-go seats are a very nice feature as well. When the seats are stowed, the cargo area has a very generous amount of room. The gas mileage is also very good, in my opinion. I also think the vehicles are reasonable priced. If this vehicle meets your needs, I would strongly consider it. Just my two cents.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:18 PM
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Hi Corey:
I have friends with Chrysler minivans and although they haven't been perfect, the packaging job they have done is great. The new 3.6 V6 also has a lot of power and gets decent mileage. I may have to go there. The new Transit Connect does not look like it will hold 4x8 sheets of anything and it's being built in Spain whereas the Chryslers are built in Ontario, right across the Detroit River from me. And I have a number of Chrysler employee friends who can get me a "family and friends" deal.

Looks like you can get a Dodge Grand Caravan with decent equipment for under $25k new and with a good warranty, that might be the way to go. I'm gonna ride out my E150 for another year or two, probably, and save some money in the meantime. I envision how I'd feel sitting on an Expy EL if gas goes up to $6 per gallon and that would not feel good.

Thanks for the input,
George
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:34 PM
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I will make a few thoughts clear about chrystler . They took the buyout . FIAT owns the lions share , they took the buy out . That said , they have Good v6 engines , fair transmissions , and crappy electrics ! I see many BUS/electric issues with Dodge products . I steer clear of them . I hate to give customers the bad news when they come in with a Dodge product . I feel sorry for them . They pay all that money for a product that has such a low resale value .
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:57 AM
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I will make a few thoughts clear about chrystler . They took the buyout . FIAT owns the lions share , they took the buy out . That said , they have Good v6 engines , fair transmissions , and crappy electrics ! I see many BUS/electric issues with Dodge products . I steer clear of them . I hate to give customers the bad news when they come in with a Dodge product . I feel sorry for them . They pay all that money for a product that has such a low resale value .
Problem is that the only minivan alternatives that can carry a 4x8 sheet of something are Honda and Toyota. Ford is not in the market. Transit Connect is way short (6 feet behind the front seats).

Latest Consumer Reports came today and Ford quality is tanking BIGTIME all over the place....GM is now the top American mfr, but they don't make a minivan either...

As for the Chrysler buyout, I live in Detroit and have many friends and relatives who still have food put on their tables by Chrysler, GM, and Ford.

Holding the E150 for a while longer I guess...

George
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:57 AM
 
 
 
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