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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

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  #1  
Old 04-08-2014, 02:07 AM
van_a_knockin van_a_knockin is offline
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From a V8 to V6 What the....?

I'm planning on buying a 2004 e150 tomorrow, but it apparently has a V6.
Seeking its value on Kelley's BB doesn't show a V6 available for it that year, and on this chart checking out its VIN (8th position) shows a "W" which would suggest it should have a 4.6-Liter 8-Cylinder.
Apparently it got a V6 some years back, but I assumed it was merely a rebuilt engine. Are these designed to easily swap out V8's for V6's, or would this mean a considerable amount of jury rigging was involved?

Last edited by van_a_knockin; 04-08-2014 at 02:36 AM. Reason: Accuracy
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2014, 06:31 AM
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Have you visually inspected this van in person yet?
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:52 AM
van_a_knockin van_a_knockin is offline
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I checked it out yesterday.
My most recent van is an 86 with a FE 302, so the engine compartment in this was jam packed by comparisen, and I basically checked the oil and for any apparent leaks. Little smoke upon ignition which then subsided. Ran strong and smooth on test drive, handled excellent, and smooth shut off.
Overall appeared in great condition, other than the initial smoke.
I suspected it hadn't been started in a couple days (closed for the weekend) as its a company van, and will check it again first thing tomorrow. I'll be there when they open.
Again, at the time I assumed it was a rebuild. Was told he would provide reciepts.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:05 AM
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Without offense you know for sure this is a V6?

Its almost hard to believe someone did such a swap but anything is possible so its not impossible!

If its been swapped I'd avoid it because its most likely nothing but a nightmare waiting to die in your driveway. I don't know when of if a V6 was ever offered in any Ford van but from '97 forward they've all been V8's of the Modular Motor type.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:28 AM
van_a_knockin van_a_knockin is offline
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No offense taken, in fact I was wondering the same thing myself ( if the guy listing and selling it for the company is mistaken its a V6). He does however seem knowledgable about its history. Was installed at 86,000 miles. Odometer currently lists 129,000 miles

I've seen 2001's listed with V6's and had a 2003 apparently with a V6 sell out from under me, so it didn't seem unusual at the time to believe this was a V6 as well. I'm not even absolutely sure Ford didn't offer or sell them in 2004.

I believe the seller is responsible for smogging it. If he successfully does this, I'm thinking it may be acceptable, but I doubt I'll move on this for anything less.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:00 AM
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This is certainly an interesting new wrinkle to the E-Series then, at least from '97 onward.

Keep us updated on this---every little bit of new knowledge helps everything I think.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:09 AM
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will do.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:38 AM
van_a_knockin van_a_knockin is offline
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Seller was mistaken. 4.6 Ltr.V8.
Upon learning this I was relieved, however its Non Op registration expired in Feb, and seller had not yet smogged it.
Went ahead and bought it based on the condition it would pass smog, but it unfortunately failed the computer test.
Returned it for the cash, and disheartened though not deterred, my search continues.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:31 AM
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Living in Ohio I'm not familiar with the smog testing procedure in some states but could the issues leading to its failing your local tests be reasonably repaired?

As for the engine---I assumed it was the 4.6 V8 but didn't want to say never was there a V6 in a post '97 E-Series, the old "never say never......" bit and all!
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA View Post
Living in Ohio I'm not familiar with the smog testing procedure in some states but could the issues leading to its failing your local tests be reasonably repaired?

As for the engine---I assumed it was the 4.6 V8 but didn't want to say never was there a V6 in a post '97 E-Series, the old "never say never......" bit and all!
My previous van was an 03 E250 with a 4.2L V6... factory original
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:00 AM
YoGeorge YoGeorge is offline
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The 4.2 was the base engine in E150's and E250's from 1997 to 2005--after the good old 300 inch straight six went away. (Also the base engine in 1997 to 2008 F150's.) Ford had the wisdom to kill the 4.2 and go to the 4.6 as the base engine in 2006.

My son drove an '02ish E150 with 4.2 at his bike shop job back when he was in high school and college, and loaded with exercise machines, it was a dog. He drove our 4.6 van a bunch so he could tell the difference a LOT. The 4.2 got worse mileage than the 4.6 but was bought by fleet buyers and people who looked simply at the purchase price...not a good van engine. And there were head gasket and intake manifold gasket problems with that engine at least during some years. Not enough head bolts.

George
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:47 PM
van_a_knockin van_a_knockin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA View Post
Living in Ohio I'm not familiar with the smog testing procedure in some states but could the issues leading to its failing your local tests be reasonably repaired?

As for the engine---I assumed it was the 4.6 V8 but didn't want to say never was there a V6 in a post '97 E-Series, the old "never say never......" bit and all!
He said had just paid $500 to change out the speedo cluster, and that it would successfully pass. I wasn't keen on the idea of smogging it as the buyer, but wanted the van. It passed both the visual test and emission test. It failed the computer test because work had been done on it (speedo cluster) which reset the computer so it had no history. Needed 200 miles to be driven before another test could be made. Some may have still considered it, but I didn't know if it would absolutely pass then or not. The Bill of Sale agreement was a conditional 48hrs to return it upon failing the test.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:32 PM
van_a_knockin van_a_knockin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
The 4.2 was the base engine in E150's and E250's from 1997 to 2005--after the good old 300 inch straight six went away. (Also the base engine in 1997 to 2008 F150's.) Ford had the wisdom to kill the 4.2 and go to the 4.6 as the base engine in 2006.

My son drove an '02ish E150 with 4.2 at his bike shop job back when he was in high school and college, and loaded with exercise machines, it was a dog. He drove our 4.6 van a bunch so he could tell the difference a LOT. The 4.2 got worse mileage than the 4.6 but was bought by fleet buyers and people who looked simply at the purchase price...not a good van engine. And there were head gasket and intake manifold gasket problems with that engine at least during some years. Not enough head bolts.

George
Having owned five or six full size vans over the past quarter century, all V8's, I was finally succumbing to fuel prices, a diminishing need for exorbitant horsepower, and a general consensus that claims the V6's on the road today are more powerful and/or efficient than those of former muscle years.
I became less of a skeptic, when I test drove THIS 1/4 ton e150, excelerating up and over some impressive inclines, while under the foolish impression IT was a V6.
So while its only one opinion, I appreciate the heads up! The last thing I want to do, is to find myself luggin around the streets of LA, chronically tailgaited, for no reason other than sitting behind the wheel, of a smog free, air conditioned, overtaxed gutless wonder.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:48 AM
YoGeorge YoGeorge is offline
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I've had 4 vans myself since 1986 and a Ford F100 pickup before them back to 1978, so I've had a truck in my yard for 36 years.

The 4.6 in the E150 is the most economical drivetrain possible for a full sized van IF you don't load it heavily. Performance is reasonable but I really loved the way the 350 in my 1996 Savana ran, and the mileage was not *that* much worse than the 4.6. Too bad the van was a complete POS and I sold it at 66k after my 60k extended warranty ran out. (My stepdad was a GM retiree so I used to get Option 1/2 employee deals on GM products.)

The old 300 inch six in my '78 F100 was ordered brand new by me with a 4 speed manual OD transmission...I had a 60 mile daily commute and it was quite decent on gas mileage as well--but that was a 3600 lb shortbed pickup with a 1 barrel carb.

The 4.2 has nothing to do with economy or less smog. It was a low price point engine that was simply not enough for a big van. I actually drove a 4.2 when I was buying my van because the salesman messed up and had the porter pull out a V6 van for my initial test drive. (It was February and snowing so I didn't look under hoods--wondered why it seemed to struggle with the weight of the van and then noted the new car sticker....oops.) EPA and real world gas mileage is worse for the 4.2 vans than the 4.6 vans.

If you are going to carry heavy loads especially in a hilly region, or tow anything, the 5.4 would work better--probably would feel a lot like the old 350 in my Savana. The 4.6 is great and I'd suggest the OEM Michelin LTX M/S tires as part of the gas mileage equation. I've average over 16 mpg for all 118k miles on my van, including some trips but also including some Michigan winter city driving.

Good luck,
George
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:19 AM
van_a_knockin van_a_knockin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoGeorge View Post
I've had 4 vans myself since 1986 and a Ford F100 pickup before them back to 1978, so I've had a truck in my yard for 36 years.

The 4.6 in the E150 is the most economical drivetrain possible for a full sized van IF you don't load it heavily. Performance is reasonable but I really loved the way the 350 in my 1996 Savana ran, and the mileage was not *that* much worse than the 4.6. Too bad the van was a complete POS and I sold it at 66k after my 60k extended warranty ran out. (My stepdad was a GM retiree so I used to get Option 1/2 employee deals on GM products.)

The old 300 inch six in my '78 F100 was ordered brand new by me with a 4 speed manual OD transmission...I had a 60 mile daily commute and it was quite decent on gas mileage as well--but that was a 3600 lb shortbed pickup with a 1 barrel carb.

The 4.2 has nothing to do with economy or less smog. It was a low price point engine that was simply not enough for a big van. I actually drove a 4.2 when I was buying my van because the salesman messed up and had the porter pull out a V6 van for my initial test drive. (It was February and snowing so I didn't look under hoods--wondered why it seemed to struggle with the weight of the van and then noted the new car sticker....oops.) EPA and real world gas mileage is worse for the 4.2 vans than the 4.6 vans.

If you are going to carry heavy loads especially in a hilly region, or tow anything, the 5.4 would work better--probably would feel a lot like the old 350 in my Savana. The 4.6 is great and I'd suggest the OEM Michelin LTX M/S tires as part of the gas mileage equation. I've average over 16 mpg for all 118k miles on my van, including some trips but also including some Michigan winter city driving.

Good luck,
George
These days I'm generally carrying less weight, or often empty but commuting roughly 50 miles a day. I occasionally make trips from LA to Phoenix loaded, which aside from a couple moderate hikes in elevation, are relatively flat treks across the desert. Same thing with my occasional trips from So Cal to the Bay Area, in facing few notable hillclimbs other than the infamous Grapevine.
I'm hoping to improve upon the mileage my 5.0 CFI has delivered, and will be looking at a 2007 e150 with a 5.4 tomorrow.

Perhaps I should be limiting my search to the 4.6 models.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:19 AM
 
 
 
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