Can I retrofit truck suspension on my van? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

Go Back  Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums > Ford Vans and other vehicles > 1968-2013 Full Size Vans
Reload this Page >

Can I retrofit truck suspension on my van?

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

Can I retrofit truck suspension on my van?

Reply

 
 
 
  #1  
Old 09-16-2018, 12:00 PM
78 E250 CW
78 E250 CW is offline
New User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
78 E250 CW is starting off with a positive reputation.
Can I retrofit truck suspension on my van?

I'm about to buy a 78 E250 van from family. It's been sitting since 2010 and I want to completely go through it and make it reliable/safe.

Just for the sake of finding parts easier can I take components from a newer F250 pickups (earlyish 90s).

I just want to make it so I can keep the van going for another 40 years
 
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-16-2018, 05:29 PM
98Econoline150's Avatar
98Econoline150
98Econoline150 is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chicago
Posts: 409
98Econoline150 is starting off with a positive reputation.
What kind of parts are you looking to replace?
 
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-16-2018, 06:48 PM
78 E250 CW
78 E250 CW is offline
New User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
78 E250 CW is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by 98Econoline150 View Post
What kind of parts are you looking to replace?
pretty much I want to update the entire front assembly. Wheels, brakes, bearings, tie rods, ball joints, etc.

I want to basically take the front end off a 3/4 truck and put it under my van
 
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-16-2018, 07:16 PM
wirelessengineer
wirelessengineer is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 370
wirelessengineer is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by 78 E250 CW View Post
I'm about to buy a 78 E250 van from family. It's been sitting since 2010 and I want to completely go through it and make it reliable/safe.
A 78? Love the front end on those models.

That's 40 years old. So, you're pretty much planning to rebuild it from the ground up? Basically, a frame-off restoration? Steering system (the whole thing), complete brake system including all the lines, of course. New engine, trans, diff, all seals, rubber parts, door latch & lock mechanisms, (don't forget the ignition cylinder), wiper motor, cooling system (including heater core), AC (if present), all the lights (dash, too), and probably a few other things I've forgotten.

Nice project.

Or, you are fooling yourself.

 
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-17-2018, 07:24 AM
JWA's Avatar
JWA
JWA is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 10,406
JWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputation
Just my opinion so take it for what its worth............

How much is this van going to cost you? Honestly anything more than "free" puts you at an economic disadvantage. Most likely if you need/want a "safe/reliable" older van something into the later 90's or earlier '00's will be easier to upgrade and/or maintain. Since this particular van has been sitting (mostly idle?) for going on 9 years you'll most likely have a LOT of issues related to that non-use; decaying rubber lines & hoses, moving parts seized up from rusting away---this list could be quite extensive.

While a very few chassis components are common on both the F-Series and E-Series those you mention tend to not be. Those are two significantly differently designed and built vehicles so any interchangeable part(s) are a matter of luck more than design.

E250's from '97 up to 2007 can and do benefit from a front brake upgrade to parts from an '08 E250--I've done this and its a vast improvement over the stock configuration. I don't know enough about the '78 era to say whether this sort of improvement would work, how much effort and engineering would be necessary.

For my money and time I'd avoid a "vintage" E-Series and instead opt for one somewhere into the 2000's.

Please let us know what you decide!
 
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-17-2018, 08:12 AM
98Econoline150's Avatar
98Econoline150
98Econoline150 is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chicago
Posts: 409
98Econoline150 is starting off with a positive reputation.
You can always clean up and paint a bunch of stuff yourself. Get stuff rebuilt, and refurbished by a service company, but a quick check of RockAuto shows very few parts available.
 
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-18-2018, 09:26 PM
wirelessengineer
wirelessengineer is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 370
wirelessengineer is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by 98Econoline150 View Post
a quick check of RockAuto shows very few parts available.
There's the other part of the equation. Not only is everything that can rot, rotted, and every seal that can dry up, dried up, but finding parts will be very difficult. Sitting unused is very hard on vehicles. You have bearings that are now out of round, and will soon fail, you have rust, you have seized parts. It's not just fixing a few things and away you go.

A 40 year old vehicle CAN be restored to 'daily driver' reliability, but not cheaply, and not quickly. It's a labor of love, done for a hobby, not to get into a cheap, reliable vehicle. That is not going to happen.

If that was your plan, cut your losses now.
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.