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New Van Owner 82 E150 I6

 
  #1  
Old 11-18-2004, 02:46 AM
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New Van Owner 82 E150 I6

Hello

I live in SW Arizona and will be a first time van owner in two days. Did a trade with a good friend and will be getting a full sized 1982 E150 I6/300 (automatic) Van. It used to be a water delivery van that they were going to remodel into a camper. But decided to forego it and had been sitting in their yard

So far they have put in a new rear seal put in. New sparkplugs/wires, new starter, valve covers/gaskets and oil change. They took out the old seats and put in a pair of captain chairs from a 92. They bought panelling but had not installed it yet (will get all of that too to do my own remodelling). The A/C does not work but I never used it anyway in my other car (79 Cordoba). Just use Arizona "airconditioning" (roll down windows).

Been driving only passenger cars for all my life and so this will be new experience for me handling wise. Had a 76 Ford Granada for several years but sold it. Before that, it was a 71 Ford LTD and sold it eventually.

Living in Rural Arizona, I needed something that was more versatile. Figure I will give the Cordoba to my daughter to drive (360/2bbl stock carb and gets 18mph) My husband drives a 86 Chevy truck for any heavy hauling (hay, feed et.c) and we have an 83 Dodge DuraVan for camping (V8/302, double gas tanks/Overdrive et.c.)

Looking forward to getting it. Anything else I might need to know?

Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions or comments.
 
  #2  
Old 11-19-2004, 04:05 PM
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Get a book for it and check your ignition. You may have the TFI set up which is infamous for sudden death. That could result in your not-so sudden death in an accident. Consider swapping it out, or at least carrying a spare module if you travel to the far-off places.

Check your exhaust manifolds, they may tend to loosen up and leak, along with the intakes.

Have your brakes rebuilt--stock calipers have plastic pistons.

Consider a rear anti-sway bar.
http://www.hellwigproducts.com/antis...vans_ford.html

Put one on mine with new shocks and it was well worth the effort and approx $200 cost.

That's all I can think of, but there is more.
 
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Old 11-20-2004, 11:33 PM
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we have an 83 Dodge DuraVan for camping (V8/302, double gas tanks/Overdrive et.c.)
Correction, it is a Ford E350 "Designer Series" V8/302....sorry about that.

But MY van did arrive yesterday. The E150 Straight Six is a bare bones, single carbbed fuel system. No special electronics as the 83 has. No "rocket scientist stuff" So that means, my husband can work on it without cussing a blue streak. Easy enough for me to learn the ropes too (might as well learn more than just basic maintainance (both oils/brake fluid/water et.c)

It does have dual gas tanks. Heavy duty overload springs under it but will keep the sway bar suggestion in mind. Has a good heavy hitch setup welded to the frame. Shocks are good. Foam Insulated and panelling begun but the wife had to go in for surgery and any camper renovation had to be put on hold. However, they included the panelling in the deal (some was already cut put not put up yet.) The body is white with blue dash/seats. Some minor "wear and tear" dings when used as a water delivery cargo van. Otherwise an "empty box" right now.... ripe for any renovations I might want to do.

Certainly a "different" feel driving it compared to a passenger car. Something to get used to (The E350 is my Husband's baby and HE drives it).
 

Last edited by VikingBabe; 11-20-2004 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 11-21-2004, 01:25 PM
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the van offers a great veiw of the road. you'll be able to see trouble ahead. also you'll notice less people pull out in front of big vans. you get more respect do to your size.
some driving advice, your sitting obove the front wheels. so picture your self sitting on the roof of your car. this wil help you on tight turns. you have to leave space for the rear to come around or you'll clip curbs or worse. in a car your centered but once again remember your sitting now up front by the wheels. practice some right turns while realising this and you'll see what i mean.
double check mirror when changing lanes. gotta have the fish eye mirrors. also the mirror creates a small blind spot on your right. when crossing a intersection double check your right. if a small car or motorcycle was in that blind spot it is close. i drove these for a living and the larger mirror will hide traffic to your right under certain situations.
slow in reverse too. the spot inbetween the rear windows will blind u to poles and people. a rv store can sell u the little "what cha call it" that goes on the rear window and gives you a better veiw from behind. helpful forparking. i use shadows and reflections from store windows to park in reverse when i can. if you think your getting close to a bumper. check the ground for shadows of the vehicles or check for a reflection. some times a suv parked close by will give you a clear veiw off the windows. good luck
 
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Old 11-21-2004, 11:30 PM
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Thank you for the driving advice and will keep this in mind when practicing the right hand turns and backing up. Three point turns and all. You are right about sitting over the wheels and the steering. But setting up high is one aspect I do like about the van or riding in a truck. I can see everything better as you pointed out.

The right mirror does have a big fisheye and my friends did walk me through how to set the big mirror and how to use the fisheye. But suggested replacing the old fisheye for a better, newer optical one. Thanks for the tip on using store windows/other larger vehicle windows as a visual aid.

Overall just practice driving the van is the best thing for me just right now, as you say.

Yes in the 79 Cordoba, I am "centered" but at least used to driving some kind of big vehicle. Not like driving one of these more modern smaller "coaster wagons" with their small "jetlike" cockpits. Then to make the transfer to find yourself more overwhelmed by the new vastness of the van's big "space".
 
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:44 AM
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Update

Finally got all lights fixed AND the rear brakes did need an overhauling. New tires all around and went out driving on the highway in traffic for the first time. Up til then it was on local roads at lower speeds for getting used to turning and to check things out after any repairs needed doing.

Drove in traffic to my little community a few miles away. At first, felt like I was going all over the road until I got used the "feel" of the wheel. It does have power steering but it's a truck. So used to a car's power steering and it's placement as you all pointed out. VERY different driving at highway speeds (55) than a car. Almost scary at first but accepted it for what it was as "first timer" jitters.

The drive back was much easier after getting used to handling the wheel better. Just more practice now.

No, it is not that the steering wheel needs tightening...My husband's 83 van (302) is similar and yet different. Everything else checks out with my van. It's tracks straight, no pulling, nothing is loose, no shimmy or anything. The new tires are all up to snuff (small truck tires).

I realize each car/truck/van is different. Even within the same make/model. My son's 79 Cordoba steering handles abit different from my own 79 Cordoba.

I know this sounds so wierd to you all who are used to driving vans all the time and far longer. Just do not know who else to discuss this without feeling like a complete silly "Noob".
 
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Old 06-03-2005, 07:48 PM
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Glad to hear about your "vannin". I have/had four E150's. From a 1976, 79, 86, and now a 95. They are great. Typically not my primary transportation, but great transporation none the less!

You are right these vans definately don't drive like a car. And all front end parts need to be in excellent condition and front end alligned or it will be wobbly down the road. When the front end is right, they are a pleasure to drive. Always get good light truck tires of the orinal size, too. I am just offering these tips from experience!

It can last forever. My 79 E150 with 300 ci is still on the road today, It handles and runs great.
 
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Old 06-04-2005, 03:38 AM
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Thanks, I will keep this in mind.

I stayed with the 15" wheel size it came with and went with small truck tires for a variety of reasons. Longevity for one and better stability for another, among other things. Worth the money to have new ones the first time around....especially with Summer coming up. The ones that came with it were "ok" but felt better with new stuff all around.

I have changed tires on my Cordoba a couple of times, so no big thing. Just not looking forward to doing this with the van anytime soon.
 
 


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