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Old 07-05-2002, 05:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Would you trade: 1tn Van 3/4tn Truck?

Ok, here's the deal.

I have a 1 ton Ford E350 Van that I was planning on using for my tow rig. I've been working on it for about 6 months getting it ready. (I picked it up for $400, but it needed alot of work). It has the 351W in it so engine cooling is a concern. I have it to the point now, where it is ready for towing. However I was planning on putting a new 4 core radiator in it to help with the cooling first. The van has about 120k to 130k miles on it, but the trans was rebuilt about 10k miles ago. And the van has had a history of over-heating in the past.

Just this week, I came across someone selling an '85 3/4 Ton Ford F250 pickup, and the owner is willing to trade straight across. The pickup has about 60k miles on it w/ the 460; so it'll likely tow my Jeep (on a flatbed trailer) better than the van, but at less fuel efficency. I have e-mailed the details of the van (everything I've done, everything yet to do, overheating problems, etc) to the owner of the truck.

Also the van has seating for 6 (I kept the best 6 out of 12 seats) and room in the back for a queen size bed, (perfect for camping) and storage under the bed. The truck is a regular cab, so I'd need to install a camper shell or half shell and some rear seats for my family of 4 (+ the dog).

According to KBB, both are worth about the same. So is this a deal you would do? Anything I should look for on the truck? Anything that should be a deal breaker? etc...

TIA,
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Old 07-05-2002, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 85 F250 with a 460, 38's. 5:13's and a 4 speed it pulled a 14 foot enclosed trailer FULL of carpet with no problems. There's nothing like a big block for towing. Since your going to have that 351 to the floor all the time fuel mileage might be better with the 460 towing. I would look it over REAL good. Just because it's low miles does not mean the brakes, tranny, etc don't need work. At least with what you have you know what needs work. If you are going to put kids in the back you will need to get a topper and take out the rear window and seal the topper to the truck so they can get some A/C also.

The big block would be nice but the unknown scares me I'd keep the van.
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Old 07-05-2002, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Essentially the same thing I was thinking. Known bad things vs. Unknown bad things...

The three main reasons I am considering the swap are:

1. Big Block for towing - Both vehicles have an auto, and in both the A/C is questionable. I know the blower motor in the van does not come on, but I have not traced this to find out why. A/C may be easier and cheaper to figure out with the truck since it only has one unit, unlike the van that has "Rear-Air" as well as the front system.

2. The known Cooling problems with Ford Vans (especially the 351's). Mainly it because air-flow is so poor in these vans. I'm assuming that the Ford trucks will not have this same problem.

3. Ease of maintenance. I've got big arms and big hands and just changing the plugs, belts and hoses has been a major PITA on the van. I still have not gotten to the #1 spark plug, since I'd have to take off both smog pumps to get to it. I've already looked at what it would take to change the front shocks on the van... That looks like an all weekend event -- there's just no room to work.
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